The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card are two of the most flexible travel credit cards on the market today, but they vary dramatically in terms of how you can redeem your rewards. Both cards let you exchange points for travel directly or transfer to airline and hotel partners, but they do so at very different values and with a different set of partners.
The way you earn points with each card also varies, with the Venture offering a flat 2X miles on all purchases and the Sapphire Preferred giving cardholders 2X points on travel and dining only.
With both of these travel credit cards offering enormous sign-up bonuses right now, you may be wondering which one would leave you better off. Bankrate’s expert analysis below will help you determine the value of each offer and which card might work better for your needs.
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||Capital One Venture|
|Welcome bonus||80,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months||100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months|
|Rewards rate||2X points on travel and dining and 1X points on other purchases; also earn a total of 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022||2X miles for each dollar you spend|
|Intro APR||No intro APR; variable APR of 15.99% to 22.99%||No intro APR; variable APR of 17.24% to 24.49%|
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture highlights
At first glance, these cards seem somewhat similar in terms of their rewards structures and bonuses. However, they earn different types of rewards, which are not valued the same. We go over the most popular categories each card stands out in below.
Welcome bonus winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred lets new cardholders earn a sign-up bonus of 80,000 points when you spend $4,000 on your card within three months of account opening. Plus, you can earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases (one-time statement credit: available for 12 months from account opening). This easily beats out the Capital One Venture’s lower welcome offer, which, though it only requires you to spend $3,000 in the first three months, offers a lower bonus of 50,000 miles (Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months).
As you can see, the lower bonus on the Venture card is a bit easier to earn since you only need to spend $1,000 per month for three months in a row to reach the spending threshold, versus $1,334 per month for three months with the Sapphire Preferred.
That said, you should keep the value of these points in mind when you make this comparison. Valuations from The Points Guy show that Capital One miles are worth 1.4 cents each, but that Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 2 cents each. This means that the Sapphire Reserve bonus could be worth approximately $1,600 when transferred to partners, while the Venture bonus’ higher welcome offer may be worth $1400 in travel, on average.
Rewards rate winner: Capital One Venture
While Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth more in general, the Capital One Venture still wins for its rewards rate. This card offers a flat 2X miles for each dollar you spend, which can help you rack up more miles on all your regular spending and bills over time.
Annual Fee winner: Tie
Both of these cards charge the same $95 annual fee, which is very reasonable considering the rewards proposition each card offers. The fact you can earn such a big bonus the first year with both cards also makes the fee a good value for the first year especially.
Foreign transaction fee winner: Both
Neither card charges foreign transaction fees on purchases you make outside of the United States. That means both are a good value and a good option if you travel abroad often or plan to.
Which card earns the most?
With the Capital One Venture letting cardholders earn 2X miles for every dollar they spend, this card can easily help you rack up a higher number of miles over time. But with the value of Chase Ultimate Rewards points being higher in general, the Chase Sapphire Preferred can still help you earn a similar amount of value in rewards.
Let’s do the math.
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture spending example
Imagine you’re someone who spends a lot on travel and dining each month, but that you also use your credit card to pay for regular spending and bills. In that case, your monthly spending might look something like this:
- $500 per month spent on travel and dining
- $1,500 spent on utility bills, groceries, gas and other purchases
With the Capital One Venture, figuring out how much you would earn in rewards is easy. With 2X miles for each dollar you spend, $2,000 in monthly spending would result in 4,000 miles per month and 48,000 miles by the end of the year.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, on the other hand, you would earn 1,000 points on travel and dining and 1,500 points on regular spending each month. This means you would end each month with 2,500 points, and that you would have only 30,000 points at the end of the year.
However, due to the valuations of these rewards points, 48,000 Capital One miles are worth $672, but 30,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth $600.
Why should you get the Chase Sapphire Preferred?
At the end of the day, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a good rewards card whether you travel or not. You can earn 2X points on travel and dining and 1X points on everything else, and the bonus on this card is as high as it has ever been. When it comes to using your rewards, you can cash them in for a lot more than travel as well.
Here are some additional reasons to consider signing up.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred gives cardholders perks like trip cancellation and interruption insurance worth up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. You also qualify for benefits such as primary auto rental coverage, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, travel and emergency assistance services, purchase protection and extended warranties.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred really stands out in terms of its rewards program. Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed for options like statement credits, cash back, gift cards and merchandise. However, you can also redeem points for travel through the Chase portal and get 25 percent more value when you do.
The Chase Ultimate Rewards program also offers a robust transfer program that lets you move your points to airline and hotel partners like Marriott Bonvoy, Southwest Rapid Rewards, World of Hyatt and United MileagePlus at a 1:1 ratio. Make sure to read more about the Chase Ultimate Rewards program so you can decide if this card is for you.
Recommended credit score
To successfully apply for a Chase Sapphire Preferred, you typically need at least a FICO credit score of 670 or better.
Why should you get the Capital One Venture?
The Capital One Venture lets you earn a flat number of miles for each dollar you spend, which can be a better deal if you don’t like to keep track of bonus category spending. The welcome bonus on this card can also be lucrative and a bit easier to reach than the bonus on the Sapphire Preferred.
The Capital One Venture stands out due to the fact you get up to a $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck membership as a cardholder perk. You also get free cardholder benefits such as auto rental collision damage waiver, travel insurance and extended warranties.
When you earn miles with this card, you can redeem them to cover travel purchases at a rate of one cent per point or cash them in for purchases made on Amazon.com. You can also transfer your miles to airline and hotel partners like Aeromexico, Aeroplan, Flying Blue / Air France, Accor and more.
Just remember that Capital One miles do not transfer at the same favorable ratio as Chase Ultimate Rewards and that most Capital One mile transfer partners let you convert miles at a ratio of 2:1.5. Some Capital One transfer partners like Accor, Emirates and Singapore Airlines even let you transfer at a worse ratio of 2:1.
Recommended credit score
To get approved for the Capital One Venture, you typically need at least a FICO credit score of 670 or better.
The bottom line
Both of these rewards credit cards offer generous bonuses and rewards schemes, and they both let you redeem your points for travel or for additional options for more flexibility. However, each program has a different set of transfer partners that may work better for you depending on how you normally travel.
If you can’t decide between these Chase and Capital One credit cards, you can easily consider signing up for both as well. Just make sure to do the math to figure out if you can earn both welcome bonuses by using your cards for regular spending and bills.