There’s a lot to like about the Savor card, but it won’t be the best fit for everyone. The annual fee cuts into the amount of cash back you can earn and people who only occasionally take advantage of the food and entertainment categories may prefer a general-purpose credit card with bonus categories better suited for everyday purchases.
Let’s take a look at how it stacks up against two of its competitors, the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Savor One, a no-annual-fee version of the Savor card.
Capital One Savor vs. Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Like the Savor Cash Rewards card but wish it had no annual fee? The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card also received a rewards program upgrade along with the Savor earlier in 2021, meaning you can now earn 3 percent cash back on dining, entertainment, select streaming services and grocery store purchases (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®).
That means, aside from the slightly boosted sign-up bonus, ponying up for the Savor’s annual fee essentially only gets you a 1 percent bump to your dining, streaming and entertainment categories. This also comes at the cost of losing the SavorOne’s 15-month 0 percent intro purchase and balance transfer APR (then a 19.99 percent to 29.99 percent variable APR, 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months or at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer you at any other time. See Rates and Fees), which may not be as valuable for some cardholders as the chance to eliminate snowballing interest.
Since the rewards rates are so similar (we calculate the Savor’s average rewards rate* to be 2.38 percent while the SavorOne’s is 2.33 percent), it’s unlikely that the Savor is worth the $95 chunk out of your rewards each year. The SavorOne is also easier to justify if neither would be your main rewards card, so it likely trumps the Savor unless dining, entertainment and streaming services form a remarkable amount of your budget.
Capital One Savor vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Thanks to the August 2021 update to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to include 3X points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target and wholesale clubs, like the Savor card), it now edges out the Blue Cash Preferred Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited to become one of the Savor card’s top rivals due to its better-rounded rewards and richer features.
If you’re planning to redeem for cash back alone, you spend more on entertainment than travel and you prefer to do your grocery shopping in a physical store rather than online, then the Savor card will have an edge. However, the Chase Sapphire Preferred adds in travel rewards categories that the Savor passes on, which make it an all-around stronger card if you’re planning to take advantage of its travel features.
For starters, you’ll get a 25 percent bonus point value if you redeem for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal — which still doesn’t match the Savor’s dining and grocery rates’ value — but finding the right Chase transfer partner can surpass the Savor’s rewards thanks to your points’ 2-cent value (according to TPG’s latest estimate). In fact, reserving your dinner plans through Chase Dining will get you 10X points compared to the Savor’s 4 percent back.
The Sapphire Preferred card’s 60,000-point sign-up bonus (after spending $4,000 in the first three months) is a much stronger upfront value as well — doubling the Savor card’s offer even when redeemed for cash back. Aside from rewards, the Sapphire Preferred carries a trove of stronger benefits, including some of the best travel insurance at its price point, bonus account anniversary points and up to $50 in yearly hotel stay credits that can more than make up for the annual fee — unlike the Savor’s dry well of bonus benefits.
Best cards to pair with the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Savor card offers a high rewards rate on entertainment and dining, but not travel. If you’re a frequent flyer, you may want to pair it with a travel rewards card like the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. It earns a stellar 10X miles on hotel and rental car Capital One Travel bookings, 5X miles on Capital One Travel flights plus unlimited 2X miles on all other travel. Although the Venture X poses an intimidating $395 annual fee (See Rates and Fees), its stellar travel benefits more than recoup the cost for savvy cardholders. Besides filling in the travel and benefits gap, you also may be able to transfer your Savor cash back to the Venture X card for more value toward travel.
Another drawback of the Capital One Savor card is that it doesn’t have a 0 percent intro APR period on purchases or balance transfers. To save on interest, consider pairing it with a zero-interest card like the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card, which has a 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 12 months and balance transfers for 21 months (then a 18.24 percent to 28.99 percent variable APR applies).