Chase Sapphire Preferred Vs. Capital One Venture: Which Is Better?

Filed Under: Capital One, Chase
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Last year I wrote a post comparing the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, which are two of the most popular mid-range cards. Today I wanted to revisit that topic, given the changes that occurred to the Venture Card last year, which greatly changed the value proposition of it.

The cards have similar annual fees, similar welcome bonuses, and are both rewarding, though they work in different ways. I think both cards can make sense for certain consumers, but given how different they are, it’s worth understanding which card is better for your situation.

In this post I wanted to do a comparison of the two cards, so you can decide whether the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Capital One Venture is better for you. I’ll compare the welcome bonuses, approval odds, annual fees, ability to earn points, the value of points, and perks.

Welcome bonuses: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: The card offers a welcome bonus of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within the first three months. At a minimum, Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed for 1.25 cents each towards the cost of a travel purchase (potentially way more), giving the 60,000 points a minimum value of $750.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: The card offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 bonus Venture miles after spending $3,000 within the first three months. Each mile can be redeemed for one cent towards the cost of a travel purchase, or can be converted to airline partners at a ratio of up to 2:1.5, giving the 50,000 miles a minimum value of $500.

Winner: While both cards have good welcome bonuses, the Sapphire Preferred is the clear winner with a minimum value of 50% more.

Approval odds: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: For those very involved in miles & points, getting approved for the card can be challenging. It’s subjected to 5/24, meaning you won’t be approved if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months. Furthermore, the welcome bonus isn’t available to those who currently have a Sapphire Card (including the Sapphire Reserve), or those who have received a new cardmember bonus on a Sapphire Card in the past 48 months.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: The terms note that “existing or previous accountholders may not be eligible for this one-time bonus,” and also anecdotally Capital One will often only approve people for a card once every six months.

Winner: It depends on your exact situation, but I think more people will be locked out by the Sapphire Preferred rules than the Venture Card rules.

Annual fee: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: The card has a $95 annual fee.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: The card has a $95 annual fee, waived for the first 12 months.

Winner: The Venture takes the edge with a waived fee for the first 12 months, but the larger welcome bonus on the Sapphire Preferred makes up for this.

Value of points: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Points earned on this card can be redeemed in two primary ways. They can be redeemed for 1.25 cents each towards the cost of a travel purchase through the Ultimate Rewards travel center. Alternatively, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio, which can get you outsized value. Ultimate Rewards partners include the following (along with transfer ratios and times):

Ultimate Rewards Transfer PartnerTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Aer Lingus Aer Club1000 : 1000Instant
Air France KLM FlyingBlue1000 : 1000~ 1 hour
British Airways Executive Club1000 : 1000Instant
Emirates Skywards1000 : 1000 Instant
Iberia Plus1000 : 1000Instant
JetBlue TrueBlue1000 : 1000Instant
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1000 : 1000~ 1 to 7 days
Southwest Rapid Rewards1000 : 1000Instant
United MileagePlus1000 : 1000Instant
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1000 : 1000Instant
IHG Rewards Club1000 : 1000~ 1 to 2 days
Marriott Bonvoy1000 : 1000~ 1 to 2 days
World Of Hyatt1000 : 1000Instant


Transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to book travel in Singapore Airlines Suites

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: Miles earned on this card can be redeemed in two primary ways. They can be redeemed for one cent each towards the cost of a travel purchase, or you can transfer Venture miles to airline partners at a ratio of up to 2:1.5. Capital One partners include the following (along with transfer ratios and times):

Capital One Transfer PartnerTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Aeromexico Club Premier1000 : 750Instant
Air Canada Aeroplan1000 : 750Instant
Air France KLM Flying Blue1000 : 750Instant
Alitalia MilleMiglia1000 : 750Instant
Avianca LifeMiles1000 : 750Instant
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles1000 : 750~ 3 to 5 days
Emirates Skywards1000 : 500Instant
Etihad Guest1000 : 750~ 12 to 24 hours
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands1000 : 750~ 24 to 48 hours
Finnair Plus1000 : 750Instant
Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club1000 : 750~ 24 to 48 hours
JetBlue TrueBlue1000 : 500Instant
Qantas Frequent Flyer1000 : 750~ 24 to 48 hours
Qatar Airways Privilege Club1000 : 750~ 24 to 48 hours
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1000 : 500~ 24 to 48 hours


Redeem your Venture miles towards the cost of virtually any travel purchase

Winner: On a per point basis, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are more valuable than Capital One Venture miles. Each point can be redeemed for more cash and more points with a transfer partner, though that’s only half of the equation since it doesn’t account for the pace at which you earn points.

Ability to earn points: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: The card offers 2x points on dining and travel, and 1x points on all other purchases.

At a minimum, this means the card is earning a return of 2.5% on dining and travel, and a return of 1.25% on other purchases (based on the ability to redeem points for 1.25 cents each towards the cost of a travel purchase).

You can potentially get a lot more value than that, though. For example, I value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.7 cents each (thanks to the transfer ratio for travel partners), so based on my valuation you’re getting a return of 3.4% on dining and travel, and 1.7% on everything else. However, not everyone should value points the way I do, especially if you just plan to redeem them as cash towards the cost of a travel purchase.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: The card offers 2x miles on all purchases, plus it offers 10x miles on purchases with hotels.com (must book through link).

At a minimum, this means the card is earning a return of 2% on all purchases (based on the ability to redeem miles for one cent each towards travel purchases). But you’re also earning up to 1.5x airline miles per dollar spent, which is solid as well, and I value those miles at up to ~1.7 cents each, so I’d say the card offers a return of ~2.55% for those looking to transfer points to partners.

Winner: It very much depends on how much you spend on dining and travel, and how you plan on redeeming your points. The Venture Card offers up to 1.5x airline miles per dollar spent, while the Sapphire Preferred offers 2x airline miles on dining and travel, and 1x airline miles on other purchases. So if over half of your spend is on dining and travel, I’d say you come out ahead with the Sapphire Preferred, while otherwise, I’d say you come out ahead with the Venture Card.

Perks: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: The card has no foreign transaction fees, great travel and purchase protection, and primary rental car coverage.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: The card has no foreign transaction fees, great travel and purchase protection, and secondary rental car coverage. Furthermore, the card added a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit every four years, which is a nice perk for a card with such a reasonable annual fee.


Both cards have no foreign transaction fees, so are great for purchases abroad

Winner: Personally I think the Chase Sapphire Preferred has the edge for the car rental coverage and superior travel protection, though if you can take advantage of the Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit, you may get more value out of the Capital One Venture Card.  Thankfully, both cards charge no foreign transaction fees.

The potential Chase Sapphire Preferred “X-factor”

Before getting into my conclusion, it’s important to call out one thing that makes the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card unique.

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has a straightforward points structure without many bonus categories, and there’s not a way to complement the card with another one to get outsized value.

With the Sapphire Preferred, on the other hand, there are many ways to use other cards to maximize the value you get out of your Ultimate Rewards points. That’s because you can pool points you earn on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card with some other awesome Chase cards:

  • The Chase Freedom® Card has no annual fee and offers 5x points in rotating quarterly categories, for up to $1,500 of spend per quarter
  • The Chase Freedom Unlimited® has no annual fee and offers 1.5x points on all purchases
  • The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card has no annual fee and offers 5x points on the first $25,000 of combined purchases per cardmember year on office supply stores, internet, cable TV, mobile phones, and landlines, and 2x points on the first $25,000 of combined purchases per cardmember year on restaurants and gas stations
  • The Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card has no annual fee and offers a flat 1.5x points on all purchases
  • The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has a $95 annual fee and offers 3x points on the first $150,000 spent each cardmember year on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines

As you can see, these cards are all great complements that can greatly increase the pace at which you earn Ultimate Rewards points. For example, if you pair the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® you’d start earning 2x points on dining and travel, and 1.5x points on all other purchases, which increases the value you’re getting on non-bonused purchases by 50%.

Lastly, you could upgrade the Sapphire Preferred to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which offers triple points on dining and travel, and also lets you redeem points for 1.5 cents each towards the cost of a travel purchase, rather than 1.25 cents each.

So, which card is better?

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a well-rounded card for anyone who doesn’t spend a lot in categories that are otherwise eligible for bonuses. The card offers a generous welcome bonus, annual fee waived for the first year, no foreign transaction fees, Global Entry fee credit, and more. Notably, the card also offers an excellent return for those who are looking for cash back towards travel.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, on the other hand, offers bonus points on dining and travel, and best of all, the ability to combine points with some other great cards that have excellent bonus categories as well.

So between these two cards, I’d say that if you just want to use one card for everything and don’t spend that much on dining and travel, the Venture Card is a solid option. The card is more flexible than ever before, which makes it more compelling.

Meanwhile, if you do spend a lot on dining and travel, and if you’re willing to combine the card with some other excellent ones, the Sapphire Preferred would be my first choice.

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Comments
  1. A very accurate, honest and compelling review. I pick the Sapphire. However, am not doing that at this very moment ‘coz am working my way towards the 200K mile bonus on my Spark Business which is the business version of the Venture card.

  2. Chase Freedom Unlimited (1.5 transferable miles everything) + Chase Sapphire Preferred (2 transferable miles on travel and dining) can beat Capital One Venture (1.5 transferable miles everything) in every aspects unless you are using CFU in a foreign country.

  3. Since ALL Capital one purchases earn at least 2X miles, their 1000:750 transfer ratio for airline miles is actually 500:750 (I need to spend 500 dollars to get 1000 venture points). Granted, I believe Chase has better airline partners…

  4. I think the number one influencing factor in this question is, whether by choice or circumstance, you fly United frequently. If you do, the Sapphire Preferred + Freedom Unlimited is the very obvious choice.

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