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

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Two of the most popular mid-range credit cards are the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. The cards have similar annual fees, similar welcome bonuses, and are both rewarding, though they work in very 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. We’ll compare the welcome bonuses, annual fees, ability to earn points, value of points, and perks. Here we go:

Welcome bonuses: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: The card offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 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 50,000 points a minimum value of $625.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: The card offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 bonus 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, making this welcome bonus worth $500.

Winner: While both cards have good welcome bonuses, the Sapphire Preferred has a better one.

Annual fee: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: The card has a $95 annual fee, waived for the first 12 months.

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

Winner: This is an area where both cards are tied, as they have the same annual fee, and both have the annual fee waived for the first year, which is always a nice feature for a premium credit card.

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

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Points earned on this card are extremely flexible. 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, which can get you outsized value. Ultimate Rewards partners include the following:

AirlinesHotels
Aer Lingus Aer ClubIHG Rewards Club
Air France/KLM Flying BlueMarriott Rewards
British Airways Executive ClubRitz-Carlton Rewards
Iberia PlusWorld Of Hyatt
JetBlue TrueBlue
Singapore KrisFlyer
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
United MileagePlus
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club


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

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: The points earned on this card are referred to as “miles,” though in reality there are no options to convert the points into airline miles. Rather, points earned on this card can be redeemed for one cent each towards the cost of a travel purchase. There are two ways you can go about redeeming your points:

  • You can redeem them for past travel purchases using Purchase Eraser, where you can simply make an eligible travel booking using your card, and then you can go online after the fact and use your miles to pay for it within 90 days of the date of purchase; your credit will be applied to your account within 2-3 days
  • You can book a travel reservation through capitalone.com or book by phone, and each mile can be redeemed for one cent towards the cost of a travel purchase


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. Not only can each point be redeemed for more cash towards travel, but Ultimate Rewards points can also be converted into airline miles and hotel points. However, that’s only one part of the equation, as it doesn’t factor in the pace at which you can 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 ability to convert them into airline miles and hotel points), 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 when booking through this link. Since each mile can be redeemed for one cent towards the cost of a travel purchase, that means this card essentially earns a 2% return on everyday spend, and a 10% return on hotels.com spend. Typically I don’t use hotels.com for hotel bookings (and there are downsides to booking with them), so I essentially view this as a card that offers a return equivalent to 2% towards the cost of a travel purchase.

Winner: It much very much depends on how much you spend on dining and travel, and how you plan on redeeming your points. For spend that isn’t in a bonus category, the Capital One Venture Card is more rewarding, as you earn a return equivalent to 2%. However, if you spend a lot on dining and travel, or want to convert points into airline miles or hotel points, you may come out ahead with the Sapphire Preferred.

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 recently 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 slight edge for the car rental coverage, 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.

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, 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 UnlimitedSM 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 want to deal with the complexities of redeeming miles with capacity controls. The card offers a generous welcome bonus, annual fee waived for the first year, no foreign transaction fees, Global Entry fee credit, and more.

I would note, however, that there are some 2% cash back cards with no annual fee, like the Citi® Double Cash Card, which offer a similar return. So why would anyone consider the Venture Card? Because it has a big welcome bonus, it has no foreign transaction fees, and it has some great premium perks. Everyone has to decide for themselves if that’s worth the annual fee.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, on the other hand, offers bonus points on dining and travel, the ability to convert points into airline miles and hotel points, 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. Just know that you can earn a similar return with some no annual fee cards, they just won’t have benefits that are as rich.

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 Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card would be my first choice.

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Comments

  1. Is this really even a question? The Chase URs ecosystem makes the Sapphire Preferred the winner from the start. Everything else is just icing on the cake.

  2. It’s a question. It all depends on how you use credit cards and the purchases you make with them.

  3. I agree. Also, don’t forget access to the UR shopping portal which allows you to rack up lots of bonus points on stuff you were going to buy anyway. I am not aware that Capital One has anything similar.

    As you mention, you can get a flat 2% cash back with no annual fee using other options. So you’re not tied to having to use the points of travel if you don’t want to.

  4. What would be really interesting is if a credit card company offered a card with the same earnings and payout structure, with more lucrative earnings and a higher annual fee. Something like

    3 miles per dollar for unbonused spend
    8 miles per dollar for dining and groceries
    12 miles per dollar in quarterly rotating bonus categories
    16 miles per dollar on airfare and hotels
    Priority Pass membership
    $300 in lounge expense credits (paying for the odd day pass or for annual lounge memberships directly)
    Annual bonuses for hitting spend thresholds
    Travel insurance / etc
    Miles are redeemable for travel purchase credits at $0.01 per mile or for cash back at $0.005 per mile
    $600 annual fee

    This would give premium spenders a real incentive to switch over spend and to book premium flights via cash

  5. I just applied for C1 Venture and I’m not 5/24, but I’ve probably opened 8-10 cards in the last 2 years. I got denied by C1 for having too many accounts opened recently. I couldn’t find much detailed data on C1 applications on flyertalk with this (at least not like chase’s 5/24), but it seems there may be restrictions similar to 5/24

  6. Something that isn’t mentioned is that Capital One does a great job separating charges by providing a separate card number for each authorized user. Their Wallet app even details pending charges by user. From other articles on this blog it doesn’t sound like the Chase cards have that option. For someone looking to add multiple authorized users, keeping charges separate would be simpler on Capital One.

  7. Ummm, the Perks comparison is utterly unfair.

    Chase Preferred gives you trip interruption/cancellation insurance, baggage delay/loss coverage, and trip delay coverage. If you travel more than a couple of flights a year, these are very *very* nice. Because, let’s face it, things happen.

    This means that Capital One is basically DOA for my consideration….

  8. The Venture card is essentially the same as pay with points on other cards. I used to have this card and back then it was sort of worthwhile because back then there weren’t as many cards that offered 2x points on every day spend. Venture was one of those I used for getting 2x on misc charges. But once those other cards offered more points in other categories, there really wasn’t much appeal to the venture card anymore.

    Their customer service btw is AWFUL because they are highly incompetent when it comes to travel issues. I argued with a rep for an hour because the hotel in europe over charged me by 40%. But because it was in Euro, the customer rep couldn’t figure out the original charge which was displayed on my receipt as USD. They kept telling me “it depends on the variable exchange rate of the day it was charged so that is why its different on your cap one statement” and I kept saying “I am fully aware of that but there is no way the exchange rate changed by 40% between the time I booked the hotel and when the charge went through”. It wasn’t just her because she asked for assistance and the other drones were also confused by exchange rates. (these folks did not sound like off shore folks, they sounded like US employees). Meanwhile to me it looked like simple 5th grade math. I went as far as fetching the exchange rate info for them for those exact dates and they “still” couldn’t figure it out. I even went through the calculations with them over the phone and they still couldn’t understand. I don’t know how many layers of customer reps it went through until someone finally figured it out and refunded me the correct amount.

    To captal one’s credit however, a higher up rep called me weeks later and asked me what had happened. He apologized and gave me 10K points. I didn’t even ask for anything. I just told him why I was frustrated that they couldn’t understand something so simple. Unfortunately, there would be other customer service incident like this, equally as simple and straight forward that they just couldn’t understand. So between that and other cards rolling around I ditched that card.

  9. This is seriously a waste of a discussion topic. Any of the chase cards, you take your pick, is better than capital one’s best card.

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