While many may not be thinking of travel rewards cards at the moment, these cards are worth considering given the big bonuses as well as flexible rewards structures at the moment.
While the cards have similar annual fees, most other aspects of the cards differ. 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.
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: 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: The card offers a welcome bonus of up to 100,000 Venture miles, though this is a tiered bonus:
- Earn 50,000 Venture miles after spending $3,000 within three months
- Earn an additional 50,000 Venture miles after spending a total of $20,000 within the first 12 months
Each Venture 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 100,000 Venture miles a minimum value of $1,000.
Winner: While both cards have good welcome bonuses, the Sapphire Preferred gets the edge given the significantly lower spending requirement.
Approval odds: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture
Chase Sapphire Preferred: For those very involved in miles & points, getting approved for the Sapphire Preferred 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: 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: The card has a $95 annual fee.
Capital One Venture: The card has a $95 annual fee.
Winner: This is a tie, as both cards have the same annual fee.
Value of points: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture
- They can be redeemed for 1.25 cents each towards the cost of a travel purchase through the Ultimate Rewards travel center; for a limited time, points can be redeemed at the same rate towards everyday purchases at grocery stores and restaurants with Chase’s “Pay Yourself Back” feature
- They can be transferred to Ultimate Rewards 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 Partner||Transfer Ratio||Transfer Time|
|Aer Lingus Aer Club||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|Air France KLM FlyingBlue||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|British Airways Executive Club||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|Emirates Skywards||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|Iberia Plus||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|JetBlue TrueBlue||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||1000 : 1000||~ 1 to 7 days|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|United MileagePlus||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|IHG Rewards Club||1000 : 1000||Instant|
|Marriott Bonvoy||1000 : 1000||~ 1 to 2 days|
|World Of Hyatt||1000 : 1000||Instant|
Transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to book travel in Singapore Airlines Suites
- They can be redeemed for one cent each towards the cost of a travel purchase; for a limited time, points can be redeemed at the same rate towards everyday purchases at restaurants and on streaming services
- They can be transferred to Venture miles airline and hotel 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 Partner||Transfer Ratio||Transfer Time|
|Aeromexico Club Premier||1000 : 750||Instant|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||1000 : 750||Instant|
|Air France KLM Flying Blue||1000 : 750||Instant|
|Alitalia MilleMiglia||1000 : 750||Instant|
|Avianca LifeMiles||1000 : 750||Instant|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||1000 : 750||~ 3 to 5 days|
|Emirates Skywards||1000 : 500||Instant|
|Etihad Guest||1000 : 750||~ 12 to 24 hours|
|EVA Air Infinity MileageLands||1000 : 750||~ 24 to 48 hours|
|Finnair Plus||1000 : 750||Instant|
|JetBlue TrueBlue||1000 : 500||Instant|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||1000 : 750||~ 24 to 48 hours|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||1000 : 500||~ 24 to 48 hours|
|Accor Live Limitless (ALL)||1000 : 500||TBD|
|Wyndham Rewards||1000 : 750||TBD|
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: The card offers 2x points on dining and travel, and 1x points on all other purchases. On top of that, for a limited time the card is offering 5x points with Lyft, 5x points on streaming services, 3x points on Instacart, and 3x points on streaming services
At a minimum, this means that long-term 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).
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: The card offers 2x miles on all purchases.
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: The card has no foreign transaction fees, great travel and purchase protection, and primary rental car coverage.
Capital One Venture: The card has no foreign transaction fees, great travel and purchase protection, secondary rental car coverage, and a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit every four years.
Both cards have no foreign transaction fees, which 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 unique.
The Capital One Venture 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 with some other awesome Chase cards:
- The Chase Freedom FlexSM (review) has no annual fee and offers 5x points in rotating quarterly categories, for up to $1,500 of spend per quarter, plus 3x points on dining and drugstores
- The Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review) has no annual fee and offers 1.5x points on all purchases, plus 3x points on dining and drugstores
- The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card (review) 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 (review) has no annual fee and offers a flat 1.5x points on all purchases
- The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (review) 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 with the no annual fee Chase Freedom Unlimited you’d earn 3x points on dining and drugstores, 2x points on travel, and 1.5x points on all other purchases, which is an incredible rewards structure with a single $95 annual fee.
So, which card is better?
The Capital One Venture 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, 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, 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. Personally, I think the combination of the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Freedom Unlimited is tough to beat if you’re willing to get two cards.
Which do you prefer — the Venture Card or Sapphire Preferred Card?