Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture

Which card is best for you?

Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture

The editorial content below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. However, we do receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date. Please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch tool to find cards matched to your needs.

If you’re willing to invest up to $95 a year, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and the Capital One Venture card offer some of the finest travel benefits you can get on a mid-tier rewards card – especially in the first year.

Both cards waive the annual fee during the first 12 months and offer sign-up bonuses large enough to buy you a free airline ticket well before your card’s first-year anniversary. The cards also waive foreign transaction fees and provide more flexibility than the average airline card.

Choosing between the two, though, can be tricky – especially if you aren’t sure which card best matches your spending habits and rewards preferences. For cardholders who travel and eat out often, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers some enticing benefits. But for the average cardholder who doesn’t want to put much time into tracking spending or maximizing their rewards earnings, the Venture card’s unlimited 2 percent bonus on every purchase is hard to beat. Here’s what else we found when comparing the two cards: 

Chase Sapphire Preferred versus Capital One Venture

  Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Capital One Venture
Capital One Venture
Rewards rate
  • 2 points per dollar on travel and dining
  • 1 point per dollar on general purchases
  • 2 miles per dollar on general purchases
Sign-up bonus
  • 50,000 points when you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
  • 5,000 points if you add an authorized user and use card in first 3 months
  • 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in first 3 months
Annual fee
$95, $0 in first year $95, $0 in first year
Estimated yearly rewards value (for someone who spends $15,900) $412 $421
Pros
  • 25% bonus when you redeem points for travel through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal
  • High rewards rate on travel and dining purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No travel blackout dates
  • No limit on the number of points you can earn
  • Can transfer points on a 1:1 basis to airline partners
  • You can pay for travel with partial points
  • Can redeem points for travel, cash back or merchandise
  • Points don’t expire
  • High rewards rate on everything you buy
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No travel blackout dates
  • No limit on the number of miles you can earn
  • No minimum on the number of miles you can redeem
  • Miles don’t expire
Cons
  • The spending threshold for the sign-up bonus is high and could be unaffordable for cardholders on a budget
  • Only travel and dining purchases receive a rewards bonus
  • Maximizing this card’s benefits can get complicated
  • Rewards can only be redeemed for travel
  • Miles cannot be transferred to other loyalty programs
Who should get this card?
  • Cardholders who want a large sign-up bonus
  • Frequent flyer aficionados and hotel rewards fans
  • Cardholders who want a high-earning, low maintenance travel card
  • Cardholders on a budget

Best for someone who wants a high-earning, low maintenance travel card: Capital One Venture card

If you’re comparing cards based solely on annual rewards earnings, the Capital One Venture card nearly always comes out on top. A leader in the travel card category, the Venture card offers an unlimited 2-mile bonus on every purchase, allowing you to stockpile miles each time you shop or pay a bill using your card.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card, by contrast, only offers a 2-point bonus on travel and dining purchases. Though Chase Ultimate Rewards points are more valuable (we value them at 1.26 cents per point, compared to 1 cent per point for the Capital One Venture card), that’s still not enough to catch up with the Venture card – even if you’re a heavy traveler or restaurant-goer.

For example, imagine that you travel once a month and eat out a couple times a week, racking up roughly $8,000 in travel and dining expenses. If you redeem your points through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards, you’ll earn slightly more from travel and dining with the Sapphire Preferred card. However, once you factor in all your other spending, you will earn more overall with the Venture card.

If your spending averages around $15,900 a year and you spend $8,000 on travel and $7,900 on all other purchases, you’ll earn up to $301 worth of rewards points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and $318 worth of miles with the Capital One Venture card – a small, but meaningful difference.

Rewards earnings on $15,900 annual spend ($8,000 travel and dining spend)

Chase Sapphire Preferred card Capital One Venture card
(($8,000 x 2 points) + ($7,900 x 1 point)) x 1.26 cent point value = $301 $15,900 x 2 points x 1 cent point value = $318

The Venture card’s simple rewards structure also puts it ahead for cardholders who are too busy to deal with a complicated rewards card: With this card, you can expect the same generous rate for every purchase.

Best for someone who wants the largest possible sign-up bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred card

Cardholders who use the same card for every purchase will likely earn more over their card’s lifetime with a Venture card instead of a Sapphire Preferred card. But the first year is an exception. At first glance, the Sapphire Preferred card and the Venture card’s 50,000-point sign-up bonuses are virtually identical.

But because Chase Ultimate Rewards points are more valuable than the Venture card’s points, cardholders can potentially take home $630 worth of free travel on average – $130 more than the $500 worth of free travel that Venture cardholders will earn. Depending on how much cardholders spend on travel, dining and other expenses throughout the year, that could give the Sapphire card a significant edge for the card’s first 12 months – especially if you buy a lot of airline tickets. 

Average sign-up bonus value

Chase Sapphire Preferred card Capital One Venture card
50,000 points x 1.26 cent point value = $630 50,000 points x 1 cent point value = $500

Additionally, Sapphire Preferred cardholders can earn an extra 5,000 points when they add an authorized user who makes a purchase within the first three months of card membership – bringing the total possible sign-up bonus to 55,000 points.

Best for someone on a budget: Capital One Venture card

To get the most out of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you need to be a heavy spender. For example, to earn the card’s sign-up bonus, you must spend at least $4,000 in the first three months of card membership. For cardholders on a budget, spending more than $1,300 a month on a credit card can be tough. It also requires you to spend a substantial amount of money on travel, dining and other expenses to earn enough points to fund additional trips.

The Capital One Venture card, on the other hand, is significantly more accessible. It requires just $3,000 in spending in the card’s first three months to earn a 50,000-mile sign-up bonus. You also don’t have to buy a lot of extras to earn a large number of miles. Just using your card on everyday expenses, such as clothing or grocery runs will earn you a significant amount. 

Amount you need to spend each month to earn a sign-up bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred card Capital One Venture card
$4,000 ÷ 3 months = $1,333 per month $3,000 ÷ 3 months = $1,000 per month

Best for frequent flyer miles aficionados and hotel rewards fans: Chase Sapphire Preferred card

If you’re looking for straightforward rewards and easy redemption, the Capital One Venture card has the edge. In addition to offering a flat rewards rate on every purchase, the Venture card lets you book travel yourself, on any travel website you choose, and will reimburse you with a statement credit. That provides a lot of flexibility if you’re a bargain hunter who regularly scans third-party sites for the cheapest flights and hotel rooms. It also makes claiming your rewards miles easier.

But if you’re collecting frequent flyer miles or hotel rewards from other loyalty programs, the Sapphire card’s slightly lower rewards rate could be a small price to pay for more flexible redemption options. The Sapphire Preferred card gives more choices in how you use your points. Unlike the Venture card, the Sapphire card lets you redeem points for cash back and merchandise, as well as travel.

Furthermore, unlike the Venture card, the Sapphire Preferred card lets you transfer rewards on a one-to-one basis to a variety of other travel loyalty programs. Chase airline and hotel partners include Southwest Airlines, British Airways, Air France, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, United, Virgin Atlantic, Marriott, Ritz Carlton, IHG and Hyatt. This is a big plus if you’re already stockpiling airline or hotel loyalty points and could use an infusion of rewards.

You can also transfer rewards between different Chase cards. So if you apply for other high-earning Chase cards, such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited card or the Chase Freedom card, and use those cards for everyday spending, you could potentially earn just as much – or possibly more – with your Chase cards as you would with the Venture card. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred redemption options

Redemption option Point value Value of 50,000-point sign-up bonus
Ultimate Rewards travel portal (25% redemption bonus) 1.25 cents $625
Statement credit 1 cent $500
Direct deposit 1 cent $500
Gift cards 1 cent $500
Amazon.com purchases 0.8 cent $400
Chase Pay purchases 0.8 cent $400

Chase Sapphire cards transfer options

Transfer option Point value Value of 50,000-point sign-up bonus
British Airways transfer 2.29 cents $1,145
Singapore Airlines transfer 2.17 cents $1,085
Southwest Airlines transfer 1.57 cents $785
United Airlines transfer 1.52 $760
Korean Air transfer 1.4 cents $700
Hyatt Gold Passport transfer 1.37 cents $685
Ritz-Carlton transfer 1.22 cents $610
Air France transfer 1 cent $500
Virgin Atlantic transfer 0.8 cent $400
Marriott Rewards transfer 0.8 cent $400
IHG transfer 0.65 cent $325

Imagine, for example, if you used the Sapphire Preferred card on travel and dining purchases and used the Chase Freedom Unlimited card – which offers 1.5 percent cash back – on everything else, pushing your average rewards rate up to 1.61 percent. With an average point value of 1.26 cents, we estimate you would earn $323 in value each year on average with the Chase Sapphire card, and possibly more if you transfer your points to a frequent flyer partner. 

Average rewards earnings in first year ($15,900 spend)

Chase Sapphire Preferred card + Chase Freedom Unlimited card Capital One Venture card
1.61 points per dollar x $15,900 x 1.26 cent point value = $323 2 points per dollar x $15,900 x 1 cent point value = $318

Bottom line: How much work do you want to put into your rewards card?

For the average cardholder, the Capital One Venture card offers more value and is simpler to use than the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Thanks to its flat rewards rate, it’s also a good choice for cardholders who would rather use one card for every purchase.

But for power card users who don’t mind taking the time to maximize their rewards, the Sapphire Preferred card offers some enticing opportunities – especially if you’re a frequent traveler who likes to pool the points you earned from various loyalty programs. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card also offers slightly more value in the first year, thanks to its large sign-up bonus. But the rewards on the Venture card are more accessible and much easier to earn. 

See related: Capital One Venture vs. Capital One VentureOne: Which is best?, Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve: Which is better?

The editorial content below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. However, we do receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy


Join the discussion
We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.

The editorial content on CreditCards.com is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company's business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.




Weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, advice, articles and tips delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.


Updated: 07-18-2018