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Chase Sapphire Preferred Card vs. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Summary

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. See what else we found when comparing the two cards.

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

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 Card

Capital One Venture card

Capital One® Venture®  Rewards Credit Card

Rewards rate
  • 2 points per dollar on travel and dining
  • 1 point per dollar on general purchases
  • 10 miles per dollar on hotel rooms booked and paid through hotels.com/venture, through January 2020
  • 2 miles per dollar on general purchases
Sign-up bonus
  • 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
  • 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in first 3 months
Annual fee$95$95, $0 in first year
Estimated yearly rewards value (for someone who spends $15,900)$408$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
  • Transfer miles to over 14 leading travel loyalty programs
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
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 1.25 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 $299 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 cardCapital One Venture card
(($8,000 x 2 points) + ($7,900 x 1 point)) x 1.25 cent point value = $299$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. Even though the Venture card waives its $95 annual fee in the first year and the Sapphire Preferred does not, the introductory offer on the Sapphire Preferred is still more valuable.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a 60,000-point introductory bonus for cardholders who spend $4,000 in the first three month. Plus, points are worth 1.25 cents each when you redeem them for travel through Ultimate Rewards. The Venture card only offers 50,000 points for users who spend $3,000 in the first three months.

Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders can therefore take home around $655 worth of free travel (even when you take out the annual fee). Venture cardholders can only earn around $500. Depending on how much you 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 cardCapital One Venture card
60,000 points x 1.25 cent point value – $95 annual fee = $65550,000 points x 1 cent point value = $500

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 cardCapital 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 10-mile bonus on hotel bookings made through hotels.com/venture and a 2-mile flat-rate bonus on everything else, 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.

The Sapphire Preferred card also 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.

While Capital One recently added 14 transfer partners for Venture cardholders, there are no major airlines on the list. Capital One miles also transfer at a rate of 2:1.5 rather than 1:1, making the option far less valuable than it is with the Sapphire Preferred.

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 optionPoint valueValue of 60,000-point sign-up bonus
Ultimate Rewards travel portal (25% redemption bonus)1.25 cents$750
Statement credit1 cent$600
Direct deposit1 cent$600
Gift cards1 cent$600
Amazon.com purchases0.8 cent$480
Chase Pay purchases0.8 cent$480

Chase Sapphire cards transfer options

Transfer optionPoint valueValue of 60,000-point sign-up bonus
British Airways transfer2.29 cents$1,374
Singapore Airlines transfer2.17 cents$1,302
Southwest Airlines transfer1.57 cents$942
United Airlines transfer1.52$912
Korean Air transfer1.4 cents$840
Hyatt Gold Passport transfer1.37 cents$822
Ritz-Carlton transfer1.22 cents$732
Air France transfer1 cent$600
Virgin Atlantic transfer0.8 cent$480
Marriott Rewards transfer0.8 cent$480
IHG transfer0.65 cent$390

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 1.25 cents, we estimate you would earn $320 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 cardCapital One Venture card
1.61 points per dollar x $15,900 x 1.25 cent point value = $3202 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.

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

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Published: March 19, 2019

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