The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review) and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (review) are two of the most popular mid-range travel rewards credit cards.
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.
At the moment both of these cards are offering improved welcome bonuses, so in this post I wanted to talk about which card makes the most sense. 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 80,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within the first three months. On top of that, you can earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
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 80,000 points a minimum value of $1,000. However, I value them significantly more than that.
Capital One Venture: The card offers a welcome bonus of up to 100,000 bonus Venture miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening. Alternatively, you can earn 50,000 bonus Venture miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three 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: Both cards offer excellent bonuses, but the edge goes to the Sapphire Preferred due to the significantly smaller spending requirement, plus the grocery credit.
Both card welcome bonuses can get you great travel rewards
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. See here for a full comparison of credit card application 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
Chase Sapphire Preferred: Points earned on this card can be redeemed in two primary ways:
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|
Capital One Venture: 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; 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||~ 24 to 48 hours|
|Wyndham Rewards||1000 : 750||Instant|
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.
Transfer both points currencies to JetBlue TrueBlue
Ability to earn points: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture
Chase Sapphire Preferred: The card offers 2x Ultimate Rewards points on dining and travel, and 1x Ultimate Rewards points on all other purchases, at least permanently. The card does have some limited time spending bonuses, but those aren’t a consistent aspect of the card.
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 Venture 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. 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.
Capital One Venture miles potentially give you more flexibility
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. On top of that, the card has temporary benefits like a Peloton credit and a DoorDash DashPass membership.
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.
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.
Both cards have no foreign transaction fees, which are great for purchases abroad
The potential Chase Sapphire Preferred “X-factor”
Before getting to 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 spending 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.
Of course this assumes that you’re willing to get multiple cards, which some people aren’t.
Get several Chase credit cards to maximize your points
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. That’s especially true with the current bonus, given the reasonable spending requirement.
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 Capital One Venture Card or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card?