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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card both have excellent travel rewards programs, but the choice between them depends on your spending habits and rewards redemption preferences. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a better choice for consumers who spend a lot on dining and travel or value flexible redemption options. For anyone else, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a strong credit card choice. By highlighting the cards' differences, this guide helps you choose the card that best fits your needs.
- Benefits and Features: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card vs Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
- Which Card is Better For the Average User?
- Which Card is Better for Frequent Travelers?
- Rewards Redemption: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card vs Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Benefits and Features: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card vs Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card|
|Annual Fee||$95 (waived the first year)||$95 (waived the first year)|
|Foreign Exchange Fee||0%||0%|
|APR||17.74% - 24.74% Variable||14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)|
|Earnings Rate||2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining; 1 point per dollar spent on everything else||2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases; 10 miles on hotels when you pay with your Venture card at hotels.com/Venture|
|Maximum Point Value||1.25 cents per point||1 cent per mile|
|Bonus||50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases within three months from account opening||50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within three months from account opening|
|Full Review||Full Review|
Which Card Is Better for the Average User?
The average consumer will be better off applying for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, assuming they can redeem their miles for a maximum value of 1 cent per mile. We base our suggestions on Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. The BLS tracks how much U.S. consumers spend per day and what they spend that money on. We evaluated the following consumer expenditures across two years and multiplied by the respective point value of each card's categories to come to a two-year rewards value.
|Spending Category||Hypothetical Monthly Spending|
|U.S. Gas Stations||$200|
Over a two-year period, a cardholder would earn $1,091 in rewards with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card versus $1,028 in rewards with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which takes into account the card’s annual fees. The difference in net rewards of $63 may seem small. But over time, the value of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card's bonus will wane, and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card will be the obvious winner. So, not only is the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card a better card for the average consumer in the short run—it's also the better choice in the long term.
Winner: The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
What About Frequent Travelers?
If you spend more than $528 on travel per month, you'll be better off with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Keeping the BLS consumer expenditures constant, below, we list the two-year rewards results based on a budget that includes additional spending on travel. For instance, assuming you spent $200 per month on travel (in addition to your $1,430 monthly budget), the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card would net you $1,148 in rewards versus the $1,187 in rewards you could earn if you used the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. The more you spend on travel, the more attractive the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card becomes.
Winner: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Rewards Redemption: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card vs Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
The amount of research you're willing to do to maximize your rewards and get flexible redemption options will determine which card is best for you. The rewards values discussed above assume you're redeeming your points and miles for their maximum value, which is rarely the case. There are generally two categories of cardholders: rewards maximizers and typical users. Depending on which category you fall into, you'll likely prefer one card over the other.
Rewards Maximizers: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
More redemption options and bonus points make the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card a better card for users who don't mind doing the extra work to maximize the value of their points. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you'll have the option to transfer your points to several airline and hotel partners. The list includes:
- Aer Lingus AerClub
- British Airways Executive Club
- Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
- Iberia Plus
- Korean Air SKYPASS
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Rewards
- The Ritz-Carlton Rewards
- World of Hyatt
Cardholders won't be able to transfer points using the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, points are transferred on a 1:1 basis, so it's possible to increase the value of your points just by sending them to a more valuable rewards program. Even if you don't transfer your points, any travel booked with points through the Ultimate Rewards portal earns a 25% discount, making each point worth 1.25 cents.
When redeeming your points and miles for cash back, your points are worth 1 cent each with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, while the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card awards you a value of 0.5 cents per mile. We don't advise using the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card for cash back due to its poor value. As a matter of fact, among the three major credit card rewards programs—Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou—Chase provides the best cash-back redemption value. Therefore, it's better to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card if cash back is a feature that you want to take advantage of.
Typical Users: The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
If you're unlikely to use the Ultimate Rewards portal to book travel or convert your points, you'll be better off with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. The card's rewards program of 2 miles per dollar spent ensures you'll receive a solid 2% rewards rate without having to put any thought into your spending categories. The card also recently introduced a new bonus on hotel spending. Cardholders earn 10x miles on hotels when they pay with their Venture card at hotels.com/Venture. There are two effective ways to redeem your miles: booking travel directly through Capital One or booking it on your own and then using Purchase Eraser to reimburse yourself in the form of a statement credit.
While we consider the 2 miles per dollar spent as a strength of the card, it's also a notable limitation. Since you can't transfer miles, you're always capped at a 2% rewards rate (other than the hotels.com rewards rate). While the rewards program is great for travelers, the program lacks the flexibility that other credit card rewards programs provide. As previously mentioned, you can redeem your miles for cash back, but that would be a poor use of your miles. If you're hoping to redeem rewards for anything other than travel, you'd be better off with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.