Key takeaways

  • The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card both have an annual fee of $95, but their similarities end there.
  • These two popular travel rewards credit cards have fairly different rewards structures, meaning that choosing between them will likely come down to your spending habits and the ways you like to travel.
  • For those who like maximizing their rewards through category spending, the Sapphire Preferred will likely be a better pick, while those looking for a travel card with a strong flat-rate rewards rate will likely prefer the Venture.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card are two of the most flexible travel credit cards on the market today, but they vary dramatically in terms of how you can redeem your rewards. Both cards let you exchange points or miles for travel directly or transfer them to airline and hotel partners, but they do so at very different values and with a different set of partners.

The way you earn points or miles with each card also varies, with the Venture Rewards card, commonly called the Venture, offering a flat 2X miles on all purchases and the Sapphire Preferred giving cardholders a higher rate in select categories.

With both of these travel credit cards offering generous sign-up bonuses right now, you may be wondering which one would leave you better off. Bankrate’s expert analysis below will help you determine the value of each offer and which card might work better for your needs.

Main details

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Welcome bonus 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months, worth $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
Rewards rate
  • 5X total points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 5X points on Lyft rides through March 31, 2025
  • 3X points on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out
  • 3X points on select streaming services
  • 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 2X points on travel not booked through Ultimate Rewards
  • 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 2X miles on all other purchases
Annual fee $95 $95

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture highlights

At first glance, these cards seem somewhat similar in terms of their rewards structures and bonuses. However, they earn different types of rewards, which are not valued the same. We go over the most popular categories each card stands out in below.

Which card earns the most?

With the Capital One Venture letting cardholders earn 2X miles for every dollar they spend, this card can easily help you rack up a higher number of miles over time. But with the value of Chase Ultimate Rewards points being higher in general, the Chase Sapphire Preferred can still help you earn a similar amount of value in rewards.

Let’s do the math.

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture spending example

Imagine you’re someone who spends a lot on travel and dining each month, but that you also use your credit card to pay for regular spending and bills. In that case, your monthly spending might look something like this:

  • $200 per month spent on dining
  • $100 per month spent on general travel
  • $200 per month spent on eligible travel through the travel portals
  • $300 per month spent on groceries
  • $1,200 spent on other purchases
Spending categories Chase Sapphire Preferred Ultimate Rewards points earned Capital One Venture miles earned
$200 on dining 600 points 400 miles
$200 on eligible travel booked through travel portals 1,000 points 1,000 miles
$100 on general travel 200 points 200 miles
$300 on groceries 900 points (when bought online) 600 miles
$1,200 on other purchases 1,200 points 2,400 miles
Total monthly category earnings  3,900 points 4,600 miles

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’d earn 3,900 points per month, which would be 46,800 points per year. With the welcome bonus, that comes out to 106,800 for the first year.

With the Capital One Venture, you’d get 4,600 miles per month, equating to 55,200 miles per year. Add the welcome bonus you earned to that number, and your first year’s total would be 130,200 miles. That’s a difference of 23,400 miles in the first year and a difference of 8,400 miles per year after that.

However, due to the valuations of these rewards points when redeemed in their respective travel portal, 55,200 Capital One miles are worth $552, but 46,800 Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth $585. So, while you may earn more miles with the Capital One Venture, the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s Ultimate Rewards points will  give you more bang for your buck.

This is all from one specific spending example, however, and it comes with some caveats. For example, while both cards earn 5X the points or miles on travel booked through their respective travel portals, the Capital One Venture only includes hotels and rental cars in that category, so you wouldn’t earn 5X the points on flights the way you could with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. But the Sapphire Preferred also requires cardholders to track their spending more closely to make sure they’re maxing out their rewards categories. If you don’t buy your groceries online, for example, you wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the Sapphire Preferred’s boosted rewards on grocery purchases.

Savings


Money tip:

If you’d prefer not to worry much about bonus categories or find yourself spending more in miscellaneous purchases, then earning the flat 2X miles with the Capital One Venture is going to be the better choice. If you spend a lot in certain categories and like how much value you get from Ultimate Rewards points, then the Sapphire Preferred would likely be better for you.

Why should you get the Chase Sapphire Preferred?

With so many bonus categories, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a good rewards card whether you travel often or not. Plus, when it comes to using your rewards, you can cash them in for a lot more than travel.

Here are some additional reasons to consider signing up:

Additional benefits

Sapphire Preferred cardholders also get a 10 percent anniversary point bonus each account anniversary. That means if you earned 50,000 points in a year, you’d receive 5,000 additional bonus points.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred also gives cardholders perks like trip cancellation and interruption insurance worth up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. You also qualify for benefits such as:

  • Primary auto rental coverage
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranties

Redemption options

The Chase Sapphire Preferred really stands out in terms of its rewards program. Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed for options like statement credits, cash back, gift cards and merchandise. However, you can also redeem points for travel through the Chase Travel portal and get 25 percent more value when you do.

The Chase Ultimate Rewards program also offers a robust transfer program that lets you move your points to airline and hotel partners like Marriott Bonvoy, Southwest Rapid Rewards, World of Hyatt and United MileagePlus. With high-value transfer partners, each point can be worth up to 2 cents each.

Recommended credit score

To successfully apply for a Chase Sapphire Preferred, you typically need at least a FICO credit score of 670 or better.

Why should you get the Capital One Venture?

The Capital One Venture lets you earn a flat 2X miles for each dollar you spend, which can be a better deal if you don’t like to keep track of bonus category spending. Here are some additional reasons you might prefer the Venture over the Sapphire Preferred:

Additional benefits

The Capital One Venture stands out due to the fact you get up to a $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership as a cardholder perk. This credit can be used for the primary cardholder or someone else. You also get free cardholder benefits such as:

  • An auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Travel accident insurance
  • 24-hour travel assistance
  • Extended warranties

Learn more: The Capital One Venture Rewards benefits guide

Redemption options

When you earn miles with this card, you can redeem them to cover travel purchases at a rate of 1 cent per point or cash them in for purchases made on Amazon.com. You can also transfer your miles to airline and hotel partners like Aeromexico, Aeroplan, Flying Blue / Air France, Accor and more.

Just remember that Capital One miles do not transfer at the same favorable ratio as Chase Ultimate Rewards. Using a high-value transfer partner will mean that your miles are worth up to 1.7 cents each, but in other scenarios, your points might lose value. Some Capital One mile transfer partners let you convert miles at a ratio of 2:1.5. Others, like Accor, Emirates and Singapore Airlines, let you transfer at an even worse ratio of 2:1.

Recommended credit score

To get approved for the Capital One Venture, you typically need at least a FICO credit score of 670 or better.

The bottom line

Both of these rewards credit cards offer generous welcome bonuses with the same annual fee of $95, and they both let you redeem your points for travel or for additional options for more flexibility.

However, each card has a different type of rewards structure and a different set of transfer partners that may work better for you depending on your spending and travel habits. If you prefer to charge everything to one card and tend to spend a lot in miscellaneous categories, then the Capital One Venture might be your best bet. If you want to maximize your rewards in certain categories, want more travel protections and prefer the value that comes with earning Chase Ultimate Rewards, then you’d be better off with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

If you can’t decide between these Chase and Capital One credit cards, consider checking out other travel rewards credit cards before applying. You can use Bankrate’s card comparison tool to help you find out which one is right for you.

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