Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture - we compared the travel-rewards credit cards and named a winner
Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.
- The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card gives you 2 points per dollar on restaurant and travel purchases and 1 point everywhere else.
- The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card gives you a flat 2 points per dollar everywhere, but points are not as valuable when transferred to partner airlines.
- Both cards come loaded with useful travel and purchase protections.
- If I had to pick a winner, though, it would be Chase Sapphire Preferred. The benefits and value of Chase Ultimate Rewards points are tough to beat.
- Depending on your travel preferences, either card may be a good fit for your needs.
Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, children of all ages! In the blue corner, weighing in at 13 grams of blue stainless steel: Chase Sapphire Preferred. In the red corner, made from a 75% recycled blue stainless steel and weighing in at 16 grams: Capital One Venture.While both of these credit cards are made from blue stainless steel, each offers a unique set of rewards, benefits, and costs. Depending on where you spend most and how you like to travel, you might find that either Chase's card or Capital One's makes more sense for your needs.
Here's a head-to-head face-off on which one dominates for 2019 and beyond.
Two top-tier travel rewards cards
Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture are both travel-rewards credit cards with annual fees of $95. But the way you earn and redeem points with each card is different, so it's important to look at what sets them apart to decide which could be best for your needs.
Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 2x points per dollar on travel and dining purchases and 1x everywhere else. That compares to an unlimited flat 2x per dollar at Capital One Venture. But a Chase Ultimate Rewards point and a Venture mile work differently, and each may appeal to a different type of traveler.
Capital One Venture is better for those looking for really easy and flexible redemptions. To understand why, let's dive into the details of each program and how the redemption options work.Read more: Chase has increased the sign-up bonus for the Sapphire Preferred credit card for the first time since 2015
Chase Sapphire Preferred rewards
The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 2x points per dollar you spend on travel and dining purchases and 1 point per dollar everywhere else. You can redeem points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal for 1.25 cents each, with no limits or blackout dates.
Points can be worth a lot more, however, when you transfer to partner airlines. You can also transfer to hotel partners, but airlines tend to offer the best value. I recently got a huge value when I took my dad to Israel on business class with Chase points transferred to my United account.
All Chase Ultimate Rewards transfers are at a 1:1 ratio, meaning one Chase point = 1 mile or point at the airline's or hotel's program.
Chase's airline-transfer partners:
- United MilagePlus
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- British Airway Executive Club
- Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Iberia Plus
- Aer Lingus AerClub
Chase's hotel-transfer partners:
- Marriott Bonvoy
- World of Hyatt
- IHG Rewards Club
This card lived in my wallet for a very long time until I decided to upgrade it to the ultra-premium Chase Sapphire Reserve. But I still often call this the best card for people new to travel miles and points. It gives you a ton of value, a lot of protections, and if you ever have any trouble, Chase customer support for these cards is very good.Don't overlook the value of the credit card's other benefits too. Chase just helped my sister get her money back after a bad experience with an African tour guide operator. But that's a story for another day.
The card charges a $95 annual fee and currently offers a 60,000 point bonus after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening a new account. That starts you with at least $750 in value toward free and discounted travel when points are redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Capital One Venture rewards
The Venture Card from Capital One gives you 2x miles per dollar on every purchase. You can redeem miles through Capital One's portal with no blackout dates or restrictions with a value of 1 cent each. That means each purchase gives you an equivalent 2% cash back toward travel.
It used to be that miles were only redeemable through Capital One, but Capital One added its own list of airline-transfer partners late last year.
Here's a current transfer-partner list from Capital One:
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Flying Blue Air France/KLM
- Alitalia MilleMiglia
- Avianca LifeMiles
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Guest
- EVA Infinity MileageLands
- Finnair Plus
- Hainan Fortune Wings Club
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
There are a few noteworthy things about this list.
First, you'll notice that it does not contain a single major US airline. Next, you may notice that it offers a wide array of international airlines, including some of the most luxurious in the world - Singapore, Emirates, and Eithad often battle for the title of the world's most luxurious airline.
It is also important to note that you can't always transfer them at a 1:1 ratio. Because Venture miles may become fewer airline miles, you might get the best value by redeeming right through the Capital One portal. Like with Chase, you can always run the numbers for a specific flight to compare.The card charges a $95 annual fee (waived the first year) and currently offers a 50,000-mile bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months of opening an account. It also offers a bonus rate of 10x points per mile when you use Hotels.com/Venture and pay with this card through January 2020.
Comparing the benefits
For benefits, these cards are neck and neck.
Both come with no foreign transaction fees and a wide range of travel and purchase coverage.
Chase Sapphire Preferred includes trip cancellation insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance, trip delay insurance, and travel emergency assistance. At the check-out counter, it offers purchase protection and an automatic extended warranty.
Capital One Venture comes with travel accident insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, and travel assistance. It gives you an extended warranty at checkout. One big benefit you don't get with the competitor in this case: an up-to-$100 credit for TSA's Global Entry or PreCheck programs when you pay with this card.
For benefits, Capital One's card is a little lighter than what you get from Chase. Depending on how much you travel and the anticipated costs along the way, those insurance and protections benefits can be very valuable.
Comparing the costs
Both cards have a $95 annual fee, though Capital One waives it annual fee the first year. Otherwise, costs are fairly comparable if you pay off the card in full each month by the statement due date.If you can't afford or can't handle paying off the card each month, a rewards credit card may not be the best choice for your needs. Credit card interest usually costs a lot more than you get back in rewards.
Outside of the annual fee, you can avoid all costs on both of these cards by avoiding some less common activities like balance transfers and cash advances. Always pay your card in full each month no matter what card you have. My credit card philosophy is very similar to Atlanta-based money guru Clark Howard.
Choosing the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Capital One Venture
If I had to pick a winner, it would be Chase Sapphire Preferred.
While Capital One Venture gives you more miles per dollar, the benefits and value of Chase Ultimate Rewards points are tough to beat. But that doesn't mean it is perfect for everyone.
Advanced travelers and those who are willing to research award availability on major US travel partners can get the best results from Chase Sapphire Preferred. Those who just want to keep things easy and flexible will enjoy Capital One Venture's structure a little more.
Either way, regular travelers looking to get a travel rewards card with an annual fee around $100 will do very well with these cards.
Click here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred from Insider Picks' partner: The Point's Guy
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. If you have questions or feedback, we'd love to hear from you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.