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

Categorical rewards and flat-rate rewards face off in a $95 battle.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card are two of the best travel credit cards. They both have a $95 annual fee and almost identical welcome bonuses, but the reward structures and redemption methods differ considerably. 

While the Venture Rewards card may be better for users who prefer simplicity, thanks to its flat rewards rate on purchases, most cardholders will be able to net more overall value from the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card due to its unique rewards and redemption structures. And while the Venture card may have some travel perks that look appealing on first glance -- like Capital One Lounge access -- there are some stipulations to consider.

Which card does it better?

Feature Winner
Annual Fee Tie
Welcome Offer Capital One Venture
Rewards Chase Sapphire Preferred
Rewards Redemption Chase Sapphire Preferred
Annual Credits Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

9/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro OfferEarn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
APR19.74% - 26.74% Variable
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Recommended Credit Excellent/Good
Reward Rates
  • 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 3x on dining.
  • 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
Annual Fee$95
Additional Details
Balance Transfer APR19.74% - 26.74% Variable
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign Transaction Fees $0
Penalty APR Up to 29.99%
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 3x on dining.
  • 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.

 

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

7.5/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro OfferNew Venture cardholders can earn 75,000 miles once they spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
APR18.99% - 26.99% (Variable)
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Recommended Credit Excellent, Good
Reward Rates
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day.
Annual Fee$95
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APRN/A
Balance Transfer APR18.99% - 26.99% (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee $0 at this Transfer APR
Late Payment Fee Up to $40
Foreign Transaction Fees None
Penalty APR None
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day.

Comparing annual fees

Winner: Tie

Both the Venture and Sapphire Preferred have a $95 annual fee, so this is a clear tie. These cards are cheaper than "premium" cards with annual fees in the $500-$700 range, but $95 is still a significant chunk of change. You should expect better value than credit cards with no annual fee, and you'll get it if you're intentional. Just make sure you're getting your money's worth by comparing your projected rewards with a no-annual-fee option by reviewing your past two to three months of expenses.

Welcome offer

Winner: Capital One Venture

This one is very close, though it may not seem it on first glance. 

You can earn the Sapphire Preferred's 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. If you redeem that for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you'll get $750 worth of travel -- but you'll only get $600 if you redeem it for a general statement credit. However, if you choose to transfer the points to an affiliate travel partner for a specific flight or hotel stay, it may be possible to extract a higher value. 

With the Venture, you'll earn 75,000 miles if you spend $4,000 in the first three months. But you'll get $750 worth of value whether you redeem the Venture's welcome bonus for travel through the Capital One travel portal or you redeem them as a statement credit for travel purchases from the last 90 days, you'll also get $750 worth of value. 

Overall, the Venture offers a higher value welcome bonus with more options.

Rewards

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred

The nice thing about the Capital One Venture's rewards is that they're consistent -- 2x miles on all purchases. Yes, you get a boost (5x miles) on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, but other than that, you don't have to worry about categories.

However, the Chase Sapphire Preferred's reward categories are broad enough that the benefit is worth the minor hassle of remembering which categories have which rewards. Earning 3x points on dining, online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs) and select streaming services, and 5x points on travel booked through Chase -- not to mention the 2x on all other travel -- makes it easy to earn outsized reward rates.

Redemption

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred

If you're like me and you value consistent cash redemptions, both cards allow you to redeem rewards as a statement credit. With the Venture Rewards, however, the best value for a statement credit will be for travel purchases from the last 90 days, while Chase Ultimate Rewards can be redeemed consistently toward any purchase.

If you redeem your points toward travel, the Sapphire Preferred offers a nice 25% boost on redemption value as an incentive to do so (when redeeming through Chase Ultimate Rewards). This means your points could be worth 1.25 cents each instead of 1 cent. 

Finally, keep in mind that both cards offer the option for transferring points or miles to affiliate travel partners at a 1:1 ratio, where some consumers can sometimes find better than 1 cent per point of value. And as it happens, the partner lists are quite similar between Capital One and Chase.

Conclusion

Both cards are solid $95 rewards credit cards, but the Sapphire Preferred offers a significantly higher ceiling for those who spend a lot on travel and dining.

FAQs

How does transferring Capital One Miles work?

You can transfer Capital One Miles to one of 15+ Capital One travel partners, including Air France, British Airways, Emirates, Virgin and more. To do so, simply choose the "Transfer Your Rewards" option on the Capital One rewards page. 

How do you transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points?

The transfer option is almost the same, too, and Chase has 14 travel partners currently, including British Airways, JetBlue, Southwest, United, Virgin and more. To transfer Ultimate Rewards points, select your rewards card in the Ultimate Rewards portal and choose "Transfer to Travel Partners" as the redemption option. 

How many rewards do I need to earn to make up for a $95 annual fee, compared to a no-annual-fee card?

For every $1,000 you spend, 1% of rewards is worth $10 (and 0.5% of rewards is worth $5). So for each additional 1% of rewards, you earn an extra $10 for every $1,000. If you're comparing a $95 annual fee credit card with a no-annual-fee card, you'd need to spend $9,500 per year at a 1% reward rate to make up for the annual fee. Welcome bonuses and other perks may also put the card's value over the cost.

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