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INSIDER SECRET: The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is the better option for folks looking to get the most award travel for their spending. We’ll explain why.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is our top pick as the best first credit card for beginners to miles and points, and we rank the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card as having the simplest reward system. But if you’re deciding between both cards, there are differences to be aware of.
You can use the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card to book paid flights like you can with the Capital One Venture card. And even better, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to airline and hotel partners. The Capital One Venture has this ability too. But in most cases, Chase cards are a better pick.
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Capital One Venture
|Card||Sign-Up Bonus||Benefits||Foreign Transaction Fees||Annual Fee|
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||50,000 Venture miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account||• 2X Venture miles on every purchase|
• Redeem for cash back at .5 cents per mile
• Redeem for paid travel at 1 cent per mile
• Transfer to airline partners like JetBlue, Air Canada and Singapore Airlines
|None||$95 annual fee, waived for the first year|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred Card||60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account||• 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining|
• 1X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on other purchases
• Redeem for cash back at 1 cent per point
• Transfer to airline and hotel partners like United Airlines, Southwest, British Airways and Hyatt
|None||$95 annual fee|
Many folks like the Capital One Venture card because you can use the miles you earn for paid flights. Plus, you earn 2 Venture miles per dollar you spend on all purchases. So you don’t have to worry about blackout dates, tracking bonus categories, or sorting through award charts.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll only earn 2x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on travel and dining purchases. But not all points are created equal!
The Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn with Chase Sapphire Preferred can be worth much more than Capital One Venture miles. But it depends on how you redeem them.
5 Things You Should Know: Capital One Venture vs Chase Sapphire Preferred
1. What Are Your Rewards Worth Toward Paid Travel?
With the Capital One Venture card, your miles are worth 1 cent each. And because you earn 2 Venture miles per dollar on all purchases, you’re essentially earning 2 cents toward travel for every dollar you spend.
You can use your miles for nearly any travel purchase, like taxi rides, hotels, room service, and free flights.
To redeem your miles for travel, just buy travel like you normally would with your card. Then, you have 90 days to sign-in to your online account, find the travel purchase and “erase” it with your miles.
There’s no minimum redemption increment when redeeming miles unless you’re using miles to partially pay for a travel purchase. In that case, the minimum is 2,500 miles ($25).
Many readers like the Capital One Venture card because you don’t have to worry about blackout dates and you’ll earn miles and points for flights or hotels.
But you can also book airfare, hotels, and rental cars through the Chase travel portal by redeeming points you earn with Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders get 1.25 cents per point worth of value when booking paid travel through the Chase Travel portal. This is a better deal than the 1 cent per mile you get with the Capital One Venture card.
And I’ve found prices through the Chase travel portal are similar to what you’d find on Expedia, Priceline, or other online travel agencies.
2. What Are Your Spending Habits?
Which card is better depends on how much bonus category spending you do.
If you don’t make a lot of travel and dining purchases to earn 2x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, most of your purchases will earn 1 Chase Ultimate Rewards point per dollar. So you’ll get 1.25 cents per dollar spent (on non-bonus spending like groceries).
In this case, the Capital One Venture card’s 2 cents per dollar spent is a better deal.
But if travel and dining purchases make up more than 60% of your purchases, you’ll get more travel with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
That’s because you can earn 2.5 cents (2x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel & dining x 1.25 cents per point) per dollar spent on travel and dining. And Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be extremely valuable if you know how to use them!
3. Do the Math
Let’s say you spend $10,000 per year on a card. If $6,000 of your purchases are on dining & travel (60% of your total spending) and $4,000 is non-bonus spending, then you’ll earn:
- 16,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred ($6,000 x 2x points per dollar on travel and dining + $4,000 X 1 point per dollar on everything else), OR
- 20,000 miles with the Capital One Venture card ($10,000 x 2x miles per dollar on all spending)
That would give you $200 in travel with Chase Sapphire Preferred (16,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points x 1.25 cents per point) or $200 in travel with the Capital One Venture card (20,000 miles x 1 cent per mile).
So if more than 60% of your purchases are on dining and travel, then the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the better choice.
4. Transfer Rewards to Airline and Hotel Partners
So you can get much more than 2 cents per point if you redeem points toward award travel, like Business Class flights to Europe on United Airlines, flights on Southwest when you have the Companion Pass, or stays at top Hyatt hotels with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to every partner at a 1:1 ratio.
Contrast that with the Capital One Venture, which has a transfer ratio of 2:1.5, so you’ll get 1.5 airline miles for every 2 Venture miles you transfer (the exceptions are Emirates and Singapore Airlines, which have a 2:1 transfer ratio).
Again, if you spend more on travel and dining, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a better choice.
5. Redeeming Your Rewards for Cash Back
You can also redeem the rewards you earn on the Capital One Venture and Chase Sapphire Preferred for cash back. This gives you the ultimate flexibility because you can use your miles & points any way you want.
But you’ll get twice as much cash back when using the Chase Sapphire Preferred to earn 2x points on dining and travel, because in those categories you earn 2% cash back instead of 1% with the Venture card (2 Chase Ultimate Rewards points x $1 spent on dining & travel x 1 cent per point).
So Which Card Is Better?
If you do a great deal of spending on travel and dining, then the Chase Sapphire Preferred card wins. It’s also the better choice for anyone looking for award travel. That’s because you can transfer points to partners, like Hyatt and United Airlines to book award travel and get more than 2 cents per point.
But if you prefer a very simple rewards system where you book travel with your card and redeem miles for those purchases later, the Capital One Venture card is a better option. Plus, you can still transfer your points to airline partners if you decide to explore that avenue.
If you’re interested in cash back, both cards are more or less equal. Again, unless you do a lot of travel and dining spend.
Lastly, it’s important to note that the Chase Sapphire Preferred is affected by the Chase 5/24 rule. With this restriction, Chase will not approve you for their cards if you’ve opened five or more cards from any bank (not counting certain business credit cards) in the past 24 months. So it makes the most sense to get Chase cards (like the Sapphire Preferred) first.
The miles you earn from the Capital One Venture card are extremely easy to redeem. But the Chase Sapphire Preferred is our top pick for the best first credit card for beginners to miles and points.
With the Capital One Venture card, you earn 2 Venture miles per dollar on all purchases. Then, you can redeem miles to offset your travel purchases. Your miles are worth 1 cent each and you don’t have to worry about blackout dates and you’ll earn miles and points for your trip.
You can read more about Capital One Venture miles here:
- Capital One Rewards Review
- Capital One Miles Value
- Best Way to Use Capital One Miles
- Capital One Transfer Partners
- How to Earn Capital One Miles
- How to Setup a Capital One Miles Account
- How to Use Capital One Miles
- Do Capital One Miles Points Expire?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great option for folks looking to get the most award travel for their spending. Because you can transfer the flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn to airline and hotel partners for luxury travel, like Business Class award flights to Europe or amazing hotel stays!
Here’s more about earning and using Chase Ultimate Rewards points here:
- Chase Ultimate Rewards Review
- Chase Points Value
- Best Way to Use Chase Points
- Chase Transfer Partners
- How to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
- How to Setup a Chase Ultimate Rewards Account
- How to Use Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
- Do Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Expire?
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