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Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages! In the blue corner, weighing in at 13 grams of blue stainless steel: the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. In the red corner, made from a 75% recycled blue stainless steel and weighing in at 16 grams: the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
While both of these travel rewards credit cards are made from metal, each offers a unique set of rewards, benefits, and costs. Depending on where you spend most and how you like to travel, one may make more sense for your needs than the other (though it’s certainly possible to have both).
Here’s a head-to-head face-off on which card dominates.
We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.
Comparison: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Capital One Venture
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardAnnual fee
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardWelcome bonusEarn Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account openingCapital One Venture Rewards Credit CardRewards rate
5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
5x points on Lyft rides through March 2022
3x points on dining and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
3x points on select streaming services
2x points on all other travel purchases
1 point per dollar on all other purchases
2x miles on every purchaseCard benefits
10% anniversary point bonus
Primary car rental insurance
Trip delay insurance
Baggage delay insurance
Lost luggage reimbursement
Secondary car rental insurance
Travel accident insurance
Up to $50 in statement credits toward hotel stays booked through Chase
Up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through December 31, 2021
Complimentary year of DoorDash DashPass membership (activation required by December 31, 2021)
Up to $100 in statement credit toward the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four yearsForeign transaction fee
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card are both travel rewards credit cards with similar annual fees. The way you earn and redeem rewards 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.
Read more: Chase Sapphire Preferred card review
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 5 points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 2 points on all other travel purchases, 3 points on dining, online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), and select streaming services, and 1 point per dollar everywhere else. That compares to an unlimited flat 2x miles on all purchases with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. But Chase Ultimate Rewards points and Capital One miles work differently, and each may appeal to a different type of traveler.
In general, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is better for those who want to squeeze out more value per point and are willing to put in a little time to figure out the best way to redeem points with the Chase Ultimate Rewards program’s airline and hotel transfer partners.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card 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.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth, on average, 1.8 cents apiece according to Insider’s points and miles valuations. You can expect to get a slightly lower average return from your Capital One miles – around 1.4 cents each – but with either program, the value you’ll get depends on how you redeem your rewards.
How to use Ultimate Rewards points from the Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns 5 points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 2 points on all other travel purchases, 3 points on dining, online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs) and select streaming services, 5 points per dollar on Lyft rides through March 2022, and 1 point per dollar everywhere else.
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. For example, I got a huge value when I took my dad to Israel in business class with Chase points transferred to my United account.
All Chase Ultimate Rewards transfers are at a 1:1 ratio, meaning 1 Chase point = 1 airline mile or 1 hotel point.
Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners
Aer Lingus AerClubAir Canada AeroplanAir France-KLM Flying BlueBritish Airways Executive ClubEmirates SkywardsIberia PlusJetBlue TrueBlueSingapore Airlines KrisFlyerSouthwest Rapid RewardsUnited MileagePlusVirgin Atlantic Flying ClubIHG Rewards ClubMarriott BonvoyWorld of Hyatt
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card 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 think the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the best card for people new to travel rewards. 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 Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card’s other benefits too. Chase 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 Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card annual fee and currently offers a bonus of Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening a new account. That starts you with at least $$750 in value toward travel booked through Chase, and potentially even more if you transfer points to airline and hotel partners.
How to use Capital One Venture miles
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card earns 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, with no bonus categories to keep track of. 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.
You can also use Capital One’s Purchase Eraser feature to “wipe” travel charges from your Venture card statement. You’ll also get 1 cent per mile with this redemption option. If you value simplicity above all else, this is the easiest way to put your Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card‘s rewards to work for you.
It used to be that miles were only redeemable at a fixed rate toward travel, but Capital One now offers over a dozen airline and hotel partners. Most recently, Capital One improved the transfer ratio on most partners to 1:1, which makes it easier to squeeze the most value from your miles.
Capital One transfer partners
Aeromexico Club Premier (1:1 ratio)Air Canada Aeroplan (1:1 ratio) Air France-KLM Flying Blue (1:1 ratio) Alitalia MilleMiglia (1:1 ratio) ALL – Accor Live Limitless (2:1 ratio)Avianca LifeMiles (1:1 ratio)British Airways Executive Club (1:1 ratio) Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (1:1 ratio) Choice Privileges (1:1 ratio – joining later in 2021)Emirates Skywards (1:1 ratio) Etihad Guest (1:1 ratio)EVA Infinity MileageLands (2:1.5 ratio)Finnair Plus (1:1 ratio)JetBlue TrueBlue (2:1.5 ratio) (JetBlue will leave the program on October 25, 2021)Qantas Frequent Flyer (1:1 ratio)Singapore KrisFlyer (1:1 ratio) TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go (1:1 ratio)Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles (1:1 ratio)Wyndham Rewards (1:1 ratio)
There are a few noteworthy things about this list.
First, you’ll notice that it only contains one US airline – JetBlue, which is leaving the program on October 25, 2021 – but offers a wide array of international airlines, including some of the most aspirational in the world – Singapore, Emirates, and Etihad often battle for the title of the world’s most luxurious airline.
Read more: Capital One Venture Rewards card review
Because flights sometimes go on sale, 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 Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card annual fee and currently offers a substantial bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture benefits comparison
Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card come with no foreign transaction fees and a wide range of travel and purchase coverage.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card includes trip cancellation insurance, primary car rental insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip delay insurance, and travel emergency assistance. At the checkout counter, it offers purchase protection and extended warranty on eligible items. It also offers up to $50 in credit each year toward hotels booked through the Chase travel portal.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card comes with travel accident insurance, secondary car rental insurance, travel emergency assistance, and extended warranty on eligible purchases. One big benefit you don’t get with the competitor, in this case, is up to $100 credit for TSA’s Global Entry or PreCheck programs when you pay with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit 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 protection benefits can be very valuable.
Should you choose the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Capital One Venture?
If I had to pick a winner, it would be the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
While Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card gives you more miles per dollar across the board and offers more transfer partners, its airline partners won’t be as useful to many US travelers, so it’s harder to get outsized value.
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® Card. Those who just want to keep things easy and flexible will enjoy the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card’s structure a little more.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also has the edge when it comes to travel protections like primary car rental insurance and trip delay insurance – hopefully, you don’t have to put these benefits to use, but if you do they can save you some serious cash. You’ve also got plenty of non-travel redemption options with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card if you’re not ready to stray too far from home just yet.
Either way, regular travelers looking to get a travel rewards card with an annual fee of around $100 will do very well with one of these cards.
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