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In this article, we’ll compare the Capital One® Venture® Credit Card with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to help you decide which is right for you.
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The Capital One® Venture® Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are two of the most popular travel credit cards in the industry. They each have relatively low fees, lucrative sign on bonuses and solid earning potential on daily spend.
“Which should I pick?” is a common question, especially for beginners looking to score their first travel credit card.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
after you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
Annual Fee: $95
Similarities of the Capital One Venture Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
When comparing these two cards, you’ll find their earning potential similar in value when factoring all spending categories. However, your spending patterns may differ and you may find one card is especially more advantageous for your life.
Each card has a relatively simple earning schema, and somewhat comparable earning potential when you consider each point’s intrinsic worth.
You’ll earn 2X miles for every dollar you spend on the Capital One® Venture® Credit Card. This simple set-up means you don’t have to keep track of shifting bonus categories. Additionally, you will earn 5X miles per dollar spent if you book a hotel or flight with your Venture Card through the Capital One travel portal. Capital One’s Reward Miles never expire.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will earn just 1X Ultimate Rewards point for each dollar spent. However, if purchasing travel through the Chase Travel Portal, it will earn 5X points per dollar in addition to 3X points for every dollar spent on online grocery, dining out and select streaming services. Like the Capital One Rewards Miles these points don’t expire either.
Both cards charge a $95 annual fee, which is on the low side for each card’s benefits.
You won’t pay foreign transaction fees with either card.
Each card typically offers a similar bonus, but they do tend to vary over time.
So far, the cards seem to stack up fairly comparably, but there are some big differences we need to dig into before we find the right card for you.
Rewards Miles Redemption Options for the Capital One Venture Card
Of course, earning miles is fun, but they are useless unless you’re able to redeem them for a low-cost trip. This is where these two cards begin to differ greatly.
The Capital One Venture Card allows you to redeem miles for cash, travel through their travel portal, or ‘erase’ charges related to travel. You can also transfer miles to a few select Capital One travel partners.
Redeem for Cash: This is not a recommended strategy as every Venture Mile is worth just 0.5 cent as a statement credit or gift card.
Travel Portal: Capital One’s travel portal simply functions like any third-party booking site like Expedia or Travelocity, but with a twist. Similar to the website Hopper, Capital One’s travel portal attempts to help ‘predict’ when the best time to buy a flight or hotel will be. They will even guarantee the best price if you follow their recommendation and the price drops.
Each mile is equal to 1 cent in travel, so a $150 flight will cost you 15,000 miles.
Keep in mind when booking through any travel portal, the travel portal becomes the middleman. If there is a problem with your reservation, a change of plans or a cancellation, you will have to deal with Capital One’s customer service instead of the carrier or hotel directly.
Erase Travel Charges: Similar to the travel portal, you can redeem miles at a 1:1 ratio to erase a recent travel purchase. This is as simple as clicking ‘cover a travel purchase’ on the miles redemption page and then selecting from the travel purchases that display on the next screen. Any transaction that codes in a loose definition of ‘travel’ will populate on the screen.
This is the most popular way to use Capital One Miles.
It allows you to search for the best price, book directly with the service provider and then use points to ‘erase’ the purchase. This is especially helpful when booking a hotel that doesn’t have a points or rewards program, or a flight with no reward availability.
The travel erasure feature is also perfect for booking vacation rentals through sites like Airbnb and HomeAway. However, note that while Airbnb seems to consistently code as travel, Homeaway is less consistent, sometimes coding as travel and other times not.
The downside to using the Capital One Venture Card for travel purchases is that you will forfeit some of the benefits of using another card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card when it comes to travel protection.
Transfer to Partners: Capital One allows you to transfer your miles to 16 transfer partners at a 1:1 ratio. Most notably British Airways (Oneworld Alliance), Air Canada (Star Alliance), Etihad, Emirates and Avianca are on the list. This is a fairly comprehensive partner lineup. Many of these are some of the common players in long-haul, high-end redemptions. Additionally, several alliance partners make booking flights on carriers without representation on the list possible.
For instance, transferring Capital One Venture Miles to Air Canada would allow you to book a United flight through the Star Alliance partnership.
Capital One has made some recent changes to its redemptions, and it’s been for the better. With 16 transfer partners, a travel portal with a low-price guarantee and the ability to erase any travel purchase, the Capital One Venture Card has a lot of flexibility in how you redeem points.
Rewards Miles Redemption Options for the Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card allows you to cash in your rewards in the same ways Capital One Venture Card does with the exception of the travel eraser.
Travel Portal: One huge advantage the Chase Sapphire Preferred has over the Capital One Venture Card is its ability to increase the value of points you earn across the Chase Credit Card product suite.
Because the Chase Sapphire Preferred allows you to redeem Ultimate Rewards points for 1.25X their value, it effectively increases the value of your Ultimate Rewards points on your Chase Business and Freedom cards (i.e. each point transferred to your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is worth 1.25 cents instead of 1 cent).
The Chase travel portal, like the Capital One portal, allows you to book a flight, hotel or car rental through a third-party site, similar to Expedia or Orbitz. In the past, Expedia powered the back end of this interface, but recently Chase has dropped Expedia in favor of a new interface.
The catch with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is that unlike Capital One, a flight that costs $150 would only cost 12,000 points (150/.0125). Additionally, you can consolidate points across Ultimate Rewards earning cards and with one other member of your household as long as he or she earns Ultimate Rewards as well.
Transfer to Partners: Chase’s Ultimate Rewards points transfer to 14 transfer partners at a 1:1 ratio. Many of the transfer partners overlap Capital One. Some notable exceptions are Hyatt, Southwest and Iberia which Capital One points do not transfer to.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card paired with a Ink Business Cash® Credit Card or Chase Freedom Flex℠ is still a powerful combination, as it allows you to capture high bonus categories available on the other cards then transfer to a Sapphire product where you can add a multiplier (1.25) to the already multiplied points.
Redeeming for Cash: Although redeeming for cash is not a recommended strategy for Ultimate Rewards points, it is important to note that Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for a statement credit.
Although the Capital One Venture Card allows you to erase travel expenses at a rate of 1 cent per point, it only redeems for cash at a rate of 0.5 cent. While it isn’t the recommended way to use points, when compared to the travel erasure feature, redeeming Ultimate Rewards for cash results in the same point-to-cent ratio as erasing travel with the Venture Card.
Additional Card Benefits of Each Card
Additional Card Benefits of the Capital One Venture Card
The Capital One Venture Card is simple. It’s easy to remember the benefits and the earning potential. Some of the benefits that are common among other travel credit cards work differently with this card. Below are some of the additional benefits you’ll find with Venture Card.
- $100 TSA Precheck / Global Entry credit: Reimburse for the cost of TSA Precheck or Global Entry once every four years as long as you pay the fee with your Venture Card.
- Lost luggage reimbursement: Capital One will reimburse you for luggage the airline loses or damages up to $3,000 per traveler. In comparison to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit card, your entire ticket, not just a portion of the ticket, must be paid with your Capital One card.
- Rental car collision damage waiver coverage: Decline the extra coverage the rental car desk offers you, and Capital One will reimburse you for your deductible or claim in excess of your car insurance coverage for any damage or theft to your rental vehicle, within its guidelines. (Note: In comparison to the Chase Sapphire coverage, this is secondary coverage to your auto insurance, while Chase’s is primary).
- Two free lounge visits per year: Capital One is beginning to open its own lounges, and the Capital One® Venture® Credit Card Card gains you two free visits per year. So far, the only lounge open is at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport (DFW). Denver (DEN) and Washington Dulles International (IAD) are set to open in 2022.
- Free Hertz Five Star® status: Upgrade your Hertz account for free. Just add your Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® number to your Capital One account.
Additional Card Benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Additional benefits have been the name of the game for Chase and American Express in the last year or so. Something to keep in mind when you are weighing additional benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is just because there is a monetary value to the benefit doesn’t mean it has a benefit to you.
When weighing your options between cards you should only count benefits if you are already spending your money on a benefit that the card offers. For instance, if you don’t use Peloton and have no plans to use Peloton, a Peloton credit has no value to you, no matter how much the credit is.
That said, here’s a rundown on the additional benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
- $60 Peloton credit: Good toward an All-access Membership or Digital Membership
- $50 credit for hotels: Toward hotels booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 10% bonus on points earned: Each anniversary, Chase adds 0.1 Ultimate Rewards point for every dollar spent that year.
- Complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership: Saves you the delivery and service fee on all orders over $12.
- Rental car collision coverage: Decline the extra coverage the rental car desk offers you and Chase will cover any damage or theft to your rental vehicle, within its guidelines. (Note: This is primary coverage that pays a claim before your own auto insurance would get involved, unlike Capital One’s coverage which is supplemental).
- Travel cancellation/ interruption insurance: This reimburses you if weather, sickness, injury or damage to a property prevent you from completing your trip. This feature saved me $750 once when a hurricane forced us to evacuate from our rented beach house.
- Trip delay reimbursement: If your flight is delayed more than 12 hours, Chase will reimburse you up to $500 per person for hotel stays, food and traversing to and from the airport.
- Lost luggage reimbursement: Chase will reimburse you for luggage the airline loses or damages up to $3,000 per traveler.
Each of the travel benefits require that you use the card to purchase at least some of the travel with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Rental collision requires that you pay the full rental with the card.
Although many of these coverages are not well known outside the points and miles community, they are invaluable coverages to have available as you travel the world. The more you travel, the higher probability that you will run into at least one scenario where you make use of one of the coverages. Knowing that you have a way to recoup your losses is great peace of mind while you’re traveling.
As far as additional benefits go, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card throws everything but the kitchen sink in with their card for a low fee of $95. If you happen to be a Peloton and DoorDash user, the card already has a positive value for you. But even without those credits, any traveler can use a $50 hotel credit and the additional insurance. Travel reimbursement coverages become icing on the cake.
So which card is better?
I’ll answer the question with a question. Why not both?
While the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card carries powerful coverages for the frequent traveler, Capital One’s indiscriminate 2X earnings is a great card to keep in your wallet for daily spending. Capital One Miles are becoming more powerful as their new transfer partner lineup significantly improves.
I like to keep Capital One Venture Miles around for vacation rentals through sites like Airbnb and the odd cash stay at a hotel, but I always use my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for paying taxes and fees for flights or inflexible plans to ensure I have reimbursement coverage in case something goes wrong.
If forced to make a decision, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a better long-term card for a frequent traveler and the best place to start.
The trip delay insurance alone makes the $95 fee worth it. Transferability of points and value of points earning opportunity is basically a wash between the two cards, depending on your travel style.
But if you’re asking the question, “What is the best card for me long-term?” Perhaps you should take our free 10xtravel e-course.
Because the question should be, “What is the best card for me next?”
New to the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card to start with.
With a bonus of 60,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months, 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!
Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.