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By: Caroline Lupini
The Capital One Venture Card is probably one you’re familiar with, even if you don’t have it in your wallet. It’s a card you’ll often see advertised on TV by Jennifer Garner. You know, the “what’s in your wallet?” commercial.
Well, I’m here to tell you today that the Capital One Venture card shouldn’t be in your wallet – or at least not the only card there. You might not believe me yet, but there’s another card out there that will be better for most people, instead of, or in addition to the Venture card.
Enter the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 2X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar at restaurants and on travel purchases while all other purchases earn 1X point per dollar.
Right off the bat, this might not sound as good as the Venture card, but that’s because Venture uses very clever marketing that doesn’t provide the full picture.
Let’s address why the “double miles is better than 1” marketing slogan from Venture is incomplete. Yes, all else equal, double miles is better than one but it’s not a one to one comparison when examining Venture miles and Ultimate Rewards points.
With the Capital One Venture Card, you do earn 2X points per dollar on all purchases, but these points are worth one cent each when the points are redeemed for travel. They’ll never be worth more, and they’ll never be worth less. Really, what this means is that the Venture card is a flat 2% back credit card when redeeming points for travel. Unlike other cash back cards, it has an annual fee.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, that’s not the case. The points have a ton of flexibility even if you don’t earn 2X on all purchases. You can Chase points to airline and hotel partners such as United Airlines, British Airways and Hyatt and possibly get even more than 2 cents per point in value.
This involves a little more work as you need to find award space for flights or hotels, but it can open up some incredible opportunities that would otherwise cost way more points. Depending on your redemptions, you could get well over 2% back for your purchases.
Here are a few such examples of how the 10xT Team would use these points.
If that sounds like too much work to you, you can still redeem your Ultimate Rewards points through the Chase travel portal. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, each point redeemed through the travel portal is worth 1.25 cents.
That means that you’re effectively earning 2.5% back on travel and restaurant purchases and 1.25% back on all other purchases with the Chase Sapphire Preferred when you use your points through the Chase Travel Portal.
Now, the another thing to consider is that both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture card have the same annual fee. However, the Chase Sapphire Preferred has a bunch of perks that the Venture card doesn’t have. Perhaps, most notably, the Sapphire Preferred has much better travel protections.
Travel Protection Details
The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers primary collision damage waiver, so you don’t have to pay extra for insurance through the car rental company. This can easily save you $10 per day on every car rental you have.
You’ll also get trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, lost luggage reimbursement and travel accident insurance. The coverage details follow:
- Trip Cancellation and Interruption: Up to $10,000 per trip for pre-paid and non-refundable travel arrangements
- Baggage Delay: Up to $100 per day for up to 5 days
- Trip Delay: Up to $500 per eligible traveler if your travel is delayed 12+ hours or overnight
- Lost Luggage: Up to $3,000 per eligible traveler
- Travel Accident: Up to $500,000
All of this might mean that you can get away without paying for additional insurance on your trips, which could save you hundreds of dollars in insurance fees over the course of a year. Just make sure you read the terms and conditions to ensure you meet the eligibility requirements.
Even if you normally go without trip insurance, now you can rest easier knowing that you’re covered if your bag gets lost or you have to stay overnight in a hotel due to a delayed flight.
Both Cards Might Make Sense
Now, even though I’m saying that you should choose the Sapphire Preferred over the Venture card, I’m not saying you need to choose just one card. There’s a case for getting the Venture card even though the Sapphire Preferred is a better place to start.
When looking at the cards from the perspective of using your points for travel, the Chase Sapphire Preferred beats the Venture card in terms of purchases at restaurants and travel, but not in other categories.
If you had both cards, and didn’t value the ability to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Chase’s travel partners, you could use your Sapphire Preferred for travel and restaurant purchases and use your Venture card for all other purchases and come out ahead.
A Real Life Comparison
Let’s use a hypothetical to compare them. Imagine that a person spends $500 per month on travel and dining and $1,500 per month in other categories.
With just the Venture card, you would earn $40 cashback every month that you could redeem for travel.
With just the Sapphire Preferred, you would earn 2,500 Ultimate Rewards points that could be transferred to travel partners or redeemed through the Chase travel portal for $31.25.
With both cards, you would earn 1,000 Ultimate Rewards (worth $12.50) for your travel and dining purchases and $30 worth of points on your Venture card.
Based on just this, it might seem like the Venture card alone or the combination of both cards is the best bet. But, what if we look at a year’s worth of spending? That means $6,000 in travel and dining spending and $18,000 in other category spending.
Now, you’ll end up with $480 back from the Venture card or 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points from the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Those 30,000 points are worth $375 when redeemed through Chase Travel, but they’re also worth a one-way flight to Europe when you transfer the points to United. Depending on where you live and where you want to travel, it’s very likely that it would cost you more than $480 for a one-way flight to Europe!
As you can see, double miles is not always better than 1. You need to think about what individual types of miles and points are worth and how they can be used. In many cases the Chase Sapphire Preferred is going to offer at least as much value as the Capital One Venture card, and the combination of both cards could be even better than the either on its own.
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.