When you think of travel rewards credit cards, you might think of sky-high annual fees and luxe travel benefits. But for those less concerned with traveling in style and more interested in saving on their next trip, more affordable mid-tier travel cards offer some of the most valuable perks of any travel card on the market today.
The Preferred card is our pick between the two, thanks to a recently revamped rewards structure and lucrative sign-up bonus. But the Capital One Venture offers solid savings as well, with flat rewards on every purchase to put toward future travel purchases you make with the card.
Before you apply for any new travel card, though, consider your spending habits and card use — along with any travel plans — to help determine the best fit for you. And if the Sapphire Preferred and Venture Card are both on your radar, here’s a closer look at how the card details of these $95 annual fee rewards cards stack up.
Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture at a Glance
The two cards both carry $95 annual fees but vary in terms of perks and benefits offered. Depending on your lifestyle and spending habits, one might be a better fit than the other.
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||Capital One Venture|
|Welcome Offer||60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening||60,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months|
|Rewards||5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x on dining (including eligible delivery services and takeout); 3x points on select streaming services; 3x on online groceries; 2x on other travel purchases; 1x on everything else||2x miles on everything you spend|
|Other Benefits||$50 annual credit on hotel stays purchased through the Ultimate Rewards portal; complimentary 12-month DoorDash DashPass membership (otherwise $9.99 per month) when activated by March 31, 2022||Up to a $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership every four years|
Both cards are offering 60,000 worth of rewards right now, but differ slightly in terms of the minimum spending requirements.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. This 60,000-point bonus is worth $ $750 when you redeem for travel, according to Chase.
Meanwhile, the Capital One Venture card offers 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. You can redeem these miles toward travel purchases you make with your card at a rate of 1 cent per point, making the Venture card’s bonus worth $600 in total.
While you’ll have to spend $1,000 more to hit the minimum spending requirements for the Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus, you’ll be able to get a higher potential value from the Chase welcome bonus than with your Capital One rewards.
However, remember to only spend what you can afford on a credit card, regardless of the sign-up bonus, since many travel rewards credit cards, these two included, come with high APRs which can negate the value of any rewards you earn. If the spending required to score the bonus on either card doesn’t align with what you can afford to pay off in full each month, you may want to wait to open a new account. Often, it’s smart to apply for a new credit card when you’re ready (and have the cash saved) to book your next trip, so you can work toward the bonus while earning rewards during booking.
Both of these cards offer great rewards in a wide range of categories, but one may be a better fit for your spending habits than the other.
Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on all travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, as well as 3 points per dollar on dining, including eligible delivery services and takeout. The card also earns 3 points per dollar on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (with the exception of stores like Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs), 2 points per dollar on all other travel, and 1 point on every other purchase.
In addition, Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders get a 10% anniversary points bonus. On your account anniversary, you’ll earn bonus points equal to 10% of the total purchases you made in the last year, paving the way to earn even more bonus points on all of your spending on the card.
The Capital One Venture card, on the other hand, earns 2 miles per dollar on all purchases. It doesn’t come with any bonus category spending, and is a flat rate no matter what you spend.
If you’re looking for a simple way to accrue rewards you can put toward future travel as you complete your regular spending throughout the year, the Venture card’s 2x earn is incredibly valuable without requiring too much thought on maximizing categories. The Sapphire Preferred on the other hand, will require a bit more strategizing to maximize its list of bonus categories. But if you don’t mind doing a bit more work — and your regular spending aligns with those categories — the Preferred will likely bring more value in the long run.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Capital One Venture both provide cardholders with opportunities to redeem points or miles, respectively, toward travel.
With your Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you can redeem your Ultimate Rewards points for hotels and airfare directly in the portal, or you can transfer to partners such as United Airlines, Southwest Airlines or Hyatt Hotels. Within the portal, Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the Sapphire Preferred card are redeemed at a fixed value of 1.25 cents each. You’ll typically get the most value out of your points by transferring them to partners, so it’s a good idea to check both the portal and partner rates before you book.
As far as the Venture card goes, you have even more options to redeem your miles. You can book travel through the Capital One travel portal, where your miles will be redeemed for a fixed rate of 1 cent each, or transfer to partners such as Air France and British Airways.
Travel rewards credit cards, like most credit cards on the market today, typically come with high interest rates. These two are no exception, as both of their variable APR ranges are on the higher end.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has a variable APR of 15.99% – 22.99% and the Capital One Venture carries a variable APR of 15.99% – 23.99%.
With that in mind, it’s important to pay your bills on time and in full every month so you can avoid interest altogether. If you already have existing debt, focus on paying that down before you consider opening a new rewards credit card (neither of these cards offer introductory balance transfer offers).
Anytime you open a new card account, spend only what you can afford to pay off when your statement is due each month — paying interest on any balances can quickly wipe out any rewards you earn with either card, especially considering the cost you’ll already incur for the annual fee.
Both credit cards come with valuable travel protections and insurance that can help make your next trip a breeze, whether you face flight cancellations or delays, lost luggage, changing COVID-19 entry policies, and more. That said, the Preferred card is the clear winner — especially if you’re worried about losing any prepaid, non-refundable fares to cancellations or delays.
Chase Sapphire Preferred has notable travel protections such as trip cancellation and trip delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, travel accident insurance, and primary auto rental collision damage waiver.
The Capital One Venture’s coverage includes an auto rental damage waiver, 24-hour emergency travel assistance, travel accident insurance, and extended warranty protection.
Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture card charge $95 annual fees. Neither card charges foreign transaction fees — so both are good cards to have in your wallet for future international travel.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Intro bonus:60,000 points
- Annual fee:$95
- Regular APR:15.99%-22.99% Variable
- Recommended credit:670-850 (Good to Excellent)
- Apply Now At Chase’s secure site
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
- Intro bonus:60,000 miles
- Annual fee:$95
- Regular APR:15.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
- Recommended credit:670-850 (Good to Excellent)
- Learn more At our partner’s secure site
Deciding Between the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture Card
When it comes to maximum value and added benefits, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the clear winner between these cards. But the Venture offers great travel savings too, especially if you’re looking for simplicity.
Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a greater opportunity to earn bonus points on travel, dining, online grocery orders, and even select streaming services. Plus, you’ll get an ongoing annual 10% points bonus and more travel protections, as well as hotel, Peloton, and DoorDash perks and credits.
There are two areas where the Capital One Venture wins out against the Preferred card, though: up to a $100 application fee credit for TSA PreCheck/Global Entry, and the straightforward rewards rate on all purchases. While the opportunity to rack up bonus points is far greater on the Preferred card (if your spending aligns with its rewards categories), the 2 miles per dollar you’ll earn with the Venture card could be more valuable if you’re looking for simplified credit card rewards.
Ultimately, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card outshines in terms of earning rates, perks, and travel protections.. But if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of keeping up with categories, or your regular spending doesn’t fit within strict categories, the Capital One Venture can make a great addition to your wallet, too.
*All information about the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card has been collected independently by NextAdvisor and has not been reviewed by the issuer.