Shelling out hundreds of dollars in annual fees on premium credit cards isn't for everybody – especially if you're just getting started with travel cards. We get it.
But there are some great travel credit cards out there that earn lucrative points and miles for less than $100 each year in fees. And two titans in that space are the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – both of which are currently out with welcome offers that cover at least $750 towards travel – and potentially much more.
These cards have long competed against each other, and in this post, we'll compare the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Capital One Venture cards and which is best for you.
The annual fee on both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Capital One Venture card is $95.
Each card offers additional benefits that can help offset the annual fee, but both will cost you $95 out of pocket each and every year you hold the card. And that means neither card has an advantage in this category.
Welcome Offer Bonus
Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Capital One Venture Rewards cards offer generous welcome bonuses. The bonus on the Capital One Venture card appears larger at first glance – and it could be more valuable in the end.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Welcome Bonus
Earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 within the first three months of card membership.
Click Here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Welcome Bonus
Earn 75,000 Capital One Venture Miles after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of card membership.
Since the Capital One Venture Miles the card earns are worth 1 cent each when redeemed to cover the cost of travel purchases, or through the Capital One Travel Portal, the bonus is worth at least $750 towards travel.
Click Here to learn more about the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
While the bonuses are worth the same base amount in either Chase Sapphire Preferred or Capital One Venture, you'll simply end up with more miles with the Capital One Venture Rewards program. If you wind up transferring points to airline or hotel partners (which we will cover shortly) and do it wisely, they will simply go a bit farther.
The points go beyond the big signup bonus. Both cards will earn you more points (or miles) for your ongoing spending.
Capital One Venture Card: You will earn 2x Venture miles on all purchases. Considering each mile is worth at least 1 cent when redeemed towards travel, you are getting a 2% return on all spending with the Venture card.
In addition to that, you'll earn 5x miles per dollar spent on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, and 5x miles per dollar spent on Turo car rental bookings through May 16, 2023.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: You will earn 3x points per dollar spent on dining at restaurants, including eligible delivery services, 3x points per dollar spent on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), and 3x points per dollar spent on select streaming services. You'll also earn 2x points per dollar spent on travel purchases. You'll also get an annual $50 credit to use towards hotel bookings made through the Chase Travel Portal.
Finally, you will also earn 5x total points per dollar spent on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, and 5x points per dollar spent on rides with Lyft through March of 2025.
So which is better? It depends on your spending patterns. But in our opinion, earning 2x Venture Miles on every purchase with the Venture Card is hard to beat as you will simply earn more points on all of your spending.
Travel Portal Booking
Booking flight deals like those you via Google Flights or with your Thrifty Traveler Premium subscription is one of our favorite ways to use points. And in this category, one of these cards is the clear favorite.
That distinction goes to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. It's simple: Your Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.25 cents each when you hold the card and book travel through the Chase Travel Portal.
Capital One Venture miles, meanwhile, are worth 1 cent each when redeemed towards travel.
Here's an example of how that works.
Because your Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.25 cents when booking travel through the Chase travel portal, you could book this fare for only 9,440 Chase points. Since Capital One Venture miles are always worth a fixed 1 cent each towards travel, this same flight would cost 11,800 Capital One Venture Miles.
Transferring points from either card to your airline accounts can unlock some serious value. It requires some extra patience and knowledge, but it's another great way to use points. And it's a big part of the reason why flexible points programs are so valuable.
Chase is a titan in the travel rewards industry, and that’s due in large part to some excellent transfer partners.
With 11 airline and three hotel partners, Ultimate Rewards points are a must for any frequent or aspiring traveler.
No matter which airline or hotel you decide to transfer points to, Chase points will transfer at a 1:1 ratio. That means one Chase Ultimate Reward point equals one hotel point or airline mile.
Here is the full list of Chase transfer partners.
|Program||Type||Transfer Ratio||Transfer Time|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||Airline||1:1||Instant|
|Singapore Air||Airline||1:1||12-24 hours|
|World of Hyatt||Hotel||1:1||Instant|
|Marriott Rewards||Hotel||1:1||2 days|
Capital One is a more recent addition to the world of transferable points. But they've steadily added more partners over the years and leveled up by making transfers to nearly all of those partners a 1:1 transaction – meaning one Capital One Venture mile gets you one airline mile or hotel point.
Here's the full list of Capital One transfer partners.
|Air Canada Aeroplan||Airline||1:1||Instant|
|Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles||Airline||1:1||Up to five business days|
|Etihad||Airline||1:1||Up to 1 day|
|EVA Air||Airline||2:1.5||Up to five business days|
|Qantas||Airline||1:1||Up to 1 day|
|TAP Air Portugal||Airline||1:1||Same day|
|Turkish Airlines||Airline||1:1||Same day|
|Virgin Red||Other||1:1||Same day|
|Accor||Hotel||2:1||Up to two business days|
|Choice Hotels||Hotel||1:1||Same day|
Because your Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to all of their transfer partners, Chase obviously offers more value when transferring points. In addition to that, they offer three U.S.-based airlines in United, Southwest, and JetBlue. To top it off, they offer arguably the most valuable transfer partner in any program – World of Hyatt.
That gives the edge to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card in this category.
Winner: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Global Entry and TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
Getting through airport security and clearing immigration is a breeze if you have either a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership. Considering Global Entry includes a PreCheck membership, that should be an easy choice if you planning any international travel.
Capital One added a credit for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry as a benefit of holding the Venture card way back in 2018. If you charge the membership fee for either program to your Capital One Venture Card, you will be reimbursed the full amount (up to $100). You'll receive the benefit every 4 1/2 years for the application fee for TSA PreCheck® and every four years for Global Entry.
This is a great benefit and one that isn't offered on many cards with an annual fee below $100.
Since Chase only offers a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit on their premium Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit card, Capital One's Venture card is the clear winner here.
Trip & Rental Car Insurance
The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture Rewards cards have a lot in common when it comes to offering trip and travel insurance. But one card has a slight edge.
Both cards offer similar coverage if an airline loses your bags, though the Chase Sapphire Preferred's policy is a bit heftier. While Capital One's policy only kicks in if your bag is lost or stolen, Chase will reimburse you for expenses (up to $100 per day for up to five days) like clothing and toiletries if your bag is delayed for six or more hours.
Both cards offer similar car rental policies as well as trip accident insurance. However, Capital One will only provide primary rental car coverage on rentals outside of the U.S. The Chase Sapphire Preferred provides primary coverage on both domestic and international rentals (with some country exclusions). This gives the edge to the Sapphire Preferred Card.
And finally, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers trip delay and cancellation coverage – something the Capital One Venture Rewards card doesn't touch.
Related Reading: The 4 Best Credit Cards with Travel Insurance: What Do They Cover?
Winner: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Our Analysis – Chase Sapphire Preferred or Capital One Venture?
By the numbers, both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture card win three categories while one category ends in a tie (the annual fee).
Every cardholder should weigh these individual categories differently. So at the end of the day, your decision should be based on which categories you value the highest.
For example, if you are looking for an affordable way to get Global Entry, the Capital One Venture Card is the obvious choice. But if having the ability to get more value out of transfer partners is more important, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the clear winner.
And at the end of the day, when it comes to Chase Sapphire Preferred versus Capital One Venture, these cards work well in tandem and it can certainly make sense to hold them both.
Both the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card are outstanding and tailor-made for beginners with points and miles. Both are what we would consider some of the best credit cards for travelers.
Every cardholder should weigh these individual categories differently and make a decision on the benefits that are most important to them.