- card_name – bonus_miles_full annual_fees
- card_name – bonus_miles_full. annual_fees
“What credit card should I get?” Lots of people wonder which card to sign up for when starting the pursuit of points and miles. The Capital One Venture and Chase Sapphire Preferred have long been frontrunners in this discussion. We first compared the two cards in 2019. Then we updated the scorecard last year as the value proposition for each card had changed. With some recent changes, it’s time to revisit the standoff between the Venture and Preferred yet again.
I’ve had both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture cards and so has my wife. The Preferred was one of the first credit cards I ever signed up for. I signed up for the Sapphire Preferred as well as two Southwest cards and used those to get my first ever Southwest Companion Pass. Then used 170,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points to fly our family of 8 to Reno – our very first use of miles and points back in 2014.
In 2019, Capital One made some enhancements to the Venture card offering that gave the CSP a run for its money. In 2020, it was pretty clear that the CSP had the upper hand. However, as I recently pointed out, the Venture has made some positive changes. So I thought that it was time to revisit these two mid-range cards to see if one is better. Let’s review the details.
card_name vs. card_name: Annual fee
- The Capital One Venture has a annual_fees.
- The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a annual_fees.
Winner: This is a tie obviously. At one point, the Venture card waived the annual fee for the first year, but that is no longer the case.
Comparing the welcome offers
The current Capital One Venture welcome offer is 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. The Venture has had a sweeter offer of 100,000 bonus miles after spending $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months of opening an account, but unfortunately that offer is no longer available.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred allows you to bonus_miles_full.
Winner: Tie. Obviously the welcome offers on the cards change over time, so you can argue a slight edge to one card vs. the other depending on where the welcome offers currently sit. Remember too that Ultimate Rewards can be redeemed for 1.25 cents per point with the Sapphire Preferred as compared to 1 cents per mile for Venture Rewards miles. Capital One has massively increased the value of miles by adding transfer partners and increasing the transfer rate for some current partners. Which transfer partners are better will depend on how and with whom you want to travel – I’ve gotten outstanding value from transferring Venture miles to Wyndham for Vacasa vacations.
The Venture card earns 2 miles per dollar spent. This applies to every purchase, every day.
The CSP card has a tiered earning structure. You’ll earn:
- 5x total points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit.
- 2x on other travel purchases
- 3x points on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out.
- 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs).
- 3x points on select streaming services.
- 1x points on all other purchases
Winner: Edge to Venture. If you use your card for dining, online grocery purchases or travel, then the earnings on the CSP may be better. However, the Venture provides 2x miles on all purchases and is great for those who want to simplify their award earnings. It’s certainly EASIER to maximize your points and value with the Venture. All points earn the 2x miles and can be redeemed for most any travel if you decide to do that instead of transferring the miles.
Redemptions and transfers
The Capital One Venture card has a lot of flexibility in how you can redeem your miles. You can book travel through the Capital One travel portal, at a rate of 1 mile per cent. You can also use your Venture miles for travel purchases that you make directly, at the same 1 mile per cent rate.
You can also transfer to 19 Capital One travel partners. While this was previously at a 2:1.5 ratio (or worse), Capital One did recently up the transfer ratio to 1:1 for most partner programs. This update offers a lot more potential value for Venture card holders. In addition, the simplicity of the program when redeeming for travel purchases is good for newbies. It’s also great for those who are heavy into the miles game already but need a card that has added flexibility. In 2019, we used AA miles to book flights to Europe and used the Venture card to absorb the taxes and fees. If you redeem for cash the miles are worth 0.5 cents each…don’t do this.
CSP gives you a redemption value of 1.25 cents per point when booking through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. This is now run by Expedia. You can also transfer UR points to 13 travel partners. If you decide to redeem for cash the value is 1 cent each.
Winner: Too Close to Call. With the addition of travel partners, improved transfer rates and the simplicity of erasing the travel purchases, the Venture card gives the CSP run for its money. Previously, more experienced travel hackers may have found better opportunities for transfers or redemptions with the CSP. The Venture card has certainly stepped up their offering for those looking to maximize redemption sweet spots. The CSP does offer the flexibility of the Pay Yourself Back option which provides a lot of value for redemptions. This makes it easier for less frequent travelers to benefit. It was also a valuable benefit during the pandemic for those who were traveling less often.
Other benefits of the cards
My favorite ancillary benefit to the Venture card is the statement credit of up to $100 for a Global Entry or TSA Precheck application. Besides this, it offers benefits such as a “Credit Wise” credit score tracker, secondary auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, no foreign transaction fees and extended warranty protection. They will also be opening airport lounges in Dallas-Fort Worth and Washington Dulles in the near future. One downside is that Capital One pulls credit reports from all 3 bureaus. You’ll also get two complimentary visits per year to Plaza Premium Lounges or Capital One Lounges, including the outstanding Capital One lounge in DFW (pictured below).
The Preferred has a ton of travel benefits for its $95 annual fee. These include primary CDW on car rentals, $10,000 in trip cancellation insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, travel accident insurance, lost luggage insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, and extended warranty protection among others.
Winner: Depends. If you need Global Entry or TSA Precheck, the Venture is pretty compelling here. Otherwise, if you are looking for top tier ongoing benefits at the $95 annual fee charge, the Preferred has a leg up.
And the winner is…
The Chase Sapphire Preferred! When we first wrote this post back a few years ago, the Sapphire Preferred came out on top. Then when the bonus on the Sapphire Preferred went down, it was back to the Venture card. But with the current bonus levels, I think we are back to the Sapphire Preferred. The Venture card has drastically improved the value proposition compared to last year. For years, I recommended the CSP card due to its great benefits and low annual fee. In 2019, Capital One made some adjustments that led to the Venture card offering a great value. These changes gave the CSP a run for its money.
- card_name – bonus_miles_full annual_fees
- card_name – bonus_miles_full. annual_fees
The Chase Sapphire Preferred certainly offers and it is also a great card to hold over the long run due to the slightly better benefits. It could make sense to get both cards if you utilize the Global Entry/TSA Pre benefit of the Venture. However, the caveat is that you need to get approved for both, hit both sign up bonuses, and make sure to avoid carrying a balance. This will give you the maximum flexibility when it comes to redemptions, transfer partners, and earning options. With that being said both cards offer a ton of value for the $95 annual fee and would be a great addition to your wallet.
Which card would you pick between the Capital One Venture and Chase Sapphire Preferred? Is there another card that is better than both of these? Leave a comment below and let us know why!
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I just got approved for the Venture card and it is in the mail. I did it mostly because I have about 2k of hospital bills and so reaching the 3k spend will be easy. My thoughts are to get the 60k miles and then transfer them to Aeroplan so I can use them for travel on United airlines. Is there a better option to transfer to? I plan to cancel the Venture before the anniversary date to avoid paying another $95 fee. Will my transfered Aeroplan points be affected in any way by doing this? Also, how exactly do you get the $100 for Global Entry? Do you pay it with the card and then after the charge shows up on the statement, ask to be rebated? Thanks for all the info you provide.
You wouldn’t lose any miles that you have already transferred to Aeroplan, but you would lose any Venture miles that were still in your Capital One account if you closed your card.
For Global Entry, you got it. Just pay for the Global Entry with your card. I haven’t done it with this card, but with other cards, you don’t even need to ask to be rebated – it just comes off automatically.
I’ve had the Venture X card for more than a year. Do you think I’ll get approved for the Venture card?
You can have two Capital One cards at the same time, though Capital One has a reputation for being stingy on approvals. So it’s possible that you’ll be approved, but also possible that you’ll be denied. Good luck and let us know how it went for you if you do end up applying. Thanks in advance if you use the links on the site to support the site when you apply