Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card vs. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: Which is best for you?

Have you been bitten by the travel bug? If so, you’re going to relish the benefits of these two credit cards that reward you with lots of high-grade travel opportunities. Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Venture® Rewards from Capital One® offer generous bonus points to new card users, so you can start planning for your next trip before you know it.

Racking up points and miles for more travel is super easy when you utilize a travel credit card for your everyday purchases. You’ll be paying for those items anyway — so why not automatically take a bite out of your trip expenses with rewards to make adventuring a budget-friendly proposition?

At a glance comparison

Always compare apples to apples to learn how you’re going to benefit. Take a look.

Chase Sapphire PreferredCapital One Venture
Annual Fee$95$0 Introductory fee for the first year, then $95
Rewards RatesTwo points per $1 on travel or dining, one point per $1 on all other purchases.Two miles per $1 on every purchase.
Sign Up Bonus60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within the first three months50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 within the first three months
CreditsNoneUp to $100 credit on Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee purchased
Lounge AccessNoNo
Authorized User FeeNo feeNo fee

Standout features

Chase Sapphire Preferred has several travel-related perks that set it apart:

  • Auto rental collision damage waiver which covers theft or damage to your rental car. 
  • The card also offers “secondary” insurance within your country of residence for remaining covered theft or damage to your rental car after your own auto insurance pays out. 
  • Renting outside your country of residence, or have no auto insurance? Both primary and secondary coverage will pay for all covered theft or damage.
  • Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance.
  • Baggage delay insurance.
  • Points can be redeemed for travel or cash. When you redeem points for cash, each point is worth $.01 (100 points equals $1 in redemption value). Points redeemed for travel are worth 25% more (100 points equals $1.25 in redemption value).

Capital One Venture also has its own notable perks:

  • Travel accident insurance is automatic for a covered loss at no extra charge.
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver applies when you rent an eligible vehicle with your credit card. You can be covered for damage due to collision or theft.
  • You can access 24-hour travel assistance services if your credit card is lost or stolen. You are eligible to get an emergency replacement card and cash advance.
  • You get extended warranty protection at no charge on eligible items purchased with your credit card.
  • Perks include Eno®, Capital One’s assistant, which keeps an eye on your accounts and sends alerts when something’s up. You can ask questions about your account and receive instant answers.
  • Proactive account alerts are sent if Capital One detects potential mistakes or unexpected charges. You can set up personalized emails or texts to help you stay on top of your account.

The case for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card

Anyone who loves to travel and also enjoys dining out can earn points rapidly using this card, getting two points per dollar spent on those categories and one point per dollar for everything else. The abundant bonus of 60,000 points for new card owners who spend $4,000 or more in the first three months translates to $750 to use toward airfare, hotels, taxis, train and other travel expenses.

If you know you’ll be spending at least that amount on purchases anyway, the $750 you earn for travel will offset any qualms you might have about paying a $95 annual fee.

One of the best benefits of the Sapphire Preferred card is that card owners can redeem points for either travel miles or cash. It’s helpful to know you can choose either one, since there may be times when you could use the cash instead of booking more travel.

The case for the Capital One Venture card

If you want a travel rewards card but want to avoid an annual fee for the first year, this card is a good choice. Getting 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 is a significant perk. It will earn you $500 in rewards (versus the $750 offered with the card above), but eliminates some of the stress involved in meeting the higher purchase level. Each dollar spent on purchases earns two miles, with no exceptions. If you plan to apply for Global Entry or TSA Precheck, you’ll save up to $100.

With the Venture card, you earn miles on flights, hotels and more. You have the flexibility to transfer reward miles to more than 15 travel partners who participate in airline loyalty programs. Another benefit is monitoring your credit with CreditWise. 

Finally, this card offers access to the website Paribus. Shop online as you normally would, and Paribus monitors prices by tracking your confirmation emails and watches for price changes. When it detects savings, you’re notified. It will help you get money back, including potential savings on your previous online purchases.

In a nutshell

If you’re a travel enthusiast and you know you’ll spend at least $4,000 over the first three months, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is probably the better choice for you, even with the $95 annual fee. The $750 you can use for travel expenses is great payback, and you can always opt for cash instead if you need it. 

Maybe $4,000 in purchases is a bit daunting for you, and $3,000 sounds more practical for the first three months total. With no annual fee the first year and the opportunity to get up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck, it can be a great lower stress option. Neither card charges foreign transaction fees. 

Personal finance experts always recommend that you pay off credit card balances each month. If you aren’t able to pay off the balance, both cards offer nearly the same range of interest rates on unpaid balances and balance transfers. Venture One has a variable APR of 17.24-24.49% based on creditworthiness, and on the variable prime rate. Chase Sapphire Preferred’s cash advance rate is similar to Venture One’s with a 14.49% – 24.49% variable APR. The same goes for fees associated with balance transfers and cash advances.

Stephen Altrogge

Stephen Altrogge is a business and marketing writer from Ashland, Ohio. His writing has been published in Fast Company, Zapier, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and a host of other publications. He has a degree in Management Information Systems from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Before launching his own business, he worked as an auditor at a bank.