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Two of the highest profile travel credit cards right now are the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.
Both are quality cards.
It’s hard to go ‘wrong’ with either one since they both earn a lot of points you can use without a lot of hassle.
The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card gives you 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, while the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card gives you 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Both let you use points to pay for travel on nearly any airline, but the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card adds the ability to turn your points into real airline miles and hotel points, which can make some trips even more affordable.
Here’s a rundown of how they compare..
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||Capital One Venture|
|Intro bonus||50,000 points ($625 value)||40,000 points ($400 value)|
|Point earning||2x points dining, travel; 1x all else||2x points on all purchases|
|Use points as $ toward any travel||Yes, 1 point = 1.25 cents||Yes, 1 point = 1 cent|
|Annual fee||$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95||$ introductory annual fee the first year, then $95|
|Transfer points to airline mile accounts||Yes, to United, Southwest, British Airways, Korean, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore||No|
|Transfer points to hotel point accounts||Yes, to Hyatt, Marriott, IHG||No|
|Combine points with friends / family||Yes - with your spouse||Yes|
|Foreign transaction fees||None||None|
|Apply Now||Apply Now|
How the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card works
It’s a pretty simple ‘miles as cash’ credit card:
- 1.25 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.
- You simply buy the travel through whatever website or agent you want and apply the points to your travel purchases after they hit your statement.
- You earn double points – 2 points for every dollar you spend. So, with each point worth one cent, each dollar you spend gets you two cents in value with the double points.
How the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card works
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card can also be simple…
- It also has a ‘miles as cash’ option. Each point is worth 1.25 cents toward travel on any airline, hotel, car rental, or cruise. And you can use points to pay for partial amounts of travel.
- Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- You can also transfer your points directly into your accounts with several airline mile and hotel point programs, including United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, Korean Airlines, Marriott, Hyatt, and IHG® Rewards.
- That lets you build on your existing balances and take advantage of higher value rewards only available to members of each airline and hotel program.
- You can do things like upgrade to first class, book flexible international itineraries, or take advantage of great hotel point values.
- This is what makes the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card the Swiss Army knife of mile credit cards. If you are the kind of traveler who is willing to put in a touch of extra effort to learn which mile rewards offer the best values, you can reap bigger rewards with this card than most any other.
When you should consider the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card is best if you don’t want to spend any time doing homework on the best mile deals and don’t have a miles and points stashed in other places.
Here’s what you’re giving up with the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card…
1. You’re willing to cap your earnings at 2 cents per dollar spent
The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card points are always worth 1.25 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.
So with the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card if you want to use points for a $500 ticket you will need 50,000 points.
A $250 ticket will need 25,000 points.
The price in points is always directly related to the price in dollars it would cost to buy a ticket.
With traditional airline miles, you’ll probably pay 25,000 – 50,000 miles for most domestic tickets, which is similar to what you’d end up paying with the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card. So it’s a pretty even trade if you mostly fly domestic.
That’s the mile cost regardless of whether the cash price of the ticket is $200, $500, or $750.
But international tickets get more interesting for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or regular airline miles.
For example, to Europe you can often find flights with airline miles or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card transfer partners for 60,000 miles roundtrip. Tickets to Europe often cost over $1,000, which would cost you 100,000 points with the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card.
Basically, if your trip involves pretty expensive tickets, you have a better shot at paying fewer points if you use regular airline miles or the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card than the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card. If you tend to fly when ticket prices are really cheap, the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card tends to be a better deal.
2. You don’t want to be able to move miles from into your existing airline or hotel mile accounts.
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card miles can’t be transferred into your existing airline mile or hotel point accounts.
So if you have a bunch lying around your credit card spend won’t be able to supplement this directly. But if you’re not someone without a lot of miles, then this shouldn’t be an issue.
3. You don’t want to fly first class
Capital One miles can’t be used for upgrades to first class. Yes, you can use them to buy first class tickets, but you’re rarely going to find a good value there. Usually first class tickets cost $1,000 or more. That costs more than 100,000 Capital One miles.
If you are using a native airline mile program you can usually get a ticket outright for 50,000 miles roundtrip. Or you can upgrade to first class from a paid ticket for 15,000 miles in many cases. That’s not possible with Capital One miles. You can do it with a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card which lets you transfer points into airline mile accounts.
We tend to recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card often because it gives you the ability to turn points into real airline miles whenever you want, but also has the backup of being able to use them to buy flights at a reasonable rate.