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- Two of the most popular travel rewards credit cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, are currently posting their best-ever sign-up bonuses.
- The Chase Sapphire Preferred is offering 80,000 points after new cardholders spend $4,000 in three months.
- The Capital One Venture is offering up to 100,000 bonus miles – 50,000 after you spend $3,000 in the first three months, and another 50,000 miles after you spend $20,000 in the first 12 months.
- The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a slight edge in terms of how you can redeem points, but the Venture card could make more sense if you don’t spend much on travel or dining.
- See Business Insider’s list of the best rewards credit cards »
The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card are two of the most popular travel rewards credit cards of all time. Part of that is due to how easy it is to earn and redeem points and miles with them for travel. However, each offers some unique benefits that can save cardholders time and money in the long run.
Making the choice between the two even more difficult than usual is the fact that both cards are posting their highest-ever sign-up bonuses … at the same time.
Which is better, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offer of 80,000 points, or up to 100,000 miles on the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card? It will really come down to how you want to use the rewards you earn, your typical spending habits, and what other card benefits you can maximize. Let’s focus on the bonuses themselves, though, and determine which one might be the best option. Here’s how the two stack up.
We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card|
|Welcome bonus||80,000 points after you spend $4k in the first 3 months||50k miles after you spend $3k in the first 3 months, plus another 50k after you spend $20k in the first 12 months|
5x points on Lyft through March 2022
2x points on dining and travel
1 point per dollar on everything else
5x miles on Uber Eats through January 2021
2x miles on everything else
1.25 cents per point on travel through Chase
1.25 cents per point with Pay Yourself Back for groceries, home improvement, dining, and eligible charities
Transfer to 10 airlines, 3 hotels
1 cent per mile on travel and gift cards through Capital One
1 cent per mile on streaming services and dining through December 31
0.5 cents per mile for cash back
Transfer to 13 airlines, 2 hotels
No foreign transaction fees
Comprehensive travel protections including primary car rental insurance
No foreign transaction fees
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit (up to $100)
Now for the details.
Earn 80,000 points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
- High sign-up bonus starts you off with lots of points
- Strong travel coverage
- Doesn’t offer a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit or any other statement credit benefits
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is currently offering new applicants 80,000 points (Ultimate Rewards points) after they spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. That’s 20,000 points more than the usual sign-up bonus, all for the same minimum spending requirement.
To be eligible, you cannot have the Chase Sapphire Preferred already. Nor can you have an active Chase Sapphire Reserve®, since people are automatically precluded from carrying both Sapphire products. Also keep in mind that if you do not currently have a Sapphire card but have received a bonus for one in the last 48 months, you are also ineligible for this offer.
Earn up to 100,000 miles with the Capital One Venture
17.24% to 24.49% variable
Good to Excellent
50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
- Annual Fee: $95
- Regular APR: 17.24% – 24.49% (Variable)
- Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
- Annual fee waived the first year
- No bonus categories to keep track of
- Includes up to a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
- Other credit cards offer higher rewards in certain categories of spending
For its part, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is extending a tiered bonus that is twice as high as its usual offer. You can earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months, and an additional 50,000 miles (for a total of 100,000) after spending $20,000 in the first 12 months.
More spending, but also more time
At first glance, it might seem like 100,000 miles is better than 80,000 points. After all, it’s a higher figure. But which bonus is a better option will depend on your spending power, your typical purchase activity, and how you eventually hope to put your rewards to use.
The first thing to consider is the spending requirements for each card. For 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points on the Chase Sapphire Preferred you only need to lay out $4,000 in purchases within three months.
To earn the full 100,000-mile Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card bonus, you’ve got to spend a whopping $20,000 in 12 months while also hitting that $3,000 threshold within the first three months. Sure, you could complete all that spending sooner, but it’s still a lot of cash to keep track of.
If you’d rather secure the full bonus in a shorter period, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the card to choose, but those who have a long-term spending strategy in mind might opt for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.
You can redeem both Ultimate Rewards points and Capital One miles at fixed rates for travel booked through their respective issuers’ travel portals, and this is probably the easiest way to compare the two bonuses.
Ultimate Rewards points earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred are worth 1.25 cents apiece toward travel reservations such as airline tickets, hotel bookings, cruises, vacation packages, and more through the Chase travel portal. Using this formula, 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points are worth $1,000.
Chase also has a Pay Yourself Back feature that allows cardholders to redeem points for statement credits toward other purchases. Now through April 30, 2021, charges at grocery stores, restaurants (including takeout and some delivery services), home-improvement stores, and eligible charitable donations qualify for the same rate as travel, 1.25 cents per point. Other cash-back redemptions, such as for statement credits, direct bank deposits, and gift cards are worth 1 cent per point.
By contrast, Capital One Venture miles are valued at just 1 cent apiece when redeemed for travel reservations through the Capital One travel portal. So the 100,000 miles you could earn with this offer are also worth $1,000. The one advantage of using the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card over the Chase Sapphire Preferred is that you can also redeem miles toward travel purchases you make with your card within 90 days, so even if you book through a different channel – say, directly with an airline or hotel, or at a car rental agency – you can still get the same decent rate of return on your spending.
Aside from travel purchases, Capital One Venture miles are worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed toward retail gift cards, and, for a limited time, streaming subscriptions and dining purchases including takeout and deliver through December 31. Otherwise, they are worth 0.5 cents each toward cash back.
Though Capital One Venture miles have a slight edge in versatility when used for travel, Chase Ultimate Rewards points maintain more value across a broader range of fixed-value redemptions.
Here’s where things get interesting. In addition to redeeming directly for travel through Chase or Capital One, both Chase Ultimate Rewards points and Capital One Venture miles can be transferred to a number of different airline and hotel loyalty program partners. Here’s how these two programs compare.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to the following airline and hotel programs at a 1:1 ratio.
Aer Lingus AerClub
Air France/KLM Flying Blue
British Airways Executive Club
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Southwest Rapid Rewards
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
World of Hyatt
IHG Rewards Club
Capital One Venture Miles transfer to these airlines and hotels at the ratios denoted next to each partner.
Aeromexico Club Premier (2:1.5)
Air Canada Aeroplan (2:1.5)
Air France/KLM Flying Blue (2:1.5)
Alitalia MilleMiglia (2:1.5)
Avianca LifeMiles (2:1.5)
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (2:1.5)
Emirates Skywards (2:1)
Etihad Airways Guest Program (2:1.5)
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands (2:1.5)
Finnair Plus (2:1.5)
JetBlue TrueBlue (2:1.5)
Qantas Frequent Flyer (2:1.5)
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (2:1)
ALL Accor Live Limitless (2:1)
Wyndham Rewards (2:1.5)
Both lists have some great options, including some in common, like JetBlue TrueBlue, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, and Air France/KLM Flying Blue.
The difference is Chase points transfer at par, while you always take a hit if converting Capital One Venture miles to a travel partner like this. Not only that, but the sole US frequent-flyer program among Capital One’s partners is that of JetBlue, while Ultimate Rewards also works with Southwest and United, providing US-based flyers in particular with more accessible options.
While Ultimate Rewards points are probably more useful for a lot of folks, you also have to look at how each card earns points or miles to determine whether those transfer ratios are enough to put you off the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.
Aside from earning the bonuses themselves, the other major factor to consider with these offers and the redemptions available is which card’s earning structure you can optimize.
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card operates according to an easy-to-understand formula: You simply earn 2 miles per dollar spent. So essentially, you’ll get a 2% return on your spending, or enough for 1 – 1.5 partner miles or points per dollar you spend, depending on the transfer. Now through January 31, 2021, the card also earns five miles per dollar on Uber Eats orders as well as on hotel bookings and car rentals made through the Capital One portal.
For its part, the Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 1 point per dollar on non-bonus category purchases. However, it racks up 1 points per dollar on a broad range of travel purchases and at restaurants, including takeout and delivery orders. Cardholders who register can earn 5 points per dollar on Lyft rides through March 2022.
If travel and dining are your main spending categories, then the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the contender to beat, but if you’re using your card for other purchases, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card pulls ahead.
The perks perspective
The final criterion to consider is which card offers perks you’ll actually take advantage of. Both cards waive foreign transaction fees, making them excellent choices for making purchases while traveling internationally.
For a card with a $95 annual fee, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has an ace in its pocket: Cardholders are eligible for a statement credit worth up to $100 for a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee once every four years. Taking advantage of that in the first year basically covers the cost of your annual fee.
On the other hand, the travel protections extended by the Chase Sapphire Preferred, including trip interruption and cancellation coverage up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip, as well as primary rental car insurance, far exceed those included with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. So if you do travel frequently, the Chase Sapphire Preferred might be a better option to pay for your plans in case things go wrong.
Choosing between the Sapphire Preferred and the Venture
Both of these cards are standout products in their own right, and either sign-up bonus is well worth applying for.
In terms of fixed-value redemptions, you’ll get an equal value of $1,000 toward travel from either bonus. However, if you are interested in transferring your points or miles to a partner airline or hotel, or for cash back toward other purchases, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the winner.
That said, if you are eligible for both cards, now might just be the exact right time to apply while they are each offering these historically high bonuses plus limited-time perks to boot.
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Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.