Travel Card Showdown: Capital One Venture Rewards vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred - NerdWallet
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Travel Card Showdown: Capital One Venture Rewards vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred

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Venture-vs.-Chase-Sapphire-Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card are titans in the travel credit card market, and it can be tough to choose which one is right for you. Luckily, the Nerds are here to help.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® vs. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: The basics

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Apply Now on Chase's secure website

Pros

  • A large bonus
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Cool factor - metal card
  • Rewards redemption bonus through Ultimate Rewards

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Best for savvy travelers

Bonus Offer

Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

Intro APR Promotions

None

APR

  • APR: 16.24%-23.24% Variable
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24%, Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named a 'Best Credit Card' for Travel Rewards by MONEY Magazine
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • $0 foreign transaction fees, plus chip-enabled for enhanced security and wider acceptance when used at a chip card reader
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value - that means 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points
  • Travel and shop with confidence with premium Travel and Purchase Protection Benefits, including Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Purchase Protection and more
  • Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

Let’s start with a rundown of the basic features of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. First up, the Chase Sapphire Preferred®. With this card, you’ll get:

  • A sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn Ultimate Rewards points with every purchase, with extra points earned on travel and dining
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Chip-enabled
  • Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

Now for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. With it, you’ll get:

  • A sign-up bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $400 in travel
  • Earn No Hassle Miles with every purchase
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Chip-enabled
  • Annual fee is $0 intro for first year; $59 after that

Chase Sapphire Preferred® vs. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: Rewards

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, you’ll earn 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel and dining out and 1 Ultimate Rewards point per dollar spent on all other purchases. In general, Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1 cent each. But if you choose to redeem rewards through Chase’s travel tool, their value goes up to 1.25 cents apiece.

And don’t forget about the Chase Sapphire Preferred®’s generous sign-up bonus (see above). That’s worth $625 in travel if you choose to book a trip through Ultimate Rewards.

Not to be outdone, card members will earn 2 miles for every dollar spent with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. Each mile is worth 1 cent when redeemed for travel, giving this card one of the highest rewards rates on the market.

With the  Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, you’ll be eligible for a sign-up bonus worth $400 in travel purchases (see above). This isn’t quite as high a value as you could get with the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, but it’s still a big rewards windfall.

To learn more about or apply for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, read more here.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® vs. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: How to redeem

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card are heavy hitters, as far as ongoing rewards and sign-up bonuses go. What differentiates them is the way that rewards can be redeemed.

Let’s start with the Chase Sapphire Preferred®. You can redeem your points by making travel-related purchases, such as flights and hotel stays, through Chase’s online booking tool. Remember, your points will be worth 1.25 cents apiece if you take this route. There’s no minimum requirement to redeem points for travel, and it’s possible to redeem for a portion the cost if you don’t have enough rewards to pay for a booking outright.

Alternatively, you can also transfer your rewards at a 1:1 ratio, in 1,000-point increments, to participating frequent traveler programs. These include:

  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Korean Air SKYPASS
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Hyatt Gold Passport
  • Ritz-Carlton Rewards
  • Marriott Rewards
  • IHG Rewards Club

For consumers who are savvy about booking award seats and stays, the ability to transfer to partners may give the Chase Sapphire Preferred® an edge over the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.

But the beauty of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is that it makes redeeming rewards easy and flexible. When you’re ready to book a trip, you have two options: Purchase travel directly through Capital One using your miles, or book on your own and use Purchase Eraser to pay yourself back with your rewards in the form of a statement credit. You must request the statement credit within 90 days of your travel purchase.

In most cases, there’s no minimum number of miles needed to redeem for travel with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. The only exception is if you use Purchase Eraser to pay for part of a booking; in this case, you’ll need at least 2,500 miles.

Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred® and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card offer non-travel ways to redeem rewards, but this option won’t give you the maximum value per point or mile. To learn more about cash-back credit card options, check out our handy tool.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® vs. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: Fees

Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred® and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card charge no foreign transaction fees, so both are a good choice if you’re planning to travel internationally.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® charges an Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95. The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card charges $0 intro for first year; $59 after that, making it less expensive on an annual basis.

Which card is right for you?

The choice between the Chase Sapphire Preferred® and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is mostly a question of how you want to redeem your rewards. If the idea of booking through a portal or transferring points to travel partners excites you, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® is probably a better fit.

If frequent flyer programs intimidate you, or you’d simply prefer the flexibility to book through the site of your choice and pay with rewards later, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is probably more your speed. The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card may also be better for consumers with rigid work or school schedules. Award seat availability during peak travel times (winter holidays and summer) tends to be scarce, so having the ability to use rewards with any airline or hotel chain is key.

Rewards booking preferences should drive your decision, but rest assured that both the Chase Sapphire Preferred® and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card get two thumbs up.

Lindsay Konsko is a staff writer covering credit cards and consumer credit for NerdWallet. Follow her on Twitter @lkonsko and on Google+.


Image via iStock.

  • Jackie

    Hi,

    Great article! I am leaning toward the Sapphire card, but wanted to ask your opinion first. I am planning a year long, around the world trip beginning Winter or Spring of 2014. Do you think it would be smartest to open the Venture card now, and use it all year long, then a couple of months before my trip, open the Sapphire card and use those points to book airfare for my trip? Then once abroad, which card would benefit me most? Or is it best to choose one card and stick with it for the next 2 years. FYI, I plan on doing the trip cheaply, so hostels and cooking myself over hotels and dining out. Thank you for any advice!!!

    – Jackie

  • Jackie

    Hi,

    Great article! I am leaning toward the Sapphire card, but wanted to ask your opinion first. I am planning a year long, around the world trip beginning Winter or Spring of 2014. Do you think it would be smartest to open the Venture card now, and use it all year long, then a couple of months before my trip, open the Sapphire card and use those points to book airfare for my trip? Then once abroad, which card would benefit me most? Or is it best to choose one card and stick with it for the next 2 years. FYI, I plan on doing the trip cheaply, so hostels and cooking myself over hotels and dining out. Thank you for any advice!!!

    – Jackie

  • Diane Mullin

    Loved your article.
    Please give me your thoughts. I currently have a chase visa signature card-business. I am considering swithing to one of the 2 cards you recommend here or the Venture card that pays you cash back. My experience has been that when I go to book travel thru chase I am paying a slightly higher price and can’t always get the flights I want.
    So, if I am paying more for the travel, then where is the perk in earning more with points versus cash back? It seems like all of the “bonuses” I would get are moot.
    Also, it seems like dealing with the airline or hotels directly are much easier than with chase travel department.

    • Tanner Chung

      Would you give an example to us? With the price you’d find at kayak vs the price you’d found through the chase site on a flight in the distant future and near future. It’d help us know what the difference is.

  • Diane Mullin

    Loved your article.
    Please give me your thoughts. I currently have a chase visa signature card-business. I am considering swithing to one of the 2 cards you recommend here or the Venture card that pays you cash back. My experience has been that when I go to book travel thru chase I am paying a slightly higher price and can’t always get the flights I want.
    So, if I am paying more for the travel, then where is the perk in earning more with points versus cash back? It seems like all of the “bonuses” I would get are moot.
    Also, it seems like dealing with the airline or hotels directly are much easier than with chase travel department.

  • Guest

    You never mentioned the 7% annual dividend on the Sapphire. Doesn’t that put Sapphire in front?

    • Jason

      The annual dividend goes away 12/31/15

  • Guest

    You never mentioned the 7% annual dividend on the Sapphire. Doesn’t that put Sapphire in front?

  • Chris Ali

    The author also fails to mention that Capital One requires 7500 miles to get $50 cash back while Sapphire only requires 5000 miles to get $50. Winner by a mile is Sapphire. Nice school essay.

  • Chris Ali

    The author also fails to mention that Capital One requires 7500 miles to get $50 cash back while Sapphire only requires 5000 miles to get $50. Winner by a mile is Sapphire. Nice school essay.

  • CDJD

    I read somewhere that with No Hassle Miles, to buy airline tickets, you’d have to have enough miles to cover the top end of the bracket. For example, for flights $150-$350, you’d need 35,000 miles. Meaning that even if your plane ticket was $250, you’d still need to have a full 35,000 miles to purchase the ticket with miles. then for $350.01-$500, you’d need 50,000 miles even for a $400 ticket. Then anything above $600 you could finally just use the 1:1 ratio. Does this sound correct? It’s possible these brackets only apply to certain Capital One cards, but can you verify that this one doesn’t operate that way? Because if it did, that means that you could potentially lose a lot of miles unless you had exactly the right dollar amount for the higher end of a bracket.

    • Tanner Chung

      According to what he says that doesn’t make sense. He says that you can buy travel tickets and apply your points to the statement credit. That means the price of the ticket is entirely under your control.

  • CDJD

    I read somewhere that with No Hassle Miles, to buy airline tickets, you’d have to have enough miles to cover the top end of the bracket. For example, for flights $150-$350, you’d need 35,000 miles. Meaning that even if your plane ticket was $250, you’d still need to have a full 35,000 miles to purchase the ticket with miles. then for $350.01-$500, you’d need 50,000 miles even for a $400 ticket. Then anything above $600 you could finally just use the 1:1 ratio. Does this sound correct? It’s possible these brackets only apply to certain Capital One cards, but can you verify that this one doesn’t operate that way? Because if it did, that means that you could potentially lose a lot of miles unless you had exactly the right dollar amount for the higher end of a bracket.

  • Jim

    clueless author. CHASE SP is 10 times more rewarding than cap 1 venture card. also chase pulls 1 to 2 bureaus max, cap 1 pulls from all 3 which may not be good for your credit.

  • Jim

    clueless author. CHASE SP is 10 times more rewarding than cap 1 venture card. also chase pulls 1 to 2 bureaus max, cap 1 pulls from all 3 which may not be good for your credit.

  • Dana

    Does the CAPITALONE VENTURE REWARDS CARD have the magnetic chip for added security? I was in Russia during the Olympics with friends and found that only the cards with magnetic chips were accepted readily.

  • Dana

    Does the CAPITALONE VENTURE REWARDS CARD have the magnetic chip for added security? I was in Russia during the Olympics with friends and found that only the cards with magnetic chips were accepted readily.

  • Jonas Johanson

    It’s misleading to say that you earn 2 points per dollar spent. For instance, 50000 miles on the Travel plus card gets you a $800 airplane ticket, but 50,000 miles on the Sapphire card only gets you a $400 ticket. The sapphire card is a total scam.

    • Bob Jones

      But…but… With Sapphire, I can transfer those 50,000 points to United Miles 1:1 and get two round trip tickets (25,000 miles for each ticket). The value of that can easily be $1300 or more. That’s a big win…not a scam.

      • Tanner Chung

        United does a flat rate for round trip tickets?

      • Tanner Chung

        United does a flat rate for round trip tickets?

      • brit cameron

        100% True. I looked at this over 6 hours today bottom line with United your miles go further. I can get a 1,200 for 50,000 miles. So if your not using your points at United every time your losing hard.

      • brit cameron

        100% True. I looked at this over 6 hours today bottom line with United your miles go further. I can get a 1,200 for 50,000 miles. So if your not using your points at United every time your losing hard.

    • acb550

      I don’t know the Travel Plus Card, but you are wrong about Sapphire. 50,000 miles on Sapphire is not $400. A penny a point would be $500. However, because of the 20% when using rewards, 40,000 pts = $500 ticket, NOT a $400. You get more back that way. 50,000 would be great to get $800. Sapphire doesn’t do that. But I can say you are wrong on the other half. Don’t mislead people, please.

      • Tanner Chung

        If the cards started at 0 bonus points, with the same spending habits and the annual fee which one would come out on top?

        • acb550

          Just depends how you use it. If you had no other card, and didn’t spend much on travel and dining then the Travel Plus is better. If you just do dining and Travel, my guess is Sapphire because you get a 20% discount when you cash in. My comment to the poster above was that he is giving FALSE info on Sapphire. It is NOT 50,000 mile for a $400 ticket. It is 40,000 for a $500 ticket.

          • Tanner Chung

            Doing the math though you have to spend $4222.33 (this includes the extra $25%) just to make up for the $95 annual fee on Chase Sapphire which will take a while to get unless all you do is dining and travel .. very unlikely and with Capital One Venture will will need to just spend $2950 with the $59 annual fee which is more likely since you get 2% on everything.

            You are also subjected to use Chase’s flight search engine to get the 25% which I don’t know anything about since it’s closed. Are the flight prices as low as Kayak? Kayak is an aggregate engine. You’re also limited to partnering airlines. With Capital One you can apply it to any flight purchase that you choose and have the freedom to use something like Kayak.

            With the bonus $500 vs $400. Chase’s annual fee will put it at break even in 6.26 years (first year free) while Capital One it’ll take 7.78 years… meanwhile as I mentioned you’ll be racking in MORE points with Capital One since it’s 2% on EVERYTHING.

            By the end of second year Chase’s bonus becomes $405 and Capital One’s becomes $341. End of the third year Chase is $310 and CO is $282.. etc. You can see that barely after the 4th year starts CO is the better option. In order to end the depreciation you’d have to spend $4222.22 IF YOU ONLY SPEND ON DINING AND TRAVEL in the second year just to cancel it out for Chase and $2950 for CO. That’s ~$1300 more.

            In the scenario that you’re spending $1000 a month anyways you lose ~4 months in the year to gaining points with Chase if you buy only dinners and travel, and only ~3 with Capital One.

            Let’s say you take a $500 flight once every quarter in a normal scenario. With Chase it’ll take you ~ 8 months before you make it up because that’s just more realistic. Capital One is still ~3 months. So Chase you get about 4 months to actually earn a variable amount of points. Capital One you have 9 months to earn 2%

            I still don’t understand aside from the original bonus points why the Chase card is a better card. You’d have to spend a ton just to make it worth ANY points at all or spend all the points and cancel the card.

          • acb550

            Ok, again you missed my point the poster was wrong. Secondly, I told you how I use it combined with Freedom. I don’t have a flat 2% on anything. Here’s how I use my cards:

            Bank of America Cash Rewards for 3%gas and 2% groceries
            Amazon card for Amazon (3%) and 2% drug stores
            Freedom for the 5% rotating
            Sapphire for dining and travel (and it’s still 3% for booking through their website until the end of this year)
            Either Freedom or Sapphire for everything else because that 1% gets redeemed for Travel.

            The Chase web portal is the same as a Kayak or Expedia. Every now and then you might be able to get a little less on one of those sites, but the 20% off more than makes up for it. I have found Delta, Continental, United, AA, USAir, etc through Chase. You still get all the options. You cans till book with Kayak, but you only get 1% cash back.

            The only reason I have a fee card is because I wanted a good travel card. I did look at the Free Barclay travel card and was tempted, but I heard too many horror stories and the fact I can combine Freedom and have the 20% bonus tipped me to Chase. If I didn’t rotate my cards, etc and I were to to choose JUST ONE CARD I would NOT choose Sapphire because, as you point out, you need to pay a lot to get a lot. I’d do a cheaper or FREE card to get points. I will be traveling a lot now in the future which is why I have a travel card. If I weren’t traveling, I’d stick with my BoA Cash rewards. Different people have different circumstances. As I posted elsewhere, being able to combine the Freedom with Sapphire actually gives more than 2%. With the 5% rotating categories, I earn more than 2%.

            I don’t know if the Venture card has this: Chase Ultimate rewards has online shopping specials. My Discover card (which I used to love until they changed terms on me… still love the company) has online bonuses too. By going through the link I can get up to 25pts per dollar!!! I’m not going to shop just to shop, but if there is something I need, I can check through there. For example, I like 123Inkjets.com for purchasing ink. I’ve found them to be very affordable with good ink and WAY cheaper than stores. Right now, I can get 15pts on the dollar at 123Inkjets. I haven’t used my card with them yet as I didn’t get Sapphire until my last ink purchase. I bought mother’s day flowers today and used ProFlowers. I got 10pts for each dollar. I could have used Teleflora and gotten 15pts, but I like the ProFlower options better and I know and trust ProFlowers.

            If you are smart, Sapphire offers a lot. I don’t know if Venture has the partner deals. I don’t have it. If I were a one card person, yeah I’d use Venture. But I’m not. For my individual needs, Sapphire is the better value between the 20% back and the combination with Freedom. And their travel portal is very good. That’s a reason I chose them. I can fly any airline. If I were with just one airline, I’d have gotten that airline’s card. American has a great offer, but I don’t just fly American. United… I’m not a fan of the airline but fly them as they often have good times for me in my location. If Southwest were more convenient in times (1 a day for me and often over midnight), I’d fly them. I love them and they have a TERRIFIC credit card rewards program. But I can’t lock into one airline.

            I just booked tickets for a Delta flight. I got the same price that I saw on AAA travel (I am an AAA member), Expedia, and Orbitz. CheapAir doesn’t have Delta (I looked at them too, but their prices were similar to the Chase portal).

            I think both cards are good. One needs to assess their situation and choose the best for them. I am posting here now defending Sapphire because of how we use it. I responded to the OP because he gave FALSE info about Sapphire. I’m not an expert on Venture and don’t know their ins and outs. Again, as a 1 card only; I’d use Venture. If you diversify for best percentages back, Sapphire can give more :)

          • acb550

            Ok, again you missed my point the poster was wrong. Secondly, I told you how I use it combined with Freedom. I don’t have a flat 2% on anything. Here’s how I use my cards:

            Bank of America Cash Rewards for 3%gas and 2% groceries
            Amazon card for Amazon (3%) and 2% drug stores
            Freedom for the 5% rotating
            Sapphire for dining and travel (and it’s still 3% for booking through their website until the end of this year)
            Either Freedom or Sapphire for everything else because that 1% gets redeemed for Travel.

            The Chase web portal is the same as a Kayak or Expedia. Every now and then you might be able to get a little less on one of those sites, but the 20% off more than makes up for it. I have found Delta, Continental, United, AA, USAir, etc through Chase. You still get all the options. You cans till book with Kayak, but you only get 1% cash back.

            The only reason I have a fee card is because I wanted a good travel card. I did look at the Free Barclay travel card and was tempted, but I heard too many horror stories and the fact I can combine Freedom and have the 20% bonus tipped me to Chase. If I didn’t rotate my cards, etc and I were to to choose JUST ONE CARD I would NOT choose Sapphire because, as you point out, you need to pay a lot to get a lot. I’d do a cheaper or FREE card to get points. I will be traveling a lot now in the future which is why I have a travel card. If I weren’t traveling, I’d stick with my BoA Cash rewards. Different people have different circumstances. As I posted elsewhere, being able to combine the Freedom with Sapphire actually gives more than 2%. With the 5% rotating categories, I earn more than 2%.

            I don’t know if the Venture card has this: Chase Ultimate rewards has online shopping specials. My Discover card (which I used to love until they changed terms on me… still love the company) has online bonuses too. By going through the link I can get up to 25pts per dollar!!! I’m not going to shop just to shop, but if there is something I need, I can check through there. For example, I like 123Inkjets.com for purchasing ink. I’ve found them to be very affordable with good ink and WAY cheaper than stores. Right now, I can get 15pts on the dollar at 123Inkjets. I haven’t used my card with them yet as I didn’t get Sapphire until my last ink purchase. I bought mother’s day flowers today and used ProFlowers. I got 10pts for each dollar. I could have used Teleflora and gotten 15pts, but I like the ProFlower options better and I know and trust ProFlowers.

            If you are smart, Sapphire offers a lot. I don’t know if Venture has the partner deals. I don’t have it. If I were a one card person, yeah I’d use Venture. But I’m not. For my individual needs, Sapphire is the better value between the 20% back and the combination with Freedom. And their travel portal is very good. That’s a reason I chose them. I can fly any airline. If I were with just one airline, I’d have gotten that airline’s card. American has a great offer, but I don’t just fly American. United… I’m not a fan of the airline but fly them as they often have good times for me in my location. If Southwest were more convenient in times (1 a day for me and often over midnight), I’d fly them. I love them and they have a TERRIFIC credit card rewards program. But I can’t lock into one airline.

            I just booked tickets for a Delta flight. I got the same price that I saw on AAA travel (I am an AAA member), Expedia, and Orbitz. CheapAir doesn’t have Delta (I looked at them too, but their prices were similar to the Chase portal).

            I think both cards are good. One needs to assess their situation and choose the best for them. I am posting here now defending Sapphire because of how we use it. I responded to the OP because he gave FALSE info about Sapphire. I’m not an expert on Venture and don’t know their ins and outs. Again, as a 1 card only; I’d use Venture. If you diversify for best percentages back, Sapphire can give more :)

          • dookerj

            Why didn’t they write something like this in the article? The article was worthless

          • dookerj

            Why didn’t they write something like this in the article? The article was worthless

          • Tanner Chung

            Doing the math though you have to spend $4222.33 (this includes the extra $25%) just to make up for the $95 annual fee on Chase Sapphire which will take a while to get unless all you do is dining and travel .. very unlikely and with Capital One Venture will will need to just spend $2950 with the $59 annual fee which is more likely since you get 2% on everything.

            You are also subjected to use Chase’s flight search engine to get the 25% which I don’t know anything about since it’s closed. Are the flight prices as low as Kayak? Kayak is an aggregate engine. You’re also limited to partnering airlines. With Capital One you can apply it to any flight purchase that you choose and have the freedom to use something like Kayak.

            With the bonus $500 vs $400. Chase’s annual fee will put it at break even in 6.26 years (first year free) while Capital One it’ll take 7.78 years… meanwhile as I mentioned you’ll be racking in MORE points with Capital One since it’s 2% on EVERYTHING.

            By the end of second year Chase’s bonus becomes $405 and Capital One’s becomes $341. End of the third year Chase is $310 and CO is $282.. etc. You can see that barely after the 4th year starts CO is the better option. In order to end the depreciation you’d have to spend $4222.22 IF YOU ONLY SPEND ON DINING AND TRAVEL in the second year just to cancel it out for Chase and $2950 for CO. That’s ~$1300 more.

            In the scenario that you’re spending $1000 a month anyways you lose ~4 months in the year to gaining points with Chase if you buy only dinners and travel, and only ~3 with Capital One.

            Let’s say you take a $500 flight once every quarter in a normal scenario. With Chase it’ll take you ~ 8 months before you make it up because that’s just more realistic. Capital One is still ~3 months. So Chase you get about 4 months to actually earn a variable amount of points. Capital One you have 9 months to earn 2%

            I still don’t understand aside from the original bonus points why the Chase card is a better card. You’d have to spend a ton just to make it worth ANY points at all or spend all the points and cancel the card.

        • acb550

          Just depends how you use it. If you had no other card, and didn’t spend much on travel and dining then the Travel Plus is better. If you just do dining and Travel, my guess is Sapphire because you get a 20% discount when you cash in. My comment to the poster above was that he is giving FALSE info on Sapphire. It is NOT 50,000 mile for a $400 ticket. It is 40,000 for a $500 ticket.

      • Tanner Chung

        If the cards started at 0 bonus points, with the same spending habits and the annual fee which one would come out on top?

  • Jonas Johanson

    It’s misleading to say that you earn 2 points per dollar spent. For instance, 50000 miles on the Travel plus card gets you a $800 airplane ticket, but 50,000 miles on the Sapphire card only gets you a $400 ticket. The sapphire card is a total scam.

  • acb550

    For 1 to 1 card, this may be true, Sapphire short term, CapitalOne long term. However, if you have other cards it doesn’t work and the Sapphire wins.

    For example, we have Chase Freedom and Bank of America Cash Back (and I have an Amazon card too). Chase Freedom can send points to Sapphire. I use the 5% back with Freedom and then send those points to Sapphire. Big way to add points. Also, Bank of America is used for gas at 3% (unless the Freedom rotating category is gas, then I use Freedom for 5% back and can send those to Sapphire) and 2% grocery, so I still get 2% on other purchases. Amazon, which sadly doesn’t transfer to Ultimate rewards, gives 3% at Amazon.com, 2% at drugstores and office supply stores (and gas but I use BoA… and dining, but I use Sapphire) and 1% elsewhere. The only annual fee card I have is the Sapphire. By keeping track of what card goes where, I can save better than 2% on all purchases and still get a lot of power form the Freedom/Sapphire Combo.

    It’s complicated, but if you are willing to juggle you can do much better and Sapphire wins hands down.

  • acb550

    For 1 to 1 card, this may be true, Sapphire short term, CapitalOne long term. However, if you have other cards it doesn’t work and the Sapphire wins.

    For example, we have Chase Freedom and Bank of America Cash Back (and I have an Amazon card too). Chase Freedom can send points to Sapphire. I use the 5% back with Freedom and then send those points to Sapphire. Big way to add points. Also, Bank of America is used for gas at 3% (unless the Freedom rotating category is gas, then I use Freedom for 5% back and can send those to Sapphire) and 2% grocery, so I still get 2% on other purchases. Amazon, which sadly doesn’t transfer to Ultimate rewards, gives 3% at Amazon.com, 2% at drugstores and office supply stores (and gas but I use BoA… and dining, but I use Sapphire) and 1% elsewhere. The only annual fee card I have is the Sapphire. By keeping track of what card goes where, I can save better than 2% on all purchases and still get a lot of power form the Freedom/Sapphire Combo.

    It’s complicated, but if you are willing to juggle you can do much better and Sapphire wins hands down.

  • Tanner Chung

    Booking through Chase’s site makes it 25% more does that mean 2% purchases become 2.50%

    Short term, like you said will be worth the bonus points, but long term the annual fee and losing out on all your purchases which are majority NOT travel or dining will diminish your points entirely.

    .. Unless what the guy said below is true, that the 1:1 transfer or miles to some airlines can increase your pay out to $1300 for the bonus points. The example he gave was with United.

    • acb550

      I only use 1 annual fee card. I don’t want to spend more. You can transfer 1:1 and get a lot more points that way. But I don’t fly strictly one airline so that doesn’t work for me. When you book through Chase, the points you cash in become 1.25 cents instead of 1 so the 40,000 points becomes $500. Or you could trade in a penny a point to get statement credit or money (or $400, but you lose out and it is no better than other free rewards cards so why pay for the Sapphire preferred?).

      What I like is that I can combine points with my FREE Freedom card. It has the annoying rotating categories, but if I get 5% back on gas one quarter and 5% on groceries another and so on, I can save a lot of points. Instead of just using the points on my Freedom, I can send those over to my Sapphire. So I earn 5% back on gas. Then I use those points for travel where I get another 20% off and it becomes a very good deal.

      • Tanner Chung

        Oh that’s smart I didn’t know you could transfer the points. But unless you’re hitting the 5% every purchase the annual fee for the Sapphire is still almost double Capital One’s..

        • acb550

          The 20% off travel does it for me. They didn’t have it at the time of the article I guess. And they don’t mention it with Venture either so I don’t know if they have it. I know Barclay’s (free and pay for which I looked at offer 10% back). If I do 1 trip a year I’m looking at least $1000 for me and my family. I save $200 and that doubles the annual fee. The trip pays for the card. If I don’t travel and don’t redeem the points, it is worthless, and I wouldn’t have the card. Take on the 5% and I get money back. And I mentioned in a post below that I they offer online shopping to further help. I haven’t used their portal yet, but I like 123inkjets for ink and they give 15pts to the dollar. Best Buy gives extra. A lot of places I don’t shop at. But there are ones for gift giving: flower shops, Berries, etc. These are all ways to get the points quicker. I go in much more detail on the other thread so I’ll call it here. Point is each person’s needs are different, each card suits different needs. For me, Sapphire fit the bill after a lot of research, more than Venture. For many people, or 1card people, it won’t.

        • acb550

          The 20% off travel does it for me. They didn’t have it at the time of the article I guess. And they don’t mention it with Venture either so I don’t know if they have it. I know Barclay’s (free and pay for which I looked at offer 10% back). If I do 1 trip a year I’m looking at least $1000 for me and my family. I save $200 and that doubles the annual fee. The trip pays for the card. If I don’t travel and don’t redeem the points, it is worthless, and I wouldn’t have the card. Take on the 5% and I get money back. And I mentioned in a post below that I they offer online shopping to further help. I haven’t used their portal yet, but I like 123inkjets for ink and they give 15pts to the dollar. Best Buy gives extra. A lot of places I don’t shop at. But there are ones for gift giving: flower shops, Berries, etc. These are all ways to get the points quicker. I go in much more detail on the other thread so I’ll call it here. Point is each person’s needs are different, each card suits different needs. For me, Sapphire fit the bill after a lot of research, more than Venture. For many people, or 1card people, it won’t.

      • Tanner Chung

        Oh that’s smart I didn’t know you could transfer the points. But unless you’re hitting the 5% every purchase the annual fee for the Sapphire is still almost double Capital One’s..

  • Tanner Chung

    Booking through Chase’s site makes it 25% more does that mean 2% purchases become 2.50%

    Short term, like you said will be worth the bonus points, but long term the annual fee and losing out on all your purchases which are majority NOT travel or dining will diminish your points entirely.

    .. Unless what the guy said below is true, that the 1:1 transfer or miles to some airlines can increase your pay out to $1300 for the bonus points. The example he gave was with United.

  • Fred

    Hello, I’m trying to figure out what the best card for me is. I currently have a Virgin Atlantic Black Mastercard and use all of my miles to fly Premium Economy from Los Angeles to London and back, which is perfect. However, the only issue is that I hate paying the high fuel surcharges through Virgin Atlantic.

    Most of my purchases are office supplies and postage. I purchase about $10,000-$15,000 in postage a month. I was considering the Chase Sapphire card but it only gives me a 1:1 miles on my purchases. I wouldn’t really be spending a lot of food/travel, so I wouldn’t be taking advantage of the 2:1 bonus.

    Would you recommend I get the Capital One Venture card? I’m not familiar with their booking system, but I’d love to be able to fly from Los Angeles to London (in premium economy or business class) and pay as little out-of-pocket cash as possible.

    Thanks for your help!

    • Arjun

      You should check out Chase ink bold. It gives 5% cash back in the form of points for office supplies.

  • Fred

    Hello, I’m trying to figure out what the best card for me is. I currently have a Virgin Atlantic Black Mastercard and use all of my miles to fly Premium Economy from Los Angeles to London and back, which is perfect. However, the only issue is that I hate paying the high fuel surcharges through Virgin Atlantic.

    Most of my purchases are office supplies and postage. I purchase about $10,000-$15,000 in postage a month. I was considering the Chase Sapphire card but it only gives me a 1:1 miles on my purchases. I wouldn’t really be spending a lot of food/travel, so I wouldn’t be taking advantage of the 2:1 bonus.

    Would you recommend I get the Capital One Venture card? I’m not familiar with their booking system, but I’d love to be able to fly from Los Angeles to London (in premium economy or business class) and pay as little out-of-pocket cash as possible.

    Thanks for your help!

  • payingattention

    I just got a mailing for the Capital One Venture card that says it only offers 1.25 miles per $1 spent. That’s a reduction in the 1.5 miles I had seen in another article, and a lot less than the 2x that you cite here.

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Hi @trues24:disqus – The Capital One Venture is currently offering 2x miles per $1 spent. You may have received a mailing for a similar card, the Capital One VentureOne (confusing, I know!), which offers 1.25x miles per $1 spent. The VentureOne has a lower rewards rate and sign-up bonus than the Venture, but also has no annual fee and an introductory 0% APR rate. I hope this helps answer your question!

      • payingattention

        Yes – I realized that after I posted – they call their cards very similar things. (I guess I need to re-think my screen name.) Unfortunately, I was away from my computer and couldn’t get back to my posting. Thanks!

      • payingattention

        Yes – I realized that after I posted – they call their cards very similar things. (I guess I need to re-think my screen name.) Unfortunately, I was away from my computer and couldn’t get back to my posting. Thanks!

    • Kaustav Mukherjee

      I just got the Venture card and i am accruing 2x miles per $ spent. Prior to applying i was reading across websites on Chase Sapphire v Venture, and i agreed based on those articles that the lower annual fee and better rewards conversion rates were the better bet towards Venture. However, i now observe that the redemption rate is not 100 miles to $1 but $200 miles to $1 and hence the 40,000 bonus miles will translate to $200 and not $400. this is based on the NoHassles Reward page currently showing me 1126 miles = $5.63!! not sure what is going on

      • payingattention

        So, I was having trouble finding info on the redemption/awards side, and I will redouble my efforts. If you get double points, it doesn’t help at all if they are worth half . . .. Thank you for alerting me. We haven’t applied for either card yet, but those are the two we are looking at.

        • Scot

          To get 2% you will need to book a traveling expense on the credit card and after it posts you can use the miles/points to pay for the purchase, you can even use miles to pay part of the transactions for example if you have 50000 miles and your ticket costs $800 you can use those 50000 miles and your bill will be reduced by $500

      • payingattention

        So, I was having trouble finding info on the redemption/awards side, and I will redouble my efforts. If you get double points, it doesn’t help at all if they are worth half . . .. Thank you for alerting me. We haven’t applied for either card yet, but those are the two we are looking at.

      • Scot

        Venture card rewards is meant to be used for traveling expenses, if you use it for traveling expences 100 miles will be worth $1, if you want to redeem it for cash then you only get half the value, hence your misunderstanding

      • Scot

        Venture card rewards is meant to be used for traveling expenses, if you use it for traveling expences 100 miles will be worth $1, if you want to redeem it for cash then you only get half the value, hence your misunderstanding

    • MyTwoCents

      There’re two Capital One Venture cards and both offer the same benefits with some minor differences. The Capital One Venture One offers 1.25 miles per $1 spent with no annual fees. Whereas the Capital One Venture offers 2x miles per $ spent. It took me awhile and lots of research to notice this difference. Perhaps this is the difference you’re seeing?

  • payingattention

    I just got a mailing for the Capital One Venture card that says it only offers 1.25 miles per $1 spent. That’s a reduction in the 1.5 miles I had seen in another article, and a lot less than the 2x that you cite here.

  • Tanner Chung

    Cool! Thanks for all the info – when you booked the Delta flight it was through the Chase portal? If so then I probably want to switch over. I fly Delta most of the time.

    Right now I only use the Bank of America Cash Rewards for everything and Amazon Chase for Restaurants (2%) and Amazon purchases (3%)

    • acb550

      I did book Delta through the portal. If you sign up now, you can still get 3% for travel. Starting in 2016, you lose the extra point through Ultimate Rewards. I think it’s still going (we signed up in April), but if you pay $4000 in the first 3 months you get 40,000 pts, and if you have a spouse or someone you trust, if you add an authorized user you get 5000 more points on their first purchase. And you don’t need to earn the 40,000 to get it. We are still working towards our 40,000, but we already earned the 5000. And I booked a Delta flight and got my 3x. And if you use Amazon Chase for Restaurants (I did) you can do Sapphire and get the same 2% (but your 2% is worth more because each point is 1.25 points when redeemed through the Chase portal) which is what I will be doing. However, as I’ve said we have the Freedom and they have 5% rotating categories. Right now dining is 5% so we’ve used that. We also had my inlaws over and ate out a lot, so we racked up a lot of points with the 5%. We’ll be transferring those over for travel. And thanks to booking through the portal and getting the 20% off the price, the 5cents saved on the dollar was really over 6 cents. I can’t complain yet. Just the juggling act is complicated :)

      What I can tell looking at Capital One Venture, while you get 2pts on all purchases, they don’t have a discount for booking. That may change because of Chase’s 20% and Barclay’s 10% back.

  • Tanner Chung

    Cool! Thanks for all the info – when you booked the Delta flight it was through the Chase portal? If so then I probably want to switch over. I fly Delta most of the time.

    Right now I only use the Bank of America Cash Rewards for everything and Amazon Chase for Restaurants (2%) and Amazon purchases (3%)

  • AnnM

    Thank you for the comparison. Do you know if the Chase card mileage can also apply to United partners? Is it possible to book ANA airline through the mileage program? If so, how Do I redeem?

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Hi there – thanks for reaching out to NerdWallet! As of today 10/21/15, you can do a 1:1 point transfer from your Chase Sapphire Preferred to leading frequent partner programs (United MileagePlus® is included on this list). You can see a list of partners on this page http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-cards/chase-sapphire-preferred-review/. Also, you can also book through Chase’s booking platform (Chase Ultimate Rewards) where you’ll also 20% off airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises. I hope we were able to answer all of your questions, but if not, feel free to reach out to us at support@nerdwallet.com :)

  • milos

    Hello,My name is Milos. I liked reading this post but i could not find what would be the best option for me. I own the trucking company of 20 trucks and im spending a lot of money for airfare tickets from Chicago to all around USA. My drivers fly from home to Chicago then they drive for me for about a month and after they are flying back home for week off. Im not into big sign in bonuses im expecting more from rewards like points that I CAN USE AFTER and make a benefits ! aDo you know what would be the best optiuon for me. Thank you

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Hi Milos – thanks for reaching out. Without more information (ie. credit score) it’s hard to give a personalized recommendation. But if your credit is in the Good-Excellent range (690+ according to FICO) as of 12/14/15, and you’re looking to earn travel rewards for your business, you might want to look into this card – https://www.nerdwallet.com/card-details/card-name/Capital-One-Spark-Miles. Feel free to reach out to us at support@nerdwallet.com with additional questions