[Expired] Venture 100K vs Sapphire 80K. Which is better?

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Capital One and Chase have each introduced huge new welcome bonuses: Earn up to 100K bonus “miles” with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card; or earn 80K Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.  Which is better?

 

Offer Overview

The headline for the Venture Rewards card (100K!) makes it sound like a better offer right off the bat.  100K is better than 80K, right?  Well, not really.  100K Capital One “miles” can be used to offset $1,000 in travel purchases.  And, guess how much travel can be purchased through Chase with 80K Sapphire Preferred points?  Yep: $1,000.  Further, Capital One requires $20,000 of spend to get the full bonus.  Chase requires only $4,000.  And for those who prefer real airline miles, Chase allows one to one transfers whereas Capital One transfers are usually 1,000 to 750 (get 750 airline miles for each 1,000 Capital One “miles).

Let’s compare aspects of the offers side by side:

Venture Rewards Sapphire Preferred Greg’s Verdict
Spend required for full welcome bonus $20K $4K Chase wins
Travel value of full bonus $1,000 $1,000 Capital One wins*
Number of airline miles you can get by transferring full bonus 75,000 80,000 Chase wins
Points earned with $20K spend 40K (worth $400 in travel or 30K airline miles) 20K** (worth $250 in travel or 20K airline miles) Capital One wins

* When travel value is equal, Capital One is preferred because all travel purchases get this value whereas Chase requires booking through their site.
** Assumes none of this spend is in bonus categories. If half of spend is for travel & dining, which earn 2X, then you would earn 30K points with $40K spend.

Verdict

While both are good offers, in my opinion most people will be better off with the Chase Sapphire Preferred 80K offer.  It offers similar purchased travel value and more miles.  Most importantly, the Chase offer requires only $4,000 spend whereas Capital One requires $20K spend to get the full welcome bonus.

The verdict changes for big spenders who don’t have another card great for everyday spend (see our list of best options here).  The Chase Sapphire Preferred card earns 2X for travel and dining, and 1X everywhere else.  The Capital One Venture Rewards card, meanwhile, earns 2X everywhere.  This makes the Capital One a much better option for spend outside of the Sapphire Preferred card’s bonus categories.  That said, Chase has other cards that are great companions to the Sapphire Preferred.  One great choice, for example, is the fee-free Chase Freedom Unlimited card which has great 3X and 5X categories and earns 1.5X everywhere else.

How about both?

While most readers would do better with the Sapphire Preferred offer (in my opinion), both offers are worth considering.  If you can handle the big spend and if you can get approved for both, it may make sense to go for it.  Keep both cards for a year.  At the end of the year, decide which you want to keep and then cancel or downgrade the other to a fee free card.

Of course, I always recommend doing your homework first.  Summary details about each of these cards are shown below.  Click into the links for more detailed info:

More About Capital One Venture Rewards

Card Offer and Details
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
75K Miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles after $4K spend in 3 months

$95 Annual Fee

Recent better offer: 100K: 50K after $3K in the first 3 months + 20K after $20K in the first 6 months [Expired 7/19/21]

FM Mini Review: This card earns 2 "miles" per dollar, which are worth exactly 1 cent each toward travel. This makes the return on spend similar to a 2% cash back card (though in this case you must redeem your miles to offset travel in order to get 1 cent per mile). One big advantage over cash back: Capital One allows transfering their "miles" to airline miles & hotel points.


Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Travel
Other

Earning rate: 2X everywhere ⚬ 5X on hotels and rental cars booked via Capital One Travel

Noteworthy perks: Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® ⚬ Redeem miles for travel at value of 1 cent per mile ⚬ Convert "miles" to airline miles & hotel points ⚬ No foreign transaction fees

More About Chase Sapphire Preferred

Card Offer and Details
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
80K Points
80K after $4K spend in 3 months

$95 Annual Fee

A similar offer with the first year annual fee waived may be found in-branch. YMMV.

Recent better offer: 100K after $4K in purchases in the first 3 months

FM Mini Review: Great signup bonus. Unlocks ability to transfer points to hotel & airline partners. Solid option to pair with fee-free Ultimate Rewards cards such as the Freedom cards, Ink Business Cash, and Ink Business Unlimited.


Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Travel
Dine
Other

Earning rate: 5X Travel booked through Chase (2X all other travel) ⚬ 3X Dining ⚬ 3X Select streaming services ⚬ 3X Online grocery ⚬ 5X Lyft (through March 2025)

Noteworthy perks: Primary auto rental collision damage waiver ⚬ Free DashPass through 2025 ⚬ Transfer points to airline & hotel partners ⚬ 10% annual point bonus ⚬ $50 annual credit for hotel stays booked through Chase (Those who opened card before 8/15/21 will have to wait until next account anniversary for this perk)

See also: Sapphire Preferred 100K Q&A: Everything you need to know

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Scott

Greg, why is venture first year valuation only $775? With 100k bonus = $1000, shouldn’t valuation be at least $905 ($1000-$95 annual fee)?

Tami

Greg, I never fully understood your affection for the Venture. No matter when I look into it, there are always better options for either churners or optimizers. I suppose it’s a good fit for someone who wants simplicity, but those people are probably not credit hobbyists. If it were many other blogs, I’d assume financial incentives, but FM has proven itself entirely trustworthy on that front, so I fully expect there is something here I just can’t see.

For the first time in a while, however, I’d say the Venture is looking like an option, mostly for those who are willing to MS. I probably wouldn’t put $20K in organic spend on this card, as the opportunity loss would be massive. Maybe for someone with very high organic spending, including specifically on non-category.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tami
Brutus

Any tips on how to lower your credit score enough to qualify for the Venture?

EricF

Utilization ratio- if you’ve got a newer card with a 0% intro rate, you could carry a high balance when it reports to credit bureaus, this would be effective, reversible and free.

Average account age- if you are an AU on someone else’s very old account, it might help to temporarily cancel your AU status. I think account age of AU cards factors into average account age but I’m not confident of that.

Most other methods would cost you money or have more permanent lasting score effects, making them not worth it. It’s debatable if the effort is worth it at all. It’s been said that Capital One may be more averse to any other card opened in the last 6 months than they are to perfect credit scores?

Jeff

Only have to close… Checks 5 wallets…25 cards for this plan to work 🙂

tom

Only problem with running high balances to artificially lower your score would be if it triggered a review at Chase/Amex/Citi and you are MS’ing. There have been reports that they have become more jittery since the pandemic and are actively trying to anticipate accounts that might be about to go bad.