CapitalOne Venture vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred

Travel the world… for free!

If only it were that easy.

Much has been written about the Chase 5/24 travel hack… applying for multiple (up to 5 within a 24 month window, hence the name) Chase credit cards and meeting the minimum spend limits in order to earn impressive bonus points and then starting the cycle over again… but, I am still not convinced it is for everyone. For those people, the CapitalOne Venture card just might fit the bill.

The following customers might want to consider CapitalOne Venture:

  • If you can’t meet the minimum spend consistently
  • If the idea of juggling multiple credit cards doesn’t appeal to you
  • If you don’t relish the complexity of transferring points between systems so you can redeem them for what you need or want
  • If, like me, you are just not a fan of traditional Big Banks

Chase’s most popular travel rewards card and the card that most 5/24ers suggest that newbies start with is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

As of the date of this writing (Jan 2018), here is how the CapitalOne Venture card stacks up against the Chase Sapphire Preferred card:

  • Bonus Miles: Tie: Both cards offer 50,000 bonus miles after reaching the minimum spend
  • Minimum Spend: CapitalOne wins: CapitalOne’s minimum spend is $3,000 within the first 3 months vs. $4,000 for Chase
  • Minimum Spend Timeframe: Tie: Both minimum spend timeframes are 3 months
  • Points: CapitalOne wins: With CapitalOne you earn unlimited 2x miles per dollar on every purchase vs. Chase where you earn 2x points per dollar on travel and dining purchases and 1x point per dollar on all other purchases
  • Annual Fee: Tie: Both cards offer $0 introductory annual fee for the first year and $95 per year after that
  • Additional Bonus Points: Chase wins: Chase offers an additional 5,000 bonus points after adding the first authorized user; the CapitalOne card does not offer this feature
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: Tie: Both cards offer no foreign transaction fees

The following “soft” benefits of the CapitalOne card push the scales in its favor:

  • Ease of Managing Miles/Points:
    • With the CapitalOne solution, I don’t have to figure out which alliance partners I need to purchase products or services with in order to redeem miles or points
    • With the CapitalOne solution, I don’t have to transfer points or miles to the correct alliance partner to redeem them
    • With the CapitalOne solution, I don’t have to convert points or miles into another alliance partner rewards system
  • Ease of Redeeming Miles:
    • With the CapitalOne solution, I simply pay my travel expenses (flights, hotels, car rental, etc.) with my CapitalOne Venture card, then, at my leisure, select any travel-related transaction and delete it by redeeming the equivalent miles… voila! Instant credit!
  • Excellent Customer Service
    • Full disclosure: I’ve been a happy CapitalOne fan for more than 11 years now… way back when they were ING Direct; one of the biggest reasons for this is their excellent customer service; they are generally easy and convenient to communicate with, they don’t make you jump through hoops to speak to a live human
  • Beautiful and Intuitive Apps
    • Maybe it’s just me, but I appreciate good design. CapitalOne’s mobile apps (and even their website) has long been at the cutting edge of design, simplicity, and ease of use. I cannot overstate the importance of this.

If you are looking for an alternative to Chase’s 5/24 travel rewards program, considering giving CapitalOne’s Venture card a try.

Have you used or are you considering either of these cards?

What have you found?

Share your experience, feedback or questions in the Comments below.

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