venture vs. sapphire preferredUpdated: March 21, 2018

Picking the right credit card to add to your wallet isn’t always easy. This is especially true when you’re considering two credit cards with industry-leading 50,000-mile intro bonuses, like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. To help you determine what sets these cards apart from one another, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about each card and declaring one the best overall. Keep reading to see which 50,000-mile intro bonus credit card is right for you.

Best intro bonus: Sapphire Preferred

While both cards have impressive 50,000-mile bonuses, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card requires you to spend less to earn the bonus, as you only have to spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months to earn 50,000 miles — worth $500 in travel! On the other hand, you’ll need to spend $4,000 on purchases in the same 3-month period with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to earn 50,000 bonus points. That said, Chase Sapphire’s intro bonus holds a slightly higher value, depending on how you redeem the points. So, while you may be spending more to get the same amount of points, your points could have more value. For example, 50,000 points is worth $500 in cash or $625 in travel if you book through Chase Ultimate Rewards, which is definitely something you’ll want to keep in mind if you plan to redeem for travel. On top of that, Sapphire Preferred offers an additional 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months of account opening, bringing the total to 55,000 bonus points! Even though this category is almost too close to call, we chose Sapphire Preferred as the card with the best intro bonus because it has a higher earning potential.

Best ongoing rewards: Venture

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card takes the cake for the best ongoing rewards because cardholders don’t have to worry about spending categories like they do with Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. While Venture cardholders earn unlimited 2x miles on all purchases, Sapphire Preferred cardholders earn unlimited 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, as well as 1 point on all other purchases.

Best redemption options: Sapphire Preferred

If redemption flexibility is something you value, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is for you. That’s because Chase allows you to not only get 25% more value when you book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, but you can also transfer your points to participating frequent travel programs at a 1:1 value. This means your 50,000 Chase points are equal to 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points, for example. Doing this not only allows you to use your points as you’d like, but it also gives you the potential to get more value from your points, as the 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points are equal to $865 in hotel stays. Additionally, Chase also allows you to transfer your rewards from one qualifying Chase credit card to another qualifying Chase credit card. For example, the points you earn with your Chase Freedom Unlimited card can be transferred to your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and redeemed as one lump sum. If you want more information, our guide to Chase’s Ultimate Rewards point transfer explains both of the transfer options.

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card also offers a number of ways to redeem your rewards, but they aren’t quite as flexible as Chase’s options. Cardholders can redeem their miles for travel through Capital One’s Purchase Eraser. Here’s how it works: You can book travel through your preferred travel website, travel agent or any other travel resource, then redeem your earned miles for account credit to cover the cost of your travel purchases. Capital One categorizes the following purchases as travel: Purchases made from airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, rail lines, limousine services, cruise lines, bus lines, taxi cabs, travel agents and time shares. Alternatively, cardholders can use their miles to book flights, car rentals or hotel stays using Capital One’s Rewards Center.

Highest redemption value: Venture

Since travel credit cards earn different rewards (e.g., Venture earns miles and Sapphire Preferred earns points), it can be hard to know how much each card’s rewards are actually worth. That’s why we break down the value of each card’s rewards and plug them into our Travel Rewards Credit Card Analysis every year. When it comes to the redemption value of these two cards’ rewards, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card’s miles have the higher combined flight and hotel redemption value of $2.00 per $100 spent. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card’s points aren’t far behind, as they hold a combined flight and hotel redemption value of $1.87 per $100 spent. It important to note that the value of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card’s points can vary if you transfer them to one of the partner programs, as we noted with the Hyatt Gold Passport example above.

Longest 0% intro APR period: Tied

Neither the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, nor the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers a 0% intro APR on purchases or balance transfers, which is pretty standard for travel credit cards.

Cheapest annual fee: Tied

Both cards have a $95 annual fee that’s waived for the first year. Keep in mind that both cards offer extensive rewards and perks, which makes the annual fees pretty reasonable, and it’s nice that they’re waived for the first year.

Lowest foreign transaction fees: Tied

Both the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card have no foreign transaction fees, making either card a great international travel companion.

Best added perks: Venture

Added perks can make or break a relationship for some credit card members. If that describes you, you’ll want the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card in your wallet. That’s because this card comes with Visa Signature benefits, including complimentary 24/7 concierge service, complimentary upgrades and special savings at hotels, resorts and spas, auto rental collision damage waiver, special discounts at retailers and online merchants, additional warranty protection at no charge on items that are purchased with your credit card and emergency card replacement if your card is ever lost or stolen. Conversely, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers auto rental collision damage waiver, trip cancellation/interruption insurance and a $100 airline fee credit to cover qualifying fees.

Best overall: Venture

Even though you really can’t go wrong with either card, only one card can be named the best, and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card takes this title for its strong ongoing travel rewards, higher redemption value and top-notch added perks. That said, if you want the most rewards redemption flexibility and up to 55,000 bonus miles, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a better fit for you.

Want to see how these cards compare to other top names on the market? Visit our reviews of the best travel credit cards.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.