Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Capital One Venture Better for Dining Spending?

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The Capital One Venture and Chase Sapphire Preferred cards are two of the most popular travel credit cards on the market right now. They both come with a competitive sign-up bonus and they both earn 2x points per $1 on dining purchases.

"Croasian Style Seafood Laksa" (not a typo) at Azur

Earning 2x points on dining with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture is sweet.

So, which is better for your dining purchases, Capital One Venture vs Chase Sapphire Preferred?

Well, let’s take a look.

Apply Now: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Apply Now: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

So, for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you get 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months. You get two points per dollar on travel and dining at restaurants, all around the world, and one point per dollar spent on anything else. There aren’t any foreign transaction fees, and if you’re wanting to convert your points to your favorite travel loyalty program, it’s a 1-1 transfer ratio instantly.

The Sapphire Preferred’s sign-up bonus is at its lowest redemption level worth $500 in statement credit cards, but your 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points are worth $625 in travel if you redeem through Chase’s travel portal. Plus, you can receive even more value by transferring your points out to an Ultimate Rewards partner like United or Hyatt.

The Capital One Venture Card

For the Capital One Venture, the bonus is 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months, which could be a little bit more achievable, even if it is only a $1,000 reduction compared to Chase Sapphire. The reward rate is two miles per dollar spent on everything, everywhere.

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card’s bonus of 50,000 miles is worth $500 in travel redemptions. You can’t transfer your points to a travel partner, unfortunately.

The Fine Print: Capital One Venture vs Chase Sapphire Preferred

Now, you may be thinking, if both of the credit cards give you two points or two miles per dollar spent on dining, what’s the big deal? Aren’t they both the same? There’s more to consider.

For one, let’s think about what dining actually means.

Chase Sapphire Preferred offers two points on what the brand considers “restaurant and dining expenses.” While they say this includes charges at “merchants whose primary business is sit-down or eat-in dining,” there are definitely things that don’t apply. For example, you’ll find you don’t always get your points at merchants that do other things beyond selling food and drink. While you may think eating at a restaurant at a sporting venue, a hotel or a casino counts as dining, that may not be the case for Chase Sapphire Preferred, as their terms say they may not count.

Again, let’s also take another look at those sign-up bonuses. Yes, they are both 50,000, but how that number translates, isn’t the same for both cards. With Capital One Venture, the 50,000 miles ends up equaling $500 in travel. For Chase Sapphire Preferred, on the other hand, the 50,000 bonus points equals $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards. However, keep in mind, again, that you have to spend $4,000 with Chase Sapphire to get those 50,000 bonus points, while you only spend $3,000 with Capital One Venture to get the bonus offer.

Other Little Extras

There are some other little extras to Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture cards, and those are worth taking a look at.

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card allows you to redeem your miles for travel with no blackout dates, and your miles will never expire.

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, there are also no blackout dates or travel restrictions.

Both cards come with valuable Visa Signature benefits, including access to the Visa Signature Concierge, travel perks, security and travel protections and more. You can also get deals on shopping, entertainment, and exclusive events.

Both travel credit cards offer no foreign transaction fees, and the $95 annual fees are both waived for the first year.

Which is Best for You?

Ultimately, when you get down to it, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is good for those people who are really, honestly casual travelers, who don’t necessarily want to worry about transferring points out to travel partners and just send a simple way of redeeming their points. Plus, if you’re getting two miles per dollar spent on absolutely everything, you don’t have to worry about the money you’re spending on actual travel and dining because you’re getting the same amount across the board. You can dine out with friends, anywhere you want, then go buy some new furniture across town, and you’re earning the exact same amount.

But, if you’re a more savvy or frequent traveler, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card could work very well for you. You’ll be spending the money on the things that earn the most points — dining and travel — and you can also enjoy that 1:1 point transfer with all your favorite airline and hotel loyalty programs, which, for those of us who are really into our loyalty programs, can be a big deal.

Other Options Besides the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Capital One Venture

If you’re truly looking for credit cards that are dedicated to earning on frequent dining costs, there are some other options for you, beyond these two cards mentioned above.

For example, the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card gives you 4 percent cash back on dining and entertainment, and 2 percent cash back on groceries.  Everything else is equal to 1 percent cash back. But I would much rather earn travel rewards points.

If you want to go the Sapphire route, though, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is similarly nice, with 3 percent on dining purchases, a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after $4,000 spent in the first three months (the Savor card’s lackluster sign-up bonus is $150 after $500 spent in three months — though that does make it pretty achievable). You can also earn 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. But of course the Sapphire Reserve does come with a higher annual fee and it isn’t waived for the first year.

Apply Now: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Apply Now: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Mary Renking

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Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Capital One Venture Better for Dining Spending?
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About the Author

Mary Renking
Mary writes about how to book travel with award miles & points, reviews top travel credit cards, and basic rewards news.

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