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TravelCapital One vs. Chase: Which bank has better credit card offers?

Capital One vs. Chase: Which bank has better credit card offers?


In the travel credit card world, the options can be overwhelming. You can earn cash back, miles, points — or even luxury perks such as airport lounge access or a fast track to elite status. Plus, each card you open can affect which cards and bonuses you’re eligible for in the future. So you want to make sure that the card you apply for is the right one for you.

Two of the best options are Capital One and Chase cards. Both banks issue a variety of rewards credit cards. Let’s examine which cards are the best in different categories.

Capital One versus Chase card comparison

The information for the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Earning rewards with Chase vs. Capital One

All of the cards that earn Capital One miles earn 1.5 to 2 miles per dollar on every purchase. You’ll also get a number of valuable bonus categories, like on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

With Chase, it depends on which card you have. For example, both the Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve earn bonus points on travel and dining. The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, on the other hand, earns 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 in combined purchases each account anniversary year in these categories:

  • Travel
  • Shipping
  • Telecom, including internet, cable and phone services
  • Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines

All non-bonus purchases made with these Chase cards earn only 1 point per dollar. However, if you pair your premium card with the no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited or Chase Freedom Flex, you can open up even more bonus categories.

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Given how easy it is to earn unlimited double miles everywhere with the Capital One Venture Rewards and Capital One Spark Miles card, you’ll find it’s easier to earn Capital One miles unless you spend heavily in Chase’s bonus categories.

If you have the right card pairing, you can also turn your Capital One cash-back rewards into transferable miles, making them even more valuable.

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Winner: Tie. Both issuers offer valuable earnings rates depending on the card you get.

Redeeming rewards with Chase vs. Capital One

According to TPG’s June 2024 valuations, Capital One miles are worth 1.85 cents each, and Chase points are worth 2.05 cents apiece. This value is based on the average value you can expect to receive when transferring to travel partners.

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You can also use your rewards as fixed-value points to cover travel charges or pay for travel. You can use Capital One miles to cover eligible travel charges at a rate of 1 cent per mile, but Ultimate Rewards points can top that number in a few ways.

First, Chase points can be redeemed for 1 cent each as cash back or used to pay for travel booked through Chase Travel℠. When you use points to pay for travel booked through the Chase portal, they are worth 1.25 cents each with the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, that number jumps up to 1.5 cents each.

Winner: Chase Ultimate Rewards is the winner when it comes to redeeming rewards, thanks to its better transfer ratios and more lucrative travel partners.

Related: Sapphire Preferred vs. Sapphire Reserve

Transferring rewards with Chase vs. Capital One

Flexibility is key to getting the most value out of credit card rewards. Transferable points and miles are your best friends and both Capital One and Chase issue cards that earn these rewards.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

You earn transferable miles with these Capital One cards:

The information for the Capital One Spark Miles Select has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

And you can earn transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points with these Chase cards:

Travel partners: Capital One miles transfer to 15-plus airline and hotel partners while Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to 15 programs — but the number of transfer partners doesn’t tell the whole story.

You need to consider the usefulness of the partner loyalty programs. Capital One has valuable partners, including Air Canada’s Aeroplan, Avianca LifeMiles, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Air France-KLM’s Flying Blue.

Chase points also transfer to Singapore Airlines and Flying Blue along with other excellent partners, such as Virgin Atlantic (great for ANA and Delta awards, even though there was recently a slight devaluation for Delta awards), United Airlines (book Star Alliance awards) and Hyatt (amazing for high-value luxury stays).

Winner: Chase. In all, its points are more valuable thanks to its transfer options.

Who should get a Capital One card?

Most of the Capital One card offers are great if you prefer simplicity. For example, two of the top Capital One cards, the Venture Rewards card and Spark Miles for Business card, both have a $95 ongoing annual fee (waived for the first year for the Spark Miles) and earn 2 miles per dollar or 2% cash back on every purchase (see rates and fees for the Venture; see rates and fees or the Spark Miles for Biz).

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If you don’t want to worry about juggling cards in your wallet to maximize bonus categories, either of these cards are a great choice to make the most of your spending. Plus, the rewards you earn are super easy to use, and there’s a huge value in not having to spend hours figuring out how to squeeze the most from your miles.

Related: The best Capital One credit cards

Who should get a Chase card?

You must be under the Chase 5/24 rule to qualify for any Chase card. That means you’ll need to have been approved for five or fewer cards from any bank in the past 24 months. If that’s you, start your journey into the world of points and miles with a Chase credit card.

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Many of the best airline credit cards, top hotel cards and most valuable general travel cards are issued by Chase. So it makes sense to get them before you get locked out by the 5/24 rule.

Related: Why the Chase Sapphire Preferred should be your first card

Should I get cards from both banks?

There are some strict application restrictions on applying for cards from Capital One and Chase, but it is possible to get cards from both. Other than the 5/24 rule above, there is no reason not to open cards with Chase and Capital One.

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Among the restrictions, Capital One limits you to two personal Capital One cards at a time; cobranded cards and business cards generally aren’t included in this limit. You’re also limited to being approved for one Capital One card every six months.

With Chase, you can’t hold both Sapphire cards simultaneously. Also, if you’ve earned a welcome bonus on a Sapphire card in the previous 48 months, you won’t be able to open a new Sapphire card.

Bottom line

When it comes to earning credit card rewards, two of the top issuers are Capital One and Chase. Between these banks you’ll easily be able to find a card to fit your needs. Chase has cards that earn super valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which transfer to useful hotel and airline loyalty programs. Capital One has a lineup of cards that earn 2 miles per dollar or 2% cash back on every purchase, so you can’t beat the simplicity.

Which card is best for you depends a lot on your travel goals and what you want to get out of a card. In most cases, Chase has the more rewarding options, but if cash back is what you’re after, you’ll want to look at what Capital One offers.

Related: The best travel credit cards

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