Battle of the 100,000 bonus: Capital One Venture vs. Amex Platinum vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred
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If you’re going to add a new card to your wallet, you might as well do so when the card offers an elevated bonus. And right now, three of the most popular travel rewards cards — the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card — offer 100,000-bonuses.
As such, now is a great time to add one of these cards to your wallet. So today, I’ll compare these three cards so you can determine which card is best for you.
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Comparing Capital One Venture, Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Preferred
|Card details||Capital One Venture||Amex Platinum||Chase Sapphire Preferred|
|Annual fee||$95||$695 (see rates & fees)||$95|
|Bonus||100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening or 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months||100,000 bonus points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new card in your first 6 months of card membership. Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of card membership||100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening|
|Everyday spend earning rate||2x||1x||1x|
|Expected value of points/miles||1 to 1.7 cents each||1 to 2 cents each||1.25 to 2 cents each|
|Foreign transaction fees||None||None||None|
|Other standout benefits||Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit up to $100 every four years||
||Exceptional travel and shopping protections|
Sign-up bonus/Welcome offer
All three cards currently offer elevated 100,000 bonuses to eligible new cardholders. However, the spending requirements and rewards are different for each bonus. So, I’ll take a closer look at each bonus in this section.
Capital One Venture
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card currently offers a sign-up bonus of 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening. Alternatively, you can earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months.
You can redeem Capital One miles for new or recent travel at a rate of 1 cent per mile. But TPG’s valuations estimate you can get about 1.7 cents per mile when you transfer your miles to Capital One’s airline and hotel partners (not provided by the issuer). As such, the 50,000-mile bonus is worth between $500 and $850, while the 100,000-mile bonus is worth between $1,000 and $1,700.
The Platinum Card from American Express currently offers a welcome bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership. Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first six months of card membership.
You can redeem American Express Membership Rewards points for flights or select gift cards at a rate of 1 cent per point. So, you shouldn’t consider redeeming your Amex points for any less than 1 cent per point. But, TPG’s valuations estimate you can get 2 cents per point when you transfer points to Amex’s airline and hotel partners. So, the 100,000-point welcome bonus is worth between $1,000 and $2,000, depending on how you redeem your points.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card currently offers a sign-up bonus of 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a rate of 1.25 cents toward travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal. But, TPG’s valuations estimate that you can get 2 cents per point in value when you transfer your points to the Chase Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel partners. As such, the 100,000-point sign-up bonus is worth between $1,250 and $2,000, depending on how you redeem your points.
Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred
All three 100,000-point bonuses are valuable. But, the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s sign-up bonus requires the least amount of spending to reach the minimum spending requirement. And the bonus is worth the highest of the three cards regardless of whether you transfer your rewards to partners or redeem for travel at a fixed rate.
These three cards have vastly different earning structures. So, the best card for you will depend on what other cards you currently have in your wallet. Here’s what you’ll earn on purchases with each card:
- Capital One Venture: 2x miles on all purchases (3.4% return based on TPG’s valuations)
- Amex Platinum: 5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year) and on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel (10% return based on TPG’s valuations); 1x points on all other purchases (2% return)
- Chase Sapphire Preferred: 5x points on Lyft rides through March 2022 (10% return based on TPG’s valuations); 3x points on dining and 2x points on travel (6% return and 4% return respectively); 1x points on all other purchases (2% return)
Of course, the Amex Platinum also offers new cardmembers 10x points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S. (on up to $25,000 in combined purchases) during the first six months of card membership. But since this temporary earning rate is part of the welcome bonus, I didn’t consider it again in this section.
Winner: Capital One Venture
As I mentioned above, the best card for you will depend on what other cards you have in your wallet. However, if you don’t already have a card that earns more than 1x points on all purchases, the Capital One Venture Card is an excellent addition as an everyday spending card.
But, if you already have the Chase Freedom Unlimited for everyday spending, then I’d recommend adding the Chase Sapphire Preferred to your wallet. After all, by adding the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you’ll boost the value of the rewards earned by your Chase Freedom Unlimited.
You can redeem the rewards earned by each of these three cards for many types of redemptions. But, you’ll get the best value when you redeem for travel. And you can often get outsized value when you transfer your rewards to airline and hotel partners. In this section, I’ll quickly discuss some of the best ways to use the transferrable rewards you’d earn with these cards.
Capital One Venture
You can redeem Capital One miles at a fixed rate of 1 cent per mile to book new travel or offset travel purchases you’ve made with your card within the last 90 days. You can also redeem Capital One miles for select gift cards at a rate of 1 cent per mile. So, even if you’re looking for the simplest redemption option, you should still aim for 1 cent per mile.
However, you can also transfer Capital One miles to 16 airline partners and two hotel partners (a third hotel transfer partner, Choice Privileges, will be added later this year). And these transfer partners are why TPG’s valuations peg the value of Capital One miles at 1.7 cents each.
But, only some of the transfers are available at a 1:1 ratio. For example, transfers to Air France/KLM Flying Blue and Turkish Miles & Smiles only occur at a 2:1.5 ratio. And transfers to Emirates Skywards and Singapore KrisFlyer only happen at a 2:1 ratio. So, be sure to consider your redemption value before transferring.
Although some redemption options provide less value, you can redeem Amex Membership Rewards points for select gift cards, flights booked through Amex Travel and prepaid Fine Hotels and Resorts bookings at a rate of 1 cent per point. As such, even if you don’t want to transfer your Amex points to travel partners, you should still aim for a redemption value of 1 cent per point.
But, you can potentially get a much higher redemption value when you transfer your Membership Rewards points to the three hotel partners or 18 airline partners. When using Amex Membership Rewards, popular transfer partners include Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Air Canada Aeroplan, Avianca LifeMiles, Emirates Skywards, Singapore KrisFlyer and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Due to the value you can get when transferring points to these partners, TPG’s valuations peg the value of Amex Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders can redeem Ultimate Rewards points for travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal at 1.25 cents per point. And through Sept. 30, 2021, Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders can use Chase’s Pay Yourself Back feature to redeem points at a rate of 1.25 cents per point to offset recent purchases at restaurants, grocery stores and home improvement stores. As such, even if you’re looking for a simple redemption, you can still get 1.25 cents per Ultimate Rewards point.
However, TPG’s valuations estimate that you can get 2 cents per point when you transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to Chase’s ten airline and three hotel partners. For example, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to World of Hyatt, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Emirates Skywards, Singapore KrisFlyer, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and United MileagePlus. And best of all, you can transfer to each partner at a 1:1 ratio (although there are occasionally transfer bonuses that provide an even better transfer ratio).
Winner: Amex Platinum
Honestly, the winner for redeeming rewards depends on how you plan to redeem your rewards. But, I’ll give the win to the Amex Platinum and its Membership Rewards points because it has the most transfer partners with a 1:1 or higher transfer ratio.
Frankly, it’s not fair to compare the benefits of these three cards. After all, as mid-tier travel rewards cards, the Capital One Venture and Chase Sapphire Preferred offer modest perks and annual fees. Meanwhile, the Amex Platinum offers standout perks with a much higher annual fee. Nonetheless, here’s a quick look at the other benefits you can expect with each card.
Capital One Venture
The Capital One Venture offers a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit up to $100 every four years. Plus, thanks to the card’s auto rental collision damage waiver perk, you’re covered for damage due to collision or theft when you rent an eligible vehicle with your card. You’ll also get access to the card’s extended warranty protection when you purchase eligible items with your card. Benefits only available to accounts approved for the Visa Signature card. Terms apply.
Travelers often describe the Amex Platinum card as a membership card. After all, it offers many perks to cardholders, including:
- Access to airline lounges, including Amex Centurion Lounges, through the American Express Global Lounge Collection
- Prepaid hotel credit that provides up to $200 in statement credits each year for prepaid Hotel Collection or Fine Hotels and Resorts bookings
- Airline fee credit that provides up to $200 in statement credits each year for incidental fees charged on one selected airline*
- Saks Fifth Avenue credit of up to $100 in statement credits each year for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue (split into $50 bi-annual credits)*
- Equinox credit of up to $25 in statement credits each month for eligible Equinox purchases (up to $300 annually)*
- Digital entertainment credit that provides up to $20 in statement credits each month for eligible digital entertainment (up to $240 annually)*
- $15 in Uber Cash each month (plus a bonus $20 each December) for use on Uber rides or eats in the U.S. (up to $200 in Uber Cash annually)*
- Clear statement credit of up to $189 each calendar year on your clear membership*
- Statement credit for a Global Entry application fee up to $100 every four years or for a TSA PreCheck application fee up to $85 every 4.5 years
- Hotel elite status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors*
- Travel protections, including car rental loss and damage insurance, trip delay insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance when you pay for eligible travel with your card
- Shopping protections, including purchase protection, return protection and extended warranty protection. when you buy eligible items with your card
*Enrollment required for select benefits
However, the Amex Platinum card carries a massive $695 annual fee (see rates and fees) after a recent refresh. So, it’s essential to consider how much value you’ll get from all of these perks each year.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can get perks including:
- Travel protections, including primary auto rental collision damage waiver, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, and baggage delay insurance, when you book travel with your card
- Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash for a minimum of one year after activating by Dec. 31, 2021
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through Dec. 31, 2021
Some travelers, including my sister-in-law, believe the travel protections alone are worth paying the Chase Sapphire Preferred card’s $95 annual fee. After all, buying the car rental company’s collision damage waiver on just two car rentals each year typically cost her more than $95 before she added the Chase Sapphire Preferred to her wallet.
Winner: Amex Platinum
The Amex Platinum offers far too many perks not to win this section. However, it also carries a massive annual fee. So, make sure you’ll get enough value from the Amex Platinum’s many perks to justify paying the annual fee.
Bottom line: Which one should you choose?
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, The Platinum Card from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card each offer a 100,000 bonus right now. And, as you hopefully learned in this article, each card can provide a lot of benefits beyond its bonus. But, I can’t tell you which card is best. After all, the best card depends on many personal factors, including the cards you already have in your wallet.
I recommend considering how you’d use each card’s earning rates, rewards and benefits. By doing so, one card may become a clear choice. For example, if you don’t have an everyday spending card, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is likely best for you. If you want to earn rewards to transfer to World of Hyatt, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card will be a great fit. And if you’re looking for access to premium travel perks, you’ll likely choose the Platinum Card from American Express.
However, be sure to consider your eligibility for each card and bonus before applying. After all, Amex has a once-in-a-lifetime bonus rule and Chase has its 5/24 rule that may prevent you from being approved or earning a bonus even if you have excellent credit.
APPLY HERE: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
APPLY HERE: The Platinum Card from American Express
APPLY HERE: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, please click here.
Featured image by Orli Friedman/The Points Guy.
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