Credit card showdown: Capital One Venture vs. Capital One Savor

Oct 5, 2021

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Two of the most popular Capital One consumer cards are the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card. Both of these cards charge a modest $95 annual fee, but cardholders may find the annual fee easy to justify, thanks to the earning rates and benefits on these cards.

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.

Although the cards share some benefits, there are also notable differences. Let’s take a closer look at both cards so you can decide which card is a better fit for your lifestyle and spending.

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In This Post

Comparing Capital One Venture vs. Capital One Savor

Capital One Venture Capital One Savor
Sign-up bonus Earn 60,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months from account opening.
Annual fee $95 $95
Earning rates 2x miles on every purchase 4% cash back on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services

3% at grocery stores

1% on all other purchases

Standout benefits Transfer miles to transfer partners or redeem at a fixed rate

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit (up to $100) every four years

8% cash back on tickets purchased through Vivid Seats

Related: The best Capital One credit cards

Sign-up bonus

Woman holding wallet on the street
(Photo by Orli Friedman/The Points Guy)

Capital One Venture

The Capital One Venture offers a sign-up bonus of 60,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.

You can redeem the miles to book new travel through the Capital One portal or offset recent travel expenses at a fixed value of one cent per mile, which would make the bonus worth $600. But, TPG’s valuations peg the value of Capital One miles at 1.85 cents each due to the value you can get when you transfer your miles to partner airline and hotel loyalty programs.

So, you can expect to get between $600 and $1,020 in value from this sign-up bonus. But, you may be able to get a much higher value if you transfer your miles for select redemptions.

Capital One Savor

The Capital One Savor offers a sign-up bonus of $300 cash-back rewards once you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months from your account opening.

Analysis

Both cards have the same minimum spending requirements — $3,000 in three months — to earn the sign-up bonus. But even if you redeem your miles at a fixed value for travel, the Capital One Venture’s sign-up bonus will provide $600 of value, while the Capital One Savor‘s bonus will only provide $300 of value.

Winner: Capital One Venture wins this category.

Related: The best limited-time credit card offers to sign up for now

Earning

Personal perspective view of couple sharing Tortilla chips while eating takeaway food together at the dining table.
Earn 4% cash back with the Capital One Savor or 2x miles with the Capital One Venture on dining. (Photo by Oscar Wong/Getty Images)

Capital One Venture

The Capital One Venture earns two miles per dollar spent on all purchases. So, you don’t have to worry about how many miles you’ll earn based on the specific merchant or spending category, which makes the card a solid choice for everyday non-bonus spending. And, there’s no cap on the number of miles you can earn.

Capital One Savor

The Capital One Savor earns 4% cash back on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services, 3% cash back at grocery stores and 1% cash back on all other purchases. There’s no cap on the amount of cash back you can earn, and Capital One defines the bonus categories as follows:

  • Dining: Purchases at restaurants, cafes, bars, lounges, fast-food chains, and bakeries.
  • Entertainment: Ticket purchases made at movie theaters, sports promoters (including professional and semi-professional live events), theatrical promoters, amusement parks, tourist attractions, aquariums, zoos, dance halls, record stores, pool halls, and bowling alleys.
  • Popular streaming services: Eligible music and video streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu and Disney +.
  • Grocery stores: Purchases at supermarkets, meat lockers, freezers, dairy product stores, and specialty markets (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target).

Analysis

These two cards have very different earning schemes: the Capital One Venture earns 2x miles on all purchases, while the Capital One Savor earns bonus cash-back rewards on dining, entertainment, select streaming services, and groceries.

So, to pick the best card for you, you must consider what earning style you prefer and what earning gaps currently exist in your credit card portfolio. In particular, you should determine whether you’d get more value out of the Capital One Savor’s 4% cash back earnings on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services or the Capital One Venture’s 2x earning on everyday non-bonus spending.

Winner: I’m not going to pick a winner in this section, as it depends on your spending habits and the other credit cards you currently carry.

Related: 3 reasons why you want a cash-back credit card in your wallet

Redeeming

Woman Working on Her Laptop Computer at Home
(Photo by FreshSplash/Getty Images)

Capital One Venture

To get the most value from the Capital One miles earned by the Capital One Venture, you’ll want to redeem your miles in one of two ways:

So, you can get the best of both worlds with the Capital One Venture: the flexibility of transferrable miles and the simplicity of fixed value redemptions. This is one of the reasons why The Points Guy himself, Brian Kelly, recently said the Capital One Venture would be the only card in his wallet if he could only have one card.

Capital One Savor

Redeeming is simple with the Capital One Savor. As long as your account is open, your rewards won’t expire. And you can redeem your cash-back rewards for any amount by signing into your account or using Capital One’s mobile banking app.

Analysis

Redeeming rewards for one cent each is simple with both cards, as you can redeem for cash back with the Capital One Savor or redeem for travel with the Capital One Venture. However, the Capital One Venture also provides the ability to transfer miles to hotel and airline partners, which may allow you to get more than one cent per mile in value.

Winner: If you’ll utilize the transfer partners for at least some redemptions, the Capital One Venture wins in terms of redeeming.

Related: To transfer or not to transfer: What to do with Capital One miles

Other benefits

TSA PreCheck line at an airport
Get a TSA PreCheck credit with the Capital One Venture. (Photo by George Frey/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

These two cards offer benefits that are admittedly less extensive than what you’ll find on many of the premium travel rewards cards. But the Capital One Venture and Capital One Savor both provide extended warranty protection, travel accident insurance, and no foreign transaction fees. Benefits only available to accounts approved for the Visa Signature card. Terms apply.

The Capital One Venture also provides a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit every four years (up to $100). In contrast, the Capital One Savor provides 8% cash back on tickets purchased through Vivid Seats.

Winner: I give a slight edge to the Capital One Venture when it comes to benefits.

Related: 6 reasons to get the Capital One Venture Rewards card

Which one should you choose?

There are two main aspects to consider when deciding whether to get the Capital One Venture or the Capital One Savor:

  • Will you get more benefit from 4% cash back on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services or 2x Capital One miles on everything?
  • Do you prefer to earn cash back or Capital One miles?

If 4% cash back on dining and entertainment is a vast improvement on your current earnings in these categories, then the Capital One Savor may be the best choice. But, if you can get solid value from Capital One miles and are currently earning less than 3.4% return on everyday non-bonus spending, then the Capital One Venture may be the better choice. Of course, you could also get and use both cards — but check out our guide to credit card application restrictions before applying.

Finally, if you want a card like the Capital One Savor but without an annual fee, you can consider the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. Likewise, if you want a card like the Capital One Venture but without an annual fee, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card may be a good fit. However, both of these cards offer lower earnings in exchange for no annual fee.

Apply now for the Capital One Venture or the Capital One Savor.

Featured image by John Gribben/The Points Guy.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.