Capital One Venture vs. Savor — using both credit cards together is ideal, but here’s how to choose if you just want one

The Capital One Savor and Venture cards both have a $95 annual fee, but they earn bonus rewards in different categories.

caption
The Capital One Savor and Venture cards both have a $95 annual fee, but they earn bonus rewards in different categories.
source
Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

  • Capital One offers two great credit cards for cash back and travel rewards, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Savor Cash Reward Credit Card, respectively.
  • Savvy credit card users may want to carry both in an effort to maximize what you earn with each purchase.
  • If you are averse to having two cards with $95 annual fees, I get it.
  • But before you say no, do the math on your most common spending categories. You might find that both cards pay for themselves multiple times over each year. The sign-up bonuses alone cover at least a few years of annual fees.

If you love food, entertainment, and travel, picking the right credit card isn’t always easy. While sifting through the top rewards credit cards, you’ll likely find two cards from Capital One near the top of any cash-back or travel-rewards credit card list: Capital One Venture and Capital One Savor.

A savvy credit card user with a preference for Capital One cards may want to carry both in an effort to maximize what you earn with each purchase.

Today, we are going to look at the best features of each card, why you may want both, and how to choose if you just want one.

Capital One Venture vs Capital One Savor card: the biggest differences

The Venture and Savor cards both have a $95 annual fee and both are issued by Capital One, but the similarities don’t go much past that. The Capital One Venture card earns miles that can be transferred to various airline partners, while the Capital One Savor is a straight cash-back credit card, so you don’t have the option to use rewards to book travel (though the cash back you earn can help you work toward a trip).

The two cards also have different bonus categories. The Venture card is the most rewarding for Hotels.com purchases, as it earns 10x miles when you book paid stays at hotels.com/venture. The Savor card, meanwhile, earns 4% back on dining and entertainment purchases.

Capital One Venture and Savor highlights

capital one savor

source
The Points Guy

To start, let’s look at the cash-back rewards of Capital One Savor.

This card offers up to 4% cash back on popular categories. Cardholders earn an unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases, 2% at grocery stores, and 1% everywhere else. Plus, you’ll earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020. It doesn’t matter if you are a single person looking for a night on the town, a family headed out for dinner, or empty nesters who enjoy the finer things in life, you can maximize your rewards with Savor.

Savor currently offers a $300 cash-back bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months after opening a new account. It charges a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year.

Read more: Capital One Savor cardholders can get a free Postmates Unlimited subscription – here’s how

While Savor is padding your account with bonus category purchases, you should consider Capital One’s Venture card for your “everywhere else” purchases. Why? It offers 2 Venture Miles per dollar no matter where you spend. When you combine both cards, you’ll earn at least 2x miles per dollar or 2% cash back on every purchase no matter what.

Venture starts you with 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months and charges a $95 annual fee that’s also waived the first year. Until January 2020, you can earn 10 miles per dollar on hotel reservations thanks to a partnership with Hotels.com/Venture.

Both cards are great on their own, but when you put them together, you’ll earn more than you can with either card alone.

How to use Venture and Savor to maximize your rewards

cap one venture

source
The Points Guy

If you are like me, you regularly spend at restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, hardware stores, big-box retailers, and those oh-so-convenient online stores. If you use just Savor, you will only earn 1% cash back on more than half of those categories. But with food being so important, most people get a lot of value from the 4% back at restaurants and 2% at grocery stores.

It would be a shame to get just 1% cash back on “everything else” when you can get more. That’s where Venture comes in. Grabbing the Venture card from your wallet for those purchases will have you on the way to free flights, hotels, and other travel in no time depending on your spending habits.

I carry five cards in my wallet every day and have to remember which one to use where. With just these two, all you have to remember is where the Savor card offers a bonus. Outside of dining, entertainment, and grocery stores, that Venture card would be your go-to.

Picking just one for your wallet

If you are averse to having two cards with $95 annual fees, I get it.

But before you say no, do the math on your most common spending categories. You might find that both cards pay for themselves multiple times over each year. The sign-up bonuses alone cover at least a few years of annual fees.

But if you really do just want one, consider where you spend the most and which rewards you most value.

If you love to travel, Venture is a top-ranking card that makes it really easy to use your miles. You can redeem miles as a statement credit to wipe travel charges off of your statement. That means no blackout dates or limitations to worry about. Just book travel and pay with your Venture card like any other purchase, then redeem to pay for it.

Venture also offers 15 airline-transfer partners, but you may not get the best value per mile as many transfers give you less than one reward mile or point per Venture mile.

If you don’t like to travel regularly, prefer cash back, or spend very heavily in the dining and entertainment categories, you should go with the Savor card. It’s tough to beat an unlimited 4% on the dining category. Entertainment makes it even more lucrative. The 2% at the grocery store from Savor and 2 miles per dollar from Venture are roughly equal.

Read more: The Capital One Venture card comes with valuable travel benefits – we break down whether they are worth a $95 annual fee

Think every time you pay

Both cards come with additional benefits to consider. For example, Venture will pay up to $100 for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck if you pay with the card. Both have no foreign transaction fee and offer additional travel and purchase benefits.

So which card should you get? Consider both. But if you want just one, look at your spending patterns to pick the card that will give you the best rewards. After all, that’s what rewards credit cards are all about!

Click here to learn more about the Capital One Venture from our partner The Points Guy

Click here to learn more about the Capital One Savor from our partner The Points Guy