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Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card [Detailed Comparison]

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Christine Krzyszton
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Christine Krzyszton

Senior Finance Contributor

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Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, deta...
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Chris is a freelance writer and editor with a focus on timely travel trends, points and miles, hot new hotels, and all things that go (he’s a proud aviation geek and transit nerd). Formerly full time ...
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Having a rewarding credit card to pay for purchases made on a daily basis makes economic sense, especially if you’ll be getting a return on what you buy.

Today, we’ll be looking at 2 popular cards with simple earning structures with elevated flat-rate rewards on every purchase made.

The rewards earned on the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card are also flexible rewards — with the Capital One Venture card getting the slight edge — that give you exciting options at redemption time.

Either card could serve well as an everyday spending card but one card might be a better fit, depending on spending preferences and whatever else is in your wallet.

Up next, we’ll walk through everything you’ll need to know to determine which may be the best overall card for your situation.

Freedom Unlimited Card vs. Capital One Venture Card — Overview

We’ll cover the features and benefits in more detail shortly, but first, let’s look at an overall comparison of the Freedom Unlimited card and Capital One Venture card side-by-side.

Here’s how the cards stack up when comparing their attributes.

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Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Welcome Offer

Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back.

LIMITED TIME OFFER: Enjoy $250 to use on Capital One Travel in your first year, plus earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.

Earning Potential

  • 5% cash-back on travel purchased via the Chase Travel portal
  • 5% cash-back on Lyft rides through March 2025
  • 3% cash-back on dining and at drugstores
  • 1.5% cash-back on all other purchases
  • 5x miles on car rentals and hotels booked via Capital One Travel
  • 2x miles on all other purchases

Redemption Options

  • Redeem for travel via Chase Travel at a rate of 1 cent per point
  • Combine points with a premium Chase card* and redeem for travel via Chase Travel at a rate of up to 1.5 cents per point
  • Combine points to a premium Chase card* to then transfer to airline and hotel partners
  • Redeem for cash, a statement credit, gift cards, shopping with select retailers/service providers, Pay Yourself Back, charitable donations
  • Redeem for travel via Capital One Travel
  • Transfer miles to airline and hotel partners
  • Statement credits, gift cards, shopping with Amazon, checkout with PayPal

Travel Protection and Benefits

  • Car rental insurance
  • Baggage insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance services

 

  • MasterRental Insurance
  • Lost or Damaged Luggage Reimbursement
  • Master RoadAssist
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee reimbursement
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates & fees)

Shopping Protections and Benefits

  • Purchase protection, extended warranty
  • DoorDash, and Instacart+ benefits
  • Chase Offers
  • Shop through Chase
  • Purchase Assurance
  • Capital One Offers

Annual Fees and Authorized Users

  • $0
  • Authorized Users: $0

Additional Benefits

0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.

N/A

* Premium Chase cards include those with an annual fee, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, and Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

The Value of a Welcome Bonus Offer

Once you’re approved for either the Freedom Unlimited card or Capital One Venture card, you’ll have the opportunity for increased earnings via a generous welcome offer. These bonus offers give you the unique opportunity to earn cash-back or miles in an amount above and beyond the normal rewards-earning rate.

Welcome offers fluctuate, so you’ll want to review the most current offer before applying for any card. Here are the most current offers for our featured cards:

UP TO $300 BACK
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
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The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!
INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
Up to $300 cash back
$0
0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is easily one of the best cash-back credit cards on the market. There aren’t many no-annual-fee credit cards that offer multiple great bonus categories like 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% back on all other purchases.

When paired with other Chase cards in the Ultimate Rewards family, you can transfer that cash back into points if you wish – making it one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet.

Pros
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases
Cons
    • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • No annual fee – You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, alerts, and more.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

LIMITED TIME OFFER
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!

Learn More(at Capital One's secure site)
Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!
Enjoy $250 to use on Capital One Travel in your first cardholder year, plus earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening - that’s equal to $1,000 in travel.
$250 Capital One Travel Credit + 75,000 miles
$1,600
$95
19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent Credit (670-850)

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the most popular rewards cards on the market. It’s perfect for anyone in search of a great welcome offer, high rewards rates, and flexible redemption options.

Frequent travelers with excellent credit may benefit from this credit card that offers a lot of bells and whistles. And it offers easy-to-understand rewards earning and redemption.

Pros
  • 5x miles per $1 on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 2x miles per $1 on all other purchases
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
Cons
  • Enjoy $250 to use on Capital One Travel in your first cardholder year, plus earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening – that’s equal to $1,000 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Miles won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Enrich every hotel stay from the Lifestyle Collection with a suite of cardholder benefits, like a $50 experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Capital One Miles

Bottom Line: Both the Freedom Unlimited card and Capital One Venture card come with welcome offers that allow the opportunity to earn additional rewards or miles worth hundreds of dollars once you’re approved for either card. 

Earning Potential

Both the Freedom Unlimited card and Capital One Venture card make it easy to consistently earn rewards on purchases you make every day as well as on travel purchases. Both cards also offer an elevated flat earnings rate on every purchase.

The Freedom Unlimited card earns rewards initially as Ultimate Rewards points and the Capital One Venture card earns Capital One miles.

Additionally, you’ll find bonus-earning categories on each card that earn a greater level of rewards. Here’s how the cards compare in the earnings category:

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Earning Category

Freedom Unlimited Card

Capital One Venture Card

Travel

  • 5% cash-back on travel purchased via the Chase Travel portal
  • 5% cash-back on Lyft rides (through March 2025)
  • 1.5% cash-back on all other travel
  • 5x miles on car rentals and hotels booked via Capital One Travel
  • 2x miles on all other purchases including travel

Dining and Drugstores

3% cash-back

2x miles

All Other Purchases

1.5% cash-back

2x miles

The Freedom Unlimited card offers 5% cash-back earnings on travel via its associated Chase Travel portal while the Capital One Venture card limits 5x miles earnings to just car rentals and hotels via Capital One Travel. You’ll earn 2x miles on flights purchased via Capital One Travel and all other travel regardless of where it is purchased.

If you spend a lot on dining and at drugstores, you’ll have better earnings with the Freedom Unlimited card. If you have elevated expenses in non-bonus categories, the Capital One Venture card has the edge with 2x miles versus 1.5% cash-back.

To help determine which card would work better for your spending mix, you can estimate your annual expenditures in each category and apply the earnings rate to those categories. We estimate the potential value of Chase Ultimate Rewards at 2 cents each and Capital One miles at 1.8 cents each (when utilizing airline and hotel transfer partners). An estimated expense calculation can help determine which card might earn the most rewards for your spending.

Keep in mind that while earnings levels are important, the value you actually receive for your rewards will depend on which redemption option you select.

Let’s continue and talk about the actual value at redemption time.

Bottom Line: Both the Freedom Unlimited card and Capital One Venture card have similar earning structures with elevated earnings on travel purchased via the cards’ travel portals. The Freedom Unlimited card offers 3% cash-back on dining and drugstore purchases and 1.5% on all other purchases, while the Capital One Venture card has 2x earnings on all other purchases. 

Redemption Options

booking travel on laptop
Image Credit: sofiko14 via Adobe Stock

The Freedom Unlimited card and Capital One Venture card both earn rewards that offer flexible options at redemption time. Redemption options are as important as the value of the rewards you’ve earned. 

Here’s a breakdown of your choices at redemption time for both of our featured cards — and an estimated value for each option:

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Redemption Option

Freedom Unlimited Card

Capital One Venture Card

Travel

  • Redeem points for travel for 1 cent each via the Chase Travel portal
  • Redeem points for a statement credit at 1 cent each for previously purchased travel
  • Combine points with a premium Chase credit card and redeem for travel via Chase Travel at up to 1.5 cents each
  • Combine points with premium Chase credit cards then transfer to airline and hotel partners for potentially even greater value
  • Transfer miles to airline and hotel partners to redeem for award flights and free hotel nights
  • Redeem miles for travel via Capital One Travel for 1 cent each in value
  • Redeem miles for a statement credit at 1 cent each to offset previous travel purchases

Additional Redemption Options

Cash, transfer to bank account, shopping with select retailers, Pay Yourself Back, charitable donations

Statement credits, gift cards, shopping with Amazon, redeem via PayPal

Both the Freedom Unlimited card and Capital One Venture card allow you to redeem points for 1 cent each for travel via the cards’ associated travel portals. However, the best value for redeeming rewards may be realized by transferring rewards to airline or hotel partners — and then redeeming them for award flights or free hotel nights.

The Capital One Venture card offers the option to do a transfer directly to Capital One’s transfer partners, while the Freedom Unlimited card requires you to have a more premium Chase card in order to facilitate the transfer to one of Chase’s transfer partners. Premium Chase cards include those with an annual fee, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, Chase Sapphire Reserve card, and Ink Business Preferred card.

You can redeem Capital One miles for a statement credit to redeem against previous travel purchases (from the previous 90 days). Similarly, you can do the same with the Freedom Unlimited card. Both offer a point value of 1 cent each for this redemption.

The better card for you at redemption time will depend on your preferences (and whether you have a Chase premium card).

Bottom Line: The Capital One Venture card allows you to transfer miles earned on the card directly to airline and travel partners. The Freedom Unlimited card requires that you have a Chase premium card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve card in order to utilize transferring to airline and hotel partners. 

Travel Protections and Benefits

Travel protections help provide coverage during your travels and can even save you money. Here are the travel protections and benefits you’ll find on both the Freedom Unlimited card and the Capital One Venture card:

  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver or MasterRental Insurance
    • For the Freedom Unlimited card, simply reserve and pay for your rental car with your card, decline the rental agency’s CDW/LDW coverage, and receive protection against damage and theft. The coverage is secondary within your country of residence and primary in most other countries. Secondary means that you must first file a claim with any other applicable insurance while primary coverage kicks in immediately without this requirement.
    • For the Capital One Venture card, use your card to rent an eligible vehicle and you may be covered for physical damage and theft of the rental vehicle.
  • Roadside Dispatch or Master RoadAssist
    • For the Freedom Unlimited card, if you become stranded roadside, just 1 call and 1 pre-negotiated service fee can get you back on the road. Services can include limited towing, lockout service, changing of an inflated spare, emergency fuel delivery, jumpstart service, and standard winching.
    • For the Capital One Venture card’s Master RoadAssist, take advantage of 24-hour toll-free dispatch to help with services like towing, fuel delivery, and more. Just note that you are responsible for any and all costs incurred
  • Baggage Insurance or Lost/Damaged Luggage Reimbursement
    • For the Freedom Unlimited card, pay for your ticket and baggage fees with your card and receive coverage for up to $3,000 if your checked or carry-on luggage is lost, damaged, or stolen.
    • For the Capital One Venture card, you may be eligible for reimbursement for the actual cost of repairing or replacing your checked or carry-on luggage and personal property contained therein that is lost or damaged.

The Capital One Venture card has these additional travel protections and benefits:

Capital One Venture Card

  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Reimbursement — Pay for your application or renewal fee with your card and receive reimbursement as a statement credit.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees — The Capital One Venture card can accompany you during your travels as it does not charge foreign transaction fees (rates & fees).

Shopping Protections and Benefits

Woman shopping shoe store bag
Save money and protect your eligible purchases with shopping benefits and protections. Image Credit: Odua Images via Adobe Stock

Shopping protections and benefits can provide coverage if something goes wrong with an eligible purchase, save you money when making a purchase, or provide added convenience.

Here are the shopping protections you’ll find on both the Freedom Unlimited card and the Capital One Venture card.

  • Purchase Protection or Purchase Assurance
    • For the Freedom Unlimited card, if an eligible item you purchase with your card is damaged or stolen, you could receive reimbursement or replacement/repair of the item. Coverage is valid for 120 days from the date of purchase with coverage of up to $500 per item. Maximums and restrictions apply.
    • For the Capital One Venture card’s purchase assurance, eligible purchases made with your card are covered if damaged or stolen within the first 90 days of purchase

Here are the additional shopping protections and benefits you’ll find on each individual card:

Freedom Unlimited Card

  • Introductory APR  — 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • DoorDash DashPass — Receive a 3-month complimentary membership plus 9 additional months at a 50% discount.
  • Instacart+ Benefits — Activate the offer by July 31, 2024, and receive a free 3-month membership plus a $10 statement credit each quarter.
  • Chase Offers — Log in to your online Chase card account and add bonus offers from retailers/service providers to your card to earn additional cash-back.
  • Shop through Chase — Log in to the Ultimate Rewards dashboard and earn additional cash-back rewards when you make your online purchase from a list of select merchants.

Capital One Venture Card

  • Capital One Offers — Log in to your online Capital One card account, shop online with an advertised merchant, and earn a statement credit for your purchase.

Annual Fees and Authorized Users

While the Freedom Unlimited card is easy on the wallet with a $0 annual fee, the Capital One Venture card charges an annual fee of $95 (rates & fees).

There is no charge to add authorized users to the Freedom Unlimited card or the Capital One Venture card (rates & fees).

Everything Else You Need To Know

Qualification

It is recommended to have a good to excellent credit score to qualify for either the Freedom Unlimited card or the Capital One Venture card. According to Experian, one of the nation’s 3 major credit bureaus, a good score is considered 670 to 739, a very good score is 740 to 799, and an excellent score is 800, or above.

Additionally, you’ll want to learn about Chase’s 5/24 rule, Freedom Unlimited card requirements, and Capital One Venture card requirements before applying for either card.

Foreign Transaction Fees

Note that the Freedom Unlimited card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee on the total amount of every foreign purchase. The Capital One Venture card does not charge a foreign transaction fee (rates & fees).

Disclaimer

Our article does not include all of the features and benefits available with each card, just key ones for comparison purposes. We’ve also abbreviated descriptions and not included all terms and conditions. Additionally, offers and benefits do change, so be sure to review any current card information before applying and access each card’s Guide to Benefits for additional details.

Final Thoughts

The Freedom Unlimited card and Capital One Venture card are both excellent choices for an everyday spending card. The better card for you will depend on if you have, or will have in the near future, a premium Chase card and whether you’re comfortable paying an annual fee.

Since the Capital One Venture card charges a $95 annual fee, you’ll need to receive at least that amount in extra value over the Freedom Unlimited card (rates & fees). The generous Capital One Venture 100k welcome offer could add enough value in the first year of card membership.

If you have a large number of expenses that do not fall into bonus categories, the Capital One Venture card, even with the annual fee, could be a better choice as it offers 25% more earnings on those purchases (2x miles vs. 1.5% cash-back).

The Freedom Unlimited card earns rewards that are easily redeemed for cash-back. The Capital One Venture card offers statement credits for travel purchases (from the previous 90 days) but the cash redemption option yields just 0.5 cents per point. And, while not the best redemption value for points earned on the Freedom Unlimited card, if cash-back is important to you, the card is a much better choice with 1 cent in value for each point redeemed for cash-back.

You can’t go wrong with either card if selecting a product that best rewards your spending mix, has redemption options that reflect your preferences, has an annual fee you’re comfortable with (or no annual fee), and comes with additional benefits you can use.

For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which card is better, the Freedom Unlimited card or the Capital One Venture card?

Both cards offer elevated earnings on travel and elevated earnings on everyday purchases. The Freedom Unlimited card does not charge an annual fee, while the Capital One Venture card charges $95.

The Capital One Venture card does not charge foreign transaction fees while the Freedom Unlimited card does. Meanwhile. the Freedom Unlimited card is better for cash-back redemptions while the Capital One Venture card allows rewards transfers directly to airline/hotel partners.

Both cards offer a generous welcome bonus but the Capital One Venture card is normally higher.

The better card for you will be the one that rewards your spending mix, matches your tolerance for an annual fee, has redemption options you prefer, and has additional benefits you can actually utilize.

Can I redeem Capital One miles for cash?

Yes, it is possible to redeem Capital One miles for cash but it is not good value. You will receive just 0.5 cents per mile for a cash redemption.

Redeeming miles for statement credits for previously-purchased travel (within 90 days) results in a value of 1 cent each, and transfers to travel partners can offer much greater potential value.

Can I transfer points earned on the Freedom Unlimited card to airline and hotel partners?

Yes, but there’s a catch. While you cannot transfer points earned on the Freedom Unlimited card to airline or hotel partners directly, you can do so if you hold a premium Chase Ultimate-Rewards earning card, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, Chase Sapphire Reserve card, or Ink Business Preferred card.

Combine points earned on the Freedom Unlimited card with points from any of these cards, then transfer to airline and hotel partners.

Does the Capital One Venture card have an annual fee?

Yes, the Capital One Venture card charges an annual fee of $95.

Is the Freedom Unlimited card hard to get?

It’s recommended to have a good to excellent credit score, which is generally considered 670 to above 800, before applying for the Freedom Unlimited card. You will also need sufficient income to make minimum monthly card payments.

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About Christine Krzyszton

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, detailed content for UP.

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