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Capital One Venture vs. Capital One VentureOne: Which is the best for your needs?

Signage is displayed on the exterior of a Capital One Financial Corp. cafe branch in Walnut Creek, California, U.S., on Tuesday, July 18, 2017.
Bloomberg | Getty Images

Capital One offers several pairs of cards with similar names but slightly different rewards, perks and annual fees. The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card, for example, are both travel rewards cards, but that's where the similarities end.

Frequent travelers looking to receive some of the benefits found with luxury travel cards, will find more value with the Venture card. VentureOne is a better choice for consumers who want to avoid an annual fee while taking advantage of special financing.

Capital One states on its website that both cards are for people with excellent credit, which is defined as someone who has never declared bankruptcy or defaulted on a loan; hasn't been more than 60 days late on any credit card, medical bill or loan in the last year; and has had a loan or credit card for three years or more with a credit limit above $5,000. If you fall within this description, you have the best chances of qualifying for one of the Venture cards.

Below, CNBC Select reviews both cards, so you can choose the one that provides the most benefit for your spending habits.

Capital One Venture vs. Capital One VentureOne

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
Annual fee$0 for the first year, $95 after that$0
Variable APR17.49% to 24.74%13.74% to 23.74%
Intro APRNone0% for the first 12 months on purchases only
RewardsEarn 5X miles on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel℠, unlimited 2X miles per dollar on all other purchases, every day — plus 10X miles on thousands of hotels at hotels.com/venture, through January 2020Earn 5X miles on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel℠, unlimited 1.25X miles per dollar on all other purchases — plus 10X miles on thousands of hotels at hotels.com/venture, through January 2020
Welcome bonusEarn 50,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account openingEarn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
CreditsReceive up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee every four yearsNone

Annual fee

The Venture card has a $95 annual fee that's waived the first year, while the VentureOne card has no annual fee. Before you choose a card, it's important to do the math to see which card makes the most financial sense for your lifestyle. While $95 pales in comparison to other travel rewards cards that can have annual fees up to $550, it's still something to consider.

Venture cardholders receive a statement credit worth up to $100 for a Global Entry or TSA Precheck application, valid every four years. This perk can help effectively cancel out the annual fee, but only once every four years.

Otherwise, you would need to spend approximately $4,750 a year (after the first year) to break even on the fee by earning enough rewards. This should be manageable considering the average American spends approximately $21,852 annually, according to consumer spending data from location intelligence firm Esri. But if you have other credit cards that charge an annual fee, you might not want to add another to your wallet.

Winner: It's a toss-up. The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card has no annual fee, but if you take advantage of the higher rewards rate and Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit on the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, you can help offset the $95 annual fee (which is waived the first year).

Rewards

Both cards offer a flat-rate rewards program, which means all purchases earn the same amount of rewards. The VentureOne card earns unlimited 1.25X miles per dollar on every purchase, while the Venture card earns a higher 2X miles per dollar on all spending.

As an added perk, both cards also offer 5X miles on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel℠. And through January 2020, earn 10 miles per dollar on thousands of hotels at hotels.com/venture.

CNBC Select used the $21,852 sample budget to break down how much money you could earn (less than annual fee) if you optimized using each card over the course of five years.

We found you could earn an estimated $2,805 after five years with the Venture card, which is $1,103 more than the VentureOne card's $1,702.

While the five-year estimates we've included are derived from a budget similar to the average American's spending, you may earn a higher or lower return depending on your consumer habits.

Winner: The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card earns you more rewards over the course of five years, even with the $95 annual fee (waived the first year).

Redemption

Both cards allow you to redeem rewards in a variety of ways, from travel to statement credit to gift cards. Cardholders can redeem rewards for travel in two ways: as a statement credit for past travel purchases using the Purchase Eraser or to book future travel through Capital One's rewards center. Keep in mind statement credit redemptions must be made within 90 days from the date your travel purchase posts to your account.

Miles can also be transferred to over 10 travel partners including JetBlue, Qatar Airways, Aeromexico and Air France KLM.

Winner: Tie. Both cards offer the same redemption options.

Welcome bonus

The Venture card offers a larger bonus than the VentureOne card, but the effective rewards return is lower.

Venture cardholders earn 50,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening, which is like earning about 17% back.

The VentureOne card offers 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening, which is about 20% back.

Winner: The VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card offers a better return on your spending and has a lower spending requirement than the Venture® Rewards Credit Card, making it the winner.

Added perks

Both cards offer many of the same perks with a few differences. Here's a breakdown of the perks offered by both cards:

Consumers with either card can benefit from:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 24-hour travel assistance services
  • Roadside assistance
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Extended warranty
  • Exclusive access to premier culinary, music and sports events
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance

Venture Rewards cardholders enjoy this added perk:

  • Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four years

Winner: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card since it offers the added benefit of Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit.

Bottom line

The Venture Rewards credit cards offer similar rewards programs and nearly identical card benefits, but differ in the amount of miles you earn per dollar spent and annual fee.

If you're looking to earn the most rewards, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is the better option with 2X miles on all spending versus the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card's 1.25X miles. Plus if you fly often, you can benefit from a credit up to $100 for a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee once every four years.

However, if you don't want to pay an annual fee, the VentureOne card is a better fit since the Venture card has a $95 annual fee after the first year.

Despite the Venture card's annual fee, it's worth pointing out that the average American would still net approximately $835 more in rewards than the VentureOne card.

While both of these cards are good options for travelers, there are alternative options that may be a better fit for your needs. Check out CNBC Select's round up of the best travel credit cards. If travel isn't one of your major expenses, you might want to consider our lists of the best cash-back credit cards and best rewards credit cards.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.