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Earning credit card rewards doesn’t have to be a hassle. By setting your sights on a card that earns flat-rate rewards across all purchases, you can maximize your spending by focusing on paying your entire statement credit by the due date to avoid any interest or late charges.

Two of the top flat-rate cards on the market are the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. While they earn very similarly, we’ll dive into the details of each one to determine which rewards card is the best match for your lifestyle.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

  • $0 Annual Fee
  • $200 Editor's
    Bonus Estimate
    More Info

    Learn more about how we evaluate points and miles in our monthly evaluation guide.

  • Welcome Bonus $200Cash Bonus More Info

    Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.

  • 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% (Variable) APR
Apply Now

Secure application on issuer’s website

Rates & Fees
Product Image for Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

  • $95 Annual Fee
  • $1,350 Editor's
    Bonus Estimate
    More Info

    Learn more about how we evaluate points and miles in our monthly evaluation guide.

  • Sign Up Bonus 75,000Capital One Rewards Miles More Info

    You can earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,350 (75,000 Capital One Rewards Miles * 0.018 base)

  • 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable) APR
Apply Now

Secure application on issuer’s website

Rates & Fees

Comparing the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card vs. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Both rewards cards are popular picks from major banks Wells Fargo and Capital One. At face value, both cards offer similar earning rates (2% cash back vs. 2x miles), but there’s certainly more to this analysis than earning rewards.

In this card comparison, we’ll touch on their 0% introductory APR offers, how to redeem your rewards and more.

Compare Welcome Bonuses

Winner: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Applying for a card with a welcome bonus can be a great way to boost your rewards from the get-go. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card comes with a substantial offer, as new applicants can earn 75,000 bonus miles once they spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

We estimate that Capital One miles are worth 1.8 cents each when redeemed towards travel redemptions via certain transfer partners, making this welcome offer extremely valuable. However, you’ll want to ensure that you can meet the minimum spending requirements so you don’t miss out on this great opportunity.

You shouldn't ignore the welcome offer with the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, either. There’s a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in the first three months of account opening. While clearly less valuable, this welcome offer may be a better fit for those who don’t want to spend $4,000+ to earn a bonus.

Compare Rewards Rates

Winner: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

If you aren’t earning rewards on your everyday purchases, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card are both appealing cards to consider. Whether you’re taking your dog to the groomer or paying for your kids’ summer camp, you’ll earn 2% cash back or 2x miles on all eligible purchases.

Although the earning rates appear to be quite similar, it’s important to discuss the redemption value of your rewards (more on this in the next section). When redeeming your Capital One Miles for travel, you’ll likely get a better deal with your miles than if you redeem for cash back. 

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card not only offers 2x miles on all eligible purchases, but also 5x miles on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel. Based on our valuations at 1.8 cents per Capital One mile, that’s like getting a 3.6% return and a 9% return on your eligible purchases, respectively. 

On the other hand, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card offers unlimited 2% cash back on all eligible purchases. Earning rewards is simple, as you’ll be able to rack up cash back as soon as you purchase something. However, your rewards can only be redeemed for cash back at a 1-cent-per-point value, limiting the opportunity to find outsized redemptions.  

Finally, it’s worth remembering that you should aim to always pay your entire credit balance before the due date, no matter which credit card you open, to avoid costly interest charges and damaging your credit score. 

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Compare Rewards Redemption Options

Winner: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

This card is excellent for those looking for the utmost simplicity with their rewards. With the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, you can redeem your rewards for purchases on your statement credit or a direct deposit to your eligible Wells Fargo checking account or mortgage. Other options include the ability to redeem for cash at a Wells Fargo ATM (in $20 increments) or for gift cards (in $25 increments). 

Even as a travel rewards card, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card empowers cardholders with plenty of ways to redeem their miles. However, not all of these redemption options are worth the same value: 

  • Book flights, hotels and rental cars through Capital One Travel (1 cent per mile)
  • Cover eligible travel purchases on your statement credit (1 cent per mile)
  • Redeem for gift cards (0.8 cents to 1 cent per mile)
  • Receive cash back as a statement credit or check (0.5 cents per mile)
  • Get event tickets through Capital One Entertainment (0.8 cents per mile)
  • Transfer to Capital One’s 18 airline and hotel transfer partners (redemption value varies)

As you can see, the worst value when redeeming your Capital One miles is for cash back. If you’re looking for a card to earn cash back rewards, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card may not be the best pick. 

However, there are fantastic redemption options related to travel. And if you can learn to maximize Capital One’s airline and hotel loyalty partners, you can find yourself landing some pretty sweet deals. Just as a few examples, you could transfer your Capital One miles to Flying Blue to book an Air France/KLM business class ticket from the U.S. to Europe for roughly 53,000 miles, or leverage partner awards by booking an American Airlines domestic flight for just 7,500 British Airways Avios.

Compare Intro APR Offers

Winner: Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card comes with a 0% introductory APR offer, which can help you save big on interest fees for a certain time frame. Better yet, the 0% intro APR applies to the first 15 months on both new purchases on the card and qualifying balance transfers to your account. After that, the APR will be 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% (Variable) , depending on your creditworthiness. Furthermore, balance transfers made within 120 days of account opening qualify for the 0% introductory APR.

Meanwhile, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card does not come with a 0% introductory APR offer. Instead, a 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable) APR applies to all purchases (Rates & Fees). If you need flexibility to pay off purchases or balance transfers, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is a great option. 

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Compare Benefits

Winner: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Cash back cards aren’t known for offering a ton of extra benefits, as you might expect from premium travel cards. Even so, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card comes with complimentary cell phone protection. When you pay your monthly bill with this card, you can receive up to $600 of protection against damage or theft to your phone. A $25 deductible will apply once you file your claim and it’s approved by Wells Fargo. This is an excellent perk that will give you peace of mind, on top of the ability to earn 2% cash back on your recurring bill.

However, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is the clear winner here, offering a long list of benefits to help justify the $95 annual fee (Rates & Fees). First and foremost, you’ll receive up to a $100 credit when you apply for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®, covering the entire application fee of either trusted traveler program. 

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.

Which Card is Best For You?

Based on our in-depth analysis, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card wins out by a far stretch in almost every single category. From the ability to earn a valuable welcome bonus to receiving a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card checks all the boxes for a beneficial card that’s worth the recurring annual fee.

However, if you anticipate a large purchase in the future and want to take advantage of a 0% intro APR period, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is a top contender. If you're looking for a card with no annual fee and straightforward earning and redemption choices, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is an excellent choice for beginners. 

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

  • $0 Annual Fee
  • $200 Editor's
    Bonus Estimate
    More Info

    Learn more about how we evaluate points and miles in our monthly evaluation guide.

  • Welcome Bonus $200Cash Bonus More Info

    Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.

  • 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% (Variable) APR
Apply Now

Secure application on issuer’s website

Rates & Fees
Product Image for Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

  • $95 Annual Fee
  • $1,350 Editor's
    Bonus Estimate
    More Info

    Learn more about how we evaluate points and miles in our monthly evaluation guide.

  • Sign Up Bonus 75,000Capital One Rewards Miles More Info

    You can earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,350 (75,000 Capital One Rewards Miles * 0.018 base)

  • 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable) APR
Apply Now

Secure application on issuer’s website

Rates & Fees

One final point of consideration is that the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee, so you’ll want to avoid using this card abroad. If you anticipate traveling internationally in the future, it may be worth applying for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card so you don’t pay unnecessary exchange fees (Rates & Fees).  

Bottom Line

At face value, both cards appear to be quite similar. In essence, they both earn 2% cash back or 2x miles on all eligible purchases. Once you dig deeper, you’ll realize that the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card provides far better value for travelers, between the Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit and high rewards on Capital One Travel purchases. 

To top it all off, the ability to redeem your miles for outsized value makes the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. 

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Juan Ruiz

Juan has been writing and editing stories involving credit cards, loyalty programs, travel, and personal finance topics for more than 10 years. In addition to working and contributing to a number of outlets including The Points Guy, Forbes, and Business Insider, Juan was recently the editor-in-chief at Money Under 30, where he led a team of personal finance journalists. He is also an adjunct professor at Florida International University and a licensed real estate professional.