Copper-based electrical contact materials were prepared by Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) method and powder metallurgy with the addition of different proportions of rare earth (RE) element. It is found that SPS method greatly enhances the density, hardness and conductivity of the composite materials, thus improving their comprehensive properties. Compared with powder metallurgy, SPS boasts a shorter sintering time, smaller compression force and higher efficiency. RE has considerable influence on the comprehensive properties of copper-based electrical contact materials. When the content of RE lower than 0.1%, the comprehensive properties can be improved by increasing RE.