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- The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® are premium cards offering high welcome bonuses, strong rewards rates and no foreign transaction fees.
- Although both are top credit cards, Chase Sapphire Reserve is a stronger choice for cardholders looking for bonus rewards on travel, dining and, through a limited-time offer, rideshares through Lyft.
- Yet, if you're looking to spend less up front, Capital One Venture X is the less expensive option with a slightly stronger welcome bonus worth around $1,275 in value.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a more recent entrant to the best travel credit cards than the Chase Sapphire ReserveⓇ. Despite that head start, the two premium cards are in close competition and boast comparable benefits.
|Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
|Chase Sapphire Reserve
|75,000 miles after spending $4,000 in the first three months
|60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months
|No introductory APR
|No introductory APR
Capital One Venture X vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve highlights
Although there’s overlap between the cards’ features, there are also notable differences. You might prefer one or the other based on how they perform in the following categories.
Welcome bonus winner: Capital One Venture X
As a welcome bonus, the Venture X offers 75,000 miles when you spend $4,000 within your first three months of owning the card. A Capital One mile is worth around 1.7 cents on average when transferred to travel partners, according to the latest valuations from Bankrate, and so the welcome bonus may work out to around $1,275 in value.
The Sapphire Reserve offers 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 within your first three months. Chase Ultimate Rewards points have a valuation of around 2.0 cents each on average when transferred to travel partners, according to Bankrate, but this bonus amounts to around $1,200 in value — or $75 less than the Venture X’s bonus.
Rewards rate winner: Chase Sapphire Reserve
After you’ve spent your first $300 on travel for the year, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 10X points on hotels and rental cars booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and 5X points on airfare booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Likewise, the Capital One Venture X offers 10X miles on hotels and rental cars when you book them through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel. So far, rewards are nearly identical.
But the cards diverge when you consider other travel expenses and dining. The Sapphire Reserve pays 3X points on general travel spending (after earning the $300 travel credit), 10X points on Chase Dining purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards and 3X points on all other restaurant purchases. And through March 2025, this card offers 10X points on Lyft purchases. Lastly, it pays 1X points on spending that doesn’t fall into any of the above categories.
In comparison, the Venture X offers no bonus rewards for miscellaneous travel or dining. Its 2X rewards rate on other spending beats the baseline 1X rewards rate for the Sapphire Reserve, yet if you want to earn more than 2X points on eating out and travel spending beyond hotels, rental cars and airfare, you should probably choose the Sapphire Reserve.
Annual fee winner: Capital One Venture X
The Venture X’s annual fee is $155 less than the Sapphire Reserve’s annual fee. If your goal is to minimize your upfront card ownership costs, the Venture X is the less expensive option.
Foreign transaction fee winner: Tie
Neither card charges foreign transaction fees, so they are equally good choices if you’re heading out on an international journey.
Which card earns the most?
The card that’s most lucrative for you depends on a few factors, such as whether you spend enough to earn a welcome bonus and how your spending fits into the rewards categories.
Capital One Venture X vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve spending example
Let’s say you book purchases through your card’s portal whenever possible, and your spending for the year looks like this:
- $3,300 in miscellaneous travel
- $4,000 on hotels and rental cars
- $5,500 on airfare
- $2,500 at restaurants
- $2,700 on all other spending
Suppose you’re using the Venture X. If $4,000 of that spending takes place in the first three months, you get 75,000 bonus miles. You also earn 40,000 miles from your hotel and rental car spending, 27,500 miles from airfare and 17,000 miles from the rest of your spending.
In total, you earn 159,500 miles, with a potential value of around $2,711 with the right Capital One travel partner or $1,595 when redeemed through Capital One travel at the standard one-cent-per-point rate. After covering the $395 annual fee, you’re left with around $2,316 in value with the right transfer partner, or $1,200 at the standard Capital One travel redemption rate.
Next, let’s crunch the numbers for the Sapphire Reserve. If $4,000 of your spending occurs in the first three months after account opening, you earn 60,000 bonus points. The first $300 you spend on travel doesn’t contribute to your points earnings, so if that first $300 came from miscellaneous travel, you’re left with $3,000 in spending in that category. You earn 40,000 points on hotels and rental cars, 27,500 points on flights, 7,500 points at restaurants, 9,000 points on other travel and 2,700 points on the remaining spending.
That’s 146,700 points earned in all, with a potential value of around $2,934 when transferred to the right Chase travel partner or $2,200.50 if redeemed at a 1.5-cents-per-point value through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal. After paying the $550 annual fee, you’re left with around $2,384 in value with the right transfer partner, or $1,650.50 at the standard Chase travel redemption rate.
Which card offers a better first-year value depends on how you redeem your rewards. If you find a high-value transfer partner, the Venture X should come out slightly ahead in this example, thanks to its welcome bonus and lower annual fee. But if you redeem through an issuer portal, the Sapphire Reserve will offer higher value despite its lower welcome bonus and higher annual fee.
This changes in year two. When you subtract rewards earned by both cards’ welcome bonuses and factor in the annual fees, you’re looking at:
- 84,500 miles earned with the Venture X (around $1,041 in potential value with a top Capital One travel partner or $450 in Capital One Travel redemptions)
- 86,700 points earned with the Sapphire Reserve (around $1,184 in potential value with a top Chase travel partner or $750.50 in Ultimate Rewards travel redemptions)
If you find a great transfer partner, the Venture X may still offer more value than the Sapphire Reserve after your first year, but the Sapphire Reserve’s higher base redemption value gives it a better chance of coming out on top in the long run.
Why should you get the Capital One Venture X?
On top of its hefty welcome bonus and strong rewards on travel spending, the Venture X offers several credits and perks that together can be well worth the $395 fee. There’s an annual $300 credit for Capital One Travel purchases, and after each anniversary of your account opening, you’ll earn 10,000 bonus miles.
The Venture X’s travel benefits include Priority Pass Select membership, which gives you unlimited admission to over 1,300 airport lounges (and would cost $429 if paid for directly), as well as access to Capital One Lounges. You also get up to $100 in credits to cover your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees every four years.
Through Capital One Entertainment and Capital One Dining, you can enjoy a variety of event-related perks, including early access to tickets and the opportunity to buy exclusive passes to sports games, as well as concerts, dining accommodations and invitations to experiences just for cardmembers.
Additionally, if your cellphone is lost or stolen, the card’s protection plan has you covered for up to $800.
You can redeem miles for credits toward past travel purchases, use them to book new travel through the Capital One Travel portal or transfer them to one of Capital One’s more than 15 travel loyalty programs. Alternatively, you can cash them in for a check or statement credit or exchange them for gift cards (though this may sacrifice redemption value).
Recommended credit score
Why should you get the Chase Sapphire Reserve?
Although the card’s $550 annual fee may sound like a high hurdle, it’s not hard to get at least that much value from the Chase Sapphire Reserve if you take full advantage of the card’s benefits. To start, you receive a $300 travel credit each year that’s automatically applied to eligible purchases, and everyday travel expenses like bus fares and road tolls count toward the credit.
In terms of Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits, if you use your card to activate a membership by the end of December 2024, you get two consecutive years of Lyft Pink All Access for free. Purchasing a membership yourself would ordinarily cost at least $199 for the year. Activating your card within that time frame also gives you 12 months of complimentary DashPass membership.
Similar to the Venture X, the Sapphire Reserve also offers complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. And once every four years, you can get up to $100 in statement credits to cover the cost of applying for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
Lastly, this Chase credit card grants numerous protections like coverage in case of rental car collisions, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, emergency evacuation and transportation coverage, purchase protection and extended warranty protection.
You can redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards (where each point is worth 1.5 cents, thanks to a 50 percent boost in point value), or redeem them for cash with a direct deposit or statement credit at a rate of 1 cent per point. Another option is to get credits for purchases with eligible merchants, with each point translating to a value of 1.5 cents. Or you can transfer points on a 1:1 basis to a variety of partner loyalty programs.
You can exchange points for gift cards, pay with points when you shop with PayPal or at Amazon.com or use them to gain admission to events and experiences. Lastly, you can use your points to shop at Apple or redeem them for restaurant reservations or takeout through Chase Dining.
Recommended credit score
You’ll likely need excellent credit to be approved for the Sapphire Reserve. That means you may have the best chance with a FICO score of 800 to 850 or a VantageScore of 781 to 850.
The bottom line
Both the Capital One Venture X and Chase Sapphire Reserve are great cards for avid travelers, yet the most valuable card for you depends on how you plan to use it.
The Venture X has the advantage of a lower annual fee, and its decent welcome bonus and 2X baseline rewards rate may make it an attractive choice. But the Sapphire Reserve offers better rewards rates on dining and some travel purchases.
Choosing between these cards requires thinking about how much you intend to spend and in which categories — and maybe relying on a calculator.