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When the Chase Sapphire Reserve® was launched in 2016, it quickly became popular — in fact, Chase initially ran out of metal to make the cards as customers rushed to apply. Despite its $550 annual fee, the Reserve continues to hold steady as one of the top premium credit cards on the market, with generous travel benefits and a lucrative rewards structure.
But now there’s a card that’s giving the Sapphire Reserve some stiff competition. The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card comes with a higher welcome bonus, similar travel credits and protections, and a much lower $395 annual fee.
Both are Visa Infinite cards, which are a step above Visa Signature cards in the benefits they offer. And each comes with up to $300 per year in travel credits — but with different restrictions.
Apart from the gap in annual fees and bonuses, there are other significant differences to be aware of. Here’s what to know if you’re trying to decide between the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.
17.74% – 24.74% Variable
Recommended Credit Score
Good to Excellent
17.74% – 24.74% Variable
Recommended Credit Score
Good to Excellent
- New Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
- Earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
18.49% – 25.49% (Variable)
Recommended Credit Score
18.49% – 25.49% (Variable)
Recommended Credit Score
- Excellent welcome bonus and miles earning
- Premium perks including airport lounge access and statement credits
- Visa Infinite benefits including travel and shopping protections
- High annual fee
- Annual travel statement credits only apply to Capital One Travel purchases
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- Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
- Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of options
- Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
- Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
- Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
- Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
- Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
- Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more-you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card has an advantage over the Chase Sapphire Reserve® in terms of sign-up bonus. New Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card holders can earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Meanwhile, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Off the bat, Capital One miles are worth 1 cent apiece when you redeem them toward travel purchases, so the 75,000-mile welcome bonus is worth $750 in travel.
When you redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points through the Chase Travel portal, they’re worth 1.5 cents apiece — so 50,000 Chase points are worth $1,080 in travel. That’s right on par with the travel value you’d get from the Venture X bonus.
However, it’s possible to potentially get even more value from each of these bonuses when you transfer your rewards to airline and hotel partners. We estimate that Capital One miles value is 1.7 cents each when using them this way — and Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.8 cents. Therefore, each sign-up bonus could potentially be worth:
- Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card – $750
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® – $1,080
Overall, you stand to get more value from the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card bonus. And both cards present the exact same minimum spending requirement.
Ongoing rewards earning
If you spend a lot on travel and restaurants, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a good choice. It earns 3x points on travel (other than Chase Travel portal purchases) and dining, along with 10x points on Lyft rides until March 2025, 5x points on flights purchased through Chase Travel, and 10x points on hotels and car rentals booked through Chase Travel. All other purchases earn 1 point per dollar.
You’ll get similar travel portal categories with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card — 10x miles on car rentals and hotels booked through Capital One Travel, 10x miles when booking on Turo (offer ends May 16, 2023), and 5x on flights booked the same way. Everything else earns 2 miles per dollar.
If your typical spending patterns don’t involve travel or dining, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a better bet, earning a minimum of 2 miles per dollar on everything you buy. Otherwise, you may do better with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
Both cards come with up to $300 in annual travel credits which can help offset much of their annual fees. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is the most flexible, because the travel credit is automatically applied to the first $300 a year you spend on travel, including:
- Airlines (including airfare, baggage fees, taxes and fees on award tickets, and most other incidental fees)
- Hotels (including room rate, resort fees, and taxes and fees on award stays — and in practice, some vacation rentals, like Airbnb, will trigger the credit too)
- Car rental agencies (including third-party sites such as Autoslash)
- Cruise lines
- Travel agencies (including online travel agencies like Orbitz and Expedia)
- Discount travel sites (like Hotwire)
- Passenger trains (including subways)
- Buses (including local transit)
- Taxis (including ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft)
- Toll bridges and highways (including prepaid tolls like E-Zpass and SunPass)
- Parking lots and garages
The $300 travel credit offered by the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is more restrictive — you can only apply it to flight, hotel, and car rental purchases made through Capital One Travel. That’s not an issue if you would normally make these purchases through a third-party site anyway, but again keep in mind you probably won’t earn points or have your elite status recognized on hotel and car rental bookings.
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit
Both cards also offer a statement credit toward the Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) application fee every four years. If you’re already a member of one of these trusted traveler programs, you can pay for a friend or family member’s application fee with your card and still receive the credit.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® goes a step further and also includes NEXUS as an option for this credit. NEXUS costs $50 for five years and is a trusted traveler program that gets you Global Entry and TSA PreCheck, as well as expedited customs and immigration into Canada.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® earn flexible rewards you can transfer to airline and hotel partners in their respective programs. However, each program has different partners (although there is some overlap).
For most travelers, the Chase Ultimate Rewards program is a little more useful, with 14 partners that include domestic airlines like United, Southwest, and JetBlue, and hotel partners Marriott, IHG, and Hyatt. All Chase airline and hotel partners offer a 1:1 transfer ratio:
For its part, Capital One actually has more transfer partners (18 in total) with a few unique options including Accor, Wyndham, Turkish Airlines, and Cathay Pacific. All transfers are at a 1:1 ratio unless otherwise noted:
However, Capital One doesn’t have any domestic airline partners, so it’s less useful if you tend to travel within the US.
That said, if you’re willing to do a bit of legwork, it’s still possible to book award flights on most major airlines with either program thanks to partnerships and alliances. For example, United Airlines partners with Chase but not Capital One. You can still book United flights with Capital One miles by transferring rewards to programs like Air Canada Aeroplan or Singapore Airlines, then booking flights with their miles. Because these airlines are all part of Star Alliance, you can use miles from any of them to book award flights on any other partner.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card comes with a 10,000-mile bonus each year on your account anniversary. Because Capital One miles are worth 1 cent each when you redeem them toward travel purchases (and potentially more when you transfer to partners), this bonus is worth at least $100 in travel.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® doesn’t offer any sort of anniversary points bonus.
Airport lounge access
Both the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® offer Priority Pass Select membership, which allows you and up to two guests access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide. This includes airport restaurants that are part of the Priority Pass network.
In addition, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card allows the cardholder and two guests access to Capital One’s new airport lounges, the first of which recently opened at Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), with a second lounge in Denver (DEN) opening in 2022. It also comes with access to Plaza Premium Lounges worldwide.
Chase will also be opening its own branded lounges at New York-LaGuardia (LGA) Terminal B, Boston (BOS) Terminal B to C connector, San Diego (SAN) Terminal 2 West, Phoenix (PHX) Terminal 4 South 1, and Hong Kong (HKG) Terminal 1, but it hasn’t released exact information about opening dates or details about lounge amenities just yet. Chase does say these lounges will offer “access to exceptional, authentic and regionally inspired food, drink, art, entertainment, and wellness.”
Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders — as well as all Priority Pass members — will have access to these lounges when they open. So you won’t necessarily need a Chase Sapphire Reserve® to get in — the Priority Pass membership from the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card would make you eligible, too.
This is where the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a clear winner. You can add authorized users to the card for free, and they get many of the same excellent perks as the primary cardholder, including:
- Priority Pass and Capital One airport lounge access (cardholder and up to two guests)
- Hertz President’s Circle elite status
- Cell phone protection
Meanwhile, it costs $75 to add an authorized user to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, although those users will receive their own Priority Pass airport lounge access as well.
Travel and purchase protections
As Visa Infinite cards, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® come with excellent travel and purchase protections, including primary car rental insurance, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, and trip delay insurance.
These benefits and their coverage limits vary by card, and there are some perks that aren’t common across both. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of some of the cards’ key benefits (be sure to check the Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits guide and Capital One Venture X benefits guide for important terms and exclusions):
Rental car elite status
If you rent cars frequently, you could get additional perks and discounts with the car rental elite status each card provides. You’ll get elite status with Avis, National, and Silvercar car rental agencies when you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, and the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card comes with elite status at Hertz.
Depending on your rental car company of choice, you may want to choose one card over the other if this perk is important to you.
Because they’re both premium cards, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card charge high annual fees — but with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, it’s easier to get a concrete value that can offset all of the annual fee and then some.
The $395 annual fee on the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card can be completely erased with just two perks — the annual $300 Capital One Travel credit and the 10,000-mile anniversary bonus (worth at least $100 in travel). That’s not counting the value of other perks like airport lounge access and cell phone insurance.
The $550 annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a little harder to justify. After you subtract the $300 annual travel credit, you’re still left with a $250 net cost.
However, the higher annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® could be worth it if you put a high value on premium travel protections like evacuation insurance, or if you plan to redeem points at a rate of 1.5 cents each through the Chase Travel portal or via Pay Yourself Back. Chase also added a $5 monthly DoorDash in-app credit to the card from April 2022 to December 2024, which could help defray the annual fee if you order from DoorDash frequently.
Comparison: Capital One Venture X vs Chase Sapphire Reserve
In terms of value, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a good choice if lowering your out-of-pocket costs is important to you. While the $300 travel credit is more restrictive than the Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit, it should be easy for most travelers to use — and an additional 10,000 miles each account anniversary helps offset the $395 annual fee.
While the Chase Sapphire Reserve® charges an annual fee that’s much higher, it could still be worth it if you value the extra travel benefits and range of transfer partners the Ultimate Rewards program offers. Be sure to factor in the cost of any authorized users ($75 on the Reserve versus $0 on the Venture X), and keep in mind this card doesn’t offer cell phone protection like the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card does.
Ultimately, your travel preferences, spending habits, and ability to maximize each card’s benefits are the most important factors in deciding which is right for you.