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That’s right – it’s a three way face-off! Since the Capital One Venture X credit card launched last week, I’ve been asked a lot of questions that compare it to the Chase Sapphire lineup.
It’s not a super simple answer, as many of the features and benefits of each card are ones that may or may not matter to you. I personally think that the nearly unlimited Priority Pass lounge access feature of the Venture X (wherein you can get Venture X Authorized User cards for up to 4 people in your household at no cost and they can each have their own Priority Pass membership (which, unlike Amex, includes Priority Pass in-airport restaurants as well) is absolutely massive. But if you don’t care about airport lounges, then it’s pretty worthless to you.
In this article
Comparison: Venture X, Sapphire Reserve, and Sapphire Preferred
First, let’s look at a three way comparison of pretty much every feature of the cards.
|Capital One Venture X||Chase Sapphire Reserve||Chase Sapphire Preferred|
|Signup Bonus||Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $10,000 within your first 6 months plus you can earn up to $200 in statement credits for vacation rental purchases like Airbnb and VRBO. ✅||50,000 Ultimate Rewards points with $4,000 in spend within 3 months||60,000 Ultimate Rewards points with $4,000 in spend within 3 months|
|Annual Fee, Credits, Earn Rates|
|Authorized User Fee||$0||$75||$0|
|NET EFFECTIVE Annual Fee||Negative $5 after the $300 travel credit (good on any travel booking via the Capital One portal) and 10,000 annual Capital One Miles. ✅||$250 if you use the full annual $300 travel credit.||$45 if you use the annual $50 hotel credit|
|Annual Travel Credit (Offsets annual fee)||$300 (only valid for travel booked via the Capital One portal)||$300||$50 (Only valid for hotels booked by the Chase portal)|
|Redemption value in the issuer's Travel Portal?||1.0 cents per point||1.5 cents per point ✅||1.25 cents per point|
|Earn Rate for Air/Hotel/Car Rentals booked directly with the provider||2X||3X ✅||2X|
|Earn Rate for Airfare booked via Issuer Portal||5X||5X||5X|
|Earn Rate for Hotels booked via Issuer Portal||10X ✅||10X ✅||5X|
|Earn Rate for Car Rentals booked via Issuer Portal||10X ✅||10X ✅||5X|
|Earn Rate for Spend Not in a Bonus Category||2X ✅||1X||1X|
|Earn Rate for Dining||2X||3X ✅||3X ✅|
|Other Bonus Categories||No||10X on Lyft until March 2022, 10X on Chase Dining by Tock||5X on Lyft until March 2022, 3X on Streaming, 3X on Online Groceries|
|10% anniversary bonus based on total yearly spend.||No||No||Yes ✅|
|Transfers to airline and hotel partners?||Yes (View Transfer Partners and Transfer Times)||Yes (See Transfer Partners and Transfer Times)||Yes (See Transfer Partners and Transfer Times)|
|Airport Lounge Access||Yes. Primary cardholder gets Priority Pass included, as well as Capital One lounges, and can bring two guests. Authorized Users which have no additional fee also get their own, separate Priority Pass Membership. Also includes in-airport Priority Pass restaurants. ✅||Yes, via Priority Pass. For you and up to two guests. Unlimited visits. Will also include Chase branded Lounges. Also includes in-airport Priority Pass restaurants.||No|
|Elite Statuses Granted||Hertz President's Circle (Top Tier Elite - select any card from the Ultimate Choice lot when you book a midsize or higher car). ✅||None||None|
|Global Entry or PreCheck reimbursement?||Yes, up to $100 once every 4 years. ✅||Yes, up to $100 once every 4 years. ✅||No|
|Car Rental Damage Waiver Insurance?||Yes, Primary. $75k max car value (see full terms in your guide to benefits). See country exclusions.||Yes, Primary (Both Sapphire cards have identical coverage). See Guide to Benefits.||Yes, Primary (Both Sapphire cards have identical coverage). See Guide to Benefits.|
|Roadside assistance||No||Yes, covering up to $50 in roadside assistance (i.e. towing, help with a flat, etc) up to 4 times a year ✅||Yes, but only the call is covered. Any assistance provided such as a towing is at your own expense.|
|Trip Delay Coverage||Yes, up to $500 after a 6 hour delay. Must have used card to purchase at least part of trip (common carrier). ✅||Yes, up to $500 after a 6 hour delay. Must have used card to purchase at least part of trip (common carrier). Paying with Ultimate Rewards points counts. ✅||Yes, up to $500 after a 12 hour delay. Must have used card to purchase at least part of trip (common carrier). Paying with Ultimate Rewards points counts.|
|Trip Cancellation / Interruption Coverage||Yes. Up to $2,000.||Yes (excludes travel provider insolvency).If your trip is cancelled or cut short due to sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours, and hotels. ✅||Yes (excludes travel provider insolvency). If your trip is cancelled or cut short due to sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours, and hotels. ✅|
|Lost Luggage Coverage||Up to $3,000 ($2,000 max in NY)||Yes, up to $3,000. Other limits apply. ✅||Yes, up to $3,000. Other limits apply. ✅|
|Emergency Evacuation||No||Yes, up to $100,000 ✅||No|
|Delayed Luggage Coverage||No.||Yes, Up to $100 per day / 5 days max. ✅||Yes, Up to $100 per day / 5 days max. ✅|
|Foreign Transaction Fees||None||None||None|
|Cell Phone Protection||The benefit covers up to $800 per claim. There is a $50 deductible. You can make up to 2 claims per calendar year. ✅||No||No|
|Purchase Protection||Covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year||Covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year||Covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.|
|Extended warranty||Manufacturer's Warranty Extended by one year (on warranties of 3 years or less)||Manufacturer's Warranty Extended by one year (on warranties of 3 years or less)||Manufacturer's Warranty Extended by one year (on warranties of 3 years or less)|
|Return protection||Up to $300 per item (Max of $1,000 per account/year)||You can be reimbursed for eligible items that the store won't take back within 90 days of purchase, up to $500 per item, $1,000 per year ✅.||None|
|Lyft Benefits (through March 2022)||N/A||Get a one-time complimentary Lyft Pink subscription (15% Lyft discounts, free bike/scooter rentals each month, and better cancellation rules). This is a $240 value. ✅||None|
|Door Dash Credits (through 2021)||N/A||$60 in 2021 ✅||None|
|DoorDash Benefits (through 2021)||N/A||Free "DashPass" membership (free delivery on select restaurants when you spend $12 or more) from now through the end of Dec 2021 or for a minimum of one year when activated any time before then. ✅||Free "DashPass" membership (free delivery on select restaurants when you spend $12 or more) from now through the end of Dec 2021 or for a minimum of one year when activated any time before then. ✅|
|(2021 Only) Peloton Benefit||N/A||Earn up to $120 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through December 31, 2021. ✅||Earn up to $60 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through December 31, 2021.|
Winners By Category
Using the chart above, we easily see that there is no clear winner overall. It’s going to depend on what you value.
But look for the green checkmarks on each line to easily see which card wins feature by feature. In each section below, I’ll state how I view the winners, though you may feel differently and you’d be just as right 😉
You can also easily make the case that you could the Venture X and Chase Sapphire Preferred (for a range of benefits and transfer partners) and ditch the Reserve….
Annual Fee / Credits – Venture X: The Reserve is the clear loser here, as since they raised their annual fee to $550 and still only give a $300 travel credit, it nets to $250 that isn’t getting credited back in any way. The Preferred has a net $45 annual fee after the $50 hotel credit (and that is a bit generous since it does require booking a hotel (not any travel) using the Chase portal which means no status benefits.
Points Earning / Redemption Via Portal – Sapphire Reserve: You still earn 3X on travel and dining with the Reserve and with the travel category so inclusive, you’re earning 3X on a lot – however you get just 1X on everything else (assuming you don’t have a second card from the Chase Trifecta). The Venture X gets 2X on everything, however it has no bonus categories except for when booking travel via their own portal, and if you want to redeem in the portal you are getting just 1 cent per point compared to 1.5 with the CSR and 1.25 with the CSP.
Transfer Partners – Tie: We’ll take a look at the differences in transfer partners later on, but I’ll say that I think it’s a tie due to the variances in the programs. If I was forced to choose, I’d give a slight edge to Capital One Miles for having more useful airline partners, even if their hotel partner, Choice, isn’t nearly as valuable as Hyatt via Chase.
Airport Lounge Access – Capital One Venture X: This one’s not even close. While the Sapphire Reserve has full Priority Pass with 2 guests – including in-airport Priority Pass restaurants – an authorized user costs $75. With the Venture X, you can give your spouse a free AU card and they would get their own full Priority Pass membership.
As well, even though Chase is working on their own lounges, Capital One has already begun opening theirs to pretty solid reviews. And you get that included with Venture X.
Elite Statuses – Capital One Venture X: Neither Chase card confers any status in any program. But the Venture X credit card offers Hertz President’s Circle. This is their “Top Tier Elite” status which allows you to select any card from the Ultimate Choice lot when you book a midsize or higher car.
Travel Protections – Chase Sapphire Reserve: It covers up to $10,000 per person for trip cancellation (vs. $2,000 for Venture X), offers $100,000 in medical evacuation coverage, and provides $100 a day (up to 5 days) for lost luggage. It also provides Roadside Assistance for just $50. Sapphire Preferred has some of the same benefits, but not all, while Venture X falls short on trip cancellation and has no medical evac or lost luggage protections.
Cell Phone Protection – Capital One Venture X: Only Venture X has this benefit, defined as The benefit covers up to $800 per claim. There is a $50 deductible. You can make up to 2 claims per calendar year.
Shopping Protections – Chase Sapphire Reserve (by a nose): They are pretty close, but Sapphire Reserve has a higher limit per item on Return Protection than Venture X by $200 (Sapphire Preferred does not offer this) and the same Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty.
Extras: The Sapphire cards have Peloton and Lyft benefits in 2021 that are close to gone, so I’ll ignore those in this comparison.
Comparing Chase Ultimate Rewards and Capital One Miles for Airline and Hotel Transfer Partners
In this chart, you can see at a glance that they have just 5 transfer partners in common: Air Canada Aeroplan, Air France Flying Blue, British Airways Avios, Emirates Skywards, and Singapore Kris Flyer. The transfer rations for all of these are the same at 1:1.
Beyond that, it will depend on what you like to redeem for.
|Capital One Miles||Chase Ultimate Rewards|
|Transfer Ratio||Transfer Ratio|
|Both Programs Can Transfer|
|Air Canada (Aeroplan)||1:1||1:1|
|Air France / KLM Flying Blue||1:1||1:1|
|British Airways Avios||1:1||1:1|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||1:1||1:1|
|Capital One Miles Only|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||1:1||NA|
|Choice Hotels||1:1 |
(Not yet available - launches later in 2021)
|TAP Air Portugal||1:1||NA|
|Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles||1:1||NA|
|Wyndham Rewards Hotel Program||1:1||NA|
|Accor Live Limitless (ALL) Hotel Program||2:1||NA|
|Chase Ultimate Rewards Only|
|Aer Lingus Avios||NA||1:1|
|British Airways Avios||NA||1:1|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||NA||1:1|
|World of Hyatt||NA||1:1|
Hyatt is, for me, Chase’s killer (and unique) transfer partner and a main reason why I value Chase points 0.1 cent higher than Capital One Miles (1.7 cents each to 1.6 cents each). However, that’s close enough and subjective enough that I can’t call it for Chase here. Virgin Atlantic has great redemptions on Delta to Europe (excluding England) at 50k each way and of course the fabled ANA redemptions in Business and First. United is nice, but they keep devaluing their program.
Of the unique Capital One transfer partners, I would rate Turkish Miles&Smiles at the top. Especially if you don’t care about hotels that much, Capital One may actually win due to having Turkish as a transfer partner (unique to Capital One here, though its also a Citi ThankYou transfer partner, and Turkish is just about the best way to book business class to Europe (45,000 miles one way) and is the absolute best for business class award travel within North America (12,500 – 15,000 miles one way).
Capital One also has Choice Hotels, which has some stellar values in both their Preferred Hotels tie-up as well as Nordic Choice Hotels, however Citi ThankYou transfers 1:2 (yes, you get twice as many Choice as you transfer) while Capital One is 1:1.
Notably, Capital One has a few more unique partners like Wyndham (which allows booking vacation rentals for 15,000 points per bedroom, including via Vacassa), Avianca Lifemiles (great for booking Star Alliance but with some major caveats), and Qantas (they often release premium cabin seats to their own members but not to oneworld partners). They also have Etihad Guest but in most cases you are better off booking Etihad via AA or Air Canada since these partners can book mixed cabin awards on Etihad while Etihad Guest cannot.
If reading this helped you decide on any of the three cards as your next card (and I really mean “if it helped you decide” as I’m not picking a clear winner here), you can learn how to apply via these links, which all support MilesTalk and make more long form articles like this possible:
Like I said at the outset, I don’t see one absolutely clear winner here and I don’t see it as my role to push you one way or another. I do think that Venture X is extremely compelling. The full version of Priority Pass for you and authorized users with no additional annual fee is amazing for a card that has a net annual fee of around zero (after factoring in $300 in travel portal credits and the 10,000 annual Capital One miles) and the Hertz President’s Circle status has real value (I just took a Mercedes A220 for a week in Arizona while paying for a normal mid-size car). And the early spend bonus offer for 100,000 points + $200 in Airbnb / VRBO is worth at least $1,200 if not closer to $2,000 if you transfer the points. Notably, although Capital One checks all three credit bureaus and is known to have some “interesting” approval criteria, I’m seeing lots of people get approved for Venture X that didn’t fit past traditional assumptions for Capital One approvals.
If you already have a Sapphire Reserve or Preferred, there’s really no reason to not add a Venture X, both for the bonus and the additional benefits. And you may decide to ultimately keep that Venture X and downgrade your Reserve to a Preferred.
Also, I want to point out that while a Chase Sapphire Preferred clearly did not win any of the categories above, that was to be expected with the lower annual fee. However, you might still consider the Venture X / Chase Sapphire Preferred combo. The main reason would be that, for just the extra $95 fee on Preferred, you can maintain the ability to use all of Chase’s transfer partners like Hyatt. You could, for example, use the Sapphire Preferred for dining and maybe some non-portal travel (perhaps paired with a Freedom Flex or Freedom Unlimited) to add in 3X on drugstores, and use the Venture X on non-bonused spend. That would enable you to build up both transferable point balances and, like airline programs, it’s always better to diversify!
Whatever you do, I’d love to hear it in the comments!
And if this post helped you, please consider sharing it!
You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards.
New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.