When the Chase Sapphire Reserve® 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 new card that’s poised to give the Sapphire Reserve some stiff competition. Capital One recently unveiled the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, and it 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.
Read more: Capital One will soon launch the Venture X credit card with a 100,000-mile bonus, luxury perks, and a much lower annual fee than other premium cards
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®.
Comparison: Capital One Venture X vs Chase Sapphire Reserve
16.99% – 23.99% Variable
100,000 bonus miles when you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 6 months from account opening
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 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 6 months from account opening, plus up to $200 in statement credits for vacation rental purchases in the first 12 months of account opening.
Meanwhile, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
Read more: Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card review
Off the bat, Capital One miles are worth 1 cent apiece when you redeem them toward travel purchases, so the 100,000-mile welcome bonus is worth an even $1,000 in travel. However, it’s possible to potentially get even more value when you transfer miles to Capital One’s airline and hotel partners.
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 $750 in travel. That’s still shy of the travel value you’d get from the Venture X bonus, but Chase has transfer partners as well that can improve your rate of return, depending on how you redeem your rewards.
Overall, you stand to get more value from the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card bonus, especially if you take advantage of up to $200 in credits toward vacation rentals in the first year. But keep in mind that to unlock the 100,000-mile welcome bonus, you’ll need to spend $10,000 on purchases in the first six months. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® requires less than half that spending, although you’ll only have three months to meet the 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 2022, 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, and 5x on flights booked the same way. Everything else earns 2 miles per dollar.
Read more: Capital One Venture X card review
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
Plus, because of the pandemic, Chase started applying the credit to gas station and grocery store purchases, and this feature has been extended through December 31, 2021.
Read more: The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with up to $300 per year in travel credits — here’s how to use them
The 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.
Read more: The best credit cards for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
One credit unique to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is up to $120 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership. Through December 31, 2021, you can receive this credit if you use your card to pay for your membership when you enroll on Chase’s Peloton page.
In addition, Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders can get up to $60 in DoorDash credits through December 31, 2021, and are also eligible for a complimentary year of DoorDash DashPass membership (for waived delivery fees on qualifying orders — activation is required by December 31, 2021).
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.
Read more: I used a credit perk to dine for nearly free at an airport restaurant and it’s my new favorite travel hack
Chase will also be opening its own branded lounges at New York-LaGuardia Terminal B, Boston Terminal B to C connector, and Hong Kong Terminal 1, but it hasn’t released information about opening dates or details about lounge amenities just yet. Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders — as well as all Priority Pass members — will have access to these lounges when they open.
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
Read more: The 3 best credit cards for adding someone as an authorized user — so they can build credit and get benefits like airport lounge access
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.
Read more: The best credit cards with travel 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.
Read more: 5 luxury credit cards with high annual fees that more than pay for themselves
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. You can reduce this further if you max out the Peloton (up to $120 in 2021) and DoorDash (up to $60 in 2021) credits, but these aren’t as broadly useful to customers as, say, a travel credit or bonus miles.
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.
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 easily 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.
Good to Excellent
3 free nights (each valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases and 10x total points on eligible purchases in select categories
Good to Excellent
$200 after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening
Good to Excellent