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Both the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® have much to offer seasoned travelers seeking high-end perks. They each provide annual travel credits, airport lounge access, credits toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and other valuable benefits — in exchange for sizable annual fees.
But the Chase Sapphire Reserve® comes in slightly ahead, thanks to more flexibility with that travel credit, plus higher point values when you redeem for travel. You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards® points over from a variety of other Chase cards, maximizing the point-earning potential. And while both cards offer generous travel protections, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers greater coverage amounts in some instances, which might save you the cost of a separate travel insurance policy.
Still, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a simpler (yet still rewarding) card to manage, making it a potentially better fit if you want a premium experience without having to work as hard for it.
Here’s how to decide which is right for you.
How the cards compare
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
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.
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Foreign transaction fee
Why the Chase Sapphire Reserve® wins by a nose
Though it has a formidable $550 annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® has lots of valuable travel extras that can bring down that cost.
Flexible travel credit
The $300 annual travel credit is hassle-free. Whenever you use the card to make a travel purchase, you automatically get a statement credit covering the cost until you reach the $300 limit. Travel purchases include airlines, hotel and timeshare bookings, car rentals, cruises, travel agencies and discount travel sites, campgrounds, trains, buses, taxis, limos, ferries, tolls and parking. The one drawback is that until you get the full travel credit, you won’t earn points on travel purchases.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card also offers a $300 annual travel credit, but it doesn’t automatically cover any travel expense. Instead, it covers bookings made through Capital One Travel.
Higher point values
Points are worth 1.5 cents each when redeemed for travel booked through Chase, compared to 1 cent apiece with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. That means 50,000 points are worth $750.
Combines with other Chase cards
A hallmark of the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is the ability to transfer rewards over from other cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, including the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. Since you can also redeem transferred points for 1.5 cents each when you use them to book travel on Chase, you can put several cards to work to save up for a future vacation.
And because Chase allows you to combine points with another member of your household for free, you can pair up to earn double the rewards.
Some Capital One cards allow you to transfer rewards between cards, but not all are eligible. So in this area, Chase provides a more seamless experience.
» MORE: What is the ‘Chase Trifecta’?
More robust travel insurance
Both cards offer primary rental car collision coverage and reimbursement for lost luggage. Each features trip delay reimbursement worth up to $500 per ticket if your travel is delayed by more than 6 hours or requires an unexpected overnight stay.
But the travel coverage that comes with Chase Sapphire Reserve® goes further. It offers up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip to cover prepaid, non-refundable travel costs if your trip is canceled or shortened due to a covered reason, like illness or severe weather. (The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card will reimburse up to $2,000 per person.)
The Chase card also offers up to $100,000 for medical services and transportation when you’re far from home, and its travel accident insurance is more robust, too.
The one area where the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card wins out? It features cell phone insurance, unlike the Chase card.
While these are benefits you hope never to use, they’re certainly nice to have if you need them. Just keep in mind that there are terms, conditions and limitations to the coverage provided by both cards.
More domestic transfer partners
With both cards, you can transfer points to select airline and hotel loyalty programs, but Chase partners with several U.S. airlines and major hotel brands:
Compare those to Capital One’s transfer partners, which include no U.S. airlines:
Why you might prefer the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is certainly an impressive card, especially for anyone who wants a premium experience with relatively little fuss.
Lower annual fee
The annual fee is a still-high $395, but that’s certainly lower than the $550 you’d pay with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. If you max out the $300 annual travel credit, you’ve offset much of the cost. Plus, the card provides a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus worth $100 toward travel, which also helps lower the price of carrying the card in year two and beyond.
Simpler rewards and redemptions
While the Chase Sapphire Reserve® can have up to six different reward tiers, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card has just three to track. And its "everything else" category is more lucrative: 2X miles back, as opposed to just 1 point back with the Chase card.
With the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, in addition to redeeming rewards for bookings through Capital One Travel, you can use miles to reimburse yourself for the cost of recent travel purchases. Eligible travel expenses include airline purchases, hotel bookings, rental cars, trains, buses, taxis, cruises, travel agents and timeshares. This gives you the option to book award travel any way you want, without limiting yourself to a card’s travel portal.
Capital One Lounge access
Both cards grant you access to Priority Pass lounges, which can be a mixed bag, experience-wise. But Capital One is launching its airport lounges, the first of which opened at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The next two are slated to open at Denver International Airport and Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C. Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card cardholders get free access to Capital One Lounges, which feature amenities such as food, drinks, high-speed Wi-Fi, luggage lockers, showers and more.
Of course, this benefit will begin to feel more substantial once additional lounges open.
Which card should you get?
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card comes out on top for simplicity and a lower annual fee. But the Chase Sapphire Reserve® provides ways to maximize the points you can earn by combining rewards from other cards (and other people). The higher point value for travel redemptions helps your earnings go far, too. For those who relish a bit of a challenge, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® provides many ways to get lots of value.