The travel credit card competition is fierce, with more options than ever before. That’s great news for us as consumers, since credit card issuers are pressed to continually improve their products.
For instance, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card made a huge splash when it launched last fall, offering exclusive benefits like airport lounge access, a TSA PreCheck®/Global Entry statement credit, and more — but for an annual fee.
So, how does it compare to the long-standing champion and beloved travel card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which comes with a more reasonable $95 annual fee?
While the answer may seem like a no-brainer at first, since the Capital One Venture X comes with an annual $300 travel credit, effectively reducing the annual fee to $95, the two cards are worth comparing.
Let’s dig in and find out which card comes out on top.
Overview: Capital One Venture X Rewards vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
|Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card||Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card|
|APR||22.24% - 29.24% (Variable)||21.49% - 28.49% Variable|
|Sign-up bonus||75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening||60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.|
|Redemption value||1:1 transfer ratio for most partners||At least 1.25 cents per point|
|Foreign transaction fees||None||None|
|Travel and shopping protections||
Sign-up bonuses compared
Both welcome offers are worth at least $750, even if it seems like the Capital One Venture X comes with the superior offer at 75,000 miles.
With the Capital One Venture X, you can redeem your miles for any travel-related purchases on your statement credit at a value of 1 cent each. Capital One also allows you to transfer your miles to 15+ airline and hotel loyalty programs, although the end value will vary.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Similarly, Chase offers a suite of airline and hotel transfer partners that you can leverage, with the potential of exceeding this 1.25 cent-per-point value.
Earning rates compared
If you travel frequently, the Capital One Venture X offers an incredible return: 10X miles on hotels and rental cars and 5X miles on flights, all when booked through the issuer’s travel portal. For any other purchase, non-travel or travel-related, you’ll still earn 2X miles.
On the other hand, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card seems to be the better option for consumers who have a mix of everyday spending. You’ll not only earn 5X points on any travel booked through Chase, but also 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and online streaming services, and 1X points on all other purchases.
Ultimately, the decision will depend on your spending behavior. The difference in rewards-earning potential may end up being negligible, so you’ll want to take a closer look at the other perks to make a final decision.
Redeeming rewards compared
Both travel cards offer the best value when redeeming for — you guessed it — travel. Although you can opt to redeem for cash back, gift cards, and other non-travel rewards, the value is much lower and should be avoided, if at all possible.
Since Chase gives you 25% more redemption value for flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises, and more using its portal, Chase Ultimate Rewards® points are worth more than Capital One miles. Additionally, Chase’s travel partners are superior, with more recognized brands like Hyatt, Marriott, Southwest, United, and more.
Capital One also maintains a sizable roster of transfer programs. However, all of its airline partners are international — which can be more difficult to maximize. Still, we can’t neglect the simplicity of Capital One miles where you can simply credit any travel-related charge on your statement credit at a rate of 1 cent each.
Other benefits compared
When it comes to travel perks, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is unmatched. If you take advantage of all of these benefits, you’ll come out ahead of the hefty annual fee:
- $300 annual travel credit for bookings through Capital One Travel.
- $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® credit.
- 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary.
- Capital One and Priority Pass airport lounge access, for the cardholder and up to two guests.
- Hertz President’s Circle car rental elite status.*
- No foreign transaction fees.
- A plethora of travel and shopping benefits, such as cellphone protection, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Return Protection, and more.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also comes with a decent amount of perks and partner benefits, and it’s not hard to justify paying the $95 annual fee:
- Up to $50 in annual hotel credits for bookings through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal.
- 10% bonus points of your total purchases made the previous year, every account anniversary.
- 5x points on Lyft rides through March 31, 2025.
- $10 monthly statement credit from Gopuff through December 31, 2023.
- Complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription for $0 delivery fees and lower service fees on eligible orders through December 31, 2024.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Travel and shopping protections, including trip cancellation and interruption insurance, primary rental car insurance, purchase protection, and more.
The main differentiator between the two cards is if you’re specifically seeking airport lounge access and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® credit. These two benefits can make all the difference when you’re navigating a bustling airport.
Compare that to the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, which still boasts travel benefits but incorporates (potentially) more useful everyday perks, too.
Capital One Venture X Rewards: Pros & cons
Intro APR, Purchases
Intro APR, Balance Transfers
22.24% - 29.24% (Variable)
- Excellent travel benefits that can exceed the cost of the annual fee. Do the math, and it’s simple: you’ll come out ahead if you’re a frequent traveler who can take advantage of all the Venture X’s perks.
- Phenomenal rewards rate, with the potential of earning up to 10X points. It’s hard to rival the Venture X’s return on travel purchases.
- $750 in value from the welcome offer. Earning the sign-up bonus can help you boost your point balances — to the tune of 75,000 bonus points.
- The $395 annual fee is steep, even with the $300 annual travel credit. And you’ll be charged that fee upfront, so be prepared to pay the price.
- Rewards aren’t as valuable (compared to other credit card programs). While Capital One miles are easy to use, they’re not as lucrative compared to Chase Ultimate Rewards® points.
- Booking through the Capital One travel portal. In order to get those sweet 10X bonus points on car rentals and hotels or use up the annual $300 travel credit, you have to book through the portal. If you prefer to book directly with airlines, car rental companies, and hotels, this card may not be the right choice for you.
Chase Sapphire Preferred®: Pros & cons
21.49% - 28.49% Variable
- Your points are worth at least 1.25 cents each toward travel. In other words, that $250 flight will only cost you 10,000 points, helping you save on your hard-earned points.
- Great rewards rate for travel and everyday purchases. You’re earning points in your day-to-day and when you’re on that dream trip.
- There’s a $95 annual fee. Although it’s not a crazy exorbitant fee, the card is nowhere from “free” and still takes a bit of legwork to maximize year after year.
- No premium travel benefits. However, this shouldn’t come as a shock with a lower annual fee.
Where the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card shines is its high rewards potential. Meanwhile, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers a horde of travel benefits that will improve your journey along the way.
Therefore, it’s not necessarily about which card is the winner. If you want to save big on travel by leveraging credit card points, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® is the way to go. On the other hand, if you spend thousands of dollars on travel every year and want luxurious benefits, the Capital One Venture X is the better travel companion.