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For years, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® was my go-to recommendation for folks who wanted a premium rewards card that earned generous travel rewards. That quickly changed when the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card launched last year.

While I initially scoffed at yet another premium credit card entering the market, it became clear this one was a step above the rest. Despite my proclamations, I ended up applying for the card and will probably keep it in my wallet long-term.

Between a monster sign-up bonus, relatively low annual fee, and a rewards program that has improved while others have been on a downward spiral, the card has a lot going for it. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s why the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card has replaced the Chase Sapphire Reserve® as my go-to premium card recommendation.

Capital One Venture X has a higher welcome bonus


Regular APR


16.99% – 23.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Excellent


Regular APR


16.99% – 23.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Excellent

Pros

  • Excellent welcome bonus and miles earning
  • Premium perks including airport lounge access and statement credits
  • Visa Infinite benefits including travel and shopping protections

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • Annual travel statement credits only apply to Capital One Travel purchases

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More Information

  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 6 months from account opening, equal to $1,000 in travel
  • Limited-time Offer: Receive up to $200 back in statement credits for vacation rentals charged to your account within your first year
  • 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, plus unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Escape the airport crowd and recharge before your flight with unlimited access to all-inclusive amenities at the Capital One Lounge and at 1,300+ Priority Pass lounges worldwide
  • 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 currently offers a higher welcome bonus than the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. New cardholders 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 toward vacation rental purchases made with their card in the first year. This is a limited-time offer and ends on March 14, 2022.

Read more: Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Capital One Venture X: Which premium travel rewards credit card is best for you?

Meanwhile, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers half the bonus of the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Granted, the spending requirement is lower for the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, but Capital One gives you more time to complete it. 

A lower annual fee (and no charge for authorized users)

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card’s annual fee is $395, significantly lower than the Chase Sapphire Reserve®’s $550. The card doesn’t impose an authorized user fee, while Chase Sapphire Reserve® charges $75 per user.

Read more: 6 reasons why I’m finally considering a Capital One credit card

For couples who want help meeting spending requirements or prefer to cut down on annual fees by sharing a card, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers much more value in this regard.

But it’s not all about annual fees — recurring benefits are what distinguishes one credit card over another. Let’s look at those benefits and how the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card comes out ahead of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Better travel credits

Both cards offer a $300 annual statement credit valid on travel purchases. This is a great perk that helps justify the high annual fee on both cards. It’s worth noting that purchases covered by the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card’s travel credit are eligible to earn miles. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you won’t earn bonus points for travel purchases reimbursed by the card’s travel credit.

Read more: The Capital One Venture X card comes with up to $300 in annual travel credit — here’s how to use it

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card goes a step further by offering up to a $200 vacation rental credit during the first year. That offsets the annual fee entirely and makes this a much more preferable option — at least during the first year of card membership.

Easy reward structure

Most rewards credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offer 1 point per dollar spent alongside elevated bonuses in specific categories. Some consumers find that confusing and prefer a flat elevated earning rate on all purchases.

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card takes care of that. The card earns 2x miles on nearly all spending. Cardholders can also earn 10x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5x miles on flights booked the same way. 

Read more: How to earn, redeem, and maximize Capital One miles

At a minimum, 2x miles is worth 2% cash back when redeemed for travel statement credits. But with the addition of 18 transfer partners, Capital One miles are worth even more. For example, you can transfer miles to airline partners like Avianca Lifemiles and redeem them for premium cabin flights that typically cost thousands of dollars. 

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card used to be great for budget travelers who just wanted to charge everything to one card and then redeem miles for statement credits. Now it’s an equally great card for aspirational travelers.

Annual rewards bonus

Recurring benefits are vital in determining a card’s long-term value. The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers an anniversary bonus of 10,000 miles, good for at least $100 toward travel. Recurring benefits like this help take the sting out of annual fees. 

Unfortunately, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® does not offer a similar bonus. That’s yet another reason why Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card has become my go-to recommendation.

Better transfer partners

Capital One introduced transfer partners almost four years ago but has grown to 18 airlines and hotels. Meanwhile, Chase Ultimate Rewards remains at 14 partners after over a decade in business. 

It’s not just about quantity either — I consider Capital One’s transfer partners to be better quality. Notable partners include Air Canada Aeroplan, Avianca Lifemiles, Etihad Guest, and Turkish Miles&Smiles. 

All of these programs offer incredible sweet spots that will allow you to travel to many destinations for less. Capital One’s reward program has also offered several transfer bonuses in its short existence, something Chase has only done once.

Read more: How Capital One’s latest credit card improvements earned them the top spot in my wallet

Maximizing your miles is key to a good rewards strategy. At the moment, Capital One does a better job of enabling that than Chase. 

It’s also worth noting that Capital One has several transfer partners that overlap with Chase’s, including Air France-KLM Flying Blue, British Airways Executive Club, Emirates Skywards, Air Canada Aeroplan, and Singapore KrisFlyer. The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card has a clear advantage here over Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Better lounge benefit

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers a more comprehensive airport lounge benefit than the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Cardholders not only get Priority Pass membership, but they also get access to Capital One’s growing lounge network.

Granted, Capital One only has one lounge open at the moment at Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), but additional locations are opening at Washington Dulles (IAD) and Denver (DEN) airports this year. 

Read more: The best credit cards with airport lounge access

These lounges offer premium amenities like relaxation rooms, fully stocked bars, family rooms, and even shower suites. These are perks you usually find at premium international airline lounges, but Capital One is bringing these experiences to domestic airports. Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card cardholders get unlimited access to Capital One lounges, with the ability to bring in up to two guests free of charge.

Meanwhile, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® currently only provides access to Priority Pass lounges (although it will launch its own proprietary Chase Lounges soon). Considering Capital One and American Express are both running their own lounge networks, Chase is a bit behind the times on this end.

Bottom line

Since its recent launch, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card has outshone more prominent cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. High-annual-fee cards have become the norm, but they don’t always deliver on value. The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card has really stepped things up by carrying a lower annual fee than competitors and offering a terrific rewards program. 

Through its combination of luxury perks and simple rewards structure, it’s suited to a broader audience than similar cards issued by Chase and Amex. That’s why the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card continues to be the card I recommend the most to newbies looking for value and premium benefits.

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