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You may think the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card vs Chase Sapphire Reserve® 2020 comparison stops at the differences in annual fees and a few perks. However, there is much more to each rewards credit card. While the Capital One Venture Rewards and the Chase Sapphire Reserve are both travel rewards credit cards, they cater to two different types of travelers.

The Sapphire Reserve recently changed its annual fee to $550. Ouch. And Capital One miles can now be transferred out to several airlines. The huge difference in annual fees makes the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card a more logical choice for most travelers.

The Venture only has a $95 annual fee, plus you receive 50,000 bonus miles after meeting the qualified minimum spending requirement. And you do get good benefits like 2x miles on all spending, TSA PreCheck credit, no foreign transaction fees, and more. Really, you’re better off comparing the Sapphire Preferred and Venture. Let’s take a further look at how you earn and redeem the most travel rewards.

capital one venture vs chase sapphire
Capital One Venture vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve Review

The Annual Fee: Capital One Venture Rewards vs Chase Sapphire Reserve

There is a major difference between the Capital One Venture Rewards vs Chase Sapphire Reserve annual fee. The Capital One Venture has an annual fee of $95. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you’ll pay $550 a year beginning with your first monthly statement.

While the Sapphire Reserve’s $550 annual fee is steep, it’s not as expensive as it appears when you look at all of the benefits. As you’ll see, the annual fee for the Sapphire Reserve is more like $250, thanks to a $300 annual travel credit received as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Capital One Venture Sign-Up Bonus

The sign-up bonus might be a one-time deal, but it can pay the annual fee for the first year and then some. Which one is better for you between the Capital One Venture vs Chase Sapphire Reserve?

Capital One Venture

The information for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Earn 50,000 Capital One Venture bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months. This bonus is worth $500 in award travel as every Venture mile is worth 1 cent each.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Sapphire Reserve sign up bonus also earns 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months, but these same points are worth $750 in award travel.

How are the exact same number of points worth 50% more with Chase instead of Capital One? When you redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for award travel, they are worth 1.5 cents each. However, they can be worth more when you transfer them to a travel partner.

On the other hand, Capital One rewards miles are only worth 1 cent each when redeemed for travel statement credits or for booking future award travel through the Capital One Venture travel portal.

Earning Rewards Points: Capital One Venture vs Chase Sapphire Reserve

Do you want to earn flat-rate rewards on every purchase? Or perhaps you prefer tiered rewards? Your preference and spending habits will dictate which credit card offers better purchase rewards.

Capital One Venture Rewards

The Capital One Venture has a flat-rate rewards program that earns unlimited 2x miles on every $1 spent. If you spend more on non-travel purchases, the 2x bonus can help you earn more points long-term compared to the Sapphire Reserve.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a tiered purchase rewards program:

  • Unlimited 3 points per $1 on dining purchases
  • 3x on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all remaining purchases

Redeeming Your Purchase Rewards

How you can redeem your purchase rewards is just as important as how you can earn your rewards. After all, what’s the purpose of having a mountain of award miles if you can’t spend them?

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Each Venture mile is worth one cent each. So that makes 1,000 miles worth $10. You get $10 in travel rewards for every $500 you spend.

You have two different point redemption options:

  • Redeem for travel statement credits on recent travel purchases
  • Book award travel through Capital One travel portal powered by Orbitz

If you like simplicity, you might prefer this award redemption option because you earn 2 miles for every $1 spent.

Edit: you can now receive more value from your Capital One miles by transferring them out to several airline partners.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

You have multiple redemption options with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® including cash statement credits and gift cards. With non-travel award redemptions, your points are only worth 1 cent each.

Instead, you should only redeem your Ultimate Rewards points for the following award travel redemptions:

  • 1:1 point transfers
  • Book award travel through Chase

When booking travel through Chase, your points are worth 1.5 cents each for all travel purchases. Most Sapphire Reserve users prefer to transfer their points on a 1:1 basis because you can usually make each point worth at least 2 cents each.

There are currently 13 Chase Ultimate Rewards travel partners:

Airline Transfer Partners

  • Aer Lingus
  • British Airways
  • Emirates
  • Flying Blue
  • Iberia
  • JetBlue
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • IHG
  • Marriott
  • World of Hyatt

Additional Card Benefits: Capital One Venture vs Chase Sapphire Reserve

The additional card benefits are where you can decide if the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is worth the $550 annual fee. You will benefit the most from the Sapphire Reserve’s benefits if you are a frequent flyer.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is chock full of travel Sapphire Reserve benefits that can easily out-value the annual fee:

  • $300 annual travel statement credit
  • Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Fee Credit
  • Luxury Hotel and Resorts Collection on-site benefits and credits
  • Primary rental car collision damage waiver
  • Special rental car agency benefits
  • Trip cancellation protection up to $10,000 in non-refundable travel purchases
  • No foreign transaction fee

With the $300 annual travel credit, the first $300 in travel purchases each year are reimbursed as a travel statement credit and effectively reduces the $550 annual to $250.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

For now, you can enjoy these additional card benefits:

  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Secondary auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Visa Signature benefits
  • TSA PreCheck or Global Entry Fee Credit

Besides the 0% foreign transaction fee and the TSA PreCheck, you probably won’t use these other travel benefits on a regular basis. If that’s the case, you need to determine if the purchase rewards and redemption rewards justify the $95 annual fee.

When the Chase Sapphire Reserve is Better

It’s obvious why the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is considered a “premium” credit cards for travel rewards. Although it costs $550 each year, regular travelers (especially air travelers) can recoup the annual fee and enjoy a few extra fringe benefits in the process.

Besides the $300 travel credit and the extra air travel benefits, the 1:1 point transfer capability is a huge benefit that very few travel credit cards offer.

When the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is Better

You should go with the Capital One Venture for these reasons:

  • Want to earn 2x miles on every purchase
  • Don’t travel enough to justify the Sapphire Reserve’s annual fee

Maybe you won’t earn enough in purchase rewards or use the additional benefits enough to afford the $550 annual fee, but want 1:1 point transfers. When that’s the case, you can also consider applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus and benefits which has the same annual fee but only earns 2x points on travel and dining. Although you earn fewer purchases rewards, the additional redemption flexibility can be worth the tradeoff.

Conclusion: Capital One Venture vs Chase Sapphire Reserve 2019

Who wins the Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Capital One Venture

It comes down to how often you travel. Frequent flyers will probably be better off with the Sapphire Reserve because of the 1:1 transfers, 50% travel redemption bonus, and Priority Pass airport lounge membership. Don’t forget that the $300 travel credit effectively reduces the annual fee to $250 while you earn 3x points on these reimbursed purchases.

Occasional travelers that won’t benefit from the upscale air travel benefits or the 3x bonus on travel and dining purchases should go with the Capital One Venture. Even though the rewards miles aren’t as valuable, it’s still a solid flat-rate travel reward credit card, especially since you can now transfer Capital One miles to airlines.

Related:

Capital One Venture and Chase Sapphire Preferred

Johnny Jet Editorial
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

6 Comments On "Capital One Venture vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve Review (2020)"
  1. H Sol|

    What is considered a “frequent flyer” or “frequent traveler” I currently have a capital one venture card and travel with my job about 6 times a year. When traveling I do eat a nice restaurants and stay in nice hotels. I’m in sales. Would I benefit more from switching to Sapphire?

    1. Mary Renking|

      I think so, especially with the new offer on the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Plus, the Chase travel partners are better, imho.

  2. Chris|

    The article says transferring points 1:1 allows the user to make the points worth 2 cents each. How does this work?

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      You can get more value from your miles by transferring them out to a travel partner. That’s because airline and hotel award programs have better redemption values in most cases. For example, 30,000 Chase UR points transferred to United can get a one-way ticket to Europe, which is more valuable than if you did a straight redemption on the UR website.

  3. trish|

    does it make sense to get both cards? setting aside the chase card for dining and travel, and the capital one for everything else where we wouldn’t get 3 points? both have an annual fee -so wondering if it make sense given the benefits.

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      Absolutely! I have both the Capital One Venture and Sapphire Preferred for their benefits.

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