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Both the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® are excellent travel products. The Capital One® Venture® has a $95 annual fee, while the Chase Sapphire Reserve® costs $550 a year. Finally, the Capital One® Venture® offers flat rewards on all purchases while the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers accelerated rewards in differing categories.
Get a 50,000-mile welcome offer after you spend $3,000 in your first 3 months.
Earn an additional 50,000 miles after spending $20,000 on purchases within the first 12 months.
Get various travel benefits, including a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry statement credit worth $100.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Signup bonus. Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months of card membership. This is worth $750 if you redeem through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
Earn rewards points. Earn 3x points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide and 1x points on all other purchases. The 3x points can be worth 4.5% back if redeemed on travel purchases through the Chase Ultimate Rewards. You also earn 10x points on Lyft purchases until March 2022. This can be worth up to 15% back in travel purchases via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
Annual travel credit. Get $300 in statement credit as reimbursement for your travel purchases every year on your card account anniversary.
Best annual fee: Capital One® Venture®
One reason it’s difficult to compare these cards is because of a big difference in price points. But this can be a good thing, as this is a sharp distinction that can help you choose your preferred card right away. Still, the Capital One® Venture® comes in with a much lower annual fee.
Capital One® Venture®: $95 annual fee.
This price point designates the Capital One® Venture® as a mid-tier travel product. As such, the card isn’t loaded with features. If you want straightforward benefits such as rewards and a signup bonus, this card might be what you’re looking for.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®: $550 annual fee.
With this annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a premium travel card. It’s a great choice if you want to travel in style, as you’ll find several strong benefits beyond rewards and a signup bonus — for example, airport lounge access and travel credits.
Best signup bonus: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
The Capital One® Venture® card offers a higher signup bonus than the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, but it’s also harder to earn in full.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first 3 months. Earn an additional 50,000 miles after spending $20,000 on purchases within the first 12 months.
Capital One points are generally worth 1 cent each, giving the signup bonus a value of $500 for the first part and then another $500 after you spend $20,000 in your first 12 months. But you can increase the value of your rewards by transferring them to travel partners.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months of card membership.50,000 points can hit $750 value through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. Redemptions made this way are worth 50% more. This is one of the most straightforward redemptions, but you can squeeze even more value out of your points by transferring them to travel partners.
Best for earning rewards: Tie
Another big difference between these cards is their reward structures. The Capital One® Venture® offers flat-rate rewards, meaning you earn the same rewards rate on every purchase. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers tiered rewards, which means you’ll earn a higher rewards rate in certain categories.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: Earn an unlimited 2x miles on all purchases.
Flat-rate rewards are a great choice if you spend evenly throughout many categories, or if you don’t want to worry about bonus categories. The Capital One® Venture® offers a solid rewards rate, so you can use it for everyday and travel purchases alike.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Earn 3x points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide and 1x points on all other purchases. You also earn 10x points on Lyft purchases until March 2022.
Rewards-wise, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a strong choice only if you travel or dine out frequently. If you don’t, you’ll earn an anemic 1x points most of the time.
As such, the card you choose between the two will ultimately come down to your spending and travel habits.
Best for redeeming rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
With both cards, you can use their respective rewards portals to redeem your points or miles for travel, gift cards and more. You can also transfer your rewards to travel partners.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: Up to 1 cent per mile.
For most of Capital One’s in-house redemption options — including Purchase Eraser, travel and gift cards — you’ll get a value of 1 cent per mile. Redeeming for cash back gives you a worse rate, so consider avoiding it.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Up to 1.5 cents per point.
Many of Chase’s in-house redemption options — such as cash back and gift cards — give you a value of 1 cent per point. However, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® has an advantage over the Capital One® Venture® in an important respect: When you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, they’re worth 50% more. This lets you get more out of your points relatively easily, without having to transfer rewards: A 3x-point earn rate can give you a 4.5% overall rewards rate.
Best for perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase’s card is hands-down the winner in this category, overpowering its competitor through sheer volume of benefits. But this is to be expected, as it’s a premium card that costs a lot more than Capital One’s mid-tier travel card.
Just a few perks you’ll get through the Reserve include a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, travel coverage, no foreign transaction fees, complimentary Priority Pass membership, annual Door Dash credits and an annual travel statement credit.
You’ll also get a complimentary year of Lyft Pink, which is valued at $19.99 a month or almost $240 a year. This membership comes with perks like 15% savings on each ride, cancellation fee protection, priority dispatch at airports and, in select cities, three complimentary 30-minute bike or scooter rides per month. This helps secure the Reserve as an excellent choice for travel.
Who should get the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card?
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is ideal for those looking for a low-cost flat-rate cashback credit card. It’s higher than average earning on all purchases makes this a strong all-purpose rewards card for cardholders who don’t want to get too wrapped up in using their card at “the right time.”
Who should get the Chase Sapphire Reserve®?
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is best for those looking for a travel card with plenty of luxury perks to spare, and are unafraid of paying big for those perks. This card is also the ideal pick for transferring and spending any Chase Ultimate Rewards points you may have.
The winner: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase’s card takes the trophy here, offering not just huge earning value, but enough perks and features to offset the large annual fee. While the Capital One® Venture® can deliver up to a 3% rewards rate, you can easily get a 4.5% rewards rate with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Furthermore, you can earn up to a 6% rewards rate — and perhaps even more — by transferring points to Chase’s travel partners.
Not to take anything away from the Capital One® Venture®, though, which is one of the best mid-tier travel cards in its own right. Flat-rate rewards are a reliable pick, as you can be confident you’ll earn solid miles no matter what you spend on.
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Steven Dashiell is a credit cards writer at Finder. He's worked on 250 Finder articles and counting, helping readers embrace and maximize credit cards. Backed by nearly a decade of research and reporting experience, Steve's work can be seen on Debt.com, CreditCards.com and Lifehacker.
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