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HomeFinanceWhich Is The Better Travel Companion?

Which Is The Better Travel Companion?



The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a popular travel rewards card for a reason. The card offers a myriad of ways to quickly rack up points, which are worth 1.25x when redeemed for travel

You’ll earn 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 2x on all other travel purchases, 3x on dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, and 1x on everything else. The card also offers five types of travel insurance, potentially worth tens of thousands of dollars (and lots of stress relief). 

All things considered, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card easily justifies its $95 annual fee. 

Capital One Venture X Rewards Card Vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: head-to-head

How do these two travel rewards titans stack up in a head-to-head comparison? 

Rewards: tie

At first glance, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Card is the clear winner with 10x on hotels and rental cars, 5x on flights, and 2x on everything else. 

However, the Capital One card has fewer rewards categories (three, compared to five offered with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card) and its miles are only really redeemable for travel – there’s a big conversion penalty for cash back. 

Since it’s volume versus flexibility, I’ll call it a tie. 

Bonuses: Capital One Venture X Rewards Card

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Card definitely stomps out the Chase card in bonuses. Its welcome bonus is heftier, and you can score way more in various travel-related credits with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. 

APR: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card edges out the Capital One Venture X Rewards Card by a hair here, with an APR of 15.99%-22.99% Variable to the Capital One Venture X Rewards Card’s 16.99% – 23.99% (Variable).

Annual fee: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is objectively the more affordable card, with an annual fee of just $95 compared to the Capital One Venture X Rewards Card’s $395 (we’ll go into value later). 

Perks: tie

Once again, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Card makes a much stronger first impression. You’ll get access to over 1,300 international Priority Pass Lounges, plus unlimited access to all-inclusive amenities at the Capital One Lounge. You’ll also receive a slick suite of booking tools through Capital One Travel such as price freezing and price drop protection. 

By comparison, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card’s perks offer better peace of mind. Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Baggage Delay Insurance, Trip Delay Reimbursement, and Purchase Protection are all comforting safety nets that the Capital One card doesn’t offer. 

Both lounge access and trip insurance offer travel relaxation, so I’ll call this one a tie. 

Capital One Venture X Rewards Card pros and cons

Pros: 

  • Up to 10x miles back – The Capital One Venture X Rewards Card offers unlimited industry-leading travel rewards.
  • Generous welcome bonus and statement credits – A 100,000-mile welcome bonus, plus $500 in combined annual travel statement credits means this card pays for itself pretty quickly.
  • Capital One Travel is genuinely useful – Tools like 14-day price freezing and price drop protection can save you stress and money. 

Cons: 

  • Miles aren’t worth a penny each – Capital One penalizes you for converting miles to cash.
  • Limited rewards categories – The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card bonus rewards rate are all travel related, unlike its rival.
  • That $395 fee though – $395 is steep for a credit card, and if you aren’t using your travel credits annually, it’s hard to justify. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card pros and cons

Pros: 

  • Points have a 1.25x multiplier – Your Chase Ultimate Rewards® points are worth 1.25 pennies each when applied to travel or within rotating categories.
  • Variety of rewards categories – Even when you’re not traveling you’ll earn 3x on streaming services, online grocery purchases, and more.
  • Valuable trip insurance – Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Baggage Delay Insurance, and Trip Delay Reimbursement are all included. 

Cons: 

  • Short on statement credits – Just $50 in hotel credit is kinda lame compared to $500+ its rival offers.
  • 3x applies to *online* grocery purchases only – Disqualifying in-story grocery purchases is a vexing restriction.
  • No lounge access – Even a few one-time passes would be nice, but nope; you’ll be waiting at the gate with this card. 

Why choose Capital One Venture X Rewards Card

Maximum travel rewards

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Card’s 10x and 5x miles categories can’t be touched. And since you’ll also get 2x on everything else, this card will pay for lots of future travel. 

Statement credits cover the annual fee

$395 starts to make sense when you consider that this card includes $500+ worth of annual travel statement credits towards things like Airbnbs, TSA PreCheck, and bookings through Capital One Travel. 

Why choose Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Points good for travel or cash back

Chase Ultimate Rewards® points are worth a penny each or 1.25 pennies when applied to travel – so you won’t take a hit when you need cash instead of a plane ticket this month. 

Lower annual fee

With a relatively modest annual fee of $95, you won’t feel the need to maximize this card’s benefits to recoup your investment. 

Summary

Depending on what kind of traveler you are, one of these cards will likely make the perfect travel companion. 

You may prefer the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card if – you already spend $5,000+ annually on travel, and plan to recycle all of your rewards points into more travel. 

You may prefer the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card if – you travel some, but not all the time, and would like to retain the ability to convert your points into cash without penalty. 

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