Capital One Venture Card vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve Card [Detailed Comparison]

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Selecting the appropriate travel rewards card can be a daunting task, especially when you’re first starting out. It’s a natural inclination to start simply by selecting a card with an earning structure you understand, a few benefits you might use, and redemption options that are easy to execute.

On the flip side, a traveler might want to jump in with both feet and select a premium travel rewards card with all the bells and whistles.

Today we’re going to talk about 2 such very different rewards cards. One is a card you might consider if you were just starting out, mostly because of its simplicity, but also because of its familiarity due to its advertising exposure.

The other card has a high annual fee, bonus earning categories, a variety of flexible redemption options, and a long list of travel benefits.

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card are both respectable travel rewards cards, each offering value when matched with the right type of traveler.

So, is it better to keep things simple or go for the card with all the premium offerings?

We’re about to take on that conundrum and dive deep into our 2 featured cards to assist you in determining which is the better fit for you.

Welcome Bonuses

Welcome bonuses offer an opportunity to quickly build a bank of redeemable rewards. You’ll earn this bonus on either of our featured cards after meeting minimum spending requirements within the first 3 months after card approval.

Here’s how these cards stack up in regards to these initial bonuses.

Venture Card

Welcome bonuses vary but you can expect to receive a bonus worth at least $500 when used towards travel purchases. Miles may be worth potentially more when transferred to airline and hotel partners.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

The welcome bonus offered on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is worth 1.5X more when redeemed through the Chase Travel Portal or transferred to airline and hotel partners for potentially even greater end value.

To learn more about how we value different types of rewards currencies, you’ll want to read our informative article.

Earning Rewards

Chilis Meal
Both the Venture card and Chase Sapphire Reserve card earn elevated rewards on dining out. Image Credit: Chili’s

The Venture card earns rewards in the form of Capital One miles and the Chase Sapphire Reserve card earns Ultimate Rewards points.

While redemption values differ, here’s how the 2 cards compare when earning rewards on every purchase you make.

CardEarnings
Venture card
  • 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase
  • 5 miles per dollar spent on Uber Eats purchases (through January 31, 2020)
Chase Sapphire Reserve card
  • 3x points per dollar spent on travel and dining worldwide
  • 5x points per dollar spent at supermarkets (up to $1,500 per month in purchases through June 30, 2020)
  • 10x points on Lyft rides
  • 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases

To learn more about how to earn lots of Capital One miles and Ultimate Rewards points, we’ve put together guides on how to do just that.

Bottom Line: If you want simplicity, you won’t find an earnings structure fitting that description better than the Venture card with its 2 miles per dollar fixed earnings on every purchase. If you’re a frequent traveler and have a lot of associated spending, however, you’ll find greater upside earning opportunities and travel benefits with the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Redeeming Rewards

Capital One miles earned on the Venture card are not the same as frequent flyer miles — the points function as redeemable points similar to the Ultimate Rewards points earned on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

When you’re ready to redeem your rewards on either card, you’ll find several different options, although values vary depending on the redemption option you select.

Redemption OptionVenture CardChase Sapphire Reserve Card
Transfer to Travel Partners
  • Transfer to airline and hotel programs
  • 1:1 transfers to over a dozen airline and hotel programs
Statement Credit for Travel
  • Purchase Eraser allows you to redeem miles for 1 cent each to wipe out previous travel purchases
  • Redeem points for statement credits to wipe out any purchase at 1 cent per Ultimate Rewards point
Purchase Travel via the Card’s Travel Portal
  • Redeem miles for travel purchases at 1 cent per mile
  • Redeem Ultimate Rewards points at 1.5 cents per point
Cash-Back
  • Redeem miles for statement credit or cash back at the rate of 0.5 cents per mile
  • Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed for cash at the rate of 1 cent per point
Other Redemption Options
  • Gift cards, Amazon
  • Gift cards, Amazon, Apple, experiences

Update: For a limited time, Capital One has added the ability for Venture cardholders to redeem their miles for eligible restaurant delivery, takeout, and streaming service purchases until September 30th, 2020. Cardholders will be able to redeem their miles at a rate of 1 cent per point for these purchases.

While redemption options on each card are similar, the rewards currencies can differ greatly in the value received. The sweet spot for Capital One miles is transferring the points to travel partners for the best potential value.

Ultimate Rewards points can also be transferred to travel partners for potentially more value, plus you have the option to redeem the points for 1.5 cents each on the Chase travel portal. Capital One miles are only worth 1 cent when redeemed for travel with Capital One.

Ultimate Rewards points are much more valuable overall, however, as points could also be redeemed for cash at 1 cent each versus Capital One miles at 0.5 cents each.

For more options on redeeming your Capital One miles and Ultimate Rewards points for maximum value, we offer up some great ideas.

Bottom Line: Ultimate Rewards points earned on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card are more valuable than Capital One miles as the points can be redeemed for 1.5 cents each towards travel or 1 cent per point for statement credits or cash-back. 

Annual Fees, Authorized Users, and Transfers

The Venture card and Chase Sapphire Reserve card are in different leagues when it comes to earning rewards, redeeming rewards, and benefits offered. The same differences hold true regarding annual fees, adding authorized users, and transfers between accounts.

Annual Fees

The Venture card currently charges an annual fee of $95, which is waived the first year. The Chase Sapphire Reserve card has an annual fee of $550.

Authorized Users

The Venture card does not charge a fee to add an additional user to your card. The Chase Sapphire Reserve card charges $75 to add an authorized user. Authorized users do, however, receive worldwide lounge access via Priority Pass Select membership and some travel/shopping benefits and protections.

Transfers Between Accounts

The Venture card allows free transfers of Capital One miles to any account that is also miles-earning. The Chase Sapphire Reserve card allows no-fee transfers to family members’ accounts in the same household.

Travel Benefits and Protections

GOL Premium Lounge Sitting Options
If airport lounge access important to you, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card may be an appropriate card choice. GOL Premium Lounge at Rio de Janeiro International Airport Domestic Terminal 2. Image Credit: Chris Hassan

Both of these featured cards offer benefits and protections that can save you money and provide assistance during your travels.

Here are some common travel benefits and protections you’ll find on our featured cards.

  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Reimbursement — use your card to pay for the fee and receive up to $100 in reimbursement for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees — you can take either of these cards with you when you travel as neither charges fees on foreign purchases
  • Lost Luggage — you could receive up to $3,000 per trip for lost or stolen luggage
  • Travel Accident Insurance — receive coverage should there be a covered death or dismemberment involving a common carrier
  • Emergency Travel Assistance — have access to a dedicated phone line to assist you with medical or legal referrals, emergency transportation, help with replacing a lost passport, and much more

Venture Card

In addition to the previously mentioned benefits, the Venture card comes with these useful and money-saving features:

  • Car Rental Collision Damage Waiver — pay for your car rental using your card, decline the rental car agency’s CDW/LDW coverage, and receive secondary car rental coverage for damage and theft (meaning that you must file a claim with your own insurance first)
  • Roadside Dispatch Service — get help if your vehicle breaks down and pay just 1 discounted flat fee for roadside assistance

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is packed with additional valuable travel benefits and protections.

  • Car Rental Collision Damage Waiver — pay for the entire car rental with your card, decline the CDW/LDW coverage offered by the rental car company and receive primary car rental coverage for damage and theft
  • Worldwide Airport Lounge Access — enjoy complimentary access to over 1,200 locations worldwide with your Priority Pass Select membership that comes with the card
  • Trip Cancellation, Interruption, and Delay — coverage of up to $10,000 per trip, $20,000 per occurrence, maximum of $40,000 per 12-month period for trip disruption, up to $500 for a trip delay of more than 6 hours
  • $300 Travel Statement Credit — receive a statement credit for your first $300 in travel purchases each card anniversary year
  • Emergency Medical, Dental, and Evacuation — up to $2,500 for emergency medical or dental, and $100,000 for emergency evacuation
  • Roadside Assistance — receive up to 4 free service calls each year, a maximum of $50 coverage each occurrence
  • Car Rental Privileges — enjoy cardholder discounts and other perks with National, Avis, and Silvercar
  • Complimentary Lyft Pink Membership — receive a 15% discount plus priority pick up and free bike/scooter rentals (limit 3 each month)
  • Delayed Baggage — if your baggage is delayed more than 6 hours, you could receive up to $100 a day for 5 days
  • Hotel Program Benefits — receive VIP treatment and cardholder perks at the Luxury Hotels & Resorts Collection, Relais & Chateaux, and the sbe Hotels program

This list of benefits and protections is not all-inclusive and descriptions have been abbreviated. You’ll want to access the specific card’s guide to benefits for the full descriptions, terms, and conditions that apply.

Bottom Line: While both cards come with several travel benefits and protections, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is by far the winner for the frequent traveler. The card does come with a high annual fee, however, so you’ll want the card only if you can optimize the offered benefits. 

Shopping Benefits and Protections

While you might not select a travel rewards card for its shopping benefits and protections, these perks could influence your decision.

Here are the shopping-related benefits/protections that come with each card.

Benefit/ProtectionVenture CardChase Sapphire Reserve Card
Extended Warranty
  • For items with manufacturers’ warranties of 3 years or less, the warranty will be doubled, up to 1 additional year
  • Manufacturers’ warranties of 3 years or less will have 1 additional year added
Purchase Protection
  • 90 days of protection from purchase date for damage and theft on eligible items, up to $500 per item
  • 120 days of protection from purchase date for damage and theft of eligible items, up to $10,000 per claim, $50,000 per year
Complimentary DoorDash DashPass Subscription and Statement Credit
  • N/A
  • Free delivery and discounted service fees on orders $12 and over
  • 2 $60 statement credits —  1 in 2020 and 1 in 2021
Return Protection
  • N/A
  • Up to $500 per item, $1,000 per year if the merchant will not accept a return within 90 days of purchase

If you use DoorDash, having a DoorPass subscription and receiving $120 in statement credits across 2 years for those purchases is a big positive for cardholders having the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 First Class - From Rear
Both Capital One miles and Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to airline frequent flyer programs to book award flights. Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 First Class. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Venture Card vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve Card — Summary

We’ve talked a lot about earning, redeeming, and the benefits offered on each card. It’s now time to bring all the information together and compare these 2 cards side-by-side for a look at the overall value of each card as it could relate to your situation.

Feature or BenefitVenture CardChase Sapphire Reserve Card
Annual Fee and Authorized Users
  • $95, waived the first year
  • $0 fee to add additional user
  • $550
  • $75 to add an additional user
Earnings
  • 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases
  • 3x earnings on travel and dining worldwide
  • 5x points per dollar spent at supermarkets (up to $1,500 per month in purchases through June 30, 2020)
  • 10x earnings on Lyft rides
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
Redemption Options
  • Transfer to airline and hotel partners
  • Purchase travel through Capital One at 1 cent per mile
  • Reimburse previous travel purchases for a statement credit within 90 days at 1 cent per mile with Purchase Eraser
  • Gift cards, shopping at Amazon, statement credit at 0.8 cents per mile
  • Transfer to airline and hotel partners
  • Purchase travel through Chase travel portal for 1.5 cents per point
  • Redeem for a statement credit or cash at 1 cent per point
  • Gift cards, merchandise
Reimbursements/Statement Credits
  • Up to $100 reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee
  • $300 statement credit for travel purchases
  • Up to $100 reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee
  • $60 annual DoorDash credit for both 2020 and 2021
Travel Benefits/Protections
  • Secondary car rental insurance
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement
  • Roadside Dispatch — flat fee for service
  • Travel Emergency Assistance
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Travel Accident Insurance — up to $250,000
  • Primary car rental insurance
  • Priority Pass Select membership
  • Trip cancellation/interruption/delay coverage
  • Delayed and lost luggage reimbursement
  • Emergency medical, dental, and evacuation
  • Roadside assistance — $50 in coverage for each service call up to 4 per year
  • Travel Emergency Assistance
  • Hotel program benefits
  • Lyft Pink membership
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Travel Accident Insurance — up to $1,000,000

 

Shopping Benefits/Protections
  • Purchase Protection
  • Extended Warranty
  • DoorDash DoorPass subscription
  • Purchase Protection
  • Extended Warranty

Final Thoughts

If you’re just starting out and trying to decide on a travel rewards card, the Venture card does make the process simple — you spend on the card and earn 2x rewards. Even with several redemption options, that process is also simple. With no annual fee the first year, you can try out the card and see if it’s a fit for your situation.

If you’re a frequent traveler, however, you could receive better value from a travel rewards card such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. With 3x earnings on travel and dining, worldwide lounge access, $300 in travel credits, and a long list of travel benefits, the card offers a package that matches most traveling profiles. It does have a hefty annual fee, but if you can use even a couple of its benefits, such as lounge access and the travel credit, you could receive value far beyond that fee.


Frequently asked questions

Which card is better, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card or the Capital One Venture card?

The best card for your situation will depend on how the card’s earnings match up with your spending, whether the redemption options align with your travel goals, and if you’ll use the benefits on the card.

If you’re looking for simplicity and don’t want to pay a high annual fee, the Venture card could be the better choice.

If you’re a frequent traveler and find value in premium travel benefits such as worldwide lounge access, travel statement credits, travel benefits and protections, and top redemption values, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, even with its high annual fee, could be a fit.

How do Capital One miles work?

Capital One miles are not frequent flyer miles but redeemable points. You earn a set number of points for every dollar you spend on your Capital One credit card.

The miles earns are deposited in your account after each statement period closes and then subsequently available for redemption.

You can redeem your miles for travel, transfer the miles to travel partners to purchase award tickets or hotel rooms, redeem for statement credits against prior travel purchases, shop at Amazon, redeem for gift cards, or for cash.

Capital One miles do not expire as long as you have an active miles-earning card.

How do Ultimate Rewards points work?

Ultimate Rewards points are earned on every purchase you make with your Chase credit card. There are also bonus categories that earn multiple points per dollar spent.

These points are deposited into your Chase Ultimate Rewards account each statement period and are then ready for redemption.

You can redeem your points via the Chase travel portal, transfer your points to airline and hotel partners, shop at Amazon and Apple, and redeem for cash, experiences, gift cards, and more.

Ultimate Rewards points do not expire as long as you have an active Ultimate Rewards earning card account.

Can I transfer Capital One miles to other accounts?

Capital One miles can be transferred to any other Capital One account at no charge. The only requirement is that the Capital One account you’re transferring to is also a miles-earning account.

Christine Krzyszton

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine, who lives in Northern Michigan, travels about 300,000 miles a year despite her remote location. Her expertise is traveling the world on a weekend with no pre-determined destination in mind, letting the cost of the airfare determine where she will go. She has over four million flown miles and elite status on all three major domestic carriers.

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