Capital One Venture X
- 75k mile signup bonus (worth at least $750)
- 2x miles on everything
- Priority Pass + Global Entry/PreCheck Reimbursement
- Annual fee is essentially zero
- 10k miles every card anniversary
- Good transfer partners
- No int’l fees
- $300 annual travel credit can only be redeemed via the Capital One portal
- Travel spend bonus (5-10x) can only be earned through the portal
- No dining spend bonus
One of the most common questions I get is, “What’s better — the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Capital One Venture X?” My answer is always, “It depends how you spend. But probably the Venture X.” In truth, I could spend paragraphs and paragraphs going into it, but it comes down to this.
The Capital One Venture X offers all the benefits of a premium tier card, and it’s essentially free, so long as you’re a little flexible.
The Venture X costs $395/year. However, you get a $300 travel credit (good for airfare, hotels, and rental cars). The catch is, you need to book the travel within the Capital One portal in order to be reimbursed. So that travel credit won’t be useful if you book via the airline itself, or an OTA like Kayak or Expedia. But for most of us, booking via Capital One’s travel portal should be just fine. Assuming that you’re able to, say, book a rental car via their portal, then your effective annual fee is down to $95.
However, every year, on your cardmember anniversary, you get a 10k mile bonus (which is worth a minimum of $100), which essentially wipes out the remaining $95 annual fee (after your first year).
So, add together the $300 travel credit and 10k mile ($100) annual cardmember anniversary bonus (after your first year) and your total for the year is zero. Prett,y good, huh?
Throw in a 75k mile signup bonus (worth at least $750), and it’s all gravy. 🤤
Now, for daily spend. The Venture X offers 2x everywhere, which is pretty great for a card that’s essentially free. Granted, it’s not the 3x on all travel and restaurants of the Sapphire Reserve, but you’d also need to spend a lot at cafés in order to make up for the CSR’s $550 annual fee.
However, the Venture X earns at 5x back on airfare booked via their portal (there’s that flexibility again), as well as 10x back on hotels booked via their portal. These are the same “in-portal” earn rates as the Sapphire Reserve, which makes them (almost, but not quite) even in that regard.
Over and above earn rates, the Capital One Venture X provides the same Priority Pass membership and PreCheck/Global Entry reimbursement as the CSR. Additional users on the Capital One Venture X are free (unlike the CSR), and best of all, each additional cardmember get their own Priority Pass membership, which beats out the CSR.
Lastly, Capital One has a pretty good network of transfer partners, including Air France/KLM’s Flying Blue and Turkish’s Miles & Smiles (which is mostly good for booking cheap award seats on United).
The final verdict:
Everybody spends differently, but for the average thrifty bestie — who travels a bit, eats at restaurants occasionally, but otherwise has a lot of non-bonus spend — the Capital One Venture X is pretty hard to beat. Check it out here.
2 responses to “Here’s Why The Capital One Venture X is Excellent”
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