Ever heard the expression, “It takes two to tango?” Or how about, “two peas in a pod?”
These two travel rewards cards are great on their own. But put them together and you've got the perfect two-card combination no matter what kind of traveler you are.
With the Sapphire Preferred, you're getting Chase's stalwart Ultimate Rewards-earning card that provides solid rewards on all travel purchases, bonus points when dining out, and best-in-class travel protections all for a small $95 annual fee. But perhaps most importantly, this card unlocks the ability to transfer Ultimate Rewards to Chase's slew of travel partners, providing even greater value for your points.
By carrying the Venture X, you get easy-to-use rewards and premium travel perks like airport lounge access, rental car elite status, an annual $300 travel credit, and more – all at a middle-of-the-pack annual fee price point.
Put the these two cards together and you get access to two different sets of transfer partners, two welcome offer bonuses, a solid return on all of your spending, and top-notch travel perks … for less in annual fees than any other premium travel rewards credit card on the market.
Here's everything you need to know about why this two-card combination deserves a spot in your wallet.
Card Benefits Overview
Before we dive deeper into what makes these two cards the perfect pair, let's take a look at the benefits offered by both cards.
Each card comes with an initial sign-up bonus that can be used for at least $750 worth of travel – though you can likely do far better than that by utilizing one of the cards' transfer partners. You'll also get really strong travel protections with both cards and statement credits for certain travel portal bookings.
Where they differ most is how they earn points and the different travel perks they provide.
Here's a quick look at the features of both cards.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Welcome Offer Bonus: bonus_miles_full
- 3x points per dollar spent on dining, including eligible delivery services
- 3x points per dollar spent on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs like Costco and Sam's Club)
- 3x points per dollar spent on select streaming services
- 2x points per dollar spent on travel purchases
- Earn 5x total points on travel purchased through the Chase Travel Portal, excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Anniversary Hotel Credit.
- Earn up to $50 in statement credits each year for hotel stays booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal
- 10% Annual Points Bonus: Receive a 10% points bonus on your total spending during the account anniversary year at a rate of 1 point for every $1 spent.
- Trip Cancelation & Trip Interruption Coverage
- Baggage Delay and Lost Luggage Coverage
- Rental Car Insurance Coverage
- Recommended Credit Score: Excellent/Good
- Foreign Transaction Fees: None
- Annual Fee: $95
Learn more about the *csp*.
The Capital One Venture X
- Annual $300 travel credit to use for Capital One Travel bookings on flights, hotels, or car rentals
- Earn 10x miles on hotels and rental cars and 5x miles on flights booked via the Capital One Travel portal
- Earn 2x miles on all other spending
- Complimentary access to the Capital One Lounges, plus two free guests on each and every visit
- A Priority Pass and Plaza Premium lounge membership, which will get you and two guests into 1,400-plus other airport lounges around the globe
- Get up to $100 in credit for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry once every four years. Membership in both programs is good for five years
- Get 10,000 bonus Venture miles each year after renewing your card, starting in year two
- Complimentary Hertz President’s Circle status
- Access to Premier Collection Hotel bookings with VIP-like benefits
- Primary Rental Car Coverage
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement
- Trip Delay Coverage, Trip Cancellation, and Interruption Coverage
- Add up to four authorized users at no additional cost. Each user gets their own lounge membership
- $395 annual fee
Learn more about the *venture x*
Read our full review of the Capital One Venture X!
What Makes This Combo So Perfect?
The Sapphire Preferred has long been our favorite card for anyone just getting started with points and miles. And even if you've got lots of other travel rewards credit cards, it consistently finds a place in many traveler's wallets thanks to its relatively low annual fee and set of great perks.
Meanwhile, the introduction of the Venture X card in late 2021 upended the travel rewards credit card market by providing travelers with unprecedented value that continues to this day.
Two Welcome Offers
On the surface, one of these welcome offers appears much better than the other. But depending on how you plan to use the rewards, they're actually quite similar.
Right now, you can earn a bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Since those points are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, that bonus is worth at least $750.
With the current welcome offer on the Venture X, you'll get 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 on the card in the first three months. Once you factor in the rewards earned on the spending required to meet the bonus criteria, you've got a total of 83,000 miles worth a bare minimum of $830 towards travel.
Add it all up and you've got more than 140,000 transferable points and miles between the two cards, with a value of at least $1,500. Not bad!
More Options for Redeeming Rewards
Earning all those points is one thing, but the fun part is using them for free travel. Thankfully, both the Sapphire Preferred and Venture X make it simple to put your rewards to good use.
With the Sapphire Preferred, you can book all kinds of travel through the Chase Travel portal and get 1.25 cents per point in value from your Ultimate Rewards. Capital One has a travel portal that you can use to book travel and redeem your miles as well … but you probably shouldn't.
The better choice for redeeming Capital One miles is to use them to cover any travel purchase made with your card from flights and hotels to Airbnbs, taxis and rideshares, and even a bucket list golf trip. When you do it this way, you'll be getting 1 cent per mile in value – meaning you could remove a $500 travel purchase with 50,000 miles.
But if you want to get the most out of your points and miles, it pays to familiarize yourself with each bank's set of transfer partners.
By moving your points to a hotel or airline partner, you can often get far more value out of them than by simply removing the travel purchase or redeeming them through a travel portal. And with this two-card combination, you'll have even more transfer partners to choose from.
With Chase's transfer partners, you'll have access to some favorites like United, Southwest, and Hyatt – our favorite hotel loyalty program – among many others. Capital One's portfolio of transfer partners opens the door to some incredible sweet spots with the likes of Turkish Airlines, Avianca LifeMiles, and EVA Air – one of our favorite airlines for crossing the Pacific.
Of course, with more than 30 transfer partners between the two cards, there's bound to be a little overlap as well – and that's actually a good thing. With major programs like Virgin Atlantic, Flying Blue, and Air Canada Aeroplan being transfer partners of both banks, you'll have the option to move points from whichever card makes the most sense (or both if you need to top off your account) – and maybe even take advantage of a transfer bonus in the process.
Simply put, two is better than one … especially when it comes to ways for redeeming your points.
Premium Travel Perks
The Sapphire Preferred is a great card but it doesn't come with much in the way of travel perks and benefits. Yes, you do get an annual $50 statement credit for hotels booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel portal – but that's about it. Don't worry though, this an area where the Venture X pulls its weight … and then some.
With the Venture X, you'll get access to the outstanding new Capital One Lounges, as well as a Priority Pass membership that unlocks the door to another 1,400 plus lounges around the world. Each cardholder can get themselves and two guests into these lounges for free, and you can add up to four authorized users to your Venture X for free. Each authorized user gets a lounge membership with the ability to bring two of their own guests, too.
Because of that, this one card should be enough to get the whole family into airport lounges with you.
You'll also get an annual $300 travel credit to put towards bookings made through the Capital One Travel portal. While booking through the portal wouldn't be our first choice, this benefit alone is nearly enough to justify the Venture X's $395 annual fee. Add in the 10,000-mile anniversary bonus (worth at least $100) that you get each year when renewing your card and it's almost like Capital One is paying you to carry the Venture X.
The Venture X also provides up to $100 in credit every four years to cover the cost of either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. Plus you'll get automatic top-tier Hertz President's Circle status when renting cars and the card even provides primary rental car insurance.
Both cards also include travel protection such as trip delay reimbursement, coverage for lost or delayed baggage (delayed baggage coverage only on the Sapphire Preferred), and travel accident insurance. All these additional travel protections have earned both cards a spot on our list of the best credit cards with travel insurance.
But What About the Sapphire Reserve?
Look, we get it – not everyone wants to juggle multiple credit cards just to maximize their point earning and benefits.
You might be thinking that all this sounds great but why would you open two different cards when it would be far easier to just get the *chase sapphire reserve* instead? You're not wrong: That would be the easiest solution. But that doesn't make it the better one.
Here's how the Sapphire Reserve stacks up against the two-card combination of the Sapphire Preferred and Venture X.
What Makes This Combo Better?
Perhaps most importantly, having both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture X will cost you less in annual fees than having the Sapphire Reserve alone. With these two cards, you'd be out of pocket $490 in annual fees each year compared to $550 with the Sapphire Reserve – before taking any of the cards' benefits into account.
If you were able to get full value out of the $300 annual travel credit on the Venture X, the 10,000-mile anniversary bonus, and the Sapphire Preferred's $50 hotel credit, you'd be looking at a net cost of just $40 each year. The Sapphire Reserve comes with a $300 travel credit of its own – and it's far easier to use – essentially making the Reserve a $250 annual fee card. For most travelers, the better value is to go with the combination of the Sapphire Preferred and Venture X.
Some of the other reasons that make this combination of cards better include things we've already highlighted, like getting two welcome offers and having two different ways to redeem your points. Being able to add up to four authorized users to the Venture X for free is another bonus that gives this combination of cards an edge over the Sapphire Reserve, with which you have to pay $75 per authorized user.
Where This Combo Falls Short
Just because the Sapphire Preferred and Venture X provide a better value than the Sapphire Reserve doesn't mean it comes without sacrifice.
While both the Sapphire Reserve and Venture X come with an annual $300 travel credit that helps offset the cards' annual fees, the credit on the Sapphire Reserve is far easier to use than that of the Venture X. Simply make any travel purchase with your Sapphire Reserve and Chase will automatically credit you back up to $300 each year. No portals or hoops to jump through.
The Sapphire Reserve also comes with a slightly better Priority Pass membership as it also includes access to Priority Pass Restaurants at airports. The Venture X initially did as well, but that benefit got axed late last year.
With the Sapphire Reserve, you'll also get unlimited complimentary access to the Chase Sapphire Lounges. So far there's only one location open in the U.S. – the Chase Sapphire Lounge Boston (BOS) – but more are on the way and if having access to these lounges is important to you, you'll need the Sapphire Reserve to do it.
Although strangely enough, you can also get into the Sapphire Lounges once per year with the Priority Pass membership that comes with the Venture X card. If that one visit is all you need, then having the Sapphire Reserve isn't a necessity.
Finally, while the Sapphire Preferred and Venture X both provide outstanding travel protections, they simply can't compete with the Sapphire Reserve. The Sapphire Reserve matches all the coverage that you'll get with the Sapphire Preferred and Venture X but ramps it up even further by providing emergency medical and dental benefits to cardholders and eligible family members.
If you get sick or hurt when traveling more than 100 miles from home, you're covered up to $2,500 for emergency dental or medical treatment with your Sapphire Reserve Card.
If you're searching for the perfect two-card combination of travel rewards credit cards, look no further than the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Capital One Venture X.
With this two-card setup, you get most of the same perks offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve, for a much lower out-of-pocket cost. In the process, you also unlock the ability to redeem your rewards in more ways and get to pick up two welcome offers.
Learn more about the *csp*.
Learn more about the *venture x*