The Perfect Credit Card Pairing to Maximize Your Travel Rewards: Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture X

When two become one.
Man smiling with two credit cards


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What are travel credit cards, and how do they work?

Travel credit cards are financial products that offer various rewards and benefits geared towards frequent travelers. They typically earn you points or miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases. These rewards can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and other travel-related expenses. Travel credit cards may also include perks like travel insurance, airport lounge access, and no foreign transaction fees.

How do I choose the best travel credit card for my needs?

Choosing the best travel credit card depends on your travel habits, spending patterns, and preferences. Consider factors like the type of rewards offered (points, miles, or cash back), the card’s annual fee, sign-up bonuses, earning rates, redemption options, and additional travel perks. Analyzing these features will help you find a card that aligns with your lifestyle and offers the most value.

What are the benefits of using a travel credit card over other types of credit cards?

Travel credit cards provide unique advantages for travelers, such as earning rewards specifically tailored to travel expenses. Additionally, many travel credit cards offer travel-related perks like free checked bags, priority boarding, and travel insurance. Some cards also waive foreign transaction fees, making them ideal for international travelers.

What is a sign-up bonus, and how can I qualify for it?

A sign-up bonus is a promotional offer provided by the credit card issuer to entice new cardholders. To qualify for a sign-up bonus, you usually need to meet specific spending requirements within a certain timeframe after opening the account. The bonus can be in the form of points, miles, or cash back, and it’s a great way to jump-start your rewards earning.

Do travel credit cards charge foreign transaction fees?

Not all travel credit cards charge foreign transaction fees. Many of the top-tier travel cards waive these fees, making them ideal for international travel. However, it’s essential to read the card’s terms and conditions to confirm this before using it abroad.

How can I maximize the rewards earned with my travel credit card?

To maximize rewards, use your travel credit card for everyday expenses and large purchases. Take advantage of bonus categories and special promotions to earn more points or miles. Consider combining your travel credit card with loyalty programs to stack rewards and get even more value out of your purchases.

All information about the American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by The Daily Navigator.

The art of points and miles is a tricky one to master. Maximizing points efficiently (and safely) is a balancing act, where the customer’s lifestyle is complemented or compromised by the right or wrong product choice.

To that end, we spend hours analyzing the merits of individual cards—their intro bonuses, perks, and earning potential—but that’s only a piece of the puzzle.

With so much content focused on unique cards, it’s easy to understand why consumers believe one card will transform their travel experiences and end up disappointed. 

In reality, instead of looking at individual cards, we should be considering effective card combos—sometimes even trios and quads. Using this strategy, the long-term benefits of points and miles can come to fruition. 

To highlight the immense benefits of pairing credit cards, we’ll take two popular products, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, and see how their contrasting characteristics combine to create a powerful long-term wallet.

An overview of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is Chase’s mid-tier travel card. It’s widely regarded as one of the best starter travel cards on the market thanks to its approachable annual fee and generous earning potential.

Its annual fee is set at $95 a year, and it’s currently running a limited-time intro promotion of 75,000 points after spending $4,000 within three months of opening an account. That bonus has the potential to score you well over $1,500 in travel if transferred to valuable airline and hotel partners. You can check out some of the best ways to use that bonus here.

What makes the Chase Sapphire Preferred valuable in the long run is its earning potential. Cardholders earn 3x points per dollar on dining and 2x points per dollar on travel, as well as 5x points per dollar on travel booked via the Chase Travel portal and other more niche spending categories. There’s also a $50 hotel credit for bookings made through the Chase Travel portal.

There are some other benefits to the card we’ll touch on later, but the information given should highlight the value of the card despite its low price point. You can check out the full card details below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

75,000 Bonus Points

after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening

Annual Fee: $95  |  Terms Apply  |  Rates & Fees

An Overview of the Capital One Venture X Rewards Card 

The Venture X is Capital One’s flagship premium card. It has almost unmatched value for most credit card users for a multitude of reasons. nd despite a high annual fee. Its easy-to-use benefits offset the cost, making it approachable for a far wider market.

Its annual fee is $395 a year, and it boasts an intro bonus of 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 within three months of opening an account. In a similar fashion to the Preferred, those miles can easily score you over $1,500 in free travel.

The long-term value of the card comes from its flat-rate earning opportunities. Instead of using predetermined spending categories with elevated earning rates, Capital One opts for a flat 2x miles per dollar on all spending. The only exception to this is travel spending on the Capital One travel portal which enjoys elevated earnings.

Another attractive aspect of the Venture X is its premium perks like lounge access and simple statement credits that help offset the larger annual fee.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

75,000 Bonus Miles

after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee: $395  |  Terms Apply  |  Rates & Fees

Why a credit card pairing is vital to your strategy

An effective credit card pairing is designed to maximize your spending. Everyone’s lifestyle is different and, in turn, so is our spending. While one card may be hugely valuable to one person, it could be almost useless to another.

However, it’s rare for one card to cover every base. Typically, a credit card issuer will determine specific spending categories, like travel and dining, or marketing expenses for a business card. But in these cases, any surplus spending outside of the elevated categories will only earn one point per dollar. A credit card pairing can help eliminate those minimal earnings by plugging the points leaks left by each card.

By choosing your credit card combo carefully, it’s possible to maximize almost every dollar spent. As you grow in confidence, it’s possible to add extra cards to this equation.

Why the Capital One Venture X and Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card combo is so valuable

Combining the Chase Sapphire Preferred with the Capital One Venture X is one of the most popular credit card combos in the points and miles space for several reasons. We’ll break down the complementary attributes of each card to help you decide if it’s the right credit card pairing for you.

The Capital One Venture X and Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card combo covers all your spending

The most important aspect of any credit card combo is the spending coverage. Other pairings can earn more than the Capital One Venture X and Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card combo, but these make an excellent duo for those getting started.

As mentioned above, the Venture X has a flat rate of 2x miles per dollar on all spending. With this in mind, it should be your go-to card for almost all of your purchases. If you’re at the gas station—Venture X; if you’re buying a gift for your partner—Venture X. It guarantees you’re never earning less than 2x per dollar on everything.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred, on the other hand, has a 3x points per dollar earning rate on dining and 2x points per dollar on travel. It should be fairly obvious that anytime you’re eating out, you swipe the Sapphire Preferred instead of the Venture X.

Let’s do the math on some hypotheticals.

If you spend $2,000 a month on average across all purchases, with $1,000 on dining and $500 on travel, here’s what you could earn using different combinations.

  • Only the Venture X: 4,000 Venture Rewards miles
  • Only the Sapphire Preferred: 4,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards® Points
  • Capital One Venture X and Chase Sapphire Preferred pairing (two options)
    • 3,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points + 2,000 Venture Rewards miles (5,000 total)
    • 4,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points + 1,000 Venture Rewards miles (5,000 total)


While 1,000 points may not seem like a huge difference, that’s a 12,000-point or mile increase over the course of a year. That’s enough to fly to the Bahamas—it doesn’t seem so small now, right? Choosing to use the Sapphire Preferred or Venture X for travel expenses is your decision. You may prefer one system over the other. 

Do the math with your own spending to understand how far each of the cards could take you, and check out the Preferred’s other earning categories. If you purchase your groceries online, you can earn 3x points per dollar and increase your earnings even further.

The Capital One Venture X and Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card pairing can earn you 150,000 in less than six months

The earning potential of the Capital One Venture X and Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card combo helps validate their space in your wallet long-term but opening them both soon could land you a whopping 150,000 points and miles.

Currently, both cards are running almost identical introductory bonus offers of 75,000 points or miles after spending $4,000 within three months of opening the cards.

Depending on how those points and miles are used, each could score well over $1,500 dollars. In fact, with both, it would be possible to book an incredible roundtrip from the US to Doha in one of Qatar Airway’s legendary Qsuite business class seats. Those seats run as high as $10,000 each. 

Before diving on both cards there are some things to consider.

To hit the threshold for either card, you need to spend at least $1,333 a month on average. If you open both cards at the same time, you need to spend $2,666 a month to earn both intro bonuses. If you can comfortably afford both bonuses or have a major purchase coming up, don’t let us hold you back.

But, if you’d be unable to hit both spending goals within a single three-month period, opt for the Sapphire Preferred first then open the Venture X. The Sapphire Preferred’s current intro bonus is a limited-time offer, and there’s no guarantee it will be there in three months.

The Capital One Venture X and Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card combo is a less risky option than others

If you’re new to the world of points and miles, you may feel trepidatious about opening and using two cards at once. It’s a fair concern—many cardholders don’t know how to use them effectively and end up paying a yearly fee for a card they get no value from.

Any card that loses you value is a bad decision and should be closed or never opened in the first place, which is why the Capital One Venture X and Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card pairing is so valuable.

The Preferred is a mid-tier card and only costs $95 a year to use. With an approachable annual fee like this, it’s easy to gain at least equal value. In fact, the intro bonus alone would cover the annual fee for over eight years before you started to lose value.

The card also comes with a $50 statement credit for hotels booked on the Chase Travel portal, cutting the out-of-pocket expenses by more than half if you would spend that money anyway.

The Venture X does have a higher annual fee of $395, but no other premium card on the market makes it so easy to match that value.

First, its generous $300 annual travel statement credit is incredibly easy to use and effectively lowers the card’s out-of-pocket expense to $95 a year. The only caveat is that travel must be booked on the Capital One travel portal, so make a note to book a hotel or two on the platform to ensure it’s used.

It also comes with a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus each year. Those 10,000 miles equate to around $100,which, combined with the statement credit, covers the entire cost of the annual fee. You could argue Capital One is giving you $5 to use the card. 

All things considered, the Capital One Venture X and Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card combo allows for low financial risk when it comes to annual fees. Breaking even on value isn’t complicated, even for the more expensive Venture X.

The Capital One Venture X and Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card combo is an easy way to grab high-end perks

Despite being remarkably affordable to own both cards at one time, cardholders are still able to enjoy major perks.

Once again, the Venture X does the bulk of the heavy lifting by granting the cardholder a Priority Pass membership for every year the account remains open. This allows access to more than 1,400 lounges around the world, helping ease the stress of big travel days and even save money on overpriced airport food. Better yet, the Venture X allows up to four authorized users at no extra cost—all four get the same lounge access. The Venture X also grants entry to Capital One’s own lounges. While there aren’t many yet, plans are well underway to expand in more of the US’ most popular airports.

You can ease travel days further by applying for a TSAPreCheck and Global Entry membership using the Venture X’s statement credits for the services.

Throw in luggage protection, rental car primary coverage, and trip coverage, and you’re more than set for anything the world of travel throws at you.

As a mid-tier card, the Sapphire Preferred doesn’t come with too many exciting add-ons beyond trip coverage, but that’s the joy of a strong pairing—you’re enjoying the best of multiple cards at no detriment to you. 

The Capital One Venture X and Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card combo diversifies your transfer options

The final benefit of the Capital One Venture X and Chase Sapphire Preferred pairing is the diverse range of airline and hotel transfer partners cardholders have access to. The more loyalty programs you have access to, the better your chances of finding a stellar redemption.

Here are all of Capital One’s transfer partners.

  • Accor Live Limitless
  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Air France KLM Flying Blue
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Asia Miles
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Choice Privileges 
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • EVA Air
  • Finnair
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Air Portugal Miles&Go
  • Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
  • Virgin Red


And here are all of Chase’s transfer partners.

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Air France KLM Flying Blue
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Red
  • IHG One Rewards
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • World Of Hyatt


Not only do you have access to a huge selection of airlines, but many double up. So, in theory, if you earn those 150,000 points and miles, you could transfer them all to British Airways, Air Canada, KLM/Air France, Emirates, or Virgin for a huge redemption.

What other credit card combos could you choose?

Capital One Venture X and American Express® Green Card

The simplest alternative to the Capital One Venture X and Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card pairing would be combining the Venture X with the American Express Green Card. The Green’s intro bonus is nowhere near as large as the Preferred, but with 3x points per dollar on dining, travel, and transit, it covers a lot of ground. Its earning rates are similar to the Sapphire Preferred’s premium sibling, the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, but doesn’t have as big an annual fee.

American Express® Green Card

60,000 bonus points

after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. Plus, earn 20% back on eligible travel and transit purchases made during your first 6 months of card membership, up to $200 back in the form of a statement credit.

Annual Fee: $150  |  Terms Apply  |  Rates & Fees

Capital One Venture X and American Express® Gold Card

Opting for the American Express Gold Card is an excellent option for those with high spending on eating out and buying groceries. Its high earning rate of 4x points per dollar in those categories could be monumental for your points and miles. The only downside is the lack of extra travel earnings.

American Express® Gold Card

60,000 Membership Rewards® Points

after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first 6 months of card membership

Annual Fee: $250  |  Terms Apply  |  Rates & Fees

Capital One Venture X and American Express Gold and American Express Green

This trio of cards can truly maximize almost every facet of your daily spending. In fact, it’s this exact combo that I use. The Amex Gold’s 4x points per dollar scores me tons on my uncontrollable foodie habits, while the Green earns me 3x points on my flights, tours, trains, and Airbnbs. The Venture X lends me the high-end perks and mops up any other spending that doesn’t fall under travel, dining, groceries, and transit.

The point

The Capital One Venture X and Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card combo is one of the best combinations on the market—especially for beginners in the points and miles world. With good timing and discipline, it can maximize daily spending with minimal risk in the way of annual fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone. This post contains references to products from one or more of our partners and we may receive compensation when you click on links to those products.

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