Capital One’s Venture X: Will it bury the Sapphire Reserve?

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Has the cold-blooded assassin we’ve all been waiting for these past four years finally arrived to take out the Sapphire Reserve once and for all? Can Capital One’s Venture X do what the Altitude Reserve, Citi Prestige, and revamped Amex Platinum card couldn’t? We may finally have a contender for the best “one” ultra-premium card – whether you’re a single-card slinger or you want to combo it with the SavorOne for 3x dining, entertainment, streaming, and grocery (with no additional fee!). On this week’s show, we compare the Venture X head-to-head with the Sapphire Reserve.

Watch or listen below or read on for why you should keep your Marriott cards despite the devaluation, how you can rack up a thousand bucks in easy money with low effort, how to earn 620,000 points on $25K spend and more.

Frequent Miler on the Air

  • 1:21 What crazy thing….did X1 do this week?
  • 6:33 Mattress Running the Numbers: Is it worth spending $8K for a Hilton free night certificate if targeted? 
  • 11:58 Main Event: Capital One’s Venture X: Will it bury the competition? 
  • 48:47 Post Roast
  • 57:41 Question of the Week: Is 50K World of Hyatt points appropriate compensation for missteps?

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This week at Frequent Miler

In credit cards

Capital One Venture X card: A strong new ultra-premium contender

Capital One’s Venture X card is the most boring ultra-premium card to hit the market in years, but it also may well be the best value. At what many will consider to be a net negative cost, it comes with great perks for both the primary cardholder and (free) authorized users: Priority Pass, Capital One Lounge Access, Hertz President’s Circle status, and more. It is amazing to see Capital One continue to make huge strides with its products — now if only they would approve more customers (and not shut them down after approval).

Is it time to ditch all of your Marriott credit cards?

Short answer: no. While Marriott will become a less exciting program overall, I think it is very likely that free night certificates will become easier to use at a predictable value in the future. While I think we will no longer see the opportunity to get a $1,000 night for 25K points starting in 2023, we will probably be able to consistently trade our $95 annual fees for a night worth $200 or more rather than needing to hunt for that opportunity. While collecting Marriott points will not be very attractive at all, I think collecting free night certificates will likely still be a winning play – and perhaps an easier one to execute.

Build your Amex Point fortune: Up to 620K points with $25K spend

The current +4 referral offer on Amex cards is one not to miss as it can help you build your Amex point fortune exponentially. Keep in mind that you can not refer to the best deal on the Membership Rewards market — the Resy Platinum offer of 125K + 15x is only available via Resy. However, have one member of your household open that card and then refer someone to get an additional +4x. Since you can easily refer someone from a card like the Platinum to almost any other Amex card (see this if you don’t know how to do it), this is just an absolutely amazing opportunity to rack up a lot of miles – particularly with fourth quarter taxes due soon.

In loyalty news

Delta Downgrades Upgrades (but there’s good news too)

Bye-bye cheap Air France business class.

Well Greg sure did pick the right time to Pass the GUC. Those who hoped to use these certificates on Delta or Air France internationally will suddenly need to spend a lot more money on a premium economy ticket if they want to upgrade to business class. While Greg points to the good and the bad, let’s be honest: this is pretty awful. It’s awful both for Delta Diamond elites as well as elites at American and United who can typically count on those airlines eventually copying whatever Delta does.

My bite-sized thoughts about everything new in points & miles (Nov 2021)

In this post, Greg gives his bite-sized reactions to the latest developments in points & miles. I mostly agree with each of his points, though I differ with him on the utility of the Hyatt award calendar. While I totally agree that an availability calendar would be nice, I kind of like being able to see award prices for every day to get a sense for how often a property is priced standard or off-peak and to know which dates I need to search compulsively to snag an off-peak award when someone else cancels.

In easy money

$1K+ in easy money: Cover holiday spend with easy bonuses

There are lots of lucrative checking and brokerage bonuses out there, but in this post I focused on 5 very easy-to-complete offers that could snag an individual more than enough money to cover the average American’s holiday spend. Those playing in 2-player mode could come out with two grand with less than two hours of work — or even more with a couple of honorable mention offers.


That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Don’t forget to keep an eye on this week’s last chance deals.

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Pam

Instant approval this a.m. on the X. Both cards are useful for me since they both offer $300 off travel (used for boutique hotels in my case), even if redeemed in different ways. That feature ever goes, probably so will I.

wanderlust

Good luck with the Venture one to Savor one. They did not let me go from Venture to Savor early this year and I had the Venture for several years and DID put $5K on it this year. I did call twice to be sure. Ended up making it a Quicksilver.

Reno Joe

Putting the annual fees to the side, it is fair to say that Capital One is finally a contender. Earn rates are comparable to those of the Sapphire Reserve — but, I wouldn’t say “buries” on this alone.

In the absence of a cash back / statement credit strategy, earn rates are meaningless without the transfer partners that a person needs. In that respect — and give the recent move to 1:1 ratios — some can reasonably argue the Capital One is better positioned.

On the other hand, if someone has a cash back / statement credit strategy, I think the Sapphire Reserve is the better card.

Will surprises never cease?

Marley

I would like the see Mr. Pepper join the podcasts

YoniPDX

In order to complete – Cap 1 will need to approve – the high FICO/High wealth/income applications (but I guess churners/maximizers make up a small percentage – so they likely won’t care same with referrals only for new to Cap1).

I also want to know if trip delay is 6/12 hours, same with delayed baggage and CDW for car rentals if it is primary and if it is $75k/$100k.

I wonder what insurance company they use for damage coverage.

That said I do think it is better than USB AR – if insurance/trip delay/rental coverage is equal.

Scott

I can predict with 100% accuracy that the answer will be revealed…in 3 days when it launches. My guess is the standard VI benefits, otherwise they’d have to manually remove certain ones.

TravelBloggerBuzz

Maybe I missed it…Did you guys miss that the Priority Pass with the Capital One Venture X card comes with access to the PP restaurants, unlike the PP coming from Amex?

Nun

Hi, I love your podcasts. You guessed at Marriott point value next year being .06 or .07 cents because of the Homes and Villas value.

For H&V there’s a fixed cash rental price. With a non-H&V Marriott room there’s a standard rate, an employee rate, prepaid rate, and others. There’s also a tax that gets waived when paying with points versus cash. If Marriott assigns a fixed point value we don’t know which rate they’ll use and how they’ll handle the tax. Unless what we know what Marriott negotiated with their properties, point redemptions could have more value in the end than assumed.

Last edited 27 days ago by Nun
Nun

I didn’t mean to imply they’d have different prices for employees or AAA members and so on. Sorry for my misuse of the word “waived” to describe A x 0% = $0.

My point is about the cash amount paid to a property owner for an award. In 2021, properties are NOT paid the standard rate for an award. Do you disagree? What I’ve read in the past is it’s something closer to the employee rate or at the very least it is discounted.

Yes, Marriott will want to get the most points possible out of us in 2022, but I feel they have more leeway when pricing these rooms than when pricing H&V.

Or are you implying Marriott already told you the pricing? That’s not what I got from the podcast.

Last edited 27 days ago by Nun
Nun

That’s very interesting. I didn’t realize or forgot that a near sell-out situation could give them that much money. That screws up my (wishful) thinking.

Nun