Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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Flexible redemptions, no cap on rewards and no annual fee for the first year? Yes, please.

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Put simply, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the best travel rewards credit cards on the market today. It’s made better by its modest annual fee, which the issuer will waive during the first year of card ownership.

This is a suitable card for the frequent traveler who doesn’t consider him or herself a road warrior. (There are other, better cards for this group.)

Review

If you’re looking at a travel rewards credit card and it doesn’t come with a generous sign-up bonus, look elsewhere. That’s not a problem here, as the Venture Rewards card offers a huge mileage bonus equal to $500 in benefits if you spend enough within the first three months.

But the plusses don’t stop there, as cardholders will earn 2 miles for every dollar spent on anything. And redemption is a snap as there are no blackout dates or restrictions; miles can be redeemed for any travel expense.

The issuer recently boosted the annual fee from $59 to $95 (waived the first year), but also increased the sign-up bonus. Even with the increased annual fee, this card has tremendous value.

Who should get this card

The Capital One Venture rewards card is a great addition to any frequent traveler’s credit card collection. At a rate of 2 rewards points for every dollar spent — with no cap on earnings, this card could be a good choice for earning travel rewards.

Advantages
  • There’s a sizeable bonus of 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 within the first three months of card ownership.
  • Unlimited travel rewards at 2 miles per dollar never expire. Every 100 miles can be redeemed for $1 worth of rewards.
  • Rewards are flexible and can be redeemed at any airline, hotel or rental car -- and that includes travel discount sites.
  • No foreign transaction fees -- a must for any good travel card.
Disadvantages
  • You have to make your travel purchase first and then redeem your rewards as a credit on your statement. Some other rewards programs allow you to use your rewards directly to make the purchase.
  • The mileage credits have to be redeemed within 90 days of making your travel purchase.
  • There are other rewards cards without any annual fees.

Fees and APR

  • The annual fee is $95, waived the first year.
  • This card carries no foreign transaction fee, a must for any cardholder who plans to travel overseas.
  • The annual percentage rate is either 13.99%, 18.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.

Extras, perks and using points

You can redeem your awards miles by booking your travel directly through a Capital One representative over the phone or through its website. The other way is to use the “Purchase Eraser” to receive a credit for travel you booked another way. Once you’ve paid for your travel with your Capital One Venture card, you can redeem your miles for a statement credit.

There is no fee to redeem your miles.

Other perks of the card include Visa Signature benefits like travel upgrades and savings, car rental collision insurance, extended warranty protection and concierge services.

How this card compares

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Card Details
  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Use your Quicksilver card and get 50% back as a statement credit on your monthly Spotify Premium subscription, now through April 2018
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 13.99%-23.99% variable APR after that
  • Balance transfers also have a 0% intro APR for 9 months; 13.99%-23.99% variable APR after that; a 3% fee applies to each balance transferred
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% intro on purchases for 9 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% intro on balance transfers for 9 months

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is simple. And that’s a good thing.

The card’s rewards program is structured so you don’t have to think about whether this is the month that gas station spending pays more or that it’s time to take advantage of warehouse club spending. There’s also no annual fee, so you don’t have to do the math about how much you’ll have to spend to make the card worth it.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
Card Details
  • Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made while traveling abroad
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a fee for balance transfers.
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% Variable
Annual Fee $89 - Waived first year
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard has a ton of flexibility. You can use your rewards to book travel on any airline, hotel or cruise ship. You can even take a taxi. Discount travel sites are covered, as well, letting you book your trip your preferred way.

If you’re a globetrotter, road-tripper or wanderer of any type, this card should be in your wallet.

EDITORIAL NOTE

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.