Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
When it comes to freedom of choice and affordability, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is one of the best travel cards on the market. Any frequent traveler who doesn’t want to commit to a single airline or hotel chain or who may be turned off by the high annual fees of many premium travel cards may find their perfect match here.
Considering this card comes with a low $95 annual fee (waived for the first year), its potential benefits are more than worth the cost. The Capital One Venture offers unlimited 2X miles per dollar on any purchase, plus 10X miles when you book and pay for a hotel through Hotels.com/Venture through January 2020.
And while you enjoy the first-year waived annual fee, you can also benefit from the card’s 50,000 mile new cardmember bonus after you spend $3,000 within three months of account opening.
Redeeming your Venture card’s miles is easy. You can transfer them to one of Capital One’s travel partners, book through Capital One’s portal or use their Purchase Eraser and redeem your miles in the form of a statement credit for any travel purchases made within 90 days. Travel purchases are defined relatively broadly for Purchase Eraser and include everything from flights and hotels to rideshare services and Airbnb.
Is this the right card for you?
If you like the simplicity of unlimited flat cash back cards, but you’re looking for better redemptions on travel, this is the right card for you. If you’re not a frequent traveler, there are likely better cards on the market to suit your needs.
You don’t need to pair this card with another to enjoy its full value, but it is best for those who travel most by air, rather than drivers. Not only do Capital One’s travel partners currently include airlines like Jet Blue, Air France and KLM, but the card comes with other air travel perks, like Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credits up to $100, travel accident insurance and no foreign transaction fees.
Luxury travelers may enjoy perks like airport lounge access and concierge services found on more premium travel cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or The Platinum Card® from American Express. If you’re looking for a simple travel card with easy and unrestricted redemptions, though, it’s difficult to top the Venture.
The Capital One Venture card is best suited for those with an “excellent” credit score of 740 and higher, but if you’re in the “good” range, from 670-739, you may still qualify. Additionally, Capital One may deem your application ineligible if you’ve applied for a Capital One credit card two or more times within the past 30 days or you have five or more open credit accounts with Capital One.
If you carry a balance, you may also want to think twice before applying, as the Venture card has no introductory balance transfer offer and comes with a variable APR of 17.99%, 22.74% or 25.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
How much are the rewards worth?
You’ll earn 2X miles for every dollar spent with the Venture card, which can be redeemed at a rate of 2 Capital One miles per 1.5 partner miles (with exceptions) with transfer partners or 1 cent per mile on travel purchases.
If you spend $20,000 per year on the card, that’s equal to 40,000 miles, not accounting for any Hotels.com/venture purchases. Combined with the 50,000 mile sign-up bonus (after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months), you could earn 90,000 miles in your first year.
How to redeem Capital One Venture miles
As of late 2018, Capital One allows Venture cardholders to transfer their miles to one of 15 airline partners at a rate of 2:1.5 (the rate is just 2:1 on Emirates Skywards and Singapore KrisFlyer). The value of these transferred miles varies by airline and by flights, so you may want to compare the value of all redemption options before booking.
If you were to redeem your 90,000 miles through Capital One’s portal or Purchase Eraser at a value of 1 cent per mile, you could earn $900 back your first year of card ownership. Often booking travel directly using either of these methods can be most valuable.
You can also redeem miles for gift cards at the same value through Capital One. Avoid redeeming your miles for cash back on non-travel purchases, though, because their value will drop by 50 percent. Those 90,000 miles would then be worth only $450 in redemption value.
Read Bankrate’s Guide to Capital One Miles for a closer look at redeeming your miles wisely.
How to get the most value from this card
The Venture card rewards unlimited 2X miles on all purchases, so there’s no specific category you should focus on. Instead, treat it like a cash back card and use it for your everyday spending and all of your travel purchases so you can redeem your miles as you go.
Since you’re not limited to Capital One’s travel partners, look for deals on discount travel sites through Capital One’s portal before booking so you can save money and redeem fewer miles per trip. Until January 2020, you can also book and pay for all your hotel stays through Hotels.com/Venture to take full advantage of the 10X miles offer.
In addition to card-specific rewards, you can gain even more value from Capital One perks like pre-sale access to entertainment and sporting events, exclusive access to dining experiences and premium travel upgrades.
The Capital One Venture card is one of the top cards on the market for frequent travelers looking for simple ways to save money and earn on their spending. If you don’t mind paying the annual fee and you’re not partial to a specific airline, this makes for a lucrative addition to your wallet, whether you’re a travel newbie or seasoned rewards pro.