Key takeaways

  • The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card is an excellent travel card for beginners thanks to its no annual fee and uncomplicated rewards structure.
  • The VentureOne welcome offer is attainable for even moderate to low credit card spenders.
  • Cardholders who spend enough to offset a modest annual fee might consider this card’s sister, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card instead, which offers higher rewards earning as well as some additional perks.

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card is what you might call an entry-level travel credit card. It doesn’t charge an annual fee and offers an unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase — giving you a straightforward way to earn and redeem travel rewards without having to pay an upfront cost.

But are the Capital One VentureOne Card benefits worth it? How does the VentureOne Rewards Card compare to travel credit cards that charge annual fees — and are the extra travel benefits worth paying an annual fee?

Let’s take a look at what kinds of cardholders may find the Capital One VentureOne Card worth it and which ones should skip it, and how it stacks up against other top travel credit cards.

When is the VentureOne Card worth it?

As a no-annual-fee travel card, the Capital One VentureOne may serve a variety of cardholder types well. It’s an especially nice option for people who want to dip a toe into the world of credit card travel rewards without the risk of paying an annual fee and not realizing enough value to offset it. Here are a few other situations that make the card worth it.

You want to earn unlimited rewards

For anyone who doesn’t want the hassle of tracking bonus categories, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card offers an unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on everyday purchases. You can also rake in 5X miles on hotels and rental cars through the Capital One Travel portal, but it’s that everyday rewards rate that helps keep things simple. There are no spending caps to worry about with the card, which means you can earn as many rewards as you’d like.

Not only does this flat-rate rewards card provide the same benefits whether you buy groceries, gas or plane tickets, but the Capital One miles rewards program also offers conveniently flexible rewards redemption options. You can turn your miles into statement credits to cover your travel purchases, transfer them to numerous hotel and travel partners or use your miles to cover PayPal or Amazon.com purchases.

Your best redemption value will likely come from transferring your miles to one of Capital One’s transfer partners. Bankrate estimates your miles are worth about [Points and valuations: Capital One Miles (42)] each when you transfer them to a high-value partner. Certainly, learning the ropes of the transfer system takes time, but it’s worth it for cardholders interested in maximizing their reward redemptions.

You don’t want to overspend for your welcome offer

Savvy cardholders know that one of the best ways to earn rewards is by taking advantage of a credit card’s welcome offer. The VentureOne Rewards Card offers new cardholders 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $500 in the first three months after opening the account. Redeem those bonus miles for travel via Capital One Travel or for statement credit to cover a travel purchase on the card and they’re worth $200.

If you transfer the miles to a high-value travel partner, they could be worth about $340 based on Bankrate’s valuations. That’s a hefty value for a bonus on a no-annual-fee card.

You frequently shop online

If you enjoy bargain hunting by scouring the internet for discount codes, you can use Capital One Shopping to automatically track coupons, price comparisons and more. When you download the Capital One Shopping app or add the Capital One Shopping extension to your browser, Capital One will begin searching for coupon codes and sending you price-drop alerts.

Plus, VentureOne Rewards cardholders can earn Capital One Shopping Credits (available on select purchases) by linking their VentureOne Rewards card to the Capital One Shopping app and using the card at checkout.

You could use an intro APR offer

Intro APR offers are rare on travel rewards cards, but VentureOne offers a lengthy one. New cardholders can take advantage of an intro 0 percent APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (3 percent balance transfer fee applies for the first 15 months; 4 percent at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer you at any other time). After the intro period, a 19.99 percent to 29.99 percent variable APR applies.

The best cash back credit cards frequently offer intro APRs, but they’re hard to come by among travel rewards cards. That makes this feature a standout for VentureOne.

Remember, you won’t earn rewards on transferred balances and it won’t count toward earning your welcome bonus. However, you do earn rewards and work toward your welcome bonus with new purchases. If you’re itching to get into the travel rewards game, but need a few extra months to pay off an existing debt or a new large purchase, VentureOne could be the right fit.

You’re still learning about credit

Whether you’re trying to improve your credit score or simply keep an eye on your credit, you’ll want to sign up for CreditWise from Capital One. CreditWise can help if you’re looking to advance your credit score to the next tier, and you’ll receive real-time updates as your credit improves.

This free credit monitoring app is one of our favorite credit monitoring services because it not only tracks changes to your credit score, but also monitors your personal and financial information for any potential security breaches. For instance, it will notify you if your email appears on the dark web and will let you know what you do next to keep your accounts safe.

Keep in mind that you have the best chance of approval for VentureOne if you have at least a good credit score, which means a FICO score of at least 670. If you aren’t quite there, don’t despair. There are cards for people with fair credit scores. Use one of those responsibly and, over time, your score should rise to the point of qualifying for higher tier cards.

When is the VentureOne Card not worth it?

Though the VentureOne Card is an excellent card for many consumers, it doesn’t suit high spenders and serious globetrotters. It’s not that it’s a bad choice; rather, there are better options out there. Let’s examine the scenarios in which VentureOne doesn’t make sense more closely.

You spend enough to offset an annual fee

The biggest drawback of the VentureOne Card is its relatively low flat rate. Consider, instead, VentureOne’s sister card, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. The Venture Rewards Card charges a $95 annual fee, but it offers plenty of value for that fee.

Earning an unlimited 2X miles on all purchases and 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, the Venture Card is as versatile as VentureOne, but more lucrative. Furthermore, the Venture welcome bonus requires a higher spend ($4,000 in three months), but you earn 75,000 miles if you meet it. Earning the bonus alone can effectively offset your annual fee for seven years, and that doesn’t even take into account the everyday rewards opportunities.

There’s nothing wrong with a strong no-annual-fee card such as VentureOne, but crunch the numbers to see whether paying Venture’s $95 annual fee puts you ahead in the end.

You’d like Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit

By earning 5X miles on hotels and rental car bookings made with Capital One Travel and charging no foreign transaction fees, VentureOne’s travel benefits are nearly identical to the Venture Rewards Card. However, consumers who fly often and would appreciate expedited security screenings for domestic flights or when clearing U.S. customs should apply for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. VentureOne won’t cover your application fee, but Venture (and numerous other premium travel cards) will. With Venture, every four years, you can get up to a $100 statement credit for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee.

Consider that another year of offsetting the Venture annual fee.

Should you get the VentureOne Card?

Is the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card worth it? It depends. If you want a flat-rate rewards card with no annual fee, the VentureOne Rewards Card is a good way to earn miles on everything you buy and redeem those miles for everything from travel bookings to Amazon.com purchases.

But if you’re looking for a top travel credit card, the Capital One VentureOne Card might not be your best option. Although VentureOne includes a number of benefits designed to help you save money and build your credit, its travel benefits are fairly limited. You don’t get any of the benefits that some of the best travel credit cards provide, such as TSA PreCheck and Global Entry application credits and airport lounge access. Using VentureOne to earn and redeem Capital One miles gives you plenty of flexibility, but it probably won’t do much to improve your general travel experience.

If you want a Capital One credit card that offers a few more travel perks, the Capital One Venture is a great alternative. In exchange for a $95 annual fee, the Venture Rewards Card gives you an unlimited 2 miles per dollar on every purchase and an automatic statement credit to cover the cost of your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee.

You could also consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. This travel credit card includes a few top-level travel benefits, including the opportunity to earn a welcome bonus of 75,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months, worth over $900 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Travel℠. Like the Venture Card, Sapphire Preferred also charges a $95 annual fee. If you’d like to avoid an annual fee altogether, stick with VentureOne.

The bottom line

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card charges no annual fee and offers a few basic travel benefits, including the ability to earn and redeem Capital One miles. If you’re looking for a good starter travel card — or if you simply want a low-cost card — the VentureOne Rewards Card might be a good choice. If you’re hoping to get a little more out of your travel credit card, you might decide that the VentureOne travel benefits aren’t enough. Make sure you carefully assess your situation and spending habits and check out the full Capital One VentureOne Card review before deciding to apply for VentureOne or a more premium travel card.