Capital One’s newest travel credit card, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, has officially debuted with tons of buzz and fanfare. And it’s no wonder—the premier(ish) travel credit card is attainable due to its low annual fee (well, at least compared to other luxury cards).

But that’s not the only thing that makes this card exciting. In addition to the lower fee, it offers a variety of perks and credits that help offset the annual fee year after year.

One is the up to $300 in statement credits the card offers for bookings through Capital One Travel. You can count on this credit annually to cover eligible travel expenses through Capital One’s travel portal. If used properly, this perk can effectively reduce the card’s $395 annual fee to $95.

But how can you make the most of it? Here are our recommendations on getting the most value out of this annual card benefit.

What does the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offer?

Before we jump into how to maximize the card’s $300 travel credit, let take a look at the card’s basic offerings:

Quick details:

  • Rewards rate: 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel; 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.
  • Annual fee: $395 for new cardmembers

There are also plenty of other card perks, benefits and features you can read more about in our full review of the Venture X card.

What is the Venture X’s annual $300 credit?

As a Venture X cardholder, you’ll get up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel. As you spend on travel in the portal, you’ll notice your account receiving the related statement credits until you hit $300. However, to get the full credit, it’s important that you book at least $300 worth of travel in the portal during the year.

If you spend only, say, $240 on bookings through Capital One Travel in the prior year, you’ll only get $240 back as a statement credit. If you spend $500, the statement credit will still only be for $300.

Like most credit cards, you can lose eligibility for the credit if your account is not in good standing or closed. As long as you keep your account current and under the limit, you should be eligible for the annual credit.

How can I maximize the value of the credit?

The short, simple answer: Use Capital One’s travel portal for cash travel bookings. When you spend money on travel in the portal, not only will you earn 10X miles on hotels and rental cars and 5X miles on flights, but you’ll be on your way to getting the full $300 annual credit.

In addition to earning more rewards, there are some other advantages of booking through the Capital One travel portal. Since the issuer has partnered with travel search engine Hopper, the user experience has greatly improved.

Hopper has introduced predictive algorithms and the inclusion of additional information that help you make the best decision when purchasing travel accommodations:

  • Price in cash and miles: This feature provides a clear view of prices in both cash and miles.
  • Price analysis: This tells you if prices are high, low, whether or not there’s a chance they could fall and if you should wait or book immediately.
  • Price watch: Set an alert to watch trips and get notifications on deals.
  • Price forecast: See a visual representation of how pricing will fluctuate for your itinerary along with suggestions for when to book.

According to Capital One, this price prediction technology is 95 percent accurate.

Other benefits of booking in the travel portal include:

  • Price drop protection: If a lower price is found for a flight, Capital One will automatically refund the difference up to $50.
  • Price match guarantee: If you find a better price for flight, hotel or car rental within 24 hours of booking, Capital One will refund the difference.

Additional features to come include a price freeze option, which lets you pay a small fee for a flight until you are ready to buy it. Also, you’ll get the option to purchase cancel-for-any-reason insurance, which can be more cost-effective than buying expensive refundable fare tickets. You can cancel up to 24 hours before departure and receive 80 percent of the ticket cost back with this coverage.

So as you can see, there’s plenty of incentive to book travel through the travel portal. With it, you’ll probably save much more than the $300 statement credit, and the extra travel search engine features will help you stretch that credit as far as it can possibly go for travel spending.

Pair it with other Venture X benefits and perks

Capital One has been quietly working on creating a caliber of travel credit card to compete with the likes of the Chase Sapphire Reserve and The Platinum Card® from American Express—which have their own lists of perks and benefits.

Here are some other Venture X card benefits to look forward to:

  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 toward travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary.
  • Unlimited access to all-inclusive amenities at the Capital One Lounge and at 1,300-plus Priority Pass lounges internationally.
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four years.
  • Cellphone protection (requires you to pay your monthly bill with your Capital One Venture X card)
  • Visa Infinite Concierges
  • Visa Infinite Luxury Hotels

By taking advantage of all these offerings, you set yourself up to gain plenty of value from the card aside from the $300 annual statement credit. Plus, these additional benefits can help you plan memorable vacations while saving money in the process.

The bottom line

The $300 you get as a Venture X cardholder may not seem like much when it comes to booking travel, but if you are strategic, you can squeeze more value out of the credit. Use the Capital One Travel portal to plan your full itinerary, watch out for price drops and be discerning with how and when you pay for your travel expenses.