Key takeaways

  • The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card allows more frequent travelers to get into the premium travel card space.
  • The Venture X offers numerous travel credits that more than make up for the $395 annual fee.
  • The card also offers airport lounge access and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit.

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is easily my favorite credit card, and the one I recommend most often to fellow travel lovers. And that’s saying something, considering I write about credit cards for a living.

Ever since it was announced back in 2021, I knew the Venture X would become a game-changer. Finally, here was a card that would allow more frequent travelers to get into the premium travel card space. Besides generous rewards, the Venture X offers simple-to-use benefits that make travel more comfortable, as well as annual credits that can easily offset the $395 annual fee. And while the fee is still high, it’s more than $150 lower compared to other popular cards in the premium travel category.

Here’s more on what I like about the Venture X — and why I keep recommending it to other travelers.

Generous sign-up bonus

The Venture X is a generous travel card — starting with the intro bonus. Currently, you can get 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening, which is equal to $750 in travel.

When I was applying, the issuer had a different offer, which allowed me to earn 100,000 miles (worth $1,000 when redeemed for travel). I used these rewards on a ticket to Rome I booked with Lufthansa — a trip I unfortunately had to cancel. Luckily, the airline promptly refunded me, and the money returned to my account. To make myself feel better, I spent it on Black Friday shopping and a PlayStation 5. Not quite as exciting as a vacation in Europe, but who else gets to say they managed to use their travel card to get a console without losing on the rewards value?

Saves me money

I always wanted a premium travel credit card with perks that make travel more comfortable. However, being budget-minded, I find popular luxury cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® (with a $550 annual fee) and The Platinum Card® from American Express (with a $695 annual fee) to be too expensive for me at the moment.

Although their value justifies their cost for many cardholders (particularly those who do lots of traveling), such a high single charge would mean I’d have to significantly cut my expenses for the month when the annual fee is due. In comparison, the Capital One Venture X has an annual fee of $395, and it has some of the same perks as the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Amex Platinum.

Additionally, the Venture X more than pays for itself thanks to its up to $300 in annual statement credits for Capital One Travel purchases. It also offers 10,000 bonus miles on your account anniversary (redeemable through Capital One for travel at a 1-cent-per-mile value). Last year, I spent all of it, plus some of my miles, traveling from Seattle to Orlando, Fla., and Austin, Texas, for a bachelorette party weekend and a wedding. With how high airfare prices get, I tend to use both the annual credit and anniversary bonus to cover a single flight.

Plus, the Capital One Travel portal has some excellent money-saving features, including price prediction, price drop protection, price match guarantee and others. This is much more than what other issuer portals are currently offering.

Simple redemptions

There’s more than one type of credit card nerd. Some are all about tracking rewards values. They move their points and miles between programs — sometimes multiple times for one booking — to squeeze every last tenth of a cent out of their rewards. That’s why they fly to the Maldives in first class and do other brilliant things.

I’ve realized I’m not that type. I’m the card nerd who seeks the maximum value at the minimum effort. With the Venture X, my miles are worth 1 cent apiece, whether I use them to book travel through the issuer’s portal or to cover travel purchases I’ve already made. And maybe I’ve only flown first class once, I also avoid the math and other frustrations that moving rewards to transfer partners can bring.

And if I ever turn into the first, brilliant type of card nerd, Capital One has transfer partners, too.

More comfortable travel experiences

I love traveling, but airports can be the stuff of nightmares. I can tell you horror stories about 18-hour flights with two layovers both ways. However, it’s not all bad with premium credit card perks that make travel more comfortable, like access to airport lounges and expedited airport security.

With the Venture X, cardholders will receive unlimited complimentary access for the cardholder and two guests to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide — including Capital One Lounges and participating Priority Pass lounges. That’s one of my favorite things about the card. SeaTac (SEA), my home airport, has two lounges in the Priority Pass network, and I stop by almost every time I fly. It’s hard to say no to free snacks and comfortable seats to relax in with my Kindle. Who’d choose sitting by the gate when you can have that?

The Venture X also comes with up to a $100 credit every four years to cover the cost of Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees. Global Entry is a program designed to provide expedited entry through American customs for those who frequently travel outside of the U.S. TSA PreCheck offers expedited security screening when you travel domestically. If you sign up for Global Entry, you get both — which I did.

I completed my Global Entry interview when returning from a trip to Mexico in 2022. Unfortunately, I haven’t traveled internationally since then. On the other hand, TSA PreCheck has been a traveler’s blessing. I don’t think I’ve spent more than 10 minutes in an airport security line since I signed up.

The travel perks on the Venture X aren’t as numerous and elaborate as on other cards of its caliber — but they’re easy to use and can significantly improve your airport experience. This is why this card is usually the first one I recommend to frequent flyers who want to travel in comfort. Just a couple of months before writing this article, I suggested it to my friend who was originally considering the Amex Platinum for similar benefits. She decided a $395 annual fee was much more preferable to the Platinum’s $695.

— Ana StaplesLead Credit Cards Writer

The bottom line

I’ve had the Capital One Venture X card for over two years now. Its simplicity, excellent travel perks and a comparatively affordable annual fee have made it my favorite. It’s now the card I build my entire card strategy around. Currently, I’m planning to use it to get me to Germany in fall without spending a single actual dollar. Let’s hope that trip doesn’t get canceled — I really want to use that Global Entry perk after all this time.