Is the Capital One Venture Card worth it?

1
SolStock / E+ / Getty Images
Bankrate Logo

Why you can trust Bankrate

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for . The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page.

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card was my very first foray into the travel credit card landscape, and I’m still glad for it years later. When I first signed up, I knew very little about credit cards—suffice to say, the $95 annual fee seemed daunting at the time.

But it’s been easy to get more than the annual fee’s worth of value out of the Venture card each year I’ve owned it, and I love having a flexible miles card that also earns a flat rate of rewards on every purchase. Not to mention the card is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 60,000 miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first year. That many miles (worth around $600 in travel) is typically only offered by the priciest luxury cards on the market.

So, is the Capital One Venture Card worth it? I think so, and I believe the same is true for many other kinds of spenders, as well. But it’s not for everyone, so here’s a breakdown to help you decide if this Capital One credit card is right for you.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Overview

  • Rewards rate: 2X miles on all purchases, plus 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • Welcome offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Other perks: No foreign transaction fees, up to $100 in credits for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership, virtual card numbers for secure online shopping and more

Reasons the Venture Card is worth the annual fee

The sign-up bonus is top-notch

The Venture card is currently offering 60,000 miles for spending $3,000 in the first three months. While the full $3,000 spend threshold might be too high to meet for some cardholders, the value of this bonus is incredible for an entry-level travel card. If you redeem for travel purchases, those 60,000 miles can score you $600 worth of flights, hotels, rental cars and more.

You earn a solid flat rate of miles on every purchase

Unlike other rewards credit cards that offer more miles in particular categories of spending, the Venture card offers the same 2-miles-per-dollar rate on every purchase. This straightforward framework takes all the planning and guesswork out of earning with the card—no need to only pull it out for certain categories of spending or worry about merchant category codes. All you have to do is swipe your Capital One Venture Card whenever you make a purchase and watch the rewards pile in.

The great thing about a high flat rate of spending like this is that it suits multiple kinds of cardholders. Those who like to keep things simple with a go-to card for all their purchases can count on a competitive rate no matter what they buy.

Then again, cardholders like me who like to juggle multiple credit cards to earn more in particular categories have a lot to gain, too. That’s because the 2X miles per dollar earned on general purchases with the Venture is higher than the standard 1 mile per dollar on cards with tiered earning categories.

For instance, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is one of my favorite credit cards thanks to its 6 percent cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases (up to $6,000 per year, then 1 percent). But it only earns 1 percent cash back on purchases like airline tickets or online shopping. By using my Blue Cash Preferred for groceries and then swapping out my Venture card for new clothes, I can make sure I get the best possible return on my spending.

The Global Entry/TSA PreCheck waiver covers the annual fee in the first year

In addition to a great rewards rate, the Capital One Venture card will cover up to $100 (as a statement credit) for your application fee to Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years. If you maximize this offer, that more than pays for your first-year annual fee and a renewal every fourth year after that.

Not to mention, these programs can save frequent travelers a lot of time at the airport.

Points redemption is very flexible

The miles you earn with the Capital One Venture card are also extremely flexible and offer the same 1-cent-per-point value whether you book travel through the Capital One portal or any third-party site. Many travel credit cards only offer full point value when you book through the issuer, so this is a big perk for cardholders who like to budget-hunt on multiple platforms.

The card just feels luxurious

The Capital One Venture card is a metal credit card, and while this is obviously not a make-or-break feature, it does add a certain sense of luxury when pulling it out of your wallet. In fact, the Venture is one of the heaviest metal credit cards on the market—even more so than some cards that require a $400+ annual fee.

Learn More: Capital One Venture Card benefits guide

Reasons why the Venture Card might not be worth it for you

Less-than-stellar travel transfer partners

The truly points-and-miles-savvy know that a good list of transfer partners is the best way to get the most value out of your credit card rewards. Capital One’s travel partners don’t quite measure up to lists from American Express or Chase—though their recent updates, including three new airline partners and one new hotel partner, have brought some additional value. Further, Capital One has upgraded the transfer ratios of seven of their transfer partners to 1:1.

The value for non-travel miles redemptions is low

The Venture card is first and foremost a travel card, and that’s obvious in its rewards redemption structure. While redeeming for travel purchases is super flexible and gets you steady value, trying to spend your miles for options outside of travel is not so lucrative. Cash back, for instance, only gets you 0.5 cents per mile, and Amazon purchases get 0.8 cents.

That means you’ll need to travel at least semi-regularly to really make use of the Venture card’s rewards.

Is the Capital One Venture Card worth it?

If you can take advantage of the sign-up bonus, application credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and flexible redemption options for travel purchases, the Venture card is absolutely worth it. A flat earning rate makes it easy to offset the card’s annual fee.

But if you don’t spend much on travel and prefer rewards that can be leveraged for cash back, you might want to opt for a different card. The Citi® Double Cash Card, for instance, earns up to 2 percent cash back on every purchase—1 percent as you buy and an additional 1 percent as you pay off your purchases. It doesn’t have a sign-up bonus or many fancy perks, but it also doesn’t charge an annual fee, and the rewards are much more flexible.

The bottom line

At the end of the day, the Capital One Venture Card offers a straightforward way to earn a solid amount of rewards. Travel buffs who like to rack up as many points as possible will find their spending goes a bit farther with other travel rewards card issuers who have more advantageous rewards structures and robust transfer partner programs.

That being said, if you’re looking for a simple way to earn miles and enjoy a few cardholder perks, the Capital One Venture Card does keep things simple.

Written by
Emily Sherman
Senior Editor, Credit Card Product News
Emily Sherman is a senior editor for CreditCards.com and Bankrate Credit Cards, specializing in product news and recommendations. She has worked as a writer and editor in the credit cards space for several years, covering any and all topics related to how cards work, rewards programs, card benefits, travel, cash back and more.
Edited by
Editor, Product