Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card review: A streamlined travel rewards experience

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Snapshot

4.6

Bankrate rating
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Bottom line

This card is a top pick if you want to earn easy-to-manage travel rewards on all purchases. The boosted miles on all spending — even if you’re not traveling — can easily earn 1:1 value through most of the transfer partners available.

Capital One Image
Apply now

on Capital One's secure site

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Rewards rate

2X–5X

Annual fee

$95

Intro offer

75,000 miles

Regular APR

17.49% - 25.49% (Variable)

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Overview

Flat-rate travel rewards cards are a popular choice for people who want an easy way to earn rewards on all of their purchases. And despite the $95 annual fee, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a stellar example.

You can earn an unlimited 2X miles on all purchases. Compared to the many other travel rewards cards that typically only earn rewards for travel spending, this is a valuable perk for people looking to maximize the amount of rewards they earn. Venture card rewards can be redeemed for any travel expense — another standout feature that you won’t find with co-branded travel cards, which may restrict you to certain airlines or hotel brands.

Keep reading to see how the Venture stacks up to other popular travel cards and if Capital One’s flagship travel card — the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card — is a better choice.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Pros

  • The card has unlimited, flat-rate travel miles on all purchases, which is fantastic compared to other travel rewards cards that only earn miles towards specific flight and hotel bookings
  • It has no foreign transaction fees, so you don’t have to worry about accruing these charges while using the card overseas
  • It offers solid benefits, including up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee (unlike the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card)

Cons

  • The $95 annual fee isn’t entirely offset by yearly benefits, unlike the Capital One Venture X card’s fee, so look elsewhere if you want to offset yearly fees completely with rewards or prefer a low-cost travel rewards card with no annual fee
  • Miles are worth 1 cent or less unless using select airline transfer programs, which can limit your overall earning potential
  • This card has a steep spending requirement to reach the full sign-up bonus, so if you’re currently budgeting your travel expenses or don’t travel enough to spend $4,000 within three months, then this particular card (and possibly its sibling cards) may not be the best fit

A deeper look into the current card offer

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within three months of account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Purchase intro APR: N/A
  • Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 17.49 percent to 25.49 percent (variable)

Current welcome offer

New cardholders can receive a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within three months of account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

Earning 75,000 miles in that timeframe is a pretty generous offer, matching or nearly matching the bonus offered by some top travel rewards cards. Namely, it delivers the exact same intro offer as its premier sibling, the Capital One Venture X. An offer matching the issuer’s flagship welcome offer doesn’t happen too often, so an intro bonus of this magnitude may be worth bouncing on if you’re already sold on the Venture compared to its rival options.

It’s a step up from the most recent 60,000-mile bonus (after spending $3,000 within the first three months), but, on the other hand, the new Venture card offer doesn’t stack up to one of its previous offers of up to 100,000 miles. Though to be transparent, this offer required you to spend a whopping $20,000 during your first year, so the current bonus is far more accessible for the value. The current offer also falls a bit short of some of the intro offers you can find on the card’s top competitors in the $95 annual fee price range. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, for instance, offers 60,000 points after a $4,000 spending requirement in the first three months, worth $750 when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

While redeeming 75,000 points through the Capital One Travel portal will give you a $750 value, transferring your rewards to a travel partner may be a more lucrative option. Based on The Points Guy’s (TPG) latest valuations, Capital One points are worth an average of around 1.85 cents apiece accounting for these travel partners, which would make the Venture card bonus worth nearly $1,388.

Rewards rate

The Capital One Venture earns flat-rate rewards, meaning it earns miles at the same rate on all purchases. The card also has no limit on the number of miles you can earn.

Most other travel credit cards earn rewards primarily from travel-related spending, like airfare and hotel purchases. But the Venture card’s flat-rate approach makes it easy to earn miles toward your next journey.

How you earn

When it comes to flat-rate vs. tiered bonus rewards credit cards, the Venture Rewards card offers the best of both worlds. It’s a flat-rate credit card that offers a consistent 2 Capital One miles per dollar on all of your purchases. This is a valuable tool for anyone who values simplicity and who tends to spend a lot in non-travel-related categories like groceries, gas, and other household-related categories. The Venture Rewards card also earns a high 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

Just like tiered bonus rewards travel cards, this is a good fit for people who want to quickly maximize the amount of points they can earn in select travel-related categories. But unlike many other bonus rewards travel cards, your spending in these high-rewards categories isn’t capped. And your remaining purchases outside hotels and rental cars won’t default to a standard 1 mile per dollar rate.

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Bankrate insight
Through May 16, 2023, Venture cardholders can also earn 5X miles when booking through Turo. However, your mileage may vary with this limited-time offer if you’re not a regular user of the carsharing marketplace.

How to redeem

As a travel card, your primary redemption options are to book travel through the Capital One rewards portal, receive a statement credit for recent eligible travel purchases (within the last 90 days) or transfer miles to partner airline and hotel programs.

Otherwise, you can redeem miles for gift cards or purchases made via PayPal or on Amazon.com, but you may have to sacrifice mile value compared to travel options. Even then, you’ll have to pay close attention when you’re transferring miles to partner programs. As of Oct. 7, 2021, Capital One has upgraded most of its transfer partners to its 1:1 ratio tier, but a few still have a lower conversion value at a 2:1 or a 2:1.5 ratio. Therefore, it pays to keep an eye out since sometimes you can find a great deal to boost your miles’ transfer value above the base 1 cent.

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Capital One first upgraded seven of these 2:1.5 ratio transfer partners to its 1:1 tier on Apr. 20, 2021. This rollout came with a handful of other changes, like four new airlines added to Capital One’s list of transfer partners. What’s more, the second revamp on Oct. 7, 2021 added several of these and other partners to the top transfer tier for a current total of 15+ total loyalty programs with a 1:1 transfer ratio (15+, as of Jan. 25, 2022). However, the most potentially valuable new partner is British Airways, since it’s a 1:1-tier partner due to these updates and is also a transfer partner for American Express and Chase cards. Plus, the latest pre-COVID travel season showed that it’s also ranked third globally for most country markets visited (82).

How much are miles worth?

Redeeming your miles for Capital One travel or statement credits for recent travel purchases should be your primary options since they’ll retain a 1-cent value apiece.

Your miles’ value will vary when transferred to partner loyalty programs, but that could work in your favor. Your miles may dip below 1 cent (just book through Capital One in that case), but some partners could boost your value to 1.85 cents per mile, according to The Points Guy’s most recent estimations. Although most of Capital One’s transfer partners provide a 1:1 ratio now, keep in mind that the EVA Infinity MileageLands and Accord Live Limitless programs don’t.

Overall, your worst value by far is to redeem for cash back. Doing this will cut your value to about 0.5 cents per mile. Transferring miles for a better value is your wisest option, followed by booking travel through Capital One, covering previous travel and redeeming for gift cards (since they may offer a 1:1, 1-cent value per mile). Even redeeming your miles for PayPal or Amazon.com purchases is a better option than direct cash back since your miles will have a 0.8-cent value.

Your miles don’t expire for the life of your account and there are no blackout dates, so you’d be better off saving them for a rainy day than cashing them in for a half-sized check.

Other cardholder perks

For its price tag, the Venture card’s benefit roster carries a handy selection of travel and shopping protections. But compared to competitors like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’re missing quite a few top travel perks — such as trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, trip delay insurance and baggage delay insurance.

Next to its bigger sibling, the Venture X, the original Venture’s perks look a bit less appetizing, though, since the Venture X card’s travel and shopping protections plus yearly bonus points and credits manage to retain the Venture’s streamlined spirit — all while justifying the annual fee a bit better than the Venture can.

Travel benefits

In case you’re in a pinch or planning your trip, the Venture card provides a few services to make things easier. Capital One Access offers exclusive presale tickets and other member experiences. Meanwhile, your Visa Signature card perks throw in complimentary concierge assistance, plus premium benefits at exclusive events and locations, including more than 900 Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection properties and more than 60 Sonoma County wineries. Issuer travel portals aren’t known for delivering the best travel booking deals, but the recently relaunched Capital One Travel site is a better service than most since it offers price prediction and watching models, plus price drop protection and price match guarantees.

On top of the Capital One Travel portal and Miles Transfer Program changes after April 20, 2021, your Venture card will also grant you special entry rates to the issuer’s inaugural Capital One Lounge. Not many card issuers have their own dedicated airport lounges outside Amex’s luxurious Centurion Lounges, but Capital One is planning to include a range of premium amenities, including regionally curated grab-and-go food stations, bartended dining and areas dedicated to exercise and relaxation.

Only the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) Capital One Lounge is open so far — which is paltry compared to the over 40 worldwide Centurion Lounges — but more are planned for 2022. Standard Venture cardholders will be able to visit them for free twice per year, with a discounted $45 price for extra visits (the same as guest pricing). If airport lounges are your oasis, you might want to consider upgrading to the Venture X since it not only provides Priority Pass Select membership to over 1,400 more lounges globally, but it also makes Capital One Lounge access completely complimentary (plus two complimentary guest visits per year to boot).

Travel and shopping protections

The Venture card isn’t one of the best cards for travel insurance, but you receive a sturdy portfolio of protections for the annual $95 price point. By paying with your card, you’ll receive staple features like auto rental collision damage waiver coverage, up to $100 credit for Global Entry/TSA PreCheck and extended warranty coverage. The eye-catchers here, however, are the lost luggage reimbursement and the Eno assistant’s virtual credit card numbers — both of which pad your travels with another layer of protection.

The Eno assistant

Capital One’s assistant program, Eno, is like your account management system rolled into one helpful assistant. It monitors your account for fraud, sends alerts, creates virtual credit card numbers and provides useful account info, like your current balance.

Perhaps the most interesting of these abilities is its virtual credit card number storage. Virtual credit cards are getting harder to come by, and Eno provides another layer of protection when you shop online by saving a unique virtual card number for each merchant you transact with.

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit

When using your Venture card to cover the application fee, you can receive up to $100 in credit for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application. This benefit is key for frequent travelers and it essentially offsets the card’s annual fee once every four years.

This is a great benefit, and a staple for travel cards, but it’s a shame that this non-annual benefit is the only bonus credit to help offset the annual fee. That means you’ll have to mainly rely on rewards spending — unlike a few other cards in its class.

Rates and Fees

If you’re in the market for a low-maintenance, low-fee way to earn travel miles, the Capital One Venture could be a great card for you. It has no foreign transaction fees, and the $95 annual fee can be easily offset if you are able to spend at least $396 per month.

If you’re still opposed to an annual fee, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card doesn’t charge one, though there are better travel cards with no annual fee.

Other than that, there aren’t many potential ongoing costs to keep up with, except for the 17.49 percent to 25.49 percent (variable) APR. It’s on par with the current average interest rate and may be slightly above the rates of the competing cards below, but we recommend paying off your balance in full each month regardless to avoid eating away at your rewards earnings.

First-year value vs. ongoing value

Given its small list of perks, it’s clear that the Capital One Venture’s main value comes from having one of the most straightforward travel rewards programs on the market.

Among other headache-saving features, the program provides all of the following:

  • Automatic redemptions
  • Minimal rates and fees
  • Flat-rate rewards on all spending
  • A portal that predicts redemption costs and protects you from price changes
  • A transfer rewards program that promises a 1:1 ratio for about 88 percent of its partners

But if you’re more of a “show me the money” type, the only recurring Venture card feature with a clear monetary value is the up to $100 application fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry you’ll receive every four years.

That means you’ll have to rely primarily on rewards spending each year to make up for the $95 annual fee. Here’s a look at what you’d have to spend each month to offset the annual fee:

  • 2X flat-rate spending: at least $376 per month ($214 if transferring miles, assuming an average mile value of 1.85 cents per mile)
  • 5X Capital One Travel hotel and rental car spending: at least $159 per month ($86 if transferring miles, assuming an average mile value of 1.85 cents per mile)

Some competing cards in the Venture’s class provide beefier benefit value to offset the annual fee. But depending on your spending habits, the $95 may not be much of a concern, especially if you plan to transfer miles for their full 1.85-cent average TPG value:

The 75,000-mile sign-up bonus is pretty hefty, though, boosting the card’s first-year value by more than four times the typical yearly value if you get the 1.85-cent value. Those bonus miles are enough to cover the annual fee for just over seven years, even if you redeem it through Capital One.

Benefits and Costs First-year value Ongoing value (no welcome offers)
Yearly rewards* +$327 +$327
Welcome offers +$750 value (75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 during the first three months)
Perks (of monetary value)
  • +$25 ( up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years)
  • +$25 ( up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years)
Annual fee -$95 -$95
Total value $1,007 $257

*Based on our formula used to calculate each card’s average rewards rates and average ongoing rewards value, using Bureau of Labor Statistics spending data and an assumed $15,900 yearly spend over three years ($1,325 per month).

How the Capital One Venture compares to other travel cards

The Venture card will have a large fanbase thanks to its ease of use and rewards structure. But travelers who want to squeeze as much value as possible out of their rewards or those who don’t like paying annual fees may find another credit card that better fits their lifestyle.

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Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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4.6
Apply now

on Capital One's secure site

Annual fee

$95

Intro offer

75,000 miles

Rewards rate

2X–5X

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)
Chase Image

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Annual fee

$95

Intro offer

60,000 points

Rewards rate

2x–5x

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)
Capital One Image

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

20,000 miles

Rewards rate

1.25X–5X

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)

Capital One Venture Rewards credit card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The flat-rate rewards offered by the Venture card are appealing, but it’s worth comparing the Venture card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred to see which offers the biggest bang for your buck.

For example, though the Venture card has a lower sign-up bonus than the Sapphire Preferred, they both require the same $4,000 spend in a three-month timeframe. The Sapphire Preferred card’s rewards may also be more valuable. When you book your travel through Chase, your rewards points get a 25-percent boost, giving them a value of 1.25 cents apiece. That means your 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points could potentially have a value of $750 when redeemed for travel. Meanwhile, Venture miles have a flat value of just 1 cent per mile when redeemed for travel. To have a chance at matching the Sapphire Preferred card’s point value, you’d need to transfer your Venture miles to a travel partner with a favorable transfer ratio and redemption value.

Plus, people who have multiple Chase credit cards may be able to take advantage of the Chase trifecta to unlock even more rewards-earning potential. This essentially increases the number of categories that earn bonus rewards that can then be pooled with a premium Chase card that offers a higher point value. Depending on your goals and spending habits, this could give the Sapphire Preferred a long-term edge.

Capital One Venture Rewards credit card vs. Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

Deciding between the mid-level Venture card and the entry-level Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card comes down to what level of value matters most to you.

For all the perks you get with the Venture Rewards card, you’ll have to pay a $95 annual fee, while there’s no annual fee for the VentureOne. The VentureOne card also has a leg up on its bigger sibling by providing a 15-month 0 percent intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers, not to mention the possibility of a slightly lower ongoing APR (16.49 percent to 26.49 percent variable APR, 3 percent fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months). For the occasional traveler looking for a card that can give you time to make interest-free payments on a past or future vacation, the VentureOne is a solid option.

However, the VentureOne only earns 1.25X miles on all purchases and has a much smaller 20,000-mile sign-up bonus (after spending $500 within the first three months), all without the $100 TSA PreCheck and Global Entry application fee credit. If you don’t have to worry about keeping interest at bay on any purchases or past debt, and you spend a healthy bit more than $396 each month — which is quite likely — you should probably go for the Venture card over the VentureOne.

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If you’ve discovered that the Venture card’s annual fee is personally worth it, you should also consider the Capital One Venture X card. Although its $395 annual fee may seem much more intimidating, its yearly $300 statement credits on Capital One Travel purchases and 10,000-mile account anniversary bonus completely offset the annual fee. That means it’s actually easier to recoup the Venture X card’s annual fee than the standard Venture’s fee (since the standard Venture’s only recurring credit is for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry) and reap all of the elite card’s benefits over the standard Venture.

Best cards to pair with the Capital One Venture

Flat-rate rewards cards generally pair best with bonus category cards that align with your biggest expenses.

For example, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card could be a great choice if you can take advantage of its 5 percent on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply), unlimited 3 percent cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target), plus 1 percent on all other purchases. You can get even more value from your bonus categories by converting your cash back to Capital One miles, which the Venture can transfer to travel partners. The 5 percent on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 3 percent dining and entertainment and 8 percent Vivid Seats are excellent bonus categories to take advantage of while you travel as well.

You could also choose another issuer’s card that can transfer loyalty points to the same partner programs or a co-branded card that earns at your favorite airline or hotel. For example, if you’re a frequent flyer or guest at any of Capital One’s transfer partners, it may be useful to also get a co-branded airline card, or hotel card, for that particular chain.

Bankrate’s Take: Is the Capital One Venture worth it?

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a convenient option if you prefer simple flat-rate rewards or if you don’t spend enough on travel to justify a bonus category card or the Capital One Venture X’s $395 annual fee.

The card shows its peak value if you rely on everyday expenses to earn miles, but its rewards and benefits are a rung below the specialized features of a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred. And if you spend more than $300 on Capital One travel bookings a year, it’s well worth it to upgrade to the Venture X since the extra benefits and rewards potential effortlessly outperform the base Venture card and recoup the annual fee easier than the standard card.

Frequently Asked Questions