Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card review
Best for flexible travel rewards
- Rewards rate: 2X miles on all purchases
- Welcome offer: 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel
- Annual fee: $95
- Purchase intro APR: N/A
- Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
- Regular APR: 17.24% – 24.49% (variable)
Flat-rate travel rewards cards are hard to come by, but the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a premier example.
Although it might not be able to outclass other premium rewards credit cards based on travel spending, flexible unlimited 2X miles on all purchases can be a surprisingly lucrative system. Even with the $95 annual fee, if you’re at home more than globe-trotting, flat-rate rewards can get you more in the long run.
Keep reading our Capital One Venture review to learn how its rewards structure stacks up to other popular travel cards.
Capital One Venture current sign-up bonus
New cardholders able to meet the steep spending requirements will enjoy Capital One’s recently announced two-stage sign-up bonus. After spending $3,000 on purchases within your first three months, you receive a base 60,000 miles.
Since miles are worth 1 cent when redeemed for travel, Capital One’s up to 60,000-mile bonus can be worth $600 toward travel. Granted, this total value isn’t a massive difference from a few other premium cards’ sign-up bonuses.
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 primarily earn rewards from travel-related spending, like airfare and hotel purchases. But a flat-rate approach makes it easy to use the Venture card for earning miles toward your next journey while you’re home.
With the Venture card, you’ll earn 2 Capital One miles per dollar spent on all purchases.
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.
Additionally, until April 30, 2021, Capital One has extended the recent purchases you can redeem miles for to include restaurant, delivery service and streaming service purchases.
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. Most transfer partners have a lower value conversion at a 2:1.5 ratio, but sometimes you can find a great deal to boost your miles’ transfer value above the base 1 cent.
How much are miles worth?
When redeemed with Capital One, your miles are worth 1 cent toward gift cards and travel, including recent travel purchase credits.
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 1.4 cents per mile, according to The Points Guy’s most recent valuations.
Overall, your worst value by far is to redeem for cash back. Doing this will halve your value to 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.
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.
Capital One Venture: Benefits
For its price tag, the Venture card 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.
Travel service perks
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 900+ Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection properties and 60+ Sonoma County wineries.
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, travel accident insurance, purchase protection and extended warranty. However, the eye-catchers here are the lost luggage reimbursement (up to $3,000 for checked and carry-on bags) 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 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 few years.
Rates and fees
If you’re in the market for a low-maintenance, low-fee way to earn travel miles, then the Capital One Venture could be a great card for you. There are no foreign transaction fees, and the $95 annual fee is no bother since you only need to spend at least $283 per month to recoup it.
Other than that, there aren’t many potential ongoing costs to keep up with, except for the 17.24 percent to 24.49 percent (variable) APR. It’s slightly above the current average interest rate and 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.
How the Capital One Venture compares to other travel cards
The Venture card’s main appeal is its flat-rate rewards, but you may be able to earn more valuable rewards if you’re open to bonus category-style cards. With the right transfer partner, both the Citi Premier® Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card collect points that can be worth more than Capital One miles, according to The Points Guy’s latest valuation.
Plus, you can still earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth 2 cents) and Citi ThankYou points (worth 1.7 cents) on everyday purchases such as supermarkets and restaurants along with on eligible travel.
If you don’t want the hassle of finding transfer partners, both cards offer a 25 percent boost in point value when you redeem via their respective travel portals, but Citi’s ThankYou Travel Center will be ending this boost on Apr. 10, 2021.
|Card||Rewards rate||Annual fee||Sign-up bonus|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||
||$95||60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months|
|Citi Premier® Card||
||$95||60,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months|
|Discover it® Miles||
||$0||Discover will match all miles earned by the end of the first 12 months|
Best cards to pair the Capital One Venture card with
Flat-rate rewards cards generally pair best with bonus category cards from the same issuer that aligns with your biggest expenses.
Since the Venture is Capital One’s top travel card, you may want to consider a cash back card to fulfill this purpose. 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, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card could be a great choice if you can take advantage of its unlimited 3 percent cash back on dining, 3 percent back on entertainment and 2 percent on grocery store purchases.
If you frequently fly Air France though, you might want the Air France airline card—or a travel card from American Express, Chase or Citi, since they all can transfer points to the Air France / Flying Blue program.
Bankrate’s Take—Is the Capital One Venture card 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.
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.
- Unlimited, flat-rate travel miles on all purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
- Good benefits, including up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee
- $95 annual fee
- Miles worth 1 cent or less unless using select airline transfer programs
- Steep spending requirement to reach full sign-up bonus