Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card review: A happy medium for luxury travel?

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4.5

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BEST FOR PREMIUM TRAVEL BENEFITS

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Rewards rate

2X–10X

Annual fee

$395

Intro bonus

100,000 miles

Regular APR

16.99% - 23.99% (Variable)

Recommended Credit Score

Excellent  (740 - 850)

The newest travel card from Capital One, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card strikes a terrific balance between streamlined rewards cards and luxury travel cards, boasting a plethora of great perks for frequent travelers—while retaining the boosted base rewards rate that made the original Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card a favorite.

Though the benefits packaged with the Venture X may not be as luxurious or specialized as those you get with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or The Platinum Card® from American Express, the Venture X card’s annual credits alone should offset its annual fee almost effortlessly, saving you from worrying about maximizing every niche perk to justify the card’s cost.

But the Venture X card’s most exciting innovation may be just how perfectly its features complement its $395 annual fee, establishing the card as a uniquely valuable middle-ground option for travelers who want more benefits than those of a mid-tier travel card but can’t justify a $600 or $700 price tag. If you’re focused on ongoing value and practical travel perks, but don’t need every obscure credit under the sun, the Venture X card should be a perfect fit.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Pros

  • Offers the same boosted 2X miles as its sibling card, but improves upon the rewards potential with 5X or 10X miles on select Capital One Travel
  • Up to $724 of annual perks, like account anniversary miles and travel credits, entirely cover the annual fee with little effort
  • Its equal focus on flexible travel, boosted miles on everyday spending and practical benefits make it perfect fit for frequent travelers that want a less-exhausting elite card
  • Establishes an appealing precedent for middle-ground travel cards between the $100 and $500+ annual fee tiers

Cons

  • $395 annual fee, which is fortunately much lower than competing cards that cost $500 or more
  • Doesn’t offer as many luxury travel or specialized perks as other elite cards do
  • Capital One miles aren’t as versatile as a few other popular travel cards’ rewards, and it doesn’t offer much more rewards potential on travel-adjacent categories like dining or entertainment

A deeper look into the current card offer

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: 10X miles on hotel and rental car Capital One Travel bookings and 5X miles on flights through Capital One Travel, plus 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: 100,000 miles after spending $10,000 on purchases within the first six months, and up to $200 in statement credits for vacation rentals within the first year
  • Annual fee: $395
  • Purchase Intro APR: N/A
  • Balance Transfer Intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 16.99 percent to 23.99 percent (variable)

Current welcome offer

Not only can you earn 100,000 bonus miles if you spend at least $10,000 in your first six months as a Venture X cardholder, you can also get up to $200 back in statement credits on vacation rental purchases like Airbnb and VRBO made during your first year.

A $10,000 spending requirement might look intimidating but it breaks down to only about $1,667 per month across six months, which should be doable if you put most of your everyday spending on the card. Using the Venture X for nearly all your purchases makes sense, too, considering the card earns boosted flat-rate rewards on all eligible purchases.

If you redeem bonus miles through Capital One Travel, these offers could be worth up to $1,200 in total value. That’s the largest sign-up bonus we’ve seen from Capital One since the issuer’s last 100,000-mile intro bonus, which required you to spend $20,000 on the original Capital One Venture in your first 12 months as a cardholder.

The card’s bonus value may not stop there, though. By transferring your miles to the right travel loyalty partner program, you could boost the value of your miles from 1 cent to up to 1.85 cents per mile, according to The Points Guy’s latest valuations. That would give this sign-up bonus a potential value of $1,850, or even $2,050 if you include the vacation rental credits.

Even without factoring in transfer partners, however, the Venture X currently offers one of the best sign-up bonuses for travel on the market. Depending on how you redeem or transfer your miles, it may even beat out the Amex Platinum card’s impressive 100,000-point welcome offer (after spending a more palatable $6,000 in the first six months of card membership, worth up to $2,000 based on The Points Guy’s 2-cent-per-point valuation).

Rewards rate

The Venture X builds on the original Venture card’s flexibility by offering the same boosted flat-rate rewards on everyday purchases while also earning bonus Capital One miles in key travel categories if you book through the Capital One Travel portal. This makes the Venture X one of the smartest picks out there, if you’re looking for travel rewards and benefits but also want a card that covers everyday expenses beyond the typical travel-card categories and their spending limits.

How you earn

Like the base Capital One Venture, the Venture X delivers a streamlined way to earn travel rewards, thanks to its 2X miles rewards rate on nearly all purchases. But the Venture X makes a better case for becoming your primary travel card since it also earns 5X miles on airfare and 10X miles on hotels and rental cars, if they’re booked through Capital One Travel.

These rates are pretty impressive considering your rewards are unlimited and you get a boosted rate on all non-travel spending, and even more impressive when you realize the rates you get on airline and hotel purchases through Capital One match or beat those you’d get booking direct with competing cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and American Express Platinum.

Compared to other top-tier travel cards, the Venture X easily distinguishes itself as the more useful primary credit card since it carries more generous rewards on everyday expenses and for big spenders.

How to redeem

Capital One gives you a solid mix of options for redeeming your bonus miles. Along with booking airfare and other travel through the issuer’s travel portal, one of Capital One’s more unique options is redeeming miles toward a statement credit for travel purchases made within the past 90 days (at a 1:1 value, no less).

This means you aren’t stuck booking through the issuer’s portal to maximize your rewards earnings and can shop around to find a deal on a third-party site like Expedia or book directly with an airline or hotel. You also have the option of transferring your miles to partner airline and hotel programs, mostly at a 1:1 rate, to potentially squeeze even more value out of your rewards.

While you can also redeem your miles for gift cards, cash back or purchases through Amazon.com or PayPal, these redemptions may require you to sacrifice a fraction of your miles’ value. Since your rewards don’t expire for the life of your account and aren’t subject to blackout dates, it’s probably best to sit on your miles until you’re ready to use them, rather than settle for a stunted cash back payday or subpar transfer partner.

How much are the rewards worth?

Miles redeemed for Capital One travel or statement credits on recent travel purchases are worth 1 cent apiece, but some transfer partners could boost your rewards value up to 1.85 cents per mile (based on The Points Guy’s recent estimations). Just be sure to do your research since not all transfer partners provide that kind of value.

Bankrate insight

Capital One revamped its transfer partner list earlier this year, making it easier and potentially more worthwhile to transfer miles. Seven of Capital One’s partner programs were upgraded from the 2:1 and 2:1.5 transfer ratio tiers to 1:1 in April, and another seven recently joined their ranks. That means 14 of Capital One’s transfer partners now provide a 1:1 value (excluding the Accor Live Limitless and EVA Infinity MileageLands programs), which is certainly impressive compared to some other travel cards’ transfer programs.

Outside travel, gift cards are probably your best deal since they could potentially get you a 1:1, 1-cent redemption value for each mile. You’ll want to avoid exchanging your miles for cash back and PayPal or Amazon.com purchases, though, since they’ll shrink your miles’ value to 0.5 cents and 0.8 cents, respectively.

Other cardholder perks

Compared to the bevy of valuable benefits that come with Venture X, the original Venture card’s perks look pretty threadbare. The annual bonus miles and statement credits will be the most interesting features for most applicants, but the Venture X card’s other travel perks and protections are also great additions.

Annual credits and bonus miles

The Venture X credit card carries up to $400 value every year with two easy-to-maximize benefits. You’ll get 10,000 bonus miles on your account anniversary (redeemable through Capital One for travel at a 1-cent per mile value) and up to $300 in annual statement credits for Capital One Travel purchases. These perks alone make up for your annual fee. But in addition, you’ll receive up to a $100 credit to cover Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® application fees every four years.

As far as premium travel cards go, these credits offer a relatively high value given the card’s $395 annual fee. The up to $300 in annual travel credits is the same as you’ll find with the Sapphire Reserve and the Amex Platinum, although those cards carry much higher annual fees—and, to be fair, a bevy of other yearly credits that could certainly be helpful for travel (like a CLEAR membership credit). However, the Venture X card’s cost-to-benefit ratio carves out its unique position as a middle-ground travel card for those who want to trim the extras down to the most practical, in exchange for a lower annual fee.

Travel benefits

The Venture X card doesn’t offer a slew of “luxury” perks like complimentary hotel elite status and privileges, but it does deliver a few of the main course features frequent travelers look for. You’ll receive excellent airport lounge access with complimentary Priority Pass Select membership to over 1,300 lounges around the world, plus unlimited access to the issuer’s own brand-new Capital One Lounge with two complimentary guest passes per year. (Standard Venture cardholders only get two free admissions each year). Only one Capital One Lounge is open so far, in Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), but two more are planned for 2022.

As a Visa Infinite card, you’ll also have access to benefits like Visa Infinite Concierge for personal assistance securing exclusive travel opportunities and more. One of Capital One’s more notable issuer-specific perks is its relaunched Capital One Travel portal, which partnered with Hopper to offer flexible booking—you can cancel for any reason, anytime, for a fee—with AI-powered pricing that includes price prediction, price watch and excellent price drop protection and price match guarantees. Issuer portals aren’t usually known for offering the best booking deals, but Capital One’s travel channels are shaping up to stand apart from that reputation.

Travel insurance and shopping protections

The Venture X’s Visa Infinite status shines through with its rich travel and purchase protections. In fact, it’s one of the best cards for travel insurance due to its trip cancellation and interruption insurance (the most sought-after protection perk), travel accident insurance, trip delay reimbursement, lost luggage reimbursement and auto rental collision damage waiver coverage for eligible rental vehicle theft and loss. Unfortunately, the Venture X is missing baggage delay insurance to round out the travel protection suite, but that’s a minor nitpick compared to the comprehensive coverage you’re getting for a lower annual fee than the other premier travel cards.

On top of staple shopping protections like extended warranty coverage, you’ll also get rarer benefits like return protection and cellphone protection (an excellent perk that comes with Amex’s top travel cards).

Besides the price protections through Capital One Travel, the issuer also offers another unique safeguard: virtual credit card numbers. This benefit is being phased out by many issuers, but it poses another layer of security for online purchases by essentially preventing online merchants from ever seeing your real card number. It isn’t a deal maker, but it’s an extra touch that most issuers don’t bother with these days.

Rates and fees

The Venture X card is par for the course when it comes to rates and fees. The $395 annual fee is the first cost to come to mind. Fortunately, it may not be an issue since the yearly bonus miles and credits can completely make up for it.

There isn’t an intro APR offer for those looking to minimize any possible interest, although that’s not a feature commonly included with luxury travel cards. On the bright side, there’s no balance transfer fee if you transfer your balance at the 16.99 percent to 23.99 percent ongoing APR (variable)—though that’s barely above the current average credit card interest rate.

There are also no foreign transaction fees for purchases abroad (a standard perk for travel cards) and there’s no penalty APR if you miss a payment due date, although you may face an up-to $40 late payment fee.

First-year vs. ongoing value

Although the Venture X only adds two Capital One travel-focused bonus categories on top of the original Venture card’s flat-rate 2X miles, the significantly higher travel rewards potential and the sheer value of the benefits added to the card more than justify the annual fee in the first year and beyond. In fact, the annual Capital One Travel booking statement credits and the 10,000-miles account anniversary bonus alone would recoup the annual fee each year.

You may also be more likely to use these perks versus the plethora of one-off credits, subscription service memberships and others alike that can clutter competing cards’ benefits lists and inflate their perceived value. Since it should take much less effort to maximize the Venture X card’s offerings than those of many other elite travel cards, it may prove a more valuable option for a much wider audience.

Even through rewards spending alone, recouping the Venture X card’s annual fee isn’t too difficult if you take advantage of the bonus categories—especially if you plan to transfer your miles for the full 1.85-cent TPG value.

All in all, the Venture X card’s ongoing value after the first year is certainly impressive enough to serve as an admirable all-around card for any spending you have. Plus, the first-year value is nearly triple the standard year’s value without the intro benefits cutting away from the recurring benefits.

Benefits and Costs First-year value Ongoing value (no welcome offers)
Estimated yearly rewards via card spend* +$362 +$362
Welcome offers +$1,200 total value (100,000 bonus miles after spending $10,000 during the first six months, plus $200 of vacation rental statement credits in the first year)
Perks (of monetary value)
  • + up to $300 (annual Capital One Travel booking statement credits)
  • +$299 (Priority Pass Select membership)
  • +$100 (10,000-mile account anniversary bonus)
  • +$25 (up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years)
  • + up to $300 (annual Capital One Travel booking statement credits)
  • +$299 ((Priority Pass Select membership)
  • +$100 (10,000-mile account anniversary bonus)
  • +$25 ( up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years)
Annual fee -$395 -$395
Total value $1,891 $691

*Based on our model of each card’s average rewards rate and average ongoing rewards value, drawn from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics spending data, and an assumed $15,900 yearly spend over three years ($1,325 per month).
**Based on the average credit card interest rate at the time of writing.

How the Capital One Venture X compares to other travel cards

Capital One Image

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

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4.5
Apply now

on Capital One's secure site

Annual fee

$395

Sign up bonus

100,000 miles

Rewards rate

2X–10X

Recommended credit

Excellent(740 - 850)
Capital One Image

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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4.2
Apply now

on Capital One's secure site

Annual fee

$95

Sign up bonus

60,000 miles

Rewards rate

2X–5X

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)
American Express Image

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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4.3
Apply now

on American Express's secure site

Annual fee

$695

Sign up bonus

100,000 points

Rewards rate

5X–10X

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)

Capital One Venture X vs. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The first credit card you’d expect to compare the Venture X to is the original Capital One Venture card, but there isn’t much contest if you’re looking for a true travel card. The Venture X offers all of what makes the Venture great but builds upon it with bonus categories for travel purchases and other key travel perks—which is what was sorely lacking from the original Venture when it was Capital One’s flagship card.

Streamlined rewards and travel features make up the spirit of the Venture and other Capital One cards, but the Venture X manages to retain that essence and shore it up with valuable benefits that don’t necessarily unravel the experience into a nest of cogs to track like other premium travel cards. You’ll likely use the extra features that come with the Venture X, which actually offset the annual fee entirely—something that the Venture card doesn’t achieve as effortlessly.

Through that lens, the Venture X is a no-brainer decision over the standard Venture card since the only additional benefit that would help offset its $95 annual fee is the statement credit for the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee (which only provides $25 per year if you consider the possible up to $100 credit as spread out over the four years between its availability). However, the Venture may be a better option for those that travel on vacation only a few times a year and mostly put everyday expenses on their card since they won’t make full use of the Venture X’s features or travel-based bonus categories.

Capital One Venture X vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express

On paper, comparing the Venture X to the American Express Platinum Card—and even the Chase Sapphire Reserve card—is a logical matchup since Capital One’s new $395 top travel card also carries premium perks and similar reward rates. The similar travel category rates and the Venture X card’s added flat-rate category spice up the comparison a bit. And the average yearly rewards formula used in our “First-year value vs. ongoing value” breakdown shows the Venture X’s $362 per year does outclass the Amex Platinum’s rewards potential for the average cardholder (about $236 per year), but not the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s likely rewards (about $424 per year).

It’s clear upfront that both the Amex Platinum and Sapphire Reserve carry a more valuable suite of features and yearly credits than the Venture X. Membership Rewards points and Ultimate Rewards points are more versatile (and therefore, valuable) rewards than Capital One miles to boot. The Venture X is a formidable opponent in terms of affordability and rewards potential for cardholders who don’t want a bunch of cards, but it’s not as perk-oriented for those who want an engaging luxury card.

However, the Venture X’s approach to rewards and benefits show it isn’t trying to compete in the same vast option-oriented and feature-filled rat race. Instead, it successfully establishes its own position as a tier between the $100 and $500+ annual fee tiers we’ve truly needed—as forecasted in the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study and evident as far back as the 2019 J.D. Power survey.

Best cards to pair with the Capital One Venture X

The Venture X covers a wide range of spending, thanks to its boosted flat-rate miles, so a bonus category card that rewards your biggest day-to-day expenses outside travel would make the best partner.

Another issuer’s cash back credit card may be a good option, or a card that can transfer rewards to your favorite Capital One transfer partner programs. But the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a prime choice since you can convert your cash back to the Capital One miles your Venture X transfers at a higher value—all without an annual fee to worry about. That way, you can squeeze even more value out of the SavorOne’s 3 percent dining, entertainment, grocery store (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target) and popular streaming service purchase cash back. Plus, its 8 percent cash back Vivid Seats purchase rewards (Vivid Seats offer until January 2023) are popular reward opportunities that may pop up in your travels.

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

The Capital One Venture X Rewards credit card gears itself toward frequent travelers who want a lower-maintenance card without the “fluff” features that require extra effort (and a higher annual fee) to utilize. Although the Venture X has fewer moving parts than a card like the Amex Platinum, this means the cardholder doesn’t have to offset the overhead cost of a bloated benefits list.

In other words, choosing the Venture X card’s features is the equivalent of being asked about a gift and saying, “Just give me money instead of a gift card.” Sure, the thought of a gift card/specific perks may technically be worth more. But the Venture X doesn’t pressure you to justify your annual fee by subscribing to services you wouldn’t normally use or going out of your way to shop and travel with companies you usually wouldn’t—and there’s personal value and respect in that design.

The Venture X card is certainly worth it if you love the flat-rate rewards flexibility of the base Venture card, but you travel enough to take full advantage of its bigger sibling’s bonus categories and benefits. In fact, the Venture X is one of the most worthwhile travel cards on the market since it dumps the ballast of first-class travel cards’ perk padding in favor of usable features and affordability.