Earlier this month, Capital One entered the luxury travel credit card market with an economical version of a premium travel card known as the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. Not only does this card offer the opportunity to redeem and earn generous rewards on travel spending, but as part of the Visa Infinite network, it boasts more than a few extremely helpful travel-related benefits as well as other protections and card perks.
However, as you may have already imagined, these additional card perks and benefits come with a higher fee. If you want to know if you can justify the higher annual fee, this Venture X benefits guide will help you understand exactly what you can expect from Capital One’s newest travel card. From here, you can decide if your spending habits and travel style make you an ideal candidate for the Venture X card.
What does the Capital One Venture X Card offer?
Quick card details:
- Rewards rate: 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel; 2X miles on all other purchases
- Welcome offer: Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first six months from account opening, equal to $1,000 in travel
- Annual fee: $395 for new cardmembers
The rewards structure is relatively straightforward and focuses on travel spending booked through the Capital One Travel site. The 2X miles back on all other purchases makes this ideal for an everyday spending card that helps you reach your award travel goals.
You’ll earn the most by using your Venture X card to book travel through Capital One’s newly revamped travel portal. Capital One recently cemented a partnership with travel search engine Hopper, which features price prediction and alert technology for booking flights, hotels and rental cars, plus the option to change or cancel reservations easily. Capital One cardholders are also able to redeem points for travel through the Hopper-Capital One travel portal integration.
One area where Capital One and its cards really shine is the flexibility of redeeming miles. Venture X card miles don’t have blackout dates or expire for the life of your account. Also, you can redeem them for 1 cent per mile to cover eligible travel purchases from any eligible merchant you’ve already made a purchase with in the past 90 days.
You can also redeem miles by transferring them to travel partners. For a long time, the list of Capital One’s travel partners was rather small, but now it seems to be growing pretty quickly.
Capital One has been steadily adding transfer partners that include several loyalty programs with both airlines and hotels. With redemption values that start at 1 cent per mile and go up to 2.36 cents per mile, according to CreditCards.com’s latest valuation, you can definitely get more value out of your miles with transfer partners.
If you want to redeem rewards for things other than travel, you can redeem your Capital One rewards for Amazon.com or PayPal purchases, cash, a statement credit, check or gift cards. These redemption options, however, offer less value than travel redemptions.
The Venture X card wouldn’t be a real premium travel card without additional travel perks and benefits. Here’s are some features that bump the Venture X into premium travel card territory:
Statement credits and anniversary bonus miles
For a limited time, you can get up to $200 back in statement credits for vacation rentals charged to your account within your first year. This credit can come in handy if you like to rent homes on platforms like Airbnb, VRBO and others.
Also, you get up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel. This credit could potentially cover the cost of an airline ticket, weekly car rental or night at a hotel, which makes this a pretty generous credit.
There’s an additional 10,000 miles credit that you’ll get on each anniversary, which can be worth $100 towards travel. This starts on your first card anniversary and will continue as long as your Venture X account is active and in good standing.
Airport lounge access and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit
Capital One is also upping its airport lounge access game to compete with existing luxury travel card issuers like Chase and American Express. With three new Capital One lounges planned to open in 2021, plus access to 1,300+ Priority Pass lounges internationally, you’re already getting a ton of value with this cark perk alone.
Also, Venture X cardholders can get up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
Trip insurance and foreign transaction fees
When traveling, all kinds of incidental costs can bust your travel budget. One such cost is foreign transaction fees, which tend to average around 3 percent of each transaction. Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about that with the Venture X card.
Another additional expense can come from trip cancellations and interruptions. When you purchase travel tickets with your Venture X card and encounter cancellations or interruptions on your trip, the insurance will reimburse you for the non-refundable cost of your passenger fare. This coverage also applies to other forms of eligible transportation, like fares for a ferry, rail, bus or cruise ship.
Additional travel-related benefits:
- Visa Infinite Concierge services
- Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection (VIP status, upgrades when available, complimentary breakfast)
- Travel and emergency assistance services
- Lost luggage reimbursement
- Trip delay reimbursement
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
- VIP amenities and discounts on car rentals
Additional card benefits
While it might seem that the Venture X couldn’t possibly fit any more benefits into its features, there are a few more to take note of through the Visa Infinite network:
- Extended warranty protection
- Return protection
- Purchase security (for stolen or damaged items)
- Cellphone protection ($50 deductible)
- Emergency cash disbursement
- Emergency card replacement
How to maximize the perks and benefits offered by the Venture X card
For starters, you want to make sure that you take advantage of all the reward-earning opportunities and credits. The welcome bonus is low-hanging fruit when it comes to earning rewards. At a value of $1,000, it essentially covers your annual fee for almost two years.
When you add the $200 statement credit for vacation rentals, $300 credit for bookings made through the Capital One travel portal and the $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, you are coming out far ahead in your first year—but only if you meet the welcome bonus requirement and take advantage of all of the credits. If you do nothing else, you net $1,205 in rewards and benefits the first year ($1,600 minus the $395 annual fee).
However, if you earn more rewards by using this card as your go-to for travel spending, you stand to net much more value by racking up miles and spending them in the travel portal or transferring them to travel partners.
After year one, you’ll still get the $300 credit for Capital One Travel bookings and 10,000 bonus miles on your anniversary (worth $100 towards travel) which leaves you in the green at $5 ($400 minus the $395 annual fee).
This just means you don’t have to do a lot of spending each year to cover the card’s annual fee. But, to get the most value out of this card, spending and redeeming as much as you can on travel is the way to go.
The bottom line
This card certainly isn’t the top of the line when it comes to the most luxury-perk-packed travel cards out there, but for the annual fee and near-zero effort you need to make up for it, the Venture X deserves serious consideration.
No, it’s not necessarily a Chase Sapphire Reserve or The Platinum Card® from American Express. However, it can still serve as a relatively low-risk, entry-level card for those who want to test the waters with higher-end travel credit cards.