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Travel rewards credit cards have a reputation for being complicated, both in terms of how you earn points or miles and how you redeem them.
That may be true for some cards, but not the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. This popular travel card offers a simple, flexible redemption program and comes with a generous sign-up bonus to boot.
Created with the avid traveler in mind, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card doesn’t limit its rewards to specific spending categories. You’ll earn two miles for every dollar spent on purchases, period.
This card also comes with an impressive sign-up bonus: 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. Since 100 miles equals $1 in travel rewards, that sign-up bonus could end up being worth up to $500.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is clearly geared toward people who don’t want to get bogged down with restrictions. Not only will your miles never expire as long as your card is open, but you’ll be able to redeem them with virtually any airline, hotel brand or car rental agency.
You can also redeem your miles for cash, gift cards, or other non-travel expenses if you just want to take a staycation. Heads up, though: Redemption rates for these options may vary, and you’ll typically get the best value when redeeming for travel. This is a travel rewards card, after all.
On that note, let’s explore how the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card really works — and see if it’s really the right travel rewards card for you.
- The rundown: Everything we like about Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
- Heads up: What you should consider before applying
- The competition: How Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card stacks up against similar cards
- Bottom line: Is Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card right for you?
Everybody loves saving money on flights, but the isn’t just for booking airfare. In fact, there are several ways to enjoy the miles you’ll earn with this card.
Here’s what we like most:
Earn 2x miles on every single purchase
No need to worry about categories here. With two miles earned per dollar spent, your travel rewards can really add up. Think about it: If you spend an average of $2,000 a month, that’s 4,000 miles (or $40 in travel rewards) in your account. Not impressed? Multiply that by 12, and you end up with 48,000 miles ($480 in travel rewards) a year.
Capital One waives the annual fee for your first year, and it’s only $95 thereafter. When stacked up against other popular travel cards like Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card ($0 intro, $95 after first year) and Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express ($0 intro; $195 after first year), this is a relatively low fee.
Through the Purchase Eraser® feature, you can redeem your miles and receive an account credit for the cost of your travel purchases. You can also book travel through Capital One’s Reward Center.
Miles can go toward many kinds of travel expenses, from cab rides to flights. Even better, there are no blackout dates to cramp your style.
Benefits for jet-setters
Like other Capital One® credit cards, Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card comes with no foreign transaction fees. As a Visa Signature® card, it also offers benefits like complimentary travel upgrades, a 24-hour concierge service and an auto rental collision damage waiver at no additional cost.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is one of our favorite travel companions. However, it’s not perfect, and there are some things you should keep in mind before you apply:
Strict timeframe for statement credits
It’s great to receive a statement credit for travel purchases you’ve already made, but don’t take too long to use the Purchase Eraser® tool. The opportunity to redeem miles for a statement credit expires 90 days after the travel purchase posts to your account.
Beware of the hard inquiries
When you apply for a new card, Capital One may pull your credit reports from the three major bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. This hat trick of hard inquiries can result in some unfortunate (yet temporary and typically minor) consequences for your credit scores.
Watch out for the APR
Travel rewards cards tend to have a higher-than-average APR to make up for the additional benefits they provide. This card has a 13.99 to 23.99 percent variable APR for purchases and balance transfers, and you’ll want to be careful if your APR ends up on the higher end of that range.
You might be losing out on bigger travel rewards
Since these miles have a fixed value, you might not able to maximize their worth in the same way you would with other types of points and miles. One mile will always be worth exactly one cent, and people wanting to use their miles to book first-class tickets at a great value may want to look elsewhere, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or a co-branded airline card.
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||2x points per $1 spent on travel and dining purchases|
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®||2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases|
|Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card||1.25 miles per $1 spent on purchases|
* Rewards mentioned in the above table are not exhaustive.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
With this card, you’ll earn two points for every dollar spent on travel and restaurants, and one point for every other dollar spent on purchases. The Chase Ultimate Rewards® program — a favorite among expert points earners — offers a 25 percent discount on travel purchases made using points with Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The card also has a $0 foreign transaction fee and offers a 50,000-point bonus if you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
From cardholders in the last year
If you fly American more than any other airline, Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® may give you more value than Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. You’ll earn two AAdvantage® miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, and one AAdvantage® mile per dollar spent elsewhere. The value of AAdvantage® miles may vary based on how you redeem them, but you can get started with a nice sign-up bonus: For a limited time, earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening.
Although American Airlines carried more passengers on international flights to and from the U.S. in 2016 than any other airline, being confined to only one airline isn’t ideal for the spontaneous traveler. However, this card comes with airline-specific perks like one free checked bag on domestic itineraries. As with many rewards credit cards, the annual fee is waived the first year, but going forward, you’ll have to pay $95 annually. That’s $36 more than whatCapital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
Consider the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card to be sort of like the little brother to the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. With this card’s sign-up bonus, you’ll receive only 20,000 miles after spending $1,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. And instead of earning 2x miles per dollar spent, you’ll earn 1.25 miles.
There’s still plenty to like here, though. There’s no annual fee, and this card comes with a 0 percent introductory APR on purchases for 12 months (after that, it converts to a variable APR of 12.99 to 22.99 percent).The essential guide to the best travel rewards cards
“Cards like the Capital One® Venture® Rewards [Credit Card] are suited to both frequent and occasional travelers who value simple, flexible rewards programs,” says credit card rewards expert Jason Steele. “These kind of miles, which you can use when you purchase travel services from any company, are ideal for people who don’t want to deal with frequent flyer miles and hotel points.”
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card’s sign-up bonus is appealing to anyone with a sixth sense for travel deals. With the ability to earn double miles per dollar spent, this rewards program offers flexibility and freedom where other cards fall short.
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