- The Points Guy
- The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a fantastic rewards credit card that comes with a big sign-up bonus, simple systems for earning and redeeming miles, and valuable benefits.
- A 50,000-mile sign-up bonus -after you spend $3,000 in the first three months – is worth at least $500 in free travel right off the bat.
- The sign-up bonus is potentially more if you take advantage of 15 airline transfer partners, including the newest transfer partner – JetBlue.
- The card also comes with up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
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The Capital One Venture Rewards card is a competitive travel rewards card at a moderate price point. While it does carry a $95 annual fee (that’s waived the first year), it offers plenty of value and useful benefits. If you value ease of use when it comes to earning and redeeming credit card rewards, the Venture could be a great fit.
Today we’ll review the rewards, benefits, and costs of the Capital One Venture card to help you decide if it makes sense for your wallet.
Keep in mind that we’re focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which will far outweigh the value of any points or miles. It’s important to practice financial discipline when using credit cards by paying your balances in full each month, making payments on time, and only spending what you can afford to pay back.
Capital One Venture card details
Annual fee: $95 (waived the first year)
Sign-up bonus: 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months
Points earning: 2 miles per dollar on everything
Foreign transaction fee: None
New cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening a new account.
That’s worth at least $500 toward travel, because you can redeem miles for 1 cent apiece to cover travel purchases. That’s not your only option for using the Venture card‘s miles, though – you can also transfer them to airline partners including Air Canada, Emirates, and JetBlue.
Annual fee and other rates
The main cost of this card is the $95 annual fee, waived the first year. If you don’t pay the card off in full every month (which you should), it charges variable rate interest, currently a variable 17.49% to 24.74% APR (as of December 2019) based on your credit. Rates can change at any time.
Cash-advance transactions charge the top 24.74% APR rate. Balance transfers cost 3% when posted at a promotional APR. Balance transfers charge no fee if they post with the standard APR. Cash-advance transactions charge 3%, with a $10 minimum.
Late payments cost up to $39 per occurrence. Avoid that by paying your bill on time.
Points earning on the Venture Rewards card
The Capital One Venture card offers 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. You can do better in certain spending categories – such as dining and travel – with other cards, but if you value simplicity, earning 2 points per dollar on all your spending is a solid solution. It’s better than just earning 1 point per dollar across the board, and you could always pair the Venture card with another card that earns bonus rewards in one of your biggest spending categories.
For example, if you spend a lot on travel and dining, you could also apply for the American Express® Green Card, which earns 3 points per dollar in these categories.
Using Capital One miles
Redeeming miles from the Venture Rewards card is easy. Much easier than some competing cards, in fact. Once you make a purchase from any major travel company, you can redeem points to wipe out the charge through a statement credit, which Capital One calls the “Purchase Eraser.”
You can book new travel through any airline, hotel, train, cruise, or travel agency and reimburse yourself with miles when the transaction posts. Alternatively, you can book new travel through the Capital One portal, which works a lot like most big travel-booking sites online.
You can also transfer miles to 15 airline frequent flyer partners. This means Capital One “miles” can be used like transferable points such as American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards – and transferable points can often get you a higher value for your rewards.
You can also use miles for gift cards at the same 1-cent-per-mile rate, but don’t use your miles for cash-back redemptions. When you do, you only get half a cent per mile in value, which is just not worth it.
Capital One Venture Rewards Card benefits
The Venture card comes with some great benefits, some of which are usually reserved for more premium travel rewards cards like the Platinum Card® from American Express. These can help you squeeze even more value out of the Venture card beyond what you get in rewards.
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit
The card comes with up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. Global Entry, which fast-tracks your re-entry to the US when you travel abroad, includes PreCheck, so it’s the better choice.
Because Global Entry lasts five years, that is a $20 per year value. If you already have a membership, you can use this benefit to pay for someone else’s application fee, and you’ll still be reimbursed.
Capital One also offers cardholders access to some exclusive events, VIP packages, and presales for concerts, music festivals, sporting events, and other ticketed events.
When you jet off across the world, or over any border, the card charges no foreign transaction fees. Those are often around 3% for lower-tier cards that don’t include this benefit.
When you hit the road, this card covers you with some great travel insurance benefits. It includes rental car insurance, travel accident insurance, and a 24-hour emergency assistance number.
The card does not offer purchase protection, but it does come with an automatic extended warranty for eligible purchases.
The benefits are not the very best you can find in the travel rewards card space, but at the $95 annual fee price point they are pretty good and cover the most common needs for frequent travelers.
Bottom line: Should you get the Capital One Venture card?
The Capital One Venture is a very good travel rewards card that offers plenty of value and opportunities to earn miles toward free travel with easy redemption options.
There are some cards that might give you a little more value, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – which also has a $95 annual fee – or the ultra-high-end Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Platinum Card from American Express. But to get maximum value out of those cards, you need to transfer your points to partners, which is a bit more involved.
If the $95 annual fee scares you off, the lower-tier Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card has no annual fee, but offers inferior benefits as well.
Overall, if you’re attracted to the big bonus, simple system to earn and redeem miles, and the valuable benefits, the Capital One Venture is a great card.