Capital One Venture Card review: Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- Earn a 100,000 bonus when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months – that's redeemable for up to $1,000 in travel (it could be worth more if you transfer your miles to one of 15+ travel loyalty programs).
- Cardholders are eligible for a reimbursement of their Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee, a perk worth up to $100.
- Through June 30, 2021 you can redeem your miles for eligible restaurant delivery, takeout and streaming purchases, in addition to travel purchases.
- If you plan to spend less than $10,000 annually you may be better off with a card without an annual fee such as the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Capital One Venture Card Benefits
- Capital One Venture Card Travel Benefits
- Capital One Venture Card Foreign Transaction Fee
- Capital One Venture Card Potential Downsides
- Capital One Venture Cardholder Scores
- How the Capital One Venture Card Compares to Other Cards
- Is the Capital One Venture Card a Good Card?
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers you:
- 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
- Unlimited two miles per $1 spent on every purchase, every day
- Rewards don’t expire for the life of the account
- No blackout dates or restrictions for redemption
- Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates
- And now you can transfer your miles to 15+ leading travel loyalty programs
Just because the rewards are called "miles," don't restrict your thinking to only airlines. Rewards can be redeemed for a variety of travel expenses, such as hotel accommodations, auto rentals and theme park tickets, or turned into cash and merchandise credit if you don’t intend to travel (more on that below).
The 100,000 miles bonus offer starts things off on a nice foot, but the real star power of the Capital One Venture Card is that it enables you to earn 2X the miles on every dollar spent, on every purchase, with no cap and no expiration on miles earned for the life of the account, and the redemption options are very flexible, too. This makes it one of the most compelling rewards cards on the market.
Another wildly popular personal travel rewards card– the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – also offers plenty of perks for cardholders, but neither of these cards has to be the only travel credit card in your wallet. It could be an excellent strategy to carry both the Chase card, so you can earn Ultimate Rewards® points that can redeemed for travel in the Ultimate Rewards® portal for 25% more value and the Venture card, so you have travel rewards that can be redeemed as statement credit to cover virtually any travel purchase, even those that aren't available through the Ultimate Rewards® portal. We compare these two cards further later in this article.
Since you’re earning two miles for every dollar you spend on the card, you’re essentially claiming a 2% rebate. That’s better than many cash-back credit cards on the market. And because you control your own travel bookings, you’re not subject to the whims of airline restrictions and blackout dates.
In fact, redeeming rewards with the Venture card is as simple as earning them. You can use the Capital One travel portal to make a booking or transfer your rewards to a travel partner, or, you can simply choose the "cover your travel purchases" option to get reimbursed for a recent travel purchase. This allows you more flexibility in how you travel with rewards. Plane tickets (even on lesser-known or budget airlines), cruise lines, taxi cabs, travel agents, rail lines and limousine services are just a handful of categories covered. This means you can use rewards to cover more specific things such as an Airbnb stay, or a National Park campsite booking.
And just because the Venture card is advertised as a travel card doesn't mean you can't redeem rewards for other things, too. Say this is your go-to card, and thanks to the welcome bonus, you end up racking up 150,000 miles your first year as a cardholder. That's worth $1,500 in travel! Problem is though, you aren't really planning on traveling anytime soon. Say, perhaps, you have home renovation projects you need to tend to instead. Venture miles can be great for this too thanks to the option to redeem for gift cards.
From Amazon, to Barnes & Noble to Sephora, the gift card choices are plentiful. What's really applicable to this example though is gift cards to places like Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, Target, Sam's Club, West Elm, Pottery Barn and other home good stores (*gift card options subject to change). Take the Home Depot gift card, for example. At the time of this writing, 100 miles equals $.80, meaning, 150,000 bonus miles are good for $1,200 in Home Depot gift cards. That can go a long way towards updating your hall bathroom.
In short, truly one of the greatest things about the Capital One Venture card is the flexibility that it offers— both in earning rewards, and redeeming them.
Regardless of whether your travel is domestic or international, this card has you covered. Some of the top Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card travel benefits include:
- A $100 credit towards Global Entry or TSA PRE✓® costs
- Travel accident insurance
- 24-hour travel assistance services
- Auto rental collision damage waiver
- No foreign transaction fees
- Roadside assistance
- And more
And let's not forget about no blackout dates or restrictions for redemption, the ability to fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime, as well as the ability to transfer miles to over 15 leading travel loyalty programs.
- Accor Live Limitless
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Air France- KLM Flying Blue
- Alitalia MilleMiglia
- Asia Miles
- Avianca LifeMiles
- British Airways Avios
- Choice Hotels (coming later this year)
- Emirates Skywards
- Ethiad Guest
- EVA Infinity MileageLand
- Finnair Plus
- JetBlue Trueblue
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- TAP Air Portugal
- Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
- Wyndham Rewards
Foreign transaction fees are an easy way to waste money while traveling internationally. There are two ways that travelers can get hit with these fees: a foreign transaction fee, that usually averages around 3%; and a dynamic currency conversion fee, which can range up to 7%. The foreign transaction fee is tacked onto a bill whenever a transaction is made out of the United States. Some credit card's will charge this fee, but others, like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, will not. The DCC fee is one that hits when foreign merchants offer you a conversion price so you know more about how much an item would cost if you were to buy it in the United States. This is not a free service, but for Capital One card holders, the fee is waived. With both of these fees waived for Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card cardholders, up to 10% can be saved.
In short, each time you make a purchase with your Venture card abroad, you'll save yourself a nice chunk of change. Think of it this way: if you travel to France using a card that charges a 3% foreign transaction fee, and you spend $5,000 on your trip, you'll tack on an additional $150 just in fees. However, if you were to travel with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, that's $150 you could save and put towards something like a nice souvenir or one last delicious Michelin-star meal.
The annual fee ($95) can be a turnoff — cardholders need to be consistent travelers and card users to redeem enough miles to offset the annual fee.
Because this card is not a cash-back reward program, the perks lie within its travel benefits and not its cash-back features. If a cardholder redeems his or her miles for something other than travel perks, options and rates are subject to change without notice — meaning you may not get the same dollar-for-dollar value as with redeeming miles for travel. As you saw in the example above though, redeeming for things other than travel can pay off, but the rates just aren't guaranteed.
CardRatings conducts a survey annually to learn what actual cardholders think of their cards. Here are the results:
|2020 Scores||2019 Scores|
|Rewards Program Satisfaction||7.9||8.2|
|Likelihood of Continuing to Use||8.8||9.1|
|Recommend to a Friend/Colleague||8.1||8.6|
Capital One Venture Card vs. Citi Rewards+® Card
Instead of earning a flat rate on all purchases, the Citi Rewards+® Card earns bonus rewards in select categories, but what's really great about this card is that it automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase, with no cap.
This card rewards two points for every dollar spent at supermarkets and gas stations (up to $6,000 in purchases each year) and one point for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases, and it rounds up every purchase to the next highest 10. For example, say you buy a $3 cup of coffee, you'll get 10 points instead of three; spend $41 at the supermarket and get 90 points instead of 82. This rewards system is a great way to quickly accumulate a nice pool of points.
Another unique feature of this card is that it offers a 10% "rebate" on the first 100,000 ThankYou® points you redeem each year. In other words, if you redeem 30,000 points, Citi will put 3,000 points back into your ThankYou® account. Points can be redeemed in a number of ways, including for travel, gift cards and merchandise.
The welcome offer for new cardholders isn't as generous as the Venture card offer, but there is a bonus of 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 within the first three months of card membership, redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com. There's also 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from the date of first transfer and on purchases from the date of account opening (then 13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)) and no annual fees.
Capital One Venture Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Both cards offer travel-friendly features, such as no foreign transaction fees and chip-enabled technology, and they charge the same annual fee. That said, there are a few notable differences. For instance, to qualify for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card signup bonus of 80,000 points you'll need to spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. That said, the Chase card offers you 25% more value when you redeem your points for travel through the Ultimate Rewards® portal, meaning that the 80,000-point signup bonus is worth up to $1,000 through the Ultimate Rewards®. Furthermore, since you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards® points to a number of airline and hotel loyalty partners, those points could be worth even more. And, the Chase card also offers up to $50 in statement credit to cover grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
When it comes to earning rewards, however, the structures are a bit different and if you are someone who just wants a straightforward rewards structure, the Venture card is likely better for you. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you earn two points per $1 spent on travel and dining and one point per $1 on everything else; that's compared to the two miles per $1 spent on all your purchases with the Capital One card.
These cards are both travel rewards credit darlings, so if travel rewards are your goal, you might want to consider carrying both. To learn more about how they line up side-by-side, check out our in-depth Capital One Venture vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® comparison.
Capital One Venture Card vs. Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
When you look at the all-around benefits of each card, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card comes out on top— but that doesn’t mean it’s best for everyone. The biggest stand out is that the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card charges an annual fee, whereas the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card does not. If you’re not going to spend $10,000 or more in a year, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is probably not worth the annual fee.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers unlimited 2x miles per $1 on every purchase, every day, whereas the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card card offers 1.25x miles per $1 on every purchase, every day.
The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card does not offer a credit for Global Entry or TSA PRE✓® and it only offers 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months of your account opening, compared to 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months with the annual fee version.
One thing that the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card offers is an introductory 0% APR on purchases for 12 months (then 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)), which is a nice benefit that the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card does not offer.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a good card for general travel rewards, especially if you don't want to worry about spending caps and categories, as it earns two miles on every purchase made, with no caps on the amount you can earn. Remember, though, that you want to do better than just break even on the annual fee. Since the annual fee is $95 and your miles can be redeemed for at least $.01 each on travel, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a good card for people who plan to spend at LEAST $5,000 each year on their card in general purchases ($5,000 x 2 miles per $1 spent = 10,000 miles).
Survey Methodology: CardRatings commissioned Op4G in September and October 2020 to conduct surveys among 1,746 cardholders nationwide. CardRatings website analytics from Jan. 1, 2020-Aug. 31, 2020 were used to determine a selection of the most popular cards and additional cards were added to add survey breadth. Responses to each of nine questions were given on a scale of 1-10 and respondents' scores were then averaged under broad topics. To determine the overall score, responses from questions 1-8 were summed and the answer to "How likely are you to recommend this card to a friend, coworker or family member?" was double weighted.