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Love to travel frequently? The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is an attractive option for the serial wanderluster; that's why it's being recognized among our best credit cards of 2020.
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card will waive the annual fee of $95 as the introductory first-year promotion. In addition to waiving the fee, the card offers you:
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 50,000 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:
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.
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.
|Rewards||Bonus Rewards||Regular APR|
|2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.||50,000 Miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening||17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)|
Even with the annual fee getting waived as an introductory offer, the annual fee moving forward ($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.
Both cards offer travel-friendly features, such as no foreign transaction fees and chip-enabled technology, and they charge the same annual fee (though the fee is waived the first year with Venture). That said, there are a few notable differences. For instance, to qualify for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card signup bonus of 60,000 points you'll need to spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening as opposed to $3,000 with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card to earn 50,000 miles. 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 60,000-point signup bonus is worth up to $750 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.
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.
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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 after the first year the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card charges a $95 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 $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of your account opening, compared to 50,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of the account opening 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 14.49% - 24.49% (Variable)), which is a nice benefit that the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card does not offer.
(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card align similarly, but the Capital One squeaks by to come out ahead. It offers unlimited 2x miles per $1 on every purchase, every day, whereas the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card offers only 1.5x points per $1 spent on all purchases. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card will give you 25,000 online bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days of the account opening, versus the Capital One offer of 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months of opening an account. Both allow you to redeem rewards for any type of travel.
The Bank of America card has no annual fee. Neither card charges foreign transaction fees and neither card lets rewards expire as long as the accounts are open and in good standing.
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 after the first year, 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).