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Capital One Venture X Rewards card: Is it worth it?

With a healthy 100,000-mile bonus opportunity, Capital One's new premium credit card offers a lot for a relatively little annual fee.
By Brooklyn Lowery  CardRatings Senior Manager  | Updated

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Our Rating:   
Excellent

CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons

  • Earn 100,000 miles after you spend $10,000 on purchases within the first six months, that's twice as long as most cards allow to meet the bonus spending requirement.
  • For a limited time, you can earn up to $200 in statement credit for your vacation rental bookings.
  • Earn a healthy 2X points on your everyday purchases as well as extra rewards on certain bookings through the Capital One Travel portal.
  • The annual travel credit is nice, but earning it means you'll need to do your travel bookings through the Capital One Travel portal. That makes this credit not as flexible as similar credits offered by other premium cards.

INTRODUCING THE CAPITAL ONE VENTURE X REWARDS CREDIT CARD

As the country re-opens and the economy gets back to running at full speed, folks are starting to travel again for business and pleasure. For that reason, the timing seems perfect for Capital One to unveil its Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, the newest addition to the premium travel card space and a long-overdue entre into the space from Capital One.

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card comes to the marketplace armed with many of the perks luxury travelers have become accustomed to, as well as a beefed up version of Capital One's popular rewards program. And it does it all with a lower-than-expected annual fee in the premium card space.

Cardholders can earn numerous bonuses, including a 100,000-mile welcome bonus, a 10,000-mile card anniversary bonus, a $200 statement credit on vacation rental purchases and up to a $300 annual credit for bookings made on Capital One Travel. We get into the details on how to take advantage of all these offers below.

Cardholders also receive unlimited access to Capital One Lounges and more than 1,300 Priority Pass lounges internationally.

Additional perks include the enhanced "Capital One Travel" booking experience, which delivers innovative features, such as predictive pricing models and tools to ensure customers get the best deals available.

One of the characteristics that may not be flashy but should catch your eye is the card's annual fee. It's just $395, which isn't anything to sneeze at, but it IS much lower than that of other premium cards, such as Chase Sapphire Reserve® ($550) and The Platinum Card® from American Express ($695, See Rates and Fees; terms apply).

CAPITAL ONE VENTURE X REWARDS CREDIT CARD WELCOME BONUS

If you become a Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card cardholder, it will be well worth it to put that card to use right away. Cardholders will earn a welcome bonus of an eye-popping 100,000 miles after you make at least $10,000 in purchases with your card in the first six months from the date of account opening. Yes, the spend is higher than you might expect, but you also have double the typical time to earn it – six months vs. the more typical three months. When you spread the spend out, it works out to an average of just under $1,667 per month in order to meet your spend in time to earn the bonus.

The 100,000 miles have a value of $1,000 if redeemed for travel-related purchases (plane, hotel, rental car) through Capital One Travel or for a statement credit against travel purchases.

Additional redemption options include gift cards, merchandise and more.

Miles can also be transferred to more than 15 partner airline and hotel programs. The value then depends on the specific program; you can learn more in our Guide to Capital One Miles.

VENTURE X TRAVEL BENEFITS

If you are a frequent traveler for business or pleasure, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a solid consideration for your wallet, if only for the travel benefits that come with the card.

On the front end of your journey, you will have access to an enhanced, "smarter" Capital One Travel booking experience. Capital One Travel offers unique features such as "predictive pricing" and other tools to help you get the best deals possible. You also get included "price drop protection" and the ability to freeze a price and hold off on booking for as long as two weeks.

As you begin your journey, your card membership opens the door to numerous benefits in the area of convenience and comfort. Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card cardholders and authorized users receive unlimited access plus two complimentary guest visits to Capital One Lounges and more than 1,300 Priority Pass lounges worldwide.

Cardholders also save with up to a $100 credit for either their TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry application fee.

And when you return from your trip, a quick look at your Capital One rewards account will reveal you've been earning solid miles on every leg of your journey and you haven't been paying foreign transaction fees (if traveling internationally) while you do it.

CAPITAL ONE VENTURE X REWARDS CREDIT CARD REWARDS

Speaking of earning rewards, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card makes it easy to keep refilling your rewards bank, offering 10 miles for every $1 spent on hotels and rental cars through Capital One Travel and five miles for every $1 spent on flights booked via the portal. Additionally, you earn two points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

As already mentioned, those miles are redeemable for, among other things, statement credit at $.01 each to cover travel-related purchases, which according to the Capital One definition of travel, could mean anything from a train ticket to a cruise and much more.

HOW TO OFFSET THE CAPITAL ONE VENTURE X REWARDS CREDIT CARD ANNUAL FEE

While the $395 annual fee might seem steep, in reality the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card will pay for itself multiple times over if you put it to good use and take advantage of all the statement credit opportunities.

For new cardholders, for instance, earning the 100,000-mile welcome bonus is worth as much as $1,000 for travel statement credit via the Purchase Eraser option; that's equal to more than two years' worth of annual fees. That bonus could be worth even more if you transfer the miles strategically to one of Capital One's travel partners.

Additionally, for a limited time cardholders can also earn up to $200 in statement credits for vacation rentals charged to your account in your first year. That includes rentals through Airbnb, VRBO and others.

On an ongoing basis, however, it pays to put all the statement credit opportunities to good use:

  • $300 in statement credit annually for bookings through Capital One Travel
  • Receive 10,000 bonus miles each year – that's equal to $100 in travel – beginning with your first anniversary
  • Save with up to $100 in statement credit to cover your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® application fee

Between the annual miles bonus as well as the up to $300 in statement credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, you can more than offset the annual fee.

Beyond that, a frequent traveler booking through Capital One Travel could even more easily offset the fee. That's because you earn 10 miles for every $1 spent on hotels and rental cars, and five miles for every $1 spent on flights booked via Capital One Travel. As an example, a cardholder who makes monthly trips for business plus an annual family vacation could spend $8,000 per year on airline travel (earning 40,000 miles), $4,000 on hotel stays (40,000 miles) and $3,000 on car rentals (30,000 miles). This cardholder would have earned 110,000 miles, with a value of $1,100 in travel. Add to that the everyday 2X miles per $1 spent that you earn on all your other purchases, and it's not difficult to see how the annual fee is a distant afterthought.

POTENTIAL DOWNSIDES OF THE CAPITAL ONE VENTURE X REWARDS CREDIT CARD

On the other hand, if you don't travel frequently, that annual fee can become a burden. This is a card that shouldn't sit in your wallet gathering dust.

You also need to remember that many of these benefits – particularly the annual travel credit of up to $300 – require you to book through Capital One Travel to earn it. Some of the other premium cards allow more flexibility when it comes to earning a travel credit. If you prefer to use an agent you or your company requires you to go through a different portal or system, you could miss out on that statement credit.

Another issue could be the convenience and accessibility of some of the "perks." For example, while the Capital One Lounges at airports promise to offer a luxurious, relaxing place for cardholders to wait for their flight to board, they are not yet commonplace. The first lounge is now open at Dallas-Forth Worth Airport (DFW) and new lounges are planned for Denver International and Dulles (Washington DC) in 2022. Sure, there are Priority Pass lounges at your disposal, but they aren't quite the level of luxury available at branded lounges.

HOW DOES VENTURE X COMPARE TO OTHER CARDS

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® have similar rewards program: Both offer 10X miles/points on hotels and car rentals and 5X miles/points on airline travel through their respective travel portals (for Sapphire Reserve, this points earning kicks in after you've earned your $300 travel credit each year). Chase Sapphire Reserve also offers 3X miles on dining and other general travel expenses (again, after earning your credit) and 1X point on all other purchases. Venture X, on the other hand, offers 2X miles on all other purchases.

A big difference between the cards is the annual fee each charges: $395 for Venture X vs. $550 for Sapphire Reserve. Even though the fee is higher for Sapphire Reserve, there are still options to offset it, including up to $300 in statement credit annually for travel purchases – and they don't have to be booked via a particular portal, making this credit more flexible to earn.

Still, both cards encourage booking travel through their company's own booking department. Notably, Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers a 50% bonus to the value of points redeemed when booking travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. That means that even though the Sapphire Reserve welcome bonus appears to be much less at 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months, those points are worth up to $750 in travel when booking through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus, obviously, the threshold to earn the bonus is much lower.

Chase Sapphire Reserve® does not offer an equivalent to Venture X's 10,000-mile annual card anniversary bonus.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express

It's hard to miss that The Platinum Card® from American Express has a massive annual fee ($695), even when compared to another premium card like the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. That said, it allows the chance to offset that fee through a series of annual credit opportunities and benefits (enrollment required for some benefits). These include $20 monthly statement credit for digital entertainment providers (Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM and The New York Times, specifically) for up to $240 in statement credit annually; up to $200 in credit annually for Uber rides and Uber Eats purchases; up to a $200 hotel credit annually when you use your card for prepaid bookings with American Express Travel at Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection properties; up to $300 annually for your Equinox membership; up to $200 annually for incidental charges with a pre-selected airline; and more.

Both cards have a healthy welcome bonus tied to expenditure in the first six months you have your card. Platinum requires new cardholders spend just $6,000 on purchases in the first six months to earn 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points, while Capital One Venture X requires $10,000 in purchases in the same time frame to earn the 100,000-mile bonus.

The Platinum Card's standard reward program is not quite as attractive as that of Venture X in that it's more restricted when it comes to earning more than one point per $1 spent. With the American Express Platinum Card, you earn 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 in these purchases each year) and on prepaid hotels booked through AmexTravel.com as well as 1X points on all other purchases.

Also, with The Platinum Card® from American Express, if you want to redeem your points for travel, you would do so through American Express Travel portal or by transferring points to one of the loyalty program partners. There's a lot of value to be had there, but it's not quite as flexible as what Venture X offers with its Purchase Eraser option.

Once again, American Express Platinum also does not offer an equivalent to Venture X's 10,000-mile annual card anniversary bonus.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card vs. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card should be viewed as the luxury alternative to the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card card, but if you're looking for similar rewards without the added perks and luxury polish, Venture Rewards might be a better option.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has a significantly more affordable annual fee ($95) compared to Venture X, but the benefits and perks are on a smaller, less luxurious scale. For starters, Venture Rewards does not offer the 10,000-mile annual bonus after your cardholder anniversary. It also doesn't offer up to $300 annual travel credit for your purchases through the Capital One Travel portal.

Additionally, Venture cardholders only receive two free visits each year to the Capital One Lounges and no access to Priority Pass select lounges.

The Venture Rewards welcome bonus of 60,000 miles is less than the 100,000 miles offered by Venture X, but it also requires a lower spend to earn $3,000 in the first three months after account opening.

The regular rewards program offers the same base rate of 2X miles on "other purchases," but the earning via the Capital One travel portal is more modest at 5X miles on car rentals and hotel stays booked through Capital One Travel (versus 10X on hotels and rental cars and 5X on flights through the portal for Venture X).

IS THE CAPITAL ONE VENTURE X REWARDS CREDIT CARD WORTH IT?

A premium card from Capital One is long overdue and Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card might just be the card we've been waiting for. The modest annual fee (for a luxury card with all these perks) is enough to grab our attention, but the opportunity to offset it with several combinations of available statement credits and regular rewards earning is what really makes it impressive.

While the lack of Capital One Lounges is disappointing for now, our fingers are crossed that the footprint will grow and, in the meantime, that the Priority Pass membership will meet the airport lounge need for many cardholders.

Overall, this is a solid card choice with a lucrative welcome bonus and the opportunity to keep racking up rewards day after day.


To see the rates and fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express, please see the following link: See Rates and Fees; terms apply

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