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The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card may be the most heavily marketed travel credit card. While its familiarity makes it an attractive option when considering a new credit card, is it the best?
Let’s take a deep dive into the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and see if it should be in your wallet.
Capital One Venture Overview
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card comes with a $95 annual fee and is renowned for its rewards earning potential. With this card, you’ll earn:
- 5X miles per dollar spent on hotels and rental cars booked through the Capital One Travel portal
- 5X miles at Turo.com (through May 16, 2023)
- 2X miles on all other purchases
The Capital One Venture has a simple and travel centric setup. You can redeem Venture Miles at the Capital One travel portal, transfer them to 18 travel partners or offset purchases coded as travel on your credit card statement.
Let’s take a closer look at how to use Venture Miles.
Rewards Miles Redemption Options for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Between the Capital One Travel portal, erasing travel charges on your Capital One online account or transferring Venture Miles to one of 18 travel partners, you’ll easily find a way to utilize Capital One Venture MIles for your trips.
While Venture Miles offer ways to redeem Venture Miles for cash, the paltry rates effectively limit Venture Miles’ redeemability to travel. Let’s look at each redemption avenue in depth.
Capital One Travel portal operates much like Hopper.com, and for good reason. Hopper provides the engine behind Capital One’s travel portal and even attempts to predict the best time to buy a flight or hotel stay. Capital One is so confident in its travel portal engine that it guarantees a reimbursement for the fare difference if the price drops later.
Each Venture Mile is worth 1 cent when redeemed for purchases through the travel portal, so a $150 flight will cost you 15,000 Venture Miles.
Keep in mind that when you book travel through a portal, you create a middleman. If there’s a problem with your reservation, a change of plans or a cancellation, you must deal with Capital One’s customer service instead of the carrier or hotel directly. Furthermore, most hotel chains don’t offer points or honor elite benefits on stays booked through online travel agents.
Reimburse Travel Charges
You can be reimbursed a recent travel purchase with your Venture Miles at a rate of 1 cent per mile. This is as simple as clicking on “Cover a travel purchase” on the miles redemption page.
Any transaction coded as “travel” populates on the screen. Simply select from the travel purchases that display on the next screen and click “Redeem points.” This is the most popular way to use Capital One Miles.
Using the card for travel purchases and then offsetting the charges with Venture Miles later allows you to scour the internet for the best price and book directly with the service provider. This is especially helpful when booking a hotel that doesn’t have a points or rewards program or a flight with no reward availability.
All things being equal, this is a better redemption strategy than using the portal. If you can book directly with a hotel or airline, utilize points for your travel and earn points on your card and with loyalty programs—that’s a win all the way around.
The travel reimbursement feature is also perfect for booking vacation rentals through sites like Airbnb, HomeAway and Vrbo. Although Airbnb seems to consistently code as travel, HomeAway and Vrbo are less consistent, sometimes coding as travel and other times as real estate or property management.
One of the downsides to using the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card for travel purchases is that you will forfeit the travel protection offered on other cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Additionally, while Capital One Venture Miles can be redeemed for travel at a rate of 1 cent per mile, some cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, offer a statement credit toward any purchase at the same rate, which offers more flexibility.
Transfer to Partners
You can transfer Venture Miles to 18 transfer partners. Most partners offer 1 loyalty mile in exchange for 1 Venture Mile (with a few exceptions).
Capital One’s transfer program is quite comprehensive. It contains several aspirational business class products, such as Emirates and Etihad, and covers every airline alliance. Even airlines that aren’t a Venture Miles partner are likely within reach through another airline’s alliance partnership.
For instance, transferring Capital One Venture Miles to Air Canada would allow you to book a United Airlines flight through the Star Alliance partnership even though United isn’t a transfer partner.
Capital One transfer partners are:
|Aeroméxico Club Premier||Etihad Airways Guest|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||Eva Air Infinity MileageLands (2:1.5)|
|Air France-KLM Flying Blue||Finnair Plus|
|ALL – Accor Live Limitless (2:1)||Qantas Frequent Flyer|
|Avianca LifeMiles||Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer|
|British Airways Executive Club||TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles|
|Choice Privileges||Virgin Red|
|Emirates Skywards||Wyndham Rewards|
Transferring Capital One Venture Miles to Air Canada would allow you to book a United Airlines flight through the Star Alliance partnership even though United isn’t a transfer partner.
With 18 transfer partners, a travel portal with a low-price predictor and the ability to erase any travel purchase, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a lot of flexibility.
Redeem for Cash
This is the least effective way to use Venture Miles, and we don’t recommend it. Venture Miles are worth just 0.5 cent as a statement credit or gift card. There’s just too many other lucrative ways to use your points. However, if you’re in a cash crunch and have points in your account, it’s nice to know you can’t turn them into cash if needed.
Redeem on Amazon or Paypal
Runner up for the worst ways of using Venture Miles is redeeming them on Amazon or PayPal. Although you get a stronger value of 0.8 cent per mile, this is still a lackluster rate and not a recommended strategy.
Because there are so many other ways to extract more value from your Venture Miles, there’s no reason to use them this way. If you’re in a pinch for cash and thinking about redeeming your rewards at Amazon or PayPal, ask yourself, “Is that Ninja blender really worth a business class-seat to Paris?”
Additional Card Benefits of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
In addition to earning points for your globetrotting adventures, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is packed with travel-related benefits and access to exclusive programs. Many of these benefits are overlooked and under-marketed. However, using just one use of these perks can offset the $95 annual fee.
$100 TSA Precheck / Global Entry Credit:
Get the cost of TSA Precheck ($85) or Global Entry ($100) reimbursed once every four years as long as you pay the enrollment fee with your Venture Card.
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
Capital One will reimburse you for lost or damaged luggage up to $3,000 per traveler. In comparison to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, your entire ticket, not just a portion of the ticket, must be paid with your Capital One card.
Rental Car Collision Damage Waiver Coverage
Decline the extra coverage the rental car desk offers you and initiate and complete your entire rental transaction with your Capital One Venture, and your rental car will be covered. Capital One will reimburse you for your deductible or claim in excess of your car insurance coverage for any damage or theft to your rental vehicle, within its guidelines. (Please note that the coverage is secondary to your personal auto insurance policy.)
Two Free Capital One Lounge Visits per Year
Capital One opened its first lounge in Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) in late 2021. The Denver (DEN) and Washington-Dulles (IAD) lounges were set to open in mid-2022. However, Capital One now lists them as set to open in 2023. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card gains you two free visits each calendar year to any of these lounges.
Free Hertz Five Star Status
Upgrade your Hertz account for free. Just add your Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® number to your Capital One account and you’ll get Five Star status, Hertz’s second-tier loyalty status.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Access
Along with the travel benefits and points earning capacity of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, cardholders can access exclusive dining, entertainment and lounge experiences. It’s worth logging in to your Capital One account the next time you’re planning a fancy dinner out or want to buy tickets to a heavily promoted event.
Although these additional benefits aren’t as useful as other perks of the card, you should take advantage of these little-known benefits if they fit within your lifestyle.
Capital One Dining
Capital One Dining allows cardholders to reserve tables at highly sought-after restaurants in major cities. If you’re in an unfamiliar city and you’d like a curated list of some of the best restaurant experiences the city has to offer, the Capital One Dining website is a good place to start.
Capital One Entertainment
Capital One owns the naming rights to the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals who play out of—where else?—the Capital One Arena in Washington. Carrying your Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, or any other Capital One card, into the arena offers you the following discounts:
- One free year of Monumental Sports Network VIP Annual Membership (this is an automatically renewable subscription, so don’t forget to cancel it if you don’t want it).
- 10% discount at permanent concession stands
- 10% discount on regular season tickets
- 20% discount on all retail items
- 50% discount on one pre-selected retail item each home game
If you happen to be a Washington sports team fan or find yourself at events in Capital One Arena, don’t forget to bring your Venture card with you.
For those who don’t live in the Washington area or whose sports teams are mortal rivals of the Wizards or Capitals, Capital One Entertainment still gains you access to presale tickets for marquee events across the country.
Previous presale ticket events include NCAA March Madness, iHeart Radio Music Festival and the New York City Wine & Food Festival. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card holders may buy these tickets one week before the public release date. If there’s an event you plan on getting to this year, check back at Capital One before the ticket date and see if you can snag an early ticket.
Capital One Lounges
Capital One’s biggest investment in travel branding is the launch of their new Capital One Lounges. By the end of 2022 Capital One plans to have lounges open in Dallas, Washington-Dulles and Denver.
Capital One Venture members receive two free visits each year. Additional visits cost $45 per person (a discounted rate from $65). Authorized users can also use the passes, but adding an authorized user doesn’t increase the number of visits.
For instance, if you add your spouse as an authorized user, you’ll still have only two visits between you, but you’ll both be able to access the lounge at the same time.
Currently, just one Capital One Lounge is open at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and it’s an impressive 10,000 square feet. The lounge features locally sourced entrees, handcrafted cocktails and even a cycling room and shower suite, in case you’d like to sneak a workout in while you wait on your connection.
With a maximum of three lounges (two of which are coming in 2023), you may not come across a Capital One Lounge in your travels. However, if you find yourself flying out of or connecting through Dallas or one of the future airports with a Capital One Lounge frequently, don’t forget your Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
If not, consider looking at the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Both cards offer Priority Pass Select membership.
How the Capital One Venture Stacks Up Against Other Cards
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a solid travel rewards card. With a litany of travel benefits, 2X points on non-bonus spending and flexible ways to turn those points into travel, there’s a lot to like.
However, the Capital One Venture is hardly the only travel card on the market. Let’s take a look at a few cards you might want to consider instead of the Venture card if you’re searching for a new rewards card.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The main competitor to the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which also comes with a $95 annual fee. While these cards have a lot of similarities, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card stands apart in a few ways.
First, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers bonus categories at the following merchant types:
- 5X points on purchases through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal
- 3X points on dining (including takeout and delivery)
- 3X points on online grocery
- 3X points on select streaming services
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also increases the value of Chase Ultimate Rewards points to 1.25 cents apiece when redeemed in the Chase travel portal. If you’re going to spend big in the 3X categories and redeem primarily through the travel portal, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card might be the way to go.
You need to be under 5/24 status to be approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. If you’re looking at the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, but you’re under 5/24, consider going for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card first, because you won’t get approved if you should pass the 5/24 status in the future.
American Express Green Card
Although the American Express Green Card comes with a steeper annual fee of $150, it offers more of the travel benefits you’d expect out of a travel card. It offers solid earning potential on travel-related purchase:
- 3X Membership Rewards points on travel
- 3X points at restaurants
- 3X points on transit
- 1X point on all other purchases
Membership Rewards are powerful points that can be transferred to 18 transfer patterns. Although many overlap with Capital One partners, some standout transfer partners exclusive to Membership Rewards are Delta Air Lines and Hawaiian Airlines. You also can transfer Membership Rewards to Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors and Radisson Rewards at a 1:1 ratio.
Along with solid earning potential and a plethora of partners, the Amex Green Card comes loaded with travel benefits. You’ll receive a $100 LoungeBuddy credit per year, $100 Clear credit per year, luggage reimbursement insurance and secondary rental car coverage.
No current offer. All information about The American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by 10xTravel. The American Express® Green Card is no longer available through 10xTravel.
Annual Fee: $150 Terms Apply.
Depending on where you fly, the LoungeBuddy credit may be attractive to you. Although $100 will likely only get you two stays in a lounge at the most, LoungeBuddy offers access to lounges all across the world, while the Venture currently only offers lounge access at one airport.
The American Express Green Card also offers trip delay insurance. You can get reimbursed up to $300 for travel costs incurred when you experience a delay of more than 12 hours on a ticket paid entirely with your Amex Green Card.
With the additional perks and travel coverage, the Amex Green Card is a solid offering for the slightly higher fee.
Citi Premier® Card
The Citi Premier® Card carries the same $95 fee as the Capital One Venture card does, but doesn’t quite offer the same for the money.
The Citi Premier® Card offers powerful rates on specific spending categories:
- 3X ThankYou Points at supermarkets
- 3X points at gas stations
- 3X points at restaurants
- 3X points on airfare and hotels
- 1X point on all other purchases
Citi ThankYou Points transfer to 17 Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer partners, many of which overlap with Venture Miles. Most partners have a 1:1 point conversion rate.
The one sweet spot for Citi ThankYou Points vs. Venture Miles is their partnership with Choice Hotels. Transfers of Citi ThankYou Points to Choice Privileges are twice as lucrative as transfers of Venture Miles.
You’ll receive 2 Choice Hotel Privileges points for each Citi ThankYou Point transferred to Choice Hotels, whereas you’ll receive just 1 point if you transfer Venture Miles. If you find yourself traveling in Choice Hotels often, this may sway you towards the Citi Premier® Card.
You can offset the annual fee with a single $100 credit on any hotel stay over $500 booked through the Citi ThankYou Rewards portal. However, the Citi Premier doesn’t carry some of the key benefits of a travel card. It doesn’t offer any form of rental car protection, lounge access or TSA Precheck or Global Entry credits.
Of course, if you already have these travel benefits covered by another card, then the Citi Premier may compete with the Venture based on its solid earning potential on common spending categories and the ability to offset the annual fee with the $100 travel credit.
How Does the Capital One Venture Rewards Card Compare to the Capital One Venture X Card?
If you’re interested in the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, there’s a lot of reasons to consider upgrading to its big brother the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. Like the Venture card, the Venture X earns 2X on all everyday purchases, but has increase earning power in select categories:
- 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through the Capital One Travel portal
- 10X miles at Turo.com (through May 16, 2023)
- 5X miles on airfare booked through the Capital One Travel portal
Along with all the perks of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, the Venture X boasts the following perks:
- Unlimited access to Capital One Lounges for the cardholder and two guests
- Priority Pass Select membership (with restaurants)
- $300 annual travel credit through Capital One Travel portal
- 10,000 miles anniversary bonus
- Rental car coverage acts as Primary as opposed to secondary coverage.
Although the card comes with a hefty $395 annual fee, the travel portal annual credit and the anniversary miles easily offset it. As long as you’re able to use the annual travel credit, all the extra perks of the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card are virtually free.
|Capital One Venture Card||Capital One Venture X|
|$95 annual fee||$395 annual fee|
|2 Capital One Lounge visits per year||Unlimited Capital One Lounge visits|
|Rental car damage waiver (secondary)||Rental car damage waiver (primary)|
|TSA Precheck / Global Entry fee credit||TSA Precheck / Global Entry fee credit|
|Lost luggage reimbursement||Lost luggage reimbursement|
|Hertz Five Star Status||Hertz President’s Circle Status|
|$300 travel credit in Capital One Travel portal|
|10,000 anniversary Venture Miles|
Is the Capital One Venture Rewards Card Worth the $95 Annual Fee?
No one likes paying fees, but like most travel credit cards the Venture Miles $95 annual fee is nothing to fear. You’ll likely get more than $95 in value from the benefits of this card. Let’s look at a few ways to get enough value to offset the annual fee.
Rental Car Damage Waiver
Because the Capital One Venture card comes with secondary rental coverage, you can confidently waive collision damage coverage at the rental desk if you paid with your Capital One Venture Card.
Collision damage waiver fees can range between $10 and $30 per day. Assuming a $20 per day average cost, using your Capital One Venture for just five rental days can save you enough money to cover your annual fee.
Keep in mind, declining collision damage waiver with the rental company results in your auto insurance policy covering any collision first. Capital One Venture’s rental insurance pays the deductible or the difference between your collision coverage and the total damage. If you want to avoid using your insurance policy you may want to opt for the rental company’s damage waiver.
Capital One Lounge Visits
Another way you might offset your annual fee is by visiting the Capital One Lounge. Capital One Lounge visits cost $65 per visit for non-cardholders and $45 for cardholders. Utilizing the two free visits each year is enough to offset the $95 annual fee of the Capital One Venture Card. Additionally, you’ll save $20 every additional visit you purchase, simply for being a cardholder.
TSA Precheck/ Global Entry Plus Other Benefits
If you plan to carry the Capital One Venture as your go-to travel card, this is the card you’ll swipe for TSA Precheck or Global Entry application fees. The $85 credit you’ll get for TSA Precheck or $100 credit for Global Entry essentially offset your annual fee in your first year.
However, this fee offset is only good every four years because you only need to renew the membership once every four years. Therefore, the annual value of these credits ranges from $21.25 to $25. Keep in mind that Global Entry comes with TSA Precheck, so consider applying for Global Entry (even though the enrollment process is more rigorous).
While these credits don’t offset the fee by themselves, combining TSA Precheck/Global Entry credit with a Capital One Lounge visit or utilizing the secondary rental coverage easily offsets the Capital One Venture’s annual fee.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a stalwart of the travel credit card industry. With plenty of benefits, solid earning potential and lots of ways to redeem points and miles, what’s not to like?
As impressive as the Capital One Venture is, consider upgrading your credit card experience by opting for the higher fee Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. You’ll enjoy unlimited lounge access for essentially the same out-of-pocket cost after considering the annual travel credit and the anniversary bonus.
If you’re under 5/24, be sure to assess whether you want to burn a valuable card slot on the Capital One Venture. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is worth the hype, but ensure you’re not missing out on a better option before you apply. You can always check our Best Credit Cards page to make sure you’re picking the best available card to you.
New to the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the best card to start with.
With a bonus of 60,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months, 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!
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after you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.