Looking to plan a big trip or boost your travel earnings and wanting to invest in the Capital One Venture Rewards? Find out the credit score you need to get approved.
If a big trip is in your plans or just in your dreams, signing up for a credit card to accumulate travel miles may make good sense.
And the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card may fit the bill. If booked through Capital One Travel, it has an attractive offer of unlimited 2 miles per dollar on every purchase and a big 5 miles per dollar on any hotel or rental car purchase.
In addition, new cardmembers can earn 75,000 bonus miles if they spend $4,000 within three months of opening the card. Depending on what you use them for, 75,000 miles are worth up to $750. Let’s look a little closer and see if this could be the right card for you, and what kind of credit score you’ll need to qualify for it.
What credit score do I need to get the Capital One Venture card?
Like for most upper-tier reward cards, a credit score in the good-to-excellent range is going to be required. This means the higher your score, the better your odds of being approved. However, you’ll need at least a 670 score to be considered.
Remember that a FICO score of 670 is the bottom of the “good” range; if you can get to 740 (the beginning of FICO’s “very good” range), your chances are going to vastly increase.
The good news is that improving your score isn’t difficult. A 2020 Experian study found 69% or two-thirds of FICO scores were 670 and above. The bad news is that a score of 740 was above the average score for all age groups except the silent generation (75 and older).
How can I improve my score to qualify for it?
If you are considering applying for a new Venture card, visit Capital One’s website to find out if you can get pre-approved for it. This can give you an idea of whether or not you are likely to be approved for the card without adding a hard inquiry to your credit report.
Hard inquiries (or pulls) can ding your credit score in the short term. How much of a hit you will take depends on what else is in your credit file. If you are approved, you will likely not see much damage. This is because you already have good-to-excellent credit (or you would not have been approved) and you will get the benefit of more credit available, which will improve the credit utilization portion of your credit score.
But the real kicker is that if you are not approved because of a low score, you will still have to take the hit to your score but won’t have the new credit to offset the damage.
Your score is based on information in your credit reports. So, before you take the plunge it’s smart to have a look at your credit reports and get them in tip-top shape. You can get your credit reports for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. This is normally an annual benefit, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the three credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – are offering free weekly reports through April 2022.
Now is the perfect time to pull all three reports and be sure they are in the best possible shape before you apply. Look for errors, like negative items that are more than seven years old or accounts you don’t recognize. If you find mistakes, do the work to clear them through the dispute process. This will take some time, but it will be worth it if you are able to improve your score.
The best way to keep or build an above average credit score is to pay your bills – all of your bills – on time and as agreed. Payment history makes up as much as 35% of your score. The next most important scoring factor, worth 30%, is credit utilization. Keeping card balances below 25% of your credit limit will score extra points.
If you think you need a bit more help, you can look into adding positive data to your credit file by using a service like Experian Boost. Boost gives you credit for utility and phone payments – items that are not normally counted in the credit scoring matrix.
This is a free service that you can opt into and out of at any time. If you are a renter, you can also look into using a rent reporting service so you can have your on-time rent payment history added to your credit reports to give your score a lift. Since rental payments are not regularly reported, this service can add valuable payment history data to your credit reports.
What if Capital One denies my application?
If despite your best efforts you are turned down, don’t despair. Hard inquiries are only kept on your credit reports for two years and the negative impact usually goes away in only a few months.
If you are already a Capital One customer, you may be able to ask for a product upgrade to the Venture card. If you do that, you’ll get the extra miles for purchases but not the 75,000 mile sign-up bonus. However, you will likely avoid a hard pull to your credit report, since upgrades typically don’t require a hard inquiry.
If you are denied, you have the right to know why. The Fair Credit Reporting Act says you must be told the numerical score used, the range of possible scores and the key factors that adversely impacted your score, among other details.
Choosing the right travel rewards card is about more than the rewards. You must also decide if it is the right card for you. The Capital One Venture card does carry a $95 annual fee and a $4,000 spending requirement that you will have to make in the first three months to earn the bonus. And don’t forget to have a plan in place to pay that balance off as soon as possible. Happy travels!