Capital One Venture versus VentureOne: Which is better?

Venture cards from Capital One

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The Capital One Venture and VentureOne cards look so much alike – with similar-sounding names and similar blue exteriors – you may be puzzled over the difference between the two cards.

Essentially, both cards offer the same redemption options, but the Venture card is the premium version of the card, with a larger sign-up bonus (50,000 miles for spending $3,000 in the first three months), a higher 2-percent earnings rate and an annual fee of $95.

Note, the annual fee on the Venture card recently jumped from $59 to $95 per year.  You may be wondering if the Venture card is still worth it with a nearly $100 price tag.

Our math shows that for most cardholders – those who spend at least $12,667 per year – the Venture card more than makes up for its annual fee, especially in the first year of membership. Read on to see why:

Capital One VentureOne versus Capital One Venture

  Capital One VentureOne
Capital One

® 

VentureOne

®

Capital One Venture
Capital One

®

 Venture

®

Rewards rate
  • 1.25 miles per dollar on general purchases
  • 10 miles per dollar on hotel bookings made using hotels.com/venture
  • 2 miles per dollar on general purchases
  • 10 miles per dollar on hotel bookings made using hotels.com/venture
Sign-up bonus
20,000 miles if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months
Annual fee
$0 $95, $0 in first year
Rewards earnings averaged over 3 years ($15,900 spend. Includes sign-up bonus) $293 $447
Pros
  • Fairly high rewards rate for card with no annual fee
  • Large sign-up bonus for card with no annual fee
  • Redeem any number of miles at any time for any hotel or airline purchase
  • Large sign-up bonus
  • High unlimited rewards rate
  • Redeem any number of miles at any time for any hotel or airline purchase
  • No foreign transaction fee
Cons
  • Most cardholders will get a better rewards value with the annual fee card
  • Foreign transaction fee
  • $95 annual fee after the first year
Who should get this card?
  • Cardholders who want to earn a high rewards rate with minimal maintenance
  • Cardholders who don’t want to pay an annual fee
  • Cardholders who spend less than $12,667/year ($1,065/month)
  • Cardholders who want to earn a high rewards rate with minimal maintenance
  • Cardholders who spend more than $12,667/year ($1,056/month)
  • Cardholder who don't want to pay a foreign transaction fee

Capital One VentureOne card overview

The Capital One VentureOne card is a good pick for cardholders who want rewards-funded travel, but don’t want to deal with blackout dates or complicated rewards schemes. The card awards the same 1.25 percent rewards rate on every purchase. You can book your travel from any website or travel agent that you choose and redeem your miles for statement credits at a rate of 1 cent per mile.

Upsides: Simplicity, flexible redemption options, a generous sign-up bonus and a fairly high rewards rate with no annual fee.

Downsides: The card’s flat 1.25 percent earnings rate combined with its straightforward redemption value of 1 cent per mile is also its greatest drawback. With a cash back card, you can get the same redemption value for your miles with more flexibility, since you can use cash back any way you please, not just for travel redemptions. (Note: the VentureOne card does offer cash back as a redemption option, but at a lower value of .5 cents per mile.)

It happens that there are many cash back cards on the market that charge no annual fee and offer rewards rates of 1.5 percent and higher. In other words, there are a plethora of cards that offer a higher rewards rate and more flexibility than the VentureOne card.

Capital One Venture card overview

The Capital One Venture card offers the same simplicity and flexibility as the Capital One VentureOne card, but with a much larger sign-up bonus (50,000 miles), a flat 2-percent earning rate on every purchase and a $95 annual fee (waived the first year).

Upsides: Simplicity, flexible redemption options, an industry-leading sign-up bonus and a high 2-percent rewards rate on every purchase. Also, frequent travelers take note: It doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee.

Downsides: The card comes with a high $95 annual fee (waived the first year), but don’t let that deter you – as long as you spend at least $12,667 each year (more on that below) the fee is worth it. The card also suffers from the same drawbacks as the VentureOne card – with its straightforward redemption value of 1 cent per mile, you are always going to be better off with a cash back card that offers the same point value and more flexibility. However, at least there are far fewer cards that can compete with the Venture card’s 2 percent rewards rate.

Best for first year cardholders: Capital One Venture card

One key thing to note: The fee for the Capital One Venture card is waived the first year. This means, for any cardholder in the first year, the Capital One Venture card offers the best value. The card’s 50,000-mile sign-up bonus offers $500 just on its own.

If you add in the 2 percent cash back on $15,900 of spend in the first year, that comes to more than $800 in travel rewards in the first year of card ownership. That’s more than twice the value of the VentureOne card in the first year.

First year estimated rewards value ($15,900 spend)

Capital One VentureOne card Capital One Venture card
(1.25% x $15,900) + 20,000-mile sign-up bonus ($200 value) = $399 (2% x $15,900) + 50,000-mile sign-up bonus ($500 value) = $818

Best for cardholders who spend more than $12,667 per year: Capital One Venture card

If you’re searching for one simple, go-to travel card for all your purchases, the Capital One Venture card is also the better choice.

Our math in the table below shows that it doesn’t take an exceptional amount of spending to see the advantage with the Capital One Venture card. You only need to spend $12,667 per year ($1,056 per month) for the rewards earnings on the Venture card minus its annual fee to outweigh the earnings on the VentureOne card.

While that’s not pocket change, it’s a pretty reachable amount for most families who intend to put all their spending on one card.

Rewards value for $12,667 annual spend ($1,056 per month)

Capital One VentureOne card Capital One Venture card
1.25% x $12,667 = $158 (2% x $12,667) - $95 annual fee = $158

Best for low budget cardholders and infrequent travelers: Capital One VentureOne card

Of course, not everyone’s up for paying a $95 fee. If you don’t have the funds to manage over $1,000 per month of spend on a credit card or you’re not certain that you’ll travel frequently enough to redeem your rewards on a regular basis, the VentureOne card is a very good no-annual-fee alternative. The card’s 20,000-mile sign-up bonus on its own is worth $200.

The bottom line

Overall, the Venture and VentureOne cards are both great, simple, flat-rate travel cards that are a good choice for cardholders who would rather use one card for every purchase. But if you're a heavy spender who doesn't mind paying an annual fee after the first year, you stand to squeeze more value out of the Venture card - thanks to its double rewards rate on purchases and generous sign-up bonus.

See Related: Earn 10x miles on hotel stays with Venture and VentureOneVenture card from Capital One raises sign-up bonus to 50,000 miles 

The editorial content below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. However, we do receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy


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Updated: 09-24-2018