At first glance, it may be difficult to see the difference between the Venture and VentureOne cards. Read on to see why the Venture card – even with its annual fee – may be the better choice for you.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card 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, a higher 2 miles per dollar earnings rate and an annual fee of $95.
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.
Capital One VentureOne vs. Capital One Venture
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
|Sign-up bonus||20,000 miles if you spend $500 in first 3 months||60,000 miles if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months|
|Rewards earnings averaged over 3 years ($15,900 spend. Includes sign-up bonus)||$293||$455|
|Who should get this card?|
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 miles per dollar 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 miles per dollar 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 0.5 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% and higher. In other words, there are a plethora of cards that offer a higher rewards rate and more flexibility than the VentureOne card.
See related: Best flat rate cash back credit cards
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 opportunity (up to 60,000 miles), a flat 2 miles per dollar earning rate on every purchase and a $95 annual fee.
Upsides: Simplicity, flexible redemption options, an industry-leading sign-up bonus and a high 2 miles per dollar 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, 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-miles-per-dollar rewards rate.
Best for first-year cardholders: Capital One Venture card
The sign-up bonus on the Venture card is much larger than the VentureOne bonus, making it the clear choice for value in the first year – even considering the $95 annual fee. If you spend $3,000 within the first three months, you’ll earn a 60,000-mile bonus. If you add in the 2 miles per dollar 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 almost 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) – $95 annual fee = $823|
Best for cardholders who spend more than $12,667 per year: Capital One Venture cardIf 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.
See related: Best ways to use Capital One miles
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, you stand to squeeze more value out of the Venture card – thanks to its double rewards rate on purchases and generous sign-up bonus.