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Is the Capital One Venture Rewards card worth it?

This is a simple, flat-rate card that doesn't skimp on rewards

Summary

The Capital One Venture is a higher-end version of the Capital One VentureOne card. Here’s how you can tell whether it’s worth it or not for you.

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If you’re new to the travel rewards credit card world, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the options. Even if you’re a veteran with an arsenal of cards in your wallet, sometimes it’s nice to have a workhorse that’ll help you make the most of those times when you won’t get as much out of your other cards.

In any case, that’s what we like about the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. It’s not the flashiest card around, but it doesn’t skimp on features either. If you’re not sure whether this card is worth it for you, we’ll run the numbers and share a few alternatives to help you decide whether to apply.

Straightforward rewards for travelers

The best travel cards usually require you to be proactive. For example, you might need to remember to use your card for spending in certain categories like dining or gas purchases in order to earn a higher amount of points or miles. If you’re juggling a rotating-category card, you might even need to log in to your account once a quarter and activate these bonus categories, which switch up four times a year. That’s a lot for most people to remember, even if they are wooed by the higher earning potential with these cards.

Instead, a card like the Capital One Venture card is meant to be more hands-off and automatic. You’ll earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend, whether it’s on travel or gifts for your grandmother. You also can earn up to 5 miles per dollar spent on rental cars and hotels that you pay for through the Capital One Travel portal. But since most people don’t buy these things frequently enough, you don’t need to worry that much about missed opportunities for spending like you do with other cards.

Capital One also makes it relatively easy to redeem your rewards. There’s no expiration date on your miles. When you want to use them, just log in to your account and find the option to redeem miles for a statement credit that’s noted on your travel purchases. You can also use your miles to pre-pay for travel by booking your trip through the Capital One Travel portal.

Finally, Capital One also offers some decent perks: a $100 credit toward a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application, an auto collision damage waiver, travel accident insurance and a 24-hour travel assistance line. It also charges no foreign transaction fees, which is handy (and pretty much required, we think) for a travel rewards card.

A good backup card for advanced rewards users

Even if you already have fancier travel rewards credit cards, the Capital One Venture card is a good addition to your wallet. That’s because while most other travel rewards cards do offer more rewards in certain categories, for anything outside of those categories (and that’ll probably be most of your spending, to be honest), you typically won’t earn as much.

For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers between 2 and 5 points per dollar for spending in a small handful of areas. But for anything else, you’ll only earn 1 point per dollar spent – which is less than you could be earning with the Capital One Venture Card’s flat rate for all spending.

In this way, you can think of using the Capital One Venture Card like a net. Use your better rewards cards first when it makes sense, but for the things that squeak through the cracks, you can use the Capital One Venture Card to ensure you’re still earning the maximum amount of rewards on everything you use your credit cards to buy.

Weighing the Venture Rewards value

It’s important to note that the Venture Rewards card isn’t your only option when it comes to straightforward travel rewards cards. That’s good because it’s also important to factor in the upfront cost of this card. It carries an annual fee of $95, which means you’d effectively need to spend $4,750 each year in order to earn enough rewards to offset the annual fee before actually coming out ahead with rewards.

Capital One also makes a more cost-effective version of this card, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card. This card doesn’t charge an annual fee, but, in return, you’ll earn less with it: only 1.25 miles for every dollar spent, instead of 2 miles per dollar with the Capital One Venture card.

We calculate that if you spend $12,660 or more per year on your card, the Capital One Venture Card will be your best bet if you’re looking for a hassle-free travel rewards card. Below that spending level, you’ll net more rewards with the Capital One VentureOne card because you won’t have to worry about paying for an annual fee.

Bottom line: Is the Capital One Venture Rewards worth it?

If you’re looking to earn the most amount of travel rewards possible, try another card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve card or The Platinum Card® from American Express. Both of these cards are top-of-the-line luxury travel cards that offer the most amount of rewards in the form of points or miles and extra perks. But they also come with two big hurdles: a high annual fee and they’ll require you to keep track of certain spending categories in order to get the most out of the card.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a good fixed-rate rewards card, the Capital One Venture card is about as good as they come. If you plan on spending less than $12,660 per year (or an average of $1,055 per month), you might want to choose the Capital One VentureOne card. You won’t earn as much, but you won’t have an earnings speedbump in the form of an annual fee.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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