|Rewards Rating:||4.9 / 5|
|Annual Percentage Rate:||4.0|
|Issuer Customer Experience:||4.0|
75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 in the first three months
Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
Capital One Customer Service Ratings
Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fees; Visa Signature benefits, including $250,000 of travel accident insurance, travel discounts and upgrades (See Rates and Fees)
The Capital One Venture card is a terrific travel credit card if you’re looking for a rewards program with great everyday value, a solid sign-up bonus and the flexibility to redeem miles for nearly all travel purchases, not just those made through an issuer’s portal. And while the card carries an annual fee, it can be easily offset with minimal spending, making the Venture easily one of the best travel cards for beginners.
Why you might want the Capital One Venture card
With a flat rewards rate on all purchases, the Capital One Venture Card makes racking up miles to use for your next vacation a breeze. This card’s simple earning scheme, flexible redemption options, high sign-up bonus and other card benefits easily earn it a spot on our list of the best travel credit cards. The Venture card is also one of the highest-ranking cards in our rewards credit card database when it comes to rewards rate, rewards value and sign-up bonus value.
See related:How to maximize the Capital One Venture card
Increased sign-up bonus
The Venture card is currently offering a 75,000-mile bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in your first three months as a cardholder. This is a decent jump up from the card’s previous bonus of 60,000 bonus miles after a $3,000 spend in the same time frame and is worth $750 in travel if you redeem through the Capital One Travel portal (potentially more if you find the right transfer partner).
Along with the $750 worth of travel you can earn with the new bonus, you’ll earn miles via card spend on your way to the sign-up bonus. In spending the $4,000 required to meet the bonus, you’d earn at least 8,000 miles, worth another $80 in travel. That’s a grand total of at least $830 in travel rewards via the sign-up bonus. That could be even higher if you spend heavily on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
While this is still far below the card’s all-time-high offer of up to 100,000 miles after spending $20,000 in your first 12 months, it’s still a great value, making now a good time to apply if you’ve been on the fence.
Easily earn and transfer miles to frequent flyer programs
For the most part, the miles you earn on your Venture card are worth 1 cent per mile, making it easy to keep track of exactly how much you have to spend. As long as you redeem them for travel – either through the Capital One Travel Center or for any previous travel purchase – you get good value out of your rewards.
The Venture card offers 2 miles per dollar on every purchase while most travel rewards cards only award more than 1 mile per dollar in particular bonus categories. This makes it easy to rack up plenty of rewards without having to carefully weigh your spending to a particular card. If you are the kind of spender who likes to use one card for all your purchases, the generous rate on everyday spending is a major perk.
Capital One also features over 15 travel partners that Venture cardholders can transfer miles to, most 1:1 rate. Though you may lose some of the value of your miles by transferring, it can still be beneficial for some users.
Travel and warranty benefits compare well with other travel cards
Like many travel cards, the Venture comes with several travel benefits and protections that add to its value.
- Up to $100 credit for Global Entry/TSA Precheck – The Venture card will cover the application fee for Global Entry or TSA Precheck – a benefit usually reserved for luxury cards.
- Extended warranty – You can double the manufacturer’s warranty up to one additional year on eligible purchases with warranties of three years or less.
- Auto rental insurance – If you pay for a rental car on your Venture card, you’ll be covered up to the cash value of the vehicle in case of damage or theft. All coverage is secondary.
- Virtual card numbers for online shopping – To protect your card information while shopping online, you can generate a unique virtual card number for each merchant.
- Roadside assistance – If ever need roadside services, such as jump-starting or a tier change, Capital One includes them as part of your card membership. Fees apply.
- Lifestyle Collection hotel stay benefits – Eligible stays with these properties include a $50 experience credit and other perks.
To take advantage of these protections, put all major travel purchases on your Venture card.
Why you might want a different card
The Capital One Venture card carries a fairly steep annual fee of $95 (See Rates and Fees). Though this cost should be easy to offset if you use the Venture card for a good chunk of your everyday spending, it makes sense to do the math to see if the Venture card is worth it for you. Timing is also a key consideration as you save up your miles for the future. You may struggle to squeeze much value out of this card in the short term if you don’t plan to book travel anytime soon.
Keep in mind, however, that the Venture card’s $95 annual fee may be worth it if you earn enough rewards via card spend to offset the cost (See Rates and Fees).
Venture miles are most valuable when redeemed for travel
While Capital One miles are one of the most flexible rewards currencies available, you won’t get quite as much value out of those rewards with cash redemption options. It is easy to use miles to cover any travel purchase you’ve made on your card, but other options eke less value out of each mile.
To get the most value out of your miles, save them for travel purchases. The mile value is about the middle of the pack among rewards cards. If you don’t mind more maintenance, you can get a better value with cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, which offers a higher point value when you redeem points for travel through Chase.
Redeeming your miles for these purchases is simple. When you log into your account on the Capital One website or app, you can choose the option to redeem a purchase to view all eligible travel costs from the last 90 days. When you choose one of the options, you’ll receive a statement credit in the amount of the purchase.
No prequalification and high credit score minimum
Unfortunately, Capital One does not currently offer online prequalification for the Venture card, so you’ll need to submit a formal application and put your credit score at risk with a “hard pull” to see if you make the cut. The Venture card is also designed for users with good to excellent credit (above 670), so you will want to ensure you meet those requirements before you apply.
If you already have a Capital One card, such as the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, you might be able to upgrade your account rather than filling out a new application. That way, you don’t have to deal with a hard pull on your credit or canceling a credit card account. Just keep in mind that you won’t be eligible for a sign-up bonus if you choose this option.
How does the Venture card compare to other travel cards?
The Venture card is a great, easy-to-use travel card for cardholders who want a high flat rate on all purchases. Our team of credit card experts researched over 130 rewards cards to see how the Venture card stacks up against other cards in its category and found that it more than holds its own. When compared to other rewards cards, the Venture card’s average rewards rate and sign-up bonus value stand out as particularly impressive. Meanwhile, the card falls a bit short when it comes to its annual fee.
Keep in mind, however, that the Venture card’s $95 annual fee (See Rates and Fees) may be worth it if you earn enough rewards via card spend to offset the cost.
While the Venture card should offer the average consumer solid value overall, it’s not the only travel rewards card worth a look. Cards that offer bonus rewards on certain categories of spending might be a bit more valuable for strategic spenders. Here’s a quick look at a few of our top travel card alternatives:
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Discover it® Miles
Citi Premier® Card
|Rewards rate||Rewards rate|
1.5 miles per dollar on all purchases
60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months.
Matches all the miles you earned at the end of the first year
60,000 ThankYou points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
|Other things to know||Other things to know||Other things to know|
One of the Venture card’s biggest competitors, the most alluring feature of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is its sign-up bonus, which is worth up to $750 (60,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months) when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The card also carries lucrative, practical everyday bonus categories like dining, popular streaming services and online grocery store purchases (excluding wholesale clubs and superstore purchases at places like Target and Walmart). Since these spending categories make up a big chunk of most people’s budget, they could prove more valuable than the Venture card’s flat 2-mile-per-dollar rewards rate. A key downside, however, is that you’ll need to book travel through Chase to maximize your rewards while the Venture allows you to redeem miles with more flexibility.
Another card that suits travelers who value simplicity, the Discover it® Miles card offers a flat 1.5 miles per dollar on every purchase and, like the Venture card, allows you to redeem your miles for nearly any outside travel purchase. You’ll also pay no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. Best of all, Discover will match all the miles you earn at the end of your first year. This could make it a lucrative option for heavy spenders in year one.
The Citi Premier offers a 60,000-point sign-up bonus (for cardholders who spend $4,000 in the first three months) and has a $95 annual fee. The Citi card is slightly more rewarding in several spending categories, such as restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets, where it offers 3 points per dollar spent. The card only earns 1 point per dollar spent on general purchases but for cardholders who spend mostly in the high point categories, the Citi Premier may make offsetting the $95 annual fee a lot easier than the Capital One Venture.
How to use the Venture card:
- Put all big travel purchases on the card to use the protections.
- Redeem your miles for travel purchases rather than statement credits to avoid losing value.
- Consider pairing the Venture card with another rewards card with bonus categories on certain purchases to maximize your rewards rate.
- Use the card for all spending in your first three months to meet the $4,000 spending requirement and secure the 75,000-mile bonus.
- When booking hotel stays, book with Lifestyle Collection properties for experience credits and other perks.
See related: How I use my Capital One Venture card
Is the Venture card right for you?
To decide whether the Venture card is worth it for you in the long run, take a look at your typical spending habits and calculate whether or not the rewards you’ll earn by using the card are higher than the card’s cost.
While you could stretch your rewards even further by transferring to some of Capital One’s travel partners, let’s assume you want to keep things simple. You’ll earn 2 miles per dollar spent at a value of 1 cent per mile – essentially 2 cents back in travel value per dollar spent. This means it’s as easy as multiplying your average monthly spend by 12, then multiplying that by 2 and dividing by 100. If the number you get is less than 95, the card won’t be worth it, as your rewards won’t offset the card’s cost. If it’s more than 95, the card may be worth it since your rewards will likely cover the annual fee.
Venture card value, at a glance:
|$0 – $395|
Based on this spend, the card is likely:
Not worth it
(rewards would not offset annual fee)
|$396 or more|
Based on this spend, the card is likely:
(rewards would cover annual fee)
As you can see, the Venture card should make sense in terms of cost-benefit if you expect to spend at least $396 per month with the card. That’s not even considering the $100 credit for TSA Precheck or Global Entry that’s included as a benefit with the card, which more than covers the annual fee on its own. Of course, to get the most value out of the card, you’ll also want to be sure you can spend at least $4,000 within the first three months to secure the sign-up bonus.
For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.
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