|Rewards Rating:||4.1 / 5|
|Annual Percentage Rate:||2.0|
|Issuer Customer Experience||4.0|
In a Nutshell:
This is a flexible rewards card with a high rewards rate and valuable perks for frequent travelers.
2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
60,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 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
Capital One Venture Card Review: More Details
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. Indeed, the Venture card is 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.
That said, the card carries a fairly steep annual fee of $95. 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 key, as while you can 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.
Read on to learn more about this card’s key details and perks, get tips from our credit card experts on maximizing the card’s value and decide whether it deserves a slot in your wallet.
See related: How to maximize the Capital One Venture card
New sign-up bonus
The Venture card is currently offering a 60,000-mile bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first three months as a cardholder. This latest bonus is a bit of a mixed bag: Depending on your spending habits, it could be either a much more practical and slightly more rewarding option, or a big disappointment compared to the card’s previous sign-up bonus.
The card’s last offer featured a unique two-tiered bonus that gave you a chance at 100,000 miles. To earn all 100,000 miles, though, you needed to spend a whopping $20,000 with the card in the first 12 months. If you couldn’t reach that, you could still earn 50,000 points if you spent $3,000 in the first three months.
As you can see, this new bonus offer is at once more and less rewarding than the previous bonus – you’ll only have a chance at 60,000 miles, not 100,000 miles, but you can also earn 10,000 more miles with a $3,000 spend in the first three months than you could with the card’s 50,000-point bonus. Regardless, this latest bonus is clearly much easier to secure than the card’s 100,000-mile offer.
Along with the $600 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 $3,000 required to meet the bonus, you’d earn 6,000 miles, worth another $60 in travel. That’s a grand total of $660 in travel rewards via the sign-up bonus.
Though generous, this falls far short of a few top-tier travel rewards cards, at least at the moment. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, for example, is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 100,000 points, and you only need to spend $4,000 in the first three months to get it. The Sapphire Preferred card’s 100,000-point bonus would be worth $1,250 if redeemed for travel through Chase. This means that for an extra $1,000 in spending over your first three months, you could enjoy double the value offered by the Venture card’s bonus.
A key downside is that you’d need to book travel through Chase to maximize your rewards; the Venture card, on the other hand, lets you redeem miles for travel through Capital One or for outside travel purchases at the same mile value.
Earning Venture miles
The Venture card makes it easy for users to rack up plenty of miles, offering 2 miles per dollar on every purchase. While most travel rewards cards only award more than 1 mile per dollar in particular bonus categories, the Venture card offers its 2 mile-per-dollar rate on all purchases. 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.
What are Venture miles worth?
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.
Among rewards cards, this mile value is about the middle of the pack. 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 Venture miles
Capital One miles are some of the most flexible rewards currency available. Unfortunately, you won’t get quite as much value out of those rewards depending on how you redeem them. While it is easy to use miles to cover any travel purchase you’ve made on your card, cash redemption options eke less value out of each mile.
|Redemption option||Mile value (cents)|
|Travel purchase in Capital One Travel Center||1|
|Outside travel purchases||1|
|Gift cards||0.8 – 1|
|Shop online through Amazon.com or PayPal||0.8|
To get the most value out of your miles, save them for travel purchases. 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.
You can also opt to cover just part of the purchase with miles – even as little as one mile off the cost. The credit typically shows up in your account within five to seven days.
Transferring Venture miles
Capital One currently has over 15 travel partners that Venture cardholders can transfer miles to, many at a 2:1.5 rate (2:1 for Singapore Airlines), others at a 1:1 rate (including the likes of Avianca, Etihad, Asia Miles and more). Though you lose some of the value of your miles by transferring, it actually can still be beneficial for some users. Since many airline miles are worth more than 1 cent per mile, you can still stretch them further by transferring to a frequent flyer program.
Capital one also recently added three new loyalty programs as transfer options: British Airways, TAP Air Portugal and Turkish Airlines. A fourth, Choice Hotels, will be available later this year.
Here’s a quick look at travel partners and what two Venture miles gets you with each one.
|Transfer partner||Value of 2 miles transferred (cents)|
|British Airways (Avios)||2.1|
|Flying Blue (Air France, KLM)||1.8|
|Aeroplan (Air Canada)||2.25|
This is not the most robust list of travel partners. Unlike American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards, Capital One doesn’t include many major airlines in its list of partners. However, you can still get great value out of transferring your miles. Transferring is particularly valuable for frequent flyers of Aeroplan (Air Canada), Etihad, Avianca and Singapore Airlines.
See related: Capital One Venture card transfer partners
Venture card benefits
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.
- Car 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.
To take advantage of these protections, put all major travel purchases on your Venture card.
The Venture card is designed for users with good to excellent credit (above 670), so you will want to ensure you meet those requirements before you apply. 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.
If you already own 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.
Among major issuers, Capital One’s customer service rating is good but not great. The bank scored fifth out of 11 major issuers in J.D. Power’s 2020 customer satisfaction survey. The bank offers 24/7 customer service as well as an online chat feature to answer quick questions, but this service is difficult to locate on the website. The bank’s app does rate well, however, rating 4.8 out of 5 on the Google Play Store and 4.7 out of 5 on the Apple App Store.
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 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 points per dollar on all purchases
100,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months.
Matches all the miles you earned at the end of the first year
80,000 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 eye-catching feature of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is its sign-up bonus (currently the card’s highest ever), which is worth up to $1,250 when redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards. However, the Sapphire Preferred card earns 2 points per dollar only in the travel and restaurant categories, while the Venture card earns the same rate on general purchases. If you are planning on using one card for all your spending, the Venture card can be a better long-term investment.
Rewards earnings on $15,900 annual spend ($8,000 travel and dining spend)
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||Capital One Venture|
|($8,000 x 2 points per dollar) + ($7,900 x 1 point per dollar)) x 1.25 cent point value = $299||$15,900 x 2 miles per dollar x 1 cent mile value = $318|
Even when you factor in the Sapphire Preferred card’s higher point value, the Venture can bring in more rewards per year.
Another card that suits travels 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, foreign transaction fees or any other common fee. 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 an 80,000-point sign-up bonus (for cardholders who spend $4,000 in 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.
Who should apply for the Venture card?
- Cardholders looking for a straightforward rewards program with flexible redemption options.
- Cardholders who prefer to make travel purchases on third-party sites and don’t want to lose mile value.
- Frequent flyers of Aeroplan (Air Canada), Etihad, Avianca and Singapore Airlines who want to transfer miles for a higher value.
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 $3,000 spending requirement and secure the 60,000-mile bonus.
See related: How I use my Capital One Venture card
Is the Venture card worth it?
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. Luckily, it’s simple to get a sense of this with the Venture card since it earns miles at the same rate on every purchase and miles are worth 1 cent apiece whether you redeem for travel through Capital One or use miles to cover outside travel purchases.
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’d 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 cents 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 on a purely financial level 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 $3,000 within the first twelve months to secure the sign-up bonus.
Overall, the Venture card is a terrific option for travel-minded cardholders, especially if you plan to put all or most of your spending on a single card. The Venture stands out as one of our most popular travel cards, and for good reason. With a great sign-up bonus, solid rewards rate and impressive redemption flexibility and mile transfer options, the card is no doubt one of the best travel cards for beginners.
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