|Rewards Rating:||4.4 / 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
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. That’s doubly true if you’re still on the fence about post-COVID travel. 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.
Unique two-tiered sign-up bonus
The Venture card is currently offering a unique two-tiered sign-up bonus that could prove quite valuable for heavy spenders. At the high end, you can earn 100,000 bonus miles if you spend $20,000 with the card in the first 12 months.
While this threshold isn’t impossible to meet if you put all of your spending on the Venture card, it could be tough to reach. You’d need to spend at least $1,667 per month for an entire year to meet the requirement. For context, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average consumer spends just over $1,300 per month.
That said, if you manage to reach the $20,000 spending threshold in your first year, the 100,000 miles you receive will be worth $1,000 when redeemed for travel purchases. That’s not including the 2 miles per dollar you’d earn via card spend on your way to the sign-up bonus, which would net you another 40,000 miles, worth $400 in travel. That’s a grand total of $1,400 in travel rewards in your first year.
But even if spending $20,000 with the Venture card in your first year sounds out of reach, you can still earn a solid sign-up bonus by spending $3,000 in your first three months. If you meet that requirement, you’ll earn 50,000 miles, worth $500 when redeemed for travel. This is just under the card’s most recent bonus of 60,000 miles after a $3,000 spend in the first three months.
Though impressive, the Venture card’s 100,000-mile bonus may still fall short of a few top-tier travel rewards cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card*. The Sapphire Preferred card is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 80,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months. Since Ultimate Rewards points are more valuable if you redeem for travel through Chase, that 80,000-point bonus would be worth $1,000 if redeemed this way, and would only require you to spend $4,000 in the first three months – likely much more achievable than a $20,000 spend in 12 months.
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, that offer a higher point value when you redeem points a certain way or generous bonus categories.
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 card||0.8 – 1|
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 10 travel partners that Venture cardholders can transfer miles to, many at a 2:1.5 rate (2:1 for Singapore Airlines). 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.
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)|
|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 any 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.
- Travel accident insurance – In the case of accidental death or dismemberment while traveling, you can be insured up to $250,000, as long as the entire cost of the passenger fare was paid with your Venture card.
- 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. As of March 2021, 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 and lands somewhere in the middle with its APR.
Here’s a quick look at where the Venture card ranks in our database of rewards cards:
|Rewards rate||Sign-up bonus||Annual fee||APR|
of rewards cards
of rewards cards
of rewards cards
of rewards cards
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. Similarly, though a credit card’s APR is always good to keep in mind, it won’t be a factor if you never carry a balance on your card.
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
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card*
Citi Premier® Card
|Rewards rate||Rewards rate||Rewards rate|
80,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months, plus earn up to $50 in statement credits toward grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
20,000 points if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
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 eye-catching feature of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is its sign-up bonus – worth up to $1,000 when redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards. However, the Sapphire Preferred card only earns 2 points per dollar on travel and restaurant purchases, 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.
The Wells Fargo Propel card has one of the best rewards rates you can find on a card with no annual fee, with a generous bonus on popular categories such as dining and travel. In fact – since you won’t have to lose any rewards to an annual fee – the rewards rate on the Propel card can actually outpace the Venture card for most spenders.
See Related: Wells Fargo Propel vs. Capital One Venture
The Citi Premier offers a 60,000-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 12 months to meet the $20,000 spending requirement and secure the full 100,000-mile bonus.
- Even if you can’t meet the $20,000 spending threshold, be sure to spend at least $3,000 in your first three months and you’ll still get the 50,000-mile bonus
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 $20,000 within the first twelve months to secure the 100,000-mile sign-up bonus (or at the very least spend $3,000 in the first three months to earn 50,000 miles).
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 should be a winner if you’re focused on rewards travel in 2021.
About the author
*All information about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
*All information about Wells Fargo Propel American Express card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
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