Without a doubt, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is one of the best travel credit cards on the market. It offers a low annual fee, excellent rewards earning rates and good spending options. In this article we’ll show you why it is one of our favorites, and how it could really help you travel better in 2019!
Capital One rewards credit cards
Capital One offer two main travel focused rewards card – the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card. We compare the two in detail in a separate article.
In summary, the VentureOne card is a ‘free’ card, with no annual fee, but lower rewards. The Venture Rewards card is a paid card offering higher rewards higher and other benefits.
The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card is a good credit card too, but for the slightly higher spender and frequent traveler, the Venture Rewards Card offers a lot more!
Capital One Venture Rewards Card – the basics
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card comes with an annual fee of $95 – but this is waived for the first year. This is the main difference over the VentureOne card. It offers an ongoing APR of 17.99% to 25.24%, with no introductory reduced rate.
Excellent sign up bonus – worth at least $500
This is one of the top appeals of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card– it offers one of the best sign up bonuses on the market. New card holders will get a bonus of 50,000 Venture miles with total spending of at least $3,000 within the first three months.
This bonus is worth at least $500, and potentially more if redeemed carefully for high value airline awards.
No foreign exchange fees
A great benefit for travelers is zero foreign exchange fees on purchases made overseas. This applies to all credit card purchases, but not to ATM withdrawals. This is a valuable benefit for anyone regularly spending overseas or in foreign currency online. Many other cards will charge a fee of around 3% on such transactions.
Fixed earnings rate of two miles per dollar
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card offers a fixed, high earnings rate of two Venture Miles per dollar. This applies to all spend, in the US and overseas, and to all categories. And there is no limit to the total amount you can earn each year.
This is equivalent to a guaranteed return of 2% on all spending, and potentially more if miles are used for flight award by transferring to a partner (more on this later).
Earn 10 miles per dollar with hotels.com
To make it even better there is an additional bonus on spending with hotels.com. When cardholders book through a special link and pay with the card, they will earn 10 miles per dollar. This is an excellent benefit that can really add up for anyone who can regularly use hotels.com for their hotel stays. You can earn also rewards in the hotels.com reward scheme – giving a potential total rebate of at least 20% on your stays!
Simple to redeem miles for a fixed amount
Venture Miles earned with the card can be redeemed for a fixed value of one cent per mile. This is simple to do online through the card account. You can use miles to cover any recent (within the past 90 days) travel purchase made with the card.
This should be easy for everyone as the definition of ‘travel’ here is very wide – it includes not just airfares and hotels, but also taxis, Uber, car rental and many types of public transport.
The simplicity of this is one of the advantages of the card. There is no need to have to search for products to buy, exchange for gift cards or book travel through card travel portals – as is common with many other cards. You also know exactly what value you are getting – it does not change!
It is also possible to exchange miles for cashback, but at a lower rate of 0.5 cents per mile there is little point doing this. But it is a good backup option if you really have no travel spend!
Plenty of options to exchange for airline miles
The other way to exchange Venture miles is to transfer them to one of 15 partner airlines. This is the only way to potentially get value better than one cent per mile.
This is a new benefit added in 2018 (previously miles could only be used for statement credits) and has, in our opinion, greatly enhanced the value of the card. Many travelers are regular users of such mileage schemes, and the ability to get better value there, and to combine with mileage earned elsewhere, is very valuable.
Transfers are possible to the following airlines programs:
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Air France / KLM Flying Blue
- Alitalia MileMiglia
- Avianca LifeMiles
- Emirates Skywards
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Finnair Plus
- Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Etihad Guest
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
- Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club
- Qantas Club
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club
All transfers need to be for a minimum of 1,000 Venture Miles. Beyond that you can increase in increments of 100 – a nice feature allowing you to transfer just what is needed for a particular award.
Miles transfer – exchange rate
Pay attention to the rate at which these miles exchange. For most partners, this is at a rate of 2:1.5 (so 10,000 Venture miles would transfer to 7,500 airline miles). Exceptions include Emirates Skywards and Singapore KrisFlyer (both at 2:1).
This is not as good as some other reward schemes (such as Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards for example) where many transfers are at the higher rate of 1:1.
Open up award many airline award possibilities
Transferring to these programs opens up many options for redeeming miles for flight award tickets – with each transfer partner as well as with all of their redemption partners!
A couple of our favorite mileage redemption options include:
Using miles for luxury travel with Singapore Airlines. The KrisFlyer program allows access to some of most luxurious seats in the sky – Singapore Airlines First Class / Suites. Starting at 132,000 miles for example between New York and Singapore, this will likely be very good value compared to the cash rate!
You can book domestic US flights on American Airlines via Qantas Club. Short haul flights within the US start at just 8,000 Qantas mile each way in economy, and to/from Hawaii they start at 22,500 miles.
Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card offers up to a $100 rebate for payment for the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck scheme. This is a recurring benefit that can be used every once every four years.
These are both great schemes for the frequent traveler, getting you through the airport much faster! If you take this up, you are saving your first annual fee straight away. And if you already have, you can apply for someone else – just pay using the card.
This is a benefit normally offered with higher cost cards (such as the excellent Chase Sapphire Reserve card), so its great to get included here for a low annual fee.
Travel protection and insurance
An often overlooked benefit is travel protection. The Venture Rewards card offers a number of insurance and protection benefits. Make sure you understand the terms for these though, and consider if they are sufficient for you. This includes:
- Travel accident insurance for trips purchased with the card
- Lost luggage cover up to $3,000 per trip, for luggage secured with transport provider
Extended warranty protection
This is another frequently overlooked, but useful additional benefit. Any purchase with the card is eligible for extended warranty protection that doubles the manufacturer’s warranty (up to one year on warranties of three years or less). This is valid for up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per cardholder.
As you can see, there are plenty of great things about the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. It is certainly one of the top cards to own in 2019, especially for the regular traveler.
This is not a card that offers premium extras – such as airport lounge access or airline / hotel elite status offers – but it is a solid travel reward card, great for earning high rewards and redeeming for travel.
It is a wonderfully straightforward card. There is a consistently high earnings rate, and a very rewarding additional bonus with hotels.com for those that can use it. And redeeming rewards is straightforward with a guaranteed value of one cent per mile. Transferring to airline partners is a great option, and although this is more limited than with some other schemes, there is still good extra value possible.
And don’t forget the market leading sign up bonus, and additional travel perks like Global Entry fee rebate and some travel protection cover and insurance.
All these benefits come with an annual fee of $95. This is worth it in our opinion for anyone spending up towards $1,000 a month – and maybe less when you consider other benefits.
But this fee is waived for the first year. So you can get the card and try it out for a year before you decide if is worth continuing with the annual fee. There is very little reason not to apply for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.