Review: Capital One Venture Card

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Update: This offer for the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business has expired. Learn more about the current offers here.


I had written a review of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card earlier this year, but some major changes were recently made to this card, so I figured it’s time for an update to the post.

This card has recently become a lot more lucrative, so here’s what you need to know about it:

Capital One Venture Card welcome bonus

The Capital One Venture Card offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.

Capital One Venture Card annual fee

The Capital One Venture Card has a $95 annual fee, though it’s waived for the first year.

The introductory bonus is worth at least $500 of travel, so if you want to look at it differently, the welcome bonus will get you rewards equivalent to the annual fee for the first six years, not factoring in the rewards you earn from spending money on the card.

Capital One Venture Card rewards structure

The Capital One Venture Card offers unlimited 2x Venture miles. Not all “miles” are created equal, so below I’ll talk more about how Venture miles can be redeemed.

Earn 10x miles with hotels.com

This is a benefit that was introduced in early 2018. The card now offers 10x miles when booking your hotels through hotels.com/venture.

This won’t be for everyone. Typically if you book through hotels.com you don’t earn elite credits with your preferred hotel loyalty program. However, for someone who isn’t loyal to a specific hotel brand, it can be a much better deal to just earn 10x miles with the Venture Card, combined with the hotels.com loyalty program.

Capital One Venture Card now offers Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check credit

Lately we’ve seen some premium travel rewards cards make some cuts, though Capital One is going the opposite direction.

As of June 12, 2018, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card will offer a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit once every four years. Just charge the $85-100 membership fee to your Capital One Venture Card, and it will automatically be reimbursed. It doesn’t matter who the fee is being paid for, as long as you charge it to your eligible card.

Admittedly this is a benefit offered on many premium credit cards, though it’s a nice addition nonetheless.

Why you should register for Global Entry over TSA Pre-Check

If you are going to take advantage of this perk, I’d highly recommend registering for Global Entry over TSA Pre-Check. For those of you not familiar, TSA Pre-Check gets you expedited US security screening, while Global Entry gets you expedited US immigration clearance.

So why should you register for Global Entry and not Pre-Check? Because Global Entry also comes with TSA Pre-Check, while the inverse isn’t true (signing up for TSA Pre-Check doesn’t get you Global Entry).

I registered for Global Entry for the first time in mid-2011, and wrote about my experience at the time. Global Entry is valid for five years, and I renewed my membership in 2016.

How to redeem Venture miles

There are two primary ways you can efficiently redeem your Capital One Venture miles.

Redeeming Capital One Venture miles towards travel costs

If you want to redeem your miles towards the cost of a travel purchase, there are two primary ways you can do so:

  • You can redeem them for past travel purchases using Purchase Eraser, where you can simply make an eligible travel booking using your card, and then you can go online after the fact and use your miles to pay for it within 90 days of the date of purchase; your credit will be applied to your account within 2-3 days
  • You can book a travel reservation through capitalone.com or book by phone, and each mile can be redeemed for one cent towards the cost of a travel purchase

Eligible travel purchases include purchases made from airlines, hotels, rail lines, car rental agencies, limousine services, bus lines, cruise lines, taxi cabs, travel agents, and time shares.


Redeem Venture miles towards just about any travel purchase

Transfer Capital One Venture miles to loyalty partners

This is an exciting new way that you can redeem Venture miles. As of recently it’s possible to convert Venture miles into airline miles in a variety of programs, at a ratio of up to 2:1.5.

Here are the transfer partners and transfer ratios:

Transfer PartnerTransfer Ratio
Aeromexico (Club Premier)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Air Canada (Aeroplan)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Air France KLM (Flying Blue)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Alitalia (MilleMiglia Program)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Avianca (LifeMiles)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Emirates (Emirates Skywards)2 : 1 | 1000 : 500
Etihad Airways (Etihad Guest)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
EVA Air (Infinity MileageLands)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Finnair (Finnair Plus)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Hainan Airlines (Fortune Wings Club)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Qantas (Qantas Frequent Flyer)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Qatar Airways (Privilege Club)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Singapore Airlines (KrisFlyer)2 : 1 | 1000 : 500

Transfer Venture miles to Air France-KLM for redemptions in Air France business class

How should you redeem Venture miles?

Every dollar spent on the Capital One Venture Card earns you two miles, and those two miles get you either two cents worth of travel, or up to 1.5 airline miles.

Which redemption option makes more sense depends on your spend patterns. If you value one of the partner miles at more than 1.33 cents each (2/1.5), then generally I’d say that’s the better redemption value.

To simplify things even further, I’d generally say that:

  • If you want to redeem your Venture miles for anything other than flights, your best option is redeeming them at one cent each towards a travel purchase
  • If you want to redeem your Venture miles towards airfare, you’ll get more value for international first and business class tickets when transferring miles to an airline partner
  • If you want to redeem your Venture miles towards economy airfare (especially if it’s reasonably priced), your best option is redeeming them at one cent each to erase the cost of that purchase

Those are very general guidelines, and the best solution very much depends on the specific circumstances.

Capital One Venture Card perks

The Capital One Venture Card offers some other potentially valuable perks, including:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • The ability to add authorized users at no additional cost
  • Secondary car rental coverage, purchase security and extended protection (coverage on items lost or stolen within 90 days), travel and emergency assistance services, and more; the full details of this can be found in the cardmember agreement
  • Complimentary concierge service with the Visa Signature Concierge

Venture Card application restrictions

The terms of the Venture Card application state the following:

Existing or previous Accountholders may not be eligible for this one-time bonus.

So if you currently have this card or have had it in the past, don’t expect you’ll be able to earn the bonus again.

Then there are a few general Capital One restrictions to be aware of:

  • Capital One pulls from three credit bureaus; personally I don’t find that to be a huge deal one way or another, but it’s worth being aware of
  • You typically can’t apply for two cards the same day; the second card (even if different) will automatically be marked as a duplicate
  • You can typically be approved for at most one Capital One card every six months, regardless of whether they’re personal or business cards

Best business card alternative

If you want a business card that’s similar to the Venture Card, consider the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business. The card earns 2x Spark miles per dollar spent (equivalent to Venture miles), and miles can be redeemed towards travel purchases or transferred to airline partners at the same rate. You can even pool miles across both cards.

The card also potentially has a much richer welcome bonus, as it offers:

  • 50,000 Spark miles when you spend $5,000 within the first three months
  • An additional 150,000 Spark miles when you spend $50,000 within the first six months

That means if you spend $50,000 on the card in the first six months you’d earn a total of 300,000 Spark miles, which can get you either $3,000 towards travel, or 225,000 airline miles.

A return of up to 4.5 airline miles per dollar spent on the first $50,000 is exceptional.

What are other personal credit cards worth considering?

If it’s simple cash back you’re after, then I think the no annual fee Citi® Double Cash Card is a great option, though it also has no initial bonus.

If you want a travel rewards card that earns miles that can be redeemed towards a travel purchase, consider the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® (see terms). The card has an $89 annual fee (waived the first year), and a welcome bonus of 70,000 miles after spending $5,000 within 90 days. Each mile can be redeemed for one cent towards the cost of a travel purchase.

If you’re looking for an extremely lucrative card that earns travel rewards, there are a few other options that are worth considering:

  • The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers double points on dining and travel and great travel protection ($95 annual fee, waived the first year)
  • The Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card has a welcome bonus of up to 50K points and offers triple points on dining and travel, a $300 annual travel credit, a Priority Pass membership, a Global Entry fee credit, great travel protection, and more ($450 annual fee)
  • The Citi Premier℠ Card has a welcome bonus of up to 50K points and offers triple points on travel and gas, double points on dining and entertainment ($95 annual fee, waived the first year)
  • The American Express® Gold Card offers 4x points at US restaurants, 4x points at US supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year), and 3x points for airfare purchased directly with airlines, plus offers a $100 annual airline fee credit and up to a $120 annual dining credit ($250 annual fee (Rates & Fees))

Bottom line

With its recent revamp, the Capital One Venture Card is more rewarding than ever. This is a well rounded card that will offer you the equivalent of up to two cents towards travel or up to 1.5 airline miles for every dollar spent.

If someone wants a straightforward rewards card that offers a consistent return for all purchases and a lot of flexibility, this is a good option.

If you’re someone who spends a lot in specific categories, like dining or travel, then something like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card might be a better option.

If you have the Capital One Venture Card, what has your experience been with it?

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: American Express® Gold Card (Rates & Fees).

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Comments

  1. Note if you have opened more than 3 accounts in the past 24 months there is a good chance you may be denied by Capital One. I saw someone with the same experience on TPG blog. I received targeted invitation of 60k for this card twice from them and finally attempted. The application was denied due to “too many accounts open in 2 years”. I then applied for an AMEX Platinum instead, which was approved right away. Based on my usage the Platinum has more long term value. I have to admit though if the Venture were approved very unlikely I would keep it in the long run.

  2. Capital One sucks. Hotels.com is a part of Expedia.com, which also includes Travelocity and Orbitz and they also suck. In this case, I would much rather be loyal to specific hotels and/or airlines.

  3. I applied and received an immediate response, “YOU ARE DENIED” and a letter or email will be forthcoming explaining why. Sure enough, 3 days passed and I received that email which stated,
    “You have opened too many credit cards in the past 24 months”, therefore we cannot approve you. Same thing happened when my wife applied.

    SO, looks like Cap One is not advertising their 5/24 rule or 6/24 rule.

  4. Not sure they have a specific rule. I’ve opened 8 in the last 24 months and was immediately approved for the 60,000 bonus offered I received in the mail. YMMV

  5. I had the CapOne card for a few years. It was ok – no problems using it overseas and great customer service the few rimes I had to contact fhem. After I got the Chase Sapph, it was just simpler using one card plus and I had gotten tired of my wife running all sorts of nonsense through her CapOne card.

  6. I’ve had a Cap One card for over a decade, before the “Venture” was added. It gets 2 cents/$1, redeemable for travel. How do I know if I have had “this product” before, for bonus purposes? And, can I assume my current card has all these new perks and transfer options? Thanks!

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