Many people are probably familiar with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (review), which is a straightforward and incredibly rewarding travel credit card, especially in light of Capital One recently improving the value of its mileage program.
However, fewer people are probably familiar with the no annual fee version of the card, which is the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card. In this post, I wanted to compare the two cards, and help people decide which of these two cards makes the most sense for their spending patterns.
Differences Between Venture & VentureOne Cards
There are a variety of factors to consider when deciding which of these cards makes the most sense.
In this section, I wanted to take a look at the major differences between the cards, including the annual fees, welcome bonuses, return on spending, and more, so that you can decide which card is the best fit for your credit card needs.
Comparing Annual Fees: $95 Vs. $0
To compare the annual fees on the cards:
Comparing Welcome Bonuses: 60K Vs. 20K Miles
New cardmember spending bonuses are a big incentive to apply for credit cards, and there’s a significant difference between the bonuses on the two cards:
- The Venture Card offers 60,000 Venture miles after spending $3,000 within three months
- The VentureOne Card offers 20,000 Venture miles after spending $500 within three months
The VentureOne bonus of 20,000 miles is excellent for a no annual fee card. However, the bonus of 60,000 miles is significantly better. At an absolute minimum, Venture miles can be redeemed for one cent each towards the cost of virtually any travel purchase, but there’s even a much better way than that to redeem Venture miles.
Comparing Return On Spending: 2x Miles Vs. 1.25x Miles
Both of these cards have straightforward rewards structures, which give you a lot of flexibility with your travel rewards:
- The Venture Card offers 2x Venture miles per dollar spent
- The VentureOne Card offers 1.25x Venture miles per dollar spent
In other words, for every dollar spent:
- The Venture offers 2.0 cents towards travel, or 2x airline miles
- The VentureOne offers 1.25 cents towards travel, or 1.25x airline miles
I should mention that I value Capital One miles at 1.7 cents each, based on the ability to transfer them to airline partners at a 1:1 ratio. Based on my valuation:
- The Venture offers a return of 3.4% on everyday spending
- The VentureOne offers a return of 2.125% on everyday spending
Capital One VentureOne Doesn’t Charge Foreign Transaction Fees
When it comes to spending money on the cards, I think it’s specifically worth calling out that the VentureOne doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.
I realize that doesn’t excite those with premium cards, but the reality is that this is the only no annual fee personal card that earns transferable points and also doesn’t have foreign transaction fees, so that’s worth being aware of.
Is The Venture Or VentureOne Card Better?
Breakeven Point On Spending
Taking the welcome bonuses out of the equation, long term what’s the breakeven point between the two cards?
There’s a $95 difference between the annual fees, and the difference in earnings rates is 0.75 Venture miles per dollar spent. Therefore:
- If you value Venture miles at 1.0 cents each (based on the ability to redeem them as cash towards travel purchases), then you’d come out ahead with the Venture over the VentureOne if you spend at least $12,667 per year
- If you value Venture miles at 1.7 cents each (based on the ability to convert them into airline miles at a 1:1 ratio), then you’d come out ahead with the Venture over the VentureOne if you spend at least $7,451 per year
This doesn’t even factor in that the Venture Card offers a TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry credit, while the VentureOne doesn’t.
Tip: Get The Venture, Have The Option To Downgrade To The VentureOne
Here’s how I would approach this, regardless of your situation:
- I would apply for the Venture Card; it has a much better bonus (by 40,000 Venture miles, worth at least $400 in travel), the rewards structure is 60% better, and you can take advantage of the TSA Pre-Check credit
- After the first year decide how you like the Venture Card:
- If you’re getting value out of it, continue using it
- If you’re not getting value out of it, call Capital One and downgrade it to the VentureOne; you keep all the Venture miles you already earned
I think many may find that the Venture is worth keeping over the VentureOne, and this way you have the flexibility to decide after a year.
The Venture offers flexible rewards, and each dollar spent gets you either two cents towards travel, or two airline miles. Meanwhile the VentureOne is the only personal no annual fee credit card that earns transferable points and has no foreign transaction fees.
While either card could make sense, I’d recommend just about everyone apply for the Venture Card — it has a bonus of 60K Venture miles, and earns rewards at a much faster pace. If you decide after a year that the card doesn’t make sense for you, you can always downgrade to the VentureOne.
What’s your take on the value of the Venture vs. the VentureOne?