Many people are probably familiar with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (review), which is a straightforward, well-rounded travel rewards card; it’s also one of the best Capital One credit cards.
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 Card
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 makes the most sense based on your credit card needs.
Comparing Annual Fees: $95 Vs. $0
To compare the annual fees on the cards:
Comparing New Cardmember Bonuses: 60K Vs. 20K Venture Miles
New cardmember spend 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; 60,000 Venture miles are redeemable for a minimum of $600 towards travel
- The VentureOne Card offers 20,000 Venture miles after spending $500 within three months; 20,000 Venture miles are redeemable for a minimum of $200 towards travel
The VentureOne bonus of $200 towards travel is excellent for a no annual fee card. However, the 60,000 point bonus on the Venture is far superior, and it is worth at least an additional $400 towards travel.
Looking at it another way, the difference in bonuses could more than cover the annual fee on the Venture Card for the first four years.
The difference in bonus between the two cards is $800 in travel rewards
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
Venture miles can be redeemed for one cent each towards the cost of a travel purchase, or they can be transferred to a Venture airline or hotel partner at a ratio of up to 2:1.5 (and it may even be better than that, since sometimes they offer transfer bonuses).
Through December 31, 2020, it’s also possible to redeem Venture miles for one cent each towards the cost of a dining or streaming services purchase. This is to give cardmembers more flexibility during the pandemic.
In other words, for every dollar spent:
- The Venture offers 2.0 cents towards travel, or up to 1.5 airline miles
- The VentureOne offers 1.25 cents towards travel, or up to 0.9375 airline miles
Redeem Venture miles towards the cost of virtually any travel purchase
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. Let’s assume you value Venture miles at a cent each (and some may value Venture miles more, in which case you can adjust your math, but I’m trying to be conservative).
If you spend at least ~$12,667 on the card you’d come out ahead with the Venture over the Venture One.
This doesn’t even factor in that the Venture Card offers a TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry credit, while the VentureOne doesn’t.
Temporary Coronavirus Benefits
For both the Venture and VentureOne, Capital One will let you redeem points towards eligible restaurant delivery, takeout, and streaming service purchases until December 31, 2020. You can use them the same way you’d redeem them to offset the cost of travel purchases.
On top of that, through January 31, 2021, you can earn 5x Venture miles per dollar spent on UberEats. There’s no registration required for this, and it excludes orders paid for with PayPal, mobile, or wireless card readers, mobile or digital wallets, Apple Pay, Android Pay, and similar.
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, after a year you can 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.
You can always get the Venture Card and downgrade later
The Venture offers flexible rewards that I value at a 2%+ return, while 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 60K Venture miles welcome bonus, and earns miles at a faster pace.
If you decide after a year that the card doesn’t make sense for you, you can always downgrade to the VentureOne.