Which Capital One Venture Card Version Is Best?

Which Capital One Venture Card Version Is Best?

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For those of us in the points world, Capital One has become an increasingly interesting card issuer in recent years, as Capital One’s mileage program has continued to improve.

Capital One’s most popular travel card portfolio is the Venture Card, but nowadays there are three versions of the card. In this post I wanted to take a closer look at those three cards, and help anyone who might be trying to decide between these different products. Is there a clear winner?

The three Capital One Venture Card products

There are three different “flavors” of the Capital One Venture, all going after a different consumer base:

Which of these cards is the best value? Let’s first go over the basics of these cards, and then we’ll take a look at which of these cards makes the most sense.

Capital One VentureOne Card basics

The Capital One VentureOne Card is the most basic card in the portfolio:

  • It has no annual fee
  • It has a welcome offer of 20,000 Venture miles after spending $500 within three months
  • It offers 1.25x Venture miles per dollar spent, with no foreign transaction fees

Being able to earn rewards that can be converted into airline miles on a no annual fee card is awesome, especially as the card doesn’t have foreign transaction fees. However, for most consumers I think there’s value in paying an annual fee to get a more lucrative card.

Read a full review of the Capital One VentureOne Card.

The VentureOne has no foreign transaction fees

Capital One Venture Card basics

The Capital One Venture Card is the mid-range card in the portfolio:

  • It has a $95 annual fee
  • It has a massive welcome offer of 75,000 Venture miles after spending $4,000 within three months
  • It offers 2x Venture miles per dollar spent, with no foreign transaction fees, making it one of the best cards for everyday spending
  • It offers perks like a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit once every four years and two Capital One Lounge visits per year

For someone who is willing to pay a reasonable annual fee but wants a rewarding card, the Capital One Venture Card is tough to beat. You’re earning an excellent return on everyday spending, and you get some perks that could help offset the annual fee.

Read a full review of the Capital One Venture Card.

Earn 2x Venture miles with the Venture

Capital One Venture X Card basics

The Capital One Venture X Card is the premium card in the portfolio, and was only introduced in late 2021:

If you travel with any frequency, it should be really easy to justify the annual fee on this card. Personally I value the $300 annual travel credit and 10,000 anniversary bonus miles at more than the $395 annual fee, so everything else is just the icing on the cake.

Read a full review of the Capital One Venture X Card.

Get unlimited Capital One Lounge access with the Venture X

Which Capital One Venture Card should you apply for?

How should you decide whether to apply for the Capital One VentureOne Card, Capital One Venture Card, or Capital One Venture X Card? While not everyone is going to agree on the best strategy, let me share some general things to consider.

You have the option of upgrading or downgrading cards

Credit card issuers generally let you upgrade or downgrade cards within the same line, as long as you’ve had a card for at least 12 months. This won’t always be possible, but more often than not it is. That means you could apply for one card in the Venture lineup, and then if you later decide that another card is a better fit for you, you can product change to that.

You should be able to upgrade or downgrade your card

Go after a big welcome bonus

There’s a big difference in terms of the welcome bonuses here. The Capital One VentureOne Card offers a bonus of 20,000 Venture miles, while both the Capital One Venture Card and Capital One Venture X Card offer a bonus of 75,000 Venture miles.

Venture miles can be redeemed for a minimum of one cent each toward a travel purchase, though personally I value them at 1.7 cents each, for the ability to convert them into airline miles and hotel points. So there’s a difference of at least $550 between the value of these bonuses (75,000 miles vs. 20,000 miles), and by my valuation there’s a difference of $935 between the value.

That’s a reason to pick up one of the premium cards, and if you later decide it’s not a good fit for you, there should be the option to downgrade.

Redeem Venture miles toward the cost of travel purchases

The value of 1.25x miles vs. 2x miles

The Capital One VentureOne Card offers 1.25x Venture miles per dollar spent, while the Capital One Venture Card and Capital One Venture X Card offer 2x Venture miles per dollar spent. So how should you account for the difference in value there?

  • At a valuation of 1.0 cents per Venture mile, that’s a difference in return of 0.75% on spending
  • At a valuation of 1.7 cents per Venture mile, that’s a difference of 1.275% on spending

To keep things simple, let’s compare the no annual fee Capital One VentureOne Card and $95 annual fee Capital One Venture Card, and how quickly you could recoup the annual fee. With the difference of 0.75 Venture miles per dollar spent:

  • If you value Venture miles at 1.0 cents each (based on the ability to redeem them as cash toward 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 PreCheck or Global Entry credit, access to Capital One Lounges twice per year, etc.

Redeem Venture miles for Singapore Airlines business class

Why the Capital One Venture X is the no-brainer

I think most people can agree that it makes sense to apply for the Capital One Venture Card over the Capital One VentureOne Card, even if they ordinarily prefer cards without annual fees. The welcome bonus is much better, as is the return on spending. You should be able to downgrade the card after a year if you decide it doesn’t make sense to you.

But should you instead pay an extra $300 in annual fees and get the Capital One Venture X Card? Personally I think the math there very much makes sense as well:

  • You’ll get a $300 Capital One Travel portal credit, which you can use to book a $300 flight or hotel; that right there should recoup the difference
  • You’ll get a Priority Pass membership, offering you access to the biggest lounge network in the world
  • You can even add four authorized users at no extra cost, and they’ll also get a Priority Pass membership
  • If you keep the card for a second year, you’ll also get 10,000 anniversary bonus miles

And there are many, many other perks. The Capital One Venture X is really a premium credit card that makes sense even for people who don’t usually get premium credit cards. If you can get over the initial “sticker shock” of paying a $395 annual fee, you’ll quickly get outsized value from the card.

Get a Priority Pass membership with the Venture X

Bottom line

Capital One’s Venture lineup consists of the Capital One VentureOne Card, Capital One Venture Card, and Capital One Venture X Card.

Each card has a unique value proposition:

You can’t go wrong with any of these cards, though personally I’d apply for one of the premium cards for the much better welcome bonus, and then you could always downgrade the card at a later point. I think the Capital One Venture X Card is the best option, as it really has perks that add up in the long run.

What’s your take on which Capital One Venture Card is best?

Conversations (9)
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  1. Paul B Guest

    My problem is with the $300.00 travel credit. Having to use the Capital One Travel Portal to use the credit can substantially reduce the value of the credit. As an example, a hotel room or car rental may be $100 - 200 more expensive, thus, reducing the value of the credit. I am open to any ways to avoid this problem, because I would really like to get this card.

    1. betterbub Member

      Often I've found the prices to be really good on their travel portal and they do their price match thing if they aren't. If I remember correctly you also earn points on those $300 as if you spent your own money so that helps as well

    2. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Paul B -- I hear you, and personally my strategy is to just use the credit for a flight. The pricing is almost always identical, and there's generally not an opportunity cost to booking a flight through a portal rather than direct. I agree I'd rather book hotels and rental cars direct.

    3. Paul B Guest

      I have well over 1,000,000 miles and points with Southwest, JetBlue, Alaska and United. As well as 500,000 points with my Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Therefore, I do not actually pay or airline flights.

    4. Eskimo Guest

      @Paul B

      Your reasoning is funny. Just use $300 and pay for flights.

      I have well over 1,000,000 miles and points with Southwest, JetBlue, Alaska and United.
      Then why did you apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve?

  2. Steve Guest

    Venture X Card is the best no questions asked
    I believe this blog made a huge deal about it

  3. Eskimo Guest

    What about restrictions preventing holding all 3 cards?
    Compatibility with Quicksilver or Savor cards?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Eskimo -- You are eligible for the bonus on each of these cards. And if you have a Venture Card, then rewards from other cards (like the Savor) can also be converted into Capital One miles, which is a useful feature.

    2. Art_Czar New Member

      @Ben - My SO & I already have the Venture X. Unless I'm missing the value of getting another Capital One family earning Venture miles, the Venture X is a keeper for each of us. Two questions - Do other cards earn more than 2x Venture miles in specific categories? If not, is there a reason to pair the Venture X with another one from the same family of cards?

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The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Art_Czar New Member

@Ben - My SO & I already have the Venture X. Unless I'm missing the value of getting another Capital One family earning Venture miles, the Venture X is a keeper for each of us. Two questions - Do other cards earn more than 2x Venture miles in specific categories? If not, is there a reason to pair the Venture X with another one from the same family of cards?

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Eskimo Guest

@Paul B Your reasoning is funny. Just use $300 and pay for flights. I have well over 1,000,000 miles and points with Southwest, JetBlue, Alaska and United. Then why did you apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve?

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Paul B Guest

I have well over 1,000,000 miles and points with Southwest, JetBlue, Alaska and United. As well as 500,000 points with my Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Therefore, I do not actually pay or airline flights.

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