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February 3, 2017

Capital One Venture Rewards Review: Is Card Good?

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by the card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer.
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Want to earn more miles on everything you spend? Want travel rewards without jumping through hoops? The Capital One Venture Rewards card might just be what you need.

Is Capital One Venture Good?

Travel rewards are complicated to use these days.

Who's got the time to sign up for multiple travel loyalty programs and transfer points and call to book flights with said points. Not to mention all those black-out dates and limited seat availability.

If those above statements sound like you, you may just like the Capital One Venture Rewards cards. It's super straightforward to use and has a great rewards structure. The sign-on bonus is generous and it comes with some nice travel perks.

This card is a good choice for travelers who have excellent credit and want to earn miles without a lot of extra homework.

But watch out: there is a $59 annual fee ($0 intro for the first year).

So is it right for you? We'll examine the pros and cons below.

5 Reasons Why We Like the Card

There are many reasons to like the Venture Rewards card, but we have zeroed in on features that make it a real head-turner:

  • 2x points on EVERYTHING: You automatically earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend with the card. And there is no cap on how many miles you can rack up. This makes the Capital One Venture a great primary card for everyday spending.

  • A hot sign-up bonus: Capital One dangles a nice carrot for new customers in the form of a one-time, 40,000-mile bonus. This is the equivalent of a $400 travel credit that can be applied toward any travel-related purchase. You'll have to put $3,000 on the card within the first 3 months to qualify.

    Read: 23 Ways to Meet the Minimum Spend Requirement

  • No foreign transaction fees: If you routinely travel overseas, you'll never have to worry about paying that pesky 3% fee for foreign purchases that some other cards charge.

  • Super easy redemption: Miles earned with the card are simply applied as a statement credit toward any travel-related spending (made in the previous 90 days). You can use them for ANY flights, hotel stays, car rentals, cruises, and more. The redemption rate is 1 cent per mile (10,000 miles = $100).

    This means that you don't have to transfer miles or book complicated award flights. And you can redeem the miles toward any flight or hotel without having to worry about award blackouts.

  • You pay no annual fee for the first year: The Venture Rewards card does have an annual fee of $59, but it's waived for the first year, so you have plenty of time to try it on for size.

3 Reasons to Consider Other Cards

The Venture Rewards card is a solid pick for some travelers but not so much for others. We've come up with a few reasons why another travel rewards card may be the better choice.

  • You use frequent traveler programs: Some other cards allow you to transfer points to a travel program (like a frequent flyer or hotel discount program). This often allows you to get more mileage out of your points. In many cases, this could increase the value of each point to over 2 cents per mile. But you won't have that option with the Venture Rewards card. With this card, your redemption rate will always be just 1 cent per mile.

    To learn more about airline miles and points, read our Beginner's Guide.

  • You carry a balance: If you don't pay your card off in full each month, the interest rate is quite high. The variable APR on purchases and balance transfers is 13.74% to 23.74%, depending on your creditworthiness. And there is no 0% APR promotional period.

  • Your credit's not that great: When it comes to travel credit cards, the better the rewards are, the better your credit score needs to be. This card is no exception; if your credit is less than stellar, you may not qualify.

Our Opinion: Is the Capital One Venture Rewards Worth It?

Our general opinion is yes - this is a great travel rewards cards. The 2x points on everything is hard to beat.

But it also depends on what kind of traveler you are. We think this card is more geared towards the casual traveler who likes being able to get a discount now and then.

In a recent survey performed by Capital One regarding travel rewards, they discovered the following:

  • About half of the people think travel rewards are just too complicated to use.
  • Half the people think it's too challenging to use miles to book award travel, and thus avoid doing so.
  • Over a quarter of the people are frustrated with not being able to use their rewards when they want to.

If you are in this half of the group, then you'd appreciate a simple card like the Capital One Venture. You just book travel, and then simply use your miles later as statement credit (applied to travel expenses in the last 90 days). You can book on any airline or hotel, at any time. There are absolutely no restrictions on dates, seats, etc.

The trade-off for simplicity is that your reward rate will always just be 1 cent per mile. But some people value their time, flexibility, and ease.

How It Compares

To round out our review, we decided to compare the Venture Rewards card to some of its competitors. Take a look at how it stacks up against these travel rewards card heavy-hitters.

If you prefer simple cash back instead:
Capital One Quicksilver: Travelers who prefer cash back to miles or points may like the Quicksilver card from Capital One. The card pays 1.5% unlimited cash back on every purchase, plus a $100 cash back bonus when you spend $500 in the first 3 months.

The Quicksilver card also has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.

 

Capital One Venture

Capital One Quicksilver

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for PurchasesN/A0% intro on purchases for 9 months
Introductory APR for Balance TransfersN/A0% intro on balance transfers for 9 months
Purchase APR13.74% to 23.74% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors13.74% to 23.74% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR13.74% to 23.74% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors13.74% to 23.74% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 intro annual fee for first year; $59 after that$0 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

Cash Back Deal Introductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn a one-time $100 bonus if you spend $500 on purchases within three months of account approval.
Airline DealIntroductory Bonus Airline Rewards: Earn a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months of account approval (worth $400 in travel). 
Cash Back Cash Back Rewards: Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase
TravelTravel Rewards: Earn 2x miles per dollar on all purchases. Redeem your miles for travel purchases on any airline, hotel, or car rental. 
AirlineAirline Rewards: Earn 2x miles per dollar on all purchases 

Capital One Venture: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees were obtained on March 30, 2017 from published websites and are believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Capital One Quicksilver: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees were obtained on March 30, 2017 from published websites and are believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card have been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

If you want a travel rewards card with no annual fee:
Capital One VentureOne: For a no annual fee version of this card, look no further than the VentureOne card from Capital One. It works much the same way as the Capital One Venture, but the rewards are smaller. You'll get 1.25 miles per dollar on everything you spend, with no limit on how many miles you can earn.

 

Capital One Venture

Capital One VentureOne

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for PurchasesN/A0% intro on purchases for 12 months
Purchase APR13.74% to 23.74% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors12.74% to 22.74% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR13.74% to 23.74% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors12.74% to 22.74% (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 intro annual fee for first year; $59 after that$0 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

Airline DealIntroductory Bonus Airline Rewards: Earn a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months of account approval (worth $400 in travel).Introductory Bonus Airline Rewards: Earn a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles if you spend $1,000 on purchases within three months of account approval (worth $200 in travel)
TravelTravel Rewards: Earn 2x miles per dollar on all purchases. Redeem your miles for travel purchases on any airline, hotel, or car rental.Travel Rewards: Earn 1.25 miles per dollar on all purchases. Redeem your miles for travel purchases on any airline, hotel, or car rental.
AirlineAirline Rewards: Earn 2x miles per dollar on all purchasesAirline Rewards: Earn 1.25 miles per dollar on all purchases.

Capital One Venture: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees were obtained on March 30, 2017 from published websites and are believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Capital One VentureOne: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees were obtained on March 30, 2017 from published websites and are believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card have been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Bottom Line

The Venture Rewards card is a good choice for casual travelers who don't have time to deal with a complicated rewards structure and an even more complicated way of redeeming rewards.

It's simple and straightforward to use without having to do any extra work. The 2x miles on everything will have you racking up the miles fast. And you can book your travels however you want with no limitations.

But if you're a more serious traveler, keep in mind that some other travel reward cards offer a shot at earning more rewards. If you love getting the best deals possible, you may like a card that lets you transfer points to airlines and hotels. So before you make your final choice, consider how your spending habits align with the card and how frequently you travel.

(Additional Writing by Anna G)

Rebecca Lake is a journalist at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and financial education website. Write to Rebecca Lake at rebecca@creditdonkey.com. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped travelers make savvy financial and lifestyle decisions. (read more)

Disclaimer: This content was first published on February 3, 2017. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check the issuer's website for updated information.

Disclaimer: The information for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, and Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card have been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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Compare Capital One Venture to:

Compare Capital One Venture vs Chase Sapphire Preferred
Apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
At Chase's Secure Site
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
16.74% - 23.74% Variable
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

Compare Capital One Venture vs Gold Delta SkyMiles
Apply for Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
  • Settle in sooner with Priority Boarding.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Introductory Bonus Airline RewardsAirline RewardsCar Rental InsuranceExtended WarrantyPurchase Protection$0 Fraud LiabilityEmergency Assistance
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
16.49% - 25.49% Variable
$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95

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About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy financial decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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