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Updated February 11, 2019

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? Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card might be what you need.

Overall Score

3.8

Rewards

4.0

Fees

4.0

Benefits

3.5
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • 2x points
  • Bonus offer
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • $95 annual fee
  • No intro APR

Bottom Line

Good travel credit card for the occasional traveler

Capital One Venture has long been one of our favorite travel reward cards because of how easy it is to use.

You simply redeem miles for past travel purchases or book new travel. The bonus offer is generous, along with some nice travel perks.

Now, Capital One has sweetened the deal even more by adding airline transfer partners.

So now, you get even more ways to use your rewards. Read on to see if it's right for you.

Who This Card is Good For

  • Casual travelers who want to earn miles without having to do a lot of extra homework.
  • More serious travelers who enjoy transferring points to airline partners to get the most value.
  • Travelers with excellent credit.

But watch out: there is a $95 annual fee.

Is the Capital One Venture right for you? We'll examine the pros and cons below.

Reasons We Like the Venture Card

© CreditDonkey

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

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

  • A hot bonus offer: Capital One dangles a nice carrot for new customers: Earn a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

    Read: 23 Ways to Meet a 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 can be used 2 ways:

    • Applied as a statement credit toward travel-related spending in the previous 90 days. You can use them for any flights, hotel stays, car rentals, cruises, and more.
    • Booking new travel through Capital One's travel portal. You can search for airfare and hotels like you would with other online travel agencies, and then just use your points to pay.

    With these 2 options, there is no miles redemption chart to worry about. You can book flights or hotels for any time, without worrying about award blackouts or restrictions.

    How much are Capital One miles worth? If you are redeeming against recent travel purchases or using miles to purchase travel through Capital One's portal, the redemption value is always 1 cent per mile (so 10,000 miles = $100).

    As you earn 2x miles on every purchase, this redemption rate effectively equals 2% cash back.

  • Option to transfer to airline partners. As of December 2018, Capital One has officially added airline transfer partners to their reward program. This now gives you the option to transfer your miles to the airline's loyalty programs, where your miles could potentially be worth more.

  • Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre application. Every 4 years, you get up to $100 credit when you use your Venture card to pay for a Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application. Global Entry expedites customs, while TSA Pre expedites security screening. These are nice perks for frequent travelers to save on hassle.

    Tip: Between the two, we recommend Global Entry if you qualify. Global Entry is more expensive ($100 vs. $85 for TSA Pre), but it includes TSA Pre. So you essentially get both memberships with one application.

Compare: Capital One Venture and Chase Sapphire Preferred

3 Reasons to Consider Other Cards

© CreditDonkey

The Venture 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.

  • There's a $95 annual fee: Some people may not like the idea of paying money to use a credit card.

    There is a no-annual-fee version of the card: Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card. Instead of 2x miles on purchases, you get 1.25x miles.

    How do you know which is the better deal? If you spend more than $12,672/year ($1,056/month) on your credit card, you will come out ahead in rewards with the Venture, even with the $95 annual fee.

    • With Venture: $12,672/year * 2x miles = 25,344 miles/year = $253/year in rewards
    • With VentureOne: $12,672/year * 1.25x miles = 15,840 miles/year = $158/year in rewards
    • $253 - $158 = $95 (which is the annual fee)

  • You carry a balance: If you don't pay your card off in full each month, the interest rate is quite high. The APR on purchases and balance transfers is 18.99% - 26.99% (Variable), 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.

Did you know: All Capital One cards holders have access to CreditWise - a service that allows you to monitor your credit score. It monitors recent inquires, new account openings, and credit utilization. This can help protect you from becoming a victim of identity theft.

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.

We also like that this card now gives you more options in how you redeem points.

If you're more a casual traveler and just want something simple to use, you can still use this card to redeem against recent travel purchases. You simply book travel and then use your miles as statement credit. You can book on any airline or hotel, at any time. There are absolutely no restrictions on dates, seats, etc.

If you like maximizing rewards, you can also now transfer your miles to airline partners.

How many Capital One miles do I need for a flight? This depends on the cost of your flight. The redemption value is 1 cent per mile. So this means if your flight costs $300, you will need 30,000 points. Earning 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, that means you would need to spend $15,000 to earn enough miles for your flight.

How the Venture Card Compares

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

If you want domestic transfer partners:
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred: This is a popular card for travelers because of its ability to transfer points to multiple travel partners (including United and Southwest). Points transfer at 1:1 ratio to all transfer partners. Even though Chase has less airline partners, you may find that the lineup is stronger, especially for domestic travelers.

Compared to the Capital One Venture card, the Preferred's reward structure isn't as great. But the real value is being able to transfer points, which could potentially make each point worth a lot more.

Read our detailed comparison of the two cards.

If you prefer cash back:
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card: Travelers who prefer cash back to miles or points may like the Quicksilver card. The card earns 1.5% unlimited cash back on every purchase, plus a $200 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.

Compare: Capital One Quicksilver and Chase Freedom Unlimited

If you want a travel rewards card with no annual fee:
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card: For a no-annual fee version of this card, look no further than the VentureOne card. It works much the same way as the Capital One Venture, but the rewards are smaller. You'll get 1.25x miles on all purchases with no limit on how many miles you can earn.

If you spend less than $1,056/month on your credit card, then it's better to go with the VentureOne. You'll be able to keep more rewards since there's no annual fee.

Bottom Line

© CreditDonkey

The Venture card is a solid travel rewards card. The welcome bonus is generous and the 2x miles on everything will have you racking up the miles fast.

It's very versatile in that you can use it to book your travels however you want, with no limitations. And then just redeem for statement credit later. This is great for casual travelers who just want something simple and straightforward.

If you're a more serious traveler, you may enjoy the options to transfer to airline partners too. Though, keep in mind that some other travel reward cards may have better transfer partners for you. So before you make your final choice, consider how your travel habits align with the card.

(Additional Writing by Anna G)

Rebecca Lake is a journalist at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Rebecca Lake at rebecca@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Capital One. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Capital One.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

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 has 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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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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