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New perks the Capital One Venture should offer to stay competitive

Oct. 26, 2021
7 min read
Photo shows signage leading to a Capital One lounge further down the hall
New perks the Capital One Venture should offer to stay competitive
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A few years ago, I was privileged to visit Capital One headquarters with a handful of other miles and points writers to discuss potential Capital One credit card improvements or perhaps an altogether new product. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card needed a refresh — and Capital One knew it. They were (smartly) reaching out to the points and miles community for help.

We've seen tremendous improvements to Capital One miles since, such as valuable airline and hotel partners with solid transfer rates and the ability to convert cash back into Capital One miles. But competitors like Amex, Chase and Citi have been making improvements, too.

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In my opinion, Capital One is the bank that can make the most impactful improvements with the least amount of effort. Capital One, if you're still listening, this is how to tweak the Capital One Venture to become a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card killer.

How Capital One can improve the Capital One Venture

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

The Capital One Venture has a few great things going for it already:

The above benefits are all good — but are they enough to keep the card competitive with the likes of products such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred? Here are some ways we think the card could improve.

Bonus categories

(Photo by Tom Werner/Getty Images)

The Capital One Venture is most famous for one particular card benefit: It earns 2 miles per dollar on all purchases. It's an uncomplicated card that saves you from mentally juggling bonus categories.

Simplicity is a two-edged sword. Capital One could floor the competition if they maintained their minimum 2x earning rate while adding a couple of popular bonus categories, such as supermarkets and gas stations. Chase recently added new bonus categories in its lineup of Sapphire cards with Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders earning 3x on select streaming services and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs).

To remain competitive, Capital One could take a page out of the Chase book and add a few popular bonus categories with elevated rates (above 2x) on specific popular bonus categories.

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Increase redemption value for offsetting travel

The Capital One Venture offers a number of ways to redeem your miles, but only two will provide you with a reasonable value:

  • You can transfer your rewards to airline and hotel partners (we'll talk about that in a bit).
  • You can redeem your rewards at a value of 1 cent each toward travel-related purchases.

This second option has long been the most popular way to use Capital One miles — again, because of its simplicity. Just use your Capital One Venture to make a travel purchase (airfare, rental car, hotel, Airbnb, etc.), and effectively "cash out" your miles at a rate of 1 cent each toward the purchase. If you spend $140 at a hotel, you can later offset the transaction for 14,000 miles.

If Capital One were to increase the value of its miles to 1.25 cents, they could better compete with the likes of the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which offers a similar per-point value when redeeming rewards for travel through the Chase travel portal. In fact, Capital One would even have a big advantage, as you'd be able to book direct.

Transfer bonuses

Capital One has made unbelievable improvements to its loyalty program in 2021. Capital One miles now transfer to 17 partners, 15 of which offer a 1:1 transfer ratio.

In other words, the card's transfer rates are finally on par with other transferable rewards programs such as:

All these programs occasionally offer transfer bonuses to airline and hotel partners. If Capital One targeted more aggressive transfer bonuses exclusively to Capital One Venture cardholders, the card would instantly become more appealing.

Better travel protections

(Photo by Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

There's an area in which the Capital One Venture is conspicuously lacking: built-in travel insurance. The card does offer travel accident insurance and secondary auto rental coverage (both these benefits are available only to accounts approved for the Visa Signature card — terms apply). But one of our favorite travel credit cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred, offers the following:

  • Primary rental car coverage: When you waive the rental agency's collision damage waiver, you'll receive primary car insurance against damage and theft. That could easily save you at least $15 per day over purchasing in-house coverage at the counter.
  • Trip delay insurance: When your flight is delayed by at least 12 hours (or you are required to stay overnight), you'll receive up to $500 per ticket in reasonable expenses such as hotel room, food, transportation, etc.
  • Baggage delay insurance: When your bag is delayed by at least six hours, you'll receive up to $100 in reasonable expenses such as clothes, toiletries, phone chargers, etc., for up to five days.

These benefits are the heart and soul of a travel credit card. They're the reason we tend to book all our travel with cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred to protect us if and when things go wrong, on the road or in the air. If the Capital One Venture adds these precious benefits, it's in the conversation as possibly the top travel rewards card.

Capital One lounges

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

It's confirmed: Capital One lounges are legit. We've only seen inside one (and there are two more to come in 2022), but these look to be serious competitors with the lauded Amex Centurion Lounges, which offer free hot meals and mixed drinks.

If Capital One can manage to open a significant number of lounges in the near future — and perhaps give Capital One Venture cardholders free access — the card's value proposition would spike. Airport lounges are a TPG reader favorite among credit card benefits.

Bottom line

Since its inception, the Capital One Venture has evolved from a card evoking lukewarm sentiments from points and miles enthusiasts to a really solid card, and one that many of us have in our wallets. With even a couple of the above proposed improvements added to the card, I can honestly say I'd likely end up using it more than any card I own.

Let us know what you think Capital One should do to ensure the Capital One Venture remains relevant.

Application link: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Featured image by (Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023