Why the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card has a front spot in our wallets
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
When we first added the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, it was mostly about snagging an elevated sign-up bonus. Currently, you'll earn up to 100,000 bonus miles after spending $20,000 in the first 12 months of account opening. If that's too rich for your blood, you can still earn 50,000 miles when spending $3,000 in the first three months of account opening. Either way, this is a fantastic tiered sign-up bonus that can result in endless travel redemptions.
However, what I didn't know when we applied was that this card would quickly claim a prominent spot in my wallet and my husband's long after the bonus miles were spent. Here are all the reasons why we are using the Capital One Venture Card more than I expected.
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2x is solid
My husband will never have lots of cards in his wallet and worry about keeping up with category bonuses for various transactions. He will, however, primarily use whichever card I indicate is best at the time. And there are no fees for adding an authorized user to your Capital One Venture account.
When he isn't working on hitting a spending bonus, earning 2x miles everywhere by using the Venture Card isn't bad and is actually better than most of the cards on the market for non-bonus spending. If you maximize the miles via transfer partners, then TPG valuations say you can get 1.7 cents per mile, which equates to a 3.4% return on everyday charges made to the card. That might not be the absolute best return for everyday spending, but it's pretty darn close.
Flexible points are simply the best
I can't give up earning airline miles because there are times when the outsized value they provide can't be beat. But, as award charts fade, flexible points are the best type to have. And it seems that the international airline programs that are in the Capital One transfer partner lineup may turn out to be the best options for booking many awards since they largely still have traditional award charts in play.
With Capital One's recent addition of four new transfer partners (British Airways, Choice Hotels, TAP Air Portugal and Turkish Airlines) and an improved 1:1 transfer tier for select programs, there's even more reason to love this card. Plus, Capital One is in the works of adding a network of airport lounges, starting at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Washington's Dulles Airport (IAD).
But here's the truth. I haven't (yet) transferred any of our Capital One miles to partners. Maybe we will one day, as there are some great options out there, from Air Canada Aeroplan to Etihad Guest. But for now, I've enjoyed the heck out of booking whatever travel we want and then redeeming the miles to offset the travel purchase with a few simple clicks of the mouse.
For example, my husband wanted to meet our family in Hawaii a few summers back and needed to fly on a certain date, at a certain time and on a particular route to maximize his time with us. In this particular situation, it was best to buy a cash ticket and then reimburse ourselves with Venture miles. Since he had no flexibility, traditional airline miles provided no value, even though Hawaii can sometimes be a great deal with airline miles.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of my current favorite credit cards for families who travel — and that recommendation isn't just based on stats or bullet points. It's based on the reality that this card has (somewhat unexpectedly) crept to the front of our own wallets as a way of simplifying while still maximizing earnings. And we can't forget it's the one card The Points Guy — Brian Kelly — says is the one he can't live without.
While these aren't the reasons we are using our card, the Capital One Venture comes with other perks, such as an up-to-$100 Global Entry or $85 TSA PreCheck fee rebate every four years, which is handy since we have several of these fees to pay in our family. There is a $95 annual fee, which is reasonable given the solid 2x rewards rate and other ongoing travel benefits. Plus, no foreign transaction fees mean you can continue using the Venture card when you travel abroad. All of these add up to show why this is one of our best travel credit cards.
If you don't yet have the Venture card, now is a great time to apply for one to protect yourself a bit from recent devaluations and maybe even simplify your award travel strategy a bit in the process. When you're ready to start traveling again, you'll have a healthy stash of miles redeemable for up to $1,700 worth of travel.
Apply link: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card available for a limited time with up to 100,000 bonus miles.
Additional reporting by Katie Genter and Stella Shon.