3 Reasons Families Need the Improved 75,000 Mile Capital One Venture Card
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The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has been sitting toward the top of my list of the best credit cards for families for quite a while. You don’t need a Ph.D. in miles and points to earn 2 miles per dollar on all purchases and 10 miles per dollar at Hotels.com when booking rooms through the dedicated link. Throw in having a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit every four years (use it for a spouse or kid if you already have it on another card), no foreign transaction fees, the $95 annual fee waived the first year and you’re heading in the right direction to travel more for less.
It was already quite good — but the Venture Rewards Card (and other similar Capital One cards) just got way better whether your family likes to keep rewards simple or you’re ready to take things to the next level.
1. Bigger 75,000 Mile Sign-Up Bonus
As of this week, the Capital One Venture Rewards now comes with a bigger sign-up bonus of 75,000 miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months from when you open an account (up from 50k miles previously).
While those miles can now be worth more than before (more on that in a minute), you still have the option to redeem the miles for 1 cent apiece as a statement credit toward travel purchases. To do this, just charge travel to the card (including everything from flight and hotel bookings to taxis, Uber and Airbnb purchases) and then erase the charge using your Capital One miles. If you stick to this traditional method of redeeming Capital One miles, the sign-up bonus would be worth $750, which is pretty outstanding for a card with the annual fee waived the first year.
2. Introduction of 12 Airline Transfer Partners
An increased 75,000 mile sign-up bonus is more than enough to get me excited, but it gets even better. Until now, Capital One has never offered transfer partners, but that is changing in December with the introduction of (at least) 12 airline transfer partners. Here’s the officially announced Capital One transfer partner line-up:
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue
- Alitalia MilleMiglia
- Avianca LifeMiles
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Etihad Guest
- EVA Infinity MileageLands
- Finnair Plus
- Hainan Fortune Wings Club
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club
The transfer ratio for these programs is 2 Capital One miles = 1.5 airline miles. That sort of weird ratio is probably because the Venture Rewards Card — and the Capital One Spark Miles for Business Card — earn 2x miles on everyday purchases. So, think of it as for every dollar you charge to these cards, you earn 1.5 airline miles in any of these programs (which is better than with most airline cards). Eligible Hotels.com purchases made on the Venture Card will earn 7.5 miles in these programs for every dollar you spend.
3. Redeem Miles for Greater Value
At TPG, we love transfer partners as they represent the opportunity to get outsized value from our miles and points, so Capital One adding transfer partners is tremendous news. That said, the line-up of transfer partners is … quirky. But, don’t tune it out just yet as there are gems in the rough.
Air Canada’s Aeroplan, Avianca LifeMiles and (to a lesser extent) Air France/KLM’s Flying Blue are pretty easy to use and potentially very valuable for families who want to travel more for less. We are creating in-depth guides to help you maximize these miles, but here are a few ideas to get you thinking right now.
Avianca is in the Star Alliance, just like United Airlines. This means you can use Avianca LifeMiles to book United-operated flights. Not only that, but the award rates can be lower using LifeMiles than if you used United miles since LifeMiles uses a somewhat unique zone map for flights within the United States. If you stay within a designated zone (as shown on my unofficial paint-by-numbers map below), flights can cost as little as 7,500 miles each way. Being able to fly as far as from Miami to Montana on United for just 7,500 LifeMiles is an outstanding value. That’s an award flight for every $5,000 in everyday spending charged to your Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
Another new transfer partner program for families to at least peek at is Aeroplan, the frequent flyer program for Air Canada. Aeroplan is also in the Star Alliance and can be a great choice if you want to fly in business class to Europe for just 55,000 miles per person each way. For reference, United would want 70,000 miles each way. Aeroplan does pass along fuel surcharges with some programs, but this still leaves Brussels Airlines, SWISS, LOT Polish, Turkish and United as solid choices. Here’s more advice to avoid fuel surcharges on award flights.
With those sort of uses (and many more) in mind, TPG has landed on a new valuation for Capital One of 1.4 cents per mile (and here’s a fun discussion on how we got to that number). If that valuation aligns with how you will use these miles going forward, that means that you are actually earning 2.8 cents in miles for every dollar charged to the Venture Rewards Card. That puts it right up there with some of the very best cards to use for everyday spending.
There’s a 200,000 Mile Offer, Too
Most families will want to zero in on the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and its 75,000 mile bonus, but I have to at least mention that the Capital One Spark Miles for Business is offering a crazy 200,000 mile bonus paid out in two tiers. First, you’ll earn 50,000 miles when you spend $5,000 in the first three months, but then you’ll earn another 150,000 miles when you spend $50,000 in the first six months of opening your account.
That’s on top of the 2 miles per dollar you already earn with the card on all purchases, which means after spending $50,000, you’ll have an incredible 300,000 Capital One miles to use for your family. This offer won’t help all families, but it might if your family runs a small business!
The new bonus on the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is worth a minimum of $750 if redeemed to erase travel charges, but TPG’s most recent valuations peg it at $1,050 thanks to the new transfer partners (and it could be worth more depending on your redemption).
Whether you want to use these Capital One miles to fly your family on United for 7,500 miles each way by transferring to LifeMiles, enjoy a lie-flat seat to Europe by transferring 55,000 miles to Aeroplan or you just want to redeem the miles at a fixed-value of 1 cent per mile to erase travel charges, the available bonus and list of redemption options just got much better on the Venture Rewards Credit Card.
For more information, check out Best Ways to Redeem 75,000 Venture Miles, Capital One Adds Transfer Partners or you can listen to the first episode of our new podcast “Talking Points, which you’ll find below or on Apple iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Acast, Overcast, TuneIn and PocketCasts.