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There are many flavors of travel rewards credit cards on the market today, making for a crowded space with many potential confusions. A prime example of this involves two cards from the same issuer that are so similar in name that a single, three-letter word (“one”) is the only difference. However, when it comes to the features of the two cards, you’ll find significant variation between the two. Today I want to compare the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card to help you decide which one would be the best fit for your wallet.
Both of these cards got a big boost in January 2018 with the launch of a new partnership with Hotels.com. When you book and pay through Hotels.com/Venture, you’ll now earn 10x miles per dollar spent on these purchases. Since this enhanced earning rate stacks with the Hotels.com Rewards program (which offers a free night after 10 paid nights), you’re essentially getting a return of 20% on these hotel stays.
However, aside from the name and this perk with Hotels.com, the two cards are very different in substance, and today we’ll compare a number of aspects of the cards to highlight these differences.
Here’s a quick table that summarizes the characteristics of each of these two cards:
|Benefit||Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card|
|Sign-up Bonus||Earn 50,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening||Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening|
|Earning rates||10 miles per dollar spent at Hotels.com; 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase||10 miles per dollar spent at Hotels.com; 1.25 miles per dollar spent on every purchase|
|Redemption||Redeem your miles as a statement credit to cover the cost of a travel purchase or redeem points directly for new travel through Capital One||Redeem your miles as a statement credit to cover the cost of a travel purchase or redeem points directly for new travel through Capital One|
|Additional Perks||Visa Signature benefits like purchase security and lost luggage reimbursement; no foreign transaction fees||Visa Signature benefits like purchase security and lost luggage reimbursement; no foreign transaction fees|
|Annual Fee||$95 (waived for the first year)||$0|
As you can see, there are some notable differences between the two, so let’s take a deeper dive into each category.
The first major difference applies to new cardholders of the two Venture cards. If you open the Venture Rewards Card, you’ll take home 50,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. This haul is worth $500 if you redeem your miles for travel purchases. On the other hand, the VentureOne Rewards Card will only award 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening, worth just $200. As a result, if you’re looking solely at the value you’d get from the first year of cardmembership, the Venture Rewards Card comes out ahead.
In both the first year and beyond, it’s critical to consider the earning rates on the two cards. While both will award you 10 miles per dollar spent at Hotels.com, there’s a notable difference in the miles you’d earn on everyday purchases:
- Venture Rewards Card: 2 miles per dollar spent (2% return)
- VentureOne Rewards Card: 1.25 miles per dollar spent (1.25% return)
What’s nice about both of these cards is the simplicity of the earning structure. Aside from the obviously lucrative Hotels.com angle, you don’t have to worry about rotating bonus categories or certain purchases earning more miles than others. The earning rate is consistent across all purchases.
As noted above, both Venture cards fall into the category of fixed-value rewards cards, and they have an identical redemption scheme. Even though you aren’t able to redeem your miles for maximum value (as you are with other currencies), you’re guaranteed a value of 1 cent per point, assuming you use one of these three redemption options:
- Erase a previous travel purchase (made within the last 90 days)
- Book new travel directly through Capital One
- Redeem for gift cards
Both cards also allow cash-back redemptions, but your value drops to just 0.5 cents per mile if you go down this pathway, so you’re much better off using one of these three methods.
Both the Venture Rewards Card and VentureOne Rewards Card are Visa Signature cards, and this designation provides an array of perks. You can view a full listing of perks at this PDF link, but here are some of the most notable ones:
- Lost luggage reimbursement: Coverage of up up $3,000 per trip if your bags are lost or stolen during a trip paid for with the Venture or VentureOne Rewards Card
- Purchase security: Coverage of up to $500 per item in the event of theft or damage to an eligible item charged to the card within the first 90 days of purchase.
- Luxury Hotel Collection: Includes additional perks at hundreds of luxury hotels and resorts around the world.
In addition to these Visa Signature perks, neither card charges foreign transaction fees, making them great options to take outside of the US. Note that the VentureOne Rewards Card is one of the few that waives these fees and also don’t impose an annual fee on cardholders. Speaking of which…
The final key distinction between the two cards involves the annual fee. The Venture Rewards Card imposes a $95 annual fee, though it is waived for the first year. The VentureOne Rewards Card, on the other hand, never imposes an annual fee on cardholders. The two cards are tied in this category for the first year (though you could argue that the Venture Card gets the nod due to the enhanced benefits), but the VentureOne Card becomes the better long-term option if you’re dead-set against paying an annual fee.
Which card should you get?
Given the above information, is there one card that stands out? Just like any decision in the points and miles hobby, there’s not necessarily a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, here are a few guidelines to help you make a decision:
- Go with the Venture Rewards Card in year one. For the first year, there’s a simple answer: Go with the Venture Rewards Card. There’s no out-of-pocket cost, since the $95 annual fee is waived, and you’ll earn a higher sign-up bonus and better earning rates on everyday purchases. You’ll essentially get a year to test out the “premium” version of the Venture card before committing to a long-term relationship.
- If you plan to spend more than $12,666.67 per year, go with the Venture Rewards card in the long-term. After the first year, the biggest difference between the cards is the earning rates on purchases (other than those at Hotels.com). On every dollar you spend, you’ll earn an extra 0.75 miles on the Venture Card compared to the VentureOne Card. Since these miles are worth 1 cent apiece towards redemptions, you’re earning an extra 0.75 cents for every dollar worth of purchases. At this rate, you’ll earn enough extra miles on the Venture Card to cover the $95 annual fee by spending $12,666.67 in a year.
- If you absolutely can’t stomach the idea of paying an annual fee, go with the VentureOne Rewards card. Many of my friends and family members simply can’t understand why I pay an annual fee on one credit card (let alone on multiple cards). If you still haven’t come around to the idea, make the simple decision and go with the VentureOne Rewards card. Earning a 1.25% return on every purchase plus the equivalent of 20% back on Hotels.com purchases is a solid earning rate, and it’s one of the few cards with no annual fee that also waives foreign transaction fees.
Sorting through the various travel rewards credit cards can be a difficult task, and when you have two cards with almost identical names, this task gets even more challenging. However, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card offer very different value propositions, so if you’re intrigued by the new partnership with Hotels.com, it’s critical to choose the best one for your spending and travel patterns. Hopefully this post has given you a framework to help make that decision!