Capital One Venture Card vs. Capital One VentureOne Card: Which one is right for you?
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and card details.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has long been a top travel rewards credit card with a manageable annual fee, a solid sign-up bonus and a strong flat-rate earning structure. But you may not realize that this popular card also has a no-annual-fee sister card: the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card.
Both of these Venture-family cards got two major upgrades in 2018. At the end of the year, Capital One added more than a dozen new and valuable transfer partners, making the Venture and VentureOne two of the most flexible rewards cards in the points-and-miles game.
Yet despite the similar names and the identical redemption options, these two cards are geared toward different types of travelers.
|Card||Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card|
|Sign-up Bonus||Earn up to 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.||Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months from account opening|
2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase
1.25 miles per dollar spent on every purchase
|Redemption||Redeem miles as a statement credit to cover the cost of eligible purchases or redeem miles directly for new travel through Capital One. Miles also transfer to 15 airlines at ratios of 2:1 or 2:1.5||Redeem miles as a statement credit to cover the cost of eligible purchases or redeem miles directly for new travel through Capital One. Miles also transfer to 15 airlines at ratios of 2:1 or 2:1.5|
|Additional Perks||Up to $100 in statement credits for Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee
Visa Signature benefits including purchase security and lost luggage reimbursement
No foreign transaction fees
|Visa Signature benefits including purchase security and lost luggage reimbursement
No foreign transaction fees
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. One of the most important considerations when opening a new card is the sign-up bonus you stand to earn. If you open the Venture Rewards Card, you’ll take home up to 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. This haul is worth up to $1,000 if you redeem your miles for travel purchases, or potentially worth up to $1,400 or more according to TPG valuations (not provided by the issuer) if you leverage Capital One’s suite of airline and hotel transfer partners.
On the other hand, the VentureOne Rewards Card will only award 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months from account opening, worth a minimum of $200 through fixed-value redemptions or closer to $280 if you transfer to partner airlines or hotels. As a result, if you’re looking solely at the value you’d get from the first year of card membership, the Venture Rewards Card comes out ahead. Even after accounting for the $95 annual fee, the full-fledged Venture Rewards card pays for itself for the first couple of years on the strength of its sign-up bonus alone.
Long after your sign-up bonus has been earned and spent, one of the primary reasons you’ll choose to keep a card open is the bonus categories it offers. The flat-rate earning rates differ:
- Venture Rewards Card: 2 miles per dollar spent (2.8% return)
- VentureOne Rewards Card: 1.25 miles per dollar spent (1.75% return)
Most people pick a credit card with a great bonus category for travel or dining but forget that most purchases fall under the mundane category of everyday spending. It’s important not to leave rewards on the table here, and the Venture Rewards card is one of the best values for these unglamorous-but-frequent purchases.
Redemption options is the area where the two cards really converge. Both earn Capital One miles, which can be redeemed at a fixed-rate for travel (and temporarily some non-travel) purchases or transferred to partners.
On the one hand, redeeming your miles at a fixed value of one cent each to redeem miles for recent travel on your statement takes away the hassle of searching for award space and understanding complex networks of transfer partners. Plus, there is a much larger breadth of travel purchases you can then use your miles on than standard airfare or hotel redemptions you get from transferring. The downside is that your redemption is capped at one cent per mile, which isn’t ideal for those of us who like to score aspirational premium-cabin award tickets, even if they require a little extra legwork.
Transferring miles to partners has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Some of these programs are rather obscure (and many others are shared with other transferable points/miles currencies), but Capital One has included a number of truly high-value partners. But then you also have to consider that the transfer rate from the Venture and VentureOne aren’t on par with other top transferable currencies. You’re transferring at a 2:1.5 rate most of the time (though occasionally at an even less-appealing rate).
While the cards are equal in terms of redemption options, the Venture still comes out on top because of the speed at which you earn miles. With miles transferring to most airlines at a 2:1.5 ratio and the Venture Rewards card earning 2x miles per dollar on most purchases, you can think of it as earning 1.5x airline miles per dollar. Meanwhile, the VentureOne earns closer to .94x partner airline miles per dollar, which isn’t a great return.
Both the Venture Rewards Card and VentureOne Rewards Card can be issued as Visa Signature cards. This designation provides an array of perks. You can view a full listing of perks on Capital One’s website.
In addition to these Visa Signature perks, neither card charges foreign transaction fees. In fact, the VentureOne Rewards Card is one of the few that has neither foreign transaction fees and no annual fee.
The final key distinction between the two cards involves the annual fee. The Venture Rewards Card imposes a $95 annual fee. The VentureOne Rewards Card, on the other hand, never imposes an annual fee on cardholders.
If you’re planning on using your card for your non-bonus spending, you’ll likely be better off with the Venture, even with its annual fee. Ignoring the identical 5x categories on both cards, if you’re spending more than $12,667 annually (or $1,055 per month) on non-bonus spending, you’ll be earning more in rewards value with the Venture even once you take out the cost of the card’s $95 annual fee.
Which card should you get?
Does either card stand out for you? Here are a few guidelines to help you make a decision:
- If you plan on using the card for most non-bonus purchases, get the Venture. While the Venture does come with an annual fee, it’s not a steep annual fee. If you’re spending more than $1,055 in non-bonus spending per month (or $12,667 annually), the Venture becomes more valuable long-term. That’s not including the value you get from the Venture’s Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit you can use once enrollment centers are once again open for interviews.
- If you’re looking for a larger sign-up bonus, get the Venture. The Venture has a sign-up bonus worth more than double the value of the VentureOne. If you can hit the spending requirement for the Venture, it’s worth applying for this card over the VentureOne for the larger bonus. It alone will more than offset the cost of the annual fee for the Venture in your first year. But note that spending $20,000 in 12 months to get the Venture’s 100,000-mile bonus may be too much some cardholders.
- If you have a low budget, get the VentureOne. On the opposite end of that spectrum, those with small budgets could be better off with the VentureOne. Since you’re getting the same redemption options from both cards and the same 5x bonus categories, the lower earning rate could be worth it in exchange for no annual fee if you know you won’t spend much on the card each year.
- If you don’t have credit built yet, try the VentureOne. Finally, keep in mind that the Venture requires a higher credit score than the VentureOne, which is a bit easier to be approved for. If you’re a true beginner just getting started with credit card rewards, you may be more likely to be approved for the VentureOne.
Sorting through travel rewards credit cards can be difficult, and when you have two cards with almost identical names, the task gets even more challenging. However, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card offer very different value, so if you’re intrigued by the ability to transfer miles to partner airlines, it’s critical to choose the best one for your spending and travel patterns.
Additional reporting by Madison Blancaflor.
Featured image by John Gribben for The Points Guy.
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