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Is the Capital One Venture X worth the $395 annual fee?

September 18 2022
11 min read
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Premium credit cards are not new. Both Chase and American Express have offered them for years now. Citi also offered a premium card for several years, though it's no longer available to new applicants.

However, Capital One's foray into the arena of luxury rewards credit cards is a relative newcomer when compared to other banks' products. The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card arrived last year with a $395 annual fee — a full $300 per year more than the fee on most of the issuer's other credit cards.

This caused many Capital One customers' jaws to drop as they asked, "Is it worth it?" Does this card really offer $300 worth of additional benefits over those other cards? Let's take a look at what you get for this $395 per year to see if the fee is worth it on the Venture X card.

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Welcome bonus

In examining whether or not the card is worth it, let’s start with the introductory bonus offer. That's going to decide a large portion of the value you obtain from a credit card during the first year.

New applicants for the Venture X card can earn 75,000 bonus Capital One miles after spending $4,000 on the card within the first three months from account opening.

According to TPG's valuations, these miles are worth 1.85 cents apiece. That makes this bonus worth $1,387.50.

THE POINTS GUY

The value of these miles has increased in recent years, thanks to Capital One adding more transfer partners (there are now 17 in total) and improving the transfer ratio on multiple partners. There are many ways to redeem your miles for high value. (See our guide to redeeming Capital One miles for maximum value.)

It's worth noting that Capital One can be stingy when it comes to approving applications for credit cards. You can only have two personal credit cards from Capital One at any given time. Plus, the bank is known for being very sensitive about the information on your credit report, including your number of recent hard inquiries, new accounts and overall accounts with other issuers. Understand that exceptions do exist, but do take this information into account when deciding whether to apply for the Venture X card.

Related: Our complete guide to credit card application restrictions

$300 annual travel credit

Venture X cardholders receive up to $300 in travel credits per year on bookings made through the Capital One Travel portal.

The $300 annual statement credit perk with Capital One Travel is simple. Every account year you receive up to $300 in statement credits toward purchases made through Capital One Travel, including hotel bookings, car rentals and airfare.

Related: How the Capital One Venture X travel credit can save you $300 on your summer trip

However, the credit is not applicable to travel purchases made through any other channel. While that makes it more restrictive than the annual $300 travel credit available with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, it is still relatively easy to use and it substantially offsets the card’s $395 fee — as long as you actually take advantage of it.

There are some downsides to using a third-party booking service; notably, elite perks are usually not recognized for hotels and rental cars. However, Capital One has made significant strides in improving the travel booking experience, most recently investing in booking platform Hopper and adding customer-friendly features like price-drop prediction and a best-price guarantee. The best uses of this credit are booking stays at boutique hotels or those where status benefits don't matter to you, as well as flights or rental car bookings with Hertz.

CAPITAL ONE

Anniversary bonus miles

Venture X cardholders have a second annual benefit, which is 10,000 bonus miles on your account anniversary. This means you receive these miles one year after opening your account and each subsequent year on that date, not at the start of a new year each January.

According to the latest TPG valuations, 10,000 Capital One miles are worth $185, thanks to the potential value from airline and hotel transfer partners. However, if you were to redeem the 10,000 miles at a fixed value on travel purchases, you’d “only” get $100 in value, which is still pretty good.

Combined with the $300 Capital One Travel portal statement credit, cardholders are looking at an easy $400 in value from their card each year — more than offsetting its $395 annual fee. During the first year, you'll get even more value from receiving the welcome bonus points.

See also: Our full review of the Capital One Venture X

Lounge access

Venture X cardholders have access to three types of lounges: Priority Pass, Plaza Premium and Capital One's own lounges.

WYATT SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

Priority Pass includes more than 1,300 lounges around the world and the Priority Pass Select membership included with the Venture X card allows you and two complimentary guests to visit these lounges without paying additional fees to get in. Unlike the restriction for American Express cardholders, Venture X cardholders can visit Priority Pass-affiliated restaurants that are available in some airports. This could get you a free meal while waiting for your flight, rather than just snacks during your layover.

Related: Skip the lounge and get free food at 29 US restaurants that are part of Priority Pass

Additionally, Venture X cardholders have access to Plaza Premium lounges and Capital One lounges, along with two free guests. At present, there is just one Capital One lounge open at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) but more lounges are slated to open in early 2023. These will be at Denver International Airport (DEN) and Washington's Dulles International Airport (IAD).

Car rental perks

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card has two key benefits related to rental cars: earning 10 miles per dollar on all car rentals booked through the Capital One Travel portal (instead of 2 miles per dollar when booked elsewhere) and top-tier Hertz President's Circle status.

SCOTT MAYEROWITZ/THE POINTS GUY

You'll need to register for this perk with Hertz first. President's Circle status offers perks like guaranteed upgrades, the widest choice of cars when starting your rental and a free additional driver (which typically costs $13.50 per day, up to a maximum of $189 during your rental).

Most importantly, you can skip the line and head straight to your car at most major airports, which can save you a ton of time, especially during busy travel periods. You can also use this to status match to other programs, gaining elite status with those rewards programs as well.

Related: Stacking rental car perks with Hertz and the Venture X

Excellent perks for up to 4 free authorized users

While many credit cards reserve their best perks only for the primary account holder, that's not the case with the Venture X. Cardholders can add up to four free authorized users to the account. These users can receive the following perks in their own right, all without paying a fee:

Related: You and 14 friends can all access the airport lounge with this card

LEOPATRIZI/GETTY IMAGES

It's important to note that some perks are still reserved only for the primary cardholder. These include the 10,000 bonus miles being deposited into that person's account on the account anniversary; authorized users won't get their own allotment of bonus miles. Authorized users also don't get their own $300 travel credit each year; however, purchases by authorized users can be offset by the primary cardmember's travel credit. Lastly, authorized users won't get their own application fee reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck (explained in the next section); that perk is shared across all members of the account.

Related: 8 frequently asked questions about the Capital One Venture X card

When analyzing these benefits for authorized users, compare them to the perks offered to authorized users on other premium travel cards and the associated fees. For comparison, The Platinum Card® from American Express charges $175 for three authorized users (see rates and fees), and the Chase Sapphire Reserve charges $75 per authorized user. This makes the Venture X a much more affordable option for couples or families.

Other perks

Venture X cardholders can receive reimbursement for their application fee to TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. This benefit is available once every four years and is worth up to $100 in statement credits.

Cardholders also have access to a number of travel and shopping protections when paying with their card:

  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance: Up to $2,000 per person for you and immediate family members for prepaid, nonrefundable tickets.*
  • Trip delay reimbursement: Up to $500 per person for reasonable expenses like hotel rooms, food, toiletries or clothes when your flight is delayed overnight or by six hours or more.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement: Up to $3,000 per covered trip if the airline damages or loses your bags.*
  • Cellphone protection: By using the card to pay your monthly wireless bill, you’re eligible for up to $800 in coverage per claim with a maximum of two claims and $1,600 per 12-month period. A $50 deductible applies per occurrence.
  • Primary rental car insurance: Up to $75,000 for damage caused by collision or theft to a rental car.*
  • Purchase, extended warranty and return protection: Up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account on purchases; warranties extended by an additional year; and returns up to $300 per item and $1,000 per account.*

*Benefits available on Visa Infinite cards.

Related: 6 things to do when you get the Capital One Venture X

10,000 HOURS/GETTY IMAGES

Bottom line

In summary, what are the perks available to Venture X cardholders worth?

Cardholders can get up to $300 per year in travel credits and $100-$185 worth of anniversary bonus miles every year. Plus, they receive a once-per-four-years credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck (we'll divide $100 by four and call that $25 per year in value).

Totaling at least $425 in value each year, these benefits add up to more than the $395 annual fee on the Venture X. And that doesn't take into account the intangibles, like the value your authorized users might achieve, the free food you consume at lounges or the money you save via purchase protections. Of course, those benefits only provide value if you're using them.

So is the Venture X worth its $395 annual fee? Those who use the card's perks will certainly believe so. Those who don't travel as much may struggle to justify the annual fee after the first year.

Official application link: Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card with a 75,000-mile welcome bonus after you spend $4,000 on the card within three months of account opening.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, click here.

Featured photo by WALLACE COTTON/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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