What credit score do you need to get the Capital One Venture Rewards card?

Apr 2, 2020

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At TPG we devote a significant amount of time to talking about how credit scores work, how you can improve yours and how you can keep it in shape. We know that scores in the mid-700s and above will likely be enough to get you approved for most cards, but having a lower score doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t get those cards.

There isn’t a magic number that guarantees approval for a specific card, but we can analyze public data points to help you gauge your odds. We’ve previously uncovered the unpublished (and perhaps unofficial) credit score requirements for cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card. Today, we’ll turn our attention to the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.

(Photo by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

The Capital One Venture card is one of the best rewards credit cards on the market and is especially attractive for those just starting out in the world of points and miles. It comes with a 75,000-mile welcome bonus (worth $1,388 based on TPG valuations and not provided by the issuer) after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. The card also offers 2x miles on purchases. You can redeem points for a fixed value on travel purchases or transfer them to an airline or hotel partner. The card has a reasonable $95 annual and includes an application-fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years. The card has no foreign transaction fees.

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Credit score required for the Capital One Venture Rewards

Reports suggest that you’ll need a score of at least 700 to get approved for the Capital One Venture card, though people with lower scores have been approved. According to data from LendingTree, the average score to get approved for the card is 738. The typical low score is 664. These scores are considered “good” to “very good” and are comparable to the score you need to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

If you’re worried about being rejected, Capital One has a pre-qualification tool on its website that allows you to see if you have a good chance of being approved before you fill out an application. Also, keep in mind that there are many other factors that go into qualification beyond your score. For instance, having too many recent inquiries on your credit report can hurt your approval odds even if your credit score is in the high 700s.

How many card accounts can I have open?

Capital One has some credit card application restrictions that you need to be aware of. First, the issuer limits you to having two Capital One personal credit cards at a time. So, if you have the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, for instance, Capital One will automatically reject your application for the Capital One Venture card. However, this rule typically doesn’t count Capital One cobranded cards and small-business cards like the Capital One Spark Miles for Business. You’ll also only be approved for one Capital One-issued card every six months. The information for the Capital One Savor has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

(Photo by Orli Friedman / The Points Guy)
Capital One limits how many accounts you can have. (Photo by Orli Friedman / The Points Guy)

How to check your credit score

You should never be shelling out cash to check your credit score. Most credit cards come with a free FICO score calculator. This makes it easy to see where your score lies on the scale from good to bad and keep up to date on how you’re doing in terms of each of the categories listed below. You can also easily open accounts on a site like Credit Karma or Credit Sesame. These sites are free and can help you keep even better track of your score and its factors. You can also use these services to dispute any information on your score that isn’t accurate or appears to be fraudulent. Sites like Credit Karma also provide regular, automatic updates when your score changes, as well as alerts any time a new inquiry is added to your credit report.

Related: How to check your credit score for absolutely free

Factors that affect your credit score

Before you start applying for any credit cards, it’s important to understand the factors that make up your credit score, as the mere act of applying for new lines of credit will change your score.

Your length of credit history makes up 15% of your FICO score.
(Photo from Myfico.com)

Although the exact formula for calculating your credit score is kept secret, FICO is transparent about the factors they asses and how much weight each is given:

Payment history: 35% of a FICO score is made up of your payment history. If you get behind in making loan payments, the longer and more recent the delinquency, the greater the negative impact on your credit score.

Amounts owed (utilization): 30% of your FICO score consists of the relative size of your current debt. In particular, your debt-to-credit ratio is the total of your debts divided by the total amount of credit that you’ve been extended across all accounts. Many people claim that it’s best to have a debt-to-credit ratio below 20%, but that’s not a magic number.

Length of credit history: 15% of your score is based on the average length of all accounts on your credit history. This becomes a significant factor for those who have very little credit history, such as young adults, recent immigrants and anyone who has largely avoided credit. It can also be a factor for people who open and close accounts within a very short period of time.

New credit: 10% of your credit score is determined by your most recent accounts. Having recently opened too many accounts will have a negative impact on your score, as the scoring models will interpret this as a sign of possible financial distress.

Credit mix: 10% of your score is related to how many different types of credit accounts you have, such as mortgages, car loans, credit loans and store charge cards. Having a larger mix of types of loans is better than having fewer, but no one recommends taking out unnecessary loans just to boost your credit score.

Related: 5 ways to improve your credit score

New credit is an especially important factor in the case of Capital One. Although there’s no official policy on this, Capital One has rejected many people with excellent credit scores simply because they have too many recent inquiries on their credit reports. So, if you’re the type of person who likes to apply for credit cards in batches of 2-3 at a time, you should prioritize your application for the Capital One Venture card to minimize the number of recent inquiries on your report.

Capital One might also be hesitant to approve you for a new line of credit if you have any delinquencies or bankruptcies showing on your credit report, even if your score is otherwise near-perfect. It’s important to remember that your credit profile is more than just a number, it’s a collection of information given to the issuer to analyze your creditworthiness.

What to do if you get rejected

Do not give up if your application for the card gets denied. If you receive a rejection letter, the first thing you should do is look at the reasons given for your rejection. By law, card issuers are required to send you a written or electronic communication explaining what factors prevented you from being approved.

Next, call Capital One’s application services line at 800-625-7866 (unlike some issuers, Capital One doesn’t have a dedicated reconsideration line). Tell the person on the phone that you recently applied for the Capital One Venture card and “I was surprised to see that my application was rejected and I would like to speak to someone about getting that decision reconsidered.” From there, it’s up to you to build a case and convince the agent on the phone why you deserve the credit card.

If you were rejected because your credit history is too short, for example, you can point to your stellar record of on-time payments. If you were rejected for missed payments, you can explain that those were a long time ago and your record since then has been perfect.

There’s no guarantee that this strategy will work, but there are many reports of rejections being reversed on reconsideration, so it can’t hurt to try. Just know that Capital One will not reconsider your application until you’ve formally received a letter on the status of your application — so don’t call right away simply because you weren’t automatically approved.

Bottom line

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card comes with a great welcome bonus and valuable perks, but before you apply, you need to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the application process and think about whether your credit score is high enough to get approved. It’s important to have a good score, but there are also other factors and rules specific to Capital One that you need to be aware of, such as not having more than two personal cards with the issuer. 

If you’ve recently applied for the Capital One Venture card, feel free to share your application experiences in the comments below.

Apply here for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Further reading:

New to the points and miles game? Check out our beginner’s guide for everything you need to know to get started!

Featured image by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy


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