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Why Hotel Elites Should Still Consider The Capital One Venture Rewards Card

June 05, 2018
5 min read
Why Hotel Elites Should Still Consider The Capital One Venture Rewards Card
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Over the last few years we've seen an increase in high-value credit card bonus categories. First, the Chase Sapphire Reserve came on the market with 3x points on travel and dining, equivalent to a 6.3% return based on TPG's latest valuations. In response to the premium competition, Amex updated The Platinum Card® from American Express to include 5x points on airfare purchased directly with the airline, and on airfare and prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel, giving cardholders a 9.5% return.

The most recent and highest value addition has been the partnership between hotels.com and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. Venture cardholders get 10 miles per dollar on Hotels.com bookings made at Hotels.com Venture and paid for with the Venture card through Jan. 31, 2020. Since Venture Rewards points are worth 1 cent each, this is a consistent 10% back on hotel reservations.

This partnership between Hotels.com and Capital One makes a lot of sense; both brands are generally best for "free agent" travelers, those without loyalty to a single airline or hotel chain. Venture Rewards miles can be used to erase travel charges from any airline or hotel you choose while the Hotels.com Rewards program lets you jump between Hyatts and Marriotts and non-chain properties, still earning one free night for every 10 paid nights no matter what brand you choose.

The one downside of Hotels.com is that you generally won't earn points, elite night credits or elite benefits when booking through it — that rule holds true for other third-party travel agencies as well. You might think this gives travelers with hotel elite status a real incentive to book directly with the hotel — but that's overlooking one huge factor.

Hotels.com Can Have Much Lower Rates Than Hotel Websites

While major hotel chains like to claim that they offer the lowest rates on their own rooms, that's not always the case. A little comparison shopping can save you a lot of money.

Let's use the London EDITION as an example. This Tier 4 Ritz-Carlton property is not cheap, with cash rates generally starting at $450 a night. Hotels.com charges the same amount as Marriott.com for a base room, but things start to get interesting when we move up a few categories and try and book a chic and spacious loft room.

For a three-night stay from July 2-July 5, Marriott is charging 2,529 GBP (~$3,370 USD at the time of writing).

For the same room on the same dates, Hotels.com is charging $2,700.84

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Although Marriott offers a best rate guarantee, which claims to match lower rates found within 24 hours of booking, when I submitted a claim for this rate they were only wiling to knock ~$150 off the price. Multiple follow-up emails and screenshots of the Hotels.com website got me nowhere, so I unfortunately can't recommend that as a realistic option.

A $670 savings is exciting on its own, but the savings get even better when we factor in the Venture Rewards miles you'll earn.

Below is a summary of the cost and earnings for each booking avenue. I make two assumptions here, namely that an SPG Platinum elite is making the reservation, and that they're paying with a Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express.

Booking WebsiteCostCredit Card Rewards ($ Value)Hotel Points ($ Value)Net Cost
Marriott.com$3,3706,740 ($181.98)10,110 ($272.97)$2,915.05
Hotels.com$2,700.8427,008 ($270.08)27,008 ($270.08)$2,160.68

While booking directly through Marriott would earn you a respectable haul of ~17,000 Starpoints, you end up paying a nearly $750 premium for that privilege. Meanwhile, by using the Venture Rewards Card you'd start with a $670 savings, but end up $750 ahead once you factored in the 10x miles on Hotels.com bookings and the Hotels.com Rewards loyalty program, which gives 1 free night for every 10 paid nights (essentially another 10% back).

Bottom Line

This strategy isn't for everyone, as you're choosing to forego elite night credits and other benefits in exchange for cash savings. But if you're already re-qualified for status for next year, or hold lifetime elite status, price-comparing at Hotels.com can help you save big on your next vacation. And, in this example, if you were still gunning for elite status, you might consider spending the $750 you saved toward as many nights as possible at a cheaper property to help you meet an elite status level's required number of nights.

Note that not every hotel and not every room type will offer savings this large, but it's certainly worth doing some research before you book.

Featured image by The VentureOne Card from Capital One now offers an astounding 10x miles on Hotels.com purchases.

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Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more