5 reasons to get the Capital One Venture Rewards card
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with current card details.
The world of points and miles can be complex, full of unfamiliar terms, acronyms and abbreviations that can confuse even the most experienced users. That’s why a card like the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card can be a much-needed breath of fresh air and simplicity. While the Venture Rewards card can be a great first step into the high-value world of transferable points, you also have the option to redeem your miles against the cost of most travel expenses charged to the card.
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Or, if you enjoy the thrill of finding and booking a high-value premium-cabin award, the Venture Rewards card also offers the ability to transfer your miles to airline and hotel partners. With a 2:1.5 transfer ratio for 12 partners and a 2:1 ratio for the other three, you can think of the Venture Rewards card as earning 2% cash back toward travel or 1-1.5 partner miles per dollar, whichever gives you more value. Perhaps the best part is that you can mix and match these redemption options as you see fit, giving you a valuable amount of flexibility.
With the addition of two hotel transfer partners and an improved transfer ratio for JetBlue and additional temporary redemption options, there are more great ways than ever to use your Venture Rewards card. Here are five reasons why the Venture Rewards card is one of the best rewards credit cards to have in your wallet.
Strong sign-up bonus worth $1,400
The Capital One Venture card is offering a limited-time bonus of 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $20,000 on purchases within the first 12 months from account opening. You can still earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. The miles are worth 1 cent each if redeemed directly for the cost of travel, so the 100,000-mile bonus is guaranteed to be worth at least $1,000.
TPG’s valuations peg the value of Venture miles at 1.4 cents apiece, so you can also think of this sign-up bonus as being worth $1,000 (based on TPG’s valuation and not provided by the issuer) if you plan to transfer your miles to hotel or airline partners. Of course, it’s possible to get much more value, depending on which partners you leverage.
Earn at least 2x miles on everything
Once you meet the spending requirement to earn the sign-up bonus, you’ll primarily want to use the Capital One Venture card for purchases that don’t earn a bonus on any other card. This is because you’ll earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase you make with the Venture and there are no annual limits to worry about. That translates to a consistent return of 2% back or 1-1.5x airline miles or hotel points per dollar spent, making the Venture card one of the best options for everyday spending.
You’ll also earn 5 miles per dollar for hotel and car rental purchases made through Capital One Travel using your Venture Rewards card account. This means you can earn a return of 5% or 2.5-3.75x airline miles or hotel points per dollar spent on these purchases.
A temporary benefit of the Capital One Venture is earning 5x on Uber Eats through Jan. 31, 2021. There is no cap on how much you can earn — all you have to do is log into your Uber Eats account and use your eligible Capital One credit card for your purchase.
The best part? Since Uber Eats falls under the food delivery redemption category, you could use the Venture to earn 5x on your Uber Eats purchase and then use those miles to directly offset the cost of that order by utilizing current expanded redemption options. It’s another way Capital One is trying to help cardholders get more use out of the card while travel is on the back burner.
Easy to redeem
The simplicity of the Capital One Venture card shines through in its redemption process. To redeem your miles at a fixed value, log onto your Venture Rewards account, choose eligible purchases made in the last 90 days and cover it with your miles. Unlike straight fixed-value cards, there’s no minimum redemption amount. So if you book a domestic award ticket, you can redeem the $5.60 in taxes with just 560 miles. This means that if you choose to use to redeem as a statement credit, there’s no incentive to save up your miles either. You can cash them out as fast as you earn them (assuming you have eligible purchases to erase), and get that money back in your bank account faster.
Through Dec. 31, 2020, cardholders also have expanded redemption options with the Capital One Venture card. Rather than just redeeming those miles for a fixed value on recent eligible travel purchases, Venture cardholders can now also redeem miles at a 1:1 ratio for takeout, food delivery and streaming services.
Right now, travel isn’t at the top of many’s priority lists. Instead, a lot of people are focused on saving money on everyday expenses. Having a flexible card that offers a fixed-rate redemption option in this season of traveling less is incredibly valuable.
- Accor Live Limitless (2:1)
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue
- Alitalia MilleMiglia
- Avianca LifeMiles
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Emirates Skywards (2:1)
- Etihad Guest
- EVA Infinity MileageLands
- Finnair Plus
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Singapore KrisFlyer (2:1)
- Wyndham Rewards
Some of these options, such as Air France/KLM, are also transfer partners for other transferable points currencies, but others, such as Finnair, are entirely new. You have airlines covering all three major alliances (Qantas in Oneworld, Avianca in Star Alliance and Alitalia in SkyTeam, for example), along with several non-alliance airlines such as Etihad.
You also have great diversity within the programs themselves. A number of these partners, such as Cathay Pacific and Qantas, use distance-based award charts (which generally means you’re better off redeeming for short flights). Some of them use zone-based award charts (like Avianca, which is a great way to book cheap premium-cabin Star Alliance awards). Others, such as Air France/KLM, use variable pricing.
The best thing about the Venture Rewards card was always the flexibility it offered and that hasn’t gone away. The addition of transfer partners didn’t replace old redemption options. Instead, the addition of transfer partners supplements the previous options and makes your Venture miles more flexible and valuable in the process.
Low annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
The Capital One Venture card only charges a $95 annual fee, a low cost for such a potentially valuable card. It’s easy to offset the cost of the annual fee between the easy-to-use earning structure, redemption process and perks. As a bonus, you won’t pay foreign transaction fees with the Capital One Venture when making purchases overseas.
Although the Capital One Venture card can’t compete (and isn’t trying to) with ultra-premium cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or The Platinum Card® from American Express, the card offers a modest number of perks. These perks include secondary car rental insurance, travel accident insurance and extended warranty protection.
The Venture Rewards card also offers an up to $100 Global Entry credit or $85 TSA PreCheck fee rebate when you charge the application fee to your card. The perk is available every four years. If you already have Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, you can use this rebate for a friend’s or family member’s application fee instead. This makes the Venture one of the only cards with an annual fee under $100 to offer this perk.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a great hybrid, with miles that can be redeemed for a fixed value or transferred to get you potentially greater value with airline and hotel partners. It’s among the reasons why the Venture card is a favorite of The Points Guy, Brian Kelly.
The more effort you put into your points hobby, the more you’ll get out of it in return. But the Venture Rewards card doesn’t force you to make a serious time commitment to redeem points unless you want to, and you can rest easy knowing that you’ll be earning a minimum of 2% back on every purchase you make with this travel credit card.
If you decide to go the simple route and use your points as a purchase eraser, the Venture card makes it easy to do with no redemption minimum. On the other hand, if you decide to study award charts and look for sweet spots, the 13 airlines and two hotels that Capital One has as Venture transfer partners will give you plenty of options for your next vacation.
Additional reporting by Madison Blancaflor.
Featured photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.