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The world of points and miles is nothing if not complex, full of acronyms and abbreviations that can confuse even the most experienced users. So that’s why a card like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card can be welcome for a much-needed breath of fresh air and simplicity, if you choose to use the “purchase eraser” feature and redeem your miles against the cost of almost any travel expenses charged to the card.
If, on the other hand, you enjoy the thrill of finding and booking a high-value premium-cabin award, the Venture Rewards card offers the ability to transfer your miles to 14 airline partners. With a 2:1.5 transfer ratio for 12 partners and a 2:1 ratio for the other two, you can now think of the Venture Rewards card as earning 2% cash back or 1-1.5 airline miles per dollar, whichever gives you more value.
With this recent addition on the redemption side, there are now more great ways than ever to use your Venture Rewards card. Here are 6 reasons why when Capital One asks “what’s in your wallet?” the answer may very well be the Venture Rewards card.
1. Sign-Up Bonus
The first thing to look at when picking a new credit card is the sign-up bonus. The Capital One Venture Rewards card is offering 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. The miles are worth a minimum of 1 cent each if redeemed directly for the cost of travel, so your bonus is good for at least $500. If you opt to transfer the miles to a partner airline instead, your 50,000-mile bonus will be worth 25,000 to 37,500 miles. TPG values Venture miles at 1.4 cents apiece, so you can also think of this sign-up bonus as being worth $700.
2. Earn 2x Miles on Everything
Even once you meet the spending requirement for your sign-up bonus, it’s worth continuing to spend on the Venture card, especially when it comes to purchases that don’t earn a bonus on any other card. 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 stable and consistent return of 2% back or 1.5x airline miles and makes the Venture card one of the best options for everyday spending. There’s just one exception where you won’t earn 2 miles per dollar, but you won’t be complaining about it, because…
3. 10x Miles at Hotels.com
Fixed-value points let you be a “free agent” instead of staying loyal to a single airline or hotel, so it’s fitting that long before it added any transfer partners, Capital One partnered up with Hotels.com to reward card holders. When you book your stay at Hotels.com/Venture and pay with your Venture card, you’ll earn 10 miles for every dollar. You can even stack this bonus with the separate Hotels.com Rewards loyalty program, which offers another 10% back in the form of one free night after 10 paid nights. This adds up to a nice combined 20% return when you go to book your summer vacation.
4. Easy to Redeem
The simplicity of the Venture Rewards card really shines through in its redemption process. To redeem your miles, simply log on to your Venture Rewards online account and choose which eligible travel purchases made in the last 90 days that you want to use your miles for. Unlike with straight fixed-value cards, there’s no minimum redemption amount, so if you book a domestic award ticket, you can erase the $5.60 in taxes with just 560 miles.
If you’re looking to squeeze more value out of your points, you can transfer them to any of the following airlines, at a 2:1.5 rate unless otherwise noted
- 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
- Hainan Fortune Wings Club
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club
- Singapore KrisFlyer (2:1)
Some of these options like Air France/KLM overlap with other transferable points currencies, but others like 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), and several non-alliance airlines like Etihad.
You also have great diversity within the actual programs themselves. A number of these partners like 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), and some like Air France/KLM use variable pricing, which isn’t great for actually booking travel but can sure make for a good laugh when you see them charging 300,000+ miles for a one way economy ticket.
The best thing about the Venture Rewards Card was always the flexibility it offered, and that hasn’t gone away. These new transfer partners aren’t replacing old redemption options; they’re supplementing them and making your Venture miles more flexible and valuable in the process.
5. Free First Year and No Foreign Transaction Fees
The value proposition of the Venture Rewards card may be perfect for you…. or it may not be. There’s only one way to know for sure, and thankfully, you can try out the card fee-free for your first year while you earn and redeem your sign-up bonus, and then decide if the card’s regular $95 annual fee fits into your long-term points and miles strategy in the second and subsequent years. As an added bonus, you won’t pay foreign transaction fees with this card when traveling or making overseas purchases, so you can bring it along as an extra travel companion.
While the Venture Rewards can’t compete (and isn’t trying to) with ultra-premium cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or The Platinum Card® from American Express, the card offers a solid lineup of travel perks to enhance your trip. The Venture Rewards offers secondary car rental insurance, up to $3,000 in lost luggage reimbursement and up to $250,000 in travel accident insurance.
You can also rest easy when putting large purchases on your Venture card, as you’ll enjoy Extended Warranty Protection that doubles the manufacturers warranty up to one year for warranties of three years or less. This coverage has a cap of $10,000 per claim or $50,000 per cardholder. In the event of loss or damage within 90 days of purchase, you can also be reimbursed for replacements or repairs up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per cardholder.
And as an added bonus, Capital One announced in June the addition of a $100 Global Entry or $85 TSA PreCheck fee rebate to the Venture Rewards. The perk is available every four years for both new and existing card holders, and if you already have Global Entry or TSA PreCheck personally, you can use this rebate for a friend or family member’s application fee instead.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a great hybrid, with miles that can be redeemed both for a fixed value and transferred to get you potentially greater value with airline partners.
As is the case with most things in life, the more effort you put into your points hobby, the more you’ll get out if it in return. The Venture card doesn’t force you to make a serious time commitment up front, and you can rest easy knowing that you’ll be earning a minimum of 2% back on every purchase you make. If you decide to go the simple route and use your points as a purchase eraser, the Venture card makes it easy to do so with no redemption minimums. If, on the other hand, you decide to start studying award charts and looking for sweet spots, the 14 airlines that Capital One has added as Venture transfer partners will give you plenty of options for your next vacation.
Know before you go.
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SIGN-UP BONUS: 50,000 Miles
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $700
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 10X miles on stays booked and paid for through Hotels.com/Venture + 2x miles on everything else. Miles are now transferrable to over a dozen airline partners
- Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
- Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
- Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
- Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
- Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
- Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
- No foreign transaction fees
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that