How I plan on getting over $1,400 in value from my Capital One Venture sign-up bonus

Sep 29, 2020

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I’m a creature of habit when it comes to credit cards. I have my tried-and-true lineup of rewards cards that get me essentials perks like bonus categories, lounge access and elite status. I like keeping things simple and rarely go for a big sign-up bonus unless it involves a transferable rewards currency I value highly. But when the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card came out with an elevated sign-up bonus, I immediately jumped on it. The card earns 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months.

I’ve never paid the card much attention because up until 2018, it was essentially a 2x rewards card. I already have one of those with no annual fee. However, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has gained more appeal in recent years due to the addition of transfer partners. It also offers an up to $100 TSA PreCheck/Global Entry fee credit every four years.

But more importantly, 2% cash back cards generally don’t offer sign-up bonuses (at least not anything exceeding $200). A sign-up bonus worth more than $1,000 is tough to turn down. While I haven’t traveled anywhere in almost eight months, I’m planning out several trips through 2021 and this bonus will help cover the cost. Venture miles can be redeemed for virtually any travel purchase at a rate of one cent each. However, you might unlock additional value by transferring miles to travel partners.

Here are four ways I’m considering spending my Capital One Venture Card sign-up bonus:

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A weeklong stay at a Florida beach house

Florida beach
(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

The Florida Panhandle was far from my bucket list, especially during the pandemic. However, Summer and Richard’s trip to 30A looked incredible and I began bookmarking Airbnb’s for a trip in April (assuming all hell doesn’t break loose before then). I found an amazing house near the beach with a private pool for $500 per night. My sister and I are splitting the bill, so a weeklong stay will set me back about $1,750. 

After meeting the $20,000 spending requirement on the Capital One Venture Card, I’ll have 140,000 Venture Miles. That’s enough for $1,400 in travel credits, which is most of my portion of the rental.  

Related: Capital One Venture Rewards card review

A magical resort in Cancun

Instagram is full of highly filtered images that totally misconstrue reality. So when I saw a photo of the Hotel Xcaret in Riviera Maya, facing the beach on one side, lush jungle on the other and a lagoon in between, I thought, “This can’t be real.” Further research revealed that the property was, in fact, real. This five-diamond, all-suites, “all-fun inclusive” eco-resort is surrounded by seven theme parks (which guests have complimentary access to) and offers 10 restaurants and eight bars. 

It looks like the absolute perfect place for a family vacation, though the average rate of $500+ per night is pretty steep. I managed to find rates of $364 through a third-party site for dates in April. You can do the same by entering your desired dates into Tripadvisor and comparing rates on other sites. 

With the Capital One Venture Card’s sign-up bonus, I can cover almost four nights at this resort. At this point, it’s not a matter of if, but rather when I’ll book this trip. My Venture card sign-up bonus won’t cover as many free nights here as it would in Florida, but it will be all-inclusive. Airport transportation is also included, so I really can just sit back, relax and maybe even check out with a $0 bill on a prepaid stay.

Related: Capital One extends expanded redemption options through end of 2020

Travel deals

(Photo by Ryan Petterson for The Points Guy)
(Photo by Ryan Petterson for The Points Guy)

The pandemic has spawned many incredible travel deals that would have been unheard of a year ago. Whether it’s a $285 per night overwater villa in the Maldives, $10 nightly rates in Las Vegas or $109 hotels in Santorini, there are lots of savings to be found. I’ve been eyeing these deals as they come up and haven’t pulled the trigger yet. However, having $1,400 in travel credits from the Capital One Venture sign-up bonus will go a long way if I decide to jump on one of these deals.

Related: How to maximize Capital One Venture Rewards

Award taxes and fees

KLM Boeing 777-300ER economy class
KLM Boeing 777-300ER economy class (Photo by Alberto Riva / TPG)

There’s nothing more obnoxious than saving up miles for “free travel” and then being hit with hundreds of dollars in taxes and fees. This is par for the course on international flights and is still better than paying thousands of dollars in airfare. But what I often do is keep a stash of cash back rewards from my Fidelity Rewards Visa to cover these expenses. It may only be $100 to $200 per flight, but I like keeping my out-of-pocket costs to a minimum. The sign-up bonus from the Capital One Venture Card can help me offset the cost of award ticket fees once travel picks up again.

This isn’t as exciting as a Florida beach house or an all-inclusive resort in paradise, but it’s practical. 

Related: Why the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card has a front spot in our wallets

Bottom line

The flexibility of Venture miles makes the Capital One Venture Card’s sign-up bonus much more valuable than before. I don’t plan on taking advantage of Capital One’s transfer partnerships, since transfers are not 1:1 and I have other rewards currencies that work better for this purpose. However, there are plenty of great options for me to use the bonus to get a great deal on travel. 

With so many great travel deals available right now, your sign-up bonus will go further than ever. Thanks to flexible cancellation policies, it’s an even better time to think ahead and plan your post-pandemic vacation to save even more. 

Featured image by Palo Damonte/Getty Images

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


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.

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More Things to Know
  • 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.
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Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
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Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
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