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When we first added the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card to our wallet a few months ago, it was mostly about getting the then 75,000-mile welcome bonus (offer no longer available) that was worth $750 in travel (or you can now transfer the miles to partners, too). However, what I didn’t know when we applied was that this card would quickly claim a prominent spot in our wallets even after the bonus miles were spent. Here’s why we are using the Capital One Venture Card more than I expected.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months, 10x at hotels.com/venture, 2x miles elsewhere.
10x on Hotels.com Is Fantastic
The 10 miles per dollar you can earn when using the Venture Card to book hotels via Hotels.com/venture is simply an outstanding earning rate, especially when you factor in that you are also earning a credit toward a free night via the Hotels.com loyalty program. Together that is 20% back in rewards when you use the card to book hotels via Hotels.com.
We aren’t booking all of our hotels via Hotels.com, because you are usually trading away earning/using hotel points and elite status perks. But, in recent months, we have used Hotels.com to book Disney resorts, a bed-and-breakfast in Telluride, random hotels near work conferences, a resort in Hawaii and more. If elite status perks don’t matter, getting 20% back in rewards is often the best course of action for a hotel stay, assuming the Hotels.com price is equal to booking elsewhere. The freedom from being tied to just one hotel chain is almost as good as the 10x miles.
2x Elsewhere Isn’t Bad
My husband is never going to have lots of cards in his wallet and worry about keeping up with category bonuses for various transactions. He will, however, primarily use whichever card I indicate is best at the time. When he isn’t working on hitting a spending bonus, earning 2x miles everywhere by using the Venture Card isn’t bad and is actually better than most of the cards on the market for non-bonus spending. If you maximize the miles via transfer partners, then TPG valuations say you can get 1.4 cents per mile, or a 2.8% return on everyday charges made to the card.
That might not be the absolute best return for everyday spending, but it is pretty darn close.
Flexible Points Are Simply the Best
I can’t quit airline miles because there are times when the outsized value they provide simply can’t be beat. But, as award charts fade a bit, flexible points are the best type to have. And, in fact, it seems that the international airline programs that are in the Capital One transfer partner line-up may turn out to be the best options for booking many awards since they largely still have traditional award charts in play.
But here’s the truth. I haven’t (yet) transferred any of our Capital One miles to partners. Maybe we will one day, as there are some great options out there, but I’ve just enjoyed the heck out of booking whatever travel we want and then using the miles to offset the charge with a few simple clicks of the mouse.
For example, Josh (my husband) is meeting us in Hawaii this summer and needs to fly on a certain date at a certain time on a particular route to maximize his time with us. In that situation, it was best to just buy a cash ticket and then simply reimburse ourselves with Venture miles for that ticket as he had no flexibility, making traditional airline miles a bad call even though Hawaii can sometimes be a great deal with airline miles.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of my current favorite credit cards for families who travel and that recommendation isn’t just based on stats or bullet points. It is the reality that this card has (somewhat unexpectedly) crept to the front of our own wallets as a way of simplifying while still maximizing. While these aren’t the reasons we are using our card, it comes with other perks, such as up to a $100 Global Entry or $85 TSA PreCheck fee rebate, which is actually handy since we have several of these fees to pay this year in our family. There is a $0 intro annual fee the first year ($95 subsequent years), so this is an easy card to try out if you are trying to minimize fees. If you don’t yet have the Venture card, now is a great time to do so to protect yourself a bit from recent devaluations and award chart changes/eliminations and maybe even simplify your award travel strategy a bit in the process.
Featured photo by Eden Batki / The Points Guy.
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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