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Easy money: How this Capital One Travel perk automatically saved me 20% on a flight

Jan. 19, 2022
5 min read
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As the adage goes, nothing in life is free. But my experience purchasing a flight with a Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card on the issuer's travel portal is about as close as it gets.

In this case, it was Capital One's automatic price drop protection benefit — through the Capital One Travel portal — that provided an unexpected partial refund. Even better, since I booked the flight using the Venture X card's up to $300 annual portal statement credit, I got the refund in the form of, well, even more statement credit.

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The Venture X card, a 2021 TPG Award winner for best new card, has a lot already going for it. Besides the aforementioned $300 credit, cardholders also receive 10,000 bonus miles each year they hold the card, Priority Pass and Capital One Lounge access, various travel and purchase protection benefits and more.

Here's how the recently relaunched Capital One Travel portal got me "free money." (Well, as close as it gets to free.)

Booking a flight through the portal

(Screenshot from Capital One)

First, to access the Capital One Travel portal, you'll need to have one of the following cards:

The information for the Capital One Spark Miles Select and Capital One Walmart card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

When you're searching for a flight -- as I was -- the portal may recommend that you purchase immediately.

Essentially, the platform is predicting that airfare prices will increase in the future and suggesting that you lock in the lower price now. In fact, Capital One (in partnership with travel technology company Hopper) is so confident in its algorithm, that it will automatically apply price drop protection to that particular purchase.

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What exactly is Price Drop Protection?

(Screenshot from Capital One)

Here's how it works: Capital One will monitor the price of the flight after you buy it. If the price drops, you’ll get a refund for the difference in price to your original payment method.

The terms of the price drop protection can change based on your exact itinerary and dates. But once price drop protection is applied to a flight, Capital One Travel will monitor the price of that particular itinerary (with the same flight and fare class) for a set amount of time after purchasing.

How Price Drop Protection worked in practice

About three weeks prior to a trip to Chile, I used my Venture X card to purchase a one-way flight from Punta Arenas (PUQ) to Santiago (SCL) on the issuer's travel portal. As mentioned, Capital One's algorithm recommended that I purchase the flight immediately, as it was looking like flight prices would increase.

The total purchase price was $81.36 and I received 5 miles per dollar for this booking (yes, you still earn Capital One miles even when using the $300 statement credit).

(Screenshot from Capital One)

Several days later, I noticed an email from Capital One with a subject line that said, "Good news! You're getting a refund."

Since I couldn't recall returning anything that I had purchased with my Venture X, I was particularly interested in seeing what this was about. Lo and behold, the price of my domestic Chile flight had decreased — and Capital One was providing me with an automatic refund of $16.49.

(Screenshot from Capital One)

That's almost 20% off my original flight cost, without me having to do anything at all. Color me impressed since it wasn't something that I had expected.

Bottom line

While I wouldn't typically book travel through a third party, Capital One's Price Drop Protection has me seriously reconsidering that approach. Pairing that with the $300 annual credit on the portal with the Venture X — and the ability to earn up to 10 miles per dollar on hotels or 5 miles per dollar on flights through the Capital One Travel — Capital One is making a compelling case for its own portal.

The Capital One Travel portal, at least in its current iteration, isn't perfect — there are a lot of basic filters and search results missing. But the issuer has said that improvements are coming and I can't wait to see what they are.

Official application link: Capital One Venture X with 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

Featured image by (Photo by Chris Dong/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
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

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

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

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
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 unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • 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

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023