Why I decided to apply for the new Capital One Venture X card
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I said I was finished opening new credit cards for the year.
At least, I thought I was. I’d already opened three travel credit cards in 2021 to replace the less lucrative cards I’d had since college.
I figured I was all set for the remainder of the year … until several colleagues and friends in the points and miles space started raving about the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.
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Initially, I’d resisted the idea of opening yet another credit card and having to meet yet another minimum spending requirement. I didn’t need another inquiry on my credit report, nor did I want to pay another hefty annual fee.
I was quickly won over, though.
It’s true, my cursor hovered over the application button for several minutes. But in the end, opening the Venture X card was a no-brainer for a lot of reasons.
The Venture X sign-up bonus
First and foremost, I was really attracted to the Venture X card’s sign-up bonus, which is currently 100,000 miles after spending $10,000 on purchases in the first six months of account opening.
Those 100,000 miles are worth $1,000 when redeemed for travel directly through Capital One Travel or as statement credits toward other travel purchases. But their value is boosted to around $1,850 according to TPG’s latest valuations (not provided by the issuer), thanks, in part, to dramatic improvements Capital One has made to its rewards program lately, including the addition of new airline and hotel transfer partners.
For a limited time, new cardholders can also take advantage of up to $200 in statement credits for vacation rental purchases like Airbnb and Vrbo charged to their account within the first year. I’m not usually a vacation renter, but I figure I can use up $200 in credits with even a single booking, so that seems easy enough.
Aside from its sign-up bonus, the Venture X earns 10 miles per dollar on hotels and car rentals booked via Capital One Travel, 5 miles per dollar on flights booked via Capital One Travel and an unlimited 2 miles per dollar on everything else. Considering the amount of travel I book, I can really maximize those categories to ramp up my earning beyond the introductory period.
But the card has several other ongoing perks that made it compelling for me. Chief among them is up to $300 back in statement credits annually for bookings made through Capital One Travel. Counting on up to $300 in credits for travel I’d purchase anyway made it easier to consider the card’s $395 annual fee. Taking all of it into account, it would mean I’d only be $95 out of pocket each year.
However, cardholders also receive 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary, starting on the first anniversary, which is worth another $100 toward travel (or $185 based on our valuations). So all told, I’m looking at at least $400 per year in value from the card.
I have three separate Priority Pass memberships from other credit cards, so I don’t know how much I’ll use that particular perk. However, I am excited about the new Capital One lounges after seeing accounts from the first one that opened at Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) this month. I don’t find myself in Dallas often, so I probably won’t utilize that lounge, specifically, but I’m in Washington, D.C., at least once a month. That’s why I was extremely thrilled to learn about Capital One’s upcoming lounge location at Dulles (IAD), which will be after the TSA PreCheck security line in the main terminal.
I’ll also be able to use the card’s Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit, worth up to $100 once every four years, to purchase or renew Global Entry membership either for myself or a family member.
More transferable miles, more options
My Venture X thought process also included taking stock of my transferable points balances, which included Membership Rewards from several American Express cards and Ultimate Rewards from a few Chase cards. I quickly realized I didn’t have a Capital One card in my wallet, which meant I was potentially leaving a lot of miles and a lot of value on the table.
Capital One miles transfer to many of the same airline frequent flyer partners that Amex and Chase have, including Emirates Skywards and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, but also some, like Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles, that have eluded me up until this point. I was supposed to take a flight on Turkish right before the pandemic that was unfortunately canceled. For that reason, Turkish Airlines business class on the 787-9 is one of my dream redemptions, so opening this card to transfer miles to the airline’s Miles&Smiles program made a lot of sense.
Not only that, but Capital One has been steadily improving its miles program in recent years, adding over a dozen transfer partners and improving the conversion rate to 1:1 with most of them quite recently, which is going to make them even more useful for my specific travel plans.
The Venture X sign-up bonus: $1,850 toward travel
Aside from transferring my Capital One miles to Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles for travel on Turkish itself, there are two other options I’m mainly considering for redeeming my 100,000 miles once I earn them.
Using Turkish Miles&Smiles for United business-class flights
One way to maximize the sign-up bonus I have in mind is transferring Capital One miles to Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles for domestic United business-class awards — including lie-flat seats on transcontinental flights.
Turkish Miles&Smiles charges just 12,500 miles one-way and miles transfer at a 1:1 ratio, which means I could fly between my home in New York and San Francisco (SFO) or Los Angeles (LAX) in a comfortable Polaris seat for just a fraction of what I’d pay if I booked directly using United MileagePlus miles.
Booking Wyndham nights in the Caribbean
I’ll admit, I don’t know much about Wyndham hotels or the Wyndham Rewards loyalty program. However, I do know that the program has some fantastic redemption sweet spots, particularly in the Caribbean, a region where my World of Hyatt points haven’t been of too much use.
Wyndham has just three award pricing tiers — 7,500, 15,000 or 30,000 points per night — so my 100,000-mile bonus will come in handy for a multinight stay no matter which tier I choose. For instance, rates at the Kunuku Resort All Inclusive in Curacao start at just 15,000 points a night. That’s a great deal for an island with few points hotels.
Even at 30,000 points a night, Wyndham points come through in the Caribbean. The British Virgin Islands are home to the Wyndham Tortola BVI Lambert Beach Resort, where I could book a three-night stay for just 90,000 points a night. Sure, that would effectively cost me the bulk of my sign-up bonus, but it would also save me nearly $1,200 on a three-night stay, which I’d consider a win.
It took a lot for me to come out of credit card retirement this year, but ultimately, the new Venture X persuaded me with a solid sign-up bonus and annual statement credits of up to $300 toward travel. The new Venture X will also help cover some points and miles blindspots I have, like award availability in the Caribbean, a region I visit at least three times a year. Coupled with lounge access in one of my airports (hopefully coming soon) and strong earning rates, this is a card I expect to keep in my wallet for years to come.
Featured photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy.
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Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
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- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
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