Capital One Venture Rewards Card Review | CreditShout

Capital One Venture Rewards Card Review

By Dawn Allcot / January 11, 2017
Capital One Venture Rewards Card Review

Venture® Rewards from Capital One Overview

Capital One Venture Rewards Review

CreditShout Rating

Annual Fee: $59​ (Waived First Year)

Credit Required: Good

Rewards Program and Signup Bonuses*:

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $400 in travel.
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime.
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates.
  • Miles don't expire and there's no limit to how many you can earn.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • No annual fee for the first year; $59 after that.
  • Enjoy unlimited access to your credit score and tools to help you monitor your credit profile with CreditWise®.

Intro APR

N/A

Intro Balance Transfer

N/A; but No Transter Fee

Regular APR

13.49% - 23.49% Variable on Purchases and Transfers

Verdict: For travelers with excellent credit, Capital One’s Venture Visa card is one of the best travel rewards cards available to accumulate the most miles.

The Venture travel rewards credit card offers first class service with a much lower annual fee than the American Express® Platinum card or Chase® Sapphire Preffered.

With no foreign transaction fees, this card is also an excellent choice for frequent international travelers.

The Venture card has an annual fee of $59 annual fee (waived for the first year), and an opportunity to earn 40,000 bonus miles.

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Capital One Venture Rewards Card Program Explained

The Rewards system with Capital One Venture is easy-to-understand, and cardholders have multiple options to use rewards points, including redeeming them for a statement credit or donating the cash value to a favorite charity.

​With the Venture card, you earn a flat two miles on every $1 you spend, with no bonus categories to worry about. Each mile is equal to $0.01. For example, you’d need 6,000 miles to cover a $60 car rental, or 23,500 miles for a $235 flight.

As an added bonus, if you redeem your Venture miles to cover a travel expense, you can also earn airline miles on redemptions. This usually does not happen when you redeem normal airline miles. Essentially, some of your redeemed Venture miles will help you earn elite status with the carrier of your choice.

One of the biggest benefits of the Venture card is the ability to basically double dip by buying reward travel wherever you want, whether it’s a discount ticket from a carrier or a hotel stay through a discount site like Priceline.​

You have two ways to redeem Venture miles for travel: you can use Purchase Eraser to redeem miles for past travel expenses, or you can book new travel reservations through Capital One.

If you choose Purchase Eraser, eligible travel expenses include: cruise lines, bus lines, limo services, airlines, hotels, rail lines, car rental agencies, taxis, time shares and travel agencies.​

You also have the option of redeeming miles for statement credits, or merchandise or gift cards. But travel rewards will always give you the best deal.​ And the terms for those other redemption options are subject to change.

​Venture miles do not expire and there is no limit to what you can earn.

And, if you qualify for a credit limit of at least $5,000, you will be entitled to Visa Signature benefits - which are summarized below.

Key Features and Benefits

The Venture card offers some significant rewards and benefits, especially for bigger spenders looking to rack up large amounts of miles.

Signup Bonus and First Year Rewards

Your key benefits during the first year are:

  • ​No Annual Fee. The $59 annual fee is waived in Year 1.
  • 40,000 Bonus Mile Opportunity. You can earn 40,000 bonus miles, which is equal to $400 in travel benefits, by spending $3,000 in the first three months you have the card.

Everyday Features

In addition to those first year perks, the Capital One Venture Rewards card offers these benefits:

  • 2 miles for each $1 spent.
  • Your miles do not expire.
  • No foreign transaction fee.
  • No blackout dates when redeeming miles.
  • Option to redeem your rewards from airlines, hotels, rail lines, car rental agencies, limousine services, bus lines, cruise lines, taxi cabs, travel agents and time shares.
  • Capital One Credit Tracker provides access to your credit score.
  • $0 Fraud Liability.

Visa Signature Benefits

If you are approved for a credit line of at least $5,000, you will receive a Visa Signature card with the additional benefits listed below. These benefits are similar to those offered by American Express and Discover.

  • Extended warranty on purchases - Your warranty term will be extended for up to 1 additional year on warranties of 36 months or less.
  • Travel accident insurance - You are entitled to a wide range of benefits if your tickets, passports or other travel documents are lost or stolen while you are traveling.
  • Rental car insurance.
  • 24-hour travel and emergency assistance (including card replacement).
  • 24-hour roadside assistance.
  • Shopping discounts.
  • Access to travel upgrades and savings.
  • Concierge service.

Other applicants will receive a Visa Platinum card that does not include these additional benefits. ​

Fees and Interest Rates

The biggest negative of the Venture Rewards card is that there is a $59 annual fee after the first year.​

The other fees applicable to the Venture card are:

Charges and Fees

APR for Purchases

13.49%, 18.49%, or 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness. This APR will vary based on the Prime Rate.

APR for Balance Transfers

13.49%, 18.49%, or 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness. This APR will vary based on the Prime Rate.

APR for Cash Advances

23.49%. This APR will vary based on the Prime Rate.

Penalty APR

29.4%. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

Annual Fee

$59 ($0 in Year 1)

Balance Transfer Fee

None

Cash Advance Fee

Greater of $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance

Late Payment Fee

Up to $35.

Returned Payment

Up to $35.

Venture Rewards vs. The Competition

Before you jump ahead and apply for the Venture travel rewards card, you might want to see how it compares to the Capital One Venture One card (Capital One's no annual fee travel rewards card), Discover it Miles card, and Chase Sapphire.

The No Annual Fee Alternatives

The only completion the Capital One Venture card faces is from its no annual fee competitors, Capital One's VentureOne card and the it Miles card from Discover.

For spending at least $1,000 per month, the Venture card will probably be your best choice. For those spending less on their card: keep on reading.

For our analysis, we are assuming 10,000 rewards miles are worth $100 - which is consistent with the travel rewards values used by Capital One. This means that the Venture card is superior to a no fee alternative if you can earn 5,900 more miles using the Venture Card (i.e.,  the equivalent of the $59 annual fee.)

Excluding potential first year bonuses offered by the various cards, you need to spend the following amounts to earn an additional 5,900 rewards miles - and justify the Venture card over the it Miles or VentureOne card:

Card

Annual Spend

Rewards Miles

VentureOne

$7,866

9,832

Venture

$7,866

15,732

Difference

5,900 miles ($59)

Card

Annual Spend

Rewards Miles

it Miles

$11,800

17,700

Venture

$11,800

23,600

Difference

5,900 miles ($59)

As you can see, excluding any Year 1 bonuses:

  • ​You can earn more miles with the it Miles card than the VentureOne card.
  • You need to spend $11,800 a year to justify the Capital One Venture card over the Discover it Miles card.

Of course, if you are spending almost $12,000 per year on your credit card, you should be able to spend $3,000 in your first three months with the card. This would earn you the 40,000 bonus miles (which is significantly more than the 18,000 bonus miles you would earn from Discover by spending $12,000 that year).

For those of you spending $12,000 per year on your credit card, you can earn more miles with the Venture card from Capital One than the it Miles. We recommend the Venture card for you, unless you want to take advantage of Discover's generous cash back alternative or 0% APR finning offer on new purchases.

Otherwise, if your credit is excellent, we recommend the Discover it Miles card for those spending less, or looking to take advantage of the 0% APR financing offered by VentureOne and the it Miles card in Year 1. 

For those with less than excellent credit, the VentureOne travel rewards card is a worthwhile alternative.

Note: We recognize that smaller spenders can easily earn the 20,000 bonus miles offered by the VentureOne card in Year 1, and earn more miles with Capital One that year, however:

  • Discover guarantees the first year doubling of your rewards.
  • You will earn more rewards with Discover every year after the first year.
  • Discover it Miles are easily converted to cash back on a 1-for-1 basis, and not subject to any adjustment or change in future terms.
  • You do not need to qualify for a high $5,000 credit line with Discover to get benefits equivalent to Visa Signature cardholders.

Alternatives with Annual Fees

The Capital One Venture card is the clear winner, when you compare it against the Chase Sapphire card or American Express Gold Card.

Here is the bottom line when you stack the three cards against each other:

  • The Venture card has a lower fee ($50, versus $99 for the Sapphire card and $125 for the AmEx Gold card).
  • You will always earn 2x miles with the Venture card (but only 2x on dining and travel with Chase, and never with the AmEx Gold).
  • Venture requires you spend only $3,000 in 3 months for the 40,000 bonus miles (Chase requires $4,000 in 3 months for the same bonus and AmEx does not offer a bonus.)

A more extensive comparison of the Venture Rewards card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred card can be found here, if you are still on the fence. Sadly, our archives do not contain an extensive article on the Capital One Venture Rewards card vs American Express Gold card.

The Bottom Line

Our opinion is that the Capital One Venture card is the best travel rewards card with an annual fee on the market. It offers you the opportunity to earn the most miles with the lowest annual fee. That is a winning combination.

review of travel rewards program for the capital one venture visa card

However, if you are not spending $1,000 a month ($12,000/year) on your card, we think you will do better with the Discover it Miles card because:

  • The Venture card's annual fee will wipe out its miles earning power advantage.
  • Discover does not require you qualify with a $5,000 credit limit to get benefits equivalent to Visa Signature benefits.
  • Discover lets you redeem miles as cash on a 1-to-1 basis.

Of course, if you have excellent credit and some spare time, you may want to consider card hopping - using the Venture card for one year, earning the 40,000 bonus miles and 2x miles, and then switching to the it Miles card. This would allow you to avoid the annual fee in all cases and rack up a ton of miles.

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