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Venture® Rewards from Capital One Overview
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 $95 annual fee is waived in Year 1.
- 50,000 Bonus Mile Opportunity. You can earn 50,000 bonus miles, which is equal to $400 in travel benefits, by spending $3,000 in the first three months you have the card.
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:
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
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:
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
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
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.