Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply here.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a popular travel rewards card with a $59 annual fee (waived the first year) and a very straightforward rewards system. Every $1 spent with this card earns 2 miles, and miles can be redeemed at a set rate for a range of travel purchases.
Capital One Venture Rewards Card is just one of many general-purpose credit cards. It’s comparable to its stablemate, the VentureOne Rewards Card, which is a no-annual-fee version of the Venture card, but with some notable differences. It also competes with non-Capital One cards with annual fees ranging from $50 to $100, including Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, and British Airways Visa Signature Credit Card.
When you spend at least $3,000 within 3 months of opening your account, you get a sign-up bonus of 40,000 miles. That’s worth $400 in travel expenses at redemption.
Capital One Venture Rewards Card earns an unlimited 2 miles per $1 spent, with no caps, categories, or restrictions.
You can redeem your accumulated rewards for travel purchases (including airfare, car rentals, other forms of ground transportation, hotel stays, and more) in two ways. First, you can exchange your miles for account statement credits at a fixed value of $0.01 per point, either by manually selecting the purchase you wish to offset in your online account, or by calling Capital One’s customer service hotline and doing the same. Second, you can book travel directly through Capital One’s online travel portal and pay with miles instead of cash, again at a $0.01-per-point value.
If the item you’re redeeming for is worth more than the cash value of your miles, you can make a partial redemption (minimum 2,500 miles) and pay the balance in cash. Capital One does allow you to redeem miles for non-travel items, including cash, gift cards, and general statement credits, but values for such redemptions vary widely, are subject to change, and are often less than $0.01 per mile.
The $59 annual fee is waived during the first year your account is open, and there is no foreign transaction fee. The cash advance fee is the greater of $10 or 3% of the advanced amount. There is no balance transfer fee, and the late payment fee ranges up to $35.
Credit Building Tools
Capital One Venture Rewards cardholders get access to Capital One’s CreditWise tool, entitling them to a free credit score with their monthly online or paper statements. The score is also accessible on demand through account dashboards. CreditWise includes other credit-building and -education tools as well.
Other Cardholder Benefits
This card comes with a nice lineup of other benefits, including 24/7 concierge service and assistance with complex travel bookings; preferred access to special events, such as concerts and sporting events; and 24/7 emergency card replacement service when traveling.
This card requires excellent credit. Any notable credit blemishes are likely to disqualify your application.
- Flexible Redemption Options. Capital One Venture Rewards Card lets you redeem accumulated miles for virtually any travel purchase, from long-distance airfare and luxury hotels, to economy car rentals and intercity train tickets. That’s substantially more flexible than branded travel cards such as the Gold Delta SkyMiles from American Express ($95 annual fee) and Citi Platinum Select/AAdvantage World MasterCard ($95 annual fee), which either restrict redemptions to airfare only or require you to follow complicated conversion systems (which often reduce point values) to redeem for merchandise of other forms of travel, such as hotel rooms.
- No Balance Transfer Fees. Capital One Venture Rewards doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee. This puts it in a small minority of cards. Most competing travel rewards cards charge anywhere from the greater of $5 or 3% of the transfer amount to the greater of $10 or 5% of the transfer amount.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees. If you want to use a credit card while traveling out of the country, this is a good choice. Some other travel rewards cards, such as Citi Hilton Honors and Expedia+ Card from Citi, charge fees on foreign transactions up to 3%.
- No Penalty APR. This card charges no penalty interest. That’s a big advantage for cardholders who occasionally miss payments. Some competing travel cards, including the Expedia+ Voyager Card ($95 annual fee) and Citi Platinum Select/AAdvantage, charge penalty interest up to 29.99% APR.
- No Spending Categories. The Capital One Venture Rewards Card doesn’t have any spending categories or associated limits to keep track of. You simply earn an unlimited 2 miles per $1 spent on every purchase, every day. That’s a big advantage next to competitors such as the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature Card ($49 annual fee), which pays 2 points per $1 spent on cell phone purchases and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.
- Comes With a Free Credit Score and Credit Tools. This card gives you a free TransUnion VantageScore 3.0 credit score with your monthly statement and on-demand through your account dashboard. It also has one of the most comprehensive suites of credit-tracking and credit-building tools of any travel card, thanks to Capital One CreditWise.
- Comparatively Generous Sign-up Bonus. Capital One Venture Rewards Card’s $400 sign-up bonus isn’t tops among fellow general-purpose travel rewards cards. However, it’s the highest among cards with relatively low annual fees – or no annual fees, for that matter. To get a better sign-up bonus, you generally need to look to cards with annual fees higher than $90.
- No Preferred Brands or Partnerships. The fact that this card’s miles can be redeemed for any travel purchase is a blessing and a curse. Since no transaction type or travel-related brand is prioritized over any other, it’s difficult to use this card as a “travel hack” to lower your overall travel costs or earn free flights quickly. That’s a big drawback relative to branded cards such as the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card ($75 annual fee), which tends to offer much better redemption deals on long-haul flights, including with partner airlines, such as British Airways.
- Has an Annual Fee. After the first year, when the annual fee is $0, this card comes with a $59 annual fee. While that’s not super-high by fee-bearing travel rewards cards standards, it’s still a black mark next to the multitude of fee-free travel cards. Popular fee-free alternatives include the Expedia+ Card.
- Limited Travel Benefits. Capital One Venture Rewards doesn’t come with many travel benefits beyond the rewards program itself. If you’re in the market for a card that offers convenient or luxurious perks in the airport, on the plane, or in the hotel, look elsewhere. Branded cards typically have more to offer in this area. For instance, Gold Delta SkyMiles offers in-flight food discounts and priority boarding, while the Alaska Airlines Card offers a potentially valuable companion airfare discount and $50 credit toward a new Alaska Airlines airport lounge membership.
- Miles Are Worth $0.01 Apiece When Redeemed for Travel. The Venture Rewards Card’s miles are always worth $0.01 each at redemption when you redeem for travel expenses. This makes for less confusion when it comes time to redeem, but it’s not ideal if your aim is to maximize the value of your accumulated miles. Whether you redeem for a trans-Pacific first-class journey or a short-haul domestic economy hop, you can always count on a straight miles-to-dollars conversion. By contrast, brand-specific rewards programs (such as Gold Delta SkyMiles and AAdvantage) have widely variable redemption values, with miles worth substantially more (sometimes several times more) on long-haul international redemptions, compared with short-haul domestic redemptions. If your ultimate goal is a free flight to Australia or Asia, just about any brand-specific travel rewards card is superior to this card.
- Requires Excellent Credit. By Capital One’s own admission, this card requires excellent credit. That means it’s likely not an ideal first travel rewards card, even for travelers with good to very good credit. For an entry-level travel rewards card, consider the similar Expedia+ Card, both of which have the added bonus of being fee-free.
Travel rewards credit cards are frequently pigeonholed as intentionally complex, confusing, and user-unfriendly. This sweeping generalization is built around a kernel of truth: Many airline and hotel credit cards have complex redemption schemes that assign wildly variable point values depending on numerous factors, discourage participants from converting points to other rewards programs, and impose annoying restrictions such as blackout dates.
However, it’s unfair to say that all travel rewards cards are complicated, particularly when popular options like Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card have increasingly come to dominate the category. With this card, you never have to worry about how much your miles are actually worth at redemption, or whether you’re even able to redeem for a given type of travel purchase. While Capital One Venture Rewards Card certainly isn’t the most generous travel card by any stretch, there’s something to be said for its forthrightness.
Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply here.