Joseph: “How I’d Use the Capital One Venture 40,000 Mile Bonus”

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Lots of folks in the miles & points community don’t pay much attention to the Capital One Venture card.  But you can do some really fun things with its sign-up bonus worth $400 in travel!  I asked the Million Mile Secrets team to share how they’d use the bonus that comes with the Capital One Venture.  Here’s Joseph!

Joseph:   I currently have the Capital One Venture card, though I plan to cancel it this year.

Perhaps if I decide I miss the card in the future, I’ll apply for it again.  But at the moment, I’m finally below the Chase “5/24 rule.”  So there are other more valuable credit cards I’ll apply for first.

Capital One Venture Miles Card Joseph
I Used My Capital One Venture Sign-Up Bonus to Spend 3 Nights at a Tree House in the Caribbean

I’ve made good use of my previous Capital One Venture sign-up bonus though, and I know just how I’ll use the sign-up bonus once I open the card again!

How WE Would Use the Capital One Venture 40,000 Mile Bonus

Unique Accommodations and Unforeseen Costs

I applied for the Capital One Venture card a while ago, and my Venture miles have long been spent on random travel purchases, like Airbnb, hotel room service, and transportation costs.  And it’s made me aware of how valuable the 40,000 mile Capital One Venture bonus can be!

You can do things with Venture miles that you literally cannot do with other travel cards.  For example, you can redeem your Venture miles for practically anything travel-related (many more things than you can book through places like the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal or Citi ThankYou portal).  And as long as you have enough miles to cover the entire travel transaction, there’s no minimum amount of miles you need to redeem.

Capital One Venture Miles Card Joseph
Pay for a Quick Jaunt in an Uber With Venture Miles

If you take a $4 Uber ride, you can redeem 400 Venture miles to erase that purchase.  Similar cards, like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard, will only allow you to redeem points if your travel purchase is above $100!

Because of this, Venture miles are practically as good as cash.  And you won’t find any cash back card with a $400 sign-up bonus!

Here’s what I’d do if I had the Capital One Venture 40,000 mile sign-up bonus in front of me.

1.   Airbnb Stays

My favorite use of Venture miles is for stays at Airbnb.

I like Airbnb because you can stay in areas with locals instead of big cities with lots of hotels that quarantine you from the native culture.  And you can often find amazing places for less than you’d pay for a hotel, especially if you’re traveling with a large family!

For example, you can book this enormous 3-story 6,460 square foot villa in Angeles City, Philippines, for ~$80 per night (before service fees).  It has 7 bedrooms7 bathrooms, and a housekeeper.

Capital One Venture Miles Card Joseph
Book a Unique Airbnb for a Similar Price You’d Pay at a Hotel

For a family of 5, you should expect to pay a similar amount for 2 rooms at a cheap hotel.  But by reserving an Airbnb, your stay will be extra fun!  You’ll all get to stay together in one amazing villa, instead of booking multiple rooms at a hotel.

Plus, when you stay 1 week or longer, Airbnb hosts often give you a discount!

I’m staying at a very cool Airbnb villa in the Caribbean in October for ~$160 per night.  That’s not cheap, but it’s much less than I’d pay at a hotel for a similar experience!  I can’t reserve this with hotel points or airline miles, and I can’t even book it through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal!  I’d use the Capital One Venture sign-up bonus to stay there for 2 free nights.

2.   Trains Across Europe

I’ve never been on a train (unless you count the subway!), and I’ve wanted to try it for a very long time.  I’d like to use the 40,000-mile Capital One Venture sign-up bonus to erase $400 worth of expenses for rail transportation around Europe.

This FlyerTalk thread confirms I can redeem Venture miles towards travel on several different train companies, like Eurostar and Deutsche Bahn.  I would imagine you can also redeem Venture miles towards Eurail tickets (if anyone has data points on this, I’d love to hear them!).
Capital One Venture Miles Card Joseph
A Huge Bucket List Item for Me Is Chugging Through Picturesque European Scenery and Hopping on and off the Train to My Heart’s Content!

I’d love to book a 15-day continuous pass on Eurail to ride all over Europe and get off at every intriguing stop.  That ticket costs $738 though, and I normally wouldn’t spring for it.  However, after meeting the $3,000 minimum spending requirement on the Capital One Venture, I’d have $460 in Venture miles (40,000 bonus Venture miles + 6,000 Venture miles for spending $3,000 = $460 in free travel).

If I redeemed them all towards my Eurail ticket, I could bring the total price down to $278 ($738 ticket price – $460 in Venture miles).  That’s a great price for 15 days of continuous travel!

3.   Miscellaneous Travel Expenses

A lot of the travel we talk about on the blog isn’t completely free (it’s Big Travel with Small Money, after all).  With fees like airport taxes, Uber costs, and parking, most folks will only get nearly free travel.

You can use the miles you earn from the Capital One Venture to make travel actually free.  That’s because you can redeem Venture miles for nearly any travel purchase!  And there is NO minimum amount of points you can redeem, as long as you have enough miles to pay for the entire expense (if you do NOT have enough to cover the entire transaction, the minimum redemption amount is $25).

For example, if you paid $5.60 in airport taxes for an award flight, you can redeem miles for that fee by paying for your flight with the Capital One Venture card.

Last November, a few friends and I flew from various locations around the US to San Francisco to keep Thanksgiving together.  I flew into Oakland, and used the BART rail to get to San Francisco.  That ride cost ~$16, which I hadn’t factored into my budget, so it was nice to have Venture miles lying around to cover the cost!

Capital One Venture Miles Card Joseph
There Are More Glamorous Ways to Use Venture Miles Than Bay Area Rapid Transit, but I Was Glad to Use My Capital One Venture for a Free Ride

I would save my Venture miles for miscellaneous travel fees I do not anticipate.

Capital One Venture Card Offer

Link:   Capital One® Venture® Card 

Link:   My Review of the Capital One Venture Card

The Capital One Venture card earns 40,000 Venture miles (worth $400 in travel) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.

You’ll also get:

  • Venture miles per $1 you spend on all purchases
  • NO foreign transaction fees
  • $59 annual fee, waived the first year

The card has Visa Signature Benefits, which include:

  • Rental car insurance – Secondary protection against collision or theft
  • Travel accident insurance – Up to $250,000 insurance for accidental loss of life, limb, sight, speech or hearing
  • Lost luggage insurance – Up to $3,000 per trip, provided the luggage was lost from theft or misdirection by the airline, cruise, etc.

Bottom Line

With the Capital One Venture, you’ll earn 40,000 Venture miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after opening your account.  Venture miles are flexible and extremely easy to use, because you can redeem them towards nearly any travel purchase!

Team member Joseph would get Big Travel from the Capital One Venture sign-up bonus by either using it to reserve a free Airbnb, dramatically lower the cost of a weeks-long Eurail pass, or just to pay off random travel expenses he didn’t foresee.

Your travel goals may be totally different.  Capital One Venture miles can be used for many things, so whatever travel you’re planning, use your Venture miles for what will make you the happiest!

How would you spend the 40,000 point Capital One Venture sign-up bonus?

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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