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Million Mile Secrets reader, Dawn, commented:
I think the Capital One® Venture® is overlooked! It is totally uncomplicated in giving you 2 Venture miles per $1 you spend on all purchases. And you can redeem those miles in any increment. So it beats the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard because you can only redeem Arrival miles on purchases of $100+.
Even with the small sign-up bonus, Capital One has a better website and customer service. And the bank is very generous in what it deems “travel.” So we use it for incidentals while traveling and the miles add up fast. I would agree the card probably isn’t appealing for those who use points mainly for luxury travel. But if you want to travel very economically, it is a great card to have.
Dawn makes terrific points about the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. The card’s reward program is straightforward for both earning and redeeming miles.
But I think folks looking to get Big Travel can do better earning transferable points with other credit card programs. Even if your goal is to travel economically.
I’ll show how you might get more value for your everyday spending earning points other than Capital One Venture miles!
10,000 Chase Points Beats 20,000 Venture Miles
You earn 2 miles per $1 on all purchases with the Capital One® Venture® card. And you can use Capital One Venture miles for nearly any travel purchase, like taxi rides, hotels, and airfare. It’s a simple program because you just make a travel purchase with your credit card. Then, use Venture miles to offset the charge.
Let’s say you spend $10,000 per year. You’ll earn 20,000 Venture miles worth $200 in travel. But how does that compare to other cards that earn transferable points?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the top card I recommend for folks new to miles & points. Because it earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which are my favorite flexible points. This card earns 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 you spend on travel and dining purchases. And 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
Plus, the sign-up bonus on the Sapphire Preferred is much more valuable. You’ll get at least $625 in travel after meeting spending requirements, which is better than $200 worth of travel with the Capital One Venture Card.
If you use the card to make $10,000 in purchases that only earn you 1 point per $1, you’ll have 10,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Of course, you’ll have much more if you spend on travel or dining.
At a minimum you can redeem 10,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for $100 in cash back because points are worth 1 cent each toward cash back.
But transfer points to Chase travel partners to book award flights or nights and your points can easily be worth more than 2 cents each. And there are travel partners with no blackout dates, which makes points just as easy to use as Venture miles.
Here are a few examples!
1. Short-Haul Intra-European Flight
British Airways is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. And the airline uses a distance-based award chart. For flights under 650 miles in Europe, you’ll pay 4,500 British Airways Avios points for a one-way coach award flight.
So you can get a round-trip award flight from London to Nice for 9,000 British Airways Avios points plus taxes & fees.
I found a sample flight in August 2017 for 9,000 British Airways Avios points and $55.
This same flight costs ~$276 if you pay cash. This means you would use 27,600 Venture miles to offset the charge.
I’d rather use fewer Chase Ultimate Rewards points and pay a little out-of-pocket to visit Nice!
Keep in mind, this type of redemption is usually only ideal for folks with flexible travel plans. Because an award seat must be available for you to book this example flight. And it can take more time to search award flights compared to paying cash.
2. ~$300 Hyatt Hotel Stay
Emily and I love Hyatt hotels because you can save lots of cash by using points to stay in fantastic locations!
I found a sample 2-night stay in August 2017, which costs ~$300. This means you would need ~30,000 Venture miles to offset the cost of the stay!
Plus, Hyatt has a “no blackout date” policy. This means you can book an award night using points or a free night certificate as long as a standard room is available for sale.
3. Southwest Award Flight Because There Are NO Blackout Dates!
Southwest is a fantastic Chase airline partner because there are no blackout dates on award flights. As long as a seat is available for sale, you can book it using Southwest points.
For example, you can transfer ~10,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest to book an award flight from Dallas to Chicago.
Booking this way is just as easy as redeeming Venture miles to offset a travel charge!
More Credit Cards Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
The easiest way to boost your miles & points balances is to earn lucrative sign-up bonuses.
And it’s much easier to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points because there are lots of personal and small business cards that earn these flexible points, including:
- Ink Business Cash Credit Card
- Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
- Chase Freedom
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
If you have more than one of these cards, you can combine points to one account to make your award travel goals come true faster!
Team member Keith has earned the sign-up bonus on 6 different Chase Ultimate Rewards cards. This helped him book his around-the-world honeymoon!
Just remember it’s now tougher to be approved for most Chase cards if you’ve opened ~5+ cards from any bank (except these business cards) in the past 24 months. That’s why I recommend folks new to miles & points get Chase cards first!
Why Some Folks Prefer Venture Miles Anyway
There are lots of opportunities to get more value for the points you earn with cards like the Sapphire Preferred. But it can take time to navigate award charts and find the best deals.
As reader Dawn suggests, the rewards program with the Capital One Venture offers a hassle-free way to earn points, which are easy to redeem for travel purchases. So folks looking for a simple way to earn points from credit card spending to redeem for travel can do well with this card.
Plus, you won’t have to think about finding award seats or transferring your points.
The rewards program with the Capital One® Venture® card is simple. You earn 2 Venture miles per $1 you spend on all purchases. And miles are worth 1 cent each toward travel.
But with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you earn transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which can often be worth more than 2 cents each. That said, it does require some extra effort searching for available award seats or nights with Chase travel partners.
Do you prefer the simplicity of the Capital One Venture card? Or are there other cards that offer better ways to get Big Travel with Small Money?