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Want a guaranteed $500 off your next vacation? The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a super-easy way to make that happen.
You’ll earn 50,000 Capital One miles (worth $500 in travel) after completing the minimum spending requirements on the card. You can use Capital One miles for practically any travel purchase, like airfare, hotels, and rental cars. You can even use them for things that other miles and points don’t often cover, like Airbnb stays and Uber rides. Or you can transfer your miles to 15 airline partners where they’re potentially worth much more toward award travel. In most cases, you’ll get a 2:1.5 transfer ratio, so it’s like earning 1.5 airline miles per $1 spent.
This card is an MMS favorite because Capital One miles are so easy to use. It ranks among the best travel credit cards.
Who is the Capital One Venture for?
If you’re new to the miles-and-points hobby and aren’t ready to commit brainpower to things like “transfer partners” and “off-peak travel discounts,” there’s no better card for you.
Because of the simplicity of this card’s rewards, the Capital One Venture is great for anyone who doesn’t want the hassle of minding blackout dates, available award seats, hotel reward nights or any other mumbo-jumbo. If you open this card and earn the welcome bonus, you are guaranteed to receive $500 in free travel. And because the card’s $95 annual fee is waived the first year, the card comes with zero risk.
The Capital One Venture isn’t terribly difficult to qualify for. Just make sure your credit score is 700+, and you have a good chance of being approved. (In general, we don’t recommend that anyone apply for travel rewards cards unless your credit score is above 700. If it’s not, just take some time to show it the love it needs to breach 700 and you’ll be traveling for free in no time.)
Note that Capital One won’t process more than one application per six months. So if you’ve applied for another Capital One card recently, you’ll need to wait to open the Capital One Venture.
And when you apply for a Capital One card, they request your credit from all three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion)., which could temporarily make it a little more difficult to open other cards in the near future.
The Capital One Venture card comes with 50,000 Capital One miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months. Because each Capital One mile is worth one cent, this bonus is worth at least $500 in travel and potentially more when you transfer to one of 15 airline partners. We’ll talk more about that later.
As stated above, the card comes with a $95 annual fee, waived the first year.
Benefits and perks
The Capital One Venture has ongoing benefits that can be reason enough to keep the card year after year.
Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit
This card reimburses you for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck (via a statement credit of up to $100). Global Entry can save you lots of time by getting you quickly through U.S. Customs and Immigration when you return to the U.S. from abroad.
And once you’re approved for Global Entry, you’ll also get access to the TSA PreCheck security line when traveling domestically. So you won’t have to take off your shoes or dump out your computer bag when you go through the security checkpoint.
10 Capital One miles per dollar at Hotels.com
Through Jan. 31, 2020, you’ll earn 10 Capital One miles per dollar you spend on hotel stays booked and paid for with your card through this Hotels.com link.
Because Capital One miles are worth one cent each, you’ll effectively receive 10% back on all your hotel stays. Plus, you can combine this deal with the Hotels.com Rewards program. So you’ll still be able to earn every 10th night booked with Hotels.com for free in addition to the 10% you can earn with your Capital One Venture card.
This is a feature you won’t find on any other card.
The drawback to this perk is that you won’t earn hotel points or elite-night credits for your stay and if you have any hotel elite status, the hotel won’t recognize it. To receive those perks, you must book directly with the hotel (not through Hotels.com).
Rental car insurance
The Capital One Venture offers secondary car insurance against collision or theft. Secondary coverage means your personal or business insurance company pays first. You’ll have to pay your insurance deductible but this benefit could still save you lots.
Travel accident insurance
You can receive up to $250,000 in insurance for accidental loss of life, limb, sight, speech or hearing during a trip you paid for with the Capital One Venture.
Lost luggage insurance
You’ll be compensated up to $3,000 per trip when your luggage is lost becaue of theft or misdirection by the airline, cruise, etc.
How to redeem miles
Because you earn a flat 2 Capital One miles per dollar spent, this card effectively earns 2% back toward travel. You’re guaranteed to earn 2 cents towards travel for every $1 you spend. That’s not the case with lots of other cards. Or you can transfer your miles to most partners at a 2:1.5 ratio. So it’s like earning 1.5 airline miles per dollar spent.
There are two main ways to use your Capital One miles:
Erase nearly any travel purchase
Capital One miles are worth 1 cent each. You can use your miles for nearly any travel purchase, like taxi rides, hotels, room service, and free flights. You don’t even have to worry about searching for available award seats or hotel nights.
To redeem your miles for travel, just buy travel as you normally would with your card. Then you have 90 days to sign into your online account, find the travel purchase and “erase” it with your miles.
You also have the option to book travel with your miles instead of purchasing your travel and erasing it later. You’ll find this option after signing into your account. If you use the portal, there is no minimum miles requirement to book.
Whether you choose to redeem your points this way or by erasing your purchase later, you’ll still get a value of 1 cent per point.
Transfer to 15 airline partners
You have 15 airline transfer options with the Capital One Venture card:
- Air Canada (Aeroplan)
- Air France and KLM (Flying Blue)
- Cathay Pacific
- Hainan Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
The transfer ratio is 2:1.5, so you’ll get 1.5 airline miles for every 2 Capital One miles you transfer. The exceptions are Emirates, JetBlue and Singapore Airlines, which have a 2:1 transfer ratio, so you’ll get 1 airline mile for every 2 Capital One miles.
Because you earn 2 miles per dollar spent with the Capital One Venture card, it’s effectively like earning 1.5 airline miles per dollar if you transfer your miles (or 1 mile per dollar spent in the case of Emirates, JetBlue and Singapore Airlines).
Having this option gives you dozens of new ways to redeem Capital One miles. Some of these partners, like Air Canada, Flying Blue, Qantas, and Singapore Airlines, can make your Capital One miles extra-valuable. For example, you could:
- Transfer 84,000 Capital One miles to Avianca and book a busines-class flight to Europe for 63,000 Avianca miles
- Transfer ~22,000 Capital One miles to Qantas and book round-trip, short-haul flights of 600 miles or less on American Airlines for 16,000 Qantas miles
- Transfer 70,000 Capital One miles to Singapore Airlines and fly round-trip in coach from the U.S. to Hawaii for 35,000 Singapore Airlines miles
At the same time, if you fly a particular airline often, you might be more interested in the best airline credit cards for your travels.
Is the annual fee worth it?
I opened the Capital One Venture a couple of years ago and had an absolute blast with the sign-up bonus. I used part of it to order extravagant room service in Dubai. I used the rest to book a tree house in Barbados through Airbnb.
It may or may not make sense for you to keep the card year after year. We all have different travel styles and spending habits. This decision really hinges on one thing: Do you already have other mid-range travel credit cards? The Capital One Venture doesn’t come with many unique travel perks (though it has a couple). If you’ve been involved in the miles-and-points hobby for a while, it’s likely that you already own a card with these same benefits.
The Capital One Venture is perfect for anyone who has procrastinated at collecting points for their upcoming trip.
The card provides you with a discount on travel purchases as soon as you receive the card. You don’t need to complete a minimum spending requirement and earn the sign-up bonus before you book your travel. That’s because the Capital One Venture allows you to redeem your rewards for travel you’ve already booked. You have 90 days from the day you book your trip to redeem your points for those travel transactions. So you can worry about earning the welcome bonus when you get home and apply the points retroactively.
The Capital One Venture offers 50,000 Capital One miles (worth $500 in travel) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
This is an excellent card for folks who want free travel without worrying about blackout dates. You can use your miles to book nearly any travel purchase. So if you find yourself staying at boutique hotels that don’t have a loyalty program or if you prefer a flat earning rate without juggling bonus categories, this card is what you’ve been looking for.
You can also transfer the miles you earn to 15 airline partners, most of which have a 2:1.5 transfer ratio. So it’s like earning 1.5 airline miles (in most cases) per dollar spent. Depending how you redeem them, you can potentially get much more value from your Capital One miles.
The $95 annual fee is waived the first year and it has no foreign transaction fees. So it’s an excellent card to use internationally.