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The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is one of the best credit cards for consumers looking for travel rewards. It's one of our favorites because its a simple credit card that's easy to use and generously rewarding on everyday spending. Those of you who only travel domestically, however, should note that a card like the Citi® Double Cash Card can provide the same long-term rewards rate as the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, at no annual fee. In this case, we recommend considering if some of this card’s other benefits and features make up for this added price tag.
Review: Who is the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Best For?
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is one of the best brand-agnostic travel rewards cards out there, especially for moderate spenders. With this card, you get an unlimited travel rewards rate of 2% towards all net spending. Until January 31, 2020, you also receive 10x miles on purchases made through hotels.com/Venture. There are only three other credit cards that offer an unlimited and flat-rate rewards rate of this caliber. The first is the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, which has a 2.1% travel rewards rate, and it charges a slightly lower annual fee of $89 (waived the first year). Two cash back credit cards, the Citi® Double Cash Card and the Fidelity Investment Rewards card, also offer a fixed 2% rewards rate. Both these cards, however, are less than ideal for international travelers, as they charge users a foreign transaction fee of 3%.
With its current annual fee, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card isn't the best option for consumers. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® has a lower annual fee, while giving users a slightly higher rewards rate on all purchases. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Cardholders also receive 0.1% or 0.001 less in rewards with each purchase while paying that higher fee.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Cardholders who spend at least $3,000 on purchases, within the first 3 months of opening their account, will receive a bonus 50,000 points. This is equal to $500 in statement credit. This bonus greatly improves the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card’s short-term value. The cash back credit cards we mentioned above offer nothing in terms of bonuses. The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card bonus is enough to cover almost 5 years worth of annual fees.
Bottom Line: If you can qualify for this card’s bonus and frequently travel abroad, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card may be the best travel credit card for you.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Benefits & Features
Every dollar spent using the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card earns users 2 rewards miles – simple as that. There are no exclusions, carve-outs, rotating categories, caps, or expiration dates, which makes it a great credit card for someone who wants a hassle free experience.
|Credit Needed||Excellent, Good|
|Note: The information in this box was provided by Capital One and is not part of our independent analysis.|
On top of the rewards for everyday spending, Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Cardmembers have the opportunity to earn a 50,000 miles bonus. To qualify for the bonus, you must spend at least $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of receiving your card. Balance transfers, cash advances, and fees do not count towards this minimum spend amount.
Redeeming Miles & Rewards
The miles earned through the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card can be redeemed as account credits towards past purchases (within the last three months), your balance, as a check, gift cards, booking a future trip, or even charity. While they do make other options, such as events and experiences, available, their redemption offering tends to be spotty based on what we've seen. Also, these rewards can lower your balance, but can't be used as payments on your bill.
Also, Venture® miles are calculated solely based on a formula back to the cash value, so it doesn't matter what airline you fly or what day you go. To maintain a high 2% rewards rate, however, we suggest you redeem miles towards past travel-related charges or by booking your next trip. Gift cards are also redeemable at these rates: we saw gift cards for Amazon.com and Best Buy available for 2,500 miles. We do not recommend using the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card to get cash back, as it results in an unfavorable rewards rate. You need to have a minimum of 5k miles, and that only gets you $25. This results in a 1% rewards rate ($25 value / 5,000 miles x 2 miles per dollar spent), which is the most basic amount you'd get with most credit cards.
You can redeem Venture® reward miles both on the Capital One® website or smartphone app, and we find it to be an easy and straightforward process. The online version has the full list of options (see picture on the right), but going through the smartphone limits you to the Capital One® Purchase Eraser for past travel and account credits. The app also looks and feels clean, uncluttered, and modern, unlike some of the other banks' credit card apps that we've seen. Below are a few screenshots illustrating the few simple steps to redeem your reward miles through the app.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Another great benefit of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is that it has no foreign transaction fees. Foreign transaction fees can add around 3% onto the purchase price, which can more than wipe out one's hard-earned rewards from charging it in the first place. Lastly, consumers will be happy to know that the foreign exchange conversion rate used is quite close to the spot rate. It was definitely better than the FX rates I was seeing from withdrawing cash from the global branches of my bank.
Capital One® CreditWise®
All Capital One® credit cards come with access to the Capital One® CreditWise® – a service that allows you to monitor your credit score. People who get approved for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card generally need to have an excellent credit score to begin. A tracker like this would allow you to monitor your credit history for any unusual activity – a good way of keeping on top of and catching identity theft. For example, CreditWise® shows how many recent inquiries were made on your account, and how many new accounts were opened (in addition to grades for standard factors like on-time payments, oldest credit line, credit utilization, and available credit.)
How Does The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Compare To Other Credit Cards?
Choosing the right credit card cannot happen in a vacuum – you need to be aware of all your available options in order to make the optimal choice. To help with this, we have profiled the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card against some of its leading competitors.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card vs. Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
The choice between the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card comes down to two factors: whether you are a frequent traveler and how much you spend. The first one is easiest to answer. In order to get the full 2% rewards rate out of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, you must be willing to receive travel statement credit rewards. The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card gives users a flat 1.5% cash back reward on all their spending.
The second consideration to make has to do with your annual spending. The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card offers a higher rewards rate, at the cost of a $95 annual fee (waived the first year). By our calculations, you would need to spend at least $19,000 annually, in order to make up that difference. If you spend at least that amount, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card will be more profitable than the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card vs. Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
If you spend more than $12,666, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is the better card. Its higher rewards rate makes up for the annual $95 fee vs. the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card, which earns 1.25x per dollar spent and has no annual fee. The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card also provides 10x miles on hotels.com/Venture purchases.
Inflection Point: Annual Fee / (Higher Redemption Rate* - Lower Redemption Rate) = $95 / (0.02 – 0.0125) = $12,666
*This underscores an important point. We’re using the higher redemption rate towards travel here, but if you’re going to redeem the mileage on your Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card for cash, a check, or gift cards, then this card does not make sense for you. You’d be better off with Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card.
So there you have it. If you’re planning on spending less than $12,666, consider the no-fee Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card. If you’re spending more than $12,666, get the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card with the $95 fee – the faster rewards earning rate will more than make up for the increase in fee.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a ValuePenguin favorite, and is one of the better travel rewards credit cards. Instead of giving users a flat 2% rewards rate on all spending, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card gives different rewards on Travel/Dining and regular spending. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Cardholders who use the card to pay for travel and dining walk away with a 2.5% rewards rate on those purchases (2 points per dollar multiplied by the 1.25 bonus when redeeming for travel on the Chase portal), and 1.25% on everything else. If your annual dining & travel budget does not exceed $7,200, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card will be a better choice. If you meet this threshold, you should next look to how much of your total spending falls into those two categories. If a dining and travel don’t make up a majority of your credit card expenditures, then the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is once again the better choice.
Choosing optimally between different credit cards often requires a fair amount of calculations and math. Our tool below takes care of most of the work for you – all you have to do is enter an estimate of your monthly spending, and we will calculate for you the expected net rewards for each card.
More Information about the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
What credit do I need to apply for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card? Agents and the bank will not confirm a range of credit scores eligible for the card. Instead, the guidelines they use in determining creditworthiness are: no bankruptcy or loan defaults; not being more than 60 days late on paying off credit cards, medical bills, or loans in the last year; and owning a loan or credit card in the past three years with a credit limit above $5,000. You'll hear back quickly on your pre-approval for the card - as quickly as upon submission of your online application.
How easy is it to apply and sign up for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card? You can sign up for the card online. Applicants typically receive a decision on their credit approval upon submitting the online form, but if more credit score review and financial history / background checks are required, then it can take up to 15 business days for Capital One® to process your application.