The Capital One Venture Card is considered to be one of the easiest of all the credit cards that make up the “rewards card” category. The reason is its super simple structure of allowing cardholders to earn 2x the miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. There are no special categories. However, that is also considered to be one of the drawbacks of the card. Plus, it carries a $95 annual fee. But the fee can be overcome if cardmembers hit one of the two possible sign-up bonuses available on the card. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the benefits and limitations of the Capital One Venture Card.
How Do Users Earn Points?
The Capital One Venture Card offers new applicants their choice of sign-up bonus. The “headline” offer is 100,000 bonus miles. However, to receive this bonus, applicants must spend $20,000 in the first 12 months of opening the account. Cardholders can opt for a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of opening the account.
In addition to the sign-up bonus, the card offers unlimited 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. That simplifies a hurdle that users feel with some rewards cards that offer rich point-gathering opportunities on certain categories but not others.
What Other Member Benefits Are Included?
One of the primary benefits of having a rewards card is the opportunity to transfer points for discounted travel. The Capital One Venture Card gives cardholders three options to do that. The first is by using the Capital One Purchase Eraser.
Here’s how it works. Cardholders book their travel in whatever manner they want. They then redeem the miles for statement credit. Miles are worth 1 cent apiece and no minimum redemption amount is required. This distinguishes the Venture card from other cards that may require up to a $100 minimum. The company’s website lists what travel expenses are listed as essential.
A second option is to book directly through Capital One’s travel center. With this option, cardholders can pay upfront with their miles (still worth 1 cent per mile).
The third option is for cardholders to transfer their miles directly to the loyalty programs of Capital One’s airline partners. The transfer ratio varies for different partners. In some cases, cardholders may get more miles than points, but in a number of cases, they will get a ratio closer to 2:1.5 (i.e. 2 miles transferred for every mile received.
Aside from transferring points, users can get a statement credit of up to $100 every four years to offset the application fee for Global Entry or TSA Precheck. Users can also get trip protection including rental car coverage, travel accident insurance and 24/7 travel assistance services. Plus, like virtually all cards in this category, there are no foreign transaction fees on overseas purchases.
What is the Annual Percentage Rate (APR)?
The card comes with a current APR between 17.24%-24.49%. This is a variable rate that fluctuates with the prime rate that is based on the federal funds rate set by the Federal Reserve.
Do You Qualify?
Like all cards in this category, cardmembers must have good to excellent credit to receive the Capital One Venture Card. In this case, the recommended credit score is between 690 and 850. However, because most people applying for this card do a hefty amount of travel per year, most applicants are likely to have a credit score that will be in the recommended range.
Individuals who already own a Capital One card (e.g. the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card) may be eligible to upgrade to the Venture card without filling out a new application. This prevents a hard pull on their credit account or canceling a credit card account. However, it does mean they are not eligible for a sign-up bonus.
What Cards Are Similar to The Capital One Venture Card?
The card that is most frequently compared to the Capital One Venture Card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. The largest difference is the way points are redeemed. The Chase card offers the option to transfer to more domestic carriers, as well as several hotel chains, at a 1:1 ratio. The Sapphire Preferred card has an introductory offer of 80,000 bonus points for every 4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.
Does the Card Have Limitations?
One of the limitations of this card is the threshold that is required to qualify for the 100,000 bonus miles. At over $1,600 per month of spending, it is a hurdle that many consumers will not be able to easily meet, particularly if they have other rewards cards that may offer them better rewards for specific categories (e.g. dining). If customers do not believe they can meet this requirement, they can opt for the 50,000 mile bonus. That, however, is not as lucrative of an offer that they can get from another card.
Another potential limitation is that the Venture card (at this time) does not include any of the large U.S. airline carriers when it comes to transferring points. This means that it may not be as easy for cardholders to make use of the bonus miles they receive. And, the card is not a very lucrative option for consumers who are trying to exchange points for a cashback bonus.
Like most rewards cards, the Capital One Venture Card is a very good card for frequent travelers, although it may help to be somewhat agnostic when it comes to airlines and hotel chains. If you have specific preferences, other rewards cards may allow you to maximize that loyalty better.
The Venture card benefits novice and experienced rewards travelers alike. For those that are relatively new to rewards cards, the Venture card makes it simple to transfer points for miles. And even if they can’t they have the option of getting the fixed two miles per dollar spent on everyday purchases.
Experienced rewards travelers can benefit from having a fixed-value card in their wallet. That’s because the card can help them get flights and hotels for free, plus it can cancel out any other charges (e.g. rental cars and tours) so travel costs will be as minimal as possible.