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The Capital One Venture Rewards Card is a general-use travel card, designed for travelers who don’t spend with one particular airline or hotel more than others. New cardholders will get a metal version of the Venture Rewards, with a stainless steel veneer.
It provides 10X miles per dollar at Hotels.com/venture through January 2020; and 2X miles per dollar for every other purchase. This is a great deal for anyone who stays at hotels very often and could book through Hotels.com, because that comes out to an equivalent of 10% cash back. Other purchases have an equivalent of 2% back, still very good for non-category spending.
The Venture Rewards is an excellent card for booking hotel rooms, offering more rewards than any other general-use travel card. You might be able to get a similar rate with a co-branded hotel card, but then you wouldn’t have any of the flexibility that makes this card so useful.
There are also 50,000 introductory bonus miles to earn — worth $500 or more when redeemed — which can be yours for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
Capital One recently added the ability to transfer miles to a variety of airline loyalty programs, making this card quite a bit more valuable.
If you’re a frequent flyer, you may find the available TSA PreCheck/Global Entry statement credit useful for reducing time spent in security and customs lines. The credit is available every four years.
Visa Signature benefits and protections are included, some of which could be quite valuable. The Luxury Hotel Collection can make your hotel stays cheaper and more comfortable, and there are many shopping and travel discounts to explore.
The Venture Rewards has a $95 annual fee, which will be waived the first year. And you’ll pay no fee on foreign transactions.
There’s another card in Capital One’s Venture line, with different card terms and rewards. It might be a better option for you, depending on what you’re looking for in a travel credit card. Both of these cards are designed for excellent credit.
|Card||Annual Fee||Purchase APR||Rewards||Benefits|
|(This review)||$0 intro for first year; $95 after that||17.49% - 24.74% (Variable)||
|Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card (Review)||$0||0% intro on purchases for 12 months, then 13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)||
||Visa Platinum or Visa Signature|
We give the Venture Rewards card 4 out of 5 Stars because it can provide a great value for hotel spending, and it’s not bad for other purchases either.
There are many different types of travel credit cards, and this one might not be best for you (especially if you won’t book through Hotels.com). See some other travel cards below, with different rewards programs and features.
The Venture Rewards can provide the equivalent of 10% cash back when spending at Hotels.com/venture, and 2% cash back for every other purchase. This assumes you’re redeeming for travel expenses at one cent per mile; if you get a better deal through a mile transfer you’ll get higher cash back equivalents.
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
The Venture card normally earns 2X miles for every purchase, but Capital One recently began working with Hotels.com to offer 10X miles when booking through that service. This 10X offer is available until January 31st, 2020.
Take note that you must make hotel reservations from Hotels.com/venture and pay with your Venture card to earn at the 10X rate. If you simply go to Hotels.com this offer won’t apply. The miles you earn from Hotels.com may take up to two billing cycles to show up in your account.
This ends up being a pretty good deal, because you can redeem miles for 1 cent each. That means you’ll get the equivalent of 10% cash back on purchases from Hotels.com/venture, and 2% cash back on every other purchase.
The 50,000 bonus miles you can earn would be worth $500 when redeemed for statement credits at 1 cent each, or potentially more through a mile transfer.
You can earn an unlimited number of miles, and they’ll never expire as long as your account is open and in good standing (not in default).
Being able to consistently get 10% back on such a wide variety of hotels is a pretty rare deal, better than what you’ll find on most other travel cards. If you’re a Hotels.com member your purchases from Hotels.com/venture will be eligible for your membership rewards. These include special lower rates, and getting a free night stay for every 10 nights you book.
You’ll have three basic options when redeeming your miles.
We recommend always redeeming for mile transfers or travel expenses because you’ll get at least 1 cent per mile. We’ll explain how to redeem for travel expenses first, and then we’ll go over mile transfers.
You can redeem miles for either past or upcoming travel expenses. Miles don’t expire, so you can hold on to them until you can redeem in this way.
The Purchase Eraser system will let you find eligible travel expenses from the past 90 days, and you can use miles to pay them off. Partial redemptions are available, to pay for part of the cost of a purchase.
The types of eligible travel expenses are:
|rail lines||limo services||cruise lines||travel agents||time shares|
Miles can also be used to pay for travel reservations as you make them. You’ll need to book travel either through Capital One’s website or by calling customer support to redeem miles in this way.
You can transfer your Capital One miles to several different airline loyalty programs, where you might find a better value than 1 cent per mile.
Most of the transfer rates are 2:1.5 (2 Capital One miles for 1.5 partner miles), although some partners have a lesser rate.
|Airline Partner||Transfer Rate|
|Aeromexico Club Premier||2:1.5|
|Air Canada Aeroplan
|Air France KLM Flying Blue
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
|EVA Infinity MileageLands
|Hainan Fortune Wings Club
|Qantas Frequent Flyer
The Venture card charges $95 annually, after the first year, so you should earn enough miles to offset that cost.
Since each mile is worth up to 1 cent with the regular redemption options, you’ll need to get 9,500 miles to redeem for $95 worth of travel expenses. Or, if you use a mile transfer to get a better deal it will take less spending. The amount you’ll need to spend will also depend on the rate at which you earn the miles.
The more miles per dollar you earn, the less spending it will take to offset the fee. Here’s how much you’ll need to spend at the 10X and 2X rates to earn $95 worth of miles, along with an example of a mix of spending.
|Earning Rate||Spending Required|
|Mix||$2,750 ($500 at 10X, $2,250 at 2X)|
Most people will have a mix of spending at the 10X and 2X rates, falling somewhere in between. But it’s interesting to see that you can offset the annual fee with as little as $950 in spending through Hotels.com/venture. That could be just one stay of several nights at a pricier hotel.
Remember that this assumes you’re redeeming for travel expenses at 1 cent per mile. If you get a better deal through a mile transfer you won’t have to spend as much.
Keep in mind that you’ll want to use this card for more than to just offset the annual fee, but to make a bit of profit as well. These calculations didn’t take into account any of the other card features that you can find value from, like the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection. And the 50,000 miles you can get from the introductory bonus, worth at least $500, would offset the annual fee for over five years as well.
The Venture Rewards card comes with benefits from two different sources:
Visa Signature cards come with an upgraded set of benefits and protections compared to the more basic Visa Platinum. The VentureOne Rewards card is a similar offer, but it’s available at either the Visa Platinum or Visa Signature level, depending on your credit limit ($5,000 and above provides a Visa Signature).
The Luxury Hotel Collection by Visa Signature provides special perks at select hotels around the world. You’ll get seven services in particular:
You’ll be able to search for participating hotels in different parts of the world and see what they’re rated, along with the services you can expect there. Visa rates hotels on 10 different factors, including “Attention to Detail,” “Generosity & Value,” and “Architecture & Design.”
There are also quite a few special offers available at select locations, which come and go over time. These let you get some particularly good deals on hotel bookings, with free night stays and discounts.
Here are a few examples of the special offers:
This perk would pair very nicely with the 10X miles you’ll get from Hotels.com/venture. It might be a bit more work to find hotels that qualify for both card features, but the miles and benefits you get will be worth the effort.
TSA PreCheck and Global Entry are “Trusted Traveler” programs developed to help frequent flyers move more quickly through airport security and customs lines. The Venture Rewards card caters to travelers with a statement credit that covers the application fee of either program. It’s available every four years.
Use your Visa Signature card to get discounts at certain retailers. There are usually a few dozen offers available here, for both online and physical stores.
Some of the current discounts and offers are:
These deals can help you save a bit of money, although they probably won’t be too useful for your regular, everyday purchases. They’re worth checking when shopping around for larger expenses, however.
Many credit card companies offer a shopping portal like this, so if you have several cards you have a better chance of finding an eligible offer. American Express has Amex Offers, Citi has Citi Easy Deals, and Chase has Shop Through Chase.
This benefit is similar to the shopping discounts above but it’s focused on food, with a bit of wine thrown in too.
There are currently only a handful of offerings here, and only one regarding wine:
The rest of the discounts are for more common merchants, which are currently:
Get exclusive discounts and offers at sports events and a variety of other experiences. Some of the current deals are:
Usually these entertainment-style offers are limited to some big cities around the country. That’s also how the Membership Experiences that American Express offers typically works, and the Preferred Experiences by Chase.
You can call your Visa Signature concierge service any time at 1-800-953-7392. They’re ready to help with a wide variety of non-emergency tasks, very much like a personal assistant.
The concierge can provide assistance in four main ways, although you aren’t limited to these categories:
Concierge services can be used for many different tasks, but they’re probably most useful when traveling, like if you’re visiting a new city. Call them up to find the best places to eat, or to book a room at a hotel that fits your budget.
Visa Signature credit cards often come with this concierge service, as do many other travel credit cards. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Review) offers a concierge, although the American Express® Gold Card (Review) does not.
|Purchase APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|17.49% - 24.74% (Variable)||17.49% - 24.74% (Variable)||24.74% (Variable)|
|Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Balance Transfer Fee||Cash Advance Fee|
|$0 intro for first year; $95 after that||None||$0||3% of the amount of the cash advance, but not less than $10|
|Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|None||Up to $39||None|
The terms and fees of the Venture Rewards card are pretty straightforward. If you carry a balance from month to month you’ll accrue interest at the rates shown above. We always recommend paying off your balance in full each billing period, to avoid interest and improve your credit utilization.
You won’t have to pay the annual fee of $95 for the first year. After that you can offset it with as little as $950 in spending at the 10X rate, or even less if you use a point transfer.
There are no foreign transaction fees, and this card is also a Visa. So it will be accepted just about everywhere that credit cards are accepted, and you won’t have to pay extra when outside the country. This is normal for travel cards, though other cards typically charge fees of up to 3%.
The Venture Rewards card will come with a credit limit of at least $5,000.
You can request a credit line increase from Capital One at any time, though we recommend waiting about 6 or 12 months between requests. Capital One may also increase your credit line automatically if you show responsible credit behavior.
|Customer support for existing accounts||1-800-CAPITAL (1-800-227-4825)|
|Apply for a credit card||1-800-695-5500|
Capital One used to be ranked very poorly compared to other card issuers when it came to customer support. According to J.D. Power, in 2012 Capital One came in 8th out of 11 major credit card companies, and they weren’t doing any better before that. This situation didn’t change much until 2015, when they jumped up to 3rd place, where they’ve stayed through 2017.
We gave Capital One a call to ask if their Venture Rewards card is made of metal. The answer is yes, a metal version of this card will be issued to new cardholders. We were also told that existing cardholders with a plastic card cannot upgrade to a metal version. However, some people have reported that they have successfully upgraded to the metal card, so it might be worth contacting customer support to ask.
We’ve usually been very satisfied with our recent experiences with Capital One’s customer service. While representatives from some companies sometimes seem a bit standoffish if you’re not actually a cardholder with them, Capital One’s reps have always been friendly and eager to help. Occasionally it has taken a little while to find answers to our questions, but usually their reps work fast and are quite knowledgeable.
If you had a bad customer support experience with Capital One some years back, it may be time to give them another chance. Their consumer satisfaction scores have risen by leaps and bounds, and they seem competent compared to most other card issuers.
Capital One provides plenty of information about the Venture Rewards card on their website. They show the rewards, benefits, and terms clearly.
You can easily see that this card comes as a Visa Signature. Links are provided if you’d like to learn more about the benefits from Capital One or Visa, including a link to the Guide to Benefits. This is a very nice addition on their part, which makes it easy to see everything the card offers. Some other card issuers make it pretty difficult to get that same information.
If you’re a Capital One cardholder you can speak with them online, through their live web chat. And anyone can reach them at their Twitter customer support account, @AskCapitalOne. Never reveal your personal or account information on Twitter or other social media sites.
The Capital One Venture Rewards is a pretty simple card, but it has good earnings potential.
It will be hard to beat 10X miles per dollar for hotel purchases (10% cash back) with other general-use travel rewards cards, and the 2X miles everywhere else is not bad either. The 50,000 bonus miles you can earn if you spend $3,000 in the first three months make for a pretty great introductory bonus.
This card’s value has increased now that you can transfer Capital One miles to a variety of airlines, giving you an opportunity to earn more than 1 cent per mile.
There are extra benefits that can potentially come in quite useful, especially the shopping and travel discounts you’ll find. Try to book hotel rooms through Hotels.com/venture that also qualify for the Luxury Hotel Collection to get the most out of this card.
The $95 annual fee can be offset by spending $950 through Hotels.com/venture, but you’ll want to use this card more than that to make a profit. And you can bring it with you for spending outside the country without being charged extra on foreign transactions.
The Venture Rewards is a general-use travel rewards card, good for hotels and also a variety of spending. But there are many travel card options out there. Take a look at some other travel cards, with rewards for different types of purchases and other kinds of benefits.
You can apply for the Capital One Venture Rewards Card securely on Capital One’s website.
Most applicants will get an instant decision, but not all. In some cases Capital One may request more information.
The Venture Rewards is issued as a metal credit card, with a stainless steel veneer. This card is designed for excellent credit, meaning a FICO 8 Credit Score of about 700 or above. But this isn’t a direct requirement, and you may be approved if your credit scores are close, depending on your other financial information.
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
You’ll get a similar rewards program to the Venture card, but with 1.25X miles instead of 2X for “other purchases.” The introductory bonus offer is smaller too, at just 20,000 miles, but it will take less spending to get.
All of the redemption options for the Venture card also apply here, including the mile transfer partners.
The VentureOne card is available at either the Visa Platinum or Visa Signature level. The version you get will depend on your credit limit: below $5,000 will get a Visa Platinum, while $5,000 and above will get a Visa Signature.
If your card comes as a Visa Signature, it will have all the Visa benefits mentioned above for the Venture card. If your card is a Visa Platinum, it will only have the following protections:
There’s no annual fee for the VentureOne Rewards card. It also comes with a 12-month 0% intro APR for purchases before the 13.74% - 23.74% (Variable) APR kicks in, a nice offer that the Venture card doesn’t have. There are no foreign transaction fees to pay.
Since the VentureOne has no annual fee, you may actually earn more overall rewards with it than the Venture card, even though it offers miles at a lesser rate. With no annual fee to offset, any rewards you earn will be all profit. Here’s how much you’ll earn with each card in terms of cash back equivalent, after accounting for the annual fee of the Venture card.
|Amount Spent Annually||Venture – Cash Back Equivalent (2X miles per dollar)||VentureOne – Cash Back Equivalent (1.25X miles per dollar)|
So you’ll need to spend $12,667 or more per year for the Venture card to be more rewarding than the VentureOne. Keep in mind that this doesn’t take into account the 10X miles you can earn from Hotels.com/venture, it’s only for other types of spending, and we’re assuming a value of 1 cent per mile here.
Read more in our Review of the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (Review) is another general-use travel card, popular for its point-transfer options to airline and hotel frequent traveler programs. It has a $95 annual fee, which can be offset with a minimum of $2,970 in spending.
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
Rather than providing 2X miles for most purchases, like the Venture Rewards, the Sapphire Preferred only offers 2X for travel and dining. There is no big 10X category for hotels.
The Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn here will be worth 1 cent each normally, but they can be redeemed for more than that. The 25% point bonus for redeeming for travel through Ultimate Rewards means they’ll be worth 1.25 cents each, for an equivalent of 2.5% cash back on travel.
Points can also be transferred to a variety of airline and hotel loyalty programs at a 1:1 rate, including Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Marriott, and Hyatt. We’ve found transfer deals that provide the equivalent of 3.3% cash back (when spending in the 2X bonus categories). You may be able to find even better redemption values than that.
Many people use the Sapphire Preferred to earn points and transfer them to their favorite airline or hotel. The Venture Rewards doesn’t have a transfer program like this, although you’ll be able to earn miles on a wider variety of purchases. The Sapphire Preferred is great as a general-use card for point transfers, but if you can do most of your travel spending through Hotels.com you can probably get more out of the Venture Rewards.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred comes as a Visa Signature, just like the Venture Rewards. So they’ll have the same set of extra benefits and protections from Visa, for the most part, like the concierge service. There are also some extra card features provided by Chase.
So the extra perks of the Sapphire Preferred are probably superior to the Venture Rewards, although the rewards program may be a more important factor for you.
The Sapphire Preferred has terms and fees that are similar to the Venture Rewards. There’s an annual fee of $95, and no foreign transaction fees.
Each card will come with a minimum credit limit of $5,000.
You’ll be able to offset the annual fee of the Sapphire Preferred by spending about $2,970, assuming you earn at the 2X rate and then redeem for a good point transfer. Or, if you redeem for travel through Ultimate Rewards, it would take $3,800 in spending at the 2X rate.
Read more in our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The American Express® Gold Card (Review) has several bonus reward categories, unlike the Venture Rewards. This card has a $250 annual fee (Rates & Fees), which can be offset by using the benefits effectively each year.
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
Instead of simply offering 2X miles for every purchase, the Amex Gold card provides more points for eligible flight purchases, and has a few other valuable bonus categories as well. This card isn’t as flexible as the Venture Rewards, but it will be more rewarding for certain purchases.
Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for travel expenses at up to 1 cent each, meaning you’d earn an equivalent of 4%, 3%, 2%, or 1% cash back with this card, depending on the rate at which you earn points.
Or, points can be transferred to a wide variety of airline and hotel loyalty programs where they might be worth more to you. You may get as much as 2 cents per point or more through transfers, which would give you a cash back equivalent of 8% when spending in the 4X categories, and 6% in the 3X categories.
The Amex Gold can’t match the 10X category of the Venture Rewards card for hotel spending. But other than that it provides a good rate on airfare, and it’s more rewarding than the Venture in those other bonus categories too.
The Gold Card has a set of travel and shopping benefits provided by Amex. Many of the protections will be similar, like Purchase Protection and Travel Accident Insurance.
There are also some other more valuable perks to take advantage of:
This card has some cost-saving perks that you won’t get from the Venture, but it also has a much higher annual fee (Rates & Fees). So, if you can’t fully utilize these credits, you may find the benefits of the Venture Rewards card to be more valuable than what you’d get with the Amex Gold.
If you know you’ll use the dining and airline credits, and can also make use of the $100 hotel credit one or more times per year, that would be a good reason to consider this card over the Venture. Otherwise, the Visa Signature benefits you get with the Venture might be preferable.
The Amex Gold Card has an annual fee of $250 , more than twice as large as the Venture Rewards. There are no foreign transaction fees (Rates & Fees).
The Gold Card is also a charge card, rather than a regular credit card like the Venture. This means you’ll need to pay off the statement balance in full each billing period, rather than having an option to revolve it over to the next month.
To offset the $250 annual fee of this card (Rates & Fees), you can begin by using the $120 dining credit and $100 airline fee credit in full each year. That leaves only $30 left to offset, which you could do with a single use of The Hotel Collection’s $100 credit.
Or, you can earn $30 worth of points by spending $750 at the 4X rate, assuming you redeem points for 1 cent each. If you can transfer your points and get 2 cents per point, it’d only take $375 in spending.
Read more in our Review of the American Express® Gold Card
Some credit cards are co-branded with particular airlines or hotels, for which they provide specific rewards and benefits. If you love one airline or hotel brand more than all the others, it will be worth checking to see if they offer a credit card. Most of the major brands do.
Find the right airline or hotel credit card to fit your lifestyle:
Here’s an example of each kind of card.
The United℠ Explorer Card (Review) is co-branded with United Airlines, where it provides extra miles per dollar and a few nice perks. It could be right for you, if you spend about $1,000 or more with United per year.
The Explorer has a $95 annual fee, and no foreign transaction fees. So the terms are mostly like the Venture Rewards, but the annual fee isn’t waived the first year.
You can offset that fee with as little as $679 in spending, assuming you earn at the 7X rate and redeem for 2 cents per mile (2X from the card, 5X from Basic MileagePlus member status).
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
You’ll earn miles on any tickets purchased from United, even if the flight is operated by a different airline. So you’ll have some flexibility when collecting miles.
We’ve found United Saver Award flights that provide about 2 cents per mile, which would give you an equivalent of 14% cash back. That’s a great deal, but you’ll have to do all your spending and redeeming with United to get it. Different types of flights and other redemption options will provide less value per point.
Cardholders get several benefits when flying with United, and in other situations too:
See more options for other airlines in our post, The Best Airline Credit Cards
The Surpass costs $95 per year, and has no foreign transaction fee (Rates & Fees).
You can offset that fee by spending about $1,145, if you redeem points for free night stays and get a cash back equivalent of about 8.3%. Or, if you redeem for your 5th night free, you can get $95 in value with about $754 in spending. This assumes you’re earning points at the 24.5X rate.
|Introductory Bonus Offers|
This card showers you with Hilton Honors points, although they won’t be worth quite as much as the points you get in competing programs. So it pretty much evens out.
At 30X points per dollar, you’ll be earning a cash back equivalent of about 12–30% assuming a point value of 0.4–1 cent each (12X base points from the card and 18X points from Hilton Honors Gold status).
The Surpass gives cardholders complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status, which comes with several nice perks. There’s an 80% point bonus on Base Points earned, rate discounts, and your second guest stays free. Diamond status can be reached by spending $40,000 with the card per year, which has even better benefits.
Some other perks are included as well:
See more options for other hotels in our post, The Best Hotel Credit Cards
Did you like this review? Feel free to share it with a friend! If you use the Capital One Venture Rewards Card, leave your own review for other readers, we’d love to hear from you!
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