- In late 2018, Capital One updated its flagship travel card, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, adding the ability to transfer miles to partner airline reward programs.
- Benefits like up to a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit help offset the $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year.
- The card offers 2 miles per dollar (and 10x at hotels.com/venture through January 2020) and makes it really easy to redeem miles for a statement credit for any travel purchase.
- Thanks to these reasons and more, I now think the Venture card is one of best options for earning and redeeming travel rewards.
When I think of the Venture card from Capital One, I think of a lot more than the clever commercials with Alec Baldwin and Jennifer Garner. Over time, this card has gone from middle-of-the-road to a top-tier option for earning travel rewards.
After adding new benefits and features over the last few years, the Venture card certainly ranks among my top five general travel rewards cards and is a perfect starting point for someone looking to earn and redeem flexible rewards, with some good benefits to boot. Here’s a deeper look at what the Venture offers and why it’s worth a fresh look, even if you didn’t think it was the right fit in the past.
Keep in mind that we’re focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which can far outweigh the value of any rewards.
When you’re working to earn credit card rewards, it’s important to practice financial discipline, like paying your balances off in full each month, making payments on time, and not spending more than you can afford to pay back. Basically, treat your credit card like a debit card.
Improved rewards earning (and burning)
This card starts you out with a 50,000-mile bonus after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. You’ll earn a flat 2 miles per dollar on every purchase and 10x miles at Hotels.com/venture until January 2020. That makes it easy to earn miles quickly without worrying about which card to use where.
The easiest way to redeem, and a perfect starting place for people new to travel miles and points rewards, is the Capital One Purchase Eraser feature. This gives you 1 cent per mile to erase any past travel purchase. You can also book travel through the Venture portal to get the same value when booking new travel.
Capital One also offers the ability to transfer miles to partner airlines. There is a list of 15 partners. While JetBlue is the closest option to a major US carrier, some are partners with big US airlines and allow you to book partner awards in the US. Of course, they are also great for flying to their home countries and regions in many cases.
It’s trickier to know exactly how much value you’ll get when transferring unless you do the math on each award redemption as you go. Venture miles transfer at a 2:1.5 ratio or 2:1 ratio depending on which partner you choose.
If you redeem for premium business or first-class bookings, you’ll probably get a whole lot more in value than the 1 cent per mile offered by the Purchase Eraser. But in some cases, you could end up with less than 1 cent per Venture mile, so you should always compare and run the numbers to make sure you get at least 1 cent.
Improved Venture card benefits
The card has all the benefits you’d expect in exchange for a $95 annual fee. These include no foreign transaction fees, travel accident insurance, and rental car collision damage coverage.
For purchases, new cardholders get purchase protection and an automatic extended warranty through their Visa Signature benefits. I’m going through the process of an extended warranty claim right now, and I’m so glad I have this benefit.
And don’t forget about that TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit of up to $100. Global Entry is definitely the best option if you have this credit. If that’s the route you go, it’s worth $20 per year. Don’t leave that offer on the table.
Read more: Capital One Venture card review
Thanks to the benefits Capital One’s added over the last year, the Venture card has risen into my top-five list for the best travel rewards credit cards. For a card with an annual fee of just $95 (waived the first year), it’s excellent for its 2x earning rate and easy Purchase Eraser redemptions. And the benefits are not too shabby, either.
A couple of years ago, Venture was an okay card that didn’t get me all that excited. But these days, it’s worth a serious look. It isn’t my personal number-one card, but it is a great choice for a lot of people and one I would certainly recommend considering.