The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is among the best travel credit cards on the market. This rewards card offers an impressive one-time bonus for new cardholders and high, flat-rate rewards on every purchase you make. You’ll also get a lot of flexibility when it comes time to redeem your rewards and get an assist with expedited airport screenings through TSA.
If you’re considering getting into travel rewards, but don’t want a credit card with complicated rewards or benefits, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card should be on your radar.
Sign-Up Bonus and Rewards Rate
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers an impressive 75,000 bonus miles for new cardholders. Those miles are worth at least $750 in travel. However, you may squeeze even more value from your bonus by transferring those miles to any of Capital One’s many airline and hotel travel partners.
While this 75,000-mile bonus is not the largest welcome offer to new cardholders for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, it certainly will get you started with rewards travel. The card issuer featured a limited-time promotion in 2021 of 100,000 bonus miles. However, the spending threshold was $20,000 in the first 12 months of card membership. Most people will find it much easier to spend $4,000 in three months.
The card offers a flat-rate 2X Capital One Miles on every purchase you make, giving cardholders predictability and simplicity. You’ll also earn 5X miles on all hotel and rental car purchases that you make with the card through Capital One’s proprietary travel booking platform.
If you like the idea of earning travel rewards but don’t want to keep track of complicated rewards structures that include several different rewards rates, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is tough to beat.
On the flip side, if you like the idea of maximizing your rewards with bonus points or bonus miles on everyday spending categories, this card might not be the best fit for you.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card charges a $95 annual fee, which is standard with a lot of top travel rewards credit cards that don’t offer luxury perks. This credit card used to charge no annual fee during the first year, which would give you some time to “test drive” the card to decide if it’s right for you. But the bank dropped the introductory fee waiver when it added the TSA Pre✓®/Global Entry benefit.
Additionally, this rewards card does not charge any foreign transaction fees for international purchases, which makes the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card ideal for non-U.S. travel.
To qualify for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, the card issuer says you need an excellent credit score. That said, “excellent” is defined differently from one card issuer to another. For Capital One, an excellent credit score means:
- You never declared bankruptcy or defaulted on a loan.
- You haven’t been more than 60 days late on any credit card, loan or medical bill in the last year.
- You’ve had a loan or credit card for at least three years with a credit limit of $5,000 or more.
In other words, you may be able to get approved for the credit card if you have a good credit score, which starts at a FICO Score of 670 or above. But if you’re new to credit or you’ve made some missteps, it may be tough to qualify.
A lot of travel cards at this tier don’t offer a ton of benefits. But with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, you’ll receive an application fee credit for TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry every four years.
With TSA Pre✓®, you’ll get expedited airport screening at countless U.S. airports, which can make a huge difference. According to the Transportation Security Administration, TSA Pre✓® members waited less than five minutes to get through security in December 2020.
In contrast, Global Entry not only includes TSA Pre✓® but also offers you expedited customs screening when returning to the U.S. from abroad. Because this option includes the benefits of both programs, it’s best to choose it, even if you don’t plan to travel internationally anytime soon. Both programs last five years, so you’ll have plenty of time to take advantage of your membership in both.
In addition to a TSA Pre✓®/Global Entry application fee credit, the card also offers:
- Rental car insurance
- No foreign transaction fees
- Access to premier culinary events, must-see music events and major sporting events
If you plan to get the credit card, read up on all of its features and benefits, so you can ensure that you maximize their value.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card’s big one-time sign-up bonus and high rewards rate are impressive compared to most credit cards. Where it really shines, though, is with the redemption process.
When it comes to travel credit cards, it can be really challenging to find a way to use your rewards in the way you want (especially when it comes to maximizing value for travel purchases). With hotel and airline credit cards, for instance, you’re basically stuck redeeming your points or miles with the co-branded hotel or airline partner. And with some general rewards programs, you might get less value if you use your points or miles to book a flight versus a rental car or hotel.
With the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, though, you’ll get a lot of flexibility. Here are some of the top redemption options for travel purchases that are available.
Cover Recent Travel Purchases with Miles
Use the card to book travel with an eligible travel-related website, and you can use your Capital One miles to get a statement credit for the purchase within 90 days from the date the transaction posts. So if you get this rewards card, then book a trip with it, you’ll have 90 days to earn the card’s welcome offer and use that cash to pay yourself back for some or all of the eligible travel expense at a rate of 1 cent per mile.
Book travel through Capital One
If you want an even simpler way to redeem your Capital One miles, you can do so directly through the issuer’s rewards platform. Capital One’s proprietary tool works similarly to major travel booking websites like Expedia and Priceline. Simply search for the flight, hotel, rental car or another aspect of your trip, then use your miles to pay instead of using cash. You might not get as much flexibility with this option versus booking on your own then covering the purchase with miles retroactively. But it’s still a straightforward way you can use your rewards. Use Expedia promo codes and status-based discounts to potentially decrease your overall travel expenses.
Transfer your miles
Capital One partners with 15+ transfer partners allowing you to transfer your Capital One miles and book directly with your favorite program.
Transferring points to travel partners gives you a lot more flexibility because many of these programs can offer higher rewards rates if you do your research and find the right deal.
Many of Capital One’s transfer partners offer a 1:1 ratio when you transfer your points, but several partners offer a ratio of 2:1 or 2:1.5. So be sure to do your research and shop around when transferring points.
In addition to a few solid travel redemption options, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card also offers non-travel redemption options, which include:
- Cash back in the form of a paper check or account credit
- Gift cards
- Statement Credit
- Shopping online with PayPal
- Shopping online with Amazon.com
- Charitable donations
Just keep in mind that not all redemption options provide the same value. With travel, for instance, you’ll get $500 in value from 50,000 miles. If you use those same miles to get cash back, though, you’ll get just $250. So before you use your rewards, make sure you know what you’re getting in return so you don’t end up leaving money on the table.
The Bottom Line
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a lot of value to beginner and expert travelers alike. This rewards card’s big upfront sign-up bonus and high ongoing rewards rate aren’t easy to beat, making it a solid option for a large audience. Similarly, with no foreign transaction fees, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is ideal for people who regularly make international purchases.
But remember, there’s no single credit card out there that’s best for everyone, even if you narrow down your list to travel cards. As a result, it’s important to take your time to shop around and consider multiple credit cards before you settle on one.
In particular, think about how you like to travel and your preferences when it comes to earning and redeeming rewards. Also, consider which perks you want from a credit card and which card will offer you the best overall value based on how you plan to use it.