The Capital One Venture Card is an elite travel rewards credit card for people with good credit or better who want to earn free flights and hotel nights without breaking the bank or getting tied down to a single travel provider. In fact, Capital One Venture has been among WalletHub’s picks for the best overall credit cards each year since 2008 – over a decade.
With a $500 initial bonus and double miles (at least) on all purchases, it’s really no wonder why the Venture Card is so popular. It doesn’t even charge an annual fee the first year ($95 after), and there’s no foreign transaction fee. Perhaps most importantly for people who like to shop around for the best deals on travel comparison sites, you can also use your miles to pay for any travel-related charges once they post to your account. That gives you a lot of booking freedom relative to most travel rewards cards, especially when you consider how broad of a definition Capital One uses for Venture Card travel charges.
You can learn more about Capital One Venture’s unique benefits below, in our summary of the key things you should know if you’re thinking about applying for the Venture Card.
Capital One Venture Card Review Highlights:
- $500 initial bonus. That’s how much Capital One Venture’s 50,000 bonus miles are worth when redeemed for any travel-related purchase that appears on your statement. All you have to do to earn this bounty is spend at least $3,000 within three months of account opening.
- Up to 2% back on all purchases. The Capital One Venture Card gives you 2 miles per $1 spent on most purchases, which equates to 2% cash back when you redeem for travel. Miles are worth half as much when redeemed for anything else. Purchases made through hotels.com/venture yield 10 miles per $1 spent.
- Travel-booking flexibility. Unlike many other rewards cards, the Venture Credit Card doesn’t force you to book rewards travel through Capital One. Instead, you can book wherever you want and then simply use your miles to pay for the purchase when it appears on your statement.
- Generous ‘travel’ definition. The fact that Venture rewards are worth half as much if you don’t redeem for travel could be a major drawback, depending on how “travel” is defined. Fortunately, Venture views the term pretty broadly. You’ll get full value for your miles by redeeming them for any of the following types of travel expenses:
- Hotel reservations
- Cruise reservations
- Train tickets
- Taxi, bus or limo fare
- Travel agent fees
- Time shares
- No first-year annual fee. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card begins charging a $95 annual fee on your first account anniversary, but one fee-free year is still better than none. It saves you about $18.61 compared to the average credit card, for one thing.
- No foreign fee. None of Capital One’s credit cards charge foreign-transaction fees. And it is one of only two major issuers to take that step. This will save you 1.49% on all purchases processed outside the U.S., whether you’re traveling or simply buying something from an international merchant.
- Built to be paid in full. Like most rewards cards, Capital One Venture sports a rather high APR. In fact, you’re likely to receive an above-average rate for your credit standing. So it’s best not to carry a balance from month to month with this particular plastic.
- Solid benefits. Venture has no shortage of accolades. Along with the rest of Capital One’s Visa Signature cards, Venture tied for 4th in WalletHub’s latest Rental Car Insurance Study and 10th in our International Credit Card Benefits Report. It also ranks 26th for travel insurance and 30th for purchase protection. The Venture Card does not, however, offer price protection or a return-extension program.
It’s fair to say that the Capital One Venture Card is an elite option for anyone with even a bit of travel on their itinerary. You just need to make sure you have the good or excellent credit needed to qualify. You can check your latest credit score for free
on WalletHub to find out.