Updated: Feb 27
Sometimes, too many features can overwhelm an individual to the point that they miss out on something that can benefit them. When it comes to credit cards, many products offer "features" that sound nice on paper—if you know how to take advantage of them. There is one credit card that is easy to use and has outstanding value in the Award Travel arena—Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card!
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Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card flies under the radar when compared to other premier travel credit cards. Giants in the Award Travel space—Chase and American Express—dominate the field. Chase has the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Even Citi is inching closer to the aforementioned heavyweights with the enhanced Citi Premier® Card. You can learn more about both of these travel credit cards in the following posts: Chase Sapphire Preferred—The Best Credit Card Just Got Better! & Citi Premier Card—Don't Underestimate This Workhorse!
Currently, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has a welcome bonus of 60,000 miles! When redeemed strategically through transfer partners, it is possible to get a value of around 1.4 cents per point! This would turn the welcome bonus into a value of around $840! You can apply for this card here!
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card provides an easy avenue to earn miles. You will earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked on Capital One's Travel Portal. However, the real value is the unlimited 2X miles on non-bonus-category spending. I use it on my non-category-bonus spending and love it! The miles add up over time—and is better than the 1X or 1.5X you earn from other credit cards. If you do not like having multiple credit cards and trying to decipher which one to use for a specific purchase, this card is for you!
Do you want to determine the value of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card based on your spending habits? Feel free to use our Credit Card Selector Calculator for FREE! It uses our proprietary algorithm which determines the best credit card in our database based on your spending habits. You will be able to determine the value of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card in your first year of use. You can also apply for this card here!
Capital One has an outstanding shopping portal that allows you to earn cashback in the form of a statement credit. This is in addition to the miles you will earn from using your Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. Capital One Offers cover a lot of merchants and provide extra value. I recently redeemed a Vrbo offer of 7%; it will result in a statement credit of ~$116.69.
To learn more about reward stacking, see the following post: How to Win Points—With Your Spouse and Your Credit Card!
Capital One has a Travel Portal with options to book flights, hotels, and car rentals. It has been recently enhanced using technology from Hopper. Your Venture miles can be redeemed for 1 cent per point going this route. If you pay using your Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card you will receive unlimited 5X miles on hotels and rental cars and unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases when booked through their Travel Portal.
However, instead of redeeming your miles when using the Travel Portal, a better play is to use the "Cover Travel Purchases" redemption a/k/a travel eraser. This will allow you to earn miles from the travel purchase by using your Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and "erase" the transaction at the same value—1 cent per point. If you are going to get the same value either way—1 cent per point—you might as well earn miles from the transaction.
One benefit of using Capital One's Travel Portal is the ease of booking; you do not need to understand loyalty programs and the process of transferring your points to a transferrable partner. Another benefit is there are no blackout dates when booking your travel. You will also earn airlines miles and elite-qualifying miles when booking flights—although you won't earn points or status for hotel stays. (Your hotel loyalty program will classify Capital One's Travel Portal as an Online Travel Agency, like Expedia.)
Capital One currently has 17 transfer partners—14 airlines & 3 hotel chains. Perhaps the least understood but, often, the most valuable method of utilizing your existing points is to transfer your existing points to a transferrable partner. Basically, you are transferring your points to a partner of Capital One, and redeeming those points with that partner for an award flight.
"Capital One's new 1:1 transfer ratio for select partners make them relevant in the Award Travel space."
Although the transfer rate is fixed—1:1 point transfer to 15 of their partners—the end value is not. When done strategically, it is possible to get a value of MORE than 1.4 cents per point! Partners such as Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles, British Airways Executive Club, and Air Canada Aeroplan can be leveraged for some amazing redemptions!
Not all Capital One credit cards allow you to transfer your miles to a transferrable partner. For example, you need to have a card in the Venture or Spark family. This includes: Venture X, Venture, VentureOne, Spark Miles, and Spark Miles Select.
Capital One Miles
You can earn miles from other Venture and Spark mile-earning products and pool your miles together. You can even combine all of your Venture and Spark miles and have one large "pot" to store your miles.
Capital One has an amazing policy when it comes to being able to "share" your miles. Not only are you able to transfer your miles to family members living within your own household—aka Chase Ultimate Rewards® Points—but you can transfer them to just about anyone else who also has a Capital One miles-earning account!
Also, there is no maximum cap on the number of miles you can transfer in a year. As an example, Citi has a 100,000 ThankYou® Points transfer cap per calendar year.
There are no transfer fees when transferring miles. You are not able to transfer between cashback and miles-earning cards.
Annual Benefit & Annual Fee
An intriguing perk about this card is the $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. You don't find this benefit in a lot of credit cards with an annual fee of less than $100. It pays for the $95 annual fee in the first year!
Travel Benefits and Purchase Security
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card comes with "middle ground" travel benefits and purchase protection. It is not as robust as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card but it does surpass the Citi Premier® Card. This provides peace of mind when unexpected events take place that impacts your trip. Learn more about how to plan for travel insurance in the following post: An Easy Guide to Travel Insurance for Your Next Vacation.
The travel benefits include Travel Accident Insurance—up to $250,000 per trip. It also includes secondary Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver coverage. There are Travel and Emergency Assistance Services. It includes Lost Luggage Reimbursement—up to $3,000 per trip. Also, there are no foreign transaction fees.
The Purchase Security covers eligible items of personal property up to $500 per claim for 90 days from the date of purchase due to covered reasons. The Warranty Manager Service extends the U.S. manufacturer's warranty period up to one full year on warranties of three years or less.
Welcome Bonus Stipulations
The current 60,000 miles welcome bonus does come with some stipulations. One requirement is that you will need to spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. This could be easier to attain compared to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Citi Premier® Card—both require a $4,000 minimum spend in the first 3 months.
Also, Capital One provides the following language when applying for the card:
"The bonus may not be available for existing or previous account holders."
There is some ambiguity here as to whether or not you will receive a welcome bonus if you have previously received one. Chase, for example, clearly states the length of time that must elapse before receiving another welcome bonus from the same credit card product. In any event, you can learn more and apply for this card here!
Credit Card Miles & Points Consultant
Do you feel overwhelmed with all the options available when it comes to redeeming your miles & points? Would you like some assistance to get you started in the right direction? You will benefit from the services of a Credit Card Miles & Points Consultant. You will be assisted with regards to earning miles & points through credit card use and redeeming those miles & points for Award Travel. Or, feel free to use any of our Award Travel Tools online. Get started today!