Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Review

Travelers looking for a streamlined rewards experience will enjoy the ease and simplicity of earning miles ​
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Julian is a tech and finance writer, covering stories from artificial intelligence to cryptocurrency. He lives with his wife in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Whenever he has a day off, Julian can be found at Isotopes Stadium watching the ballgame.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Review

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a breath of fresh air in an industry where rewards from travel credit cards are becoming more and more complex. With the Venture Rewards card, every single purchase earns miles for the cardholder, and those miles can be spent effortlessly as money back on travel expenses, or they can be transferred to one of Capital One’s partner organizations for discounts on flights and hotels.

The perks cardholders can get from this traveler’s credit card also include lost luggage reimbursement, secondary auto rental coverage, and travel accident insurance. That said, the annual fee means that people will need to spend a significant amount with the card to make the rewards worth the cost, so it may not be the best option for people looking for a hassle-free rewards credit card.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Overview

Pros Cons
High rewards rate
No restrictions on which purchases count for earning miles
Can use miles with any airline
Annual fee
Penalty for some cash back options
  • Reviews.com Rating: 3.9/5
  • Card Type: Travel
  • Rewards Rate: Two miles for every dollar spent on all purchases
  • Sign-Up Bonus: 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in three months from opening the account
  • Annual Fee: None for year one, then $95 after
  • APR: 17.24%-24.49% (Variable)
  • Intro APR: N/A
  • Recommended Credit Score: Excellent
  • Additional Rates and Fees: 3% balance transfer fee

Perks

  • Easy-to-understand miles system
  • Miles back on every purchase with the card
  • Redeem miles for credit back on card
  • Rental car coverage and travel accidental insurance
  • No blackout dates

Best for

People who want a credit card with good travel perks and easy-to-understand travel rewards for their everyday purchases

Not for

People looking to avoid hefty annual fees after the first year

The Competition

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Chase Sapphire Preferred Card The Platinum Card from American Express Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
Rewards rate
2X miles with every purchase 5X points on Lyft rides 2X points on travel and dining 1X points on all other purchases 5X points for flights and hotels 3X points for dining, travel, gas, and streaming services 1X points for all other purchases
Sign-up bonus
50,000 miles after spending $3,000 on the card in the first three months
60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on the card in the first three months
60,000 points after spending $5,000 on the card in the first three months
30,000 points after spending $3,000 on the card in the first three months
Annual fee
No annual fee for year one, $95 after
$95
$550
N/A
APR
Variable 17.24%-24.49%
Variable 17.24%-24.49%
0% (balance due at the end of the month
Variable 15.49%-27.49%
Other
No foreign transaction fees Good credit recommended No foreign transaction fees Good credit recommended No foreign transaction fees Good credit recommended No foreign transaction fees Good credit recommended
View details View details View details View details

All information accurate as of January 16, 2020.

Main Benefits

Elegant and simple rewards

While many rewards cards have different earnings for different kinds of spending, the Capital One Venture Rewards card makes things simple: two miles for every purchase. It’s a great starter card for people who are interested in earnings potential from their credit card.

Travel perks

Some of the travel perks of the Venture Rewards credit card are less apparent at first glance, but they can go a long way toward saving the cardholder money during business trips and vacations. Rental car coverage and travel accidental insurance might turn out to be a lifesaver in tough situations, and the credit of up to $100 for the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck when paying with the card helps out, too.

Valuable sign-up bonus

After signing up for the Venture credit card and spending $3,000 with the card in the first three months, the cardholder will earn 50,000 miles, which amounts to about $500 dollars in travel. Taking advantage of this bonus will make it a valuable travel credit card right off the bat.

Possible Drawbacks

Miles (aka points) are penalized for cash back

Once the cardholder earns a few miles, they might want to exchange those miles for statement credit or cash back. But if the miles are not used for expenses related to travel, then the exchange rate comes with a steep penalty, which means the miles will only be worth half when compared to other options.

Annual fee

Although the $95 annual fee after the first year is fairly standard, it is an expense that is worth considering before signing up. The cardholder will be required to make a few purchases using the card to make that fee worth it in the long run.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Compared to Chase Sapphire Preferred

Capital One has gone to great lengths to make its premier travel credit card easy to understand and simple to use. Cardholders will quickly be able to understand how they earn points and what those points will mean for them when exchanged for discounts. Unless the cardholder is already financially savvy, the same might not hold true for people applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card.

What the Chase Sapphire Preferred lacks in transparency, it makes up for with the flexibility of exchange options offered. Chase’s travel card has more options for how to spend points, and the exchange rate for those points is better than that of the Capital One Venture Rewards card. However, the Venture Rewards card earns points on all purchases, while the Chase Sapphire Preferred limits earning points to travel and dining purchases.

How to Earn Miles

One of the Capital One Venture Rewards card’s best features is its ability to earn miles for the cardholder fast. Every single dollar spent on the card earns two miles. It’s that easy. And when many travel credit cards only offer one point per dollar, this card is definitely ahead of the pack.

How to Redeem Miles

Capital One’s “Purchase Eraser” is the first option to consider when redeeming Venture miles. This feature allows cardholders to spend points against charges on the Venture Rewards credit card. Each mile is worth one cent when used for travel purchases, but miles are only worth half a cent for general purchases, which makes sense, considering that this card is geared towards people on the go. The Purchase Eraser is a solid option because it does not have a minimum or maximum of miles allowed to be redeemed.

Cardholders can also redeem their miles through Capital One’s travel center online portal. This option allows people to pay for travel expenses like flights and hotels upfront, with a rate of one cent per mile.

A third option for redeeming miles is through the loyalty programs of airlines who have partnered with Capital One for this service. There is a slight penalty for using this option, as the miles lose some of their value when switched over to the loyalty programs. Most of the airlines will offer one and a half miles for every two miles transferred over, and Jet Blue, which is the only domestic airline on the list, only offers one mile for every two Venture Miles transferred.

Airline loyalty programs that accept Venture miles:
  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • Alitalia MilleMiglia
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways Guest
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
  • Finnair Plus
  • Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines
  • The Bottom Line

    We like the Capital One Venture Rewards card a lot — in fact, we named it as our pick for the best travel credit card. When it comes to earning miles fast and redeeming them with ease, this travel credit card is difficult to beat.