Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
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Pros

  • 40,000 miles sign-up bonus
  • 2x miles per $1
  • Partial statement credit redemptions
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Annual fee

Updated 7/21/17

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card stands out among the travel credit card pack with one of the highest base travel rewards rates we know of, equal to 2%, when redeemed for travel statement credits. The card is, perhaps, best for travelers who want flexible travel rewards and who spend enough to justify a low annual fee. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card matches well with our high-quality, no-fuss credit card philosophy, which is why we rate it as one of the best travel credit cards.

What we like about Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

  • 40,000 miles sign-up bonus – Qualifying new cardholders can earn 40,000 bonus miles - equal to $400 worth of travel-related statement credits - when spending at least $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening.
  • Unlimited 2x miles per $1 – The card has one of the highest base travel rewards rates for all purchases of the cards we cover, equivalent to a 2% yield when miles are redeemed for travel-related purchases. Miles are also unlimited.
  • Statement credit redemptions – Redeeming miles for statement credits is a busy traveler’s best friend, not to mention a potential money-saver for individuals scouring the internet for rock-bottom travel deals. Cardholders aren’t tied to the card issuer’s travel portal. You can book travel through Capital One’s portal or book your travel elsewhere and apply miles for a statement credit later.
  • Partial statement credits Miles can be redeemed for partial statement credits in increments that start at 2,500 miles, or $25. This is a feature some competing cards don't offer.
  • No foreign transaction fee – Pesky foreign transaction fees can quickly add up when whipping out credit cards for purchases abroad. Besides, we’re all a bit looser with our wallets while on vacation. Fortunately, the card nixes the typical 3% foreign transaction fee many card issuers charge. That’s a savings of $60 on $2,000 worth of international spending!

What could be improved for Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

  • Cash-back conversion rate – Miles redeemed for cash will be penalized with a low conversion value of $0.005 cents per mile, equivalent to 1% cash back, and half the value of travel redemptions. This low rate isn’t necessarily a knock on the card: cash redemptions tend to be low for most travel cards. We simply prefer more generous, flexible redemption options across the board, and it’s worth highlighting why choosing the right credit card for your needs is crucial. Read about our picks of the best cash-back credit cards for a few suggestions if cash back is your main priority.

How to best use Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

  • Travel rewards cardholders will generally be better off paying balances by the due date each month to avoid interest charges. It’s a losing strategy to rack up debt for the sake of earning rewards at single-digit rates only to watch as they get eaten up by far higher double-digit interest charges.
  • Spend at least $3,000 in the first three months to qualify for the travel bonus valued at $400. Note that Capital One starts your three-month countdown timer upon application approval, not when you receive or activate your card.
  • Cardholders will need to spend at least $2,950 (59 ÷ 0.02) annually to break even on travel rewards after paying a $59 annual fee. Cardholders lose money to annual fees when spending less than that amount each year, so run your personal budget numbers to uncover what makes financial sense for you.

How to secure a $0 annual fee

Cardholders looking to avoid an annual fee may find the Bank of America® Travel Rewards card to be a better option. All purchases earn 1.5x points per $1, the card includes a $0 annual fee, and qualifying new cardholders can also look forward to an offer of 20,000 points bonus – redeemable for $200 in travel-related statement credits – after spending at least $1,000 on new purchases in the first 90 days. What’s more, existing Bank of America banking clients earn up to 75% bonus rewards, providing the highest tier of Preferred Rewards members with the equivalent of a 2.62% yield for travel redemptions! Altogether, Bank of America® Travel Rewards card is a solid alternative to reduce out-of-pocket costs without sacrificing much in rewards or a sign-up bonus. Read our full Bank of America® Travel Rewards review to learn why we think it’s one of the best credit cards of 2017 as well.

Claim a sign-up bonus worth $400

Individuals wanting a bigger sign-up bonus may find Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite MasterCard® to be a better option. Qualifying new cardholders earn a $400 new cardholder bonus when spending at least $3,000 on purchases within the first 90 days from account opening. 

The key difference from Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is that Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite MasterCard® earns 5% bonus miles when redeemed, on top of 2x miles per $1. Bonus miles can be applied for subsequent travel redemptions, giving Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite MasterCard® a slightly higher, all-in travel rewards rate. However, the card carries an $89 annual fee (waived the first year), which will require spending more on credit to offset the bigger annual fee. Read our full BarclaycardArrival Plus® World Elite MasterCard® review to learn why we picked it as one of the best travel credit card sign-up bonuses.

Final take

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a great credit card for the typical card user who values no-hassles rewards over hacking travel miles to stretch their value. We believe credit card simplicity for the masses trumps the time required for travel hacking, which is one reason we rank this credit card so highly.

You would think for every great feature there must be a trade-off. That isn’t necessarily the case with Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. Notably, card issuers generally sneak in fees when offering the best benefits, but Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has a lower-than-average annual fee and high rewards, compared to competing travel cards.


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