Published in: Credit Cards | Dec. 13, 2018

Is Capital One® Venture® Rewards Worth the $95 Annual Fee?

By:  Eric Volkman

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The card dishes out a bevy of premium perks. But is the modest annual fee worth it?

Woman sitting in front of travel pictures with sign saying "pack your bags & let's go"

Image source: Getty Images

Many credit cards have no annual fee, so it takes some justification to make the decision to possess a card where you’ll have to pay one. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is such a card; although the $95 yearly rate is waived in the first year of ownership, it becomes a recurring expense thereafter. While that $95 probably won’t break the bank for most people, still it’s a good amount of scratch for a credit card. As you’ll see it’s quite a bargain in this case, as Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is packed with enough features to make our list of the best credit cards. Here’s a few reasons why it qualified.

Big bonus for new cardmembers

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card offers a raft of bonuses and perks. New cardholders can earn 50,000 miles nearly right out of the gate. This bonus kicks in when the user spendsafter spending $3,000 on the card within three months of approval. At a redemption value of $0.01 per mile, 50,000 miles equates to $500 in travel statement credits. It has to be noted, though, that for cash statement credit redemptions this card’s rate ($0.005 per mile) is lower than what you’d get with a cash-back credit card.

Which do you prefer -- 2x miles or 10x miles?

One advantage Capital One® Venture®  Credit Card confers to those who like to keep things simple is a straightforward miles award system. And a durable one, too -- earned miles never expire as long as one holds the card, and there is no cap on how many miles a user can accumulate. Also, nearly every purchase made on the card, no matter the category of commerce, earns 2 miles per $1 spent.

Note that I said nearly every purchase. Capital One announced a partnership with Hotels.com under which holders of Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and the closely-named Capital One VentureOne® Credit Card receive a whopping 10 miles per $1.

With that Hotels.com connection, a user can scoop up miles quickly. Booking a $120 per night hotel for a five-night stay somewhere nice, for example, would generate 6,000 points. This boils down to $60 in statement credit for travel rewards.

Like Capital One’s 2 miles per $1 standard payout, there is no cap on the number of miles a cardholder can amass.

At the moment, the Hotels.com promotion is valid through Jan. 31, 2020.

No foreign transaction fees! Plus other travel perks

Ugh. Nobody likes foreign transaction fees. These pesky fees can stick charges not only on purchases abroad, but on buys made in the U.S. from sellers located overseas. For obvious reasons foreign transaction fees are a real headache for credit card holders who like to travel -- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Cards' target audience. The card has no foreign transaction fees at all, potentially saving a user hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year.

For example, a one-week vacation in Tokyo might cost somewhere around $3,500, given judicious budgeting. Since 3% is a more or less typical foreign transaction fee, that visitor would incur charges of $105. This alone exceeds the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card annual fee of $95.

Travelers (okay, venturers) also benefit from Visa Signature’s collision damage waiver, supplemental insurance which covers theft and damage to a rental vehicle up to the craft’s value when originally manufactured. Other benefits for venturers include lost luggage reimbursement, and travel accident insurance.

Final take

I’m stopping at only three features, because they’re more than enough to justify the $95 annual fee of Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. If a cardholder takes advantage of the 50,000 mile sign-up bonus, that alone would pay for more than half a decade of annual fees if swapped for the $500 statement credit for travel outlays. Even without that, the across-the-board 2x miles, and the generous Hotels.com 10x miles, programs can quickly amass total miles to help defray travel expenses. At the end of the day, this is a card that earns nicely for those who enjoy at least a little travel, with earning and redemption rules that are refreshingly straightforward.

Our #1 cash back pick has a surprise bonus

This may be the perfect cash back card! That's because it packs in $1,148 of value. Cardholders can earn up to 5% cash back, double rewards in the first year, and avoid interest well into 2020. With such a deep bench of perks you'll wonder how this card packs in a $0 annual fee. Best yet, you can apply and get a decision in two minutes. Learn more with our in-depth review.

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