How to Redeem Capital One® Venture® Miles

Matt is a Certified Financial Planner® and investment advisor based in Columbia, South Carolina. He writes personal finance and investment advice, and in 2017 he received the SABEW Best in Business Award.

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Capital One® Venture® Miles are the rewards points offered by the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card. Unlike traditional airline miles, Venture® Miles have several redemption options, and the redemption procedures for each option are pretty straightforward.

With that in mind, here’s a guide to Venture® Miles, the different ways they can be redeemed, and how to redeem your Venture® Miles for the type of benefit you want.

What are Capital One® Venture® Miles?

Capital One® Venture® Miles are the rewards points that are earned by cardholders of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and the no-annual-fee Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card. The former earns Venture® Miles at the rate of 2 miles per $1 for all purchases, and the lower-cost VentureOne® Credit Card earns rewards at a lower rate of 1.25 miles per $1.

Although they are referred to as “Miles,” Capital One’s® Venture® Miles have nothing to do with the distance you travel, and they are redeemable for several other types of expenses other than travel, as we’ll discuss in the coming sections.

Ways to redeem Capital One® Venture® Miles

As I mentioned, there are several ways you can redeem Capital One® Venture® Miles. For a little more color, you can:

  • Book new travel, such as airline tickets or hotel rooms.
  • Use your Venture® Miles to “erase” travel purchases you’ve already made.
  • Redeem for cash back, either in the form of an account credit or a check that’s mailed to you.
  • Redeem your Venture® Miles for gift cards.
  • Transfer your Venture® Miles to someone else with a Venture® account with Capital One.

For each of these options, the basic procedure is the same. Sign in to your Capital One account and locate your Venture® Miles balance, which should be located near the image of your Venture® card. By clicking on your balance, you’ll be taken to the redemption page, where you’ll see all of the various options.

With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about each one:

Book travel

When you redeem Venture® Miles for travel, the value of each mile is $0.01. So, 10,000 Venture® Miles would be worth $100 toward new travel purchases, or towards travel purchases you’ve already made, as we’ll get to in the next section.

Generally, when I use my own Venture® Miles, it’s to book an airline ticket, but there are several other types of travel you can redeem, such as hotels or car rentals. When you choose the “book travel” option, you’re taken to a website that looks like most other online travel sites.

From there, you simply select your flight, hotel, etc., and follow the prompts to book your travel.

Redeeming for travel purchases

Another option on the redemption screen listed next to the “travel” option says “redeem travel purchases.” This allows you to erase any travel purchases you’ve made within the last 90 days at the same rate for booking new travel ($0.01 per mile). In other words, let’s say that you paid $150 to rent a car last month, and that you charged the expense to your Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. You can redeem 15,000 of your Venture® Miles to delete this expense from your statement.

Many Capital One cardholders prefer this option, as it’s often cheaper to book a flight or hotel through a discount-oriented online travel site and then erase the purchase in this manner. However, by booking through a discount site, you may give up some loyalty program benefits, so you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of your specific situation.

In addition, you can redeem points to partially pay for travel expenses if you don’t have enough miles to pay in full.

It’s also worth mentioning that for the purposes of this redemption option, Capital One has a rather broad definition of what is considered to be travel. For example, if you used your card to pay for a taxi, you can use this “eraser” method to redeem your Venture® Miles and pay for it. Other types of purchases that qualify as travel include limousines, rental cars, bus fares, cruises, as well as purchases made through travel agencies.

Redeeming for Cash back

This is perhaps my least-favorite of the redemption options, simply because you get the least value for your Venture® Miles. In fact, in several years as a Capital One® Venture® Rewards cardholder, I’ve never used the cash-back redemption option for my miles.

When redeeming your Venture® Miles for cash, you have two options. You can either get a statement credit (fastest option), or you can request a check in the mail.

Here’s the big problem with the cash-back option. Capital One gives you half of the value of your Venture® Miles, when compared to how much they’re worth for travel. Instead of $0.01 per mile, you’ll only get $0.005 per $1 when redeeming for cash. For example, if you have 50,000 Venture® Miles, they can be redeemed for $500 in travel. If you choose either of the cash-back options, you’ll only get $250.

Redeeming for Gift cards

If you have Venture® Miles you want to redeem and don’t have any travel needs, gift cards can be a better option than cash back. Venture® Miles can be redeemed for gift cards from various merchants, such as Amazon, at the same $0.01-per-mile rate as for travel purchases. Other merchants whose gift cards are also available for Venture® Miles redemption include Applebees, AutoZone, Best Buy, Dave & Busters, Macy’s, and many others.

Transferring your Venture® Miles

As an alternative option, you can transfer your Venture® Miles to someone else, as long as they also have an account that earns Venture® Miles.

This can be a smart option if you want to combine your redemption power for travel purchases. For example, let’s say that you and your spouse each have 50,000 Venture® Miles and that you want to book a hotel stay that costs 80,000 miles ($800). You could transfer 30,000 of your miles to your spouse, or vice-versa, and cover the entire cost of the hotel stay. There are no costs associated with this option, so this can be an effective way to pay for larger travel expenses.

Pros and cons of Venture® Miles

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card is among the best credit cards. Having said that, like most financial products, Venture® Miles aren’t perfect for everyone. For reference, here’s a list of some of the main pros and cons of Venture® Miles and the various redemption options.

Pros:

  • Rewards have a fixed redemption value, so you don’t have to worry about blackout dates.
  • There are several ways to redeem Venture® Miles -- you don’t necessarily have to use them for travel.
  • You have the ability to transfer Venture® Miles to someone else in order to combine purchasing power.
  • The Venture® Miles earning rate of 2 miles per $1 is an industry-best among travel reward cards.
  • The redemption process is quick and easy to understand.
  • You can earn airline miles and hotel points when booking new travel through the rewards portal, unlike when you redeem an airline’s frequent flyer miles or a hotel’s loyalty points.

Cons:

  • Low cash-back redemption rate. Other cash-back-specific cards offer better effective rewards rates if your goal is to receive cash-back rewards.

Venture® card comparison

Choosing between the two Venture®-branded cards in the Capital One mix can be simplified with a side-by-side comparison of the marquee features for both cards. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is the clear winner for cardholders with good to excellent credit who are wanting an offer with a big sign-up bonus. Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card is best suited for cardholders on the other end of the credit score spectrum, as its intended for people with lower credit scores than the former card, and its feature set, albeit lucrative, reflects that.

As of Nov. 18, 2019
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
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Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent Clickable tooltip icon for credit rating info.

Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent Clickable tooltip icon for credit rating info.

Bonus: 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within 3 months, equal to $500 in travel Bonus: 20,000 miles after spending $1,000 on purchases within 3 months, equal to $200 in travel statement credits
Rewards Program: Unlimited 2 miles per $1 Rewards Program: 1.25 miles per $1
Intro APR: Purchases: N/A Balance Transfers: N/A Intro APR: Purchases: 0%, for 12 months Balance Transfers: N/A
Regular APR: 17.49% - 24.74% Variable Regular APR: 13.74% - 23.74% Variable
Annual Fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that Annual Fee: $0

Highlights:

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day.
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that

Highlights:

  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates and fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 13.74% - 23.74% variable APR after that

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The bottom line

While there are several different ways to redeem Capital One® Venture® Miles, all of which are quite painless to use, you generally get the best value when redeeming them for travel. This certainly makes sense, as the credit card products that earn the miles are intended as travel reward cards, but it’s certainly worth knowing just how big of a difference redeeming for travel can make versus choosing cash back.

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