Capital One® Venture® Rewards Review: Easy Rewards & Flexible Redemptions

If flexibility is key for you when traveling, the Capital One Venture is a solid credit card to consider. Read this Capital One Venture Card review to learn why we like it and if it's right for you.
Last updated Sep 24, 2020 | By Jennifer Calonia

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With so many credit cards on the market, finding a travel rewards card that checks off all of your must-haves can be challenging. If you’re a regular traveler but aren’t particularly loyal to one airline or hotel, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (learn more) might be what your wallet needs.

In this Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card review, you’ll learn about its key features, what kind of cardholder it’s best for, and alternative cards to consider.

Incredibly Flexible Rewards

Benefits

  • 100,000 bonus mile welcome offer
  • 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit
  • No foreign transaction fees

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • Requires excellent credit

Jump To

Who should get the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card?

If the thrill of earning free hotel stays and flights appeals to you, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card can help accelerate your ability to travel on rewards miles.

You’ll need to have good to excellent credit to qualify for this card, which means you’ve made on-time payments and have demonstrated responsible borrowing habits.

This travel rewards credit card might not be a good fit for you if you don’t have a strong credit score or don’t travel frequently enough.

Card basics

Card type Travel
Card issuer Capital One
Annual fee $95
Early spend bonus Earn 100,000 bonus miles after spending $20,000 in the first 12 months (or earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months)
Reward rate 2X miles on every purchase, every day; plus 5X on UberEats (until Jan. 31, 2021)
Recommended credit score Excellent
Foreign transaction fee None

Capital One Venture benefits

  • Generous early spend bonus offer: Earn 100,000 bonus miles after spending $20,000 in the first 12 months (or earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months) after account opening. That 100,000 miles bonus alone is worth $1,000 in travel.
  • Earn unlimited miles: Earning miles is easy with the Venture card. Get 2X miles on every purchase, every day. You can also get 5X on UberEats (until Jan. 31, 2021).
  • Up to $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck: To help you get to your destination faster, cardholders receive up to a $100 credit toward the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee. This benefit is available every four years as long as the account is active and in good standing.
  • Flexible travel redemption options: Since Venture miles aren’t tied to a specific airline or hotel loyalty program, you’ll have the freedom to choose which carrier you fly with and where you stay for every trip. You also have the option of transferring your miles to one of the hospitality companies on the growing list of Capital One transfer partners. Overall, these travel rewards are very simple to use.
  • Travel insurance: When you pay for an auto rental with this card, you will have rental car insurance that can protect you against damage caused by collision or theft. You will also receive travel accident insurance when using this card to book travel.
  • Extended warranty: Items purchased with the Capital One Venture will get additional warranty protection with no additional charge.

Drawbacks to this card

  • Annual fee: You'll need to pay an annual fee of $95 for the use of this card.
  • No intro APR: The Capital One Venture Rewards card does not offer a 0% APR on either purchases or balance transfers.
  • Designed for simplicity: Because the rewards program associated with this card is designed for simplicity of use, it also isn't as powerful or as valuable as other travel rewards cards out there like the Chase Sapphire Preferred. If you're into the hobby of travel hacking and always looking to get the most pennies per point from your rewards, then the Venture Rewards Card won't be the best fit for you.

Earning & redeeming Capital One miles

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look how your miles can add up with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. To calculate these values, we used a point valuation of 1 cent per mile.

Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.

Year one earnings: $1,575

Year two earnings: $575

These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model which takes a look at points earned via spending, the early spend bonus and the annual fee.

Note that this valuation does not include any of the credits that come with this card. If you take advantage of the application fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, your value will be further increased by another $85 to $100. In addition, you may increase the value of this card by transferring your miles to Capital One's travel partners.

Best ways to earn

Earning rewards with the Venture is simple, since you earn a flat rewards rate on every purchase you make. Get 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Capital One Venture Rewards miles never expire as long as the account is active, and there are no limits to how many miles you can earn. This flexibility allows you to accrue as many miles as you can.

When planning for an upcoming trip, you don’t need the added inconvenience of playing credit card roulette with other rewards cards. A perk of using the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is that you can earn miles on any travel-related purchase, regardless of the carrier or hotel brand.

Maximizing your redemption

Redeeming rewards for travel purchases yields the highest redemption value. Eligible travel purchases include airlines, hotels, travel and car rental agencies, transportation, and more. To maximize rewards, you can transfer your miles to an airline or hotel loyalty program, as long as that hospitality company is a partner of Capital One Venture Rewards.

Redeeming miles for cash back and gift cards is also possible, but redemption rates are often considerably lower in value than if you were to redeem your rewards for travel.

Capital One transfer partners

There are 15 airline partners and 2 hotel partners available to eligible Capital One cardholders. The minimum transfer for all partners is 1,000 miles, but the ratio at which you can transfer your miles varies depending on the airline.

Airline Airline Alliance Min. Transfer Transfer Ratio
AeroMexico SkyTeam 1,000 2:1.5
Air Canada Star Alliance 1,000 2:1.5
Air France SkyTeam 1,000 2:1.5
Alitalia SkyTeam 1,000 2:1.5
Avianca Star Alliance 1,000 2:1.5
Cathay Pacific Oneworld 1,000 2:1.5
Emirates N/A 1,000 2:1
Etihad Airways N/A 1,000 2:1.5
EVA Air Star Alliance 1,000 2:1.5
Finnair Oneworld 1,000 2:1.5
Hainan Airlines N/A 1,000 2:1.5
JetBlue N/A 1,000 2:1.5
Qantas Oneworld 1,000 2:1.5
Qatar Airways Oneworld 1,000 2:1.5
Singapore Airlines Star Alliance 1,000 2:1

As part of its recent enhancements to its transferable points program, Capital One added two hotel transfer partners: Accor Live Limitless (ALL) and Wyndham Rewards. Both require a minimum transfer of 1,000 miles but the transfer ratio of each differs.

Hotel Min. Transfer Transfer Ratio
Accor 1,000 2:1
Wyndham 1,000 2:1.5

In addition, there are occasionally bonus opportunities where airlines will offer extra miles for a limited time so it’s always a good idea to investigate any limited time offers that might be available before making a transfer so you don’t miss a good opportunity.

Also, be aware of how long it might take to transfer your miles from Capital One to the partner program. For example, you might be able to see an almost instant transfer from Capital One to Air Canada, allowing you to turn your Capital One miles into airline miles and then book a flight almost immediately. However, your points might take up to 36 hours to appear in your Singapore Airlines account.

Check the fine print carefully before you transfer your miles to an airline program to make sure you understand the rules and you know what you’re getting. Each partner will have its own policies, so you may be subject to limitations based on availability, timing, and other factors when booking. Once you transfer your Capital One miles to a partner, you have to follow the rules of those individual programs.

Capital One Venture Rewards FAQs

How do I redeem Capital One Venture miles?

To redeem miles on completed travel purchases using your Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, you can use the issuer’s Purchase Eraser on CapitalOne.com or call the Rewards Center to receive a statement credit.

You can also make new travel bookings online at CapitalOne.com or by calling the Rewards Center to book flights, hotels, and car rentals using your earned miles.

What credit score do you need to get a Capital One Venture?

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card requires applicants to have good or excellent credit. According to FICO, the credit scoring model describes a good score as 670 to 739. A higher credit score suggests you’re a lower-risk borrower.

Which card is better: Venture or VentureOne?

If you are trying to decide between the Capital One Venture vs the Capital One VentureOne, then there are a few things to consider. The VentureOne does not have any annual fee at all, but it also has a smaller early spend bonus and earns fewer miles per dollar spent.

One feature the VentureOne offers that the Venture card does not is an introductory APR. The VentureOne gives you a 0% interest rate on purchases for 12 months. Neither card has an intro APR for balance transfers, though.

So if you are not as frequent of a traveler, you prefer not to pay an annual fee, and you have some big purchases coming up that you'd like to finance with a 0% APR credit card, then the VentureOne might be a better fit for you. If you are looking for travel perks and think the insurance and benefits make up for the annual fee, then go for the Venture card.


Other cards to consider

Although the Capital One Venture Rewards offers an impressive lineup of card benefits for frequent flyers and avid travelers, there are other cards that are considered to be among the best credit cards for travel that could be a better fit for you.

If you spend a decent amount on travel expenses and restaurant purchases each month, you may want to consider the American Express Gold Card. While the Amex Gold card has a higher annual fee, it also comes with a $120 dining credit and a $100 airline fee credit. Coupled with the 4X bonus points this card earns on U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year) and restaurants worldwide, this card could be a great fit for travelers who are also foodies.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is also worth considering if you intend to do a fair amount of traveling. Like the Venture card, rewards are easy to earn and it offers a competitive welcome bonus that lets you earn 80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. And unlike the Venture card, it offers bonus categories for certain types of spending that may help you rack up your travel rewards more quickly. The long list of Chase transfer partners also makes it one of the most powerful travel cards out there.

Incredibly Flexible Rewards

Special Offer

Earn 100,000 bonus miles after spending $20,000 in the first 12 months (or earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months)

See how these cards compare:

American Express Gold Card
American Express Gold Card
  • 60,000 Membership Rewards point welcome offer
  • High rewards rate in certain categories
  • Up to $100 airline fee credit
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Terms apply
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • 80,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 2X points on eligible dining and travel purchases
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Premium travel protection benefits