Be informed: Not all travel cards are created equal. Below are things to know about the Venture card and why it’s different.
Since making its debut several years ago, you have no doubt seen a number of commercials touting the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. So were those visigoth’s right? Should you rush to complete an application or is this card just typical advertising hyperbole?
Admittedly, 2 miles per dollar sounds a bit too good to be true and there would seem to be a catch somewhere. But after completing a thorough review of the card and gathering feedback from forum members here are five major takeaways:
#1. The double miles are the real deal
It’s neither hype nor are any tricks buried in the fine print. With the Capital One Venture you really do get 2 miles for each dollar spent. There’s no cap or ceiling on this – you get unlimited double miles no matter how much you spend. Card issuers are notorious for burying caps on lucrative-sounding reward levels in their terms and conditions and it was quite refreshing to see that this was the real deal with no caveats – that’s pretty impressive.
#2. It’s like earning 2% on everything you buy
This is how the Venture rewards program works: Each mile you earn is worth $0.01 towards a travel purchase. Examples:
Since you are earning 2 miles per $1 spent on the card, this means you are earning a whopping 2% rebate when you use your miles for travel purchases.
The nice thing about this system is that you have the freedom to buy reward travel on your own, from wherever you want. For example, you could purchase a discount ticket on Spirit or Southwest Airlines a flight or a book a hotel room through Hotwire. Just charge that purchase to your Venture card and afterward, you can redeem your points to offset that eligible purchase.
#3. There are no foreign transaction fees
When you make purchases outside of the US, just about every card on the market will sock you with a foreign transaction fee. It’s usually around 2-3% of the purchase price.
On one hand you want to use your credit card while traveling because it’s much safer than cash – but on the flip side – if you have to pay that 2-3% surcharge, the cost vs. benefit is a major dilemma. But with the Venture card you won’t encounter that predicament, since there are no foreign transaction fees.
#4. It comes with a number of benefits
As a Visa Signature card, you get a number of cardholder perks including an extended warranty program, travel accident insurance, a free 24/7 phone concierge service, and others. The application page goes over the details/rules for each benefit.
#5. There are 2 different Venture cards
Although the commercials tend to be for the double miles version, there are actually 2 different types depending on your needs:
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card – This is the more popular offer because it allows you to earn 2 miles per dollar. The annual fee is $59 but it’s waived for the first year. If you apply now you can earn 40,000 bonus miles (equal to $400 in travel) when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.
- Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card – This is a no annual fee version which gives 1.25 miles per dollar spent. Reviews from forum members have said its customer service and benefits are just as good as the $59 version. If you apply now you can earn a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles (equal to $200 in travel) once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. With this one you get 0% intro APR on purchases until August 2015 (11.9%-19.9% Variable after that).
The Capital One Venture credit cards definitely deliver. Even if you prefer other cards for special categories of spending, on all other purchases (which usually make up the bulk of your spending) there’s a good chance you’re only earning 1%. So having a card that can earn more than that is a no-brainer.
But which one should you get? Well we created this graph comparing the Capital One Venture vs. VentureOne, so you can see where the break-even point is…
Once you’ve spent $7,866 the value of your earned rewards (assuming you redeem them for travel) will be worth the following:
The difference between the two numbers is $59… the same amount as the annual fee for the Venture. So as long as your annual spending will be more than $7,866 (average of $656/month) it makes more sense to get the $59 Venture. If you spend less, go with the no annual fee VentureOne card.
Capital One Venture Rewards – Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that.
Capital One VentureOne Rewards – Earn 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. 0% intro APR on purchases until August 2015 (11.9%-19.9% Variable after that).
This review was written or last updated June 20, 2014