Be warned: Not all travel cards are created equal. Here’s what you need to know about the Venture card and why it’s different.
Since making its debut nearly 2 years ago, I’m sure you’ve seen your fair share of commercials touting the Capital One® Venture® Credit Card. So are those vikings right? Should you fill out an application or is this card just hype?
Admittedly, I was quite skeptical – the 2 miles per dollar sounded a bit too good to be true and there had to be a catch somewhere. But I did a thorough review of the card gathered feedback from others. Here are 5 things I found out.
#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.
#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/dollar, 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 buy a flight from the Delta Airlines website or a hotel room through Priceline. 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:
- Venture® Rewards – This is the most popular because it gives 2 miles per dollar. The annual fee is $59 but it’s waived for the first year. If you apply now you can earn 20,000 bonus miles (equal to $200 in travel) when you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.
- VentureOne® Rewards – 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 $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. With this one you get 0% intro APR on purchases until April 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 I created this handy-dandy graph comparing the Capital One Venture vs. VentureOne, so you can see where the breakeven 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.
Here are the current promotions available for each:
Capital One Venture Rewards – Earn 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $2,000 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 $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. 0% intro APR on purchases until April 2015 (11.9%-19.9% Variable after that).
This review was written or last updated March 12, 2014