Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Review 2017
RewardsEarn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
Bonus Signup OfferEnjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $400 in travel
- Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $400 in travel
- Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
- Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
- Travel when you want with no blackout dates
- Miles don't expire and there’s no limit to how many you can earn
- No foreign transaction fees
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that
We’ve all seen the cool travel hacking articles where people magically get paid to fly around the world. To be honest, some of these wizards of credit card rewards somehow seem to get paid to do it! Well, as it turns out, we can all be a wizard of credit card rewards and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card is one of the premier tools for the job.
This card excels at flexibility and reward point conversions in its class. For a card that allows so many options in ways you can redeem your points, there are remarkably few limitations. Of course it won’t give you the niche rewards that a proprietary airline card would. However, if you prefer to have the choice of any airlines and multiple ways to redeem your miles - there are few equal choices!
It should be noted that the Venture Rewards Card is not the same as the VentureOne Card which features a lower rewards rate and lower signup bonus.
- 2 miles per dollar spent on anything
- No foreign transaction fees
- Highly flexible point redemption
- No blackout dates or restrictions on points
- $59 annual fee after $0 intro year
Perhaps the weakest area of performance, yet still impressive, is the 40,000 ($400 value) sign on reward. A few other cards offer higher signup bonuses but the 2x points system means that over time the Venture Rewards Card is likely to match or outperform almost any card.
Of course that $400 reward comes with a caveat. You must spend $3,000 using the card within 3 months of opening in order to receive the bonus points.
Speaking of signing up, you’ll also get an introductory rate of $0 your first year. After that, you’ll be assessed a $59 / year fee for the card.
In order to make that $59 fee worth it, you’ll have to spend at least $5,900 per year on the card to earn enough points to break even. Any annual spending above $5,900 turns into rewards!
Make no mistake, while there are a few other cards that can compete on a purely signup rewards basis, there are few which also offer the flexibility.
I consider the 2x points on all money spent to be a benefit. Some cards offer rolling rewards as high as 5x rewards on certain categories of purchases, such as gas or groceries. I find that trying to keep track of which categories are worth what value each month is a hassle. It also tends to incentivize users to spend more than they might normally, which rapidly eats into your “rewards”.
Instead of chasing categories around, I’d rather just know I’m earning 2x points on everything. All the time.
Plus you’ve got two different ways to spend the points!
First up is the Capital One web portal platform. Just log in and you can find travel deals on flights, lodging, or rentals. Then you can buy these using your rewards points. It ends up being a discount on top of a discount, if you can find what you’re looking for.
I also find the Capital One web portal to be a pleasure to work with. I can set my credit cards to automatically pay themselves off, notify me of payments, and more. It’s great!
Not happy with the offers on the Capital One website? No worries, mate!
You can buy that plane ticket to Australia anyways and simply use the Purchase Eraser. Through your Capital One account you can just add a statement credit using your points and erase part or all of a travel purchase! That way you’re not limited to only the offers provide by Capital One.
What Are The Points Really Worth
Yeah, yeah - double points. Is it really worth it to me?
This is a fair and important question, too often overlooked. Adding a credit card and using it regularly can be a risk for some. Failing to manage a credit card means racking up debt and, if left unpaid, can result in repossessions, collections, or bankruptcy. Uh oh!
However, just to qualify for this card you’ll need good credit so most of you probably aren’t worried about that. You’ve earned your credit chops, as they say.
Let’s assume that you spend $2,600 a month and funnel all of that into the card (of course paying it off immediately). In a single year that’s $31,200 or 62,400 points. In total that’s $624 in rewards value. Plus, don’t forget that $400 signup reward value.
In total, if this sounds like you, you can expect to get $1,024 in travel rewards your first year.
Assuming the same spending habits in the following years it would work out to $565 in travel rewards each year. Remember, we have to subtract the cost of owning the card which is $59.
Owning the card for 11 years would yield a tidy $6,674 worth of rewards. That sounds like just enough to take your partner on that anniversary trip to Jamaica…
Can I Redeem My Points for Non-Travel Rewards?
The short answer is yes.
The long answer is no.
You’ll get half credit if you redeem your rewards for non-travel expenses. Which means just to break even you’ll need to spend $11,800 each year on the card.
This makes the card rapidly not worth its cost and hassle in my mind. Only use this card if you’re looking for strong travel rewards with flexible redemption.