If you’re an avid traveler, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card may be a great addition to your wallet.
The Venture Rewards card offers a flat rate of two miles earned for every dollar you spend with the card, which makes it really easy to pile up rewards for your next vacation while conducting your everyday business.
Team Clark considers it one of the top travel credit cards on the market. But does it belong in your wallet?
In this review, I’ll take a deep dive into the Venture Rewards offering and compare it to the Citi Premier® Card, which is another top travel card on the market.
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What Is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card?
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a rewards credit card that awards miles each time you spend with the card. These miles can then be redeemed on travel from vacation rentals, car rentals and more, or transfer miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs.
The Venture Rewards card made Team Clark’s list of best travel credit cards as the top pick for flat-rate rewards.
Card Specs and Perks
If you’re signing up for this travel card, it’s likely because you want to take advantage of the rewards program that could land you free flights or hotel nights on your next getaway.
Let’s start there.
Here’s a rundown of the rewards you can expect from this card:
- Unlimited 2x Miles on All Purchases: The flat-rate rewards for this card are perhaps the top reason to apply for it. No matter how you spend your money, you’re going to earn two miles for every dollar spent — no caps, limits or categorical restrictions.
- Use the Miles To Redeem Travel Rewards: The miles that you accumulate through everyday purchases are tracked in your Capital One account. You can save them up for redemption on travel when the time is right.
- The Redemption Options Are Good: There aren’t many restrictions here. Capital One says you can redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel with no blackout dates. You can also transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs.
- These Miles Don’t Expire: You don’t have to worry about losing your miles as long as your credit card account is open and in good standing.
- Miles Can Be Used for Non-Travel Purchases, But Be Careful: Capital One touts the ability to use your miles on purchases with your PayPal account or at Amazon.com, but be careful. Using your miles for non-travel purchases may result in a reduced valuation of your miles. The standard for travel is one cent per mile, so evaluate your offers to spend based on that.
Top Cardholder Benefits
- Generous Welcome Bonus: Earn a one-time bonus of 75,000 Miles if you spend at least $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of the account opening, equal to $750 in travel
- Free TSA PreCheck or Global Entry: Use your Venture card to receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. You’re eligible to get reimbursed for this once every four years. Since this is a travel card, this perk should be useful for most cardholders.
- Auto Rental Insurance Protection: If you pay for your rental car with this credit card, you will be able to avoid buying the insurance sold at the rental company counter.
- Extended Warranty Protection: This is one of the Capital One cards that offer extended warranties on qualified purchases that carry a manufacturer warranty. It can extend coverage for up to an additional 24 months.
- Annual Fee: $95
- Balance Transfer Fee: 3% if at a promotional APR, no fee if at regular APR
- Cash Advance Fee: 3% of amount advanced with a $10 minimum
- Late Payment Fee: Up to $40
Venture Rewards vs. Citi Premier® Card: Which is Better for Travel?
If you’re considering a general travel rewards credit card that carries an annual fee, there’s a good chance that you’re comparing the Venture Rewards card to the Citi Premier Card.
And that makes sense. While the Venture Rewards card made our best travel rewards cards list for its flat-rate rewards, the Citi Premier also made that list for its bonus spending categories.
So it may be up to you to review your own spending habits to see which is the best from a rewards perspective.
Let’s compare those reward programs and other cardholder benefits:
|Card Characteristic||Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||Citi Premier® Card|
|Rewards Structure||2x miles on every $1 spent||3x points per $1 spent on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, hotels and airlines; 1 point per $1 on all other purchases|
|Welcome Bonus||75,000 miles if you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months||80,000 ThankYou® Points if you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months|
|Introductory APR offer||None||None|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||None||None|
|Travel Credit Reward||Up to $100 statement credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry||One annual $100 credit for hotel stay of $500 or more if booked through Citi|
|Auto Rental Insurance Benefit||Yes||No|
|Google Play Store App Rating||4.6 out of 5||4.7 out of 5|
|Apple App Store Rating||4.8 out of 5||4.9 out of 5|
The Big Takeaways
- The Best Card for Rewards Comes Down to Your Spending Habits: With a standard rate of 2x miles for every purchase, you know exactly what you’re getting from the Capital One card. And while the Citi card has five spending categories that offer 3x points, the rest of your purchases with that card will net you only one point per dollar. You should evaluate your spending habits to see which would best serve your wallet, but an easy rule to remember is that you’d need at least 50% of your purchases to be in Citi’s 3x categories for it to earn you more points than that same spending would net you at 2x on every purchase.
- Airport Convenience vs. Hotel Savings: When it comes to travel-related statement credit opportunities, both cards have an actionable option. But they take different approaches. Capital One has opted for either a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry subscription. But you get only one of those, and you can get the credit only once every four years. Meanwhile, Citi is touting $100 off a hotel stay of $500 or more. You can do this one once per year, but the catch is that you must book your travel through Citi. This one is up to personal travel preferences, but I think I’d lean toward the easily quantifiable benefit of a TSA PreCheck of Global Entry subscription.
- Auto Rental Insurance Could Be a Tiebreaker: If you’re the type of traveler who often rents a car, the auto rental insurance benefit with the Venture Rewards card could be where you make your decision. Being able to say “No!” to insurance charges at the rental car counter is a big deal.
Are you considering adding the Venture Rewards from Capital One credit card to your wallet? Let’s review some of the major pros and cons of the card before you make your final decision:
Pros and Cons
|Unlimited 2x miles on every purchase you make||$95 annual fee|
|75,000 Mile welcome bonus available||No 0% APR offer for new purchases or balance transfers|
|Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck||Miles redemption for non-travel purchases may be worth less|
If you love to travel but don’t like to be tied down to specific airline or hotel brands, this card could be a great fit for your wallet.
The rewards program is easy to understand and straightforward to implement. You simply earn two miles for every dollar you spend with the card.
And if you regularly pay for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, being able to get a statement credit for that purchase is a nice perk.
There are cards out there that are going to be more flashy, with bonuses in certain travel-related spending categories, but this one will be the steady, everyday presence in your wallet.
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