Capital One Venture Card: The King of 2% Rewards Cards

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The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market today. It’s one of the very few that give a full 2% rewards on all purchases, and comes with a host of traveler-friendly perks, including a generous signup bonus: 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 Most importantly, the Venture, like all Capital One cards, has no foreign transaction fee. In addition, it gives concierge service and travel accident insurance. Relative to the other rewards cards out there, which dole out restrictive airline miles or points, charge for overseas purchases or give lower rewards rates, the Venture stands out as the best choice for the most people.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
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on Capital One's
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  • 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 on every purchase, every day
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Travel when you want—no blackout dates
  • Miles don't expire and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee for the first year; $59 after that
  • 100% free Capital One® Credit Tracker — see your monthly credit score anytime and get automatic alerts
  • High rewards rate
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Has annual fee
Annual Fee Signup Bonus APR , Variable* APR Promotions
$0 intro for first year; $59 after that 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 13.9% - 20.9% (Variable) Purchase: None
Transfer: None

The benefits of the Venture Rewards:

  • The Capital One® VentureSM Rewards Credit Card is a Visa card that earns you the equivalent of 2% or more in rewards on all purchases, from the first dollar you spend to the last. The Discover Escape and Starwood American Express have lower acceptance rates.
  • There are no minimum spending requirements and no caps on rewards. Some cards cap rewards at a certain amount per year.
  • The Venture has no foreign transaction fee.This is a charge levied on all transactions made overseas, and usually runs about 3%. If you spend, say, $2,000 abroad in a year, you’ve just saved $60, and wiped out the annual fee based on the F/X savings alone.
  • No Hassle Miles are among the easiest to redeem for 1 cent per 1 mile. Miles show up electronically in your account soon after you make a purchase (no need to wait until the end of the month). You can then redeem them as a credit against travel expenses, whether that’s plane tickets, hotel rooms, gas or rental cars. Capital One is even nice enough to make suggestions as to which statement travel expenses you can offset with your miles. This makes it unlikely that you will end up with un-usuable miles.
  • You can also redeem miles for more expenses than most other travel cards. If you have, say, an airline credit card and trade 15,000 miles for a domestic ticket, you’re still on your own for taxes and fees. Others will require you to fly certain airlines on certain dates, or avoid booking through discount sites like or Kayak. NHM have no blackout dates.
  • No Hassle Miles also don’t expire, as long as your account is active.
  • The Venture is the rare 2% card that has a concierge service.

While we believe the Venture Rewards card is an excellent all-around card, we should also do our due diligence and take a look at the other 2%+ rewards credit cards out there.

The Competition:

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® probably comes closest to edging out the Venture. Like its counterpart, it pays 2 miles per $1 and allows you to redeem for a statement credit against travel expenses. It even has an EMV chip. However, its annual fee is higher, so it’s a tradeoff you’ll have to decide for yourself.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
Barclays Arrival Plus Credit Card
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on Barclays's
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  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months for each Balance Transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR currently 14.99% or 18.99%, depending on your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases - Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • Chip card for increased confidence and convenience to pay abroad as easily as you do at home
  • Redeem your miles for travel statement credits - redemptions start at 2,500 miles for $25 toward travel purchases made in the last 120 days
  • Get 10% miles back to use toward your next redemption every time you redeem for travel statement credits
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
  • Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers
  • High rewards rate
  • 0% for 12 mos on transfers
  • Has annual fee
Annual Fee Signup Bonus APR , Variable* APR Promotions
$89 - Waived first year Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 or more on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 14.99% or 18.99%* Variable 0% on balance transfers for 12 months

  • Dan Roberts

    PenFed Platinum Rewards is the best rewards card if you can qualify for it. 5% on gas, 3% on groceries 1% on everything else. No annual and no foreign transaction fees.

    • NerdWallet

      Great point, Dan! Anecdotally we’ve heard that it’s nigh impossible to qualify for, requiring beyond-excellent credit.

    • Cash

      How do you feel now about your PenFed crap card?

  • Cash

    2% Priceline Visa is the King of all 2% rewards cards (for those who have it). Not offered anymore. 2% straight cashback or up to 3% cash back if redeemet for name your own price purchases.

  • Shelby Hilliard

    Wondering what the best card for me is. I am ultimately looking fr something to help with flight costs and have been debating Venture rewards versus Sapphire. Im not sure I will be able to spend 3K in 3 months so I wonder if either is really good for me anyway. Thoughts?

    • CJ Pellerano

      Hey Shelby, a great way to get around the spending limit is to paypal yourself using the card through a friend, you’ll pay a small fee (a few extra dollars) but you’ll have no problem getting the big bonus

  • NerdWallet

    It’s definitely worth a shot! Different issuer, but I got the Chase Freedom when it had a $200 signup bonus and they upped it to $300 a week later. I called and asked for the $300 bonus, and they said yes.