Capital One Venture X vs. Venture vs. VentureOne: X Hits the Spot For Most

The two Venture cards with annual fees also have richer bonuses, higher rewards rates and better perks. Here's why the highest-fee card may be the best fit.

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Capital One offers multiple versions of its Venture-branded credit card, and you could be forgiven for mixing them up thanks to these similar-sounding names:

All three cards share the same basic DNA: Your purchases earn a flat rewards rate, and you can use your earned miles to book travel or redeem for travel statement credit at a rate of 1 cent per mile. You can also transfer your miles to a number of airline partners. None of the cards charges a foreign transaction fee. Given that, it's tempting to want to give an edge to the $0-annual-fee VentureOne.

But in most respects, it's the least valuable card of the bunch. If you charge at least $1,056 per month, the elevated rewards rates from the Venture or the Venture X both easily outshine the VentureOne, and that's before taking into account the richer bonuses and perks on those two more expensive cards.

In fact, for many travelers, the $395-annual-fee card may emerge the victor, even for those who are usually averse to fees.

Here’s how to decide which Venture card is right for you.

At a glance

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
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Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
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Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
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Annual fee: $395.

Annual fee: $95.

Annual fee: $0.

Bonus offer: Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

Bonus offer: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

Bonus offer: Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel.

Rewards: Unlimited 2 miles per dollar on most purchases, plus 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel and 10 miles per dollar on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

Rewards: Unlimited 2 miles per dollar on most purchases, plus 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

Rewards: Unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on most purchases, plus 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

Other benefits:

  • $300 annual travel credit on bookings through Capital One Travel.

  • 10,000 anniversary miles each year you renew.

  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and Partner Lounge Network.

  • Credit of up to $100 for the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck when you pay with the card.

  • Cell phone protection.

  • Transfer miles to partner airline and hotel programs. Per-mile value depends on the transfer partner and how you redeem the transferred miles.

  • Hertz President's Circle elite status.

Other benefits:

  • Credit of up to $100 for the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck when you pay with the card.

  • Transfer miles to partner airline and hotel programs. Per-mile value depends on the transfer partner and how you redeem the transferred miles.

  • Two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through the Partner Lounge Network.

Other benefits:

  • Transfer miles to partner airline and hotel programs. Per-mile value depends on the transfer partner and how you redeem the transferred miles.

Why the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card comes out ahead

Travel credits

Though the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card carries a premium $395 fee, it also comes with travel credits that can offset that fee. You’ll get up to a $300 credit each year toward travel booked through the Capital One Travel portal.

Better bonuses

New cardholders will earn the most Venture miles off the bat with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card’s sign-up bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

Beyond that, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus when you renew your card. That’s worth $100 toward travel (or even more if you strategically transfer to travel partners). Neither the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card nor the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card offer an anniversary bonus.

Lounge perks

If you fly a few times a year, chances are you’ll transit through an airport with a Priority Pass lounge. Holders of the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card get access to the more than 1,300 Priority Pass lounges and restaurants worldwide.

Plus, cardholders (and authorized users) will get unlimited access to the new Capital One Lounges that are starting to open in a few domestic airports. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card holders will get two complimentary visits annually and have access to a special entry rate of $45 per visit after that. Everyone else, including anyone who holds the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, will pay $65 per visit.

Why some travelers might choose the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

While $300 in annual credits is appealing to many travelers, the catch is that you have to book the travel through the Capital One Travel portal. While robust, the portal may not include all the travel you’d like to book. And if you have elite status with a travel program, you may not be entitled to all the perks you’d enjoy if you booked directly or to earn any points from the booking.

Another factor to consider: When you book travel through a third party like a travel portal, you introduce another party into the reservation. If you need to change or cancel the reservation, it can be more of a headache than if you’d booked directly.

If you don’t want to book some travel through the Capital One Travel portal, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card won’t be worth it.

Who might prefer the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

No annual fee

This is the only area where the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card wins out over its siblings. However, if an annual fee is a dealbreaker for you, there are other travel credit cards with no annual fee to choose from that have higher ongoing rewards rates.

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card earns 5 miles per dollar on Capital One Travel hotel and rental car bookings, but its base rewards rate is only 1.25 miles per dollar. With so many no-fee cards earning at least 1.5% back, it can be hard to settle for less.

If you really can’t stomach an annual fee, another card may be a better fit. The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, for example, offers 2% cash back on all purchases with a $0 annual fee.

Which card should you get?

If you’re looking for a travel credit card with an easy-to-understand rewards program and you spend enough per month to offset the annual fee in rewards, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card emerges as the clear winner. The $300 annual credit for travel booked through Capital One Travel and the 10,000 anniversary points outweigh the card’s annual fee, plus it offers valuable travel perks to boot.

If booking through a travel portal isn’t for you, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a good bet. Or, see here for our comprehensive list of NerdWallet's best credit cards.

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