Is the Capital One Venture X Card Worth Its Annual Fee?

Capital One's foray into the premium travel card game is a great value if you use the Capital One Travel portal.
Meghan CoyleNov 15, 2021

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Capital One has been gussying up its travel rewards program in recent months, and now it arrives to the premium travel credit card party with a shiny new card on its arm.

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is the issuer’s first foray into the premium travel card space. It comes with a $395 annual fee, but also plenty of the bells and whistles you've probably come to expect from top-tier travel cards. Think: lounge access, statement credits for travel, and TSA PreCheck or Global Entry reimbursement.

Can the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card compete with the likes of The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®? Is the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card worth its $395 annual fee?

We’ll cover the card’s benefits, and how it stacks up against cards in a similar price range. You can read even more about the new card here.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card benefits

Sign-up bonus (worth $1,000)

Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 6 months from account opening, equal to $1,000 in travel.

This isn’t the highest sign-up bonus we’ve ever seen on a travel card, but it’s respectable. The 100,000 miles are worth about $1,000 when redeemed through Capital One Travel. The bonus alone makes the card easy to justify in year one of being a cardholder, but you’ll want to factor in the ongoing benefits as well.

Rewards rate (Value depends on your spending habits)

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card has a similar miles-earning scheme to the other cards in the Venture family. It earns 2 points per $1 spent on every purchase.

If you book travel through Capital One Travel with cash, you could earn even more miles:

10x miles on hotels and rental cars. 5x miles on flights.

Nerdy tip: Capital One Venture cards earn miles, but those miles don’t actually have to be used to book flights. They're akin to points that can be redeemed for hotels, rental cars and flights, or transferred to airline or hotel partners.

TSA PreCheck/Global Entry statement credit (worth up to $100)

One of the best features of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card makes a reappearance on this card. The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card will give you an up-to-$100 statement credit if you use the card to pay for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

Lounge access (Values varies based on your usage)

Here’s where we start getting into some premium benefits. The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card gives you unlimited access to Capital One lounges and the more than 1,300 lounges in the Priority Pass network.

If the cards that grant AmEx’s Centurion Lounge access are out of your budget, the Capital One lounges should be an exciting alternative if you frequently fly out of the select locations. The first lounge is set to open in the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in early November. Two additional lounges at the Denver and Washington Dulles airports are expected to open in 2022.

From the looks of it, these new lounges are smartly designed to separate and cater to travelers’ varying needs. The Dallas/Fort Worth location has a grab-and-go section for people who are just stopping to get a snack or coffee before their next flight; it has a separate section for people who plan to plug in and spend a few hours there during a layover. Some unique amenities include a cycling and yoga room, complete with Peloton bikes, and two meditation rooms with napping pods.

It’s hard to put a price on the value of an airport lounge visit because Capital One hasn’t announced the day pass rate. Priority Pass charges $32 per visit, in addition to a membership fee, but many credit cards will cover the membership fee for unlimited visits (worth $429). You’ll have to consider how often you'll use lounge access to assess how much this benefit is worth to you.

Anniversary bonus (worth $100)

Every year you renew the card, you’ll get a bonus of 10,000 miles deposited into your account. This perk might help you justify the annual fee because it effectively wipes out $100 of the $395 each year.

Statement credit for bookings made on Capital One Travel (worth up to $300)

Along with the anniversary bonus, the statement credit for Capital One Travel bookings could offset the rest of the annual fee. Each year, you can get statement credits for up to $300 worth of travel booked with Capital One.

This benefit is on par with the $300 annual travel credit on the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. The only difference is that statement credits on the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card only apply to bookings made through the Capital One Travel portal, while the Chase Sapphire Reserve®’s credit applies to virtually any travel charged to the card.

Statement credit for vacation rentals (worth up to $200)

For a limited time, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is also offering a statement credit for vacation rental purchases, like Airbnb or VRBO, made in your first year of card membership. This perk offers a solution for travelers who prefer the space and amenities of vacation rentals, but find it hard to use travel rewards to offset the cost. However, because this offer won’t be around forever, you might not want to take it into consideration when calculating whether the annual fee will be worth it year after year.

Transfer partners

Capital One miles are actually more flexible than you might think. The issuer has recently added transfer partners and improved the transfer ratios, so now there are 15 partners with a 1:1 transfer ratio.

Loyalty program

Transfer ratio

Changes to the program as of Oct. 7, 2021

Aeromexico Club Premier

1:1.

Air Canada Aeroplan

1:1.

Transfer ratio adjusted to 1:1.

Air France/KLM Flying Blue

1:1.

Transfer ratio adjusted to 1:1.

Accor Live Limitless

2:1.

-

Avianca LifeMiles

1:1.

-

British Airways Avios

1:1.

Transfer ratio adjusted to 1:1.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

1:1.

-

Choice Hotels Choice Privileges

1:1.

To join Capital One as a transfer partner later in 2021.

Emirates Skywards

1:1.

Transfer ratio adjusted to 1:1.

Etihad Guest

1:1.

-

EVA Air Infinity MileageLands

2:1.5.

-

Finnair Plus

1:1.

-

Qantas Frequent Flyer

1:1.

-

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

1:1.

Transfer ratio adjusted to 1:1.

TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go

1:1.

-

Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles

1:1.

Transfer ratio adjusted to 1:1.

Wyndham Rewards

1:1.

-

If you transfer your Capital One miles to some of these international airlines to take advantage of sweet spots, you might be able to get more than the 1 cent value per mile that you would get through Capital One Travel.

Let’s say you score a $500 one-way flight to Hawaii with only 10,000 Turkish Airlines miles (one of the best Turkish Miles&Smiles redemptions). That’s a whopping 5-cent-per-mile value, and the value of your award flight is already more than the annual fee you paid that year.

Why the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card’s annual fee is actually a good deal

Notably, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card has most everything you would expect from a premium travel credit card and the lowest annual fee among the bunch. Most other premium travel cards have annual fees upwards of $450, so $395 is a good value. It also has enough annual benefits ($300 for Capital One Travel bookings and $100 worth of anniversary bonus points) to completely offset the annual fee fairly easily.

The only catch is that you’ll have to do some travel booking through the Capital One Travel portal to maximize the statement credits and number of miles you’ll earn. The portal might limit your choices a bit. The transfer partners are also a good option for redemptions, but the lack of hotel partners and domestic airlines may make this card less appealing to novice and/or domestic travelers.

For people willing to take a chance on a growing travel rewards program, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card might be a good way to get into the premium travel credit card space at a lower price point.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:

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