Is the Capital One Venture X Card Worth Its Annual Fee?
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The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is the bank's first foray into the premium travel card space, and it delivers with fresh perks you won’t find anywhere else. It’s certainly the new kid on the block, but it’s the effortlessly cool new kid.
It comes with a $395 annual fee, which is less than many competitors. Yet, it still delivers on the common benefits 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.
Still, 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
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.
This isn’t the highest sign-up bonus we’ve ever seen on a travel card, but it’s respectable. The bonus alone makes the card easy to justify in year one of being a cardholder, but you’ll want to think about the ongoing benefits as well.
When booking travel in the Capital One Travel portal, you'll have the option to pay a small fee for Cancel for Any Reason travel insurance coverage for bookings.
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.
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.
A new, limited-time partnership with carshare app Turo will get Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card cardholders 10x miles on all spending through Turo. The partnership will last through May 16, 2023.
TSA PreCheck/Global Entry statement credit (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 (value 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 Priority Pass, Capital One lounges, and more than 100 Plaza Premium lounges, including select Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses.
The Capital One lounges are the bank’s response to AmEx’s Centurion Lounges, which are more expensive to access. There are only a few Capital One lounges open so far, but the lounges are largely equivalent in quality to AmEx’s offerings.
The first lounge opened in Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport at the end of 2021. Two more lounges at the Denver and Washington-Dulles airports are expected to open in 2022.
These new lounges are smartly designed to 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 yoga and cycling 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.
» Learn more: 5 top credit cards with anniversary bonuses
Statement credit for bookings made on Capital One Travel (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 apply only to bookings made through the Capital One Travel portal, while the Chase Sapphire Reserve®’s credit applies to almost any travel charged to the card.
» Learn more: Guide to the Capital One Travel portal
Statement credit for Gravity Haus annual membership (up to $300)
You’re entitled to a statement credit of up to $300 when you commit to an annual membership with Gravity Haus, which is a membership-based social club with locations primarily in popular ski areas, including Breckenridge, Vail and Winter Park in Colorado, as well as a location in Truckee, California, near Lake Tahoe.
Gravity Haus amenities vary by location, but expect hotel rooms, equipment rentals, a cafe, a gym, group fitness classes, a spa and co-working spaces. It’s a sort of country club designed for the trendy winter sports crowd, where you can also sleep and work.
If you’re a first-time Gravity Haus member, you can enroll through the Capital One landing page to receive $300 off the regular, non-discounted price of one 12-month membership to any Gravity Haus membership level. Those are:
Explorer ($840 annually).
Weekender ($1,200 annually).
Local ($1,560 to $1,800 depending on the location).
All-In ($2,400 annually).
The discount will be applied over the course of the first membership term only, so you’ll get $25 off the regular, non-discounted monthly price, each month, for a 12-month membership.
Even with the statement credit, you’re still on the hook for a minimum of $540 for the lowest membership tier, so it’s unlikely most cardholders will use this benefit. But if you frequent mountain towns where Gravity Haus operates, you might find membership to be a worthwhile deal, especially given the Capital One credit.
This offer is only available through Jan. 19, 2024.
Capital One miles are actually more flexible than you might think. The issuer has recently added transfer partners and improved the ratios, so now there are 15 partners with a 1:1 transfer ratio.
Aeromexico Club Premier
Air Canada Aeroplan
Air France/KLM Flying Blue
ALL Accor Live Limitless
British Airways Executive Club
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
TAP Portugal Miles&Go
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
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-per-mile value that you would get through Capital One Travel.
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.
Based on our most recent analysis, NerdWallet values Turkish Airlines miles at 1.4 cents each.
We took a closer look at premium travel cards competing for your business, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, The Platinum Card® from American Express and the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card.
Here's a summary of our findings:
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® vs. the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: The Chase Sapphire Reserve® outdoes the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card in a couple big ways. Its points are worth 50% more (1.5 cents each) when you redeem them in the Chase travel portal, and the annual travel statement credit isn’t as limited.
The Platinum Card® from American Express vs. the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: The Platinum Card® from American Express is more than a glorified coupon book. Even though it captures the hearts (and wallets) of luxury-seeking travelers, one major downside is that booking hotels with Membership Rewards points in the AmEx Travel Portal yields a value of 0.7 cents per point — 0.3 cents less per point than a similar booking with Capital One miles through Capital One Travel. Terms apply.
The U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card vs. the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: The U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card offers cardholders a more flexible annual statement credit that covers travel and dining purchases and few limitations. Plus, its points can be redeemed at 1.5 cents each U.S. Bank.
Read our full comparison of how the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card stacks against its competitors.
Why the 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 upward 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 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 choice 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 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card