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Capital One VentureOne vs. Venture: Is the Annual Fee Worth It?

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Capital One Venture Venture One

If you’re looking for a travel rewards credit card, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is one of the best. But there’s one aspect of the card that might turn off frugal travelers: an annual fee. For that, you may be inclined to consider the card’s lite version, the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card. But passing on a card simply because it has an annual fee may cost you.

At a glance
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Annual fee $0 $0 intro for first year; $59 after that
Sign-up bonus Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $200 in travel 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
APR 0% intro on purchases for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 12.24% - 22.24% (Variable) The ongoing APR is 13.24% - 23.24% (Variable)
Rewards rate Unlimited 1.25X miles per dollar on all purchases Unlimited 2X miles per dollar on all purchases
Who would want each card?
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Good for:
  • Someone who can’t stomach an annual fee
  • Someone who needs time to pay off a large purchase
  • Someone who wants flexible travel rewards
  • Someone who wants flexible travel rewards
  • Someone who is looking for a large sign-up bonus
  • Someone who wants a low annual fee
Bad for:
  • Big spenders
  • Someone who wants cash-back rewards
  • Someone who doesn’t travel often
  • Someone who spends less than $8,000 a year
  • Someone who wants cash-back rewards
  • Someone who doesn’t travel often

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card vs. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: The basics

The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card share the same basic DNA. With each card, your daily swiping generates miles, which you can use to book travel or redeem for travel statement credits or gift cards at a rate of $0.01 per mile. There are other redemption options, including cash back, but they come at a lower rate and aren’t recommended. Neither card charges a foreign transaction fee.

Beyond the basics, a few features can help you decide which card is for you.

The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card and the annual fee dilemma

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now on Capital One's secure website

Pros

  • High rewards rate
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee

Bonus Offer

Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $200 in travel

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR Promotions

0% intro on purchases for 12 months

APR

  • APR: 12.24% - 22.24% (Variable)
  • Cash Advance APR: 23.24%, Variable

Card Details

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 12.24%-22.24% variable APR after that
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Miles don’t expire and there’s no limit to how many you can earn

For thrifty travelers, paying an annual fee can be painful. So on the surface, the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card might seem like the better choice with its $0 annual fee. But if you dive deeper into the math, you’ll see that paying the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card’s annual fee might be worth it.

For starters, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card’s annual fee — $0 intro for first year; $59 after that — is relatively cheap compared with other travel credit cards. Also, the card’s high ongoing rewards rate makes it easier to overcome the annual fee.

The right card for you may depend on how much you plan to spend on it every year. If you spend $8,000 annually, you’ll earn roughly the same rewards on both cards, even with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card’s annual fee.

Rewards = [Amount spent * (rewards rate * mile value)] – annual fee

But if you spend more than $8,000 — or $666.67 monthly — you’ll earn more rewards with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, and the annual fee will be paid for. If you expect to spend less, then the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card might be a better option.

Get a bigger sign-up bonus with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now on Capital One's secure website

Pros

  • High rewards rate
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Flexible redemption for travel

Cons

  • Has annual fee

Bonus Offer

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

Annual Fee

$0 intro for first year; $59 after that

Intro APR Promotions

N/A

APR

  • APR: 13.24% - 23.24% (Variable)
  • Cash Advance APR: 23.24%, Variable

Card Details

  • 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 per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • Miles don't expire and there’s no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that

If you’re still wondering if paying the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card’s annual fee is worth it, consider its sign-up 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.

For a $0 annual fee card, the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card’s sign-up bonus isn’t bad: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $200 in travel. But compared with its sister card, you’re not getting nearly as much value. Again, those who spend less may still find value in the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card because its spending requirement is lower. But if you can afford the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card’s requirement within the frame of your normal spending, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card makes more sense.

Take your time to pay off a large purchase with the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

One major advantage the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card has over the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is its introductory APR period: 0% intro on purchases for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 12.24% - 22.24% (Variable). While its intro period length may not measure up to the top 0% cards on the market, it’s an impressive addition to a card that already has a decent sign-up bonus and better-than-average rewards.

If you want travel rewards and you have a big purchase coming up, add the amount you’ll save in interest payments with the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card to how much you can earn in rewards to help you make your decision.

Which card is better?

Both the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card have strengths that are difficult to discount. If you’re not sure which one to choose, take a look at your current spending. If it’s more than $666.67 a month, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is likely the better option. But if it’s less, or if you’re buying a big-ticket item soon, you’ll find more value in the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card.

Updated July 27, 2016.

Ben Luthi is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: bluthi@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @benluthi


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