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Capital One VentureOne Rewards: A Decent Low-Cost Travel Card

Updated May 23, 2018
Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards, Travel Credit Cards
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If you’re not a heavy spender, the annual fee for a top travel credit card could cost you more than the rewards you’d earn. With the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card, you can earn travel rewards without worrying about the fee. That doesn’t mean it’s the best low-cost option though. Let’s review the details and a few alternatives.

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card: Benefits and basics

The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card offers an unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar spent, regardless of where you spend it. The card also offers a sign-up bonus to start you out: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel.

Let’s take a look at a few other perks that stand out:

no annual fee

Depending on your spending and travel habits, some travel credit cards are worth the annual fee. But if you’re not a frequent flier and you pay with credit only occasionally, the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card’s $0 annual fee is nice to have.

To illustrate, let’s compare the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card with its cousin, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. The latter offers a higher rewards rate — 2 miles per dollar spent — and has a bigger sign-up bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel. But it also has an annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $95.

For the first year, you’ll get much better value with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. But if you plan on owning the card for a long time, you’d have to spend $4,750 each year just to cover the annual fee.

The break-even point for rewards between the two cards is $8,000 in annual spending. If you plan on spending more, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a better option. But if you expect to spend less, you’ll be safer choosing the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card.

apr promotion

If you need some time to pay off a large purchase, the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card offers the dual benefit of rewards and an introductory APR promotion: 0% on Purchases for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.49% - 23.49% Variable APR. That’s a perk you won’t usually find with travel cards.

redemption flexibility

The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card’s redemption process is as flexible as it gets for travel cards. Miles are worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed for travel. You can redeem two ways:

  • Use your miles to book travel through Capital One’s travel platform.
  • Use your card to pay for travel, and then redeem your miles for a statement credit using the Purchase Eraser feature. Unlike similar cards, the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card has no minimum redemption requirement if you’re redeeming a full travel purchase through Purchase Eraser. If you want to redeem for part of a travel purchase, the minimum is 2,500 miles ($25).

no foreign transaction fees

If you plan to travel out of the country, having a card with no foreign transaction fees is a must. With most cards charging around 3% of the transaction, those fees can add up quickly. The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card is a Visa, which means you likely won’t run into problems with acceptance.

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card: Pitfalls and other possibilities

The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card is a decent travel card. But it’s not the best choice out there, even among cards with no annual fee. Let’s consider a few drawbacks:

other cards offer higher rewards rates

If you’re looking for a travel card without an annual fee, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card might be a better option. It offers 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases and an unlimited 3 points per dollar spent on travel through the Bank of America® Travel Center, with the exception of airline purchases, which it caps at $6,000 spent per year.

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card also matches the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card well on everything else, with a $0 annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, wide acceptance and an APR deal: 0% on Purchases for 12 billing cycles, and then the ongoing APR of 16.49% - 24.49% Variable APR. Plus, you’ll earn a decent sign-up bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel.

What makes the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card special is its offer to existing Bank of America® customers: If you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account, you’ll get a 10% points bonus; if you’re a Bank of America® Preferred Rewards client, that bonus can be as high as 75%.

a cash-back card gives more flexibility

When it comes to travel credit cards, redemption is understandably geared toward travel. If you want to use your rewards for anything else, you generally get less value. Such is the case with the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card.

With the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, however, you can do anything you want with your cash-back rewards. Plus, the card offers a higher rewards rate, giving you 1% cash back on every purchase and another 1% when you pay it off.

The card has a $0 annual fee, offers free access to your FICO score, and has a solid APR promotion: 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.99% - 24.99% Variable APR. The downside is that it doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus and charges a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Is the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card right for you?

If you’re looking for a low-cost travel card, the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card is a good choice, but it might not be the best for you. Taking a look at other travel cards and even some cash-back cards, you could do better on the rewards front. Check out our best travel credit cards page for even more options.

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