The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card are two of the most popular travel rewards cards out there because of how simple they make it to earn and redeem rewards.
That said, you should still make sure you’re taking full advantage of the benefits these cards offer, and there’s a lot more to that than just swiping your card and earning the sign-up bonus. These are the six things you have to know when you start collecting Capital One miles.
1. Book all of your hotel stays through Hotels.com
The two versions of the Venture card offer a number of quality perks, but one of the best is the ability to earn 10 miles per $1 spent booking rooms through Hotels.com, at least through January 2020. This is one of the highest bonus rates for booking hotels that any rewards card offers, and it will let you rack up points fast if you’re a frequent traveler.
» Learn more: The best hotel credit cards
2. Join Hotels.com’s loyalty program
This program is separate from the card itself, but it can help turbocharge the return on your spending. Hotels.com’s loyalty program offers you one free hotel night for every 10 that you book. So assuming that you followed Step 1 and are doing all of your hotel bookings through Hotels.com, this added perk will give your card even more value. Note that it may sound like you can exploit this by booking 10 cheap rooms and redeeming your free night for an expensive room, but you’ll only get the average value of your 10 paid nights as credit toward a free room.
3. Learn how to transfer points to airline partners
As is true of most rewards programs, one of the greatest uses for Capital One points is to transfer them to an airline partner. Capital One miles have a fixed value of 1 cent per mile if you redeem them through their travel portal, but that value can increase if you transfer them to airline partners and convert them to frequent flyer miles.
Capital One recently added an extensive list of airline transfer partners, including JetBlue, Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air France and Qantas, among others.
4. Use your points for travel, not cash
While some rewards cards are flexible about letting you take your points as cash, Capital One imposes a severe penalty if you try to redeem your miles for money.
The face value of a Capital One mile is 1 cent when redeemed for travel, but Capital One imposes a 50% penalty if you redeem your points for cash back. That means that if you withdraw $100 worth of points as cash, you’ll only receive $50.
If you want to retain the flexibility to use your rewards for travel or cash back, then a better card to consider is the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, which will allow you to redeem your points through Chase Ultimate Rewards however you want to.
5. Learn to love the Purchase Eraser
The Purchase Eraser is a feature that’s unique to Capital One, and it’s one of the most powerful features that any card offers.
One of the biggest limitations of almost all rewards cards is that you can only use points on the hotels and airlines that your card has a partnership with, and those are generally the only two travel expenses that they’ll cover.
The Capital One Purchase Eraser, however, will let you use your points to simply “erase” any qualified travel expenses that you’ve incurred in the last 90 days. All you have to do is log in to your account, pick the expense and then use your points for either a full or partial credit against the charge. This feature is not limited to any one particular hotel brand or airline.
The added bonus that makes this feature so useful is that it covers expenses beyond the standard hotels and plane tickets. You can use this feature to pay for bus tickets, train tickets, cruises, Airbnb bookings and a whole host of other travel costs.
» Learn more: What is the Capital One Purchase Eraser?
6. Take advantage of the benefits
A major mistake that many travel rewards collectors make is thinking that their benefits are limited to just the points or miles that they earn. However, most cards will offer a collection of ancillary benefits, and if taken advantage of, these perks can be just as valuable as the miles you collect.
For example, the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card offers a $100 credit for either TSA Precheck or Global Entry when you charge it to the card. Other benefits include rental car collision insurance, no foreign transaction fees and extended warranties for major appliances that you buy with the card.
Capital One miles can be a great program to be a part of, but there’s a big difference between just having a travel rewards card and using it properly to get the maximum value you can out of it. Following these tips will make sure that you’re getting the most out of your Capital One miles.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Find the best travel credit card for you
11 benefits of the Capital One Venture
Capital One VentureOne vs. Venture: Is the annual fee worth it?