CREDIT CARDSCREDIT CARDSCAPITAL ONE VENTURE REVIEW: EASY EARNINGS, EFFORTLESS REDEMPTIONS

Capital One Venture Review: Easy Earnings, Effortless Redemptions

Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on everything. Redeem miles (at 1 cent apiece) for credit on your statement against any travel purchase, with none of the restrictions of airline cards.
Sara Rathner Author Avatar
Feb 20, 2024 10:18 a.m. PST
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The Bottom Line

4.7

NerdWallet rating

A big sign-up bonus, high rewards and flexible redemption make this card worth the annual fee.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Annual Fee
$95
Rewards Rate
2x-5x
Miles
Intro Offer
75,000
Miles
Recommended credit score
Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
19.99%-29.99% Variable APR
Recommended credit score
Annual Fee
$95
Rewards Rate
2x-5x
Miles
Intro Offer
75,000
Miles
Recommended credit score
Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
19.99%-29.99% Variable APR
Recommended credit score
  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Rewards rate

    2x-5x

  • Bonus offer

    Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

  • Intro APR

    N/A

  • Ongoing APR

    APR: 19.99%-29.99% Variable APR

    Cash Advance APR: 29.99%, Variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Balance Transfer Fee applies to balances transferred at a promotional rate

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

View Rates and Fees
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Enrich every hotel stay from the Lifestyle Collection with a suite of cardholder benefits, like a $50 experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs

Pros and Cons

Pros

High rewards rate

Flexible rewards redemption

Cons

Has annual fee

Requires good/excellent credit

Detailed Review

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the most popular credit cards on the market — and for good reason. Unlike the airline-branded cards it was designed to compete against, it pays a high rewards rate on every purchase (not just on travel spending), and you can use its rewards to pay for any travel expense, without any restrictions on when you travel, which airline you fly or which hotel you stay at. Throw in a big bonus for new cardholders, and it's no wonder this card is a favorite of so many people.

If you want travel rewards that are easy to earn, easy to understand and nearly effortless to redeem, you aren't going to find many travel credit cards better than this one.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Basics

Card type: Travel.

Annual fee: $95 (see rates and fees).

Sign-up bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

Rewards:

  • 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases.

  • 5 miles per dollar on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel.

Redemption options:

  • Use miles to book travel through Capital One at a value of 1 cent per mile.

  • Redeem miles for statement credit against travel purchases at a value of 1 cent per mile.

  • Transfer miles to more than 15 partner airline and hotel programs. Per-mile value depends on the transfer partner and how you redeem the transferred miles.

  • Redeem miles for gift cards. The redemption value varies between 1-1.25 miles per cent.

Interest rate: The ongoing APR is 19.99%-29.99% Variable APR.

Foreign transaction fees: None.

Other benefits:

(Note: Benefits may change over time.)

  • Credit of up to $100 for the application fee for Global Entry or TSA Precheck when you pay with the card.

  • Travel accidental insurance for no extra charge when you use the card to pay for your travel bookings. Terms apply.

  • Rental car coverage.

  • Extended warranty on eligible items.

Compare to Other Cards

ANNUAL FEE
$95
INTRO APR
N/A
REGULAR APR
19.99%-29.99% Variable APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL FEE
$95
INTRO APR
N/A
REGULAR APR
21.49%-28.49% Variable APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL FEE
$0
INTRO APR
0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
REGULAR APR
17.24%-28.24% Variable APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
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Benefits and Perks

A high rewards rate

While most branded airline cards earn only 1 point per dollar on most purchases other than those you make with the airline, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card keeps it simple. You’ll earn 5 miles per dollar spent on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel and an unlimited 2 miles per dollar on all other purchases.

A generous sign-up bonus

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card gives you a head start on your next trip with its bonus offer for new cardholders: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

Flexible redemption options

Capital One's rewards program gives you several ways to use your miles for travel:

  • Redeem rewards as a statement credit. With this option, you book travel however you want, then redeem miles for statement credit for some or all of the cost. Miles are worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed — and there's no minimum redemption amount. That's a welcome difference from some other cards, which have minimums as high as $100. Any expense that Capital One considers "travel" is eligible for redemption. This includes not only flights and hotel stays, but also "rail lines, car rental agencies, limousine services, bus lines, cruise lines, taxi cabs, travel agents and time shares," according to the Capital One website.

  • Book through the issuer's travel center. This online portal offers flights, hotels, rental cars and vacation packages. You can pay upfront with your miles, at a rate of 1 cent per mile.

  • Transfer miles to partners. Capital One lets you transfer your miles to the loyalty programs of a number of airline and hotel partners.

Airlines

  • Aeromexico (1:1 ratio).

  • Air Canada (1:1 ratio).

  • Air France-KLM (1:1 ratio).

  • Avianca (1:1 ratio).

  • British Airways (1:1 ratio).

  • Cathay Pacific (1:1 ratio).

  • Emirates (1:1 ratio).

  • Etihad (1:1 ratio).

  • EVA (2:1.5 ratio).

  • Finnair (1:1 ratio).

  • Qantas (1:1 ratio).

  • Singapore Airlines (1:1 ratio).

  • TAP Air Portugal (1:1 ratio).

  • Turkish Airlines (1:1 ratio).

Hotels

  • Accor (2:1 ratio).

  • Choice Privileges Hotels (1:1 ratio).

  • Wyndham Rewards (1:1 ratio).

Travel-friendly perks

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers additional benefits frequent travelers will enjoy:

  • A statement credit of up to $100 for the application fee for Global Entry or TSA Precheck. The credit is available once every four years.

  • Premium benefits when you book a hotel stay through Capital One's Lifestyle Collection like a $50 experience credit, complimentary WIFI and room upgrades when available.

  • Trip protection including rental car coverage, travel accident insurance and round-the-clock travel assistance services if your card is lost or stolen.

  • No foreign transaction fees for overseas purchases.

(Note: Benefits may change over time.)

Drawbacks and Considerations

Fewer perks than the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a solid choice for most travelers. But if you want heftier perks, it's worth considering the card's higher-end sibling, the $395-annual-fee Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (see rates and fees). Both cards earn similar rewards on most purchases and offer a statement credit to cover the cost of TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. But the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card makes up for its higher annual fee with some significant perks:

  • Unlimited access to Capital One Lounges and more than 1,300 Priority Pass lounges.

  • Up to $300 annual credit for bookings made through Capital One Travel.

  • 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary.

It might feel a bit off-putting to pay hundreds of dollars a year just to carry a credit card. But as long as you don't mind booking travel through the issuer, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card's perks easily offset the higher annual fee.

Lack of domestic transfer partners

For travelers who like to squeeze every last drop of value out of loyalty programs, the growing roster of transfer partners for the the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is appealing. You can now transfer your Venture miles to more than a dozen airline partners — but all are non-U.S. carriers. For those just dipping their toe into transfer options, sending their miles off to a foreign carrier may be a bit daunting.

For these travel hackers, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a better choice. First, there's an option to transfer points to participating frequent traveler programs at a 1:1 ratio and those programs include domestic carriers United, Southwest and JetBlue, as well as the Marriott, Hyatt and IHG hotels programs. You can also use your points to book a trip directly with Chase's travel tool. If you choose this route, your points rise in value from 1 cent apiece to 1.25 cents.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also offers a great sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. It earns bonus rewards in a variety of popular spending categories, including dining and travel. The annual fee is $95.

Poor cash-back option

If you want to use your miles for cash back or a statement credit for non-travel purchases, your miles are worth only half as much as if you were to redeem them for travel. This can be an issue if you don’t travel often and want to turn your rewards into money in your pocket. You may get greater value out of a cash-back card like the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, which offers 2% cash back on all purchases with a $0 annual fee.

Annual fee

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has an annual fee of $95 (see rates and fees). While this is typical for travel rewards cards, that’s not comforting news to anyone trying to keep credit card costs down. The $0-annual-fee Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card earns 3 points per dollar on several popular spending categories:

  • Restaurants.

  • Travel and transit.

  • Gas stations and EV stations.

  • Popular streaming services.

  • Select phone plans.

How To Decide If It's Right For You

If you're serious about travel, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card should be on your radar. With one of the highest sign-up bonuses and best ongoing rewards rates on the market, it can go toe to toe with any other travel card. It's especially a good option if you want travel rewards without the need to navigate a complicated redemption system.

Still unsure about whether this card, or any travel card, is what you need? Peruse our best credit cards page for options across categories.

• • •

For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.

Alternate Pick: No Annual Fee
A great travel rewards card with no annual fee

With no annual fee, this card gives you 1.5 points for every $1 you spend. It comes with a sign-up bonus and points are redeemable for statement credit against any travel expense.


Methodology

NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.

Frequently asked questions

With the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, you earn 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. You can redeem those miles (at a value of 1 cent apiece) for any travel purchase — flights on any airline, stays at any hotel, auto rentals from any agency, and so on. Unlike with points from airline or hotel loyalty programs, there are no restrictions or blackout dates. Book travel however you want, and then use your miles to pay for it.

Miles earned on the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card are worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed for travel. That means you get an effective rewards rate of 2% on all purchases.

You can use Capital One miles to pay for flights on any airline, but you also have the option of transferring those miles to about a dozen airline loyalty programs and combining them with frequent-flyer rewards earned in those programs.

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a Visa card.

You’ll need at least good credit to qualify for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. Generally speaking, “good credit” is defined as a score of at least 690. But a credit score alone isn’t enough to qualify for any credit card. Issuers take into account your income, existing debts and other information.

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