Why I Love The Capital One Venture Card

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There’s no question that Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is the most improved rewards card of the last couple of years. That was true even before Capital One’s announcement about new airport lounges and improved miles transfer options to airlines and hotel programs.

Capital One has added additional premium features to the card. It’s gone from a celebrity endorsed card I didn’t used to think about daily, to becoming one that I absolutely love. I mean, the changes they’ve made to the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card have even made me like spokesperson Jennifer Garner more.

Here are the 15 things I’m loving about the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card:

  1. Initial bonus offer. Earn 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel
  2. 2x on everything. That means 2% towards paid travel, or when converting to most of their airline partners it’s equivalent to 1.5 airline miles per dollar spent, which is the best you’ll do with a single personal card on unbonused spend, period.
  3. 2% rebate towards travel. Capital One’s miles let you buy any flight without worrying about restricted award availability. This is most useful for people who use their rewards for domestic economy flights, and can be especially valuable over peak travel dates. You pick the flight you want and don’t inconvenience yourself based on what’s available at the saver level.
  4. Double threat. It’s a single card that works great as a travel rebate product, and great transferring to airline frequent flyer programs.
  5. Transfers to Air Canada Aeroplan They’re a great Star Alliance partner with most awards bookable on their website and great pricing for business class to Europe.
  6. Transfers to LifeMiles This is the only Star Alliance frequent flyer program with an award chart and no carrier-imposed surcharge. You can redeem United domestic flights starting at just 3500 miles.When you are flying a ‘mixed cabin’ itinerary (say, for instance, Los Angeles to Tokyo in first class and then connecting in business class to Beijing) the program will charge you proportionately for each flight segment.

    A first class award between the US and North Asia is listed at 90,000 LifeMiles on the award chart. If you flew Los Angeles – Tokyo Haneda non-stop in first class it would cost you 90,000 LifeMiles. However if you added a connection in coach beyond Tokyo Haneda then the price of the award drops — add Tokyo – Beijing in economy and you can get the price down to just over 66,000 miles. That’s a generous perk no other program offers.

  7. Transfers to Air France KLM Flying Blue. Air France offers better award availability when you’re using Flying Blue miles than when you’re using partner miles. I often transfer to Flying Blue because I find they have business class award seats to Europe when other airlines don’t.What’s more flights to Europe – especially connections to Central and Eastern Europe – are reasonably priced. For instance flying between the U.S. and some European cities will price under 60,000 miles each way in business.
  8. Transfers to EVA Air Infinity MileageLands. EVA Air is a totally underappreciated mileage transfer partner.Flying business class between the US and Asia on EVA Air costs a reasonable 75,000 or 80,000 miles each way depending on the US gateway used. One real hidden gem is that they charge just 25,000 miles each way for business class intra-Asia awards. They also offer Star Alliance round-the-the world awards

    US-Europe Star Alliance awards in business class is 65,000 miles each way, 85,000 miles in first class. US-Mideast Star Alliance awards in business class is 67,000 miles each way. And two stopovers permitted on a roundtrip award (one in each direction). Changes to date and flight up to three days in advance of travel are free while additional changes and also cancel/mileage redeposit cost $50.

    While many people skip over the program because they add fuel surcharges to partner award tickets you don’t need to get excised about fuel surcharges for awards on EVA’s own flights e.g. $43 Los Angeles – Taipei and $56 Los Angeles – Taipei – Bangkok.

  9. Transfers to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. Since everyone transfers to Singapore it’s easy to build up their miles. And Singapore Airlines offers much better award availability to travel on Singapore’s own flights when you’re using Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles than if you’re trying to use miles from a partner frequent flyer program.
  10. Transfers to Emirates I’ve found upgrades to be easier to get with Emirates than on most other airlines, but you need their own Skywards miles to upgrade a paid ticket.
  11. Transfers to Etihad Guest. That lets you book award travel on Etihad (one of my favorites) but most importantly they have many great partner awards – for instance if you can find premium cabin international saver award space on American, they still charge you the mileage prices that American used to charge before their March 2016 devaluation.
  12. TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit This was an add-on benefit in 2018 and I love new benefits without taking anything away. And even if you have Global Entry already yourself you can use the credit for someone else’s application.
  13. James Beard Foundation event access Capital One has launched a new exclusive partnership with the James Beard Foundation that gives all cardholders special access to events and experiences. This means being able to buy tickets for events before others have a chance to force a sell-out. That’s great for any foodie.
  14. Exclusive Taylor Swift partnership gives cardmembers access to a Taylor Swift bundle no one else can buy. And who doesn’t like Taylor Swift (except maybe Marsha Blackburn).

  15. Jennifer Garner says you should get one.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »

Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. too bad can’t ever get approved despite 800+ credit score….even got B of A premium card but Capital One is tough…

  2. So it’s basically it is…

    Get 56,000 points for $3,000 in spend, a standard welcome offer

    Then get 84,000 points for the next $17,000 in spend – about a 5% cash return on spend if you redeem for travel, or 63,000 miles for that spend

    Decent offer, especially if you can spend in no bonuses categories

  3. Capital One seems to only cater to two demographics, subprime and superprime. In the superprime space, they seem to target those with limited numbers of cards who don’t regularly shop around. If you’re reading travel/churning blogs, you probably aren’t in this demographic.

  4. LifeMiles? Really? I suppose if you’re flying tomorrow it’s fine, but I don’t expect that I’ll get to fly the tickets I booked on Turkish through them next year.

  5. Thank you and got one.
    Congratulations! You’re approved for a Venture® card.
    Your new card will arrive in 7-10 business days
    $ 20,000
    Credit Line
    Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day

  6. I always considered Venture to be equal with the Barclay Arrival +. However, Barclay stopped issuing the Arrival and here is Cap 1 going all out to push the Venture. One of the two banks has messed up.

  7. What is the deal with their approvals? Without saying too much, I have an 800ish credit rating and a very high income (I don’t think I’ve every been rejected for a card except for 5/24 type reasons). They offered me an alternative garbage card with a $1000 limit. Bonkers.

  8. 50k points for $3k spend within 3 months.
    50k additional points for Total Spend of $20k within 12 months.
    2x points on that $20k spend means 40k more points.

    Grand total of 140k points for $20k spend (approx $1650/month) in 12 months.

    Makes this a 7x card for those first 12 months; a no-brainer home-run if you use it for all (normally) non-bonused 1x categories.

  9. Bloggers need to be honest about CapOne. Every time I read one of these articles, I never see any reference to the fact that they do not approve responsible credit consumers. I am not a gamer, I’ve only opened 3 cards in the last two years, have a credit score above above 800 and an existing relationship with CapOne (1 card that I opened over 10 years ago and is still active), but they will not approve people like me who don’t carry balances. Stop peddling this or at least warn your readers that if they’re using credit responsibly, they’re not likely to be approved and will get nothing but a hard pull on their credit report.

  10. @Darren

    I don’t carry a balance. I have 800+ FICO.
    I am a very responsible user of credit. They approved me.

  11. “It’s” means “it is”. Not the possessive of it. Your title makes no sense. If you want to be taken seriously, up your grammar game before you post

  12. @mojo, congrats, you seem to have slipped through. Regardless, one DP does not disprove the overwhelming number of people who comment every time one of these CapOne offers are made. It’s abundantly clear that they lean towards declining credit apps that every other card issuer approves. I’ve never been declined for any other card and my experience seems to be widely shared.

    I’m not one of those people who get up in arms about bloggers pushing cards. I understand they need to make a living and Gary is among those who usually do it responsibly. But given the now widespread knowledge that CapOne routinely rejects creditworthy applicants and pulls all three credit unions, this should be a disclaimer when pushing people to their cards.

  13. @ Jason I guess the Thought Leader has his own style guide. Three weeks later and it’s still the same.

  14. Agree with the other commentators. A few years ago CO was approving anyone with a pulse. Now you can’t get approved with a 800 + score! Plus they triple pull all 3 boroughs. No Thanks!

  15. @Darin/@Kevin, I wish I had read these posts before wasting two turndowns…me and my wife. Used to be easy to get approved by Cap One; they were always playing catch-up to the big boys. My 800 score didn’t seem to impress them.

    Anybody have any luck with appeals? I will call them once I get the rejection letter.

    Geoff

  16. Transfers to Singapore and Emirates are not 2:1.5 but 2:1, so a $1 of spend translates to 1 miles for these two programs.

    The post also states this card has the highest unbonused spend of any personal card, but the Citi Double Cash card gives 2% cash back which can be exchanged for two Citi points which transfer 1:1 to their airline partners yielding 2 miles/$ which is more than this card.

  17. One more datapoint to the “…fact that they do not approve responsible credit consumers…” My rejection was 2 years ago, hard pulls from multiple agencies, nearly impossible to discuss reconsideration, complete obstinance and absolute intransigence during recon phone calls.

  18. Good card only for the bonus. Not worth keeping after the first year. Citi DC is way better for everyday use now that the cash can be converted to Thank you points. Pair it with Premier and you have 2 real airline miles per dollar. Not 2 to 1.5 or whatever C1 venture offers.

  19. It looks like all the banks and Cap One in particular are getting more careful with cc churning and big signing bonuses. Right now my FICO is 800+ with about 2% credit utilization (meaning I have plenty of credit and little spending right now without business travel). Cap One will be loosing money on me and I do not think I will be approved. Plus, not much benefits for some of us flying AA and OneWorld.

  20. I also got rejected, even though I have been their customer for many years, have an 800+ score and have a QuickSilver card with a completely unused limit. They said it was because I had recently taken out a store card which they issue. Seems they have something similar to a 5/24 policy but undisclosed.

  21. I just got approved, I did not expect to but I’m very happy. 830 credit score and retired. Opened 2 other cards in the last 6 months. 5 cards over the last 2 years. Only posting this to show that some are getting approved.

  22. Excellent credit don’t carry balances, immed approval. BUT I only have 1 other VERY old cc with them, & I also keep some dough in their Savings accts which I like anyway for their good rates & great SUBs.

  23. I’m warming up to C1 cards.

    Got the spark biz one with the 200k offer earlier this year. I like how they work for the ‘in-between’ of Amex and Chase.

    Was waiting for a 100k offer again on this, so, likely will jump on it.

    800+ credit score, and got approved on the first one.
    Heard lots of horror stories, but, my experience was simple and pain free getting approved with high credit score / no balances, etc.

  24. Capital One rejected me for the Venture a couple years ago, even though I had had the Quicksilver card for years, and their 360 Checking account, too. My score was in the 800s, with 1-2% credit utilization, long credit history, and 100% on-time payment. I’ll never bother with their cards again, even if they were to offer 5% everywhere.

  25. Really appreciate all the comments here about having 800+ credit score and not getting approved because you don’t carry balances … that describes us and having just wasted an application on a US Bank card that oddly didn’t get approved (same reason? it’s the only card we weren’t approved for in years) we’ll go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred instead

  26. “best you’ll do with a single personal card on unbonused spend, period.” — I think this is close to true, but wouldn’t it be better to get 2x “cash” on everything via Citi Doublecash and then convert to Thank You Points without Venture transfer devaluation?

  27. Does anyone know their policy on getting a signup offer again? I got one from this card a couple of years back

  28. I was rejected by Cap One after they mailed me an offer for one of their cards. If they’re paying credit reporting agencies to generate lists of people who seem to meet their bizarre criteria and then rejecting them anyway, that seems pretty schizophrenic. My view is that if you send me a prescreened offer and I haven’t applied for new credit recently, you had better honor the offer. As a result, I won’t be wasting my time dealing with Cap One again.

  29. Was just approved. Credit score 823, 2 recent inquires, never carry balance, already have 1 business capital one account. Approved with $30k limit.

  30. While I have been somewhat daunted by all the posts from others with excellent credit who have been turned down for the Capital One Venture Card, what really gave me pause is Plastiq’s disclosure that it cannot process ANY charges made to a personal Capital One card.

    Like lots of other people, I could hit the $20K mark by leveraging things like mortgage and car payments, along with business-related expenses. But with international trips still few and far between, I don’t know that giving up the 5X airfare multiple from the Platinum Card is worth it to try to get to $20K with the Venture Card. There are few enough opportunities to pay the mortgage or car payments via credit card as it is, but if one can’t accomplish ANY transaction through Plastiq with a CapOne card, I don’t see a material benefit from acquiring the Venture card in the current environment. (In case you’re wondering, Plastiq advises that mortgage and car payments are among the handful of specific exclusions for CapOne business cards, as well.)

    Has anyone else figured out any sort of viable workaround?

  31. Caveat Emptor! Readers, beware. Venture is a once in a lifetime approval.

    Don’t waste your inquiry on applying if you’ve ever had this card before.

    The likelihood of approval, regardless of outstanding credit are next to NIL.

  32. I applied last year, and was rejected. Since then, I’ve been approved for five other cards, no exceptions, with credit limits of $11K to $25K. They can do business with whomever they want, and so can I.

    I rolled to almost a million points with Citi this year, so who needs Capital One?

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