16 Reasons I’m Loving Capital One Venture

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There’s no question that Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is the most improved rewards card of the last year.

I used to feel badly for Capital One, with their ‘2% rebate towards travel card’ they were spending as much or more than any other card issuer rebating to the consumer but savvy customers weren’t giving them as much attention as other cards from Chase, American Express and Citibank. That’s because the best you’d ever do was 2% back (at which point just get a no annual fee Citi® Double Cash Card since cash is better). They had no mileage transfer options.

That’s all changed, and they’ve added additional premium features to the card too. 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.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Here are the 16 things I’m loving about the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card:

  1. 50,000 initial bonus offer. Earned once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

  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. I just wish they’d finally open up their Signature Suite lounge in Toronto to award passengers!

  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. And you can spend just 44,000 miles each way for Royal Air Maroc business class between the U.S. and anywhere that soon-to-be member of oneworld flies.

  12. $0 annual fee the first year: you’re even able to get benefits like a $100 Global Entry statement credit without an annual fee. After the first year it’s $95.

  13. TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit This was an add-on benefit last summer and I love new benefits without taking anything away. It’s pretty rich considering the first year $0 annual fee. And even if you have Global Entry already yourself you can use the credit for someone else’s application.

  14. 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.

  15. 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).

  16. 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 »

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Comments

  1. Capital One has a few great credit card products but the problem is that they will not approve a card for someone who is clearly compiling rewards points via credit cards. Despite an 810 credit score and staying within Chase’s 5/24 rule, they have declined me twice. I’m not wasting my time with them anymore.

  2. I would add a 17th reason: their 10 miles per $ on hotel reservations. This is effectively 7.5 miles per $ when you move it to your favorite airline. Although I am a bit disheartened by your finding that the rates may be higher when their portal is used 🙁

  3. @Bob Wing: How do they know you are getting the card just to get the bonus miles? Is it the number of cards you get, the closing of cards at the end of the first year?

  4. Probably both. I stay at or below 5/24 and very rarely keep a card more than 11 months. I also get 3 or so business cards per year but I don’t think they can see those.

  5. Does Capital One offer referral bonuses??
    Your disclosure at beginning of blog talks about receiving compensation.
    Does Capital One offer bloggers compensation?

  6. Do you put flights and big travel spend (a safari, a river tour) on here even though it offers no trip cancellation insurance? Or would you put those on Chase Sapphire and use this for other expenses?

  7. @Abner: I’d think so since I just clicked the link above, applied and was approved. I’ve had the online Capital One 360 (and before that the ING) account for 14 years. I know because they sent me an anniversary greeting this week.

  8. I have this card and keep it since its my oldest card account, but I rarely use it. Find the amex business blue plus to be a better card, especially when paired with my other cards since it gives 2 MR points per dollar. If I’m not using that card on non-bonused spend then I use my freedom unlimited for 1.5 UR points per dollar. The only time I use my venture card is for hotels.com purchases. Not really a compelling card IMO except maybe to grab a quick signup.

  9. Bill, agree but I maxed Blue for biz, chase won’t give me a card, and my choice has become 2.5 pct back on Alliant

  10. Bill is right. I use the Blue Biz from AmEx for the first 50k every year, and I love it. The problem is that (1) I go above the 50k sometime in July or August, and then the rewards go down to 1=1, and (2) Amex charges a hefty fee on spends out of the country, which Venture does not. So I use my venture during the second half of the calendar year, and whenever I am out of the country.

  11. 17. They pay me commission

    But seriously – transfer to lifemiles? Given how cheap they are to buy outright, you’d do better earning with a strong cash back card and buying when needed then transferring

  12. If you are going to advertise Singapore transfers as a major perk — which it is — you also should add that Singapore does not transfer at 2:1.5. Singapore transfers at 2:1, which means the 2 points per dollar spent is completely negated (and Singapore also is a 1:1 transfer partner for UR, MR and TY).

    One additional perk that you failed to mention is that points are available as soon as the charge(s) post — you do not have to wait until the end of the billing cycle to get/use your points.

    Motivating factors for me were the bonus, the lack of any current cards with Cap One and the ability to transfer 2:1.5 to EVA (also a Citi TY partner at 1:1).

  13. Cap One is dead for me too. I got denied twice despite an 830 score and within 5/24. And this after they sent me emails asking to apply!
    They just don’t like I have too many credit cards. They don’t care I pay them in time…
    Same story for other members of my family. I guess they approve you if that’s your only card or if you are a blogger…

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