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Capital One Venture X is the new premium version of its signature Venture product about to launch. And I’m sort of amazed at how much they’re including at the price point.
For travel rewards fans this is going to be a strong card to consider – and it hits high marks for all of the reasons you may want to get and use a card – a (very) big initial bonus, strong earning for your spend, and great benefits.
The idea that Capital One would be coming out with a Visa Infinite premium card in travel has been rumored – and expected – for some time. For my part, I’m glad they took the time to get it right and to align with the opening of their own airport lounge network, and the launch of their new travel portal.
I’m very excited about this card. I applied and received an instant approval. I’ve heard from several readers that they received similar approvals right away as well. And they shared news of the same credit line, too.
Capital One Venture X Initial Bonus
Capital One Venture X is offering 100,000 bonus miles after $10,000 spend on purchases in the first 6 months, and for a limited time also offering up to $200 in statement credits for vacation rentals like Airbnb and VRBO.
While ‘$10,000’ is a big spend requirement, you have six months to meet it and the reward is generous. Plus the statement credit that’s available at the outset will let you earn money on the card’s benefits fairly easily relative to the card’s cost.
The Capital One Venture X carries a $395 annual fee. That’s on the low end for premium travel cards and a great price. Consider that competitor products generally run $450 to $695, they clearly made a conscious decision to pack a lot of value into their card and charge less than American Express, Chase, or Citibank.
With an initial bonus offer worth well over $1500 in my view, exceeding $395 in value by a lot the first year should be easy even without statement credits but they’ve set up benefits that make the card pay for itself quite easily. Read on.
Earning For Your Spend
The card earns 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, and 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked at Capital One Travel as well as 5 miles per dollar on flights booked via Capital One Travel.
The Capital One travel site is quite good as far as credit card booking portals go. I wouldn’t hesitate to book air and rental car here for the outstanding earn rates. Booking hotels means giving up hotel loyalty points, credit towards earning elite status, and elite status benefits – so I’d only do that if you aren’t chain-loyal or are booking outside of your preferred chain.
While it’s possible to pair cards from other issuers to get at least 2 miles per dollar on all spending (e.g. Citi Premier + Double Cash), Capital One offers the only consumer cards that gives you 2x earning on everything , transferable to other points in many cases 1:1, and where that earning isn’t capped. That makes Capital One Venture X a good single card solution for a lot of people.
On the points-spending side you can redeem points through Capital One’s travel portal, but you do not have to in order to use points for paid travel, since you can also redeem against recent travel purchases on your statement. My favorite use of course is transfers to other loyalty programs, which are now nearly all at 1:1.
Capital One miles now transfer 1:1 to:
- Star Alliance: Air Canada Aeroplan, Singapore Airlines Krisflyer, Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles, Avianca LifeMiles, TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go
- oneworld: British Airways Executive Club, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Finnair Plus, Qantas Frequent Flyer
- SkyTeam: Air France KLM Flying Blue, Aeromexico Club Premier
- Non-alliance: Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest
- Hotels: Wyndham Rewards, Choice Privileges
Capital One miles also transfer at 2-to-1.5 into EVA Air Infinity MileageLands. And they transfer 2-to-1 into ALL Accor Live Limitless.
I like that they allow transfers in just 100 mile increments rather than 1000 mile increments (as long as there’s a 1000 mile minimum transfer), since I often find after a transfer I might have 878 miles in an account. I’d much rather go closer to zero, and not ‘waste’ that extra 1000 miles. It’s a small win, but something Capital One does for customers that other issuers do not.
And while not all points transfers are instant, the ones you’ll probably use most like Air Canada, Air France, Avianca, British Airways, and Emirates generally seem to be.
Capital One Venture X Statement Credits And Anniversary Bonus
There’s a limited time $200 statement credit offer for spend on vacation rentals as part of the initial bonus, and on an ongoing basis the card offers:
- Up to $300 credit annually for bookings made at Capital One Travel (including airline tickets, so easy to use this)
- 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary (equal to $100 towards travel, or transfer to other loyalty programs)
- Up to $100 in statement credits for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry (every 4 years)
The $300 travel credit and 10,000 bonus miles alone ‘cover’ the card’s annual fee in terms of value.
The Capital One Venture X card comes with unlimited access to Capital One airport lounges, including access for 2 accompanying guests. (Separately Venture and Spark Miles cardholders will receive two complimentary visits to Capital One airport lounges annually and discounted $45 per visit after that, while anyone can access these lounges for $65 per visit.)
The card also comes with Priority Pass Select – and in line with Capital One’s approach of ‘simplicity’ there aren’t any exclusions, such as American Express-provided Priority Pass cards excluding participating airport restaurants.
The Capital One Venture X card lets you add up to 4 no annual fee authorized users and authorized users get lounge access, too (along with cell phone protection). Each authorized user gets a Priority Pass Select card, and also can access Capital One airport lounges and the ability to bring up to 2 guests.
Capital One Venture X Additional Benefits
The Capital One Venture X card is a premium card, and comes with additional premium benefits.
While some United elites may be unhappy about losing Hertz status, this card comes with complimentary Hertz President’s Circle status which is their top public tier. This benefit is for primary cardholders, authorized users and account managers. Meanwhile Capital One offers additional benefits with National Car Rental, Avis and Silver.
There’s primary car rental protection; lost luggage reimbursement; trip delay + cancellation/interruption reimbursement; cell phone protection; and extended warranty protection.
In addition, cardmembers can earn up to 100,000 miles per year for referring friends (25,000 miles per referral, up to 4 referrals per year).
How Can It Even Make Sense To Offer This To Customers?
The premium travel rewards credit card space has been so crowded, and gotten so expensive, that it’s seemed to me there’s only two strategies: do something really niche, so you can provide value to a small number of cardmembers in a way that’s affordable to offer, or go big and lose money.
After Sapphire Reserve came out Chase said rewards were nine-figures more expensive than what they’d modeled. And they were attracting a very affluent demographic that wasn’t likely to revolve balances. They spent a lot of money, and kept spending even more money, and had largely just interchange to cover their costs.
If you want to take on a product like that head-on, it seemed like that means spending even more money, and “the only winning move is not to play.”
Yet somehow Capital One has come up with a model that offers a lot of valuable points up front, continues offering valuable benefits to cardmembers going forward and rewards them very well for their spend, and does this all at an even lower annual fee than competitors charge. I don’t know if that can possibly make any money for the issuer, but the new Capital One Venture X is unquestionably a great new option for consumers.