Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Review

Oct 06, 2016 | Be First to Comment!

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If you travel regularly, you know how quickly the cost can add up. Between flights, hotels and cab fares, getting where you need to go often has a high price tag.

Using a travel rewards credit card to foot the bill is a great way to earn back some of what you’re spending. The Capital One® Venture® Rewards card pays back big miles on every purchase with a low annual fee. Redeeming rewards for free travel is a breeze and the card comes with some built-in perks to make your life a little easier.

What are the Capital One® Venture® Rewards card’s main features?

The Capital One® Venture® card has a laundry list of features designed to benefit frequent travelers. Here are some of the top reasons we recommend the card to anyone who’s interested in scoring free travel:

  • Uncomplicated rewards structure – Some travel credit cards make you juggle rotating spending categories or jump through other hoops to earn rewards. The Capital One® Venture® Rewards card always pays you 2 miles per $1 on everything you spend, with no limits on what you can earn.
  • Bonus miles for qualifying members – If you make $3,000 in purchases within the first three months, Capital One will reward you with 40,000 bonus miles. That’s a huge head start towards your first free flight or hotel stay.
  • Hassle-free redemption – With some travel cards, trying to use your miles or points for travel can be a pain. This card makes it easy on you. You can redeem rewards as a statement credit against travel spending or use your miles to book travel through Capital One.
  • No foreign transaction fee – International travel can get expensive if you’re using a card that charges a 2%-3% foreign transaction fee. Fortunately, Capital One never charges any foreign transaction fees at all.
  • No annual fee the first year – The regular annual fee for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards card comes to $59. New members can take advantage of a $0 annual fee introductory promotion for the first 12 months.

Why this card is a must-have for travelers: Unlimited double miles

All of those are great reasons to apply for a Capital One® Venture® Rewards card but there’s one that stands out from the crowd: the rewards structure.

The ability to always earn double miles on everything you spend with no caps is a plus for any traveler who prefers simplicity in a rewards card. You’re not stuck keeping track of bonus categories and you have control of how many miles you earn based on what you spend.

Here’s an example of how your miles can add up. Let’s say you spend the following in the first year:

  • $5,000 on groceries = 10,000 miles
  • $3,000 on gas = 6,000 miles
  • $7,000 on travel = 14,000 miles

Total: 30,000 miles

Every mile you earn is worth $0.01 in redemption value, which means every 100 miles is equal to $1. If you earn 30,000 miles in a year that’s enough to get a $300 credit towards your next trip. The 40,000-mile bonus for new members is worth another $400. In the example, altogether, that’s $700 in free travel after the first year.

This card is a good choice for someone who does a lot of traveling or uses plastic to pay for everyday purchases. The more you spend, the more miles you earn and that kind of flexibility is something you don’t always get with a travel rewards card.

Rates, fees and perks

Before you sign up for the Venture card or any travel credit card for that matter, you need to read over the fine print.

Annual percentage rate

The annual percentage rate or APR effectively determines what your credit card interest will cost over the course of a year if you carry a balance. The Venture card’s current APR for purchases and balance transfers is a variable rate of 13.24%, 18.24% or 23.24%, based on your creditworthiness.

There’s no 0% APR promotion for purchases or balance transfers with this card so that’s something to keep in mind if you were looking for a zero interest deal. The APR for cash advances is 23.24%, which is also a variable rate. Capital One doesn’t list any penalty APR on its website for paying late.

Card fees

As mentioned earlier, the Venture card has a $59 annual fee, with an intro fee of $0 for the first year. To earn the annual fee back after that, you’d need to make at least $3,000 in  purchases each year.

If you don’t see yourself spending that much, you may want to look into the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards card instead. This card pays 1.25 miles on every purchase but there’s no annual fee.

As far as the other card fees go, we already touched on the lack of a foreign transaction fee. The fee for cash advances is $10 or 3% of the advance amount, whichever is greater. That’s not too bad, considering that other cards charge up to 5% for cash advances.

The Venture card has no balance transfer fee. There is a $35 penalty fee for making a payment late.

Other card extras

Beyond offering unlimited double miles and that generous sign-on bonus, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards card makes it so that you can travel and shop with comfort. This card comes with Visa Signature benefits, which include:

  • Complimentary upgrades and discounts at participating hotels, resorts and spas when you use your card
  • Complimentary 24/7 concierge service when you travel
  • Special access and preferred seating at selected events, including sporting events and concerts
  • Round the clock travel emergency assistance
  • Extended warranty protection on the items you purchase
  • Special shopping discounts when you shop at selected merchants in-store and online

In terms of security, the Venture card offers $0 liability protection for fraudulent purchases if your card is lost or stolen. The card also has EMV-chip technology, which provides an extra layer of security when using your card in stores. If you want to protect yourself even further, you can link your card to your Apple Pay account.

Final verdict: Is the Capital One® Venture® Rewards card worth the annual fee?

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards card is recommended for anyone who takes a lot of trips and wants to earn free travel without headaches.

One potential snag worth pointing out is the fact that Venture miles can’t be transferred over to other travel loyalty programs. If you belong to a frequent flyer or hotel loyalty program, you may prefer a card that allows you to transfer your rewards over or a card that’s co-branded to a specific program.

However, earning and using rewards for flights, hotels, car rentals or cruises doesn’t get any easier than this card. The annual fee is a bargain compared to annual fees charged by other travel credit cards.

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