Capital One Venture Card Review

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The Capital One® Venture® card has long reigned as one of the best “flat-rate” travel cards, offering a respectable 2 miles for every $1 you spend. But what really sets this card apart is its collection of travel perks—some of which are typically only found on higher end cards. If you use it regularly, you shouldn’t have difficulty earning enough free travel to make up for the annual fee. 

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

overall rating
4.4
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.49% - 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $0 for the first year, then $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.9
for Fees
3.6
for Rewards
4.5
for Credit
4.0

Earn 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Who is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Jet Setter Persona
    Flies regularly and likes finding ways to score even more travel—for free
    Jet Setter
  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Road Warrior Persona
    Hits the road often, whether for work or play
    Road Warrior
  • Avatar for Adventure Seeker Persona
    Loves to explore places and experience new things
    Adventure Seeker

The Venture card is for cardholders who want to earn free travel, but don’t want to spend time and energy tracking bonus categories or navigating complicated travel restrictions. Since you’ll earn the same 2 miles on every purchase, you won’t have to worry about bonus categories that many other travel rewards cards have. 

Even if you typically rely on other cards to earn bonus points for your, say, travel, restaurant, gas, or grocery spending, you could use the Venture card as a high-earning supplemental card for purchases that don’t otherwise earn a larger bonus. 

Pros

  • Simple and predictable miles earning

  • Huge hotel earnings bonus

  • Fee credit for TSA Precheck or Global Entry

  • Miles transferable to airline partners

Cons

  • Limited airline partners

  • Transfer ratios are not great

Pros Explained

  • Simple and predictable miles earning: Every purchase you make will earn the same 2 miles for every $1 you spend. That means you don’t have to keep track of different rewards rates for different categories of spend. 
  • Huge hotel earnings bonus: Every $1 you spend booking a hotel room through Hotels.com/venture will earn 10 miles—but only through January 2020. 
  • Fee credit for TSA Precheck or Global Entry: If you apply for TSA Precheck or Global Entry, Capital One will reimburse you for the fee. 
  • Miles transferable to airline partners: Capital One lets you transfer your miles to 15 airline transfer partners. 

Cons Explained

  • Limited airline partners: Unfortunately, most of the airline transfer partners are foreign airlines, some of which only fly in limited areas of the globe. The only domestic airline at the time of this writing is JetBlue. 
  • Transfer ratios are not great: You’ll get less than 1 mile for every Venture point you transfer to any of the partner airlines.

Capital One Venture Card Sign-up Bonus

If you spend $3,000 within three months of opening your account, you’ll earn 50,000 bonus points. That’s worth $500 of free travel. Some travel rewards credit cards with similar fees offer more valuable bonuses. However, they also require you to spend more in order to get them. 

Earning Points & Rewards

Every purchase you charge to your Venture card—with the exception of hotel rooms that you book through Hotels.com—will earn an unlimited 2 miles per $1 spent. That can add up quickly. For example, if you charge $2,500 a month to your Venture card, you could end the year with $600 worth of free travel. And don’t forget that you’ll earn 10 points per $1 spent on Hotels.com for a limited time.

Depending on your spending habits, you may be able to out-earn some premium rewards cards that only offer bonus points on select purchase categories, such as restaurants or travel.  

Redeeming Rewards 

Redeeming your Capital One rewards can be effortless—especially if you use them for travel. For example, Capital One offers a redemption tool that it calls “Purchase Eraser,” which essentially removes any qualifying travel purchases you’ve made within the past 90 days by crediting you with the total cost of your purchase. 

If you don’t want to spend your own money upfront, you can also book travel through Capital One’s rewards center, using your rewards miles to pay for a hotel room, car rental booking, or airplane ticket. Each mile will be worth a penny, so if you want to book a $400 airfare, you’ll need 40,000 miles to pay for it. 

In addition, you can transfer your points to one of Capital One’s airline partners. For all but three of them, you’ll need to transfer 2 Capital One miles to get 1.5 airline miles. But for JetBlue (the only domestic airline on the list), Emirates, and Singapore Airlines, 2 Capital One miles will only buy you 1 airline mile. Depending on the value of the airline mile, you may be better off using one of the other methods we’ve outlined above to pay for your flight. 

The Balance values JetBlue TrueBlue miles at 1.32 cents per mile on average, which is not bad. But because of the transfer ratio, you’ll only get 0.66 cents per mile worth of value when you use your points this way. You’re better off using the Purchase Eraser for your JetBlue flights. On the other hand, your miles will be worth 5.2 cents if you transfer them to Air France.

You can also redeem Capital One miles for gift cards (0.8 cent per mile) and cash back (0.5 cent per mile).

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

The simplest way to use this card is to put all your purchases on it. However, you may get more value if you also use another card that earns more for certain categories of purchases—3% on travel, for example. And then use your Venture card for any purchases that fall outside of the bonus categories. 

Make sure you use your credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck, which can speed you through airports and give you more value for the card.

On the redemption side, use your miles for travel purchases rather than cash back or gift cards. 

The Venture Card’s Excellent Perks

Capital One may provide you with either a Visa Signature or Visa Premier credit card, depending on your creditworthiness. If you qualify for a credit limit over $5,000, you may be given a Visa Signature card, which offers additional cardholder benefits. Some of these benefits are perks our editors have deemed as being “excellent” because they’re more valuable than the standard perks offered by many rewards cards.

  • Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit: Get reimbursed for up to $100 if you use your Venture card to pay the application fee for either of these airport security screening shortcuts.
  • Coverage for lost luggage: If your carry-on or checked baggage is lost on a trip paid for with your Venture card, you could be reimbursed for up to $3,000. (Visa Signature card only). 
  • Travel accident insurance: Should something terrible happen to you, your spouse, or your children on a trip paid for with your card, this policy provides coverage for up to $250,000 against accidental loss of life, limb, sight, speech, or hearing. (For Visa Premier cardholders the maximum benefit is $100,000.)

The Venture Card’s Other Features

  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Extended warranties
  • Insurance for lost, stolen, or damaged purchases
  • Roadside assistance
  • Concierge for booking event tickets, travel, and other services
  • Travel and emergency assistance services

Customer Experience

Capital One tied for third out of 11 national issuers in J.D. Power’s 2019 credit card satisfaction survey, scoring 807 out of a possible 1,000, or about average. Capital One offers a well-regarded credit card app, too, and that scored 876 in a separate J.D. Power survey, getting the fourth-place spot. 

For the credit-score-curious, there’s a free credit score monitoring tool called CreditWise (available to non-cardholders, too), which gives you a look at your VantageScore.

Security Features

Capital One shines in terms of security. You can use virtual card numbers for online purchases if you don’t want a merchant to know your real account number. You can also lock your card if you misplace it and aren’t certain whether you need to report it as stolen. And you can get alerts if the company notices a change to your TransUnion credit report or if it spots unauthorized use of your Social Security number.

The Capital One Venture Card’s Fees

The fees associated with the Capital One Venture Card are in line with industry norms.

For Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
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CURRENT CARD
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
overall rating
4.4
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.49% - 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $0 for the first year, then $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase.

Our Methodology

  • At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.