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The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has just had its welcome offer refreshed and the new bonus being offered is an incredible 100,000 points – That’s double what the card was offering up until now. With Chase introducing its fantastic Freedom Flex card just a week ago and also improving the value proposition of its Freedom Unlimited credit card, it looks as if Capital One has suddenly realised that it needs to respond.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a simple, easy to use credit card whose currency (miles) is incredibly easy to use. Cardholders can choose to redeem their miles for travel through the Capital One portal, as statement credits against travel booked using the Venture Rewards credit card, or they can transfer their miles to any one of the 15 airline and hotel loyalty programs with whom Capital One has partnered.
Ease of use and versatility are the key selling points of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
Here’s what you need to know about the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card:
Cost of Authorised User Cards:
- $0 (zero)
Current Welcome Bonus:
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on the card in the first 3 months of card membership
- Earn a total of 100,000 bonus miles (i.e. an additional 50,000 miles) if you spend a total of $20,000 on the card in your first year of card membership
Note: This offer is only open to applicants who do not currently hold this credit card and who have not held this credit card in the past.
- Earn 5 miles/dollar for all hotel & rental car bookings made through Capital One Travel
- Earn 5 miles/dollar for all Uber Eats purchases through 31 January 2021
- Earn 2 miles/dollar for all other spending (uncapped)
- No foreign transaction fees
- $100 credit towards Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
- Miles can be used to offset the cost of travel booked using the card
- Miles can be transferred to a variety of airline and hotel loyalty programs
Why This Is A Great Card
The Welcome Offer
You can take a look a the welcome offer that the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has published in two ways:
- It’s an offer for 50,000 points after $3,000 in spending across the first three months of card membership (this is the way to view it if $20,000 of spending is too much for you)
- It’s an offer for 100,000 points after $20,000 in spending across the first twelve months of card membership (this is the way to view it you consider $20,000 of spending in 12 months as doable without too much effort)
I value Capital One Miles at 1 cent each (because that’s how much value you can get out of them through statement credits booked against travel spending) so depending on which way you’re choosing to view the welcome offer, there’s either $500 or $1,000 of value on offer here.
Note: Interestingly, the way Capital One has set out the welcome offer, it doesn’t look as if you have to spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of card membership if you’re aiming to spend $20,000. You probably should spend $3k in the first 3 months of you hope to hit the $20k spending target, but if you have reason to believe that you will have a lot more bills coming your way later in your card membership year, there doesn’t appear to be a need to get a head start on your spending right from the moment you open your account (check this with Capital One before you make any assumptions).
The Earnings Rates
I’ve already explained that I value Capital One Miles at 1 cent each so this means that the card effectively earns 5 cents/dollar (a 5% rebate) on all hotel & rental car bookings made through Capital One Travel and 5 cents/dollar (a 5% rebate) on all Uber Eats spending through 31 January 2021. Those are excellent rates of return for a credit card that only costs $95/year to hold.
Also, the 2 miles/dollar that the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card earns on all other spending means that this card can be used to earn an effective rebate of 2% on all spending in categories where most other credit cards don’t offer bonuses – this is an effective rebate that most credit cards cannot match.
Redeem Miles For Travel Or Travel Credits
With the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, 1 mile is worth 1.0 cent towards all flight and hotel bookings made through the Venture Rewards portal. To redeem your miles all you need to do is sign in to your online Venture Rewards account and do one of two things:
- Redeem miles as statement credits
- Book new travel
You can redeem miles (at a rate of 1 cent each) as a statement credit offsetting any eligible travel purchases made using the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card in the preceding 90 days.
Note: The definition of eligible travel covers airfares, hotel bookings, Airbnb, taxis/Uber/Lyft, and more.
Book New Travel:
You can use the Capital One travel portal to book flights and hotels just like you would with any other travel portal…only here you use miles instead of cash (at a rate of 1 cent each). If you don’t have enough miles for your booking you can use a credit card to make up any difference.
One of the best things about using a reward currency directly for airfare and hotel bookings is that you don’t have to face blackout dates and you don’t have to find award flights – you are simply booking a regular flight or room and using your miles/points as your currency of choice (rather than cash).
This also means that you’ll earn miles/points/status credits on all the fights you book (not the case when you book award flights with airline miles) and you’ll earn hotel points for all the stays you book too – this is incredibly useful for most miles & points enthusiasts.
Transfer Miles To Loyalty Partners
If the idea of using any miles earned through the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card to book travel or to offset travel spending doesn’t particularly interest you (it should!), there’s also the option of transferring miles to one of Capital One’s 15 loyalty partners:
- Accor Live Limitless (2:1)
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Air France KLM Flying Blue
- Alitalia MilleMiglia Program
- Avianca LifeMiles
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Emirates Skywards (2:1)
- Etihad Airways Etihad Guest
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
- Finnair Plus
- JetBlue True Blue
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (2:1)
- Wyndham Rewards
Note: Capital One Venture Miles convert at a ratio of 4:3 except where noted above.
The transfer ratios that Capital One offers aren’t as lucrative as those offered by Chase, Amex or even Citi, but the ability to transfer miles to airline and hotel loyalty program opens up the possibility of getting more value out of a mileage balance than you get by redeeming miles for travel through Capital One.
Once airlines like Air France/KLM go back to offering fantastic transatlantic award deals (after the current crisis is finally over), 71,000 Capital One Miles (+ taxes and fees) may be enough for a roundtrip Business Class booking to Europe…and that would be an incredible deal (even with the high surcharges AF/KLM like to charge).
If that’s not of interest then there’s always the option of transferring miles to Etihad Guest to make the most of its generous award chart for American Airlines bookings or to Avianca to book cheap (and surcharge-free) premium cabin Star Alliance awards.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is currently offering welcome bonuses of 50,000 or 100,000 miles for a limited time only. Considering how easy it is to get 1 cent of value out of every mile earned, these welcome bonuses can be viewed as offering $500 and $1,000 of value respectively…and that’s generous for a card that costs just $95/year.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use credit card that offers easily extractable value at a reasonable cost, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is probably a card you should be considering.