Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

Capital One Venture Rewards Card Review

overall rating
4.5

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The Capital One Venture card offers exceptional yet simple rewards, with flexible redemption for travel, that readily make up for its $95 annual fee. It offers unlimited 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase and an excellent one-time offer of 50,000 miles.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

overall rating
4.5
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
On Capital One's Secured Site.

Current Offer:

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

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 (%) 17.24% - 24.49% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase.
Balance Transfer Fee There is no standard balance transfer fee for this card.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all rewards cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

Full Review of Capital One Venture Rewards Card

Pros
  • High rewards rate with no cap on earnings

  • Sizeable one-time offer

  • Flexible redemption options

Cons
  • $95 annual fee

  • Poor cash-back redemption rate

  • Limited transfer partners

Pros Explained

  • A Single High Rewards Rate with No Cap on Earnings: This card offers an unlimited 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase, with no limit on those rewards. Though other cards in this category pay a similar rewards rate, few, if any, offer such generous rewards for all types of purchases, and without any cap on earnings. Instead, most competitors limit such high rewards earnings to spending on select categories, sometimes with annual or quarterly limits on earnings.
  • Sizable One-Time Offer: New cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus miles if they spend at least $3,000 within the first three months of opening an account. When redeemed for travel, that's worth $500, one of the more lucrative introductory bonuses now available.
  • Flexible Redemption Option: Through a feature called Purchase Eraser, this card allows you to make travel purchases with any vendor and then retroactively receive reimbursement from your rewards account, at the rate of 1 cent per mile. While eligibility depends on the merchant, reimbursable transactions typically include those for airfare; rail, taxi, and bus fares; limousines and ride-sharing; car rental; cruises; hotels; and timeshares. Cardholders can also redeem miles through Capital One's online travel portal or transfer miles to the loyalty programs of over a dozen partners.

Cons Explained

  • $95 Annual Fee: It's not unusual for travel credit cards to come with an annual fee, and this one’s $95 cost is on par with competing cards. Still, paying an annual fee is still less than ideal for consumers who prefer not to track its cost against the rewards they’re earning. There are travel cards, like the Capital One VentureOne, that have no annual fee and offer rewards and one time bonuses that are respectable, albeit generally a step below those of this card.
  • Poor Cash Back Redemption Rate: Miles redeemed for cash back on this card are only worth 0.5 cents per dollar. That's lower than competing cards with a fee, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, which pays 1 cent per dollar when miles are redeemed for cash back.  

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Rewards Strategist Persona
    Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
    Rewards Strategist
  • Avatar for Frequent Flyer Persona
    Flies often for business or leisure
    Frequent Flyer
  • Avatar for Frequent Diner Persona
    Dines out regularly while traveling or in home city
    Frequent Diner
  • Avatar for International Traveler Persona
    Travels outside of U.S. on occasion or frequently
    International Traveler

The Capital One Venture card is an excellent option for anyone who wants a brand-agnostic travel card with rewards that are simple to grasp and easy to tally. It pays 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase, rather than only on travel or dining expenditures like many competing cards. 

The Capital One Venture is best-suited to those who want to spend rewards directly on travel, rather than other purchases. Travel expenses from any source can be reimbursed—or erased from your card balance, in Capital One’s lingo—using miles, redeemed at 1 cent apiece. Other options for redeeming this card’s miles—like receiving them as cash or transferring them to other programs—are less lucrative with this card than with some others. 

It’s also an appealing card for those willing to spend a lot to receive a lot when you first receive it. There’s an exceptional one-time offer of 50,000 miles, worth $500 when used for travel, if you spend $3,000 within three months of receiving the card.

Capital One Venture Card One-Time Offer

Spending $3,000 within the first three months of opening an account will get new cardholders 50,000 bonus miles. Once you qualify, Capital One will credit the bonus to your rewards balance within two billing cycles. 

This bonus offer is worth $500 when redeemed for travel, which is at least comparable to, if not better than, the bonus offers for similar travel cards.  

Of course, the value of miles or points and where they are best redeemed varies by card. With this card from Capital One, miles redeemed for travel are worth a fairly standard 1 cent per dollar.

Rewards Earning Details

This card offers an unlimited 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase you make, whether on dining out or buying school supplies.

 Rewards never expire; they remain on your balance for the life of your account. 

Rewards Redemption Details

Miles earned can be redeemed for travel, cash, gift cards, or an account credit. They appear in the form of a statement credit to the rewards balance of your account.

Capital One offers a few different ways to redeem miles for travel.

The first option is what the bank dubs a Purchase Eraser. This tool essentially allows you to pay for travel with a Capital One card wherever and whenever you want, and then later use the value of your points to reimburse yourself for the purchase. Go online to capitalone.com or call the issuer's reward center to redeem miles. 

You can also use miles directly to book through the Capital One Travel Center. You can pay for purchases in miles or, if you need or prefer to do so, a combination of miles and cash. 

Finally, you can transfer miles to the loyalty program of one or more of Capital One's travel partners. 

Transferring Points

Capital One has multiple travel partners to which you can transfer points, although almost all of them are fairly small international carriers. Those partners currently include Aeromexico, Air France KLM, Air Canada, Alitalia, Asia Miles, Avianca LifeMiles, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, JetBlue, Qantas, and Singapore Airlines.

The value of each transfer varies for certain travel partners. For most travel partners, the transfer ratio is 2-to-1.5; for every 2 miles you transfer, you get 1.5 miles from the partner airline. That’s a little less than the 1:1 ratio that’s most common with the programs of some other card issuers. And Capital One miles transferred to JetBlue, the only domestic airline partner of Capital One, convert at a 2 to 1.5 ratio. Capital One has also partnered with hotel partners Accor and Wyndham.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

The best way to maximize rewards with this card is to use it for as much of your daily spending as you can. You should also track—and try to take full advantage of any time-sensitive programs that offer higher rewards rates.

Since it’s such a generous perk, make sure to capitalize on the 50,000 bonus miles offer by spending at least $3,000 on the card within the first three months.

Finally, be prudent about how you redeem your miles. Redeeming them for cash will yield only $0.005 per mile. Most transfers to your loyalty account at an airline will yield less than a mile for every Capital One mile you send to it. While it might be less lucrative than transferring miles it can certainly be an easier option to simply use your miles to offset travel expenses, from airfare to hotels to bus and taxi fares and still get a decent value. 

Average Case 

For a typical household, the Capital One Venture card could fairly easily yield $500, or close to it, in rewards to spend on travel. Here’s the math.

Let's say the card is used to pay for virtually all of a household’s daily spending on food, transportation, clothing, and entertainment. If you're the average family, you'd spend close to $23,000 per year on those items, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Broken down, that's $7,923 on food, $1,866 on apparel, $9,761 on transportation, and $3,226 on entertainment.) For $23,000 in spending, you would earn 46,000 miles on the card, which could be redeemed for $460 worth of travel.

And, assuming this was the family’s first year with the card, they would readily have earned 50,000 bonus miles by spending $3,000 within the first three months of card ownership. That, in turn, would add an additional $500 in travel value to your account, bringing the total to $960. 

Even after the first “bonus” year, the family could net $855 or so of value in travel rewards after deducting the $95 annual fee. And that total doesn’t account for the 2 miles per dollar rewards they would earn over the course of a year if they also used the Capital One Venture card to charge spending beyond that for food, transportation, clothing, hotels, and entertainment.  

Aspirational Case

Above-average spenders at home and frequent travelers could plausibly earn four figures a year in rewards from this card, even after accounting for its $95 annual fee.

For example, let’s imagine a family that spends $4,000 per month on spending on food, transportation, clothing, and entertainment, which is twice the norm, and takes a $2,000 trip twice a year—spending $1,000 on hotels and $1,000 on other travel-related expenses. If all those expenditures were charged to the Capital One Venture Card they would earn 104,000 miles per year.

When redeemed for travel, those points would be worth $1,040. Assuming that this was the family’s first year with the card, they’d have surpassed the $3,000 in spending to earn the 50,000 bonus points in a matter of weeks after receiving the card. Adding the $500 value of those points to the tally shows our family would receive a whopping $1,540 in value from this card in its first year. 

Even after that first 12 months, then, the family could still net nearly $900 in value every year, even after deducting the $95 annual fee. And that total doesn’t even reflect the extra spending on the card beyond food, transportation, clothing, and entertainment, at 2 points per dollar spent. Or the added value of benefits such as, every four years, the $100 credit for Global Entry or $85 credit for TSA Precheck. 

Capital One Venture Card’s Outstanding Benefits

  • $100 statement credit for Global Entry or $85 credit for TSA Precheck
  • Travel accident insurance
  • 24-hour travel assistance service
  • No foreign transaction fee

Standard Benefits

  • Extended warranties
  • Fraud protection and $0 fraud liability
  • Access to culinary, music, and sporting events 

Cardholder Experience

Capital One received a rating of 807 in J.D. Power's 2019 customer satisfaction survey, ranking third on the list, in a tie with Chase but well behind Discover and Amex—which were closely ranked in the first and second places, respectively.

Customers get access to a host of free tools, including CreditWise, which allows for free credit monitoring.

Capital One has two tools to help its cardholders save money when shopping. Its Wikibuy tool scans merchants to help you find the best price before you buy online, while Paribus finds potential savings on online purchases you've already made and gets you money back.

Cardholders can log into their account on the company's website or mobile app to pay their bill or for information and inquiries about their card.

Customer service is available at 800-227-4825 or through physical mail. Unlike most card issuers, Capital One offers no customer service via email or online chat.

Security Features

Capital One offers the typical security perks to keep cardholders safe, starting with security alerts. The issuer will send notifications by text, email, or phone—whatever your preference—if it notices suspicious activity on your card. Other standard perks include $0 fraud liability and the ability to lock your card if it is lost, stolen, or misplaced—and from the mobile app, a mode that isn’t offered by all issuers. 

Capital One also offers Eno, a tool that monitors for duplicate charges, tracks spending, and automatically sends 24/7 fraud alerts. The tool also instantly creates virtual numbers for online shopping.

CreditWise monitors your credit information on the dark web and sends automatic alerts if your email address or Social Security Number are found. The tool also provides information about your credit score and sends an alert when your credit report changes.

Hidden Fees to Watch Out For

The Venture Rewards card doesn't have many fees but beware of the $95 annual fee.

Our Verdict

High rewards for every purchase, a stellar one-time offer, and stress-free redemption options make this an extremely well-rounded flat-rate travel card. It's a solid choice for consumers seeking a no-nonsense travel card with a hassle-free experience. It does have an annual fee, but it requires only a relatively easy spend of $4,750 per year in order to break even on the $95 cost.
There are no exclusions or caps when earning rewards, and rewards don't expire. Other travel cards, like the Bank of America Premium Rewards card or Chase Sapphire Preferred card, pay 2 miles or points per dollar spent as well, but they limit those reward earnings to spending on travel and dining. 

Pairing the Capital One Venture Card with another cash-back card that offers bigger rewards for categories where you spend the most could be an effective combination. The Savor Rewards card from Capital One, for example, pays 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores, and 1% on all other purchases. You could use it to earn more rewards on dining and entertainment and put the extra cash back you earn towards travel.

Yet the Venture card might not be the best card option for those who seek to transfer points to domestic airline partners—say, to combine with the points you already have in those airline programs. JetBlue is the only U.S. air carrier currently in the Capital One partner network, along with Accor and Wyndham as hotel partners, and miles transfer at a ratio of 2 to 1.5

Chase's Sapphire Preferred card, for one, could be a better option for those who prefer to use airline points to obtain domestic travel. It offers a 1:1 points ratio to participating frequent flier programs from major airlines including Southwest, Alaska Airlines, United, and JetBlue. Aside from transferring points earned with Sapphire Preferred to other airlines, the points can be also be redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal at a rate of 1 to 1.25, giving you a 25% bonus.

Apply Now
For Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
on Capital One's Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
overall rating
4.5
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 (%) 17.24% - 24.49% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.