Got a case of wanderlust and want to use credit card travel rewards to help fund your next trip?
Then you should definitely consider getting the Capital One Venture card. It’s a credit card that offers low fees as well as travel rewards that are easy to earn and flexible.
This Capital One Venture card review can help you decide if this is the financial tool you need to get your future travel plans off the ground.
Capital One Venture card review
The Capital One Venture rewards credit card is a smart option for earning flexible travel rewards. It’s perfect for the traveler who wants to:
- Earn double travel rewards, with two miles earned for every $1 spent.
- Redeem miles for travel purchases including airline, hotel, rental car and transit expenses.
- Get extra travel benefits like free upgrades, auto rental damage waivers, and more.
- Earn a signup bonus of 40,000 miles, a value of $400, when you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
Like any credit card, the Capital One Venture card won’t be right for everyone. It has stricter credit requirements than other credit cards and a higher annual credit card fee. But you might still benefit from the card if you:
- Have excellent credit with a credit score close to or above 700.
- Are willing to pay a $59 annual fee.
- Spend enough to charge at least $2,950 on the card each year to offset the card’s annual fee.
- Have a habit of paying off balances each month. This is key for avoiding interest charges that cancel out travel rewards savings. Plus, it helps you stay out of credit card debt while earning rewards.
Travel for free with the Capital One Venture rewards credit card
Since this credit card is all about travel, it has a straightforward structure for earning and redeeming rewards.
- Cardholders will earn 2 miles for every $1.
- Every 100 miles earned is equal to $1 in travel expenses.
- Miles never expire.
There are no restrictions on earning rewards. You can earn double miles on every purchase — with no spending categories or limits.
Cardholders can view their miles earned at any time by logging into Capital One’s site or mobile app. You can also redeem miles in two ways.
1. Redeem miles for credit statements on past travel purchases
The first is by trading in miles for credit card statements that are applied to travel expenses with the Purchase Eraser feature. Travel purchases that qualify for redemption include:
- Car rentals
- Taxi, limousine or ride services
- Train, bus or public transit services
- Travel agents
- Timeshare purchases or fees
You can redeem any amount of miles, with no minimum. You can also use miles to partially pay for travel expenses.
For instance, say you have 1,000 miles and want to apply them to a recent $25 cab fare. You could redeem 1,000 miles to erase $10 off the cab fare and pay the remaining $15 as normal.
Just make sure you redeem travel expenses right away. You have a 90-day window after a travel expense posts to your account to redeem rewards for it.
2. Redeem miles for new travel bookings
The other option is to log into your Capital One account and visit the company’s Rewards Center. Here, you can use miles to book travel expenses including flights, hotel rooms, and car rentals.
The ratio of 100 miles to $1 remains the same when booking travel with miles. For a $250 flight, you’d use 25,000 miles. You can redeem miles for these purchases, but only if you have the total amount of miles needed for the purchase (including taxes and fees). No partial redemptions are allowed.
Capital One Venture sign up bonus worth $400
If you need an extra incentive to get the Capital One Venture card, look no further than its sign up bonus. New cardholders will get a Capital One Venture sign up bonus of 40,000 in bonus miles, equal to $400 in travel expenses.
There is a catch, however. You’ll have to spend $3,000 on the card in the first 90 days to earn the 40,000 bonus miles. If you’re a low spender, this might be too much of a stretch.
Remember, you should only charge to your Capital One Venture card what you can afford to pay off in full each month — or you’ll wind up facing interest charges.
But between your everyday purchases like groceries, gas, and shopping, you might easily spend $1,000 or more a month. If so, then $3,000 spending minimum to access that bonus offer shouldn’t be a problem. And you get $400 toward your next vacation, just for spending like you usually do.
The Capital One Venture card has other travel-friendly benefits:
- $0 fraud liability
- Email and text alerts for security
- Emergency card replacement
- Complimentary upgrades and discounts at hotels, resorts, and spas
- 24/7 complimentary concierge service
- Auto rental damage waiver for collision or theft
- Shopping discounts at certain retailers and online merchants
- Extended warranty protection on items purchased with the card
Capital One Venture card fees and interest rates
If you have a strong wanderlust, the travel rewards and sign up bonus make the Capital One Venture card attractive. But to know if you’ll come out ahead when using the Capital One Venture rewards credit card, you need to weigh the benefits against the costs.
Capital One Venture annual fee
Unlike interest or transaction-based fees, this is a credit card cost you won’t be able to avoid. The Capital One Venture annual fee is $59, which is pretty typical for a travel rewards credit card. And Capital One waives the fee for the first year.
But how does this fee compare to rewards? Well, if you spend $2,950 or more a year on this card (about $246 a month), you’d earn enough miles to offset your annual fee. So if you see yourself being able to charge and pay off at least $250 to this card each month, then the annual fee is probably worth it.
The Capital One Venture card’s page on the site even includes a helpful calculator (pictured below) you can use to estimate your travel rewards using this card, based on your monthly spending.
Below-average credit card APRs
The Capital One Venture card also has below-average interest rates, starting at 13.49% APR as of March 2017.
So even if you carry a balance for a month or two, you’ll pay lower interest on the Venture than on many other competing travel rewards cards.
No foreign transaction fees
Another perk that makes the Capital One Venture card a great choice for travel is its lack of foreign transaction fees.
Many cards charge a foreign purchase fee, usually around three percent on all non-domestic transactions. But the Capital One Venture charges no transaction fees on purchases made in or outside the U.S. The card also has no balance transfer fee.
Here are some other Capital One Venture fees you should be aware of:
- Cash advance fee of $10 or three percent of the total amount, whichever is greater
- Late payment fee of up to $35
Capital One Venture card eligibility requirements
Not everyone will qualify for the Capital One Venture rewards credit card. The Capital One Venture card advertisements make it clear it’s intended for applicants with excellent credit. This means you’ll likely need a FICO credit score of at least 680-90 to have a chance of approval. But you’re more likely to get approved if your FICO credit score is above 700 for this card.
If you’re not sure whether you qualify, it might be a good idea to check your credit first. You can also use Capital One’s pre-qualification check to see which of their cards you’re likely to get approved for.
This is not a credit card application. Instead, Capital One uses a soft credit check to view your credit information. Therefore, this won’t put a hard credit inquiry on your credit report or affect your score.
Applying online for a Capital One Venture card
Capital One has a straightforward process to apply for the Capital One Venture card. Just click the button that reads “Apply Now” to pull up an application form.
At the top of the page is a card summary that will list key details for the product (pictured below). Take some time to review the details to make sure the card is a good fit for you.
When you’re ready, it’s time to apply for the Capital One Venture card. The application includes fields for the following information:
- Name and date of birth
- Social Security number
- Residential address
- Email address
- Phone number
- Employment status and income
- Monthly mortgage or rent amount
- Bank account information
Fill out the form, pictured below. You’ll also need to agree to receive electronic communications (such as email) about your application with Capital One.
You’ll have a chance to review the full terms and fees on the Capital One Venture card with a full disclosure at the bottom of the page. Review this and click “Continue” to complete your application.
Alternatively, you can apply for the card by calling 1-800-695-5500.
Capital One customers can manage their credit card account through its online account system. It includes features to review transactions, make payments, and redeem rewards. They can also manage their account through the Capital One mobile app for iOS and Android.
Capital One customer service reviews
Most Capital One Venture cardholders have a great experience with the card. It gets a 4.5-star rating out of 5 from Credit Karma users.
What’s more, customers find the Capital One team helpful and responsive. They also love that their rewards go so far towards travel purchases. Many cardholders liked that this card comes with high credit limits.
However, some customers noted that the rewards can be somewhat limited. If you want to redeem miles for purchases that Capital One doesn’t classify as travel (you can even get rewards back in cash), then miles won’t be worth as much.
Contact Capital One
If you have questions about the Capital One Venture card or other offerings from this company, don’t hesitate to reach out to them.
Capital One has a dedicated phone line for new credit card applicants at 1-800-695-5500. You can also get support for an existing Capital One account at 1-800-CAPITAL (1-800-227-4825).
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