Double miles on everything. No confusion about categories – just simple 2x miles on all your purchases.
Use your miles for any travel purchase. Just buy it with your card, then use your miles later to erase some or all of it. Even if it’s only $1.
Annual fee. It’s waived the first year, but after that it’s $59.
Can’t mix with airline miles. These miles can’t be mixed and combined with the airline miles you might have already earned from flying.
The Capital One Venture card has emerged as one of the easiest to use rewards cards when looking to redeem points for travel. It’s similar to the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card, in that the miles can be used to erase travel expenses charged to the card.
Or, you can book travel right from the Capital One Rewards Center and pay using your miles directly. You get the same value for your miles either way.
The great thing about using Venture miles is you can book on any airline, any flight. There are no blackout dates or limitations, you simply book on your favorite carrier and pay with miles or erase the charge.
Do note, however, that the Venture “Miles” are not real airline miles.
They cannot be transferred to an airline or combined with other travel miles programs. The value of these miles is fixed at $.01 per mile for travel purchases. On the plus side, when you book an airline ticket with the Venture card, you CAN earn miles on the airline you chose for your tickets.
That’s because your Capital One miles work just like cash. You pay for the ticket with your card anywhere you’d like, then use your miles to erase some or all of the ticket cost from your statement.
The Capital One Venture card is perfect for those who want to book travel on their terms. The straight-forward redemption and ability to choose your favorite travel merchant give you flexibility and no-hassle 2x rewards on everything.
With a 40,000 mile bonus after spending $3,000 in 3 months, this card effectively gives you over $400 to redeem for travel.
This card works well for domestic travel, using the miles to pay for flights within the U.S.
For example, a roundtrip flight from Seattle to San Diego on Southwest airlines would cost $170 out of pocket, and could be paid for using 17,000 Venture miles.
And if you want a Hawaiian getaway you could use your $400+ bonus to pay for a roundtrip flight from San Diego to Maui in late January. The flight can cost as low as $400, completely paid for by Venture Miles.
Using Venture miles at a fixed one cent per mile rate can be more expensive than traditional airline miles for many international and business or first class tickets.
For example, for a flight to Europe, you might find seats with airline miles available for 60,000 miles. During the summer, tickets to Europe can often cost $1,500 or more.
If you used Capital One miles, a $1,200 ticket needs 150,000 miles to completely cover the cost.
The advantage of Capital One miles is you don’t have to worry about which flights have award seats, since your miles work like cash. The downside is you miss out on really big bargains like $5,000 business class tickets that can be available for 125,000 airline miles. A similar ticket would cost 500,000 Venture miles.
But your Capital One miles are always worth the same no matter what kind of travel you decide to book, which can be attractive.
Travel includes any charges from airlines, hotels, rail lines, car rental agencies, limousine services, bus lines, cruise lines, taxi cabs, travel agents and time shares. The purchase must be coded by the merchant as one of these items to be eligible for the Purchase Eraser at $.01 per mile. If it is not coded this way, you do not qualify for Purchase Eraser travel redemption.
The Venture Miles can be redeemed in one of two ways:
When using the Purchase Eraser®, there are a few things to note about redemption amounts:
For example, if you have 5,000 miles, you can redeem them to take $50 off your $150 airline ticket. But if you only have 2,000 miles, you could not use the miles for a partial redemption.
This card can be redeemed for cash back in the form of a check or account credit. This is not a great value, however. The terms and conditions state “Rates for these other redemption options vary and are subject to change without notice”, and most are seeing a rate of 0.5 cents per mile, as compared to the 1 cent per mile for travel redemptions.
But, a way around this is to redeem your miles for gift cards. Gift card redemption’s do give you the 1 cent per mile rate, effectively making this a 2% cash back card (2x miles per dollar spent, 1 cent per mile redemption).
Booking flights with the Capital One Venture card is simple because you will be booking through your favorite airline or travel site, but it’s good to know how many miles you will need to use to cover the cost of the flight. When booking directly and using the miles later, remember you will be using 100 miles for every dollar spent on your airline ticket.
The upside is that you earn 2x miles on EVERY dollar spent, no matter what it is on. So your points are effectively worth twice as much. So though you may end up spending more miles to pay off your flight, you come out ahead because you’re earning twice as quickly as other rewards programs.
Here are some comparisons to show the difference between rewards programs, also showing that at 2x the value, you may come out ahead with the Venture card, but in some instances, you will not.
New York to Los Angeles Roundtrip
Los Angeles to Maui Roundtrip
Chicago to Paris Roundtrip
As you can see, the earning power of the Venture card gives it the advantage on domestic flights, but on international flights the redemption value is not as good as the carrier cards.
Let’s see how the Venture card stacks up against the competition.
vs Barclaycard Arrival Plus
The Barclaycard is a similar fixed-value travel card, allowing you to redeem your miles to pay for travel purchases. Here’s how it stacks up:
|Barclaycard Arrival Pus||Capital One Venture Card|
|Earning Miles||Earn 2x miles on all purchases||Earn 2x miles on all purchases|
|Annual Fee||$0 intro, $89 after first year||$0 intro, $59 after first year|
|Redemption Minimum||10,000 miles minimum||No minimum on full redemption
2,500 miles minimum on partial redemption
The Barclaycard has a few more restrictions, making is a less flexible fixed-value travel card. Though the bonus and earning capabilities are similar, you can’t redeem less than 10,000 miles for smaller travel purchases. The points are also not transferrable between household accounts.
The Arrival Plus does give you 5% in bonus miles on all redemptions, meaning if you redeem all 40,000 bonus points, you get an additional 2,000 miles, worth $20. You would need to spend an additional $5,000 on the card (10,000 miles earned) and redeem them to give another $10, effectively making up for the higher annual fee.
vs B of A Travel Rewards
The Bank of America BankAmericard Travel Rewards allows you to redeem points for travel rewards, similar to the Venture card. Here’s how it compares:
|BankAmericard Travel Rewards Card||Capital One Venture Card|
|Earning Miles||Earn 1.5x points on all purchases||Earn 2x miles on all purchases|
|Annual Fee||$0 annual fee||$0 intro, $59 after first year|
|Redemption Minimum||None||No minimum on full redemption
2,500 miles minimum on partial redemption
The BankAmericard Travel Rewards card comes with a smaller bonus and less earning power, but with the benefit of a lower minimum spend and no annual fee. If choosing to hold both cards after the first year, the Venture card would require at least $12,000 in spending to justify paying the annual fee.
vs Sapphire Preferred
Here’s a comparison of the Venture card vs. the Chase Sapphire Preferred card:
|Chase Sapphire Preferred Card||Capital One Venture Card|
|Earning Miles||Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide||Earn 2x miles on all purchases|
|Annual Fee||$0 intro, $95 after first year||$0 intro, $59 after first year|
|Transfer Partners||Airlines: United, Southwest, British Airways, Korean, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore|
Hotels: Hyatt, Marriott, IHG
The annual fee is higher, but Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to airline and hotel travel partners for even better redemptions values.
The Venture card makes travel rewards simple, giving you maximum flexibility when looking to pay for your travel with rewards miles. With a bonus worth $400 and 2x miles on all purchases, it’s a compelling travel card to add to your wallet.
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