Home » Travel » Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Review: Good if you’ve given up on airline miles

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Review: Good if you’ve given up on airline miles

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This article was last updated Jul 18, 2016, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

The information related to the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® has been collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has emerged as one of the easiest to use rewards cards when looking to redeem points for travel.

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.

How do the miles work?

The great thing about using Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card miles is you can book on any airline, any flight. There are no blackout dates or limitations, you simply pay for your flight with the card on your favorite airline, even Southwest, and use miles to erase the charge. You can pay for the flight anywhere – the airline’s website, with a travel agent, or on a travel site like Expedia.

As long as you use your card to pay, you can use miles to erase the charge.

Be aware that the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card “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 Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, you CAN earn miles on the airline you chose for your tickets.

That’s because your Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card 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.

Who should get this card?

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit 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 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.

Earn a One-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in 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 $500+ 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.

Who shouldn’t get this card?

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 Venture miles, a $1,200 ticket needs 150,000 miles to completely cover the cost.

The advantage of Venture 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 Venture miles are always worth the same no matter what kind of travel you decide to book, which can be attractive.

What counts as travel spending?

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.

How can you book awards?

The Venture Miles can be redeemed in one of two ways:

  1. Redeem for past travel purchases. When you pay for any travel purchase using your Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, you can go back to your statement after the purchase clear and use the Capital One Purchase Eraser® to remove the charges from your card.
    Redemptions using the Purchase Eraser® must be made within 90 days from the date your travel purchase posts to your account. Each mile is valued at $.01 per mile, which means a $100 purchase would take 10,000 miles to erase.
  2. Book your travel directly through the Capital One Rewards Center. Simply log on to CapitalOne.com with your account and book your flight, hotel or car rental using your miles. Each mile is worth $.01 when redeeming. Here’s an example booking:
    Say you are searching for a flight on the Rewards Center from Boston to New York City. You find a flight on American Airlines for $120. To book the flight, you simply redeem 12,000 Venture Miles through the Rewards Center.

When using the Purchase Eraser®, there are a few things to note about redemption amounts:

  • Any size travel purchase can be erased. For example, a $5.00 cab ride can be erased using 500 miles.
  • Partial redemptions are also available. If you don’t have enough miles to completely erase a travel purchase, you can erase part of the purchase, but only in $25 increments (must have at least 2,500 miles minimum).

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.

Can you use miles for cash back?

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 redemptions 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).

Compare the cost of awards

Booking flights with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit 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 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. 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 Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, but in some instances, you will not.

New York to Los Angeles Roundtrip

  • Miles needed using the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card – 38,500 miles ($19,250 spending needed to earn miles)
  • Miles needed using the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® – 25,000 miles ($25,000 spending needed to earn miles)
  • Miles needed with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express – 25,000 miles ($25,000 spending needed to earn miles)

Los Angeles to Maui Roundtrip

  • Miles needed using the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card – 76,300 miles ($38,150 spending needed to earn miles)
  • Miles needed using the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® – 60,000 miles ($60,000 spending needed to earn miles)
  • Miles needed with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express – 50,000 miles ($50,000 spending needed to earn miles)

Chicago to Paris Roundtrip

  • Miles needed using the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card – 175,900 miles ($87,950 spending needed to earn miles)
  • Miles needed using the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® – 40,000 miles ($40,000 spending needed to earn miles)
  • Miles needed with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express – 60,000 miles ($60,000 spending needed to earn miles)

As you can see, the earning power of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Cardnture card gives it the advantage on domestic flights, but on international flights the redemption value is not as good as the carrier cards.

Card Comparisons

Let’s see how the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card stacks up against the competition.

vs Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card allows you to redeem points for travel rewards, similar to the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. Here’s how it compares:

RankAirportServiceTotal ScoreTransit Time (minutes)Drive Time (minutes)% Faster / (Slower) than DrivingFare (USD)Departures per WeekdayConvenience
1AtlantaMARTA Red / Orange Line69172326%$2.50192Subway / Light Rail, direct
2Chicago - MidwayCTA Orange Line65253425%$2.25147Subway / Light Rail, direct
3Chicago - O'HareCTA Blue Line624039-3%$2.25177Subway / Light Rail, direct
4DenverUniversity of Colorado A Line6037381%$9.0072Direct with Luggage Storage
5New York - KennedyJFK Airtrain / Long Island Railroad58405830%$15.00186Train, transfer
5Washington - ReaganMetrorail582011-82%$2.55227Subway / Light Rail, direct
7Minneapolis - St. PaulMETRO Blue Line5723230%$1.75109Subway / Light Rail, direct
8Salt Lake CityTrax Green Line5320200%$2.5072Subway / Light Rail, direct
9SeattleLink Light Rail503322-50%$3.00142Subway / Light Rail, direct
10St. LouisMetrolink492823-22%$2.5078Subway / Light Rail, direct
11PhiladelphiaR1 Regional Rail4819190%$6.5039Subway / Light Rail, direct
12ClevelandRed Line462917-71%$2.2599Subway / Light Rail, direct
12OaklandBART4637408%$10.05127Subway / Light Rail, transfer
14TampaHART Route 30443514-150%$2.00240Bus only
15Dallas - Fort WorthDART Orange Line434225-68%$2.5074Subway / Light Rail, direct
15PortlandMAX Red Line434125-64%$2.5070Subway / Light Rail, direct
15BostonSilver Line431514-7%$0.00128Bus only
15San FranciscoBART432921-38%$8.9575Subway / Light Rail, direct
19NewarkNewark AirTrain / New Jersey Transit424240-5%$13.0077Train, transfer
20BaltimoreLight Rail422819-47%$1.7050Subway / Light Rail, direct
21MiamiOrange Line412118-17%$2.2084Subway / Light Rail, transfer
22Dallas - LoveDallas Love Field372015-33%$2.5074Subway / Light Rail, transfer
23PhoenixValley Metro Rail362517-47%$2.0088Subway / Light Rail, transfer
24CharlotteCATS Sprinter341917-12%$2.0049Bus only
24KahuluiUpcountry, Haiku Islander34770%$2.0020Bus only
24Los AngelesLAX FlyAway3435388%$9.7548Bus only
27New York -LaGuardiaQ70 Select Bus to 7 Train335535-59%$2.75128Bus only
27San JoseVTA Route 10 / Light Rail333010-216%$2.0064Subway / Light Rail, transfer
29AustinRoute 100322824-17%$1.2537Bus only
30Fort LauderdaleRoute 1312419-26%$2.0053Bus only
39ColumbusCOTA AirConnect311412-17%$2.7531Bus only
32Washington - DullesSilver Line Express to Silver Line295545-22%$8.6058Bus only
32RaleighRoute 100293428-24%$2.2523Bus only
34Las VegasWestcliff Airport Express281412-17%$6.0023Bus only
34San DiegoRoute 99228159-67%$2.2566Bus only
34NashvilleRoute 18282318-30%$2.2519Bus only
37MilwaukeeRoute 80273316-106%$1.7555Bus only
37Houston - BushBush IAH Express275330-80%$1.2552Bus only
37Houston - HobbyRoute 40275323-130%$1.2549Bus only
37SacramentoYolobus 42A271914-36%$2.2518Bus only
41San AntonioVIA Route 5264016-150%$1.3038Bus only
42Pittsburgh28X Airport Flyer254426-69%$2.7540Bus only
42IndianapolisIndyGo Route 8254223-83%$1.7533Bus only
42OrlandoLynx Route 11254329-51%$2.0033Bus only
45HonoluluRoute 19255120-155%$2.5034Bus only
46New OrleansE2 Line244423-91%$2.0027Bus only
46Orange CountyRoute 76241912-58%$2.0013Bus only
46Kansas CityRoute 129244225-68%$1.5019Bus only
46Fort MyersLeetran Route 50 to Route 140246530-117%$1.5013Bus only
46DetroitSMART Route 125247627-181%$2.0013Bus only

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card comes with a smaller bonus and less earning power, but with the benefit of a lower minimum spend and a $0 annual fee. If choosing to hold both cards after the first year, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card would require at least $12,000 in spending to justify paying the annual fee.

vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Here’s a comparison of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card vs. the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card:

RankAirportServiceTotal ScoreTransit Time (minutes)Drive Time (minutes)% Faster / (Slower) than DrivingFare (USD)Departures per WeekdayConvenience
1AtlantaMARTA Red / Orange Line69172326%$2.50192Subway / Light Rail, direct
2Chicago - MidwayCTA Orange Line65253425%$2.25147Subway / Light Rail, direct
3Chicago - O'HareCTA Blue Line624039-3%$2.25177Subway / Light Rail, direct
4DenverUniversity of Colorado A Line6037381%$9.0072Direct with Luggage Storage
5New York - KennedyJFK Airtrain / Long Island Railroad58405830%$15.00186Train, transfer
5Washington - ReaganMetrorail582011-82%$2.55227Subway / Light Rail, direct
7Minneapolis - St. PaulMETRO Blue Line5723230%$1.75109Subway / Light Rail, direct
8Salt Lake CityTrax Green Line5320200%$2.5072Subway / Light Rail, direct
9SeattleLink Light Rail503322-50%$3.00142Subway / Light Rail, direct
10St. LouisMetrolink492823-22%$2.5078Subway / Light Rail, direct
11PhiladelphiaR1 Regional Rail4819190%$6.5039Subway / Light Rail, direct
12ClevelandRed Line462917-71%$2.2599Subway / Light Rail, direct
12OaklandBART4637408%$10.05127Subway / Light Rail, transfer
14TampaHART Route 30443514-150%$2.00240Bus only
15Dallas - Fort WorthDART Orange Line434225-68%$2.5074Subway / Light Rail, direct
15PortlandMAX Red Line434125-64%$2.5070Subway / Light Rail, direct
15BostonSilver Line431514-7%$0.00128Bus only
15San FranciscoBART432921-38%$8.9575Subway / Light Rail, direct
19NewarkNewark AirTrain / New Jersey Transit424240-5%$13.0077Train, transfer
20BaltimoreLight Rail422819-47%$1.7050Subway / Light Rail, direct
21MiamiOrange Line412118-17%$2.2084Subway / Light Rail, transfer
22Dallas - LoveDallas Love Field372015-33%$2.5074Subway / Light Rail, transfer
23PhoenixValley Metro Rail362517-47%$2.0088Subway / Light Rail, transfer
24CharlotteCATS Sprinter341917-12%$2.0049Bus only
24KahuluiUpcountry, Haiku Islander34770%$2.0020Bus only
24Los AngelesLAX FlyAway3435388%$9.7548Bus only
27New York -LaGuardiaQ70 Select Bus to 7 Train335535-59%$2.75128Bus only
27San JoseVTA Route 10 / Light Rail333010-216%$2.0064Subway / Light Rail, transfer
29AustinRoute 100322824-17%$1.2537Bus only
30Fort LauderdaleRoute 1312419-26%$2.0053Bus only
39ColumbusCOTA AirConnect311412-17%$2.7531Bus only
32Washington - DullesSilver Line Express to Silver Line295545-22%$8.6058Bus only
32RaleighRoute 100293428-24%$2.2523Bus only
34Las VegasWestcliff Airport Express281412-17%$6.0023Bus only
34San DiegoRoute 99228159-67%$2.2566Bus only
34NashvilleRoute 18282318-30%$2.2519Bus only
37MilwaukeeRoute 80273316-106%$1.7555Bus only
37Houston - BushBush IAH Express275330-80%$1.2552Bus only
37Houston - HobbyRoute 40275323-130%$1.2549Bus only
37SacramentoYolobus 42A271914-36%$2.2518Bus only
41San AntonioVIA Route 5264016-150%$1.3038Bus only
42Pittsburgh28X Airport Flyer254426-69%$2.7540Bus only
42IndianapolisIndyGo Route 8254223-83%$1.7533Bus only
42OrlandoLynx Route 11254329-51%$2.0033Bus only
45HonoluluRoute 19255120-155%$2.5034Bus only
46New OrleansE2 Line244423-91%$2.0027Bus only
46Orange CountyRoute 76241912-58%$2.0013Bus only
46Kansas CityRoute 129244225-68%$1.5019Bus only
46Fort MyersLeetran Route 50 to Route 140246530-117%$1.5013Bus only
46DetroitSMART Route 125247627-181%$2.0013Bus only

The annual fee is higher, but Chase Ultimate Rewards® points can be transferred to airline and hotel travel partners for even better redemptions values.

Summary

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card makes travel rewards simple, giving you maximum flexibility when looking to pay for your travel with rewards miles. With a One-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel and 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, it’s a compelling travel card to add to your wallet.


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