Capital One Venture Rewards Review

CapitalOne Venture RewardsThe Capital One Venture Rewards card is a good choice for people who want to earn double points on every purchase they make.  Unlike some other rewards cards, there are no rotating categories, purchase amount limits, or restricted timeframes.  Cardholders earn two points (Capital One calls them “miles” but we call them “points”) for every dollar they spend on the card and can accumulate as many points as they wish.  Points don’t expire with the Capital One Venture Rewards card.

Cardholders have the option to redeem points for travel expenses, cash back, or merchandise.  The way this works is you book your airline reservation at any time with any airline.  There are no blackout dates and no advance booking is necessary.  A simple method to calculate what your points are worth is just drop the last two zeros from the point total.  For example, 30,000 points equates to a $300 statement credit towards your flight, or a hotel room, or a car rental.  If you don’t travel a lot, points can also be redeemed for cash back or merchandise credit.  The only requirement is all qualifying purchases must be made with your Capital One Venture Rewards card.

Capital One is currently offering new account holders the opportunity to earn 40,000 bonus points once approved.  This is the equivalent of $400 in rewards.  To qualify, you must spend a minimum of $3,000 on purchases with the card within the first three months of activation.

The annual fee for this card is $59 which is waived for the first year of membership.  Cardholders are not charged any foreign transaction fees with the card which can save you a good deal of money if you frequently travel outside of the U.S.  Many rewards cards charge between 2.7% and 3% on the total purchase price of every transaction made overseas.  Those fees can get quite expensive depending on your spending habits.

The Capital One Venture Rewards card also comes with Visa Signature Benefits.  These include:

  • Travel upgrades and savings
  • Complimentary concierge service
  • Special access to events
  • Shopping discounts
  • Extended warranty
  • 24/7 travel assistance services

The Facts

Below we’ve broken down the specifics of the Capital One Venture Rewards card to help when deciding whether it’s the right card for you.

The Good:

Signup bonus:

New account holders can earn a one-time bonus of 40,000 points upon approval. This is equal to $400 in travel, cash back, or merchandise rewards (these all show up as a statement credit once you redeem your points).  To receive these bonus points, you must spend at least $3,000 on the card (minus any returns and/or credits) within the first three months of opening your account.

Double points, all the time:

Card members earn 2 points for every dollar spent on the card.  The double points are earned for every purchase, anytime, anywhere. Plus your points never expire and there is no limit on how many you can earn.

Choose any airline or hotel chain:

A big plus is that cardholders are not restricted to one airline or one hotel chain when redeeming travel rewards.  You simply book your flight or hotel reservation and pay for it using the card.  Then you redeem however many points you choose (20,000 points=$200 in rewards) and that amount will be credited on your statement.  A perk that frequent fliers will enjoy is that there are no blackout dates when using your points so you can travel whenever you want.

No foreign transaction fees:

While many cards charge cardholders for purchases made outside of the U.S., the Capital One Venture Rewards card does not impose a foreign transaction fee on its customers.  If you often travel abroad, this can save you from 2.7% to 3% on the total amount of each purchase made while traveling internationally.

Wide array of redemption options:    

Points can be redeemed for a statement credit towards flights, hotel stays, and rental cars as well as cash back and gift cards.

Visa Signature benefits:

The Capital One Venture Rewards card is a Visa Signature card which gives card members additional benefits.  Some of these are:

  • Travel upgrades and savings – Card members get complimentary room upgrades (when available) at certain hotels, resorts, and spas.
  • Complimentary concierge service – Get 24/7 assistance when you need assistance with booking events, buying a gift, or making restaurant reservations.
  • Special access to events – Cardholders get access to advance ticket sales for popular entertainment events such as concerts, sporting matches, films, and Broadway shows.
  • Shopping discounts – Receive special discounts at top retailers and online merchants.
  • Extended warranty – Card members can get additional warranty protection at no cost for items that you purchase with the card. Certain restrictions apply.
  • 24/7 travel assistance services – If your card is ever lost or stolen, you will be issued an emergency replacement card along with a cash advance.

The Bad:

Annual Fee: The annual fee is waived for the first year but after that, card members must pay $59 annually.  You need to consider if paying for the privilege of earning rewards is worth it.

High APRs:

The annual percentage rate on purchases is 13.9%, 16.9%, or 20.9% depending on your creditworthiness.  Your specific rate is determined when you are approved for the card.  A penalty APR of 29.4% may be applied to your account by Capital One if you make a late payment and can remain in effect indefinitely.  If you don’t pay off your balance in full each month, interest charges can add up quickly.

The Ugly:

High Penalty Fees:

Late payment fees can be assessed on your account of up to $35Returned payment fees can also be charged to you of up to $35.

Not everyone will qualify:

The Capital One Venture Rewards card generally requires excellent credit (750+ FICO score) to be approved. The minimum credit line given with this card is $5,000 so each application is closely reviewed for credit history and the ability to pay.