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Please note: the offers mentioned below are subject to change at any time and some may no longer be available.
If you’re a traveler like me, you’re less loyal to one specific airline brand than to the best, lowest fare you can get among a small handful of favored alines. Trouble is, bouncing around between different airlines can make it such that obtaining a specific airline’s credit card — with the attendant fees that come with it — might not make it worth your while, the way it would if you were a more loyal, exclusive flyer.
My preferred credit card offers a solid mix of ongoing benefits and cash value, as well as a solid sign-up bonus. It’s certainly easy to find branded airline cards that fit this bill, but if you’re like me and not particularly loyal to any single one, in this case your best bet might be something like the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, which offers loads of ways to save money and earn rewards to more than pay for earning a spot in your wallet. Rewards like miles now transferable to airline partners and a 2x earning rate on everyday spending.
Here’s our guide covering everything you need to know about the Capital One Venture card, starting with its six-figure sign-up bonus.
The welcome bonus: The current Capital One Venture sign-up bonus is 50,000 miles that you’ll earn once you’ve spent $3,000 on the card within the first three months of opening your account. Note: If you redeem miles to erase recent travel purchases or to book new travel purchases through Capital One, the sign-up bonus is worth $500. However, if you transfer your miles to Capital One’s airline partners, travel blog The Points Guy estimates that the 50,000 miles are worth about $700.
Benefits and perks: This is, to be sure, not the most feature-rich card we’ve reviewed before. However, the value that you get for a modest $95 annual fee (which is also waived during your first year) is pretty nice. Here are just a few of the perks that travelers will love:
The Venture Rewards card provides benefits like secondary car rental insurance and travel accident insurance. You can also reach for the card when you’re out of the country with the pleasure of knowing there are no foreign transaction fees. Whenever you use the card to charge a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee, you’ll get a statement credit of up to $100 every for years, and you’ll also get additional extended warranty protection when you buy items with an original manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less using this card.
Earning and redeeming miles: The world of credit card rewards can seem daunting to someone who doesn’t necessarily have time to keep track of all the benefits and rules, and I personally appreciate the simplicity of the Venture Rewards card’s earnings rate: 2x miles per dollar spent on everything. As far as mile redemptions go, you can redeem them for one cent apiece toward travel or transfer to partner airlines — and Capital One offers 15 airline transfer partners. Transfers to 12 of those partners are at a ratio of 2x miles to 1.5 points or miles in the airline program, while the other three transfer partners — Emirates, JetBlue and Singapore — are at a ratio of 2:1.
The final word
The Capital One Venture was named ‘The Best Travel Card’ by CNBC in 2018, and it’s easy to see why. From the solid welcome bonus of 50,000 miles to the miles that can be redeemed by a number of airline partners, not to mention the 2x earnings rate and other perks like no foreign transaction fees and the annual fee waived in year one, there’s some all-around great value to be had here. This is a solid … let’s say, B+ card — one that doesn’t go toe-to-toe with the most premium rewards cards out there right now, but packs enough value to make it deserve a front spot in many consumers’ wallets, nevertheless.