Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (Review)

In the world of travel rewards credit cards, the Capital One Venture Rewards  Credit Card does things a bit differently than most other cards. In this review, I will highlight the advantages and disadvantages of this card.

The biggest difference with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is that it isn’t tied to any particular airline or hotel. So you can redeem your rewards for travel on any airline or at any hotel. It also lets you use your rewards for other travel related expenses, such as rental cars. So it really does offer you a great deal of flexibility.

Here’s how the card works in a nutshell. You earn 2 “miles” for every dollar in purchases with the card. So if you charge $1,500 in a given month, you would earn 3,000 miles.

When it comes to redeeming your miles for travel, you simply multiply the cost of your travel by 100 to determine how many miles you need. Let’s say you use the card to purchase an airline ticket for $231. You could then turn around and redeem 23,100 miles (231 x 100) to “erase” the cost of that ticket from your credit card statement. Other travel costs work the same way… suppose your hotel bill is $153, which you pay for using the card. You can then “erase” that charge from your  account by redeeming 15,300 miles (153 x 100).

You can also redeem your miles for cash, but it’s not the best use of your miles, because it takes 200 miles to get $1 in cash, but only 100 miles to get $1 in travel benefits. So if you get this card, you should plan on using it to cover travel costs.

Here’s what I like about this card…

* The 2 miles earned per dollar charged is a pretty good deal. Although there are exceptions, most rewards cards give you only 1 mile (or point) on everyday charges.

* The flexibility to redeem your miles on travel expenses with ANY airline, hotel, rental car company, etc. is a definite plus.

* The concept is simple and uncomplicated.

* The annual fee is waived the first year, and after that it’s only $59

Here’s what I don’t like so much about this card…

* The new member bonus is typically only 10,000 miles, which equates to $100 in travel benefits. While that’s better than no bonus, it doesn’t quite measure up to many cards which offer new member bonuses of 30,000 to 50,000 miles (or points).

* Your rewards balance is permanently tied to the card, so if you close the account, you lose whatever remaining rewards balance you have. In contrast, many cards transfer your rewards to a separate rewards program each month, so that once you have earned the rewards, you keep them even if you close the credit card account.

Overall, I consider the Capital One Venture Rewards Card a good travel rewards card. Is it the best card for you? That depends on your circumstances, but it’s definitely one worth taking a look at.