CapitalOne has offered rewards credit cards for years, but stepped it up last year by introducing flexible reward points that can be transferred to airline and hotel loyalty programs. Earning flexible points that don’t expire and being able to use them for high-value redemption of premium cabin tickets on airlines is one of the best ways to earn credit card rewards and this makes CapitalOne’s Venture and VentureOne cards much more interesting! Read my review below, if you should add it to your wallet!
If you are new to this site, please read “how we evaluate credit cards”. I have held this credit card for many years, receive no compensation for this review and have no affiliate links for CapitalOne. Reward credit cards are only useful, if you pay your bills in full every month!
CapitalOne offers two similar cards, the Venture card with an annual fee of $95 and higher earning and the CapitalOne Venture card that has no fee – the latter is the card I’m reviewing here!
Here is a summary of what the CapitalOne VentureOne offers:
- Sign-up bonus of 20,000 miles with minimum spend of $1,000 within three months of card opening
- Earn 1.25 miles per USD spent on anything
- Transfer to 15 airlines and hotels
- Access to premium dinner, shows and events
- No annual fee, no foreign exchange fee, EMV chip
The Sign-up bonus of 20,000 miles (worth $200) is pretty good for a no-fee card and easy to reach with a minimum spend of only $1,000.
The Earn rate of 1.25 miles per $1 is good. While there are no-fee cards that offer 2% cash back, no-fee cards that earn transferrable points are pretty rare
And the ability to transfer your miles to 15 airlines and hotels is the key feature of this card! Earning a transferrable miles currency protects you from the frequent devaluations of loyalty programs, the possible expiration or the lack of seat availability in your favorite program. You can hold your credit card miles until you want to redeem them for a flight and transfer them to an airline that has availability when you need it!
You can transfer your points to 5-star airlines like Singapore Airlines or Qatar and redeem them for flights in Business or First Class, giving you great value for your points!
The list of airlines also includes JetBlue, Qantas, Emirates, KLM/Air France and a few others. You can also transfer to two hotel programs, currently Accor ALL and Wyndham Rewards convert your miles for hotel points. The typical transfer ratio for most programs is 1,000 CapitalOne Miles for 750 airline miles – not as generous as the 1:1 ratio of Citibank ThankYou, American Express or Chase. CapitalOne does offer transfer bonuses occasionally for a slightly better transfer.
If you don’t want to worry about award availability, you can book flights, hotels and cars directly through CapitalOne at a value of 1ct/mile – not as good as you’ll get from transfers, but much easier.
At the same value of 1ct/mile, you can also use your miles to purchase through Amazon, giving you additional flexibility and the chance to use even small amounts of miles.
As I have mentioned a few times, there is no annual fee, which makes this card great to keep. If you are uncomfortable with cards that have high annual fees, this card is great to dip your toes into the world of miles & points and how to get the most value by transferring points to airlines for free business class flights! There is also no Foreign Exchange Fee, something that should be standard for travel oriented cards but unfortunately isn’t.
My customer service experience with CapitalOne is mixed: their fraud alerts are harsh, resulting in more issues than I’ve encountered with other cards. Their customer service in call centers is the least knowledgeable and helpful I’ve ever encountered, unable to even answer basic questions about the benefits associated with a card! The website and mobile app work reasonably well, so cross your fingers that you won’t need to call in!
Alternatives: The CapitalOne Venture card has an annual fee of $95, earns a 50,000 mile sign-up bonus and 2 miles per USD spent. You’ll have to spend more than $12,667 per year to earn enough miles to make up for the annual fee – so you’ll decide if that is the better card for you!
Bottomline: If you are starting out in the world of points & miles, the CapitalOne VentureOne card is a great way to try it out – you earn flexible miles that never expire, you can transfer them to airlines and hotels or book travel directly without award limitations – all with no annual fee and no foreign exchange fee! That makes this a good “first rewards card” and a long time keeper, even if you already have another credit card!