Capital One Venture: A Solid 2X Card for Simple Rewards With No BS

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I get it. Not everyone spends their Friday nights taking epsom salt baths and pondering the workings of various points programs.

Lots of peeps directly asked about the Capital One Venture Rewards card: is it worth getting?

My answer’s always been: yeah, if you don’t want to deal with points programs.

capital one venture review

The $500 sign-up bonus covers 5 years of the annual fee and is worth ~302,000 Chilean pesos (I drew that bull)

It has a $95 annual fee, though it’s waived the first year. But the ease of redemption and earning might be worth it if you like the Capital One ecosystem.

Capital One Venture Review

The sign-up bonus on the Capital One Venture Rewards is 50,000 Venture miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, which is worth $500 toward travel. That’s a very decent sign-up bonus.

At its base, this card earns 2 “miles” per $1 spent which you redeem as credits for travel expenses. Each mile is worth 1 cent each. So if you spend $500, you’ll earn 1,000 Venture miles – which you can redeem for a $10 statement credit (2% back). And scale it up from there.

Do you spend too much shopping online? Don’t leave money on the table – get rewards toward your next trip

You need to spend $4,750 per year, or ~$396 per month, to cover the cost of the annual fee after the first year. If you use this as your go-to card, that’s fairly easy to accomplish.

Beyond that, you’re earning 2% cashback on every purchase. I firmly believe everyone should have a cashback card in your arsenal. Although I’ve been focusing on Starwood points lately.

Even still, I’m jamming on my Fidelity Visa thanks to a recent promotion (it’s also a 2% cashback card):

I do love my Fidelity Visa

Although the limitation is you can only deposit rewards into a qualifying Fidelity account. With the Capital One Venture, you won’t have those restrictions, which can be a deal-maker.

In fact, I would consider getting the Capital One Venture card if they’d have me. I recently applied for a Spark Miles business card (basically the same setup except for small businesses – learn more here) but they told me to hit the bricks because I have too many recent cards (my eternal dilemma 😫).

But, if you don’t have many cards and just want a dead simple rewards program, you might consider the Venture Rewards.

It’s simple to turn your spending into free flights, especially if you usually fly coach 

The other big cashback card is the Citi Double Cash. The hitch is… you earn 1% back when you make a purchase, and another 1% back when you make a payment. So it isn’t *as* straightforward as the Capital One Venture Rewards card – which rewards you right when you make a purchase.

For that ease, you’ll pay ~$8 a month. Not a bad price. But something to be aware of.

In any regard, if you’re currently using a debit card or not earning any rewards on purchases, you’re leaving money on the table. This card is a simple introduction to rewards. And for that, yes, it’s worth a look.

2% cashback cards are a cornerstone

Inevitably, someone will mention the Alliant Visa, which earns 3% cashback the first year and 2.5% thereafter. But, you have to apply to become a member of the credit union to get the card. Is it more cashback? Duh. But it’s also another step.

If you add this to the mix, you’re reducing the simplicity of the rewards by having to join a credit union and remember when the intro earning rate expires. And in that case, you should go with any other points-earning card, if you’re willing to keep track of things and jump through minor hoops.

No clock watching, no categories, no intro rates to keep track of – just easy rewards, if you want that

Basically, Venture’s annual fee is to guarantee the simplicity – which, yes, I believe is worth it if you don’t want to deal with all the options.

And, if you don’t want to think about blackout dates, award seats, or hunt down award travel – then go for the Capital One Venture Rewards.

I majorly geek out on finding a good award trip, but I’m also happy to put in the time to search. If you want no BS simplicity with the only restriction being travel credits, then yes, consider this card. Or if you want an easy sign-up bonus for an extra $500 worth of travel – nothing wrong with that, either.

Bottom line

  • Link: Capital One Venture Rewards – Learn more

I never knocked the Capital One Venture Rewards card. I just prefer to earn different rewards for award travel which, admittedly, can be a lot more hassle. But I don’t mind because I like “getting the deal” and hunting down the values.

If you don’t want that kind of runaround and don’t want to think about how/when/if you’ll earn rewards, get the Capital One Venture Reward card. Because your rewards post as you make purchases. And the only restriction is that you redeem the rewards for travel expenses.

Is it worth paying $95 per year (~$8 per month) for that freedom (waived the first year)? Yeah, def. No one can put a price on your mental bandwidth. This is an ideal card to not worry about:

  • Blackout dates
  • Award space
  • Memberships
  • Bonus categories
  • Earning rates
  • Award redemptions (because travel is the only one)

And I value that highly. If I could get the card (or its small business counterpart), I would. And you likely qualify if you haven’t opened many other cards.

The only other caveat is this: Capital One requests a hard pull from all 3 credit bureaus when you apply for a card. If you don’t apply for cards often, it’s not a huge deal. But it’s something to keep in mind.

What do you think of Capital One cards? Would you consider getting one, if only to earn simple rewards? 

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Dallas.

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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post. The opinions of the commenters are not necessarily the opinions of this site.

Comments

  1. Why do you choose this one over the Barclay Arrival Plus that delivers slightly more than 2%? It also gives you 4 months to come up with enough points to pay for the travel. I know it does not pay for things under $100, but I rarely have any travel under $100. And, for 2% all the time up to 50K of spend is the Amex Blue Business Plus.

    • Excellent points!

      – With the Capital One Venture, you earn miles when the charges clear. So you don’t have to wait until statement close like with the Arrival Plus
      – The $100 limit, like you mentioned. So you basically have to use 10,000 Arrival points to erase a charge, which you earn after every $5,000 of spending. Between that and waiting for the points to post, it’s not as instantly gratifying. And it might take some people a while to spend that much on one card
      – I love the Blue Business Plus Amex and use it constantly. But it’s a small business card, and some people don’t qualify or don’t want to deal with the points. When you redeem Amex points for statement credits, the redemption rate is less that 1 cent per point. If you just want to earn cashback rewards, the Capital One Venture actually earns more, and it’s a personal card which many more people qualify for
      – Barclays is tight with approvals but then again, so is Capital One. If you can’t get an Arrival Plus for whatever reason, you could try for this one as they’re essentially the same. I just feel like the Capital One Venture is simpler with earning and redeeming, and the annual fees are similar
      – The Arrival Plus earns 2.1% toward travel when you factor in the 5% back every time you redeem. But, you’re always going to be stuck earning 10,000 Arrival points to redeem anything. In this way, you can never truly redeem *all* of your points, so it’s not really worth it if you have to keep spending to even redeem them – they keep on on that treadmill of having to spend $5,000 more on the card to get a $100 reward, which drives me crazy, personally

  2. Just beware…Capital One will unilaterally cancel your card if you have no spend on it for an extended period of time…appeals are pointless. This was one of my first travel cards (many moons ago) but, as other cards with more lucrative signup bonuses or earning rates filled by wallet, my Capital One card moved farther back in line. When I was surprised to receive notice of cancellation by mail (with no warning, by the way!), I appealed to be retained as a customer all the way up to a retention supervisor but got entirely stonewalled.

    • Thanks for sharing this! Citi and Barclays do this too. In general, you need to use your cards at LEAST once per year, even if it’s for a small charge (like a car wash or coffee). Banks definitely want you to use your card. If your card has an annual fee, paying it usually counts. I make sure to buy something trivial at least once a year though, just in case.

      Thanks again, Jim!

  3. Aside from the sign-up bonus on a Capital One Venture card, what’s the point of paying a $95 annual fee to earn 2% cashback when with no annual fee a Fidelity Visa pays 2% and a Citi Double ultimately will earns 2% after payment?

    “Although the limitation is you can only deposit rewards into a qualifying Fidelity account. With the Capital One Venture, you won’t have those restrictions, which can be a deal-maker.”

    The qualifying Fidelity account can be their no-fee checking account, 529 College Savings account or an IRA. If you pick their checking account, you have immediate access to the rewards. One big advantage of the Fidelity rewards program is that as you have accumulated over $50 in rewards ($2,500 in spending) the full reward earned (as opposed to $50 increments) is deposited automatically. I.e. if over 2 months you earned $70 in rewards, then $70 is deposited.

    • I totally agree. I called the Fidelity Visa the best cashback card in the universe: http://outandout.boardingarea.com/is-the-fidelity-amex-the-best-cashback-card-in-the-universe/

      The only hurdle with the Fidelity Visa is the one you mentioned. Some people don’t want to deal with opening multiple accounts (although I think it’s totally worth it, obviously).

      And the hitch with the Citi Double Cash is you earn cashback in two parts: 1% when you purchase, 1% when you pay.

      I like both because they’re free to keep and have. I only recommend the Capital One Venture Rewards card if you’re vehemently opposed (for whatever reason) to opening a separate account or just don’t want to wait to watch the rewards roll in. You’re basically paying for simplicity and instant gratification. Because you can redeem Venture miles for ANY amount toward travel instead of having to wait for them to accumulate.

      Is it worth $8 a month to have that? Yeah, maybe. Everything you’ve described is a limitation (separate account, minimum redemption amount, and waiting to have full rewards post). The CapOne Venture doesn’t have those. So again, you’re basically paying for convenience.

      • A $95 annual fee on a 2% cash back card can also be interpreted as no rewards on the first $4,750 of annual spending. For $8/month, I can have Hulu instead :-)!

        • Yeah I have those same numbers in the post as well. Sounds like this card isn’t for you – good that you know what you want. Can’t blame you for choosing Hulu, I hear Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 is coming out soon! 😛

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