(Updated May 2019: Capital One has added new transfer partners where you can turn their “miles” into real airline miles. The options are somewhat limited, but may be useful for topping off an account to reach an award. Details below.)
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards credit card is their premium travel rewards card with unlimited 2x miles per dollars on all purchases. Right now, there is also a 50,000 miles welcome offer after spending $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. Those 50,000 miles can be redeemed as a $500 credit towards any travel purchase made with the card (any airline, any hotel, no blackout dates).
- Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles (equal to $500 in travel) once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
- Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture.
- Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
- Named ‘The Best Travel Card’ by CNBC, 2018.
- Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs.
- Miles won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how many you can earn.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that.
What does this all mean? Capital One “miles” can be redeemed directly for a cash statement credit on a 1 mile = $0.01 basis when offsetting any travel purchase made on the card. In other words, 50,000 miles = $500 toward travel. That means you can fly on any airline or stay at any hotel, pay with this card, and then offset that purchase using your miles balance later.
This means that earning 2 miles on on every $1 in purchases essentially makes this a 2% back card when applied towards travel.
New: Miles transfer options. Capital One now allows you to transfer your “miles” into select airline miles programs as well, on a 2:1.5 ratio (ex. 20,000 Capital One miles = 15,000 Air Canada Aeroplan miles) except where indicated. Here are the 15 transfer partners:
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Air France/KLM
- Cathay Pacific
- Emirates (2:1)
- JetBlue TrueBlue (2:1)
- Singapore Airlines Krisflyer (2:1)
The bolded ones are my favorite. I would use these to top off an account to reach a specific award level. If you know how to leverage one of these international airline miles programs, this can be a good option, but it’s still nice to have the worst-case scenario of effectively earning 2% back towards travel.
Bottom line. The combination of a 50,000 one-time bonus and the annual fee waiver for the first year makes this a good time to apply for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards credit card. You’ll also get 2X miles on your purchases, so after you spend your $3,000 within 3 months to get the bonus, you can redeem 50,000 + 6,000 = 56,000 miles for $560 toward travel on any airline or hotel. That could be a nice discount on your next vacation.
Due to the high first-year value, I have added this card to my list of
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