Capital One Venture Card Review

Last Reviewed: 12/04/2010

The Capital One Venture Card is an excellent restricted cashback credit card, currently ranking 2nd in our cashback category and 3rd in our airline category, using the GetDebit Ranking Engine with specific spending assumptions. You may be surprised to see the Venture card appearing in the cashback category, given that cardholders earn miles (and not cash back!) with the use of the card. However, the Venture Card, like the Discover Escape Card, behaves more like a cash back credit card than a true airline loyalty card. Miles earned can be redeemed in the form of statement credits applied against any travel-related purchases (airline tickets, hotel stays, cruises, car rentals, etc). So as long as you incur travel expenses every so often (and if you don’t, you ain’t livin!), the Capital One Venture Credit Card behaves just like a cash back card.

Summary of the Venture Card: Rewards and Fees
Earning rewards 2 miles per $1 of spend
Rewards caps None
Sign up bonus 10,000 miles after spending $1,000 within first 3 months of card activation.
Redeeming rewards
  • After making any travel-related purchase using your Venture Credit Card, you have 90 days to apply miles for reimbursement.
  • Miles can also be redeemed for cash back, merchandise, and gift cards, at varying exchange rates.
Miles exchange rate Miles can be used to reimburse travel-related purchases made with your Venture Card at the rate of $0.01 per Mile.
Rewards expiration Miles never expire but if your account is closed you will lose any unused miles.
Annual fee $59 per year, waived for first year.
Foreign transaction fee None

Capital One Venture Card Rank Based on GetDebit Credit Card Ranking Engine

As the screenshot below shows, the CapitalOne Venture Credit Card ranks #2 out of more than 40 cashback cards tracked by GetDebit. The Venture Card also ranks #3 across all airline cards (screenshot not shown). These ranks are based on the default spend assumptions.

Earning Cash Back from the Capital One Venture Card

The earnings profile for the Venture Credit Card is very straight-forward. Kudos to Capital One for getting this one right. You earn 2 miles for each $1 of spend, with no spending caps or other sneaky tricks.

Callout: Sign-Up Bonus

By spending just $1,000 within the first 3 months after activating your credit card, you earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles—equivalent to a $100 cash bonus. Nice!

You may also want to compare the Capital One Venture Card versus the CapOne VentureOne Card. At lower monthly spending levels, the VentureOne card can be a wiser choice.

Redeeming Miles with Venture

Miles can be redeemed in the form of statement credits for any travel (hotel, airfare, cruise, car rentals, and more) that you charge to the Venture Card. The only “catch” is that you must request the reimbursement within 90 days of the posting date of the travel-related purchase-not a high hurdle. It’s this ability to offset card purchases with your miles that leads GetDebit to file the Venture Card under both the cash-back and travel categories. As long as you do some amount of flying, cruising, taxi-ing, or hotel-ing the Venture Card acts, for all intents and purposes, like a cash back card.

Redemption value is also straightforward: every 1 mile is worth $0.01. Therefore, Venture functions much like a 2% cash-back card-albeit with materially less flexibility in how you use your rewards. We love 2% cash-back cards-even those with redemption restrictions.

There are other redemption methods for this card, including exchanging your miles for gift cards, cash, and merchandise. We’re still trying to find out exactly what these exchange rates our (Capital One reps don’t know—you have to actually apply for and receive the card in order to get the full details of their redemption options). But according to information we have gleaned, it seems that most of these other options would value your miles at less than $0.01 per mile.

Fees for the Venture Card from Capital One

The annual fee is $59, although it’s waived for the first year. This is somewhat of a negative, but it’s more or less offset by both the sign-up bonus and the generous rewards program.

Like other Capital One Cards, there is no international transaction fee. If you are an international Man of Mystery, this is definitely your card.

GetDebit’s Conclusions About the Capital One Venture Credit Card

Hopefully by now it’s quite clear that the Venture Card is definitely a powerhouse. As long as you travel every so often, this card operates high in the stratosphere, and certainly won’t disappoint you.  If you want a broader selection of top-performing cards, you can check out our post The 3 Best CashBack Credit Cards. If you want to get highly personalized, customized card recommendations, try our GetDebit Ranking Engine, found right off our home page.

Follow this link to apply for the Capital One Venture Card.

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