Review of the Capital One MTV Visa Card

Last Reviewed: 12/25/2011

The Capital One MTV Visa credit card probably won’t impress the ladies when you flash it at some swanky club, but it may get you back-stage at some concert where you could then pretend to be a band member or roadie, and that could certainly be used to your advantage.

I’ll cut right to the chase on my assessment. If you spend a good amount of money on entertainment (movies, theme parks, video rentals, etc) then the Visa MTV card could make a nice addition to your arsenal given you’ll earn 5 points per dollar of spend n this category. However, if you want to get good value for your points (and who doesn’t!), you’ll need to redeem for travel purchases. Keep reading to learn more…

Summary of the Capital One MTV Visa Credit Card
Rewards Program No Hassle Rewards
Credit Level Required Average or better
Base Rewards 1 point per dollar of spend
Bonus Rewards
  • 5 points per dollar of spend on entertainment (see below for what purchases qualify as entertainment)
  • 2 points per dollar of spend at restaurants
Sign Up Bonus None
Other Bonuses 25 bonus points each billing cycle you pay on time
Earning Caps None
Redemption Methods Cash back, travel, merchandise, gift cards, MTV Exclusives
Best Redemption Option
  • Travel (see below for details
  • Possibly MTV Exclusives, if you value such experiences.
Rewards Expiration Never expire.
Annual Fee None
Foreign Transaction Fee None

Earning Rewards with the Capital One MTV Visa Card

The obvious stand-out with the MTV Visa card is the 5 points per dollar of spend on entertainment. Now, of course, the logical follow-up question is: “Well, what categories of spend are included in ‘entertainment’?” (and I suppose a more introspective question: “Do I spend enough on “entertaining” to justify going through the trouble of getting this card?”)

So here are the spend categories included within entertainment: music stores, concert tickets, movie theaters, bowling alleys, amusement parks, video & video game rentals, public golf courses, tourist attractions, arcades, live theater, professional sporting events, aquariums, campgrounds, and boat rentals.

I’m bummed that hot air balloon rides aren’t included, that’s plenty entertaining…and why would Tinkerbell’s Dad let her out of the house like that?

The 2 points per dollar of spend earned on restaurants is nice too, although if restaurants are your game, then the Citi Forward Card (which I carry) is the way to go (giving you 5 points per dollar of restaurant spend!).

Seeking Redemption Through MTV

The MTV visa belongs to the uber-secret Capital One No Hassle Rewards program. I say “secret” because unless you have a card belonging to this rewards program, you can’t get access to the site to check out your redemption options. Furthermore, the rewards operators are no help whatsoever. When I called and asked about this card, their mantra was “every offer is different, both on what can be earned and redeemed”—and so thus they couldn’t tell me anything.

So while that’s a bummer, we do have some information to go on, based on the fine print in the application, and with the exception of travel redemptions (and possibly MTV exclusives), it doesn’t look good. The table below lays it out.

Published Redemption Rates for the Capital One MTV Visa Credit Card
Redemption Method Amount Redeemed Points Required Dollar Value Per Point
Travel $600 60,000 $0.0100
Gift Cards $50 7,750 $0.0064
Cash Back $25 5,000 $0.0050
Merchandise $100 20,000 $0.0050
MTV Exclusives Varies based on the event

Deep Dive on Travel Rewards

As you can see from the rewards table above, by far and away the best redemption method is for travel (which includes airfare, hotels, cruises, car rentals and potentially other travel expenses). However, there is a catch. To get maximum value, you’ll either need to redeem $600 or more worth of travel expenses, or be lucky or clever enough to redeem right at or near the top of each redemption band (for example, if you redeem $350 worth of travel, your points will also be worth $0.01 each). This table shows the redemption bands:

Redeeming Your MTV Visa Points for Travel: Ticket Pricing Bands
Cost of Travel Points Required
$150 or less 15,000
$150 up to $350 35,000
$350 up to $600 60,000
$600 or more 1 point per penny of price

The graphic below illustrates how the value of your points, when redeemed for travel, fluctuates within each redemption band. At the low end of each band, you get really bad value for your MTV points, while at the top end of each band, and for any redemption amount above $600 of travel spend, you get $0.01.

One other small note: you can’t do “partial redemptions”…meaning, if you spent $350 on a plane ticket, but you only have 15,000 points, you won’t be able to redeem a portion of the $350; it’s all or nothing.

Redeeming for MTV Exclusives

It’s quite possible that if this card caught your attention in the first place, you either you still have a crush on Martha Quinn, or, more likely, you enjoy concerts and such. Redeeming for MTV events and shows ranges from 10,000 to 30,000 points. You can also “build your own” experiences, which could include getting backstage, VIP treatment at an exclusive MTV event, maybe even meeting an MTV star. In short, this card could get you an autograph and lead to a series of adventures you can recount to your grandchildren.

GetDebit’s Closing Thoughts on the Capital One MTV Visa Card

The primary benefit of the MTV Visa card is the 5 points per dollar on entertainment. If you spend $100 per month in this category, you’d earn $60 per year. Since there’s no annual fee, there’s not much downside, it’s more a question of whether you spend enough to justify adding this card to your collection (and it definitely should not be your primary credit card unless you truly are craving for some special back-stage access or red carpet treatment that can’t be purchased on the open market). Party on.

Follow this link to apply for the Capital One MTV Visa Card.

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