Credit Cards

Increased Signup Bonus for Capital One Venture

Capital One is rolling out an increased bonus offer for its Venture travel rewards credit card. You can now earn 50,000 bonus miles (increased from 40,000) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Depending on which online link you use, the annual fee is $59 or $95 but waived the first year.

Link to $59 annual fee AND 50,000 mile bonus

What are Reward “Miles”?

Although Capital One uses the word “miles” to describe the rewards that you earn when you spend using this card, Venture is more like a cash back card. Each “mile” is worth 1 cent towards travel purchases charged to the card.

This means that 2x miles on all purchases is the same as 2% cash back, except miles must be redeemed for travel expenses. By comparison, Citi Double Cash earns the same 2% on all purchases, however you can redeem for cash deposited right into your bank account (not restricted to travel) for no annual fee.

Redeeming Miles

After you make a travel purchase with Venture, redeem your miles as a statement credit toward the cost. Purchases made from airlines, hotels, rail lines, car rental agencies, limousine services, bus lines, cruise lines, taxi cabs, travel agents and time shares are generally considered to be travel purchases and availabile for redemption.

All you need to do is book your travel through a travel website, travel agent, or other travel resource using your Capital One Venture card. Then, redeem your miles to receive an account credit for the cost of your travel purchase.

In addition to erasing travel expenses, you can also redeem miles for certain retail gift cards at the same value of 1 cent per mile–1000 miles will get you a $10 gift card. Finally, you can also redeem miles for cash (account credit or check by mail) but at half the value–1000 miles will only get you $5 cash.

My Take

I’ve never been a fan of holding this card long term. Considering that at its core, Venture is ultimately a 2% cash back card, there’s no reason to pay an annual fee for something you can get for free with a different card. However, I would apply for Capital One Venture for the signup bonus if you have some travel plans in the near future. I just don’t recommend ever keeping it once the annual fee is charged–whether that’s $59 or $95.

A great way to use the Venture rewards is as a statement credit against travel expenses that you can’t use other rewards programs for.  One example is to buy discounted Disney World park tickets through Undercover Tourist. They code as a travel agent and any purchases made through them are eligible for the Venture miles redemption. You can’t use Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards points in this way.

Other things to keep in mind: you can only have a maximum of 2 Capital One credit cards at any time, and when you apply, Capital One performs a hard pull on your credit at all 3 of the bureaus. If you apply for many credit cards frequently, this may be a concern.

Card Details

Capital One Venture Card image

  • Earn 40,000 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all purchases
  • Visa Signature Benefits
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $59-$95 annual fee (waived the first year)
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