Courtesy of Capital One
You don’t have much longer to sign-up for the Capital One Venture’s 100,000-Mile Bonus.
One of the best travel credit card sign-up bonuses we’ve ever seen is coming to an end, so now’s the time to apply.
AFAR partners with CreditCards.com and may receive a commission from card issuers. Our coverage is independent and objective, and has not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are entirely those of the AFAR editorial team. Some of the offers mentioned below are no longer available.
The past few months have been an incredible time for travel credit card promotions, with some of the highest sign-up bonuses in history. Among them, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has been offering new applicants up to 100,000 miles—50,000 after spending $3,000 within the first three months of account opening, and an additional 50,000 after spending a total of $20,000 within 12 months.
If those numbers have you thinking about applying, you only have a few more days to do so: Capital One announced this offer will end July 19, 2021. If you decided against this particular card, or were ineligible for it (for instance, if it’s already in your wallet), then there are still other great offers available. Otherwise, here are some of the reasons why you might want to apply for the Capital One Venture right now, and a few alternatives in case it’s not in the cards for you.
The Capital One Venture is a great all-round choice for travelers, but let’s start with the introductory bonus. You have to spend $20,000 within a year of opening the card to earn all those miles, which might be daunting. Think of it like this, though: All that spending breaks down to putting less than $1,700 a month on your card, which might seem more manageable.
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Capital One Venture cardholders can redeem their rewards in a few different ways. First, you can cash them in as you make bookings through the Capital One Travel portal. However, you can also just use your card to make travel purchases—airfare, hotel reservations, cruises, and even things like taxis and time-shares—and then redeem miles for statement credits against them within 90 days. With either of these avenues, the per-mile value is one cent, so 100,000 miles is worth $1,000 toward travel.
There are a few drawbacks: 1) The only U.S. airline partner is JetBlue. 2) Unlike other transferable points, such as Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One miles don’t transfer directly at a ratio of 1:1 to most of these partners. That said, if you’re willing to do a little legwork, you can certainly book some tremendous rewards with partners.
One way to maximize your points: Flying Blue advertises “Promo Rewards” that rotate monthly with mileage discounts of 20–50 percent between certain cities in North America, and all of Europe, on both Air France and KLM. Some economy tickets price out as low as 11,000 miles each way, while business-class seats come down as far as 28,750. With conversion rates in mind, you’d only need to transfer about 14,700 or 38,400 Capital One miles for economy or business, respectively, meaning you’d have enough miles for a few tickets in either cabin just from the card’s current sign-up bonus.
One of the reasons why the Capital One Venture is so popular is that it has an easy-to-understand earning formula. It simply accrues two miles per dollar on every purchase. So you can rest easy knowing you’re getting double miles on everything, and that you’ll get a solid rate of return of 2 percent on travel redemptions. Miles redeemed for statement credits toward other purchases, such as groceries or gas, only snag half-a-cent in value, so it’s best to avoid those.
Given the Venture’s fixed earning rate and the variety of ways these miles are usable, the card offers a very solid rate of return that’s easy to take advantage of. Its $95 annual fee isn’t too onerous either, and you can easily get that much value or more from your card each year with some strategic spending and redemptions.
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When the time comes to travel internationally, note that the Capital One Venture offers a statement credit worth up to $100 every four years toward either a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application, which can help speed you through security, customs, and immigration on your next trip. The card also waives foreign transaction fees and comes with a variety of travel and purchase protections, so it’s a good one to use if you’re vacationing abroad.
The Capital One Venture is one of the most dynamic travel rewards credit cards available. That said, if the minimum spending requirement for this particular offer is too high, or you don’t think you’ll use Capital One’s transfer partners, consider several other current credit card offers.
This card is currently offering a solid sign-up point bonus.
This long-standing premium card is offering one of its best introductory bonuses ever.
If you’re looking for something lower key, the Platinum Card’s more moderate counterpart is offering an impressive bonus of its own.
This hotel card is posting its own chart-topping welcome offer.
Current welcome offer: Earn up to 180,000 bonus Hilton Honors points. You earn 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you use your card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months, plus another 50,000 bonus points after spending $10,000 total on purchases in the first six months (terms apply).
Annual fee: $95 (see rates and fees)
Why you might want it: Cardholders enjoy automatic Hilton Honors Gold elite status, with advantages like food and beverage credits, and earn 80 percent bonus points (so 18 per dollar instead of 10) on stays. Spend $15,000 on the card in a calendar year, and you earn a free weekend night reward that’s redeemable at nearly any Hilton property around the world.
While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time, and may have changed or may no longer be available. This article was originally published in December 2020 and updated in March, June, July, August 2021, and October 2021.
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