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The past few months have been an incredible time for travel credit card promotions, with some of the highest sign-up offers 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.
Reasons to apply for the Capital One Venture Card
1. That welcome offer worth $1,000 (!) in travel
The Capital One Venture is a great all-round choice for travelers, but let’s start with the welcome offer. 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.
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.
Capital One Venture miles also transfer to 19 different airline frequent flier and hotel points programs. Here are the rates at which Capital One miles convert to each partner.
- Aeromexico Club Premier (2:1.5)
- Air Canada Aeroplan (2:1.5)
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue (2:1.5)
- Alitalia MilleMiglia (2:1.5)
- Avianca LifeMiles (1:1)
- British Airways Executive Club (2:1.5)
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (2:1.5)
- Emirates Skywards (2:1)
- Etihad Airways Guest Program (2:1.5)
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands (2:1.5)
- Finnair Plus (2:1.5)
- JetBlue TrueBlue (2:1.5)
- Qantas Frequent Flyer (2:1.5)
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (2:1)
- TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go (1:1)
- Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles (2:1.5)
- ALL Accor Live Limitless (2:1)
- Choice Hotels (1:1)
- Wyndham Rewards (1:1)
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 welcome offer.
2. Solid everyday earning and burning
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.
3. International interest
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.
Not impressed? Try these four cards instead
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.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
This card is currently offering a solid sign-up point bonus.
Current welcome offer: Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening.
Annual fee: $95
- Why you might want it: The Chase Sapphire Preferred remains a favorite among frequent travelers because it waives foreign transaction fees and offers incredible travel protections: trip delay, interruption, and cancellation coverage; baggage loss and delay insurance; and primary insurance on car rentals so you don’t have to deal with your personal policy. The Ultimate Rewards points it earns are also very versatile, and transfer to 13 airline and hotel partners, including United, Southwest, Hyatt, and Marriott. If you just want to redeem them for travel through the Chase portal, though, they’re worth a $750.
The Platinum Card® From American Express
This long-standing premium card is offering one of its best introductory bonus offers ever.
The Platinum Card® From American Express
Current welcome offer: Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $6,000 in the first six months. (Terms apply.)
Annual fee: $695 (see rates and fees)
- Why you might want it: Don’t be put off by the high annual fee. This card fields more than enough perks to offset it. First, American Express points transfer to more than 20 airline and hotel partners, including Delta, British Airways, Hilton, and Marriott, so there are plenty of ways to use them. Cardholders also receive up to $15 per month in Uber cash (up to $25 in December); up to $200 per year in statement credits toward airline incidental fees (checked bags or seat assignments, for example) with an eligible U.S. airline they designate each year; TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee statement credits once every four years (4.5 years for PreCheck); and access to Amex Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs, and Priority Pass lounges at airports. The card also scores you gold elite status with both Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors, with perks like upgrades and free premium Wi-Fi. And those are only a few of its flashier advantages.
American Express® Gold Card
If you’re looking for something lower key, the Platinum Card’s more moderate counterpart is offering an impressive bonus offer of its own.
American Express® Gold Card
Current welcome offer: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 within the first six months—that’s 25,000 more points than this card usually offers.
Annual fee: $250 (see rates and fees)
- Why you might want it: Among its other high-end attributes, the Amex Gold Card gives members up to $100 in airline fee statement credits each calendar year and up to $10 per month to put toward orders from Grubhub, Seamless, the Cheesecake Factory, and some Shake Shack locations. Members can also register by December 31, 2021, for up to 12 months of Uber Eats Pass, which normally costs $9.99 per month and waives delivery fees on restaurant orders over $15 (plus a 5 percent discount). What truly sets the Amex Gold Card apart, though, is its earning potential. It accumulates four points per dollar at restaurants including takeout and delivery, as well as on up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year at U.S. supermarkets (then one per dollar after that); three points per dollar on flights booked with airlines or through Amex Travel; and one per dollar on everything else, so you can rack up the rewards quickly.
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
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.
>>Next: Capital One Venture Raises Its Sign-Up Bonus to 100,000 Miles