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The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has the highest flat rewards rate of all the travel cards on our radar. And unlike most flat-rate credit cards, it even offers you a bonus rewards category for hotel and rental car purchases booked through Capital One’s travel portal.
The Venture Rewards Card has similar cards beat when it comes to extra travel benefits and credits. While manyoffer some sort of insurance benefits with account ownership, Capital One takes it a step further and offers a handful of perks, including a credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. The catch? You’ll need , and are on the hook for a $95 annual fee.
As far as the rewards program goes, it’s the simplest among its closest competitors, so you won’t have to do a lot of planning to reap the benefits — though some other cards may net you more rewards value. The welcome bonus is also on par with other travel cards.
Read on for more information about the rewards program, booking through the Capital One portal, the extra perks and other cards you may want to consider.
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Rewards and the travel portal
Rewards are earned in the form of miles with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, as they are with many travel credit cards. You’ll earn 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases, as well as 5 miles per dollar spent onand rental cars through Capital One Travel, the issuer’s booking portal.
You can use the miles you earn to make travel purchases (not just hotel and car rentals —and experiences, too) through Capital One Travel, or you can redeem the miles as statement credits for travel purchases not booked through the portal. This gives you some flexibility. Miles are worth 1 cent each when redeemed.
The welcome bonus is in-line with other travel credit cards with a $95 annual fee. You get 60,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. The bonus is equivalent to $600 in travel purchases through Capital One Travel or in statement credits toward other travel purchases. Not only is it competitive for its genre, but it’s also equivalent to some of the offers on our overall picks for the.
This is where the Capital One Venture Rewards card starts diverging from its closest competitors. The Venture card offers a host of travel related perks that you typically find more with the premium travel cards that have several-hundred-dollar annual fees.
Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit: When you use your Venture card to apply for, you can get reimbursed up to $100. These programs will help you breeze through long lines at airports.
Hertz Five Star® status: With this perk, you can skip the line at the car rental kiosk and choose from a wider selection of cars. Note that to enroll in this benefit, you’ll have to do so in your account under the Rewards tab.
Capital One Lounge: You get two free visits per year to Capital One Lounges, which offer food and luxury amenities. The issue with this perk, however, is that this program is still in its infancy. Only one Capital One lounge is currently open — at Dallas-Fort Worth airport. But two more are slated to open in 2022, at the Denver International Airport and Dulles International Airport.
No foreign transaction fees: Like with most travel cards and all, you won’t pay any extra fees when you make purchases with your Venture card while outside of the US. are typically about 3% of the transaction, so they can add up quickly.
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card is theversion of the Venture card. You’ll earn a reduced 1.25 miles per dollar on each purchase, though you’ll still get 5 miles per dollar spent on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. The welcome bonus is also less — though more accessible — at 20,000 bonus miles for spending $500 in the first three months of account opening. You don’t really get any of the extras (except for no foreign transaction fees), but this card does come with a on purchases and for 15 months (15.24% to 25.24% variable APR after that).
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a direct competitor of the Venture card. It also costs $95 per year and has a very similar welcome bonus. While it doesn’t offer travel extras as nice as the Venture card, it does have a rewards program that could net higher returns for the average cardholder — not to mention boosted redemption value on rewards when applied to travel booked on Chase’s portal, Chase Ultimate Rewards.
See more details in our full review of the.
Citi Premier® Card
The Citi Premier Card is another travel card with a $95 annual fee and roughly equivalent welcome bonus. Depending on your spending patterns, itsmay be more lucrative than the Chase Sapphire Preferred. This card definitely ranks last when it comes to travel extras, however.
See more details in our full review of the.
How do travel credit cards work?
Travel credit cards turn purchases into points or miles that can be redeemed for travel purchases, like flights and hotel stays. Sometimes you can redeem those points for cash or a gift card, but you typically get the best rate when using them to book travel. The top cards have their own travel booking portals through which you can find flights, hotels and rental cars. Sometimes, points are worth more when used in credit card company portals.
Airline credit cards and hotel credit cards operate like loyalty programs in that you stay in a closed-loop rewards system. You earn rewards when you purchase flights or book hotels through your chosen companies, and you can use those points for perks or future bookings through the same airline or hotel group.
How do you choose the best travel credit card?
The points and travel benefits that you accrue through a travel rewards program are often redeemed through your credit card issuer’s website (or app), or they appear as a statement credit reimbursing you for past purchases you made with your credit card. Points or miles can also be transferred to travel partners — mostly hotels and airlines — at a fluctuating conversion rate, where they can then be used to book a flight or hotel room.
In choosing the best travel credit card, there are a few key factors to consider:
- Annual fees: Most travel rewards programs have annual fees, with some climbing as high as $695, but those fees are usually mitigated by monthly or annual credits.
- Exclusive perks: Some travel rewards card options also grant access to exclusive travel perks, like airline lounges, priority boarding or VIP welcomes at hotels. The value of those perks is subjective and something you’ll have to evaluate based on your needs and wants.
- Foreign transaction fees: The best travel cards don’t make users pay a foreign transaction fee, so that’s not something you have to worry about.
What extra benefits do travel credit cards usually offer?
Most travel credit cards, some of which carry hefty annual fees, include benefits that add value to those cards, such as travel accident insurance, trip cancellation insurance, trip delay reimbursement or protection, lost luggage reimbursement and rental car collision insurance.
Our approach to credit card evaluation
We review the cards that are in the highest demand and offer the best benefits. We scour the fine print so there aren’t any surprises when you open an account. We find the key factors that make a card stand out and compare them to other top cards. That way, readers can opt for a different card with similar features if our pick isn’t right for them. Our reviews are regularly checked and updated to incorporate new recommendations, as well as to reflect changes in offers and the market.
The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.