August 11, 2022

Which Credit Card Is Best for You?

Two of the most popular travel rewards credit cards right now are the Capital One…

Which Credit Card Is Best for You?

Two of the most popular travel rewards credit cards right now are the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. They’ve got similar names and earn identical rewards — but that’s where their similarities end.

These cards have wildly different ongoing benefits. From airport lounge access to travel insurance to a giant anniversary bonus, the Capital One Venture X has several hundred dollars in benefits that the Capital One Venture doesn’t offer.

And here’s the kicker — for even a casual traveler, these cards have effectively the same annual fee. I’ll show you how that’s possible — and help you decide if the premium Capital One Venture X is a better option for you.

Comparison: Capital One Venture X vs Venture 

Capital One Venture and Venture X have effectively the same annual fee


Regular APR


16.99% – 23.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Excellent


Regular APR


16.99% – 23.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Excellent

Pros

  • Excellent welcome bonus and miles earning
  • Premium perks including airport lounge access and statement credits
  • Visa Infinite benefits including travel and shopping protections

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • Annual travel statement credits only apply to Capital One Travel purchases

Read Our Review
Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

More Information

  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 6 months from account opening, equal to $1,000 in travel
  • Limited-time Offer: Receive up to $200 back in statement credits for vacation rentals charged to your account within your first year
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel, plus unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Escape the airport crowd and recharge before your flight with unlimited access to all-inclusive amenities at the Capital One Lounge and at 1,300+ Priority Pass lounges worldwide
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more – you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs

The Capital One Venture incurs a $95 annual fee. The Capital One Venture X incurs a considerably larger $395 annual fee.

But for even a casual traveler, you’ll effectively pay a $95 annual fee for one simple reason: The Capital One Venture X comes with annual statement credits of up to $300 toward travel booked through the Capital One Travel portal. If you think you’ll spend at least $300 per year on flights, hotels, or rental cars, you can view this as effectively a $300 rebate on your $395 annual fee.

In other words, if you’re someone who thinks you’ll spend at least $300 per year on travel, the Capital One Venture X is a no-brainer because of three additional benefits you’ll get. Here are some examples.

Read more: 6 reasons why I’m finally considering a Capital One credit card

Sign-up bonuses

The Capital One Venture X comes with 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 6 months from account opening. Plus, new cardholders receive up to $200 in statement credits toward vacation rental purchases (like Airbnb and VRBO) made with their card in the first year. The miles from this bonus are worth $1,000 when you redeem them toward travel purchases.

However, it’s possible to get significantly more value from your miles. Insider estimates that Capital One miles are worth an average of 1.7 cents each when you transfer them to airline and hotel partners for free flights and hotel stays. By using your 100,000 miles this way, you could easily receive $1,700 in travel.

This bonus ends March 14, 2022 — and we don’t know what will replace it. If you’ve been eyeing this card, you should apply before that date.

The Capital One Venture offers 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. This bonus is worth $600 when redeeming to offset paid travel — or potentially $1,020+ when transferring to airline and hotel partners.

That’s still a solid bonus — but it doesn’t compare with the 40,000 extra miles and $200 vacation rental statement credit.

Read more: How to earn and redeem Capital One miles in 2022

Airport lounge access

The Capital One Venture X comes with unlimited access to two airport lounge networks.

First, you’ll get Priority Pass Select membership. There are more than 1,300 Priority Pass lounges worldwide, with many offering free food and alcohol, free internet connection, plenty of outlets, and sometimes even showers and beds.

The membership offered by this card also comes with two free guests, as well as benefits and discounts at select airport restaurants. Even the highest-tier Priority Pass membership you can purchase (costing $429 per year) doesn’t include this many perks. If you’re a frequent traveler, this benefit is likely worth hundreds to you.

You’ll also get free entry into Capital One Lounges, of which there is currently one open to the public. Two more are coming in 2022, as Capital One expands its lounges around the country.

The Capital One Venture does not come with any kind of complimentary airport lounge access. However, it does offer two free Capital One lounge visits each year. You can purchase additional visits for $45 each — a $20 discount over the $65 it will cost non-cardholders to enter.

Read more: Best credit cards for airport lounge access in 2022

Anniversary bonus

The Capital One Venture X will deposit 10,000 Capital One miles into your account each year after you renew your card and pay the annual fee. If you were to use these miles for $100 in free travel, you’d completely negate your annual fee each year between the $300 annual travel credit and the anniversary miles bonus.

Or, you could transfer those miles to valuable travel partners. Insider estimates that these 10,000 miles are worth $170, on average, when transferring to airlines and hotels.

The Capital One Venture does not come with an anniversary bonus of any sort.

Read more: The best hotel credit cards with free anniversary nights

Travel insurance

The Capital One Venture X is a Visa Infinite card, a title donned by only the most premium Visa cards. They offer more generous trip delay insurance than any other credit card.

When your flight is delayed by six hours or more — or if you must stay overnight due to a delay or missed connection, you and your immediate family will be reimbursed for reasonable expenses up to $500 per person. This includes things like meals, hotel rooms, toiletries, and even clothing. As long as you use your Capital One Venture X, you’re covered.

This card also comes with primary rental car insurance when you use your card to reserve your rental. It can save you $15+ per day over purchasing the rental agency’s in-house insurance plan. If your rental experiences damage or theft, you’re covered (with most vehicles) — and your personal insurance company doesn’t even have to know about it.

The Capital One Venture does not offer trip delay insurance and only comes with secondary car rental insurance, making the Venture X the superior choice for booking airfare and rental cars.

Read more: Best credit cards for travel insurance in 2022

Earning rates

The Capital One Venture X earns miles at the following rates:

The Capital One Venture earns miles at the following rates:

  • 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 2 miles per dollar on all other purchases

For most purchases, these cards offer equal earning rates. But the Venture X earns 5 more miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, and 3 more miles per dollar on airfare booked through Capital One Travel.

Which benefits do the Capital One Venture and Venture X have in common?


Regular APR


15.99% – 23.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


15.99% – 23.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

More Information

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase-or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees

There’s really only one eye-catching benefit shared by the Capital One Venture X and Capital One Venture: Both cards offer up to a $100 credit to offset the application fee of either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

Global Entry expedites re-entry into the US after traveling abroad. TSA PreCheck allows you to keep your shoes, jacket, and belt on when going through TSA security checkpoints. You can even keep your laptop in your bag.

Read more: TSA Precheck isn’t worth your money — and there’s a better alternative few people consider

Both memberships last five years. And Global Entry comes with TSA PreCheck, so it’s the better option in which to enroll.

Bottom line

If you’re trying to decide which card to apply for, remember the vast difference in value between each card’s welcome bonus. If you decide to open the Capital One Venture X and find that it doesn’t match your lifestyle, you can downgrade it a year or two later to a Capital One Venture.

And if you’ve already got a Capital One Venture and are trying to decide if you should upgrade, the Capital One Venture X has a definite edge over for anyone who spends $300+ annually between airfare, hotels, and rental cars.

Both cards come with effectively a $95 annual fee (after accounting for the Venture X $300 annual travel credit), so you can enjoy things like airport lounge access, improved travel insurance, an anniversary bonus worth at least $100 in travel, and higher earning rates by choosing the Venture X.

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