4 Hacks for Using the Capital One Venture Miles Program

The Capital One Ventures Miles program has some of the most flexible rewards out there. Here's how to take advantage.

Over the past decade, Capital One Venture cards have become popular for a few reasons. Not only have they brought on several A-list celebrities to become the face of the program, but Capital One Venture rewards are also some of the most flexible travel rewards available. Even though the Capital One Venture program might have become a household name, not everyone understands exactly how to use the rewards they earn. Let’s take a deeper look into the ways that you can hack as much value as possible out of your Capital One Venture rewards.

1. Booking Travel

One way you can use your Capital One Venture miles is to book travel through the Capital One website. Each mile converts to one cent in value. Booking is extremely simple through the website. You can use your miles to book airline reservations, hotels, car rentals or vacation packages. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you are required to have the full amount of miles needed for your reservation. You are not allowed to partially pay with miles and cover the rest with cash.

2. Purchase Eraser

If you prefer to book your travel plans elsewhere you can do so and use Capital One’s Purchase Eraser. This allows you to use the miles you have earned to offset travel expenses and by receiving a statement credit. You will simply log into your online account and if a purchase is coded as travel, you can apply your miles. By redeeming your rewards this way you will also receive a value of one cent per mile. What is great about using Purchase Eraser instead of just booking travel with your miles, is that partial rewards are allowed. You might have booked a $200 hotel room, but you can redeem as little as $25 worth of rewards.

3. Gift Cards

If you’re not interested in redeeming your miles for travel, you can also cash them in for gift cards. Gift cards are available for a large selection of retailers including Bath and Body Works, AMC Theaters and Best Buy. Most of these come with redemptions amounts of $25, $50 or $100, however, a few are as low as $10. There will be a value of one cent per mile, which means there is a minimum of 1,000 miles needed.

4. Cash Back

The method that offers the worst value is to redeem miles for cash back. There is no minimum for the number of miles needed to redeem, however you will only receive a value of a half cent per mile. You will be able to receive either a check or statement credit.

Cards That Earn Capital One Venture Miles

Now it’s time to look at cards that allow you to earn Capital One Venture Miles. There are just two:

Capital One Venture Rewards Card

When you sign up for the Capital One Venture Rewards card, you receive 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 within the first three months. You can then earn two miles per dollar on every purchase you make with the card. There is no need to remember different bonus or rotating categories. This card comes with no foreign transaction fees, but has a $59 annual fee, which is waived the first year. The APR is a variable 13.74%, 18.74% or 23.74%, depending on your credit standing.

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards card is slightly different. This card has no annual fee, but also has slightly lower earning potential. When you sign up you receive 20,000 miles after spending $1,000 within the first three months. You can then earn 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase. If you travel outside the United States, this card charges no foreign transaction fees. Plus, if you plan to make a large purchase, the Capital One VentureOne card offers an introductory 0% APR for the first 12 months on purchases. Afterward, it rises to a variable 12.74%, 17.74% or 22.74%, based on creditworthiness.

Not sure which is the right choice for you? Learn more about how they compare here.

Qualifying for either card will require excellent credit. To see where you stand, you can check two of your scores free on Credit.com.

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At publishing time, the Capital One Venture Rewards and Capital One VentureOne Rewards cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

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Capital One’s New Dining Credit Card: Should You Apply?

Here's a solid rewards card made for people who love food.

Capital One just launched a brand new cash-back credit card with a big focus on food. The Premier Dining Rewards From Capital One card offers cash back rewards for all transactions, with extra incentives for dining and grocery purchases. If you’re frequently spending at restaurants, bars and grocery stores to get your grub on, this card might be right for you.

What Perks Does the New Capital One Card Provide?

The new Premier Dining card is a cash back card with competitive rewards rates. Cardholders earn 3% cash back on all dining purchases, 2% cash back on groceries and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Cash back rewards are unlimited and have no expiration date, and they’re redeemed in the form of statement credits or checks.

Right now, Capital One is offering a $100 cash-back bonus when you spend $500 in the first three months of becoming a cardmember, which should be pretty easy to do if you’re frequently dining out.

The card comes with a number of other benefits. There are 24/7 concierge services to assist with travel bookings, reservations and shopping. Capital One even provides travel perks that can include free room upgrades and early check-in or late check-out times at eligible hotels.

Plus, they cover up to $1,500 in travel reimbursements if your trip is cancelled or cut short, and they provide price protection for eligible items if you find a lower price within 60 days of the date of purchase.

What Will the Card Cost Me?

The Premier Dining card has no annual fee. The annual percentage rate (APR) on purchases and balance transfers is a variable 15.24%, 20.24% or 24.24% based on creditworthiness. There’s also no balance transfer fee or foreign transaction fee.

It should be noted that this card is intended for people with excellent credit, so if you don’t know where your credit stands, you’ll want to check before applying. You can get your two free credit scores, updated every 14 days, here on Credit.com.

Consumers who can qualify for the lowest available APR will be getting a decent interest rate.

Why Should You Apply for This Card?

If the majority of your credit card spending occurs at bars, restaurants and grocery stores, this card is a great option. While we’ve seen higher cash back rates on dining, they often apply to rotating spending categories that don’t last forever. The 3% cash back is a great permanent cash back rate for dining, and the 2% cash back for groceries is a decent supplement.

If you pay your balance off in full each month, this card will deliver its best value. There’s no annual fee, so if you can successfully avoid interest charges, you’re essentially earning money back on your purchases.

It’s also a good card for balance transfers and foreign transactions, as both will incur no additional fees.

Why Shouldn’t You Apply for This Card?

If you spend more on other purchase types than you do on dining and groceries, you may be leaving cash on the table by choosing this card. Many other cash-back rewards cards offer greater rewards for all purchases, and if your spending is more diverse, you’ll likely earn more by choosing a card with a better overall rewards rate.

You’ll also want to avoid this card if you’re looking for a great signup bonus. The $100 cash back bonus isn’t very exciting, and a consumer with excellent credit should be able to qualify for cards with far better signup offers.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

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BankAmericard Travel Rewards vs. Capital One Venture Rewards: Which Card Has the Most Value?

We compare the costs and rewards two of the top travel credit cards available.

If you are looking to add a new general travel card to your wallet, then two of the best options are the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card and the Capital One Venture Rewards card. Both of these cards offer their cardholders a simple approach to earning travel rewards. Each has a flat reward rate on purchases, and neither requires you to remember a bunch of different bonus categories.

Let’s take a look at everything these cards have to offer and how they differ from each other. That way you will be able to make a decision on which card would be the best fit for you.

Comparing the Rewards

When you compare credit cards, one of the first things people consider is whether or not the cards have a signup bonus. While both the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card and the Capital One Venture card offer an attractive signup bonus, Capital One has the advantage.

With the Capital One Venture card, you will receive 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 within the first three months of being a cardmember. This is good for a $400 statement credit on a travel expense. In addition to the signup bonus, cardholders will also receive two miles per $1 spent on all purchases.

The BankAmericard Travel Rewards card offers new cardholders 20,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. This has a value of $200 toward travel expenses. While this is half of what you can earn from the Capital One Venture card, it also requires only half the initial spend. For some, this might be easier to accomplish. To go along with the signup bonus, you will earn 1.5 points per $1 spent.

Take note, Bank of America banking customers: You have the potential to earn much richer rewards with the BankAmericard. Just for having a checking or savings account you will receive a 10% bonus on the points earned. If you are a Preferred Rewards client, with $20,000 or more in a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch investment account, then you can earn up to a 75% bonus, or 2.6 points per dollar spent.

Redemptions Made Easy

One of the reasons why both of these cards are so popular with travelers is because redemptions are so easy. The rewards you earn don’t need to be transferred to different loyalty programs, and there are no blackout dates on travel. You can simply use the rewards you have as a statement credit toward travel expenses, or you can book travel directly through the issuers’ online travel portals. No matter which way you go, the process is painless. Plus, as long as your account stays open and active, your rewards will never expire.

If for some reason you decide not to use your rewards for travel, there are other options available as well. Just keep in mind that each of these will give you a value less than the normal one-cent-per-point. You will be able to redeem rewards from the Capital One Venture Rewards card for either gift cards or cash back. The rewards you earn from the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card can be used to fund a mortgage, IRA or 529 plan with Bank of America or Merril Lynch. You can also redeem them for gift cards, cash back, or to make a charitable contribution.

How The Fees Stack Up

The Capital One Venture Rewards card might have the higher signup bonus, but it also includes a $59 annual fee (waived the first year). You would never pay an annual fee on the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card, and neither card carries foreign transaction fees.

It’s a good idea to pay off your purchases at the end of the month to avoid paying interest, but if you do need to carry a balance, then the Capital One Venture card may be a little less expensive. It’s standard purchase APR is a variable 13.49% to 23.49%, whereas the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card is 15.49% to 23.49%. The APR you receive depends on your creditworthiness. (Pro tip: Check your credit before you apply for a credit card, to get an idea how likely you are to get approved and qualify for a lower APR. You can see two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com, and they’re updated every 14 days. If your credit could use some help, check out these tips on how to quickly improve your credit score.)

Why You Might Pick the Capital One Venture Rewards Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards card is a great option for anyone wanting a general travel credit card with a simple reward system. The card has a high signup bonus, double what you would receive from the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card. Plus, you earn double points on every purchase you make.

However, even though it waives the annual fee the first year, you would need to be able to justify the $59 fee each subsequent year. At a redemption rate of 100 miles per $1 and an earnings rate of 2 miles per $1 spent, you would need to spend $2,950 on the card per year to break even. If you spend more than that each year, then this is a solid credit card to put in your wallet.

Why You Might Pick the BankAmericard Travel Rewards Card

If you are a Bank of America banking customer, then you’ll want to give serious consideration to the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card. Standard banking customer will earn a 10% bonus on the base reward rate of 1.5 miles per dollar spent. However, if you have $20,000 or more in your qualifying account, you can become a Preferred Rewards client, which allows you to earn 25% to 75% bonus, depending on your qualifying account balance. This would also be a great card to have if you’re not a big spender and can’t justify the annual fee on the Capital One Venture card.

At publishing time, the BankAmericard Travel Rewards and Capital One Venture cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

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Chase Freedom Unlimited or Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards: Which Card’s Right for You?

Here's how to choose between some of the best cash back credit cards — Chase Freedom Unlimited and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards.

If you are looking to pick up a new cash back credit card, you have two choices. You can either get a card that offers different reward values depending on the type of purchases you are making, or you can choose a card that offers a flat rate, no matter what you might be buying. The latter are hassle free and take very little effort on the part of the consumer.

If you are looking to go down the easier path, then two of the best cards available are Chase Freedom Unlimited (which we’ve reviewed in detail here) and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards. Both of these cards will offer the same flat rate on purchases, and both have no annual fee. Where these cards differ slightly is in how you redeem your rewards. In this article, we’ll walk you through the benefits each card has to offer. We’ll also talk a little about the costs and help you determine which card’s right for you.

Comparing the Rewards

The earnings potential is where these cards are very similar. With Chase Freedom Unlimited, you have the ability to earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. You also receive a generous signup bonus of $150 after spending $500 in the first three months. And you receive an additional $25 bonus when you add an authorized user who makes a purchase in the same three-month period.

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card also offers 1.5% back on every purchase. There is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn. Plus, when you sign up for this card, you will receive a $100 bonus after spending $500 in the first three months.

Redeeming Your Rewards

If your sole purpose in having either of these cards is to earn cash back, both will do the job. However, if you would prefer having additional redemption options, then you will enjoy the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. While this is technically a cash back card, you will also have the opportunity to convert your earnings into Ultimate Reward points, with some restrictions. You will then be able to use these points for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal. If you go this route, your points will be worth 25% more. Alternatively, you can transfer points to one of the many airline or hotel transfer partners.

Now that you’ve heard the good stuff, let’s discuss why to choose either card.

Reasons to Pick the Chase Freedom Unlimited

If you are trying to decide between these two cards, then you are likely to choose the Chase Freedom Unlimited for two reasons. First, you will receive a higher signup bonus, including the ability to earn even more when you add an authorized user. The second reason is that you’ll have the option to convert your cash back into Ultimate Rewards. While earning cash back is nice, knowing you can also use your rewards for travel might be something you’d like.

If you are planning to make a large upcoming purchase, then you might find the introductory APR from the Chase Freedom Unlimited to be a little more useful. You will receive a 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After that, there’s a variable 15.49% to 24.24% APR. The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card only offers 0% for the first nine months (and a variable 13.49% to 23.49% APR after).

Reasons to Pick the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card

The Capital One Quicksilver is great if you are looking for a plain-and-simple cash back card. This card is perfect for someone who doesn’t want the hassle of transferring points and figuring out whether they’re getting a good value. Plus, it has no foreign transaction fees (Chase Freedom Unlimited has a 3% fee), so this card is ideal for anyone who enjoys traveling outside the U.S.

Remember, before you apply for any credit card, it’s a good idea to know where your finances stand first. You can view two of your credit scores, with updates every 14 days, for free on Credit.com.

At publishing time, the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

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Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s Are Merging: What Their Credit Cardholders Need to Know

Bass-Pro-Shops-&-Cabela's

Whether your choice of outdoor activities involves a fishing pole and waders or sporting clays and shotgun shells, you may want to take note of this outdoor retailer news — Bass Pro Shops is set to acquire Cabela’s, according to a press release issued Monday.

This approximately $5.5 billion deal will merge Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops and White River Marine Group, a boating company that is part of Bass Pro Shops.

But don’t rush out to use your rewards or certificates just yet. For the most part, this buyout isn’t expected to affect how you shop or the rewards you get for doing so.

According to the merger announcement, “All Cabela’s CLUB points and Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards points will be unaffected by the transactions and customers can continue to use their credit cards as they were prior to the transaction.” The press release also noted that the loyalty programs at both stores will remain the same, but said there is “potential over time to expand the program in the combined company.”

Part of the announcement included news that Bass Pro Shops is launching a credit card partnership with Capital One. An email from a Capital One spokesperson said “the Capital One transaction isn’t expected to close until the first half of 2017 and is subject to the concurrent closing of Bass Pro Shops’ acquisition of Cabela’s,” however.

The spokesperson also noted that “it’s business as usual for Cabela’s customers.” So, whether you’re looking to add some lures to your tackle box or get a new camo duck blind, you should have the experiences at both Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops that you’re accustomed to.

Getting a Store Credit Card

No matter what gear you need for your next outdoor adventure, it’s important to remember that applying for a store credit card is an important financial decision and shouldn’t be made lightly. If you are a frequent shopper at either (or both) of these stores, it’s a good idea to look at their reward offerings that accompany the card and see if it’s worth signing up for one, or if you could get better perks with a standard rewards credit card.

Either way, it’s a good idea to review your credit before applying for new plastic (you can see a free snapshot of your credit report, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com) so you have an idea of the terms and conditions you’re eligible for.

At publishing time, Capital One products are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

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Your Capital One Credit Card Could Help You Score Jingle Ball Tickets

Jingle-Ball

Getting tickets to the Jingle Ball tour each winter is no easy task, as each stop tends to sell out within minutes. But landing one of these coveted tickets just got a bit easier for Capital One cardholders. Consider it an early Christmas miracle.

According to an email from a Capital One spokesperson, any Capital One cardholder “is eligible to take advantage of the early ticket sales,” which will happen October 13 at 10 a.m. local market time for each of the 12 cities on the tour. This gives cardholders access to tickets three days earlier than when they go on sale to the general public. Cardholders can order up to eight tickets per transaction and must use their Capital One card to pay, according to the spokesperson.

Plus, one cardholder at each of the tour stops will win the opportunity to head up on stage and announce an artist at the performance. This is the second year Capital One has partnered with iHeart Radio to put on the Jingle Ball concert series.

If you’ve been hoping to catch an up-close glimpse of Charlie Puth or Fifth Harmony — two of the artists announced for the tour (full lineup is expected to be announced October 11) — this card benefit may give you your golden ticket. But, while exclusive entertainment access can be a great perk — and is offered by many different credit card issuers— it may not be in your best interest to buy concert tickets you can’t afford just because you can get them. It’s also not might not be in your best interest to apply for a new credit card just to score access.

Before you sign up for any new credit card, you should read the terms and conditions to be sure it’s right for you. It’s also good idea to review your credit, as having good credit can help you qualify for better terms and conditions. (You can see a free snapshot of your credit report, updated every 14 days, for free on Credit.com.) If you review your credit profiles and discover things aren’t quite where you want them to be, there are things you can do. Consider fixing any errors you discover, paying down debt and limiting any credit inquiries until your scores rebound.

At publishing time, Capital One credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

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Cheaper Hotel Stays for Capital One Credit Cardholders?

CapitalOne-hotel-discount

If you’re thinking about packing up and heading out of town for a vacation, you may like this news. Capital One announced a partnership with HotelTonight, a last-minute hotel deal app, on Thursday. This pairing gives Capital One Venture and Capital One VentureOne cardholders a 10% discount on hotels booked through the HotelTonight app.

To receive the discount, all cardholders have to do is enter the promo code VENTURE, which is applicable through January 2017. This is an unlimited usage discount until the promotion expires, but it’s still a good idea to comparison shop to be sure you’re getting the best deal out there for you.

This new perk comes alongside other travel perks that already accompany these credit cards. With the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card, cardholders receive unlimited double miles on every purchase, as well as 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on the card during the first three months. The Capital One VentureOne Rewards credit card offers customers 1.25 mile rewards on every purchase and a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles after making $1,000 worth of purchases on the card within the first three months.

Neither of these cards have foreign transaction fees or initial annual fees. However, the Venture card does have a $59 annual fee after the first year. The VentureOne rewards card has a 0% introductory annual percentage rate (APR), but that changes to a 12.24% to 22.24% variable APR after the initial 12 months (based on creditworthiness). The Venture card has a 13.24% to  23.24% variable APR. (For more about these cards, you can read our in-depth review of both the Capital One Venture Rewards card and the Capital One VentureOne Rewards card here.)

Using Travel Reward Credit Cards

It’s important to remember that you don’t want to overspend on a trip just to get perks, whether they’re in the form of points, a discount or something else. And, before you sign up for any rewards credit card, there’s a lot to think about. For example, it’s important to make sure you’ll be able to cover any annual fees that may come with the card. You may also want to review your budget and decide if you’ll be able to pay the balance in full each month — doing so with rewards credit cards helps to prevent you from losing all those added benefits to interest fees.

Finally, you may want to take a look at your credit scores, as these types of credit cards are typically issued to people with good credit. You don’t want to go through the application process and get a hard inquiry on your credit report, simply to get denied for the card. You can see two of your credit scores for free, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com. If your credit isn’t quite up to snuff, there are some steps you can take to polish it — pay down any debts, fix any errors appearing on your credit report and limit the number of credit inquiries until your score rebounds.

At publishing time, the Capital One Venture Rewards card and Capital One VentureOne Rewards card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

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