[UPDATE: Some offers mentioned below have expired. You can view the current offers from our partners here — Capital One Venture Rewards and Capital One VentureOne Rewards. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
Over the past decade, the Capital One Venture Miles program with the Capital One Venture cards has become quite popular. Not only has the company 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 you can hack as much value as possible out of your Capital One Venture rewards.
1. Sign Up When You Are about to Make a Big Purchase
If you’re thinking about signing up for a Venture card, do so when you plan to make a big purchase or two—like booking a trip or investing in some new furniture. When you sign up for the VentureOne Rewards card, you could earn 20,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 within three months of opening your account. Similarly, the Venture Rewards card offers 40,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 within three months of opening your account. That’s the equivalent of $200 to $400 in travel rewards.
The $59 annual fee for the Venture Rewards card is waived for the first year, so near the end of your year term, be sure to assess the benefits of the card to ensure that the annual fee you’ll be paying is worth it.
2. Pay Your Bills Right Away
The APR for the Venture cards range from 12.99% to 23.99%, depending on your creditworthiness. No matter the APR you qualify for, commit to paying off the card every month. Otherwise, the benefits of the card could be quickly negated by the interest you’re paying each month. If you carry a balance, you can use our credit card payoff calculator to determine how long it will take you to pay off the balance.
Paying your bills early can also help you improve your credit score. When your credit card statement is issued, that balance is reported to credit reporting agencies as debt. If your balance is high, the reported debt can lower your credit score—even if you end up paying the balance in full by the due date! Paying off your balance before the statement cycle closes can reduce your debt-to-credit ratio and improve your credit score.
3. Use Your Venture Card to Shop Around and Abroad
Unless you’re fiercely loyal to one airline, the Capital One Venture cards are a great choice for booking travel because you are not limited to one airline. The benefits are decent too, earning you 1.25 to 2 miles for every dollar you spend. The miles never expire and there’s no limit to the number of miles you can earn.
The cards are also great for international travel: both cards have no foreign transaction fees.
4. Book Flights through the Capital One Site
To get the most out of your Capital One Venture card, book your travel through the Capital One website, which is extremely easy to use. Each mile converts to one cent in value. You can also use your miles to book airline reservations, hotels, car rentals, or vacation packages. Keep in mind, however, that you are required to have the full amount of miles needed for your reservation if you book this way. You are not allowed to partially pay with miles and cover the rest with cash.
5. Use the Capital One Purchase Eraser
You can book your travel elsewhere, but you should use Capital One’s Purchase Eraser, which allows you to use the rewards miles you have earned to offset travel expenses and by receiving a statement credit. Simply log in to your online account; if a purchase is coded as travel, you can apply your miles and receive a value of one cent per mile. As an extra perk, partial rewards are allowed with Purchase Eraser. You can redeem as little as $25 worth of rewards and pay the rest with cash.
6. Don’t Redeem Your Miles for Cash Back
Opting for cash back sounds like a great deal, but it actually offers the worst value. There is no minimum for the number of miles needed to redeem, but you will receive value of only half a cent per mile. If you still prefer to get cash back, you will be able to receive either a check or a statement credit.
7. Cash Your Rewards in for Gift Cards
If you’re not interested in redeeming miles for travel or cash back, 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 redemption 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.
Review: Capital One Venture Miles Cards
There are two cards that allow you to earn Capital One Venture Miles: the Capital One Venture Rewards Card and the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card. Though their offerings are similar, we’ve reviewed the two below to compare their basic perks and disadvantages.
- When you sign up for the Capital One Venture Rewards Card, you can receive 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 within the first three months, equal to $400 in travel.
- 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.
- The card has a $59 annual fee (which is waived the first year).
- The APR is a variable 99% to 23.99%, depending on your credit standing. This interest rate is higher than many other credit cards that do not offer rewards.
- The Capital One VentureOne Rewards card has no annual fee.
- When you sign up, you can receive 20,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 within the first three months—the equivalent of $200 in travel.
- 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.
- The Capital One VentureOne card offers an introductory 0% APR for the first 12 months on purchases.
- The VentureOne card has a lower earning potential than the Venture card.
- After the introductory period, the APR rises to a variable 12.99% to 22.99% APR, based on creditworthiness. This rate is higher than many other non-rewards credit cards.
Not sure which card is the right choice for you? Review how they compare.
Qualifying for either card will require excellent credit. To see where you stand, you can check your credit report for free on Credit.com.
At publishing time, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. 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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