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.

Image: wundervisuals 

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).

The post 4 Hacks for Using the Capital One Venture Miles Program appeared first on Credit.com.

4 of the Most-Improved Credit Card Cash Back Offers of 2017

The competition for customers is growing and credit card companies have beefed up their cash-back offers in response. See the most generous new offers.

Many credit card issuers kicked off 2017 by launching attractive bread-and-butter rewards programs, which some experts say is part of an effort to steal market share and attract more middle-class cardholders.

Among the offers being rolled out or already available are 10% cash back on restaurant purchases and an offer of limitless cash rewards as part of a pilot credit card being tested by USAA.

“There’s a battle for dominance,” said David Robertson, publisher of the Nilson Report, which predicted this trend. “Credit card issuers are trying to create maximum loyalty.”

According to Robertson, the credit card market recently emerged from a period of escalating offers among premium cards. The focus has now trickled down.

Beverly Harzog, credit card expert and author of “The Debt Escape Plan,” said another driver of the current trend is credit card issuers trying to make rewards programs more straightforward for middle-class users who don’t necessarily have time to sign up for and pursue a variety of rewards deals.

Cash back cards are getting simpler and are breaking into categories that work for specific customers,” Harzog said.

This creates an intriguing landscape of credit card offers. Here are some of the best new middle-class offers identified by experts. And remember: It’s a good idea to know your credit score to have any idea of whether you’ll qualify before applying for a card. You can check two of your scores free, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.

New Offers From American Express

American Express recently announced a limited offer for the Blue Cash Preferred and Blue Cash Everyday cards.

Both cards now reward new members with 10% cash back on U.S. restaurant purchases made within the first six months of sign-up, up to $200. In addition, new card members receive a welcome bonus after spending $1,000 within their first three months. For the Blue Cash Preferred card, the bonus is $150 and for the Blue Cash Everyday card, it is $100.

USAA’s Limitless Cash Back Rewards Visa Signature

The USAA Limitless Cash Back Rewards Visa Signature earns 2.5% on all purchases. What’s more, there’s no cap on the cash back rewards.

As long as cardholders maintain a $1,000 monthly direct deposit in a USAA checking account, they continue to earn 2.5% cash back. If that deposit minimum is not met, the cash back reward drops to 1.5% on purchases.

The downside of this card is that it has not been officially launched yet. It’s being pilot-tested, USAA spokeswoman Gloria Manzano said.

“If we determine this potential new product can help us serve our members better, we’ll make (it) available to all of our members as soon as possible,” Manzano said.

The card is available to those living in more than two dozen states where it’s being tested.

Premier Dining Rewards From Capital One

Capital One introduced its Premier Dining Rewards card last week.

The card offers an enhanced cash back earn rate in categories the company says consumers are spending more on.

Perhaps putting it in competition with USAA, the card’s rewards include unlimited 3% cash back on restaurant purchases, 2% cash back on grocery store spending and 1% on all other purchases.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited (read our review here) is promoting a reward for those who spend $500 in the first three months after sign-up.

For those who meet the spending threshold, the card gives $150 cash back. While the offer has been around since 2016, Kerri Moriarty, of Boston-based Cinch Financial, said it’s still worth noting.

“The fact that you can get $150 cash back within the first 90 days for spending just $500 is an aggressive offer,” said Moriarty. “Other cards typically require $1,000 or more of spending before getting that cash back. It shows that they’re really trying to attract customers and steal them away from other cards.”

Image: NicolasMcComber

At publishing time, the Blue Cash Everyday From American Express, Blue Cash Preferred From American Express and Chase Freedom Unlimted 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).

The post 4 of the Most-Improved Credit Card Cash Back Offers of 2017 appeared first on Credit.com.