© Courtesy of Capital One
Last Chance to Apply for the Capital One Venture—and 100,000 Miles
Courtesy of Capital One You don’t have much longer to sign-up for the Capital One Venture’s 100,000-Mile Bonus.
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The past few months have been an incredible time for travel credit card promotions, with some of the highest sign-up bonuses in history. Among them, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has been offering new applicants up to 100,000 miles—50,000 after spending $3,000 within the first three months of account opening, and an additional 50,000 after spending a total of $20,000 within 12 months.
If those numbers have you thinking about applying, you only have a few more days to do so: Capital One announced this offer will end December 14, 2020. If you decided against this particular card, or were ineligible for it (for instance, if you already have it in your wallet), then there are still a lot of other great offers available. Here are some of the reasons why you might want to apply for the Capital One Venture right now, and some alternatives in case it’s not in the cards for you.
Reasons to apply for the Capital One Venture Card
1. That sign-up bonus worth $1,000 (!) in travel
The Capital One Venture is a great all-round choice for travelers, but let’s start with the introductory bonus. You have to spend $20,000 within a year of opening the card to earn all those miles, which might be daunting. Think of it like this, though: all that spending breaks down to putting less than $1,700 a month on your card, which seems more manageable.
Then, in terms of what those bonus miles can get you, Capital One Venture cardholders can redeem their rewards in a few different ways. First, you can cash them in as you make bookings through the Capital One Travel portal. Second, you can also use your card to make travel purchases—airfare, hotel reservations, cruises, and even things like taxis and time-shares—and then redeem miles for statement credits against them within 90 days. With either of these avenues, the per-mile value is one cent, so 100,000 miles is worth $1,000 toward travel.
Capital One Venture miles also transfer to more than a dozen airline frequent flier and hotel points programs. Here are the rates at which Capital One miles convert to each partner.
- Aeromexico Club Premier (2:1.5)
- Air Canada Aeroplan (2:1.5)
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue (2:1.5)
- Alitalia MilleMiglia (2:1.5)
- Avianca LifeMiles (2:1.5)
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (2:1.5)
- Emirates Skywards (2:1)
- Etihad Airways Guest Program (2:1.5)
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands (2:1.5)
- Finnair Plus (2:1.5)
- JetBlue TrueBlue (2:1.5)
- Qantas Frequent Flyer (2:1.5)
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (2:1)
- ALL Accor Live Limitless (2:1)
- Wyndham Rewards (2:1.5)
There are a few drawbacks: 1) The only U.S. airline partner is JetBlue. 2) Unlike other transferable points like Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One miles don’t transfer directly at a ratio of 1:1 to these partners. That said, if you’re willing to do a little legwork, you can certainly book some tremendous rewards with partners.
One way to maximize your points: Flying Blue advertises “Promo Rewards” that rotate monthly with mileage discounts of 20–50 percent between certain cities in North America, and all of Europe, on both Air France and KLM. Some economy tickets price out as low as 11,000 miles each way, while business-class seats come down as far as 28,750. With conversion rates in mind, you’d only need to transfer about 14,700 or 38,400 Capital One miles for economy or business, respectively, meaning you’d have enough miles for a few tickets in either cabin just from the card’s current sign-up bonus.
2. Solid everyday earning and burning
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One of the reasons why the Capital One Venture is so popular is that it has an easy-to-understand earning formula. It simply accrues two miles per dollar on every purchase (and five miles per dollar on UberEats, car rentals, and hotel bookings made with Capital One Travel through January 31, 2021). So you can rest easy knowing you’re getting double miles on everything.
As noted above, miles cashed in for travel are worth one cent each, meaning your rate of return for miles redeemed in this manner is 2 percent. Miles redeemed for statement credits toward other purchases, such as groceries or gas, only snag half-a-cent in value, so it’s best to avoid those. However, now through April 30, 2021, Venture cardholders get the full cent per mile when redeeming for purchases from select streaming services, including Netflix and Hulu, as well as eligible food delivery bills from services such as DoorDash and Postmates (plus orders placed directly with restaurants).
Given the Venture’s fixed earning rate and the variety of ways these miles are usable, the card offers a very solid rate of return that’s easy to take advantage of. Its $95 annual fee isn’t too onerous either, and you can easily get that much value or more from your card each year with some strategic spending and redemptions.
3. International interest
When that time comes to travel internationally again, note that the Capital One Venture offers a statement credit worth up to $100 every four years toward either a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application, which can help speed you through security, customs, and immigration on your next trip. The card also waives foreign transaction fees and comes with a variety of travel and purchase protections, so it’s a good one to use if you’re traveling abroad.
Not impressed? Try these five cards instead
The Capital One Venture is one of the most dynamic travel rewards credit cards available. That said, if the minimum spending requirement for this particular offer is too high, or you don’t think you’ll use Capital One’s transfer partners, consider several other current credit card offers.
The Platinum Card® From American Express
This long-standing premium card is offering one of its best introductory bonuses ever.
- Current welcome offer: Successful applicants can earn up to 75,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first six months and accrue 10 points per dollar on up to $15,000 in combined purchases at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets in the first six months. That means you could potentially earn 225,000 points simply from the introductory offer.
- Annual fee: $550
- Why you might want it: Don’t get put off by the high annual fee. This card fields more than enough perks to offset it. First, American Express points transfer to more than 20 airline and hotel partners including Delta, British Airways, Hilton, and Marriott, so there are plenty of ways to use them. Cardholders also receive up to $15 per month in Uber cash (up to $25 in December); up to $200 per year in statement credits toward airline incidental fees (checked bags or seat assignments, for example) with an eligible U.S. airline they designate each year; TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee statement credits once every four years (4.5 years for PreCheck); and access to Amex Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs, and Priority Pass lounges at airports. The card also scores you gold elite status with both Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors, with perks like upgrades and free premium Wi-Fi. And those are only a few of its flashier advantages.
American Express® Gold Card
If you’re looking for something lower key, the Platinum Card’s more moderate counterpart is offering an impressive bonus of its own.
- Current welcome offer: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 within the first six months—that’s 25,000 more points than this card usually offers.
- Annual fee: $250
- Why you might want it: Among its other high-end attributes, the Amex Gold Card gives members up to $100 in airline fee statement credits each calendar year and up to $10 per month to put toward orders from Grubhub, Seamless, Boxed, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, the Cheesecake Factory, and some Shake Shack locations. Members can also register for up to 12 months of Uber Eats Pass, which normally costs $9.99 per month and waives delivery fees on restaurant orders over $15 (plus a 5 percent discount). What truly sets the Amex Gold Card apart, though, is its earning potential. It accumulates four points per dollar at restaurants including takeout and delivery, as well as on up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year at U.S. supermarkets (then one per dollar after that); three points per dollar on flights booked with airlines or through Amex Travel; and one per dollar on everything else, so you can rack up the rewards quickly.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
This card is no longer offering the historically high 80,000-point bonus that was available earlier this year, but it’s still one to consider.
- Current welcome offer: Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening.
- Annual fee: $95
- Why you might want it: The Chase Sapphire Preferred remains a favorite among frequent travelers because it waives foreign transaction fees and offers incredible travel protections: trip delay, interruption, and cancellation coverage; baggage loss and delay insurance; and primary insurance on car rentals so you don’t have to deal with your personal policy. The Ultimate Rewards points it earns are also very versatile, and transfer to 13 airline and hotel partners, including United, Southwest, Hyatt, and Marriott.
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
If it’s hotel points you’re after, this Hilton card’s current bonus can’t be beat.
- Current welcome offer: Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $4,000 within your first three months of card membership.
- Annual fee: $450
- Why you might want it: The Aspire can take your hotel experience to the next level by bestowing automatic top-tier Hilton Honors Diamond elite status on you. That comes with benefits like complimentary breakfast at most properties within the Hilton family and priority for upgrades. It earns 14 points per dollar on Hilton purchases; 7 points per dollar on flights booked with airlines or through Amex Travel as well as on select car rentals, and at U.S. restaurants; and 3 points per dollar on everything else. Cardholders can count on a free weekend night reward each year after their account anniversary that can be used at nearly any Hilton property around the world. They also receive up to $250 in statement credits each year toward purchases at Hilton Resorts and up to another $250 toward airline incidental fees.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Cards
All three personal credit cards from this airline—the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card—are fielding identical limited-time bonuses unlike anything we have seen before.
- Current welcome offers: With any of these three cards, you can earn up to 80,0000 points—50,000 points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months from account opening, and an additional 30,000 points after you spend $10,000 in the first nine months. Plus, you can earn five bonus points per dollar (three more than usual) on Southwest purchases on up to $2,000 per month between December 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021. (Eligible Southwest purchases include things like airfare, in-flight amenities, Southwest gift cards, and Southwest Vacations packages.)
- Annual fees: The Plus is $69 per year, the Premier is $99, and the Priority is $149.
- Why you might want them: Geared primarily toward diehard Southwest loyalists, these cards earn two points per dollar spent on purchases with Southwest and its hotel and car rental partners, and one point on everything else. They also reward cardholders with bonus points on their account anniversary each year—3,000 with the Plus, 6,000 with the Premier, and 7,500 with the Priority. As the highest-end option, the Priority throws in extra benefits like a $75 Southwest travel credit to use each year, 20 percent back on Southwest in-flight drinks and Wi-Fi, and four upgraded boardings per year (so you can get on the plane at the head of the pack) based on availability.
While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time, and may have changed or may no longer be available.
>>Next: How to Earn Travel Rewards While Holiday Shopping
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