The Capital One credit card launched a brand new credit card back in November — the Capital One Venture X — where you can earn 100,000 bonus miles towards travel. This is the first premium card in the Capital One portfolio, so let’s dive in to see if the card is worth it. But as all good things must come to an end, this incredibly high bonus is ending today.
For starters, the card costs a hefty $395 annual fee. While this isn’t cheap, it is significantly less expensive than many other card issuers premium cards, where some are over $600. There’s also many yearly benefits to offset the fee, and let’s not forget the welcome offer.
New cardmembers will earn 100,000 bonus miles after spending $10,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening. Capital One miles can then be used to swipe away any travel purchase made — putting a fixed $1,000 value on the bonus offer — or can be transferred to 16 different hotel and airline partners. Most, although not all, partners transfer at a 1:1 ratio, which means for every 1,000 miles transferred, you’re earning 1,000 miles in the respective program. Some popular partner program include: Air Canada Aeroplan, British Airways Executive Club, Avianca LifeMiles, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles and Wyndham Rewards.
Additionally, for a limited time as part of the welcome offer, new cardmembers will receive up to $200 in statement credits towards vacation rentals, such as AirBnB and VRBO. If this is something you’ll easily be able to utilize that effectively brings the annual fee down to $195 in the first year. Tack on the 100,000 bonus miles and you are easily ahead by $805 in the first year — without even taking into consideration any of the other benefits.
Capital One Venture X benefits
With the Capital One Venture X card, many of the benefits are easy to use and will help offset the annual fee on a year-to-year basis. While we will get to the details below, at a high level, the benefits include: 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary, $300 annual credit for bookings made on Capital One Travel, up to $100 in statement credits for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry and access to airport lounges across the globe.
10,000 bonus miles year-after-year
Starting with your first account anniversary — which means your second year as a cardmember — you’ll receive 10,000 bonus miles. If you prefer to redeem your miles to swipe away your travel purchases, this equals a fixed $100 towards travel. This is because when you go to redeem your miles, 1 mile equals 1 dollar towards travel. Within 90 days of your travel purchase, all you have to do is sign into your Capital One account and you can erase your travel purchase with the miles earned from your Capital One Venture X card.
Since using your miles is incredibly easy to use for anything that is deemed ‘travel’, this truly brings down the annual fee to a more palatable $295 starting with your second year as a cardmember.
$300 annual credit towards travel
Every year — including your first year as a cardmember — you’ll receive up to $300 in credits towards travel. The major caveat is that this is only for bookings made on Capital One Travel. Unfortunately, with third-party booking sites you can’t use discount codes such as AAA rates or corporate rates.
So while I wouldn’t place a full $300 value on this benefit, but since you have it, it can easily be used. However, if you think of this as full value, it brings your annual fee down to nothing, after taking into consideration the anniversary bonus miles. Or, if you only put a fraction of value on the benefit, it takes the annual fee down to a normal cost that on par with other credit cards.
Unlimited airport access
With the Capital One Venture X card, you’ll not have access to Capital One lounges up to three hours prior to your flights scheduled departure time. Two guests can visit for no fee and additional guests cost $45 each (children 2 and under are free). While this is a great perk, as of right now, there’s only one open lounge in Dallas. Two more are being building in Denver and Washington-Dulles.
Additionally, the card also comes with a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. While this isn’t a unique benefit, since it comes with many other premium cards as well, it’ll still get you access to over 1,300 airport lounges and restaurants around the world. This will not only give you a place to sit and relax while waiting for your flight, but will also save you money on airport food and snacks.
Cell phone insurance
The Venture X also offers cell phone insurance. This means you don’t have to pay for any additional insurance and instead if you phone is stolen or damaged, you are covered. The only requirement is that you pay for your monthly cell phone bill with the card.
With this benefit, you’ll be reimbursed to repair or replace the phone, up to $800 per claim (with a $50 deductible), twice per 12-month period.
I personally have used my credit cards cell phone protection more than I’d like to admit. So I highly recommend using a credit card to pay your bill that offers this baked in protection.
Earn more miles on travel
Similar to the regular Capital One Venture Credit Card, you’ll earn the same 2 miles on every dollar spent. However, for travel booked through the Capital One Travel portal, you’ll receive an elevated earning rate.
For hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, you’ll earn 10 miles per dollar spent and on flights booked you’ll receive 5 miles per dollar spent. While this is a phenomenal return on your purchases, you are limited to how you’ll earn the bonus. For travel booked elsewhere, you’ll earn the standard 2 miles per dollar spent.
Is the Capital One Venture X card worth it?
I’m not going to sugar coat it. The $395 annual fee is high, especially for the everyday credit card holder. But, with the 100,000 point welcome bonus and the benefits, the annual fee can easily be swiped away.
Let’s break it down.
In the first year, the fee is $395, but you’ll earn 100,000 bonus miles (worth at least $1,000), $200 towards AirBnB or VRBO, $300 travel credit and $100 Global Entry reimbursement. If you are able to utilize every benefit, that means you’re receiving $1,600 in value. Take away the annual fee and you’re still coming out ahead by $1,205. You also receive lounge access, cell phone insurance and miles on every purchase you make.
During the second year, you’ll earn 10,000 bonus miles (worth at least $100) and $300 in travel credits. This offsets the annual fee exactly, if you were going to use the travel credits anyways.
The Global Entry reimbursement can’t be used again for another four years, but since Global Entry lasts five years, you’ll be able to still enter the country through the secured kiosk. You’ll then still continue to receive lounge access, cell phone insurance and credit card miles.
If you are able to stomach an annual fee, this is definitely a worthwhile card, especially in the first year. You can then use that first year to see if the Capital One program works for you. For the most part, you can think of most of your credit card spend as receiving a 2% return. But of course, if you prefer to transfer your miles to partner programs, you’ll receive an even greater value.