An Immediate Upgrade To Your Travel Game: Capital One Venture X Review

Capital One Venture X

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Here’s a quick questionnaire to ask yourself before you invest time in a credit card deep dive:

  • Do you spend at least $395 per year on travel?
  • Do you worry about flight delays, rental car dings and other travel mishaps?
  • Do you spend a lot of money on rental cars or hotels?
  • Do you (or would you) like to hang out in fancy airport lounges?

If you answered yes to even one of these questions, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is worth a look. Since its inception, this card has been at the top of the travel credit card food chain with the likes of the Chase Sapphire Reserve and The Platinum Card from American Express.

In a handful of ways, its benefits are equal to — or better than — any other card on the market. It’s got a large welcome bonus, generous airport lounge privileges, excellent rewards-earning rates, and more.

Below is everything you need to know about the Capital One Venture X to help you decide if it’s a good fit for your travel goals.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

75,000 Bonus Miles

after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee: $395  |  Terms Apply  |  Rates & Fees

Welcome Bonus

The Capital One Venture X comes with 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.

You’ll have at least 83,000 points in your account after meeting the card’s minimum spending requirements since the card earns a minimum of 2x miles on all purchases. With a sizable bonus like that, you can book:

  • Two round-trip coach flights from Los Angeles to Honolulu on Delta, which otherwise costs over $800
  • A one-way flight to Switzerland in a lie-flat business class seat on SWISS Airlines, which otherwise costs more than $2,300
  • An $800+ discount on a cruise
  • A one-way business class flight in a lie-flat seat from New York to Frankfurt on Singapore Airlines, which normally costs over $2,000

These examples are a tiny fraction of what you can accomplish with the card’s bonus.

Swiss Business Class lie Flat Seats
The Capital One Venture X bonus can get you lie-flat seats on Swiss Airlines. (Image courtesy of Swiss)

Earning Rewards

The Capital One Venture X has a very straightforward earning structure. You won’t have to worry about a migraine-inducing number of bonus categories — some of which rotate every three months, depending on which card you have.

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • 10X miles per dollar for hotels and rental cars reserved through Capital One Travel
  • 5X miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • 2X miles per dollar for all other eligible purchases

The fact that you’ll get a minimum of 2X miles per dollar on all spending means that throwing all your purchases on this card will help you rack up miles in a hurry. Most other cards just offer 1X point on all other purchases.

Redeeming Points

The Capital One Venture X has a very user-friendly rewards currency. You’ve got a variety of ways to redeem Capital One miles, from the incredibly straightforward to the complex. Choosing the latter can give you a jaw-dropping value for your rewards.

Let’s look at the best ways to redeem Capital One miles.

Transfer to partners

The rewards you earn with the Capital One Venture X can be converted into airline miles and hotel points. If you’re collecting credit card rewards for the purpose of free travel, this is going to give you the biggest bang for your miles.

Here’s a list of all 18 Capital One transfer partners — along with the current transfer ratios for each.

Aeromexico (1:1)Choice (1:1)Qantas (1:1)
Air Canada Aeroplan (1:1)Emirates (1:1)Singapore Airlines (1:1)
Accor (2:1)Etihad (1:1)TAP Air Portugal (1:1)
Avianca (1:1)EVA Air (2:1.5)Turkish Airlines (1:1)
British Airways (1:1)Finnair (1:1)Virgin Points (1:1)
Cathay Pacific (1:1)Flying Blue (Air France and KLM) (1:1)Wyndham (1:1)

This is a great mix of loyalty programs to choose from. Not only can you use your miles to fly on the above airlines, but you can fly on the dozens of other airlines that partner with them. In other words, you should have no trouble reaching just about any corner of the world.

And don’t worry, even if you’re only looking at domestic U.S. flights, all of these partners allow you to book on the big U.S. carriers like American, Alaska, Delta, and United.

Here are some things you can do with the Capital One Venture X welcome bonus:

  • Transfer 62,500 miles to Etihad for a one-way first class flight to Europe on American Airlines ($5,500+ in value)
  • Transfer 30,000 miles to Turkish Airlines for two round-trip flights to Hawaii in economy on United Airlines ($7,500+ in value).
  • Transfer 75,000 miles to Wyndham for five nights in a one-bedroom Vacasa vacation rental ($1,500+ in potential value)
  • Transfer 80,000 miles to Qantas for five round-trip flights between Miami and Grand Cayman ($1,500 in value)
  • Trips like these are the reason Capital One miles are some of the most valuable rewards you can collect.

Read more for more on the best ways to use Capital One miles –>
London Big Ben
Get a round-trip flight to Europe and visit Big Ben in London with the Capital One Venture X welcome bonus.

“Buy” travel

You don’t have to transfer your miles to airlines and hotels to get free travel. Capital One miles give you the ability to “buy” travel — and not have to pay for it. The downside is that your miles will be worth a bit less.

To do this, put your travel expenses (airfare, hotels, rental cars, etc.) on the Capital One Venture X. Then, once the expense is posted to your online account, you can use your miles to cover those expenses from your statement.

As an example, if you spent $710 on a flight to Mexico, you could locate the transaction in your online account and redeem 71,000 miles to cover those expenses(at a rate of 1 cent each). You’ll then get a statement credit to completely offset the travel purchase.

You can only use your miles to cover those expenses up to 90 days after the purchase date.

You can also simply book your travel through the Capital One Travel portal and use miles to pay for your travel at a rate of 1 cent per point. By doing this, your card will never be charged for your travel. The only downside is that you won’t earn miles for your purchase.

Cash back and gift cards

Redeeming Capital One miles for cash is a notoriously poor value. You’ll get just 0.5 cents each when doing this. Don’t cash out your miles unless you absolutely have to.

You can also redeem Capital One miles for gift cards, but this won’t get you the most value, either. You’ll get a value of 1 cent per mile, which is the same value you’ll get when you use miles to “buy” travel.

If you think you’ll be regularly using your miles for cash back, gift cards or even to buy travel at a rate of 1 cent each, you should look into a cash-back credit card instead.

Benefits and Perks

Annual $300 in travel credits

The Capital One Venture X will give you up to $300 in statement credits to offset travel purchased through the Capital One Travel portal each year. That means if you spend at least $300 in travel per year, this card’s $395 annual fee is effectively reduced to $95.

The Capital One Travel portal is an online travel agency (similar to a site like Expedia) that allows you to book things like airfare, hotels and rental cars. It also comes with unique perks such as:

  • Price drop protection — You’ll be reimbursed up to $50 if your airfare drops within 10 days of purchase.
  • Price freeze — Lock-in a fare for up to 14 days while you decide whether or not you want to buy it.
  • Cancel for any reason coverage — For a nominal fee, you can purchase insurance that gives you 80% of your airfare cost back if you decide you don’t want to use it.

10,000-mile anniversary bonus

Each cardmember anniversary, you’ll get a bonus 10,000 Capital One miles. This is worth at least $100 in travel — or potentially much more by transferring them to airline and hotel loyalty programs.

Between this benefit and the yearly $300 travel credit, the card’s annual fee is completely offset for anyone who spends $400 per year on travel.

Airport lounge access

Airport lounge access is one of the best (and easiest) travel hacks to pursue. Lounges often come with free food, self-serve alcohol, comfy seats, and sometimes even showers and day beds.

The Capital One Venture X confers access to three valuable airport lounge networks:

  • Priority Pass — 1,300+ lounges worldwide (with the ability to bring as many guests as you want!)
  • Plaza Premium — 100+ lounges worldwide
  • Capital One Lounges — 1 lounge currently open, with more in the works

Priority Pass membership alone costs $429 per year — and Plaza Premium lounge access can similarly cost hundreds of dollars.

While Capital One’s own lounges aren’t yet a pervasive option for frequent travelers, it plans to soon open many more. The only open lounge is in Dallas-Fort Worth — but if that location is any indication of what to expect with future lounges, they are something to be excited about. The quality rivals Amex Centurion Lounges, which are the best domestic airport lounges available. You’ll get free hot meals, mixed drinks, grab-and-go food and more.

Capital One Lounge in Dallas Fort-Worth airport
You'll have access to over 1,300 lounges worldwide with the Capital One Venture X card, including the Capital One lounge in Dallas Fort-Worth airport. (Image courtesy of Capital One)

Elite travel insurance

The Capital One Venture X is one of the best cards on the market for travel insurance. Here’s what you’ll get automatically when using your card to pay for travel:

  • Primary rental car insurance* — When you waive the rental agency’s in-house CDW, you’re covered for damage and theft to your rental. You don’t even have to alert your personal insurance about the accident, so your premiums won’t rise. This effectively replaces the rental agency’s insurance, which can cost $13+ per day.
  • Trip delay reimbursement* — You and immediate family are covered up to $500 per person for things like hotel, meals, transportation and toiletries when your flight is delayed by at least six hours or requires an overnight stay.
  • Travel accident insurance — You are covered up to $1,000,000 for accidental death or dismemberment when a common carrier (plane, cruise ship, etc.) is at fault.
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance* — If inclement weather, a severe illness, or other covered reason either prevents you from taking your trip or cuts it short, you can be reimbursed for nonrefundable prepaid travel, up to $2,000 per person.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement* — You are covered for up to $3,000 per trip if an airline loses or damages the bags of you or immediate family.

The card also comes with travel and emergency assistance services. While this is not insurance, it’s still a noteworthy benefit. It’s a free hotline you can call with concierges that can orchestrate medical referrals, legal help, emergency flights, etc. You’ll still have to pay for any services you decide to use.

Various protections

The Capital One Venture X gives you purchase protections and insurance that make it a good option for big expenses:

  • Purchase protection* — Eligible items are covered for 90 days after the purchase date against theft or damage. You’ll get up to $10,000 per claim, with a maximum of $50,000 per account.
  • Return protection* — If you decide to return an item within 90 days but the merchant refuses to accept it, you’re covered for up to $300 per item. You’ll get a maximum reimbursement of $1,000 per year.
  • Extended warranty protection* — Any U.S. manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less will automatically be extended by one year.

Access to Capital One services and partnerships

Capital One has been busy improving services that can only be used by its cardmembers. Here are the notable ones:

  • Capital One Entertainment — This comes with exclusive experiences and privileges like presale concert tickets which can sometimes be your best shot at getting into super popular events. Some experiences require that you pay with miles.
  • Capital One Dining — This has proven successful in helping to book restaurant reservations that are otherwise difficult to secure. It’s only available in bigger cities at the moment, but it’s a big help when traveling. It even gives you the ability to send the restaurant details ahead of time concerning things like dietary restrictions and if you’re celebrating a special occasion.
  • PRIOR membership — PRIOR is a premium travel company that concocts its own itineraries and experiences. You’ll get a membership worth $149 per year, which comes with travel guides and pre-booking privileges to its fun trips.

If you’ll use these perks regularly, it’s a big value add for the card.

*For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply

Is the Capital One Venture X right for you?

If you’ll spend at least $395 in travel each year, the Capital One Venture X is a no-brainer.

Between its yearly $300 travel credit and 10,000-point bonus after each cardmember anniversary, you’ll get a minimum of $400 in free travel each month. That’s enough to completely negate the card’s $395 annual fee — which means you can enjoy benefits like airport lounge access at over 1,300 locations worldwide, top-tier travel insurance, and TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership for completely free.

That’s not to mention the card’s current welcome bonus of 75,000 miles after meeting minimum spending requirements. This bonus is worth a minimum of $750 in travel — and potentially much more if you transfer the miles to partners. The bonus alone is enough to at least give the card a try to see if it meshes with your travel style.

If an initial investment of $395 still unnerves you, however, you can open the card’s less fancy sibling, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. It comes with a $95 annual fee, but offers an identical sign-up bonus of 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. This gives you the chance to tinker with Capital One miles and experience how powerful they are while paying $300 less in annual fees.

The Capital One Venture comes with benefits like TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credits and decent travel insurance. It’s a solid travel rewards credit card — though its benefits can’t compete with the Capital One Venture X.

Read more for details on the Capital One Venture and how to earn its 75,000 mile welcome bonus –>

Final Points

The Capital One Venture X is one of the best travel credit cards available because of three big factors:

  • Its $395 annual fee is one of the easiest to justify thanks to its $300 yearly travel credit and 10,000-mile anniversary bonus.
  • Its travel insurance is better than just about any other card, with trip delay insurance kicking-in after just six hours of delay.
  • Its airport lounge privileges are top of the line, with the ability to bring an unlimited number of guests into Priority Pass lounges.

If you travel even once or twice per year, the Capital One Venture X will make a great companion.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

75,000 Bonus Miles

after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee: $395  |  Terms Apply  |  Rates & Fees

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone. This post contains references to products from one or more of our partners and we may receive compensation when you click on links to those products.

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