Capital One Steps Up the Venture Credit Card

I’ve thrown shade at the Capital One Venture card for as long as I can remember.  You’ve probably heard of this card… the one where Jennifer Garner tells you that you can earn double miles on all purchases.  

Why do I continue to rag on a card that earns 2 miles per dollar when most other cards I recommend are earning 1 point per dollar on purchases?  First of all, not all miles and points are equal, and learning how to value different award currencies is just part of this game.  A major problem I have had with the Venture card is in the way it is marketed.  

Before you open ANY credit card, I encourage you to learn about the reward currency said card earns.  The Capital One Venture card earns Capital One Venture miles.   In the past, Venture ‘miles’ weren’t actually miles.   They were points that could be redeemed at a one cent per point value towards travel.  So, $25,000 in spend earns 50,000 miles.  50,000 Venture miles=$500.  Your net return is 2%.  For a cash back card, this isn’t terrible.  

My issue with this card has always been that it is marketed in a way that people are deceived into thinking they are earning miles when in reality this was nothing more than a cash back card.  Until now. 

Capital One has finally added transfer partners!

As of December 2018, you can now use your Venture miles as airline miles.  There are 14 transfer partners.  

  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue
  • Alitalia MilleMiglia
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • EVA Infinity MileageLands
  • Finnair Plus
  • Hainan Fortune Wings Club
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Singapore KrisFlyer

“Double miles”… nice try

Adding transfer partners is definitely an improvement, but 2 miles per dollar still isn’t entirely accurate.  I wonder if they’ll change their ‘double miles’ pitch?

With the exception of Singapore Airlines and Emirates, the transfer ratio is 2 Venture miles: 1.5 airline miles.  Singapore and Emirates will be 2 Venture miles: 1 airline mile.

This is what 50,000 Venture miles would yield:

  • 37,500 miles to 12 of the airline partners
  • 25,000 miles for Singapore or Emirates

50,000 miles can also be redeemed for $500 worth of travel

This is what $10,000 in spend would yield:

  • 10,000 X 2=20,000 miles
  • 20,000 Venture miles=15,000 miles to 12 of the airline partners
  • 20,000 Venture miles=10,000 miles for Singapore or Emirates

20,000 miles can also be redeemed for $200 worth of travel. 

In terms of non-category bonus everyday spending, 15,000 airline miles on $10,000 is pretty good.  For the 12 partners with a 2:1.5 ratio, this means that your net return on spending is 1.5 miles per dollar.  That is as good or better than non-category bonus spend on Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards earning cards.  But ultimately, it’s not 2 miles per dollar.

Are the transfer partners useful?

Some people may look at the partners and immediately write off this card based on the fact that there are no US carriers.  That is where indirect partners come into play, though!  For example, I used Etihad miles to book American Airlines flights to Japan.  

I’ve recently done some deep diving into Etihad’s program while exploring some redemption options, and I find their program to be very useful for long-haul award tickets on flights operated by American Airlines.  Air Canada Aeroplan is a good program for Star Alliance flights. AirFrance/KLM is good for several destinations as well.  

So, yes, there are useful transfer partners.  But most, if not all, of the partners I would actually use are also transfer partners of Chase Ultimate Rewards and/or American Express Membership Rewards.

If you already have the Capital One Venture card, this is a great enhancement!  But is this card worth opening?

If you’re under 5/24, I’d wait.  Get some Chase 5/24 cards first.  The welcome offer of 50,000 Venture miles is decent, but the Chase Sapphire Preferred welcome bonus is more valuable.  60,000 Ultimate Rewards points, the current bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, are worth $750 in travel through the Chase redemption portal or 60,000 miles or points when transferred to Ultimate Rewards’ airline and hotel partners. 

If you’re over 5/24, this card may be worth considering.

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