Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information and offers.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (see rates and fees) provides great value to occasional travelers and those wanting to maximize their points-earning. The $95-annual-fee card earns 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, plus offers a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit (up to $100).
Its flashier sibling, the $395-annual-fee Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (see rates and fees) offers an enhanced travel experience to compete with The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
If you don’t carry either card — the Venture or the Venture X — you may wonder: Should you apply for the well-established, crowd-pleasing Venture or shake things up with the higher-priced Venture X?
Here, we’ll closely examine both cards to help travelers decide which Capital One card is the best option for you.
Comparing the Venture X and Venture
|Card||Capital One Venture X||Capital One Venture|
|Sign-up bonus||Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening.||Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening.|
|Foreign transaction fees||None.||None.|
For an annual fee difference of $300, you’ll get several perks — including unlimited lounge access, additional statement credits and bonus anniversary miles.
But are all of these perks worth it? Let’s put these cards to the test in the following sections.
TPG values its valuation Capital One miles at 1.85 cents per mile. This means you can get incredible value from the bonuses on both cards.
For both the Venture X and the Venture, you’ll earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. Those miles are worth around $1,388, based on TPG’s valuations, making now a great time to apply for either card.
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One of our favorite parts of the Venture is its approachable earning rate of 2 miles per dollar on all eligible purchases. And cardholders who book hotels and rental cars through the Capital One Travel portal will enjoy an improved 5 miles per dollar on these purchases.
The Venture X takes that same everyday earning rate that we love (2 miles per dollar) but layers in additional travel-geared bonus categories. You’ll earn 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through the Capital One Travel portal and 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through the portal. With the Venture, you won’t earn bonus miles on flights, and your earn rate on hotels and rental cars is halved to 5 miles per dollar spent.
Winner: Venture X is the clear winner. However, it’s worth pointing out that you may want to avoid booking hotels and rental cars through the portal if you’re pursuing (or already have) elite status. The portal is considered a third-party platform, so you likely won’t receive any elite credits or benefits when booking this way (though Hertz is one important exception).
Capital One has 18 airline and hotel transfer partners, most transferring at a 1:1 ratio:
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Air France-KLM Flying Blue
- ALL Accor Live Limitless (2:1)
- Avianca LifeMiles
- British Airways Executive Club
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Choice Privileges
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Guest
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands (2:1.5)
- Finnair Plus
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- TAP Portugal Miles & Go
- Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
- Virgin (Virgin Red)
- Wyndham Rewards
Even if most of Capital One’s partners are international airlines, don’t discount them, as there’s still tremendous value to be found if you can leverage the various programs’ sweet spots. Plus, having access to more transfer partners only helps provide more flexibility when it’s time to redeem your miles. Some notable programs include Air Canada Aeroplan, British Airways Executive Club and Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles.
If simplicity is your thing, you can instead redeem your miles for any travel-related purchases on your statement at a rate of 1 cent each with either card. While this is under our valuation of 1.85 cents, this is a great way to reduce those other travel charges like group tours and ride-hailing services.
Winner: Tie. Though the Venture X carries a higher annual fee, it offers the exact same redemption options as the Venture.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the two cards is the sheer number of benefits that come with the Venture X.
The Venture is a pared-down version of the Venture X, with only two passes per year to visit Capital One’s airport lounges (just the Dallas-Fort Worth location for now — but more are planned). Like the Venture X, the Venture card also offers a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck reimbursement credit.
On the other hand, with the Venture X, you’ll enjoy several additional perks:
From the two tangible benefits — the 10,000 bonus miles and $300 annual travel credit — that’s $485 in value alone. This covers the entire difference between the annual fees on the two cards.
Winner: Venture X. The $300 annual fee difference gets you a steady amount of perks that will make an enormous difference in your travel experience. With unlimited access to Capital One and Priority Pass lounges, up to $300 in annual travel credit through the Capital One portal and more, the value of the Venture X’s more robust benefits becomes even more apparent.
When should you get the Venture X?
The Venture X provides considerable first-year value, with the 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. Coupled with the other perks on the card not found on the Venture, most travelers shouldn’t have any trouble justifying the higher $395 annual fee — even though the sign-up bonuses are identical.
Generous authorized user benefits
While the $395 annual fee is steep, the benefits can be shared among up to four authorized users. If you have trusted family members or friends, you can add them for free and share unlimited access to Capital One, Priority Pass and Plaza Premium lounges (with the same guest access as the cardholder). Authorized users can also take advantage of the card’s comprehensive travel and purchase protections, which can be real money-savers when things go wrong on the road.
This is the first Capital One card to come with cellphone protection, a pretty amazing benefit if your phone gets damaged, stolen or even lost if it’s unrecoverable.
When should you get the Venture?
Even though the Venture X wins in nearly every category that we’ve analyzed, that doesn’t mean the Venture should be out of the running completely.
The Venture X’s benefits don’t work with your lifestyle
If you travel too infrequently to maximize the full potential of the Venture X, then the Venture is likely better suited for you. Admittedly, the Venture X’s perks are designed for road warriors and frequent flyers. Capital One has only one lounge currently open at DFW, and while there are more in the pipeline, it will undoubtedly take time for the full benefit of Capital One lounges to be realized.
While lucrative, the credits on the Venture X are still more limited when compared to the $300 travel credit on the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which is one of the most generous credits we’ve seen on any card. As a result, if you always book directly and don’t want to commit to booking through the Capital One Travel portal, you might find it hard to take full advantage of the Venture X’s $300 annual travel credit.
You already have Priority Pass, Centurion Lounge or other lounge access
For many travelers, airport lounges are a saving grace to get work done or grab a meal before your flight departs. But if you already have another card that grants you Priority Pass or some other type of lounge access, carrying the Venture X may not be necessary.
For instance, the Amex Platinum grants you access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, including the issuer’s own Centurion Lounges as well as Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta) and Priority Pass (except restaurant venues).
You’re looking for a fixed-rate rewards card for non-bonus expenses
At the end of the day, the Venture still offers 2 miles on all other eligible purchases — the same rate as the Venture X. If you’re merely looking to add a flat-rate earning card to your strategy to maximize those purchases that tend to fall outside of common purchase categories, the Venture is still a fantastic card to earn all those extra points.
Capital One entered the premium card market with a splash in 2021, with the Venture X among the most exciting card launches we’ve seen. For most travelers, the Venture X is the uncontested winner.
However, the Venture Rewards continues to stand its ground with its own benefits and a $95 annual fee that is much more approachable for award travel beginners.
Additional reporting by Ryan Wilcox and Christina Ly.
For rates and fees of the Venture, click here.
For rates and fees of the Venture X, click here.
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.
*Upon enrollment, accessible through the Capital One website or mobile app, eligible cardholders will remain at upgraded status level through Dec. 31, 2024. Please note, enrolling through the normal Hertz Gold Plus Rewards enrollment process (e.g. at Hertz.com) will not automatically detect a cardholder as being eligible for the program and cardholders will not be automatically upgraded to the applicable status tier. Additional terms apply.