Cover your bases. Don’t overcomplicate life. Be prepared. I’m not sure where or how these lessons were drilled into my head, but they were.
So, when I started looking at rewards credit cards, I focused on finding one that would do far more than just let me make charges. I wanted to choose a card that would be advantageous to my unique circumstances, especially for rewards and travel.
That put the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card at the top of my list — and I’ve now been a cardholder for over seven years. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the Capital One Venture’s benefits and why I’m a fan of the card.
I don’t enjoy figuring out which spending categories will generate the most credit card rewards. With the Capital One Venture, I was attracted to the simplicity of earning an unlimited 2X miles on all purchases. For this reason, I use my Capital One Venture for most major purchases over $100, whether it’s to upgrade a phone, buy clothes or do some holiday shopping. If I charge $1,500 in a month, I know that I’ll earn 3,000 Capital One miles. It’s an uncomplicated calculation.
In addition, I get 5X miles for every dollar I spend when I book hotel rooms and rental cars through Capital One Travel. That’s a huge incentive to use this card for vacations. Although paying a $1,000 hotel bill isn’t fun, at least I know I’ll earn 5,000 miles — worth $50 in travel — when I do so.
Fun to watch the miles rack up
I like seeing exactly how many miles I earn for each charge. To do so, I just log in to my account and navigate to the “Earn Activity” section. For example, my mom was recently in town, and I took her out for a swanky meal. That bill was $188.44, and it earned me 377 miles. I then splurged on two pairs of sunglasses for $145.39, which netted me 291 miles. It’s like checking the progress of a savings account.
With regular activity, miles can add up quickly. Like nearly everyone else, I was homebound for most of 2020 and the first part of 2021. Since Capital One miles never expire, I had nearly 50,000 miles sitting in my account by this time. That’s worth roughly $500 in travel.
Flexible flight options
The Capital One Venture gives me the ability to use my miles freely. Since it’s a general travel card, I can book flights with whichever airline partner offers the best deal. For example, I recently used my Capital One Venture for a trip to Thailand on Singapore Airlines, which is not a common event for me (as much as I’d like it to be).
Plus, the Capital One Venture pairs well with my United℠ Explorer Card from Chase, which I use for all of my United Airlines purchases. Although United is great, sometimes the best fares are with an airline that I may fly with only once or twice — and that’s where the Capital One Venture comes in.
When I’m abroad, I’ll usually use my Capital One Venture to pay for activities, dining and shopping since it doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. In comparison, many cards charge a 3 percent fee for each transaction made abroad, so a vacation where I might spend $4,000 can add $120 in foreign transaction fees.
This card also comes with an up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, which helps to offset the $95 annual fee.
I have a very large credit limit on my Capital One Venture card, and it saved my teenage daughter’s life. A couple of years ago, I took her to the Dominican Republic. In the middle of the trip, she suddenly became very ill. I rushed her to the local hospital, but before they would admit her, I had to pay a $1,000 deposit. The final bill was well over $5,000. Even if I had that much cash available in my checking account, credit cards are a better tool to use since they include consumer protections.
Further, this Capital One card comes with Eno, Capital One’s fraud monitoring program. Being in the Dominican Republic and charging that much was nerve-racking, but I knew my account was protected, which allowed me to concentrate on the important task of helping my daughter recover.
The bottom line
In the end, even with a $95 annual fee, my Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a bargain. This card gives me options, including flat-rate rewards, flexible flights and numerous protections. Plus, it’s easy to rack up miles. With so many travel rewards, I just have to decide where to go!
The information about the United℠ Explorer Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.