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I’ve never been a fan of Capital One. Before the program had transfer partners, I was focused on amassing more flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and, once upon a time, Starwood Preferred Guest points (RIP). And though Capital One added partners in 2018, I still never felt especially compelled to jump in.
One main reason? Its transfer ratios. Unlike points in competing programs, Capital One miles didn’t transfer 1:1 to its best airline partners — that is, until recently, when it improved ratios for most programs including Air Canada Aeroplan, British Airways Executive Club, and Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles.
Still, despite the souped-up transfer potential, none of Capital One’s products had caught my eye. And then the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card arrived.
With its impressive earning potential and relatively modest annual fee, the card immediately piqued my interest. Here are six reasons it may just become the first Capital One card in my wallet.
The Venture X’s 100,000-mile sign-up bonus goes further than it used to
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 6 months from account opening. In addition, new cardholders receive up to $200 in statement credits toward vacation rental purchases (like Airbnb and VRBO) made with their card in the first year.
And thanks to the new transfer ratios, 100,000 Capital One miles are now akin to 100,000 Chase or Amex points, making this one of the best sign-up bonuses out there right now. Even if you just redeem Capital One miles at a fixed rate of 1 cent per mile to “erase” travel purchases, the bonus is worth $1,000 in travel.
To put things in perspective, 100,000 Capital One miles, if transferred to Air Canada Aeroplan, can score you a seat in the ultra-fancy Lufthansa first class on flights up to 6,000 miles long. Those who prefer quantity over quality can transfer that same sum to Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles for up to six round-trip economy tickets to Hawaii on United, or to British Airways for 16 international short-haul legs on Oneworld airlines.
It gets a great return on spending
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is really changing the game in the non-bonus spending category department, going above and beyond most competitor cards to offer 2 miles per dollar.
That’s above what I currently get with my go-to non-bonus category card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, which earns 1.5 points per dollar on non-bonus categories (which I then transfer to my Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® account to unlock better redemption options).
Read more: Capital One Venture X card review
Competing credits from Chase and Amex, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, American Express® Gold Card
, and The Platinum Card® from American Express
, earn just 1 point per dollar outside of their bonus categories. And as someone who spends a lot outside of typical bonus categories — hello, retail — that extra point or half-point per dollar can really add up.
Its annual fee is (relatively) reasonable
Remember when $395 seemed like a huge fee for a credit card? Those were the days. With the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, Capital One has vastly undercut rival premium credit cards, both of which recently took their astronomical fees even higher.
To be fair, Chase and Amex have stuffed those cards to the brim with credits and benefits to justify their fee hikes. But if you’re more interested in travel benefits than so-called “lifestyle” benefits, such as streaming and exercise credits, saving a couple of hundred dollars on a card that still offers TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credits and airport lounge access becomes an attractive proposition.
The Capital One Venture X’s benefits are easy to maximize
Without a clear list of what will and won’t be reimbursed — and with lots of variance in users’ personal experiences — this card’s $200 airline incidental fee credit** frustrates a lot of users. It also provides little value for those with airline elite status who pay few, if any, fees in the first place.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card on the other hand, offers a $300 travel credit that seems a lot easier to use. While it’s a bit more restrictive than the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s travel credit, given that it’s only for travel booked through Capital One’s portal, it’ll still cover a wide range of travel purchases.
And because many flights and hotel rooms cost $300 or more, you can easily use it on a single purchase and not have to think about your remaining balance throughout the year.
10,000 anniversary miles make a great perk
Speaking of easy perks, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card comes with a 10,000-mile bonus every card anniversary, which will show up without you having to do anything except hang onto your card and pay the annual fee.
That’s a unique — and useful — perk for cardholders. If transferred to British Airways, for example, 10,000 miles can secure you a short one-way flight in Alaska Airlines economy.
The anniversary bonus, at minimum, is worth $100 in travel when you redeem miles at a fixed rate to offset travel purchases on the card.
You can add authorized users—and get them lounge benefits
Another standout feature of the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card? You can add authorized users for free. And what’s more, they’ll enjoy most of the same benefits as the primary cardholder, including Priority Pass airport lounge access for themselves and up to two guests and free unlimited access to Capital One airport lounges for themselves and up to two guests.
And especially with Amex set to begin charging $50 per Centurion Lounge guest (and $30 for children), that unlimited access to Capital One lounges will look pretty good for those who often travel in groups once Capital One’s network expands.
Good to Excellent
3 free nights (each valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases and 10x total points on eligible purchases in select categories
Good to Excellent
$200 after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening
Good to Excellent