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The Capital One Venture card doesn’t earn the most valuable rewards points, but it makes up for that by earning 10x points on hotel stays booked and paid through Hotels.com/Venture— a new initiative that was announced in January 2018. When you combine a Venture card with Hotels.com’s own rewards program, which gets you a free night after 10 stays, you can get an unbeatable 20% return on hotel stays.
This week, Capital One announced another new benefit for the Venture card.
Starting on June 12, card members can receive a credit to cover the application fee when they enroll in TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. Global Entry, which is $100 every five years, comes with TSA PreCheck included — PreCheck would be $85 on its own — making it the better option.
The credit will be applied automatically when you charge the application fee to your Venture card, and it’s available every four years — meaning you’ll get the credit again when it’s time to renew.
A number of cards have begun offering a credit in recent years to cover PreCheck or Global Entry fees, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Amex Platinum. However, this is one of the only cards with an annual fee below $100 to offer the credit.
Generally, I suggest that transferable credit card points (points that you can transfer to various airline frequent flyer programs) are more valuable and useful than fixed-value points (points that are assigned one value, no matter how you use them).
However, there are two scenarios when fixed-value points become more useful:
The first is when you’re looking for the simplest rewards solution, and want to get a solid value without having to spend a lot of time focusing on details like bonus categories, transfer rates, and airline award availability.
The second scenario is when you can earn a lot more of these fixed value points than you could of transferable points.
The Capital One Venture card fits both scenarios.
It earns two “miles” per dollar spent on every dollar you spend anywhere. Miles are only worth 1¢ each, and you can use them to “erase” a travel purchase that you’ve put on the card — in other words, you exchange them for a statement credit to cancel out the travel purchase.
For comparison, a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which has the same $95 annual fee (waived the first year), gives you a 25% bonus to make points worth 1.25¢ each when you use them to book travel through Chase.
Transferring rewards can typically be more lucrative — for example, you can use transferable points to fly in first and business class, while it’s much harder to do the same thing with fixed-value points — but that generally involves figuring out award charts, waiting for availability, and dealing with blackout dates.
While you won’t get outsized value like that with the Venture, you’ll get a consistent 2% return that can be redeemed toward travel expenses, and you can get 10% back on hotels from the card alone. With the addition of the TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit, the Capital One Venture becomes an even better option.