Why You Can Trust CNET Advertiser Disclosure
CNET Money's mission is to help you maximize your financial potential. Our recommendations are based on our editors' independent research and analysis, and we continuously update our content to reflect current partner offers. How we rate credit cards

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: How Do the Travel Rewards Stack Up?

This premium travel credit card is more affordable than its competitors, but offers fewer annual credits.

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card* is a luxury travel credit card that competes with The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. This type of card is designed for frequent travelers who can take advantage of travel-related perks like airport lounges, TSA Precheck or Global Entry, and other travel upgrades and credits often enough to make the high annual fee worth it.

The Venture X is positioned as the most affordable of these travel cards at a $395 annual fee. Meanwhile, The Platinum Card and Sapphire Reserve charge $695 and $550, respectively. Despite the large discrepancies, the Venture X offers a somewhat comparable rewards program and welcome offer to the competition. The major difference in value is fewer annual credits and more limited airport lounge access with the Venture X. Only one Capital One Lounge is currently open, at Dallas-Fort Worth airport. Two more Capital One Lounges are slated to open in 2023 at the Denver International Airport and the Dulles International Airport.

Another caveat is that cardholders need to book their travel through the Capital One Travel portal to earn the headline rates, although you do have the option to redeem rewards for any travel you book. Otherwise, the Capital One Venture X offers a valuable combination of rewards for the right cardholder.

In this article

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

6.5/10 CNET Rating
Card Highlights
Intro OfferEarn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
APR21.24% - 28.24% (Variable)
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Recommended Credit Excellent
Reward Rates
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
Annual Fee$395
Additional Details
Intro Balance Transfer APRN/A
Balance Transfer APR21.24% - 28.24% (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee $0 at this Transfer APR
Late Payment Fee Up to $40
Foreign Transaction Fees None
Penalty APR None
Rewards & Redemption Details
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases

Rewards and welcome bonus

As a premium travel credit card, the Capital One Venture X's reward rates are in line with what you'd expect -- which is to say, they're very high. Cardholders earn 5x miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel, 10x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2x miles on all other purchases. In general, miles are worth about 1 cent apiece, but there are methods to receive higher redemption rates detailed in the next section.

The welcome bonus offers 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months, equal to $750 in travel. 

Capital One also gives cardholders 10,000 miles every year on their account anniversary, no questions asked. The 10,000-mile anniversary bonus alone is worth $100.

Travel perks

You'll get a $300 annual travel statement credit with this card, which can be applied toward travel bookings through Capital One Travel. (Notice a theme, yet? Capital One definitely wants cardholders doing all of their travel booking on the portal.) So together with up to a $300 annual travel statement credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, you'll essentially already be compensated for the $395 annual fee.

Capital One Venture X cardholders get unlimited access to Capital One airport lounges (there are plans to invest in developing this program beyond the one lounge that exists now), complimentary membership to Priority Pass and its participating lounges, as well as up to a $100 credit on Global Entry or TSA PreCheck when you use your Venture X card to pay for the application fee. 

Redemption options

One of the ways to redeem miles is by applying them as a statement credit toward past travel purchases. Note that those travel purchases don't have to have been made through the Capital One Travel portal, giving you the freedom to book travel however you want. Another way to redeem miles is to use them to book new travel through the Capital One Travel portal. For both of these redemption options, 100 miles will be worth $1.

You can also redeem miles by transferring them to one of the 15+ Capital One travel partners, including airlines like British Airways, AirFrance-KLM and Etihad. Miles usually transfer at a rate of 1:1 (one Capital One mile equals one mile in the airline rewards program), and the value of the rewards program miles will vary. You can also redeem miles for gift cards, although these typically yield lower redemption values.

It's worth noting that the Capital One travel partners don't include any US domestic airlines, though some partners -- like British Airways and Avianca -- do allow you to book on domestic airlines like American Airlines or Alaska Airlines through their rewards programs, depending on reward-seat availability.

Booking travel through Capital One

The Capital One Travel booking tool is similar to any third-party booking platform, allowing you to search for fares across multiple airlines and hotel chains, with an easy-to-use interface. It also has similar pros and cons to any booking tool. You lose out on hotel rewards and may experience more complications than if you were to book directly with an airline if something unexpected comes up, but with the upside of easier bargain hunting and price comparisons.

Capital One has partnered with Hopper, an app that predicts when it's most affordable to book flights and hotels. The Hopper integration looks seamless and substantial, with clear notifications and tips on when it's best to book. 

How it compares to the competition

There are two cards that we think consumers should consider before signing up for the Capital One Venture X: The Platinum Card from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

The Platinum Card from American Express 

The Platinum Card from American Express has a $695 annual fee, nearly double that of the Venture X. But if you spend $6,000 in purchases within your first six months of card membership, you earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points. Amex Membership Rewards Points are worth 1 cent each when used to book flights through American Express Travel, or a 0.6 cent statement credit redemption rate. By these measures, the Platinum Card's welcome offer has a slight edge over that of the Venture X in the best case scenario, but overall it's less flexible. You also get three months more to reach the spending threshold with The Platinum Card.

You'll also earn 5x points on flights booked with American Express Travel or directly with the airline (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year). You can also earn 5x points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel and 1x points on other purchases. Benefits also include up to a $189 annual statement credit for CLEAR®, up to a $200 airline fee statement credit each calendar year at one select qualifying airline and up to $200 in Uber Cash annually on U.S. rides and eats (up to $15 per month, plus a bonus $20 in December).

Overall, if you're willing to book all your travel through American Express, the welcome offer and rewards rates could be more worthwhile for some, but if you require flexibility for your travel booking, Capital One Venture X is a better option.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a $550 annual fee, a 60,000 point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 in the first three months from account opening (worth $900 of travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards) and offers up to a $300 annual travel statement credit. Cardholders also earn 5x points on flights booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 10x on hotels and rental cars booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and 3x points on other travel (earn elevated rewards on travel after you earn your $300 annual travel credit). Plus, earn 3x points on dining purchases and 1x points on all other purchases. Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.5 cents apiece when redeemed toward travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, raising the floor value significantly without needing to strategically transfer the points (cash-back redemption is valued at 1 cent per point).

The main advantage of the Sapphire Reserve is the ability to get more value out of points simply by booking through the Chase portal. 

Overall, the Capital One Venture X seems to have earned its seat at the premium travel table.

FAQs

How do travel credit cards work?

Travel credit cards turn purchases into points or miles that can be redeemed for travel purchases, like flights and hotel stays. Sometimes you can redeem those points for cash or a gift card, but you typically get the best rate when using them to book travel. The top cards have their own travel booking portals through which you can find flights, hotels and rental cars; sometimes, points are worth more when used in those credit card company portals.

Airline credit cards and hotel credit cards operate like loyalty programs in that you stay in a closed-loop rewards system. You earn rewards when you purchase flights or hotels through your chosen airline or hotel company, and you can use those points for perks or future bookings through the same airline or hotel group.

How do you choose the best travel credit card?

The points and travel benefits that you accrue through a travel rewards program are often redeemed through your credit card issuer's website (or app) or appear as a statement credit that reimburses you for past travel-related and everyday purchases you made with your travel credit card. Points or miles can also be transferred to travel partners -- mostly hotels and airlines -- at a fluctuating conversion rate, where they can then be used to book a flight or hotel room.

To choose the best travel credit card, there are a few key factors to consider: 

  • Annual fees: Most travel rewards programs have annual fees, with some climbing as high as $695, but those fees are usually mitigated by monthly or annual credits. 
  • Exclusive perks: Some travel rewards card options also grant access to exclusive travel perks, like airline lounges, priority boarding or VIP welcomes at hotels. The value of those perks is subjective and something you'll have to evaluate based on your needs and wants.
  • Foreign transaction fees: The best travel cards don't make users pay a foreign transaction fee, so that's not something you have to worry about.

What extra benefits do travel credit cards usually offer?

Most travel credit cards -- which carry hefty annual fees -- include benefits that add additional value to those cards. Benefits like travel accident insurance, trip cancellation insurance, trip delay reimbursement or protection, lost luggage reimbursement and rental car collision insurance are typical.

Our approach to credit card evaluation

We review the cards that are in the highest demand and offer the best benefits. We scour the fine print so there aren't any surprises when you open an account. We find the key factors that make a card stand out and compare them to other top cards. That way, readers can opt for a different card with similar features if our pick isn't right for them. Our reviews are regularly checked and updated to incorporate new recommendations, as well as to reflect changes in offers and the market. 

*All information about the Capital One Venture X Credit Card has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.