Last Updated: 5/23/22 | May 23rd, 2022
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
I don’t have a dog, so I don’t know if that’s true.
But I do know that you can teach an old travel writer to change his mind.
While it had a simple points structure and no overseas fees, it wasn’t really good for travel hacking because you couldn’t transfer points anywhere, and it didn’t have any great category spend bonuses. You simply got two points per dollar spent, which you could use as a statement credit — and that was it.
If you spent $100,000 USD on your card, you got 200,000 points, worth $2,000 USD.
With that many points, I can redeem for tons of flights worth way more than $2,000 USD if used the points directly with airlines (but, unlike Chase and American Express, I couldn’t transfer the points to do that).
Moreover, many other travel credit cards came with perks that also had some value too, like free checked bags, priority boarding, lounge access, or internet at hotels (just to name a few). Capital One gave you nothing.
Capital One was essentially a cash-back card. Its redemption value made it a horrible card for a travel hacker.
With so many other no-fee cards with better ways to earn points, why would I want that one?
Clearly, I was not a fan of the card.
But over the years, Capital One has improved the card’s features to the point where now, even I admit that this card is actually quite good.
First, you get a $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit, which means that if you use the card to apply for the service, they will cover the cost of signing up. Tons of cards have this feature, but the fact this one has it too is a nice addition.
Second (and what really won me over), they added 14 airline transfer partners:
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue
- Avianca LifeMiles
- British Airways Executvie Club
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Airways Guest
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
- Finnair Plus
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- TAP Portugal Miles&Go
- Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
Sure, many of those aren’t top-tier rewards programs, but some of them are great programs (and great airlines). They also offer transfer to hotel programs, including Wyndham and Choice.
The ability to transfer your Capital One points makes this card a no-brainer now.
Sure, the earnings structure hasn’t changed. You’re still only getting two points per dollar spent, which is still only 2% cash back when used as a statement credit, but now that you can transfer the points, they become a lot more valuable.
With a current 75,000-point welcome offer, a yearly fee of $95, 2x points on all spending, and these new transfer partners, the card is a super good deal right now.
In travel, the one thing you can always count on is that everything is constantly changing. Good becomes bad and bad can become great (or worse). You never know what’s next in such a changing and competitive industry.
This is one instance when I can say something bad became something great.
Therefore, I rescind my prior review.
Capital One’s Venture Card doesn’t suck.
In fact, it’s pretty great.
And it’s worth getting if you’re looking for a new card.
(We get a small commission if you’re approved, but I’ve included a non-affiliate link here to show that I really do like the card and it’s not just about the commission!)
Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner. It’s my favorite search engine because it searches websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is being left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as it consistently returns the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- SafetyWing (best for everyone)
- Insure My Trip (for those 70 and over)
- Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)
Want to travel for free?
Travel credit cards allow you to earn points that can be redeemed for free flights and accommodation. They are what keep me traveling so much for so little. Check out my guide to picking the right card and my current favorites to get started and see the latest best deals.
Ready to Book Your Trip?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use when I travel. They are the best in class and you can’t go wrong using them on your trip.