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Capital One Venture X: Honest One Year Review

The Capital One Venture X is very much a high end premium travel credit card. Ever since it hit the market in late 2021 it has consistently been compared to cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Amex Platinum. However, one key advantage of the Venture X is the fact that it has just a $395 annual fee which is significantly lower than both the Sapphire Reserve and the Platinum. This is a huge deal and can make getting the Venture X more practical if you want to have access to the perks of a premium travel credit card, but you don’t want to break the bank to do so Along with the lower than average annual fee, each year of being a card member including year 1, you’ll receive a $300 travel credit when booking travel through the Capital One Travel Portal. Last year my wife booked a flight to Scottsdale in the travel portal and that’s how we were able to take advantage of the $300 credit.

I’ve heard some complaints about this credit how it’s locked into using the travel portal only, which I’ll admit is a valid complaint.

The Sapphire Reserve offers a similar travel credit, but Chase allows the credit to be used on virtually every travel related expense as opposed to just travel booked through the travel portal. Now while the Venture X travel credit isn’t as flexible as the Sapphire Reserve credit, booking flights, hotels, or rental cars through the Capital One travel portal is no issue at all and in fact it’s a pretty seamless and enjoyable experience

The Portal

The Capital One Travel Portal has a very clean and user friendly interface You can book flights, hotels, and rental cars with ease, but now you can also access the Premium Collection of Hotels and enjoy a suite of premium benefits as a Venture X cardholder Premium Collection. When booking accommodations through the premium collection you’ll earn 10X miles, you’ll receive a $100 experience credit, you’ll also get complimentary daily breakfast for 2 and wifi.

The hotel experience credit can be used toward things like meals or spa treatments that are charged to your room during your stay. Qualifying experiences vary by location so be sure to contact the hotel directly or ask at check-in to confirm the available options. Also by booking travel through the Premium collection you’ll have access to room upgrades based on availability along with early and late checkout.

When you book hotels and car rentals through the portal, you’ll earn 10X miles and when you book flights you’ll earn 5X miles. Also you’ll earn 10X miles booking with Turo. This is important to understand. If you use your Venture X to book travel directly with an airline or hotel you won’t earn the elevated multipliers. Instead, you’ll earn just the base of 2X.

If you do decide to book through the travel portal I think you’ll be pleasantly suprised with the experience.First of all, when booking flights you’ll see a color coded calendar when selecting the date which shows the average costs in green yellow orange and red. If you’re flexible with your travel dates then you can select green days for the cheapest options. You’ll have all the same options of selecting from economy up to premium luxury and there are multiple filters you can enable to narrow your search results. What is really cool option when booking flights through Capital One is the Rapid Rebooking option.

Since flying has been a complete disaster for awhile now, Capital One allows you to pay extra for an option to quickly book a new flight incase your flight is delayed 2+ hours. You can book a new flight on any airline available through Capital One Travel. You can Select from a same or next-day flight up to $5,000 for the same fare class and the same airports as your original ticket. Also, If you’re not satisfied with your rebooking options, you can get a full refund of your base fare and taxes without the having to contact the airline or filling out any forms. Personally, I would pay extra for a service like this. Flight cancellations and delays are a massive pain and have the option to change flights or just completely cancel and get a full refund with no hassle is worth the extra cost.

When booking travel you have the option to use miles to pay for all or a portion of the costs. When redeeming Capital One miles for travel booked through the portal your miles will be valued at 1 cent per point so 100,000 miles would get you $1,000 worth of travel. However you should never use miles to pay directly for travel through the portal because doing so means you will earn less miles from the purchase. Instead, go ahead and book your flight, hotel, car rental, whatever with your venture x card and pay in full that way. Remember, you’ll earn 10X for hotels and car rentals and 5X for flights. Then when the transaction posts, you can take your points and redeem your miles to cover the travel costs.

Your miles are still valued at 1 cent per point when redeeming this way, but it’s clearly the optimal strategy because you’ll be earning additional points that you can redeem for the same value to pay for your travel. Just taking that one extra step can go a long way and make your miles stretch even further.

Travel Experience Benefits

So far I have been highlighting the travel booking process with the Venture X, but now we need to look at the benefits you’ll get during the actual traveling experience, Being a Venture X card member means you will have unlimited complimentary access to the Capital One Lounges.

Currently the only Capital One Lounge is in Dallas but new lounges in Denver and Washington DC will be opening sometime in 2023. Along with complimentary access for the main card member, you’ll also be able to bring 2 guests each visit totally for free and if you want to bring more guests it will cost $45 for each additional guest. As a Venture x card member you also will be able to enroll in priority pass and have access to plaza premium lounges as well.

Now you used to be able to access priority pass restaurants and spa services with the priority pass membership through the Venture X but unfortunately starting January 1 2023 Capital One cut out those benefits. Apparently, this happened because a change to the Visa Infinite level of benefits but as of now the Sapphire Reserve which is also a visa infinite card still allows access to the priority pass restaurants and you can still get around $25-30 per person in complimentary food. So this is definitely a loss for us Venture X card members but not quite a deal breaker and there’s obviously still a lot of value to be had from this card

Other travel benefits with the Venture X include being able to enroll for free in Hertz President’s Circle status and being able to enroll in Global Entry and TSA Pre-check totally for free. Hertz President Circle Status allows you to skip the counter and go straight to your car, choose from a 50% wider selection of cars, get guaranteed car-class upgrades, add an additional driver for free, and more.

Global Entry allows you to bypass customs on reentry into the United States and TSA Precheck allows you to move through TSA at airports much quicker which can really come in handy when traveling at peak times.

Another benefit depending on what you like to do in terms of hobbies and interests is being a venture X card member also allows access to Capital One Entertainment which at times offers exclusive ticket pre sales for huge events which can typically sell out in minutes.

My First Year of Card Membership

Back when I got my Venture X I got a 100,000 mile welcome offer which I used to cover travel expenses. I booked a couple different flights through the travel portal to take advantage of the $300 travel credit but I didn’t book any car rentals or hotel stays. I enrolled in Hertz President Circle Status and in Priority Pass and added my wife as an Authorized User so she could enroll in both as well. Also an underrated benefit and the main reason I keep my Venture X in my wallet is for the base of 2X miles on everything.

This again is a benefit you never see in the premium travel credit card space. The Platinum card has terrible multipliers and while the Sapphire Reserve has solid multipliers overall, the only one of the 3 with a base of 2X is the Venture X. Factoring in the welcome offer plus the points I earned from spending in the past year, I earned roughly $1,500 of positive value from having the Venture X and I didn’t even travel that much.

The fact that the card only costs $395 but offers the $300 travel credit and the 10,000 anniversary bonus miles, makes it virtually impossible to receive negative value. The only way you would lose value from having this card is if you flat out never used it and don’t use the travel credit or ever redeem your miles.If you use this card at all and at least book $300 worth of travel a year then the Venture X easily pays for itself.

How Can You Get The Venture X?

Now one huge issue that keeps a lot of individuals from getting this card is how surprisingly difficult it is to be approved for. Capital One is notoriously a subprime lender and their ideal customer tends to carry a balance but not default. Capital One likes to approve individuals who have a chance of paying interest on their credit cards. If you have too high of a credit score and your cards are basically always at a $0 balance then getting approved for the Venture X won’t be as easy as you would think.

Capital One makes most of it’s money from charging fees and collecting interest which is the complete opposite from a company like American Express. If you have to many open lines of credit all with low or no balances then it shows Capital One you are a bit to savvy with credit and they realize they won’t make money from you and they will most likely deny you. Capital One is way better to

start with as opposed to American Express and I think this sometimes confuses people but if you look at the way each business makes money it makes way more sense

Brief Summary

The Venture X is incredibly easy to get big value from even if you don’t travel often. Also if you’re in the market for a premium travel credit card and are new to the space it makes more sense to get the Venture X first and then move onto cards like the Sapphire Reserve or Amex Platinum later on. Be sure to check out my video on the Venture X which I have linked right below!


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