Which version of Capital One Venture Card is the best?

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For those of us in the points world, Capital One has become an increasingly interesting card issuer in recent years as Capital One’s miles program has continued to improve.

Capital One‘s most popular travel card wallet is the Venture Card, but there are three versions of the card today. In this article, I wanted to take a closer look at these three cards and help anyone who might be trying to decide between these different products. Is there a clear winner?

The three Capital One Venture Card products

There are three different “flavors” of Capital One Venture, all aimed at different clientele:

Which of these cards is the best value? Let’s go over the basics of these cards first, and then we’ll see which of these cards makes the most sense.

Capital One VentureOne Card Basics

The Capital One VentureOne card is the most basic card in the wallet:

  • There are no annual fees
  • He has a welcome offer of 20,000 Venture miles after spending $500 in three months
  • It offers 1.25x Venture Miles per dollar spent, with no foreign transaction fees

Being able to earn rewards that can be converted into airline miles on a card with no annual fee is great, especially since the card has no foreign transaction fees. However, for most consumers, I think it pays to pay an annual fee to get a more lucrative card.

The VentureOne has no foreign transaction fees

Capital One Venture Card Basics

The Capital One Venture Card is the mid-range card in the portfolio:

  • It has an annual fee of $95
  • He has a massive welcome offer of 75,000 Venture miles after spending $4,000 in three months
  • It offers 2x Venture miles per dollar spent, with no foreign transaction fees, making it one of the best cards for everyday spending.
  • It offers perks like Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit once every four years and two Capital One lounge visits per year.

For someone who is willing to pay a reasonable annual fee but wants a rewarding card, the Capital One Venture card is hard to beat. You earn a great return on your day-to-day expenses, and you get perks that could help offset the annual fee.

Read a full review of the Capital One Venture Card.

Earn 2 x Venture miles with the Venture

Capital One Venture X Card Basics

The Capital One Venture X card is the premium card in the wallet and was only introduced at the end of 2021:

  • It has an annual fee of $395
  • He has a big welcome offer of 75,000 Venture miles after spending $4,000 in three months
  • It offers 2x Venture Miles per dollar spent with no foreign transaction fees
  • It offers endless benefits, including a $300 annual travel credit, 10,000 anniversary bonus miles, Priority Pass membership, unlimited access to Capital One lounges, master rental car coverage, protection mobile phone access and amazing Authorized User benefits (including Priority Pass Membership and Capital One Lounge Access for up to four Authorized Users at no additional cost)

If you travel frequently, it should be very easy to justify the annual fee on this card. Personally, I appreciate the $300 annual travel credit and 10,000 anniversary bonus miles more than the $395 annual fee, so everything else is just icing on the cake.

Read a full Capital One Venture X card review.

Get unlimited access to the Capital One lounge with the Venture X

Which Capital One Venture Card should you apply for?

How should you decide whether to apply for the Capital One VentureOne card, the Capital One Venture card or the Capital One Venture X card? While not everyone agrees on the best strategy, let me share some general things to consider.

You have the option to upgrade or downgrade the cards

Credit card issuers usually allow you to upgrade or downgrade cards within the same range, as long as you’ve owned a card for at least 12 months. This won’t always be possible, but more often than not it is. This means you can request a card within the Venture range, then if you later decide another card is more suitable for you, you can switch products.

You should be able to upgrade or downgrade your card

Look for a big welcome bonus

There is a big difference in terms of welcome bonuses here. The Capital One VentureOne card offers a bonus of 20,000 Venture miles, while the Capital One Venture card and the Capital One Venture X card offer a bonus of 75,000 Venture miles.

Venture miles can be redeemed for a minimum of one cent each towards a travel purchase, although I personally value them at 1.7 cents each, so I can convert them into airline miles and hotel points. So there is a difference of at least $550 between the value of these bonuses (75,000 miles versus 20,000 miles), and by my assessment there is a difference of $935 between the value.

That’s a reason to pick one of the premium cards, and if you later decide it’s not right for you, you should have the option to downgrade.

Redeem Venture Miles for the cost of travel purchases

The value of 1.25x miles versus 2x miles

The Capital One VentureOne card offers 1.25 times the Venture miles per dollar spent, while the Capital One Venture and Capital One Venture X cards offer 2 times the Venture miles per dollar spent. So how should you explain the difference in value there?

  • At a valuation of 1.0 cent per Venture Mile, this represents a 0.75% return difference on spend
  • At a Venture Mile valuation of 1.7 cents, that’s a 1.275% difference in spend

To keep things simple, let’s compare the Capital One VentureOne card with no annual fee and the Capital One Venture card at $95 annual fee, and how quickly you could recoup the annual fee. With the difference of 0.75 Venture Miles per dollar spent:

  • If you value the Venture miles at 1.0 cents each (based on the ability to redeem them for cash for travel purchases), then you’ll earn the Venture over the VentureOne if you spend at least 12,667 $ per year.
  • If you value Venture miles at 1.7 cents each (based on being able to convert them to airline miles at a 1:1 ratio), then you’ll stand out with the Venture over the VentureOne if you spend at least $7,451 per year.

That’s not even taking into account that the Venture card offers TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit, access to Capital One lounges twice a year, and so on.

Redeem Venture Miles for Singapore Airlines Business Class

Why Capital One Venture X is obvious

I think most people can agree that it makes sense to apply for the Capital One Venture card rather than the Capital One VentureOne card, even though they generally prefer cards with no annual fee. The welcome bonus is much better, as is the return on spend. You should be able to downgrade the card after a year if you decide it doesn’t make sense to you.

But should you instead pay an additional $300 annual fee and get the Capital One Venture X card? Personally, I think the math there also makes a lot of sense:

  • You will get a $300 Capital One Travel portal credit, which you can use to book a $300 flight or hotel; this right there should recover the difference
  • You’ll get a Priority Pass membership, giving you access to the largest lounge network in the world
  • You can even add four authorized users at no extra cost, and they’ll get a Priority Pass subscription too.
  • If you keep the card for a second year, you will also get 10,000 anniversary bonus miles

And there are many, many other benefits. The Capital One Venture X is truly a premium credit card that makes sense even for people who don’t typically get premium credit cards. If you can overcome the “initial shock” of paying a $395 annual fee, you’ll quickly get outsized card value.

Get a Priority Pass membership with the Venture X

At the end of the line

Capital One’s Venture line includes the Capital One VentureOne Card, Capital One Venture Card and Capital One Venture X Card.

Each card has a unique value proposition:

You can’t go wrong with any of these cards, although I personally would ask for one of the premium cards for the much better welcome bonus, and you can always downgrade the card later. I think the Capital One Venture X card is the best option because it really has benefits that add up in the long run.

What do you think of the best Capital One Venture card?