Anyone who reads a couple different travel blogs probably already got bombarded with lauding reviews of the new Capital One Venture X Visa Infinite credit card that was launched this month.
Apparently Capital One must have poured a lot of money into the “bloggosphere” to hype their new card product with most of the reviewers conveniently offering a link to sign up right there.
We rarely write about individual credit cards unless there are direct travel related benefits involved and we don’t provide sign up links either but there was so much hype about this card I thought it’s at least worth a look.
This is a direct link to the C1 website without any referral, if you can find an existing C1 card member who can get a referral bonus or any public offer better than the common, public sign up bonus that’s always the best way to go.
Here are the main bullet points with benefits of the Venture X:
- $395 Annual Fee
- Free Additional Cardholders
- 100,000 Capital One Rewards Miles sign up bonus after spending $10,000 within 6 months
- 10,000 Miles Anniversary Bonus
- $300 annual travel credit for bookings through the Capital One Travel portal
- Capital One Lounges with up to two free guests
- Priority Pass with guest privileges
- $100 Global Entry credit
On the first sight these are good benefits at a reasonable price. I can’t speak to Capital One in terms of how easy and convenient it is to do business with them these days, I had a card for years and never used it much so I shut it down one day.
With this product Capital One is trying to make the jump into the premium customer segment, customers that were previously carrying the Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express Platinum or Citi Prestige (since gutted). This is a Visa Infinite card so at least it’s a decent starting point.
$395 annual fee
This is probably the lowest annual fee of any premium card out there. To compare, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is $550, American Express Platinum $695 and the Citi Prestige $495. So here the Venture X wins.
Free Additional Cardholders
Authorized Users under the same account are free and they enjoy the same benefits. This is huge if you want to issue more cards as all competitors charge for those.
100,000 Capital One Rewards Miles sign up bonus
That’s a big bonus but keep in mind you also have to spend $10,000 within six months which might not be easy for many and it’s definitely not a simple churn card based on this spend minimum. Also you have to consider what their transfer partners are worth to you.
Here is the partner list and transfer ratio:
- Accor Hotels Life Limitless 2:1
- Aeromexico 1:1
- Air Canada Aeroplan 1:1
- Avianca LifeMiles 1:1
- Asia Miles Cathay Pacific 1:1
- British Airways Executive Club 1:1
- Emirates Skywards 1:1
- Etihad Guest 1:1
- EVA Air 2:15
- Finnair 1:1
- Flying Blue 1:1
- Qantas QFF 1:1
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 1:1
- TAP Victoria 1:1
- Turkish Airlines MIles&Smiles 1:1
- Wyndham Rewards 1:1
The airline partners aren’t bad and the ratio for transfers mostly decent. The hotel partners Accor and Wyndham are really terrible in terms of points value.
10,000 Miles Anniversary Bonus
Pretty solid. I don’t know of any other card that gives you an anniversary bonus worth 10,000 miles.
$300 annual travel credit for bookings through the Capital One Travel portal
Great, flexible travel credit though not as flexible as the Chase Sapphire Reserve where you can use use your card anywhere and it gets deducted automatically. Here you have to use the Capital One Travel booking engine and I’m not a big fan of those for practical purposes. Much better than the horrible $200 Amex Airline Credit though and I’m sure I could get 100% cash value out of these $300. Good perk!
Capital One Lounges with up to two free guests
Capital One just rolled out airport lounges. One lounge is operating in Dallas DFW. Two more will come to Denver and Washington Dulles (IAD). While nice this is really a very minor perk given the extremely small footprint of these lounges. Maybe if you live in one of these three airports you can make use of it but keep in mind these are huge airports and unless you depart from the same terminal where the lounge is located you’re either SOL or gotta trek a good distance.
Priority Pass with guest privileges
I like my Priority Pass and use it quite often. However I already have two of them and don’t need another one. A lot of these card benefits are duplicate nowadays.
$100 Global Entry credit
Same as the Priority Pass, almost every other card gives you a Global Entry credit nowadays which you can only spend on yourself every 5 years. Sure you can give it to friends or family but this is really a worthless benefit to me by now. Ok for someone who never had GE before and wants to sign up.
The spend multipliers 10X on hotels, rental cars and 5X on flights are excellent but you need to book through Capital One Travel in order to get those which I hate doing. Anything else just earns 2X which is rather poor.
The card comes with travel protection and rental car coverage though this coverage seems to be more in line with general card products rather than anything premium. I do like the CSR for primary rental car insurance.
After going through all this I think yes, the Venture X is a solid card. If it’s worth getting is really hard to define. I’d say yes if you plan on keeping it as it’s the lowest priced card with such a benefit portfolio out there. The travel credit and annual anniversary bonus already cover the annual fee of the card.
I would not get it just for the signup bonus or as an additional keeper card. At the moment I’m personally more comfortable with my Sapphire Reserve that offers the best all around package for my spending and travel habits. If I was just after a decent card that’s essentially cost neutral then I’d probably go for Capital One and keep it around.
The website says existing Venture X cardholders can refer new customers and get a bonus. If you know someone who already got the card then try to get a referral from that person rather than going through a public link, maybe you can make a deal with someone.