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Capital One Venture – 100,000 Miles as an Early Spend Bonus
In another sign that credit card offers are coming back to life, Capital One has launched a Limited Time Offer on the Capital One Venture card where in addition to the usual 50,000 bonus “miles” for spending $3,000 in your first three months, you’ll get an additional 50,000 bonus miles if you spend a total of $20,000 within your first full year.
The Venture card always earns 2 points per dollar, which is as good as cash to reimburse yourself for travel you book, or can be transferred to the following airlines and hotels (note the transfer ratios):
- Aeromexico (2:1.5 ratio)
- Aeroplan (2:1.5 ratio)
- Alitalia (2:1.5 ratio)
- Avianca (2:1.5 ratio)
- Cathay Pacific (2:1.5 ratio)
- Etihad Airways (2:1.5 ratio)
- EVA Air (2:1.5 ratio)
- Finnair (2:1.5 ratio)
- Flying Blue (Air France / KLM) (2:1.5 ratio)
- Qantas (2:1.5 ratio)
- Singapore Airlines (2:1 ratio)
- Emirates (2:1 ratio)
- JetBlue (2:1.5 ratio)
- ALL Accor Live Limitless (2:1)
- Wyndham Rewards (2:1.5)
I discuss my favorite uses for Capital One miles here. Aeroplan is easily one of the very best uses, especially now that surcharges on partner airlines have become a thing of the past.
Spending $20,000 on a New Capital One Venture – A Good Deal?
I value Capital One miles at 1.2 cents each (based on using airline partners vs. redeeming for travel credits) and you earn two at a time, so to me it’s an effective 2.4% cash back card. The Citi Double Cash is the other clear choice in this department, earning 2% back, transferable into ThankYou points 1:1 – but the Double Cash has no signup bonus and also requires a Citi Premier or Citi Prestige credit card to enact those transfers to ThankYou partners.
If you max out the early spend bonus here for the full 100,000 miles, you would earn 40,000 miles for the spend and 100,000 bonus miles, for a total of 140,000 miles (worth, at 1.2 cents each, $1,680).
If you have a lot of spend that isn’t in a bonus category, meaning that there’s not a lot of lost opportunity cost wherein you’d be spending on a 3-5X bonus category on another card, then yes. $1,680 back on $20,000 in spend is an 8.4% effective rebate on your spend. Or, if you simply redeemed to pay yourself back for travel instead of finding ways to use transfer partners, it’s still worth $1,400 – a very respectable 7% return on spend.
So yes, it’s a good deal…. unless…
- Approval for a Venture card will add to your 5/24 count, in case you have Chase cards on your near term want list.
- Capital One pulls your credit from all three credit bureaus. While not a huge deal, some people get annoyed by this. Unless you are about to apply for another loan, though, it’s really not a big deal.
- You are limited to one new Capital One card per 6 months, so if you’ve recently gotten another one, you may have to wait on this.
How to Apply
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You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards.
New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.