CapOne Ventures Into the Luxury Travel Rewards Card Market

A man checks in to a hotel.

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Capital One entered the high-end travel rewards credit card market Thursday with the announced launch of the Venture X credit card.

The new card offers perks and features similar to those offered by other luxury travel cards: a $300 annual travel credit, unlimited access to Capital One’s planned airport lounges in Dallas, Denver, and Washington, D.C (plus access to 1,300 Priority Pass lounges), and automatic status in Hertz’s loyalty program.

The Venture X card is the most expensive consumer rewards credit card in Capital One’s lineup, with an annual fee of $395. In exchange, cardholders earn elevated miles when booking via the Capital One travel portal: 10 miles per $1 spent on hotels and rental cars and 5 miles per $1 spent on flights. All other purchases earn a flat 2 miles per $1 spent. Cardholders will also get a 10,000 mile bonus on cardholder anniversary, beginning with the first anniversary.

Additional benefits for the card include a $100 TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit and cellphone insurance. Authorized users can be added for no annual fee and will enjoy their own airport lounge access and cellphone insurance coverage. 

At launch, the Venture X will feature a 100,000 mile welcome bonus after you spend $10,000 in the first six months of having the card. The Balance values Capital One miles at 1.02 cents each on average, making this offer worth $1,020. This is in addition to a limited-time offer of $200 in statement credits toward vacation rental purchases with Airbnb or VRBO.

Cardholders can use their miles to cover travel expenses on their accounts at a rate of 1 cent per mile or opt to transfer their miles to any of Capital One’s 15 transfer partners. 

The new card lands squarely in the middle of the luxury card market. The Venture X isn’t as costly (or rewarding) as top-tier cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve (annual fee: $550) or the Platinum Card from American Express (annual fee: $695), but it packs a lot of value for the price. Consider the $300 in statement credits you’ll receive each year toward travel booked on Capital One’s portal. While comparable in value, Venture X’s credit is not as flexible as the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s $300 credit, which applies to travel booked directly with providers and not solely to travel booked via Chase’s own portal.

Unfortunately, the card falls a little flat when it comes to earning rewards, too. The Venture X matches (or bests) other luxury cards with its bonus categories, but booking via the travel portal can preclude travelers from earning points and status in travel loyalty programs. The Chase Sapphire Preferred, meanwhile, offers cardholders 2 points per $1 spent on all travel, no matter how it’s booked. 

However, the Venture X makes up for the booking limitation on travel earnings by offering 2 miles per $1 spent on everything else—higher than any major card in its class. Other cards only offer 1 point per $1 on non-bonus-category purchases. 

Applications for the Venture X card go live November 9.