One of the big strengths of Capital One is that they are actively listening to feedback, pivoting their card, and making it competitive changing by their perks and benefits regularly.
With the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card, there’s a $95 annual fee that is waived in the first year, and there's a welcome offer of 50,000 points after $3,000 minimum spend in the first three months. They currently have a partnership with hotels.com where you're going to earn 10X miles back on all of your hotel.com purchases until January 2020. Everything else is going to earn 2X miles back.
Capital One Venture Rewards credit card benefits
The card comes with 12 airline partners, and you have a $100 Global Entry and TSA Precheck credit. There are also no foreign transaction fees.
One other huge benefit of the Capital One Venture Rewards system is that you can actively downgrade this to the VentureOne card in year two if the card no longer makes sense. This means that you get the bonus from the prior card and you have a card that no longer has an annual fee, and with the VentureOne you still have that partnership with hotels.com for now at least.
Overall the card is going to make sense for most people and since there's an act of downgrade path which makes it a lot easier to get than some other cards that don't have that downgrade path.
Problems with the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card
So, we read about a lot of its strengths. What are its weaknesses? The significant flaw is that we don't know what's going to happen after 2020. Will hotels.com recommit for another two years or three years, or will we see a new partner? Our guess though is that Capital One will figure out a way to make it competitive because in the past they actually partnered with Uber beforehand, then with no one for a bit, and then with hotels.com. We can either see them continuing that partnership with hotels.com or just finding a different partner that makes sense.
Capital One Venture Rewards credit card opportunities
Looking at opportunities, it makes sense for them to partner with places that Chase or American Express and everyone else is not partnered with. This means that something like Priority Pass is a pretty lousy partnership, while something like Airbnb, Lyft, or any of those big startups will make a lot of sense.
Capital One has leveraged these partnerships pretty strongly, and that's what they need to keep doubling down on. The biggest threat for them is pretty much themselves. If they end up adding other benefits that everyone else has, that's not really that interesting. They've done this with Global Entry and based off the math based off adding this feature maybe it was cheap enough that they knew that they would move the needle and that it was a favorable expected value situation, but for other things if they add Priority Pass, we just don't really see it working out that well.
If you are someone worried about the partnership going away, remember that you can downgrade to that VentureOne card. If in the future if they bring in a new partner, you'll still get the benefit as you do right now, so you get value and you're not taking any long-term liability. You don't need to keep the Venture Rewards card and keep paying that 95$ annual fee.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card fees
Annual membership fee
foreign transaction fee
17.99%, 22.74% or 25.24%, based on your creditworthiness
$0 intro for the first year, $95 thereafter
Main benefits and perks
24/7 Customer Service
Security and Account Alerts
Travel Accident Insurance
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
50,000 bonus miles if you spend at least $3,000 within 3 months of your rewards membership enrollment date