Update: This offer is no longer available. See our Hot Deals section for the latest offers.
Just in time for your end-of-year spending, the Capital One Venture Rewards card now has a higher sign-up bonus of 75,000 points, worth $750 in free travel! Previously, the bonus was 50,000 points (or $500 in travel benefits). The bonus on this card is rarely raised above 50k points. Non-affiliate application link
The annual fee of $95 is waived the first year, so after you meet the minimum spending of $5000 in the first three months, the $750 bonus is pure profit. The card earns 2X points everywhere, so it’s easy to continue to accumulate points to offset travel expenses.
I actually have this card in my wallet right now. I received a snail mail offer for 50,000 points earlier this year, and I jumped at the chance.
How Do I Get the Sign-up Bonus?
This is for newbies who are unfamiliar with miles, points and travel rewards credit cards.
For the Capital One Venture Rewards card, you must spend $5000 within the first three months to get 75,000 points. The clock starts ticking on the day the bank approves you for the card.
Just use the card for normal monthly purchases that you plan to pay off each month, like gas, groceries, clothing, etc. You can also use your card to pay other bills like cable/internet, karate classes, etc. The important thing is that you use the card for things you plan to buy anyway and that you pay off your credit card bill in full each month.
Sometimes, purchases take a few days to show up on credit cards, so I recommend you complete the required spending at least a week before your 3-month deadline.
How Do the Points Work for Free Travel?
Once you have the points in your online account, you can use the travel eraser benefit to erase any expense $25 or more that is coded as travel. So 2500 points equals $25 in travel. The website will give you a list of all of your purchases that qualify as travel, and you can choose which one(s) to erase with your points.
Most hotels, airline tickets and rental cars are coded as travel. Condo rentals are often coded as real estate and will not qualify for the travel eraser.
What About Using the Points For Gift Cards?
You can also use the points to purchase gift cards at a rate of one cent per point. So 75,000 points would give you $750 in gift cards.
I saw over 80 choices of gift cards for reward redemptions online. You can’t go wrong with $750 in Amazon or Walmart gift cards!
Caveats and Fine Print
For grizzled hobby veterans, you may have a hard time getting approved for the Capital One Venture Reward. Capital One is sensitive to folks with many credit inquiries. You can only be approved for one Capital One card every six months.
Capital One usually pulls your credit report from three credit bureaus. You can read more about this and more on Doctor of Credit’s 24 Things Everyone Should Know About Capital One Credit Cards.
Ideas for Spending the Points
Now for the fun part—dreaming of how to spend your points! This is the most fun part of travel planning.
The great thing about these points from the Capital One Venture Rewards card is that they are not tied to one specific airline or hotel. So, the possibilities are endless! Here are some ideas to get you started:
Great Wolf Lodge Getaway. Great Wolf Lodge is one of those hotels that doesn’t have its own reward points, so this is a great points redemption! My family has been to Great Wolf Lodge twice this year, and it’s always fun! See my guest post on Momma To Go for more information about Great Wolf Lodge.
Airline Sales. Want to take advantage of some those incredible sales we always see on discount airlines like WOW, Spirit and Frontier? $49 and $99 fares are not uncommon. This is a great way to snap up those fares and erase them from your credit card statement!
Cruise Deposit. It just so happens that it costs $500 to put down a deposit on Royal Caribbean for a 7-night cruise. Have you seen some of the cool things that are going to be on Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, the Symphony of the Seas? Laser tag, an escape room, and family suite with a slide? Crazy!
What would you do with $750 in free travel?
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.