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My Capital One saga has been going on for many years. Between me and my husband, we probably have about 15 rejections from this bank. But a few days ago, the curse has been lifted at last.
Nancy has written about new Capital One Venture X card a few times. While not as lucrative as the recent 100k offer on Chase Sapphire Preferred, I do think this offer is kind of a big deal. In fact, I tried applying for it as soon as it came out and was, you guessed it, rejected.
I didn’t have high hopes for my husband, since we have a similar credit profile, but figured there is no harm in trying. To my complete shock and disbelief, he was approved.
First, here are the basics on the offer:
- 100k points after spending $10k in 6 months (worth at least $1k off travel purchases)
- No foreign transaction fees
- Earn 2X miles on purchases
- Earn 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
- Earn 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
- $300 statement credit for travel booked through Capital One Travel
- $200 statement credit for vacation rentals (airbnb, VRBO)–limited time benefit
- $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck
- 10,000 bonus miles on card anniversary
- Access to Priority Pass Lounges and Capital One Airport Lounges with up to two free guests
- $395 annual fee
- Capital One Venture X (our affiliate link)
Not a no-brainer, but pretty darn close
I rarely use the term “no-brainer” when it comes to credit card offers, so not to undermine our credibility. But if someone asked me if it’s worth applying for Capital One Venture X, I would say that the answer is most likely Yes.
However, I would recommend you ask yourself two questions before pulling the trigger:
1) Can I comfortably meet the minimum spending requirements without resorting to creative MS techniques?
2) Can I utilize the included perks organically, and not have to come up with extra travel plans just because?
The $10k threshold is nothing to sneeze at. Sure, you do have six months, but still. As far as perks go, they are certainly valuable, but only if you had plans for them already. Otherwise, the $395 fee should be viewed as a direct cost of acquiring 100k points. It’s still probably worth it, but does make this offer a bit less of a no-brainer.
Why this card is a no-brainer… at least in year one
The main reason I’ve decided to apply is the 100k points “carrot”. At the very least, it’s worth $1k to me. Whether I will end up using it in this manner remains to be seen (more on that later). But it’s nice to have this option, since our travel expenses this year will likely be quite substantial. That’s actually why I don’t think we will have trouble meeting minimum spending requirements.
As far as $300 statement credit for travel booked through Capital One portal goes, I should be able to utilize it naturally. Not too long ago, I wrote about my plans to meet my family in Montenegro. In order to do that, I will have to purchase them tickets with cash on Turkish Airlines. Btw, I’ve looked at various mileage options and none of them are a good fit for what I need to accomplish.
I’ve checked and our desired flights are indeed listed on Capital One Travel portal, and for the same price as what can be found on Turkish Airlines own website. While I would obviously prefer to deal with the airline directly, purchasing through Capital One is the next best thing. So, the $300 travel credit is almost as good as cash in my circumstances.
The same can be said about temporary $200 credit on AirBnB/VRBO. I still owe $616 for our AirBnB rental in Iceland, and it’s due at the beginning of May. So, once again, this perk should be utilized organically because of previously made travel plans.
While I wouldn’t pay a whole lot for Priority Pass access, it’s definitely a nice benefit to have. Capital One X card is unique because authorized users get Priority Pass at no extra cost. Since we are a family of four, this is great news.
Priority Pass access has been a mixed bag for us, since we don’t fly often. It was a wonderful thing to have during our 2018 anniversary trip to the South Pacific. I can honestly say that at the time, it saved us real cash and made the journey in economy class far more palatable.
But we’ve also flown to Europe with multiple connections, and only had a few bottles of water to show for it. So, I don’t go out of my way to acquire Priority Pass benefits, but I do like to have them on hand when they cost me nothing. In my case, this particular perk didn’t really affect my decision to apply for X card. I feel there was enough value already to seal the deal.
Nobody knows what the pandemic situation will be like in a few months. To say that life is unpredictable is stating the obvious. Right now, my own dad is hospitalized with Covid-induced pneumonia.
But as usual, I hope for the best, while having a Plan B in place. If our trip to Europe falls through, I will find another way to take advantage of these benefits.
What about renewing the card?
On paper, it looks like an easy decision, right? After all, you get 10k points (worth $100 towards travel purchases) and $300 statement credit towards travel booked through Capital One portal. The first perk is terrific. We have tons of incidental travel charges throughout the year, and I’m certain we can utilize this benefit without even trying. I would say it’s worth $95 to me.
The second benefit is more of a question mark. I try to use miles and points towards airline tickets whenever possible. The main reason is flexibility. I don’t like to deal with expiring travel credits in the event of a cancellation. That was true before the pandemic, but especially so right now.
I really don’t want to look for ways to use it just because it’s there. After all, why am I accumulating miles and points if I’m not utilizing them to their fullest potential? You can also use the travel portal for hotels and cars. However, after looking at the selection and prices, I’m not super impressed. It looks like the best value lies in flights. YMMV.
So, I guess if I were forced to assign value to this $300 credit, I would say it’s around $200. That’s all I would personally pay for it if someone offered it to me. Again, your situation may be different. So, by that logic, the annual fee on the card is $100. Of course, the Priority Pass benefit is potentially valuable, but not valuable enough to prepay it each year.
If I decide to cancel the card, it will force me to use up the points. The easiest option is to simply erase qualifying travel purchases at 1 cent apiece. The other option is to speculatively transfer points to a mileage program (s).
Looking at the list of partners, I’m not sure I would speculatively transfer points to any of them. Emphasis on the word “speculatively.”
Here is the list of partners with 1:1 transfer rate (credit to CNBC article):
- Aeromexico (Club Premier)
- Air Canada (Aeroplan)
- Air France KLM (Flying Blue)
- Avianca (LifeMiles)
- British Airways (Avios)
- Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles)
- Emirates Airlines (Emirates Skywards)
- Etihad (Etihad Guest)
- EVA Air (Infinity MileageLands) (2:1.5 transfer ratio)
- Finnair (Finnair Plus)
- Qantas (Qantas Frequent Flyer)
- Singapore Airlines (KrisFlyer)
- TAP Air Portugal (TAP Miles&Go)
- Turkish Airlines (Miles&Smiles)
- Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (Wyndham Rewards)
Air France, Air Canada and Turkish (for super cheap flights to Hawaii) are potentially valuable. But are they valuable enough to speculatively purchase miles for 1 cent apiece? I’m not convinced the answer is yes. I would absolutely go for it if we were talking about United or AAdvantage, but alas…
I have a whole year to decide, so this isn’t something I need to worry about right now. If I have plans to purchase airline tickets with cash anyway, I will likely keep the card open and reluctantly swallow the $395 renewal fee. So for now, I will make sure to utilize the perks.
If like me, you decide that the juice is worth the squeeze, I hope you consider applying for Capital One Venture X through our site. Thanks in advance!
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.