There are many different types of travel reward cards. Airline reward cards give the opportunity to fly for free or for a reduced price, making your vacation or business trip more affordable. Dining Reward cards help with the cost of restaurant meals, a major expense when traveling. Cashback cards give you a percentage back on all of your purchases, while gas rewards cards pay you to make purchases at the gas station. Hotel reward card purchases earn you points that can be redeemed for free or discounted nights and other hotel expenses.
One card I personally use and really enjoy is the Capital One Venture card. When building your arsenal of reward cards to make the expense of traveling manageable, this card should be front and center.
Unlimited 2X Miles on All Eligible Purchases; 50,000 Miles Early Spend Bonus
Venture® from Capital One® is a straightforward, no-surprises card with a $95 annual fee that’s waived in the first year. It has a generous early spend bonus worth $500 on travel bookings or statement credits. Moving forward, you’ll earn unlimited 2 miles per $1 spent on all eligible purchases. Miles are always worth $0.01 when redeemed for travel.
Like Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, the Venture card isn’t a straight-up hotel rewards card. In fact, you can redeem points for statement credits on virtually any travel purchases: hotels, flights, rental cards, vacation packages, cruises, and more. Because of this, there are no blackout dates – you can stay at any hotel, any time, and just redeem your miles as a statement credit (known as Purchase Eraser) after your stay (within 90 days of purchase).
You can also use accumulated miles to make travel purchases directly through Capital One’s booking center, and for general statement credits or paper checks. Redemption minimums vary depending on redemption method.
- Early Spend Bonus. Earn 50,000 bonus miles once you spend at least $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months. This bonus is worth $500 when redeemed for travel.
- Hotel Rewards. This card earns unlimited 2 miles per $1 spent on all eligible purchases, with no spending caps or restrictions. Through January 2020, earn unlimited 10 miles per $1 spent on eligible purchases at hotels.com/venture.
- Redemption. You can redeem your miles for virtually any travel purchase, including hotel stays, with no blackout dates. Redemptions can be made via statement credit (Purchase Eraser), provided you have at least 2,500 miles to redeem, or by direct booking through Capital One (no minimum required). You don’t get a bonus for redeeming for hotel nights. Points are always worth $0.01 apiece at redemption, no matter where or how you book.
- Preferred Customer Status. This card doesn’t come with any special status.
- Key Fees. The card carries a $95 annual fee, waived for the first year. There is no foreign transaction or balance transfer fee. Cash advances cost 3% of the advanced amount, with a $10 minimum.
- Introductory APR. There is no intro APR.
- Other Perks. You get free, unlimited access to your FICO credit score and access to useful credit-building tools with Capital One Credit Tracker.