Physician on FIRE has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Physician on FIRE and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
If you’re a credit card maven, you may have as many as a dozen different cards. And you might have a complicated calculus for deciding which card to pull out for which spending occasion you have.
You’re eating at a restaurant – the gold card, the cashback card, or another? Your partner is buying something online – do you rush in and grab the mouse out of their hand? “Don’t click that button! Use this card for that!”
For many of us, though, there’s no appeal to carrying multiple cards. We lead busy lives and don’t have time to faff about with which card to use for different categories of spend.
We also don’t want to end up like George Costanza and have a spontaneous wallet explosion.
So what’s an excellent card to land on that will reward us for everyday spending and also open up some opportunities to explore the world on the bank’s dime?
This article was submitted by Jonathan Hassell with Physician on FIRE.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a good all-around card with rich rewards for all types of spend and some nice perks to go along with it.
Best Three Benefits of the Venture X Card
There are three aspects of the Venture X card I find particularly strong for us one-card types:
Solid Reward Earning
You don’t have to sweat categories or quarterly promotions, as you will earn at least two miles per dollar regardless of the merchant or type of product or service.
For flights booked through Capital One Travel (the card issuer’s portal), you’ll earn five miles per dollar, and for hotels and rental cars booked through that portal, you’ll earn ten miles per dollar. So it’s a solid base choice for all spending, but the Venture X is particularly rewarding for travel purchases.
You get an annual $300 travel credit for use at the Capital One Travel portal. This is good for flights, hotels, car rentals, anything that portal offers, so it’s basically $300 in cash if you travel at all. (And if you don’t travel, why wouldn’t you consider a no-annual-fee 2% cash back card instead?)
It also might help bust loose some of those frugal tendencies – $300 is a decent amount to knock off any trip, so it may assuage some of the spending guilt you feel when indulging your travel desires.
Access to Airport Lounges
The Venture X is in your corner in a couple of ways when it comes to finding an oasis among the packed airports we all get to enjoy today. For one, you get Priority Pass Select memberships for you and any authorized users you put on your card. The Priority Pass Select gets you and your guests into hundreds of airport lounges worldwide with a same-day departing ticket.
Capital One is also investing in its own proprietary airport lounge network, and you’ll have access to the currently open lounge in Dallas-Ft. Worth as well as the Washington Dulles and Denver locations when they open. The Capital One lounges are very nice, with comfortable seating, plenty of work locations, great food options, and a unique food- and water-to-go selection for those times when you’re running to make a connection and just need a quick refreshment to carry on the plane with you.
Capital One Miles Transfer Possibilities
What can you do with all of these miles you’ll build up? You can redeem them for past travel or use them to book new travel at a value of 1 cent per mile, but the real sweet spot with any travel rewards credit card of course is transferring those miles to airline partners in order to redeem them for premium-cabin travel.
Now everyone’s best use of miles is going to be different, but I’ll start with a baseline assumption that you are based in the United States, you’d like to travel overseas, and you’d like that travel experience to be a little nicer than being cooped up in a sardine can.
In this respect, Capital One miles can be your friend. A Capital One mile will transfer on a one-to-one basis into a new mile within the following programs:
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Air France KLM Flying Blue
- Avianca LifeMiles
- British Airways Executive Club
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Guest
- Finnair Plus
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Singapore Airlines Krisflyer
- TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go
- Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
- Virgin Red
You’ll find transfers to Aeroplan and LifeMiles to be the most useful tools for booking premium cabin awards in the Star Alliance airline family, and Singapore’s Krisflyer program is a common transfer partner to just about every program out there, so you’ll find yourself with the ability to really accumulate a stash of miles, perhaps for family travel (or just a lot of personal trips)!
If you find yourself traveling a lot within the US and don’t care much about sitting up front, British Airways Executive Club and its miles (called Avios) is a useful program for short-haul domestic travel within the lower 48; for flights under 650 miles in distance, you can book a one-way award for 4,000-4,500 Avios, depending on whether or not you’re intending to travel during a peak period. This can be extremely efficient as sometimes these last-minute short domestic fares are very expensive. I’ve used these awards to travel to funerals and also for impromptu weekend vacations to nearby cities.
With this list of transfer partners, you’re sure to find a combination of carriers, classes, and points to get you where you want to go with a little coordination and flexibility.
Introductory Bonus and Annual Fee
We all love a signing bonus and this card doesn’t disappoint when it comes to an initial bonus offer. Capital One will award you 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from your Venture X opening date.
The Venture X card’s annual fee is $395. That’s a fair chunk of change to pay for a credit card, but it does pencil out: every year upon renewal you’ll get 10,000 miles, which is essentially a $100 value. When you pair this $100 value with the $300 travel credit, the card essentially pays for itself – again, if you travel. This math doesn’t hold up if you’re home-bound, but if that’s the case, there are a number of other credit cards that would be a much better choice for someone in that situation.
Bonus Intro Rewardsbonus_miles_full read more
The Last Word
If you’re an adherent to the Pareto Principle – that you get 80% of the results from 20% of the effort – then spend 20% of the time others spend juggling multiple cards, sector rewards and quarterly incentives and grab the Capital One Venture X card. It’s a great one-card solution with a rewarding initial sign-on bonus and a clear path toward offsetting the annual fee for those with busy lives but an interest in comfortable travel.
Physician on FIRE has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Physician on FIRE and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.