Thank you to Capital One for sponsoring this post. As always, thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
If you’re going to spend money, why not earn miles at the same time? If you love to travel as much as I do, a travel rewards credit card is a no-brainer.
Using travel reward credit cards has truly changed the way I travel. They help you travel on a budget, travel more comfortably on long-haul flights, and afford those bucket list-worthy trips you may not otherwise be able to take. While I started traveling on a budget years ago, I’ve learned how essential it is to build up points that I can use to redeem for free flights, hotel rooms, and more.
Over the years, I’ve crossed huge bucket list destinations off my list. I’ve even relocated to South Africa and now call Cape Town my home away from home, so as you can imagine, being based in one of the farthest destinations on earth doesn’t make for quick flights home to California (or really anywhere for that matter)!
And with travel credit cards, I’ve flown myself on points from LA to Bogota, Colombia and then to Ecuador to explore The Galapagos Islands—that was my first big trip where I flew in business class for free. In the last year, I’ve flown myself around the world on points— I flew from Hong Kong to LA to see my family earlier this year, then I flew from LA to Paris over the summer to explore more of the French countryside, and then back to Cape Town, ALL on points. On numerous trips, I’ve also upgraded a cheaper economy seat to business class using my points.
That brings me to the Capital One Venture travel credit card—the newest addition to my wallet! They were voted the best travel credit card of 2018 by CNBC, and I’ve partnered with them to share the cards benefits as well as an exciting announcement.
This week, Capital One introduced another great way for Venture cardholders to redeem and maximize miles!
Earn Points on (Literally) Anything
Use your daily expenses to your advantage and let them help you afford your dream trip! The Capital One Venture travel credit card lets you earn miles from any purchase. There’s no limit on how many miles you can earn in a year or how you earn them.
Use it for your everyday purchases like monthly grocery shopping, Christmas presents or filling up gas.
Sign Up Bonus
Got some big purchases coming up with the holiday season? There’s no better time to sign up for the Venture travel credit card.
If you spend $3,000 in the first three months after account opening, you’ll get two Venture miles for every dollar plus a bonus of 50,000 Venture miles. That gives you about 35,000 airline miles when you transfer your Venture Miles into most of the participating airline loyalty programs.
10x Venture Miles at Hotels.com/Venture
One of the downsides of travel loyalty programs is that you can typically only pick to stay at specific hotel chains. It forces you to stay loyal even if you’d rather stay somewhere else, which personally I don’t like—I like to stay in boutique properties around the world, and it’s usually not possible when I’m constricted to specific hotel partners.
Capital One Venture is changing that norm by partnering up with Hotels.com to reward their cardholders for staying when and where they want. You can choose from literally thousands of accommodations, in cities all around the world!
Cardholders can earn 10x Venture miles on bookings made at hotels.com/Venture (through January 2020), which means you can earn up to 7.5 airline miles per dollar spent.
With the Hotels.com Rewards loyalty program you’re not tied to any one city, chain or room type. You can collect free reward nights at thousands of properties most anywhere in the world, and those stays all add up to a free reward night redeemable almost anywhere or anytime. The value of the 11th night free is the average of the previous 10 nights stayed!
No Foreign Transaction Fees
I use my credit card a lot when I travel. I find it easier and safer than carrying around cash or using my debit card abroad, but foreign transaction fees can be a huge budget buster, so that’s why I think it’s so important to have a card that offers no foreign transaction fees.
You can swipe the Venture card away without any worries or doing any math in your head—making it the perfect travel companion.
$0 Intro Annual Fee for the First Year
Not sure if Capital One Venture is the perfect travel credit card for you? Your annual fee is waived for the first year.
I know that one of the biggest concerns when getting a new travel credit card is the annual fee, and I get it, but I always encourage you to look at the benefits you receive from a card, in exchange for that $95. I’ve always found that the annual fee is very reasonable for the benefits and miles that I can rack up!
Transfer Directly to Airline Partners
This is probably my favorite benefit of this card, and one that I think is SO beneficial to budget travelers. Once you have accumulated Venture miles, you can transfer them directly to over a dozen of Capital One’s new travel loyalty programs. You can take the Venture Miles you’ve earned, from buying (literally) anything, and transfer them at a rate of 2 Venture miles to 1.5 airline miles for most airlines, and 2 to 1 for Emirates and Singapore Airlines.
You can redeem Venture miles with the following airline loyalty programs: Aeromexico (Club Premier), Air Canada (Aeroplan), Air France and KLM (Flying Blue), Alitalia (MilleMiglia Program), Avianca (LifeMiles), Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles), Emirates (Emirates Skywards), Etihad Airways (Etihad Guest), EVA Air (Infinity MileageLands), Finnair (Finnair Plus), Hainan Airlines (Fortune Wings Club), Qantas (Qantas Frequent Flyer), Qatar Airways (Privilege Club), and Singapore Airlines (KrisFlyer).
With this new feature, you can book airline tickets (including first and business class), upgrade flights, top off mileage accounts for cheaper bookings, and more!
I think my favorite way to use miles is to upgrade flights from economy to business or first class for a more comfortable long-haul flight.
TSA Pre-Check / Global Entry: Receive a credit of either $100 for Global Entry or $85 for TSA PreCheck with your Venture card. If you don’t use this perk for yourself, you can use it to pay for a friend or family member’s application fee.
Global Entry has been a lifesaver for me—I couldn’t recommend it more for frequent travelers! Skip those long security lines in a breeze.
Travel Accident Insurance*: Use your Venture card to purchase your flight, and you’ll automatically get travel accident coverage of up to $250,000 through Visa Signature Benefits.
Lost Luggage*: You can be reimbursed for lost luggage expenses of up to $3,000.
Secondary Auto Rental Coverage*: You can be covered for damage from collisions, vandalism, and theft.
Extended Warranty Protection*: This perk will double the manufacturer’s warranty by one extra year on warranties of three years or less. Your maximum claim amount is $10,000 and $50,000 per cardholder.
Purchase Security*: On eligible items purchased with your Capital One Venture you can replace, repair or be reimbursed if an item is stolen or damaged within 90 days of its purchase date. You can submit a claim of up to $500 per item and $50,000 per cardholder.
*See your Visa Signature Guide to Benefits for full details.
Start Earning Miles
If you’re still not sure it’s the card for you, check out Capital One’s website where you will find all of the information that you need to help you make the decision. It’s important that you understand all the benefits and financial obligations before opening a new travel credit card.
If you don’t have a travel rewards credit card, I highly suggest you look into it. They make traveling all that much easier (and cheaper in the long-run)!
As I start to plan my 2019 travels, I’m already figuring out how I can maximize my points to book long-haul flights and travel to some new destinations! With the help of the new miles transfer benefit from the Capital One Venture card, I’ll be able to explore more bucket list African destinations (like Egypt and Uganda!) while being based in Cape Town and can hopefully book a few flights home to California in between.
I get really excited to know that my everyday purchases are contributing to my travel goals and making it possible to go on these trips that I’ve wanted to do for years.
Have you ever used a travel rewards credit card? Let me know in the comments below!