I’ve been reading a lot lately about a credit card that came out last year in March, issued by Capital One, that essentially reimbursed your travel expenses and the rumor is that it will be coming out again this March. The program is not straightforward like many credit card bonuses are, but as I see it, its benefits can be far more valuable. Most credit card bonuses come in the form of airline miles or hotel points that you use to redeem directly with the given airline or hotel. There are some bank issued cards that give you flexibility to redeem with a variety of hotels or airlines but this Capital One card is distinct from even those programs.
The basics of the program are that Capital One will match the miles you have in any one account, up to 100,000 miles. So, clearly, this program is most beneficial for those with significant miles in at least one airline account. In addition, they also give you a 10,000 point bonus for spending $1,000 on the card within three months of account opening. That can give you up to 110,000 Venture Rewards. Now, you must be asking, how do you use these newly acquired rewards? Venture Rewards is different than any other program in that you can use those points to pay for any travel related expense. As I understand it, you pay for your expense on your Capital One card and when the statement posts, you simply click the box next to the transaction and that particular expense will be wiped from your bill and debited from your reward balance. 110,000 rewards equates to $1,100 in travel expenses so that is a significant amount of travel.
The most beneficial aspect of this program is that you can use it to pay for anything while travelling. There are reports you can use it for gas expenses, program tickets, or more traditional uses like airline tickets or hotel stays. The flexibility this offers is great for those who plan on travelling to more rural areas with little or no chain hotel options. This card would cover Bed and Breakfast stays, gas, admission tickets, etc. This card could not be more perfectly timed (if all goes as planned for another release of this promotion in a week or two) for our trip to Scotland. Other than our airline tickets and a few hotel nights, we would have to pay for most of this trip out of pocket.
A couple of things to keep in mind… You do not have to currently have the miles in your account as long as at some point in the last few months, you have a statement showing the miles. There are a limited number of airline programs that they will match, but they include all the big American programs. To get approved for a Capital One card, you must have excellent credit. Capital One is known to be one of the more difficult banks to get approval from if you’re credit is borderline excellent. And you are not eligible for the offer if you’ve had a Capital One Venture Rewards card in the past. The above information is based on how the program was run last year. Nobody knows how things might be different this year. But regardless of how things might change this year, this most likely will be a credit card you will want to sign up for if you have a significant miles balance in an airline program.
I’ll post if/when the offer is released and as always, let me know if you have any questions!