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I’m Having Second Thoughts About Capital One Cards

by joeheg

I’ve had my Capital One Venture X card for over a year. When I signed up, it seemed like such a good deal that Sharon got her own card a while later.

Now that I’ve paid the renewal for my second year, I wonder if that was a good idea. I know things now that I didn’t before, causing me to reevaluate the Venture X cards. Are they worth keeping for the long run?

Every bank has its peculiarities. You know them when you apply for a card and decide if the reward is worth the hassles. Chase has the 5/34 rule. American Express has several things that will keep you from earning a signup bonus or even worse, getting your accounts shut down. Citi has its own strange rules when opening, closing or changing cards.

However, I never had an account with Capital One. In fact, the data points were limited because Capital One previously didn’t approve accounts for people who had several other cards and paid them off on time, regardless of their credit score.

Capital One apparently changed those rules with the Venture X card and several people, myself included, who never had a card before, are new cardholders.

Several events since the card launched have me questioning if I want to keep the card:

Hotels are more expensive when using Travel Portal

I found this one on my own when looking for a way to use the $300 annual travel credit. You have to book through their portal to redeem the credit so I looked for a hotel room. I found that Capital One’s website was charging over 10% more than the same room on the hotel’s website

This limits the usefulness of the credit since I have to use it for airfare or rental cars instead of overpaying for a hotel.

Dropping Priority Pass Restaurant Benefit

At the end of 2022, Capital One announced that Venture X cardholders would no longer have access to the Priority Pass Select restaurant benefit. I didn’t think this was a dealbreaker but it can further decrease the card’s value if you use this benefit often.

Sending Out Tax Forms For Global Entry/TSA Precheck Rebate

Like many cards, the Venture X provides a rebate for the Global Entry and TSA Precheck fees. Cardholders didn’t know until this year that if you get a 1099 tax form from Capital One (usually for earning over $600 in referral credits), they’ll count the $100 rebate as income.

Once again, not a huge issue but another negative thing we didn’t know before.

Point Transfer Portal Was Down (AND Still No Explanation Why)

This is potentially the biggest reason I’m reconsidering my Venture X cards. I have cards that earn points I can transfer to loyalty programs because of the flexibility they provide. I can keep my points until I have a use for them and then transfer them as needed.

For a period of two weeks, the Capital One point transfer portal was unavailable

The official statement was the system was undergoing system improvements. But there was no advance notice that the system would be down and no guidance on when it would return. Some were speculating that point transfers would never return, but thankfully that wasn’t the case.

Those who wanted to transfer points during those two weeks were out of luck especially if they wanted to transfer to one of Capital One’s exclusive transfer partners:

  • TAP Portugal Miles&Go
  • Finnair Plus
  • Accor Live Limitless

What Should I Do?

Knowing all of these things is the Venture X card worth keeping? I think so for several reasons:

For the $395 annual fee, you get a $300 travel credit and 10,000 points. I can use the credit to pay for any revenue flight and the points are worth at least $100 to erase any travel expense I put on the card. Just with that, I’m breaking even.

Earning 2X points on all purchases makes this an ideal card for Sharon as she doesn’t like remembering which card to use at the supermarket versus at a gas station.

In addition, I get access to Plaza Premium Lounges, Hertz President’s Circle status, primary rental car coverage and an excellent suite of travel insurance coverages.

Final Thoughts

Despite the negative changes in the past year, there’s still value in the Venture X card. I know the ropes better than before and where these rewards fit into my portfolio.

I’ll take my chances that the point transfer debacle was a one-time event, but I won’t depend on Capital One points if I’m working toward an aspirational award.

As always, my opinion is subject to change as we learn more about Capital One and the Venture X card.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Jim F. March 4, 2023 - 4:48 pm

I feel your pain…but I will never do business with Capital One again. “Customer focus” is a foreign concept to them, as you have so ably documented. Maybe (?) it made sense to reap the sign-up bonus for a new card (if you could make good use of the miles/points!) but their absurd 1099 move on top of dropping — without notice — a benefit that was highly touted to attract those sign-ups certainly confirms the bad taste they left in my mouth.

Adam L March 4, 2023 - 8:51 pm

I haven’t found the same issue with hotels. I did find hotel rates lower at other 3rd party sites and C1 matched it after a quick phone call.

Joe March 7, 2023 - 2:10 pm

I haven’t found the same with hotels, but find it impossible to rent from Hertz through the portal, combining Presidents Circle with 10x points. For a recent week long rental, the price on the portal was appx $3,600 versus about $400 directly through Hertz. And the taxes through the portal (almost $600 by themselves) have to be paid at pick-up, so I couldn’t price match it without still having to pick up the original tax bill. Kind of kills the Hertz benefit.

joeheg March 7, 2023 - 9:55 pm

I still don’t know how they haven’t fixed the Hertz problem when it’s a benefit of having the card.


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