Why I Decided to Keep the Capital One Venture X

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Recently, I decided to switch from travel rewards to cash back. After nearly a decade of going all in on points and miles and premium travel perks, I canceled nearly a dozen travel credit cards, including a handful of premium cards.
Among the few cards I chose to hold onto is the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. While the card has a steep annual fee, it remains one of my favorites. Here’s why the Venture X is worth it for me.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Intro bonus

Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee $395
Purchase APR 19.99%–29.99% variable
Foreign Transaction Fee None

The card’s annual fee is easy to offset

As a credit card writer and rewards enthusiast, I’ve opened and closed scores of credit cards. For a few years, I had five different premium credit cards. In addition to the Venture X, I also had the following:

I was paying over $2,000 in annual fees on the cards, but because I was traveling once or twice a month, I was getting more than enough value to cover those costs. 

When my travel habits changed, though, I found it increasingly difficult to justify the annual fees on most of the cards. Inflexible and incremental statement credits, overlapping perks like airport lounge access, and unused elite status benefits made it a no-brainer to cancel most of them.

With the Capital One Venture X, however, it’s easy to offset the card’s $395 annual fee. Each year, I get 10,000 bonus miles worth $100 in travel, which started on my first anniversary, and $300 back annually for bookings made through Capital One Travel. Even a casual traveler who takes one or two trips a year can make the most of those perks and effectively get their money’s worth. 

Simplicity trumps value for me now

After years of chasing the best redemption rates, I’ve lost interest in the hours of tedious research and complicated transfers and maneuvers the process often requires.

While I focus most of my spending on cash-back credit cards now, I love Capital One’s commitment to keeping its rewards structure as simple as possible. 

The card does offer 10x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5x miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel, and 2x miles on everyday purchases. 

Capital One Miles are also arguably the most flexible travel rewards available. Although the card issuer offers transfers to partner airline and hotel loyalty programs for people who want to maximize their value, I prefer the simplicity of using my card to book travel and requesting a statement credit. I even get 90 days after the transaction date to redeem, so if I don’t have enough miles to cover a full purchase, I can keep requesting partial statement credits as I earn more rewards until that deadline.

If I’m booking something through Capital One Travel that costs more than the $300 statement credit, I can also use my miles to cover the remaining balance.

I can’t let go of airport lounge access

The last premium credit card I canceled was the Platinum Card, with my main hesitation being its unparalleled airport lounge access. Several credit cards offer access to Priority Pass lounges, which are often crowded and, according to some, lower quality. 

But with the Platinum Card, I also got access to multiple lounge networks, including Amex’s famed Centurion Lounges and Delta Sky Club lounges when I flew Delta. At my home airport, Salt Lake City International, Delta Sky Club is the only lounge option.

But as it became clear that I wasn’t getting enough value from the card’s other perks, I couldn’t justify the card’s $695 annual fee, even with the lounge access.

At the same time, I didn’t want to lose that access altogether. In addition to the Priority Pass network, the Venture X also lets me visit Plaza Premium lounges and Capital One Lounges. I’ve especially enjoyed my few visits to Capital One Lounges, which offer a broad range of food and drink options. There’s also a robust set of takeaway options when I’m in a hurry—something that’s lacking with other airport lounges. 

Again, these options aren’t available to me in my home airport, but I often have layovers in nearby Denver and Dallas, where there are plenty of choices, including Capital One Lounges.

To view rates and fees of the ‘The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page

What I miss

Simplifying my credit card rewards portfolio made sense for my changing situation, but that isn’t a knock on the cards I canceled. Here are just a few of the benefits I miss having access to:

  • Hotel elite status: With the Hilton Aspire Card, I had diamond elite status, which is the Hilton Honors program’s highest elite tier. I also had platinum elite status with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant. Although I still get some elite perks with the mid-tier hotel cards I’ve held onto, I’m no longer getting the same VIP experience.
  • Free hotel nights: I still get free night rewards from the mid-tier hotel credit cards I’ve kept, but they’re not nearly as valuable as the awards I received from the Hilton Honors Aspire, which can be used at most Hilton properties worldwide, and the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant, which is worth the equivalent of 85,000 points.
  • Dining credits: I like to consider myself a foodie, and I was able to consistently maximize the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant’s annual $300 dining statement credit (up to $25 per month) as I tried new places. As a busy single dad, I also enjoyed the $200 in Uber Cash I received from the Platinum Card each year.
  • Lifestyle perks: While I don’t necessarily love Amex’s approach to perks, many of which offer value in monthly or semi-annual increments, I do miss the Platinum Card’s $20 in monthly digital entertainment credits, which I used for streaming services and newspaper subscriptions, and the Walmart+ monthly membership credit.
  • Flexible travel credits: I have no problem maximizing the Venture X’s $300 annual Capital One Travel credit, but I generally prefer to book directly with travel providers rather than through card issuer portals. For that, I miss the Sapphire Reserve’s $300 annual travel credit, which offers much more flexibility.

The takeaway

Travel credit cards, particularly premium cards, can offer a lot of value, especially if you’re a frequent traveler. But when deciding which cards to apply for—and which ones to keep—it’s important to consider your spending habits, travel habits, and general preferences. 

For people like me who travel more casually, the Venture X offers a lot of value without requiring a lot of effort to make it worthwhile. But if you travel regularly and want an elevated experience throughout each trip, compare it to other premium credit cards that offer other benefits that could be a better fit for you.

Please note that card details are accurate as of the publish date, but are subject to change at any time at the discretion of the issuer. Please contact the card issuer to verify rates, fees, and benefits before applying. 

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefits guide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company. 

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