When most people think of points, they think of frequent flyer miles. Maybe they’ll think of hotel points, or MAYBE they’ll think of those bank points that you can transfer out to any of the above.
But what most people don’t realize is that there is a magic points currency that will let you pay for ANY type of travel with points. And when I say any type, I mean it.
Whether it’s a flight with RyanAir booked through the sketchiest third-party travel site you’ve ever seen, a hostel on HostelWorld.com, a train ticket booked directly at the ticket machine, or anything in between, there is a way to pay for these things with points.
I’m talking, of course, about Capital One miles.
You’re about to be exactly this cool 👆
We’ve talked about the fact that you can transfer Capital One miles to airlines and hotels. While that is definitely a great use for them, there is another more powerful use for them that none of the other banks offer: the ability to cover any travel purchase using your miles.
This feature is what makes Capital One stand out from the crowd in the points world 🤗
Basically, any travel purchase made with an eligible Capital One credit card, no matter which merchant you’ve purchased through, can be covered with your miles at a value of one cent per point. No need to book through a specific portal, and no need to book directly with an airline. You can simply book through whichever method is cheapest.
Now this is the part where I shamelessly plug our company, FareDrop. The reason I can do this so shamelessly is that paying for FareDrops is arguably the best use of Capital One miles out there.
When you receive a notification for an amazing FareDrop deal, it usually falls into one of the following categories:
The deal is only available for a limited time, so even if you COULD transfer points to an airline, the deal might disappear before you have the chance.
The airline with the best deal doesn't have a points program.
The deal is only available on specific sites, and you can't find it (for the same price) through a bank's travel portal.
Normally, none of these things really matter—it's just the price of getting an amazing deal. But if you did want to use points/miles instead of cash, all of these problems are solved by using Capital One miles.
That’s because you can just snag the flight deal immediately and use your miles to cover the purchase as soon as it posts to your card account, regardless of where you bought it 😎
This is also exactly how you pay for any other type of travel. If you buy a train ticket at a ticket counter in Belarus, wait for it to hit your bank statement and use miles to erase it.
If you buy a ticket for an overnight bus ride in Thailand—wait for it to post to your account and use miles to cover it.
You can even use these miles to pay for the taxes and fees on a points ticket. So if you use 30,000 points or miles (from any program) to book a flight and have to pay an additional $30 in taxes and fees, you can use Capital One miles to cover that $30, making the entire flight completely free.
“Mike, this sounds REALLY cool and so exciting, but how the heck do I even get Capital One miles in the first place?”
Oh, great question, insert generic reader name here.
It turns out there’s a ridiculously easy way to get tons of these miles, along with hundreds of dollars of other free travel. I know, it sounds too good to be true. But it’s not. It’s for real.
Let me introduce you to the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.
This beautiful piece of metal (yes, the card is made of metal) is one of the best cards on the market, and in my opinion, essential for any traveler’s wallet.
That’s because you can earn some whopping large amount of Capital One miles upon signing up for the card and meeting a designated spending requirement.
Get this… you could use the Venture X’s strong welcome offer worth hundreds of free travel to use on literally ANYTHING travel-related.
Now you might say “BUT MIKE, it’s not really FREE travel if the card costs $395 per year to hold… right?”
And I’d say stop trying to come up with reasons NOT to travel for free. But also, technically, yes—you’re right.
But also, you’re very, VERY wrong, my dear inquisitive reader 🙃
That’s because of the following:
Every year you hold the card, you’ll get 10,000 anniversary miles, worth about $100
Every year you hold the card you’ll get a $300 travel credit to use in the Capital One travel portal, worth… well… $300
Every four years, you’ll get up to a $100 statement credit for TSA PreCheck® (which is how long it lasts before you need to renew it)
So just from the first two things alone you are getting $400 of travel value per year in exchange for your $395 annual fee… So they’re sort of paying you to have the card (shhhhh don’t tell them 🤫). If you want TSA PreCheck®, then throw another $100 of value onto that as well.
In addition, you also get a Priority Pass membership. This means that you get UNLIMITED visits to over 1,300 airport lounges all over the world, along with complimentary access to both the luxurious Capital One lounge network and the Plaza Premium lounge network.
For me, this is one of the best perks a credit card can offer, and one that I use almost every week. I can only think of one or two instances where I COULDN’T find a Priority Pass or Plaza Premium lounge at an airport.
BUT WAIT, there’s more… You can add up to four FREE authorized users to the card (like your kids, spouse, coworker, pet, etc.) who will ALSO get unlimited Priority Pass memberships. This kind of benefit is unheard of, even with premium credit cards, and could easily provide hundreds of dollars of value—even if you only travel a few times a year (either domestically or abroad).
I haven’t even told you about the miles you can earn from actually spending on the card. Here are the earning rates on the card:
Now I’m going to share an important term in the points and miles world: Keeper Card.
Keeper Cards are cards that make sense to keep in your wallet year after year. In this case, the annual benefits and credits outweigh the annual fee—so there’s no reason not to keep paying for it. The Venture X is a perfect example of a keeper card.
“Wow, Mike. I’m in awe! What an incredible tip. But… how do I sign up for this card…?”
That’s the easiest part. You can simply click that big, sleek, blue card if you just scroll up a bit ☝️
If you’re approved for the card using our link above, we’ll even get a cut from Capital One, which helps us continue bringing you this wonderful newsletter every day.
So it’s a win-win: You get hundreds of dollars of free travel, and I get to pay my bills and eat dinner (it seems like one of us might be getting the short end of that stick 😛).
If you have $395 and good credit, then the Venture X is a no-brainer to me.
If your credit score is under 670 and the fee is too scary for you, the lower-tier Capital One Venture Rewards Card would also be a good choice.
Feel free to browse our Top Credit Cards page that features our current, favorite cards. We keep this updated each month in order to keep YOU in the know about the best of the best in the travel credit card world ❤️
So what do you think about the Venture X? Do you have it? Do you want it? 😍Which benefit or perk do you find the most valuable??