Capital One Changes How You Use the $300 Travel Credit on Venture X & Venture X Business Capital One Changes How You Use the $300 Travel Credit on Venture X & Venture X Business

Capital One Changes How You Use the $300 Travel Credit on Venture X & Venture X Business

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One of the key benefits to offset the large annual fee on the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Venture X Business is the $300 annual travel credit. How you use that credit has changed, however. And while it might make using the credit easier, it's a negative change in terms of the value these cards provide over the course of a year. Why? Because you used to get something free that you won't get now.

Changes to $300 Annual Travel Credit

Previously, you used the $300 annual travel credit as follows:

  1. Make a travel booking (flight, hotel, or rental car) in the Capital One Travel portal.
  2. Pay with your Venture X Business or Capital One Venture X.
  3. Receive a $300 statement credit within a few weeks.
  4. Earn 10x miles (if it was a hotel or rental car booking) or 5x miles (if it was a flight) on these bookings.

Now, the order of operations has changed:

  1. Make a travel booking in the Capital One Travel portal.
  2. If you still have credits left for the year, choose whether you want to apply them at checkout.
  3. Pay for your booking, with the final price reduced if you've applied travel credits.

Thus, the $300 annual travel credit now works like a promo code or a coupon to apply at checkout. You still get the same $300 over the course of the year.

So why are we saying you get less value? It's the loss of earning miles on those $300.

a plane passenger reads documents using the overhead light during a night-time flight
Credit: Mpumelelo Macu/Unsplash

Imagine a $500 hotel that you're booking in the travel portal. Previously, you'd pay $500, get a $300 statement credit, and your final cost is $200. However, you'd earn 10x miles on the full $500 — netting 5,000 miles. If you were booking a flight, you'd earn 5x, so 2,500 miles.

Now, your payment at checkout in this scenario will be $200. You're spending the same amount of money in the end, but you'll only earn miles on $200 — not on $500. Thus, you'll get 2,000 miles in this scenario for hotel/rental car bookings or 1,000 miles for flight bookings.

Our Take

A spokesperson for Capital One said the purpose of this change is to make it easier to use the travel credit, rather than waiting a few weeks for the $300 statement credit to appear on your credit card bill. In this aspect, we agree that the credit will be easier to use.

In the long run, however, you're losing the ability to earn miles on $300 of spending. That could be as much as 3,000 miles lost. It's not enough to give us a negative view of the benefit, say the benefit isn't valuable, or say that you shouldn't hold either of these cards. However, we can't help but point out that AwardWallet users tend to redeem Capital One miles at 2.66¢ on average, meaning 3,000 lost miles are worth nearly $80 in lost value. To be fair, you were earning miles on purchases Capital One later erased from your bill, so Capital One was dolling out free miles. That's no longer the case.

What do you make of this change to the $300 travel credit from Capital One? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • Not a great change. What happens if you cancel your booking? Does the $300 credit get reinstated?

    What about Airbnb/VRBO? I used my VentureX credit for VRBO previously. I think that was a limited-time offer. I guess that benefit has now expired?

    • The Airbus/VRBO credit was indeed a limited-time offer that’s expired. But good question on how the $300 credit is reinstated. I suppose that it depends on what you book. Say you book a $500 flight but only pay $200 out-of-pocket. If you need to make a voluntary change to your flight, you’ll likely get a $500 trip credit from the airline. But in the case of an airline flight cancellation, it would be interesting to see if you get the full $500 back on your statement or $200 back plus $300 discount for future travel purchases through the portal. Good questions that we will have to dig into.

  • compare how this works vs. $300 on the Sapphire Reserve. I have no idea whether I earn points on the $300 credit.
    If you hadn’t pointed this change out, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed.