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5 Reasons I Closed the Capital One Venture Card (And the Credit Cards I Applied for Instead)

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Stella Shon
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Stella Shon

News Managing Editor

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With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in ...
Edited by: Chris Dong
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Chris Dong

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Chris is a freelance writer and editor with a focus on timely travel trends, points and miles, hot new hotels, and all things that go (he’s a proud aviation geek and transit nerd). Formerly full time ...
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Keri Stooksbury

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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card was my first foray into the points and miles world.

I was still in college when I applied, so I only had a few priorities in mind — and the Capital One Venture card easily ticked off all those boxes.

Easy to use? Check. Affordable? Check. A TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit? Check. I was sold.

While the Capital One Venture card was a nice starter card to have, I began using it less frequently as I picked up other cards over the years. Then, I found those other cards were so much better suited to my lifestyle and travel needs that I was “sock drawer-ing” the Capital One Venture card.

Here at Upgraded Points, we’re all for reassessing the cards you have in your wallet. Keep reading for the 5 reasons I decided to close my Capital One Venture card — and what I found works better for me instead.

1. Capital One No Longer Waives the First Year Annual Fee

I had applied for the Capital One Venture card in 2018. Back then, the issuer waived the first-year annual fee for new applicants, which made it easy for a college student with very little income to justify the cost of a paid credit card (oh, the horrors!).

That was no longer the case in 2020, when the issuer decided to make this $95 annual fee mandatory, as it remains now (rates & fees).

So, while this annual fee change did not impact me directly, it made me question whether I should keep recommending this travel credit card to my friends and family. After all, many travel cards have arguably better long-term value (more on this below).

That annual fee change made me realize this travel credit card wasn’t the right fit beyond the first year.

2. Lack of Unique Capital One Transfer Partners

The Capital One Venture card introduced me to rewarding travel lessons that can’t be overlooked. This card taught me how to be a more savvy traveler, from transferring miles to airline and hotel programs for maximum value to getting my Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit waived.

But in 2021, there was a blow to the Capital One Miles program: the loss of JetBlue TrueBlue as a transfer partner. While this may not seem like a big deal, JetBlue was Capital One’s only domestic airline partner — now, there aren’t any.

JetBlue Mint Studio Airbus A321LR Core cabin
JetBlue offers one of the best onboard experiences in economy class. Image Credit: Daniel Ross

Around the same time, Capital One improved the transfer ratios of loyalty partners to finally get on par with its main rivals, Amex and Chase. While you can definitely redeem Capital One miles for outsized value on international business class tickets, it’s not every day that I’m redeeming for a flight to Paris or Johannesburg.

Although TrueBlue is a revenue-based program, there have been countless instances where I’ve saved money by finding dirt-cheap award tickets for short domestic hops across the country — sometimes for as low as 3,500 points. I was a huge fan of the ability to earn JetBlue points by transferring my Capital One miles in a pinch to book affordable travel.

Ultimately, I found that Capital One transfer partners were simply not unique nor compelling to me. Out of Capital One’s 15+ transfer partners, I didn’t feel like I was truly missing out on any programs (perhaps only Turkish Miles&Smiles and Wyndham Rewards?). Even then, those 2 loyalty programs alone did not move the needle for me as an award traveler.

3. Unlimited Double Miles Is No Longer a Competitive Earning Rate

Capital One’s transfer partner list wasn’t the only reason I began favoring other cards.

Once I picked up a few other cards (namely from American Express and Chase), I discovered that I spread my credit card spending too thin. The only time I used the Capital One Venture card was to take advantage of the 2x miles on all eligible purchases.

While 2x is an excellent rate for non-bonus spending, it’s not impressive on its own. When you consider earning rates of any credit card, you also have to factor in the value at which you’re redeeming your miles.

That’s why Upgraded Points publishes monthly points and miles valuations to help you get a clearer picture of what your rewards are actually worth. Here are our best estimations for the main transferable programs:

At best, I only put less than $10,000 annually on my Capital One Venture card to earn the 2x bonus miles. There were plenty of other cards or tactics I could have used, such as:

When the Capital One Venture card first debuted, it was touted as a game-changing card for its 2x earning rate. With other competing cards starting to mimic or innovate with better benefits, the Capital One Venture card started to lose its luster.

American Airlines aircraft at MIA
Did you know you can qualify for elite status from credit card spend? Image Credit: Daniel Ross

By only limiting my non-bonus spending on the Capital One Venture card, I was accruing small lumps of miles each month to a limited set of transfer partners.

Hot Tip:

Note that points and miles valuations are meant to be general and not tailored to your own travel situation. In general, I agree with our estimations (except Bilt, which I’d peg higher since I love to transfer my rewards to American Airlines AAdvantage and World of Hyatt). The only currency valued lower than Capital One is Citi ThankYou Rewards, but I don’t have any cards participating in that program.

4. Other Travel Benefits I Don’t Use

The Capital One Venture card has several other unique features, but they never provided much use for me.

A popular redemption option is to redeem travel purchases made on your statement credit within 90 days for 1 cent apiece. This could be helpful for travelers who want to save money on vacation rentals, cruises, or other expenses.

Virgin Voyages Exterior
It can be difficult to redeem miles for cruises, but you can do so with Capital One miles. Image Credit: Stella Shon

Then, in 2021, Capital One introduced the Capital One Travel portal exclusively for cardholders. The issuer even encourages you to use the portal by offering 5x bonus points on hotels and rental cars for Capital One Venture cardholders.

While the 5x earning rate is great, it doesn’t apply to flights, making it much less useful for me. Plus, booking major chain hotels via Capital One Travel meant that I was likely ineligible for any hotel points or elite status benefits.

Finally, unlike the Chase Travel portal, you don’t get a preferred redemption rate when booking through the issuer-only portal. With an eligible Chase travel card, you can get 1.25 cents to 1.5 cents more value for Chase Travel bookings — the Capital One Venture card offers a flat-rate 1-cent redemption.

5. There Were No Downgrades Available

All of the reasons piled up, so it was only a matter of time before I decided it was time to cut the cord.

Since the Capital One Venture card was one of the oldest cards in my wallet, I didn’t want to completely close the card to impact my length of credit. Fortunately, in most cases, you should be able to downgrade your credit card to a no-annual-fee product within the same family.

That was exactly my plan. I called customer service to downgrade my Capital One Venture card to the $0-annual-fee Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card (rates & fees).

The agent would not allow me to downgrade my card — even after calling twice — so I decided it was worth taking the credit hit of a few points to close the account altogether. Similar user reports online have stated the same issue, but in this industry, your mileage may vary (YMMV).

Hot Tip:

When calling to cancel a card, banks may also offer retention offers to keep their customers, and there are several strategies to receive one. In this situation, Capital One did not provide me with one.

Credit Cards That Have Replaced My Capital One Venture Card

This is not to say the Capital One Venture card isn’t valuable for some consumers.

It can still be a solid travel card for beginners, but I’ve found a few other great cards that could be a better fit — let’s take a look.

SCROLL FOR MORE
CardWelcome Bonus Offer and Annual FeeBenefits
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • $95
  • 5x on travel booked through Chase Travel, 3x on dining, and 2x on all other travel purchases
  • $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit
  • Best-in-class travel and purchase protections
  • 1:1 transfer partners, including United MileagePlus, World of Hyatt, and more
  • No foreign transaction fees
American Express® Gold Card
  • Earn 60,000 points when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.
  • $250 (rates & fees)
  • 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year, then 1x points) and restaurants worldwide
  • 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or AmexTravel.com
  • Up to $10 in Uber Cash monthly for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S. when you add your Amex Gold card to your Uber app
  • Up to $10 in dining statement credits monthly (enrollment required)
  • 1:1 transfer partners, including Delta SkyMiles, Hilton Honors, and more
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates & fees)
Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card
  • No welcome offer available.
  • $0
  • 3x points on dining, 2x points on travel, and 1x points on rent payments with no fees (on up to $100,000 in rent payments every year) and non-bonus purchases
  • 1:1 transfer partners, including American Airlines AAdvantage, Turkish Miles&Smiles, and more

If you’ve made it this far, you may wonder: What about the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card? In a new league above the Capital One Venture card, the Capital One Venture X card offers unlimited access to Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network, a $300 annual travel credit through Capital One Travel, and more.

This card makes a lot more sense for frequent travelers, even with its $395 annual fee (rates & fees). However, I’m laser-focused on my Chase and Amex point strategies at the moment.

Capital One remains off the table, even a few years after I closed my Capital One Venture card. Maybe I’ll reconsider once Capital One opens more airport lounges near me.

Final Thoughts

It may feel like it’s taboo to close a credit card, but there’s no shame when it no longer works for you.

In my case, I had the Capital One Venture card for more than 3 years before I decided that it no longer made financial sense for me. Not to mention, my travel goals have changed over the years. Naturally, it makes sense that my rewards strategy has shifted, too, so the Capital One Venture card no longer fits the bill.

The information regarding the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One SavorOne Card Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I close the Capital One Venture card?

Yes, but be prepared for your credit score to take a hit by a couple of points. In general, it’s best practice to close your credit card after it has been more than 1 year of card membership.

Can you cash out Capital One Venture miles?

Yes, you’ll want to “cash out” or redeem Capital One miles in your account because they’ll disappear upon closing the card. You can redeem your miles for a statement credit or any of the other redemption options before you close the account entirely.

Can you downgrade Capital One Venture card?

Capital One makes it difficult to downgrade the Capital One Venture card. I tried to product change my Capital One Venture card to a Capital One VentureOne card in 2022 without any luck, however, your experience may vary.

You could also try to downgrade to other Capital One credit cards, such as the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card or the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Is the Capital One Venture card worth keeping?

Beyond the welcome bonus offer, the Capital One Venture card comes with lots of travel benefits, including a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit, 2x miles on all purchases, and more. If you can justify the ongoing annual fee with the rewards earned every year, then it may be worth keeping in your wallet.

Stella Shon's image

About Stella Shon

With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in The New York Times, USA Today, and more.

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