Edited by: Juan Ruiz
& Kellie Jez
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Serving in the U.S. military can present obvious challenges for military members and their families, including managing physical, emotional, social, and practical challenges that come with trying to find a balance between home, duty, and commitment. Some of the not-so-obvious challenges may also be financial challenges.
There is some relief for military members, however, available via 2 acts that were passed years ago. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003 (SCRA) and the Military Lending Act (MLA), updated since originally becoming law, apply to certain financial transactions involving active-duty military members.
We’ll talk about these acts briefly in a minute, but for now, the importance of these acts as they relate to this article is their effect on credit card fees and how the savings can present value for active-duty military members.
Capital One is one credit card issuer that waives annual fees for certain eligible military members. Its Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is not only one of the best credit cards for military members who qualify, but it’s also a card that delivers great value, even if you would have to pay the annual fee.
To illustrate, we’ll review all the key attributes of the card and provide an estimated potential economic value of each benefit for active-duty military members.
The SCRA provides relief by capping interest rates and fees on applicable credit granted to qualifying active-duty service members prior to their active duty. The MLA covers credit acquired during active duty.
The SCRA limits interest rates to 6% on applicable loans, but Capital One has instituted a 4% cap on interest rates for eligible loans and credit products. Capital One also waives additional fees.
While Capital One follows the letter of each of these laws on all applicable loans and credit products, for credit cards specifically, only active-duty members who qualify under the SCRA receive annual fee waivers. Capital One does not waive fees under MLA (credit acquired during active duty) for credit cards.
This is an important distinction if you’re a military member looking for a Capital One credit card. You would need to acquire the card prior to active-duty service and then apply for SCRA benefits during active duty.
We’ll cover all the key benefits of the Capital One Venture X card shortly, but first, let’s look at a quick overview of the card.
The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is the premium Capital One travel rewards card on the block.
Points and miles fans will be surprised to see that the Capital One Venture X card packs quite the punch when it comes to bookings made through Capital One, all while offering the lowest annual fee among premium credit cards.
Depending on your travel goals and preferences, the Capital One Venture X card could very well end up being your go-to card in your wallet.
We like that the Capital One Venture X card has a lower annual fee compared to other premium travel rewards cards.
Additional reasons we like the card:
With the previous snapshot as a base, let’s look closer at each benefit and the potential value each could offer a military member.
Immediately after you’re approved for the Capital One Venture X card, you’ll have the opportunity to earn a welcome bonus. You’ll easily be able to receive at least 1 cent each in value for Capital One miles, but we value each mile at approximately 1.8 cents each due to the flexible redemption options.
This means a 75,000-mile welcome offer will be worth $750 to $1,350 in value when redeemed for travel.
You’ll need to complete the stated minimum spending requirements to receive the welcome bonus.
For active-duty members who qualify to have the annual fee waived, you’ll realize a value of $395 (rates & fees).
Capital One waives all fees for eligible military members and caps interest rates on credit cards at 4% (rates & fees). While we recommend not carrying a balance to avoid any interest charges, if you needed to, you could realize some savings.
It’s difficult to say how much value you’d receive when earning and redeeming your Capital One miles as so much depends on your spending mix and how you redeem your rewards. However, we can look at a sample spending mix to give you an idea:
That’s a total of 69,000 miles worth at least $690 when redeemed via Capital One Travel or $1,242 (or more) when transferred to travel partners. This is a conservative estimate and does not include finding a potentially good deal when transferring rewards to travel partners.
It’s easy to utilize the $300 credit for purchases via Capital One Travel. Just use your card to make travel purchases via the portal and you’ll receive a credit, $300 each year.
Each year when you renew your card, you will receive 10,000 Capital One miles as a bonus, which will be worth at least $100 when used for travel via Capital One Travel.
With your complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, you will have access to over 1,300 properties worldwide, including airport lounges, participating restaurants, Minute Suites, Be Relax spas, and Gameway Lounges.
You and up to 2 additional guests can enjoy complimentary access. There is a fee of $27 for each additional guest per visit.
To purchase a Priority Pass annual membership would cost $469 and complimentary access does not include guests.
In addition to Priority Pass properties, Capital One Venture X card members will also receive access to Capital One Lounges. Currently, there only the Capital One Lounge at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is open, but more are scheduled to open soon.
Capital One Venture X cardholders can access over 100 Plaza Premium Lounges worldwide. Cardholders, plus 2 additional guests, receive complimentary access. Without the Capital One Venture X card, you would need to pay $35 to $65 for a 2- to 6-hour pass.
There is no fee to add authorized users to your Capital One Venture X card. These additional users also receive complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, including access for 2 additional guests. Adding family members to your card makes it possible to gain complimentary access for your entire family to lounge properties.
If you travel with more than 2 members of your family, you could save on lounge passes for those additional members by adding them to your card. With just 3 visits each year at $27 per visit, per person, your savings could be $162.
You could earn up to 100,000 miles each year for referring friends/family for a Capital One Venture X card. Each referral who gets approved results in 25,000 Capital One miles, worth at least $250 in value.
Normally you’d need 15 rentals and $3,000 in spending with Hertz to qualify for President’s Circle, but you’ll receive complimentary elite status with the Capital One Venture X card. President’s Circle status gives you car upgrades, no additional driver fees in the U.S., free car selection from the President’s Circle car section, terminal drive-back service, and more.
Just a couple of car upgrades and the savings of not having to pay to add another driver can add up if you’re a frequent Hertz customer.
Pay for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application or the renewal fee with your card and receive reimbursement via statement credit for up to $100. You are eligible for the statement credit once every 4 years.
Pay for your entire rental car agreement with your card, decline the rental car agency’s CDW/LDW coverage, and receive coverage for damage or theft of your rental car. Primary coverage means that you do not have to file a claim with any other applicable insurance before the card’s coverage kicks in.
If you were to rent just once a year for 10 days and not have to pay an estimated $20 per day for this additional coverage, you could save $200 on just 1 rental.
Purchase your ticket with your card and receive up to $2,000 per person for non-refundable expenses if your trip is interrupted or needs to be canceled for covered reasons. If your trip is delayed 6 hours or more, or overnight, you could receive up to $500 for each purchased ticket for reasonable additional expenses.
If your luggage is lost or stolen during your trip, you could receive up to $3,000 per trip (up to $2,000 for New York residents). Since the airlines do cover lost/stolen luggage, it’s unlikely you’d use this benefit unless the airline doesn’t pay you the full value of your luggage … then this benefit could come in handy!
You can keep the Capital One Venture X card in your wallet while you travel knowing you won’t be charged fees on any foreign transactions you make (rates & fees).
Typical foreign transaction fees can be 3% of the purchase amount. If you were to spend $3,000 in a year, that would result in $90 in savings.
Pay your monthly bill in full with your Capital One Venture X card and receive up to $800 for damage, theft, and “involuntary and accidental parting” of your cell phone. There is a $50 deductible for each claim and there is a maximum limit of 2 claims per 12-month period. Any cell phone bill paid for in full with your card each month can also have coverage. Learn more about Capital One Venture X card cell phone coverage here.
Eligible items purchased with your card can qualify for additional protection should something go wrong with your purchase. If an item is damaged or stolen within 120 days of the purchase date, you could receive up to $500 per item, a maximum of $10,000 per account with purchase security coverage.
Additionally, eligible items with manufacturer’s warranties of 3 years or less will receive 1 additional year.
If an eligible item is not accepted for return by the merchant within 90 days from the date of purchase, you could receive up to $300 per item, up to $1,000 per account.
Log in to your account and click through Capital One Offers for cash-back in the form of statement credits on purchases at select retailers.
Hot Tip: Note that these are not all of the benefits of the Capital One Venture X card and our benefit descriptions have been abbreviated. You’ll want to access the card’s Guide to Benefits for complete descriptions and terms and conditions.
Capital One will waive credit card fees for cards obtained prior to active duty for eligible military members. An eligible active-duty military member is defined as the following:
Some credit card issuers waive annual fees for eligible active-duty military members for cards opened before, and during, active duty. Capital One, however, restricts fee waivers to only those credit cards opened prior to the start of active duty.
In addition to credit card accounts, lines of credit, auto loans, mortgages, home equity loans, and installment loans can also qualify for Capital One SCRA benefits.
To receive benefits for any eligible credit card accounts or loans, you’ll complete this simple form to submit your request.
Alternatively, you can request benefits via mail by submitting your request to: Capital One, Attention: SCRA Request, P.O Box 30285, Salt Lake City, UT, 84130-0285. You can also fax your request to 866-516-4023.
Requests should include the service member’s name and Social Security number, the active-duty start date, and the branch of service. You will also need to provide a copy of your active-duty military orders for Capital One to review or a letter from your executive or commanding officer on official letterhead.
You may also request benefits in person at the nearest Capital One branch.
Your Defense Manpower Data Center (DATC) record showing active duty status will be verified by Capital One. If there is any problem or additional information is needed, Capital One will contact you.
The deadline for requesting SCRA benefits is 1 year after leaving or completing active duty.
Hot Tip: Capital One has a 24/7 military support SCRA hotline (855-227-1645) that you can call to have your questions answered.
The best travel rewards cards for eligible service members who qualify for annual fee exmeptions will generally be those cards that offer the most premium benefits with corresponding high annual fees.
Here are 2 premium cards that fall into those categories, making the cards potentially good choices for military members:
The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.
The Amex Platinum card is known as one of the best premium travel rewards cards. Membership Rewards points earned on the card are valuable for securing travel via Amex Travel but even more so for the potentially greater value when points are transferred to the American Express transfer partners.
Here is a sample of some of the benefits you’ll find on the card:
To learn more about these benefits and the value of the Amex Platinum card for active-duty military, our detailed article will give you additional information.
Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome bonus offer of up to 125k (or 150k) points with the Amex Platinum. The current public offer is 80,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)
A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best options out there.
The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access, with excellent point earning and redemption options. Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.
Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!
If you want a card with good earning potential, solid value at redemption time, and a long list of travel benefits, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card checks those boxes.
Here are some of the additional reasons we like the card for military members:
We cover more benefit details of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card for active-duty military in our article on this topic.
Since Capital One only waives fees for credit cards acquired prior to active duty, not during active duty, the opportunity for having the fee waived on the Capital One Venture X card can be limited. Don’t dismiss the card based on this factor alone, however, as the card has tremendous potential value.
American Express and Chase do not charge fees for credit cards acquired both during and prior to active duty for eligible military members under the SCRA and the MLA. You can check out several recommended cards in our articles on the best American Express and best Chase cards for active-duty military.
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.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
Yes, if you qualify, the Capital One Venture X card can be worth it.
First, the annual fee may be waived for qualifying military members, which is a great savings. However, if you can utilize the credits for travel purchases, worldwide lounge access for you and authorized users, and travel insurance benefits, the card becomes even more valuable.
In addition, the card earns at least 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase and up to 10x earnings when you use Capital One Travel. You’ll also enjoy several flexible redemption options.
Capital One will not waive credit card fees for cards acquired during active duty but will waive fees under the SCRA for eligible active-duty military members on cards acquired prior to active duty.
Terms and conditions apply.
You can apply for SCRA benefits with Capital One only while you are on active duty or within 1 year of leaving or completing active duty.
Yes, the Capital One Venture X card comes with cell phone protection. You may receive up to $800 for each eligible claim, up to 2 claims per year. Each claim has a $50 deductible.
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