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.
How Do the SCRA and MLA Work?
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.
Bottom Line: If you’re on active duty and have a Capital One credit card acquired prior to that period, you can apply for Capital One SCRA benefits. If you are not on active duty, you can secure a Capital One credit card, but you will not qualify for Capital One SCRA benefits until you are on active duty.
CapOne Venture X Card Overview
We’ll cover all the key benefits of the CapOne Venture X card shortly, but first, let’s look at a quick overview of the card.
Why We Like This Card for Active-duty Military Members
We like that the CapOne Venture X card has a lower annual fee compared to other premium travel rewards cards. A lower annual fee makes it easier to realize value from the card and keep the card for that value, even when the fee is not waived after active-duty service.
Additional reasons we like the card:
- 10x miles on hotels and rental cars booked via Capital One Travel
- 10x miles on Turo rentals through May 16, 2023
- 5x miles on flights via Capital One Travel
- 2x miles on all other purchases
- Up to $300 statement credit annually for booking via Capital One Travel
- Redeem rewards for travel via Capital One Travel
- Ability to transfer rewards to hotel and airline partners for greater potential value
- Worldwide access to airport lounges and airport lounge alternatives
- 10,000 bonus miles at each card anniversary
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee reimbursement
- Cell phone insurance, plus travel benefits and protection
Bottom Line: The CapOne Venture X card has a lower fee than other premium travel rewards cards, making it a good choice to keep beyond active-duty military service. The card also offers a long list of earning, redemption, travel, and shopping benefits.
The Potential Value of the CapOne Venture X Card Benefits for Active-duty Military [$5,800+ in Value]
With the previous snapshot as a base, let’s look closer at each benefit and the potential value each could offer a military member.
Welcome Offer — Value of $1,350
Immediately after you’re approved for the CapOne 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.
Waived Annual Fee — Value of $395
For active-duty members who qualify to have the annual fee waived, you’ll realize a value of $395.
Additional Waived Fees and Interest — Value Varies
Capital One waives all fees for eligible military members and caps interest rates on credit cards at 4%. While we recommend not carrying a balance to avoid any interest charges, if you needed to, you could realize some savings.
Earning and Redeeming Capital One Miles — Value of up to $1,242
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:
- 10x earnings hotels and rental cars via Capital One Travel on $3,000 = 30,000 miles
- 5x earnings on flights via Capital One Travel on $3,000 = 15,000 miles
- 2x earnings on all other spending on $12,000 = 24,000 miles
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.
Up to $300 Travel Statement Credit — Value of $300
It’s easy to utilize the up to $300 statement credit for purchases via Capital One Travel. Just use your card to make travel purchases via the portal and you’ll receive a statement credit, up to $300 each year.
Bonus Miles at Card Account Anniversary — Value of $100
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.
Worldwide Lounge Access — Value of $500
Priority Pass Lounges and Lounge Alternatives
With your complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, you will have access to over 1,400 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 $429 and complimentary access does not include guests.
Capital One Lounges
In addition to Priority Pass properties, CapOne 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.
Plaza Premium Lounges
CapOne Venture X cardholders can access over 100 Plaza Premium Lounges worldwide. Cardholders, plus 2 additional guests, receive complimentary access. Without the CapOne Venture X card, you would need to pay $35 to $65 for a 2- to 6-hour pass.
Worldwide Lounge Access for Authorized Users — Value of $162
There is no fee to add authorized users to your CapOne 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.
Referral Bonus Opportunities — Value of $250
You could earn up to 100,000 miles each year for referring friends/family for a CapOne Venture X card. Each referral who gets approved results in 25,000 Capital One miles, worth at least $250 in value.
Complementary Hertz President’s Circle Elite Status — Value of $100
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 CapOne 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.
Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Fee Reimbursement — Value of up to $100
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.
Primary Car Rental Insurance — Value of $200
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.
Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Trip Delay Insurance — Value of $100
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.
Lost Luggage Insurance — Value of $100
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!
No Foreign Transaction Fees — Value of $90
You can keep the CapOne Venture X card in your wallet while you travel knowing you won’t be charged fees on any foreign transactions you make.
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.
Cell Phone Protection — Value of $750
Pay your monthly bill in full with your CapOne 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 CapOne Venture X card cell phone coverage here.
Purchase Security, Extended Warranty, and Return Protection — Value of $100
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.
Capital One Shopping — Value Varies
Gain access to the best deals at over 30,000 retailers with the Capital One Shopping web browser. The web browser finds coupons, the best prices, and even rewards offers for shopping using Capital One Shopping links.
Hot Tip: Note that these are not all of the benefits of the CapOne 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.
Qualification and Requesting Benefits
Who Qualifies for Capital One SCRA Benefits
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:
- Active-duty Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Army or Air National Guard, Coast Gard, and Coast Guard Reserves
- Nation Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) commissioned officers
- Commission officers of the Public Health Service
- U.S. citizen members of an allied nation’s military service
- Spouses and dependents of eligible members listed above
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.
How To Request SCRA Benefits — After Card Approval
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.
Additional Premium Travel Rewards Cards for Active-duty Military Members
The best travel rewards cards for eligible service members who qualify for an annual fee waiver 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 Platinum Card® from American Express
Why We Like the Card for Active-duty Military
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 travel 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 offer of up to 150,000 points with the Amex Platinum card! (The current public offer is 80,000 points.)
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Why We Like the Card for Active-duty Military
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:
- Generous welcome bonus
- High annual fee waived for qualifying active-duty military
- 10x points on hotels and car rentals booked via Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 10x points on Lyft rides (through March 2025)
- 5x points for flights booked via Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3x points on dining, including delivery and takeout
- Redeem points for 1.5 cents each for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards
- $300 statement credit each year for travel purchases
- Transfer points to hotel and airline partners for even greater potential value
- Lounge access, including complimentary Priority Pass Select membership with access to worldwide airport lounges and lounge alternatives
- Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS fee reimbursement
- Travel and shopping benefits and protections
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 CapOne 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 waive 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 was not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.