Capital One Venture Card 100,000 Bonus Miles-7 Reasons I'm Not Applying
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Hilary Stockton

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Capital One Venture Card 100,000 Bonus Miles-7 Reasons I'm Not Applying


TravelSort reader Dave asked for my thoughts on the current Capital One Venture Card 100,000 bonus miles promotion. Normally I don't write about the promotions I'm not personally taking advantage of, but I do realize others have different goals for their miles, points and credit card strategy. So, I'll aim to also provide some reasons why you may want to take advantage of this deal, though I personally don't recommend it.

Capital One Venture Card 100,000 Bonus Miles Promotion in a Nutshell

  • Get up to 100,000 Venture miles (actual number is double the amount you spent in 2011 on a travel credit of a competitor (AMEX, Chase, etc.) So only if you spent $50K on a single travel credit card in 2011 would you get the full 100,000 Venture miles
  • Note that spend on a private label card (eg an airline or hotel card), corporate card, small business card, debit card, prepaid card and other Capital One cards is *not* eligible for the promotion
  • Only new Capital One Venture card holders are eligible. So if you got the Capital One Venture card last year during the "Match My Miles" Challenge you aren't eligible for the bonus miles
What You Need to Do to Get the 100,000 Bonus Miles
  • Apply and be approved for a Capital One Venture card before the challenge ends (challenge started early March and lasts until Capital One has given away 1 billion miles, or until May 1-whichever comes first)
  • Submit your 2011 year-end summary from a eligible competitor's travel credit card
  • Spend $1000 on your Venture card within 90 days of approval
Why I'm Not Applying
1. Poor Value When Redeeming for Travel
Capital One Venture miles do NOT transfer to an airline program; you book them through Capital One at a value of only 1 cent per mile. This is similar to the AMEX Pay with Points program and in my book is not a good deal. I want to get a minimum of 3 cents per mile or point when I redeem, and hopefully a good deal more. The most value you could get with this offer is $1000, if you manage to get all 100,000 bonus miles.
Note that instead of using the 100,000 miles to book travel, you can use it instead for a statement credit (1 mile = 1 cent) which would get you $1000 back. I'd recommend this option if you decide to do the promotion, because that basically takes care of the $1000 in spend that you're required to make to get the bonus miles.
2. Hard to Get the Full 100,000 Bonus Miles
Your situation may be different, but I personally wouldn't get the full 100,000 bonus miles, because my spend in 2011 was distributed among several different credit cards. So if I did this promotion I wouldn't get even $1000 in value.
3. I Don't Value the MQM Aspect as Much as Some
Since I'm not a frequent flyer and earn most of my miles and points through credit card bonuses and spend, I don't put any value on the ability to accrue MQMs or upgrades with any tickets that I might book through Capital One
4. Ineligibility for Future Capital One Venture Card Promotions
While I don't know if there will ever be a Capital One Venture card promotion that I'll consider a great enough deal, I do know that if I were to do the current double miles promotion I'd be ineligible for any future ones. Those who did the promotion last year, when it was more valuable (especially if they redeemed early for Hyatt certificates) can pat themselves on the back, because we may never see as lucrative a promotion with the Venture card. Hopefully I'm wrong though.
5. Intrusive Question on value of all bank accounts
Most credit card applications require total annual income. The Capital One Venture application goes further and requires you to disclose the total balance of all bank accounts (checking, savings, money market). It also asks about investment accounts, although fortunately you don't have to answer that question. Still, in combination with all the other reasons, the more intrusive nature of this application doesn't incline me to apply.
6. 3 Hard Credit Pulls
Capital One pulls credit reports from all 3 credit bureaus, so this is not the card to apply for if you just recently did some applications or hope to apply for some others soon. I just got approved for the Chase Ink Bold and may apply for the United Mileage Explorer (got  to be careful though of applying for too many Chase cards in a short time frame) so that's another knock against this card. 
7. Easy to Get Denied for This Card
Apparently Capital One is being very stringent with its credit/income criteria for this card--people have been reporting denials, even with stellar credit scores and good incomes. That's adding insult to injury when you've had 3 hard credit pulls!
Reasons You May Want to do the Capital One Venture Card 100,000 Bonus Miles Promotion
Now, of course you could be in a different place than I am with most of these questions:
  • You'd qualify for the full 100,000 Venture miles/$1000
  • You value the ability to earn MQMs and get upgraded due to frequent flyer status on awards booked with Capital One
  • You don't mind not being eligible for any future Capital One Venture offers--after all, there are so many new credit card products, it's not a big deal
  • You haven't done many credit card applications recently so the 3 hard credit pulls are of less consequence
I'd still maintain the card is poor value compared to other offers out there--see our Best Travel Credit Cards for ones I'd actually recommend. 
Are you doing the Capital One Venture Card 100,000 bonus miles promotion? Share your views and tips in the comments.

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