Up to 100,000 bonus miles: Highest-ever Capital One Venture offer

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With signs that travel will soon roar back, credit card companies are hopping on the train and increasing their welcome bonuses in order to attract people ready to get back on the road.

Starting today, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is offering double its regular welcome bonus. You’ll receive up to 100,000 Capital One miles after meeting tiered spending requirements. This is the highest bonus we’ve ever seen for the card.

You can redeem Capital One miles at a rate of 1 cent each toward travel purchases, like airfare and hotels, as well as eligible restaurant delivery, takeout, and streaming service purchases. That means a 100,000-mile bonus is worth $1,000! It can even be worth more if you know the best ways to use Capital One miles, namely, leveraging Capital One transfer partners like Accor, Aeroplan and Avianca.

The only caveat is that the spending requirement to unlock this full bonus is a bit intimidating. But I’ll explain why that hardly matters at all. If you’ve been on the fence about applying for the Capital One Venture, this limited-time offer should help you decide.

Use Capital One miles for just about anything travel-related — including cruises! (Photo by Galyna Andrushko/Shutterstock)

Capital One Venture limited-time 100,000 mile welcome bonus

For a limited time, with the Capital One Venture, you can earn 100,000 bonus miles after spending $20,000 on purchases within the first 12 months of account opening. Or you can still earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months. The opportunity to earn twice the bonus miles is welcome news.

Capital One stipulates that if you’ve had the Capital One Venture before, you’re not eligible for this bonus.

This card earns 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, making it a fantastic option for everyday spend and allows you to not have to pay attention to any annoying bonus categories.

Capital One miles can be redeemed for 1 cent each against any travel purchase, meaning this bonus is worth at least $1,000. It’s quite a simple way to redeem miles, just book whatever you’d like as normal (i.e. hotel, cruise, flight, rental car, etc.), and then you can wipe the purchase off your statement later.

However, you can also transfer the miles to over a dozen transfer partners like Avianca Lifemiles (great for booking Lufthansa first class), Air Canada Aeroplan (which has an enticing new award chart), Air France/KLM’s Flying Blue, JetBlue and more. We value Capital One miles at 1.2 cents on average when transferring to partners, meaning 100,000 miles is worth $1,200 in travel (valuation not provided by the issuer).

Capital One has a funky transfer ratio when moving your miles to partners (2:1.5 in most cases). So 100,000 Capital One miles would convert into 75,000 airline miles. Since we value Air Canada Aeroplan miles at 1.5 cents each, this bonus could potentially be worth more if you transfer it to the right airline — 75,000 Aeroplan miles are worth $1,125.

You can transfer Capital One miles to Avianca Lifemiles and book Lufthansa First Class with no fuel surcharges! (Photo by Zach Griff)

Is this bonus worthwhile?

“I have to spend twenty thousand dollars?!” you might be thinking. Yeah, that sounds like a ton of spending. But let’s get two things straight right away:

  • You can still open the card to easily earn 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months. This is the standard card offer. If you decide later that you want to go for the full bonus, at least you have the option
  • $20,000 in spending is less intimidating than you might think. Remember, you’ve got a year to achieve it. If you put all your spending on the card, you’ll need to spend an average of $1,667 each month

There’s no question that the first tier of this card bonus is great — earn $500 in travel for meeting a very accessible spending requirement. But spending $17,000 more to earn another 50,000 miles is another story.

Here’s an easy way to think about this second-tier — it’s as if you’re getting 5x miles on all purchases, on up to $17,000 in spending:

  • You’ll earn 50,000 miles after spending $17,000 (averaging 2.94 miles per dollar)
  • The card earns 2x miles per dollar on all purchases anyway

A flat 5x everywhere for all purchases is a pretty great deal! Just note that if you don’t end up reaching the full $20,000 in spending within the first 12 months, you’ll end up receiving only 2x for your purchases.

If you are able to spend $20,000 on the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card in the first year, you’d end up with at least 140,000 miles. 2x miles on $20,000 in spend would get you 40,000 miles plus the 100,000 mile bonus. Those 140,000 miles are worth a minimum of $1,400 based on MMS valuations (and not provided by the issuer). Not too shabby.

If you’re still feeling intimidated, we have a giant list of creative ways to meet minimum spending requirements.

Who should apply?

The deal seems like a no-brainer, not to mention that the Venture comes with a number of other travel benefits and perks. But there’s one big factor to keep in mind.

The fastest way to earn rewards for travel is by earning credit card welcome bonuses. With $20,000 in spending over the course of a year, you could earn multiple bonuses with other cards. For example:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card — Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $200 in statement credits for eligible purchases made on your new card at U.S. restaurants within the first six months of card membership.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card – Earn 70,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months from account opening.
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express – 100,000 Amex points after spending $6,000 on purchases with your new card in the first six months of account opening.

So if you want to just deal with one card, this is a great offer. But if you really want to maximize your point earning potential you’re likely better off signing up for more than one card and earning multiple welcome bonuses.

Bottom line

The Capital One Venture comes with 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months of account opening. Or you can earn the 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

If you can put $20,000 of spending on the Capital One Venture in the first 12 months, then this offer is seriously worth considering. A 100,000-mile intro bonus with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is an unheard-of deal and will net you a minimum of $1,000 in travel.

If, however, the full bonus prohibits you from opening other cards and meeting their spending requirements, it’s best to just aim for the card’s 50,000 bonus miles. That way your spending can be focused on other great welcome bonuses as they pop up. You can subscribe to our newsletter to ensure you never miss those improved bonuses — we’re always keeping an eye out for you.

Brendan Dorsey is an editor at Million Mile Secrets. He loves all things travel, points, miles and credit cards. He's worked for TIME and The Points Guy and has appeared on MSN, Yahoo Finance, Readers Digest, USA Today, CreditCards.com and more.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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