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Capitol One Venture Card...or NOT. Seeking Other Recommendations

So today I applied for a Capitol One Venture Card for my husband and I, they are currently offering bonus points and I like the no foreign transaction fees. We have amazing credit. They approved us but then their system wouldn't verify our phone numbers, we've had the same two for 4+ years and so then they want my husbands drivers license (he is listed as primary), we've got the fraud department calling us but they will only talk to him even though they are calling both our phones, and now want him to send them utility bills. We've never had this much trouble before and he is at work. He has already spent an hour trying to straighten this out all all because their system can't verify our phone numbers. They will not let him tell them to talk to me about it. I'm home for the summer and have the time. So, I guess we won't be doing Capitol One. Any other recommendations with good points bonuses right now? Thanks!

Posted by
4684 posts

I only do points/miles programs directly with an airline or hotel. Do you need a new credit card right now? AA sometimes has a 60,000 mile bonus for new credit card sign-ups but not at the moment (and usually with the annual fee waived the first year). Southwest/Chase have a 60,000 point bonus for new cards too - but not at the moment (annual fee not waived). They come back month to month. I especially find the SW/Chase card an amazing deal.

If you can wait a month or two, better offers will pop up!

Posted by
756 posts

Andrew - we don't really fly southwest, does that matter? And we don't need a new CC right now, but we are looking for a good travel one and 50,000 bonus points was pretty good. We are going to Turkey in 2020 and I wanted to start searching for flights and pay with this card to meet the $3000 threshold to get the 50,000. We don't really want the card for any airline perks necessarily, but more for the cash back and zero foreign transaction fees.

Posted by
20553 posts

What is wrong with complying with the hoops? Not like you are leaving next week. Time is on your side. This is very standard given the problems with identity theft. Not being able to confirm your phone numbers raises a big red flag. I am sure you would appreciate the caution if a third party was trying to obtain a credit card in your name. Then it really becomes a hassle. Work with them. They are just trying to protect you.

PS -- Once this is resolved, I would check with your phone carrier to see if there is a problem with your numbers. This could be a reoccurring problem if you apply for other credit cards. I have a couple of long term credit cards with Chase and recently have noticed that their security protocols on usage are tighter. It can cause a hick up or two but I do appreciate that security is tight.

Posted by
595 posts

I'm sorry you are having so much trouble, but if you persist, I do think it will be better in the future. I have had the card for years and have had nothing but positive experiences with customer service. I have no foreign transaction fees, and have never had trouble using the card in other countries. They have great fraud detection that sends me a text or email whenever there is an unusual purchase and I just have to click the "everything's ok" button to keep using it.

The points that are earned can be used to redeem any travel cost. 1 point is $1 spent, I believe, and you simply go in to redeem it and select any travel cost that you have enough points for (airfare, hotels, car rentals, train tickets) and it gives you a statement credit for that amount. Very simple. Hope you get something worked out!

Posted by
756 posts

Frank- it is making me question their software/programming or whatever it is that does this stuff. They can confirm that yes we can have the card but it can't match our phone numbers that we've had for years?? Seems questionable to me. I realize the issues with fraud, and that concern is definitely valid.

Posted by
756 posts

Thanks for the reassurance Tamara. I am very frustrated right now as they were super unhelpful and not very inclined to be lenient in my opinion of them. I basically got a 'we can't help you at all.' I will see what they want now from my husband when he gets home tonight and if we can readily get our hands on it to give to them will persist.

Posted by
20553 posts

It is simply, if you do not like their security protocols then go elsewhere. Personally I like to see tight security. If your husband is primary, then it a very reasonable to be very cautions about who can discuss the account. It is not their software that is the problem. Apply for the card in your name. It is good for you personally to have your own credit cards.

Posted by
288 posts

I've been quite satisfied with Chase so far. They offer a couple cards (Sapphire Preferred, and Sapphire Reserve) that offer a good suite of travel rewards and perks (some good travel insurance and purchase protection, signup bonuses, points earning, good redemption offers). One thing I particularly like about them is the ease of being able to transfer earned points to various partners (airlines, hotels) at 1:1 ratios - which is to say, 60k Chase "Ultimate Rewards" points can be [most often] instantly turned in to miles with various airlines to book directly with those airlines. The Reserve card is a bit fancier than the Preferred - and includes things like Global Entry fee credits, airport lounge access, and the like - but does come with a much heftier annual fee. Neither has foreign transaction fees.

If you'd already taken the plunge on applying for the Capital One card and getting approved, despite that initial hassle, it could be worth just putting up with their questions and getting those cards. If you liked their offers and such, they've already pulled your credit and dinged you with an inquiry so that bridge has been crossed. They seem to be a fairly well-reviewed travel card.

Posted by
756 posts

I like what this card offers and tight security, but not unreasonable and this is bordering on that. It has some good added benefits though so thanks to your thoughtful reassurances I'm thinking we'll persist. Thanks to all!

Posted by
3104 posts

Not sure what they are getting at when they claim they can't verify your phone numbers. Are the names and addresses on the phones the exact same as what was used on the credit card application? That should be all that matters. Do you have any kind of blocks on your phones for incoming calls? They may be trying to call you so you can then enter a code number somewhere on the Capital One web site.

I have had the Capital One credit card for 15 years or so. Never had any issues. They always respond quickly to any questions I have for them (which have been very few). The card has worked in every foreign country I have ever used it in in contrast to many others that guaranteed usability but never came through on that. And when they say no foreign fees, they mean it 100%.

Posted by
94 posts

If you can wait to get a good travel credit card with lots of extra bonus points, between Thanksgiving and Christmas there are a couple of days where the credit card companies roll out the red carpet to try and get your business. Several of them offer lots of extra bonus points to entice you to apply. I am keeping my eye out this year for just this reason. 50,000 bonus points is bottom feeding. I have been offered by Delta airlines 80,000 bonus points. I kick myself for not applying. Of course there is always the fact, one has to spend so much money in a short amount of time to receive the bonus points.

Posted by
2272 posts

Something is not right here. If they call you to you have ID blocker on your phone? Have you checked your credit reports to be sure the phone numbers they have match? Could it be your identity has been compromised? I would definitely persist. Don’t forget every card you apply for is a hard credit check so applying for multiple cards at once will ding your “amazing” credit score. This is a great card for travel, so do persist and get it. And be grateful for a good security system on their end.

Posted by
332 posts

That's rather odd, that they aren't able to validate/confirm you phone number(s), despite the fact that you're able to talk with them...over the phone. Like others have said, it's possible the application form has a different number than what you're claiming/using. May also check with one of the credit score services like Equifax or, Experian to confirm correct information.

As for card to use...I enjoy traveling enough that I use the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Freedom Unlimited for primary usage. The points I'm able to combine and use for my trips are quite favorable and the travel perks are virtually unmatched. I originally had the Capitol One Venture, it's a very easy card to use for infrequent travelers. Keep in mind the Costco Citi card has become an attractive travel card as well, since it also has no foreign transaction fees, no annual fee, along with their higher percentage cash backs on everyday categories.

Posted by
157 posts

I've had good experience with the card, but I probably won't keep it much longer.
We've had lots of trips this year and next, so being able to get 10x the points on hotels.com has been nice. The 2x on all other purchases is nice too, but the best for travel is probably the Chase Sapphire.

Posted by
4684 posts

Andrew - we don't really fly southwest, does that matter?

Yes, I would avoid a Southwest credit card if you never fly Southwest. I fly Southwest almost exclusively in the US, and I have enough credit card points now that I never need to buy plane tickets anymore. Southwest's mileage program is extremely flexible - flights booked with points can be canceled for no fee at all, even at the last minute. I routinely make SW reservations months in advance whenever there's a big sale even if I'm not sure of dates. I can always re-book, change them later for no penalty. Can't do that with any other airline's program as far as I know. (I even booked a SW flight to Hawaii in the fall - but probably can't go! :-( But no worries - will cost me nothing to cancel, and maybe I would be able to go after all. Who knows?)

But, Southwest just isn't convenient for some people or they don't like the "open seating" policy - I get that.

And we don't need a new CC right now, but we are looking for a good travel one and 50,000 bonus points was pretty good. We are going to Turkey in 2020 and I wanted to start searching for flights and pay with this card to meet the $3000 threshold to get the 50,000. We don't really want the card for any airline perks necessarily, but more for the cash back and zero foreign transaction fees.

I find the miles and points more flexible and useful than cash. I already described the SW benefits (to me) above - how can you put a value on free cancellations and changes? I use Alaska or AA miles to go to Europe every spring. It's really nice not having to buy airline tickets anymore...

Posted by
5537 posts

We love our CapitalOne Card and pay for all our international Business Class flights with the double points. They make it so easy.
And we get notifications quickly if they think a charge is suspicious. They even contact us if they think we left a too large tip. One time we left cash for the server and the restaurant added another very large tip to the credit card charge. They caught it. We just say it is OK or not. They really are on top of fraud. So when they ask you to jump through a few hoops, it is for your protection.

Posted by
4684 posts

One thing to keep in mind if you do pursue the Capital One Venture Card is that besides no foreign transaction fees there is no annual fee. I believe the Southwest card and Sapphire Chase are 95.00 a year.

They do have annual fees and they are not waived the first year. The SW Chase Plus card has a $69 annual fee but does have foreign transaction fees. The SW Chase Premier card has a $99 annual fee but no foreign transaction fees. But I never keep these cards more than the first year - I cancel them and get them again a year or two with a new bonus. The annual fees are well worth the points you get the first year as a bonus though. But keeping them more than a year doesn't seem worth it to me.

It is possible, if you can qualify for your bonus quickly with enough spending, to cancel the Chase card within 60 days of opening them, keep the bonus points, but get your annual fee payment refunded. I didn't even know this was possible until I did it once by accident - was surprised that my fee got refunded, I didn't ask for it to be! I called to ask and they said, "Oh, yeah, because it was within the first 60 days."

Posted by
2757 posts

In your situation, I would just scratch Capitol One, unless it's indispensable to you. When I applied for my chip/PIN Andrews FCU several years ago, the application process was horrendous. However, I really wanted to get a chip/PIN card, so I persevered. I've now had it for several years, and the extent of my dealings with them is pretty much getting the bills and paying them.

Posted by
756 posts

Thanks so much everyone. The card we are looking at has no fees the first year but $95 every year after that. We like the extra points with hotels.com, no international fees, and this one comes with $100 towards Global Entry. We have had these phone numbers for over 10 years so I just can't understand why that has been such an issue for them. Maybe I'm too hung up on it. Thanks to all of your helpful comments and insightfulness I am calming down about it and my husbands understandable unhappiness about them wanting to talk with him while he's at work. As for waiting until Nov./Dec., I don't really want to wait that long to book our airline tickets as our trip is in April 2020. And we do not have ID blockers. They have been able to get a hold of both of us, and my husband has talked to them, but because they say the phone numbers didn't match they won't go ahead with it without a copy of his ID, a utility bill, and I'm not sure what else at this point. I have to talk to him tonight.

Posted by
6536 posts

I'm also on Capital One's Venture card getting 2% back for future travel. It buys us 1-2 European tickets yearly.
They, like most large credit card companies, are very careful on their security and verifications. My problem is that I don't carry a cellphone to get text message verifications on. We got them to text my wife's phone #, however.
What's not been said is the quality of Capital One's service, and I've found them to be very easy to work with and to have excellent service. I've not even had to wait hours to talk to a person on the phone.
We prefer to keep all our credit card business at one place, and our two cards are linked on one statement. As retirees, we don't want to chase the cash flow to have 3-4 credit cards at different companies and airlines.

Posted by
364 posts

We also have the Capital One Venture Card - we got it because Rick Steves recommends it in his book, EUROPE THROUGH THE BACK DOOR - also, if you haven't read this book -- it is fantastic and I give it to anyone traveling to Europe - there is a new edition due out in December.

Posted by
756 posts

Well, I wanted to persevere and be open minded, but they want a copy of my husbands signed SS card and a copy of a utility bill to verify the address which they already have from the copy of his drivers license. Is this normal, even with added security?

Posted by
4684 posts

Seems bizarre to me!

I've never done business with this company, after two bad experiences in the past with them, WITHOUT EVEN BEING THEIR CUSTOMER!

First time, I was a victim of identity theft. Someone obtained one of the company's credit cards in my name and charged a few thousand dollars on it,. This was quite a few years ago now, but they made it extremely difficult and frustrating to get their notation removed from my credit report and prove it wasn't from me. I had to sign a notarized statement saying it wasn't from me. (The classic case of "Guilty until proven Innocent to our satisfaction.") I had to contact them over and over and over again and send the same information to different departments. In one case, one department asked me to send them what another department had sent me - they were unable to get it directly from themselves!

Second time, I was put in charge of a deceased person's estate, and the person had a few credit cards with balances on them. One was one of their cards. There was no estate. When I informed the other credit card companies, they said, "OK, thanks" and stopped contacting me. But THIS COMPANY thought it would be fun to turn over the debt to a collections agency - who started hounding ME to pay the debts! Another big PITA and a waste of my time.

So, my dealings with the company have left a bad taste in my mouth. I have no desire ever to do business with them, no matter how great their credit cards supposedly are! There are so many other good choices - seems not worth worrying about them.

Posted by
6060 posts

You should have no problem getting an inexpensive Turkish Air ticket without the need to use any points, especially in April out of Chicago. I would wait until they have a seasonal flights sale, and would be in no rush otherwise. As far as credit cards go, I think it's worth focusing on exactly your objectives are from that card (it wasn't entirely clear what were your top "must haves" for the credit card). I try to focus on cards that won't be "one hit wonders" for some limited time but rather complement my existing spending habits without driving them up or steering my choices (as in loyalty programs) just to attain some reward. I really appreciate the ones that have simple and transparent redemption policies in terms of cash back or statement credits: Citi Double Cash (2%), Capital One Quicksilver (1.5% back on everything, couldn't be easier to redeem whenever you want), and AMEX Blue Preferred (6% back on groceries can't really be beat with any other card, and that's my top spending category). All of these cards came with 0% for at least 12 months plus promotional bonuses top of ~ $150, so it was a win-win. For me, cash works better than travel points because it's broader and can be used for travel and other things, depending on what the priority is at any moment.

Posted by
756 posts

Thanks Agnes, I will look into those. Groceries is my top regular spending category too.

Posted by
6060 posts

Also check out Nerdwallet and Bankrate.com for card comparisons and pro/con articles of different cards. The devil is always in the details. Several (Nerdwallet) articles have helped me avoid some pitfalls and make good decisions (I would not typically choose a card with an annual fee, but sometimes the math works and it more than pays for itself). One card may be perfect for one person, but not for another because we all have different spending profiles. Unfortunately, no card "has it all" (particularly with the 0% foreign exchange fees), so I've cobbled up a few cards that satisfy different niches of my spending.

I'm sorry you've had such a hard time with Capital One. They are the one company that has a consistent 0% foreign exchange fee across their entire product line, which is nice.

Posted by
1209 posts

One thing with hotels.com is that they're willing to be pretty much anyone's friend when it comes to rebates, and it's easy to find 4-8% back at any number of shopping portals like TopCashBack, eBates, Swagbucks, MyPoints, etc. using any number of different credit cards. There's even a partnership with eBates and American Express right now- if you've got a credit card that gives AmEx Member Rewards, you can earn MR reward points instead of cash back there, and since I value MR points at about 1.5 cents each, a hotels.com booking through eBates with a linked AmEx card at the current 8% back gets me more than the Venture card option would.

Posted by
288 posts

Just wanting to note - the 10x points on hotels.com bookings is only through January 2020, right? Unless that deal gets renewed it expires somewhat soon.

Posted by
12084 posts

I use the Capital Quicksilver Visa card, no fee, 1.5% cash back, no transaction fees, good limit.. ...got it when the promotion was going on last year in November, offering the applicant an extra $150 upon approval, which is a matter of course.

Posted by
70 posts

Not a fan of Capitol One, customer service is non existent. Love my Bank of America cash back card, all kinds of travel perks like free application for global entry! Loved that on our last trip! 500,000 bonus points equals $500 on top of other travel perks. Only fee is the $95 annual fee, ok so I get $405 cash back, and I will cancel after the first year and move on. The Points Guy always has good recommendations, look him up.

Posted by
756 posts

Well, they sent the card but won't activate it without a copy of his SS card and copy of a utility bill. It is getting cut up and we are moving on!

Posted by
6060 posts

Something went really wrong here. That's too bad. I've really enjoyed my Capital One cards and their service has been very good in my experience. The only downside is that they block cards too easily when they suspect fraud - I know it may be for the best, but it's annoying and feels overly paternalistic.

Posted by
2272 posts

I would not just chalk this up to incompetence on the part of Capital One. They are looking at your credit reports and other data bases and something does not match up. They won’t tell you what it is as they don’t know you. At the very least pull a current copy of your credit report from all three agencies to look for discrepancies.

Posted by
3104 posts

There is definitely something they are seeing in a credit report somewhere that concerns them. Something that makes them think you (or your husband) are not you. You need to immediately get all of your credit reports and look for anything that doesn't look right and you didn't initiate -- unusual account opening or closing, changes of address, changes to pone numbers, everything. If you don't know how to do this, find a reputable company that does this and pay them to do it. Someone may be in the process of stealing your identity.

My mom, who is retired and has no income other than Social Security recently opened an credit card account with Capital One -- all it took was the amount of time for her to fill in the application. The card arrived within a week with no further info requested.

Posted by
6060 posts

I just saw this story in the Washington Post:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/capital-one-data-breach-compromises-tens-of-millions-of-credit-card-applications-fbi-says/2019/07/29/72114cc2-b243-11e9-8f6c-7828e68cb15f_story.html?utm_term=.6c0f30a5a440

Great! ANOTHER major data breach! I say ditch CapOne...they don't deserve another customer. I wonder when Congress will finally grow a backbone and actually give one of these firms a substantive punishment.

Posted by
756 posts

Thank-you all! We've checked into it and we are good to go! We won't be using capitol one but if you do I would recommend you check out yourself with the data breach.