capital one card worth it?

My family of 3 hopes to travel to Europe next year. I'm trying to decide whether to get the Capital One card w/no foreign transaction fees, and hope to possibly get enough mileage points for a free ticket. If I use the offer I got in the mail, I can earn 10,000 free miles just by signing up for the card. The ads claim there are no blackout dates and miles can be used on any airline. If you have this card, is this true? Is it hard to purchase a free ticket along with two paid tickets? Do you think the card is worth it? I currently use a card that gives me straight cash back, and I put all the cash back into our vacation savings account. I'm trying to figure out if the free ticket and no foreign transaction fees is a better bet. Thanks for your input!

Posted by Maryam
Washington, DC
562 posts

As for the free ticket, I cannot speak to that as I have not earned enough points to redeem (it's something like you need 100x the cost of the ticket if it's over $600). That's been hard for me to get to and I put almost everything on my card.
As for the no transaction fees, it is totally worth it to me. If you decide to keep your cash back card, get the Capital One card and use it just on the trip. The savings of no transaction fees is really nice.

Posted by Betsey
New England
269 posts

A ditto to Maryam, you'll need 100x the cost of the ticket for the amount of miles if the ticket is over $600, but for the no foreign transaction fee it is the card I use for all my trips. Putting the cash back into a vacation savings account sounds smart to me.

Posted by Stacey
Kansas City
112 posts

I have a Capital One card that gives cash back. It came with a bonus $100 after the first so much in purchases in the first month or something. It only offers one percent back, unlike some cards that give different amounts for different types of purchases, so that could be better. Take a look at the Capital One website. There are a variety of different types that have no foreign transaction fees and there might be one that works better for you.

Posted by Susan
St Paul
35 posts

We have the Capital One Mastercard which gives double miles. In the past ten years, we have been reimbursed for 2 tickets to Australia and at least one ticket to Europe and other domestic flights/hotels. (You can also use it on hotels.) We buy our own tickets, wait for the transaction to post and then go online to our Capital One account to request reimbursement. That way you can purchase your tickets all at the same time. There are no blackout dates as you are buying your tickets with money, not miles, from any airline or another site such as Expedia. While you can call Capital One travel and have them make your ticket purchase using your chosen dates and times, I find it easier to make my own reservations online and get reimbursed later. They just credit your account. Always works for us, very easy. We use our cc for everything we can.
It is totally worth it as far as we are concerned as it has saved us a few thousand dollars.

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1353 posts

hi, if there arent any signup fees or out of pocket fees/expenses and such and if you plan on travleing more, i would get it. happy trails.

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
2276 posts

Yes, good card. No foreign transaction fees whatsoever. Using the miles is a bit tricky. They go in tiers up to $600, then its a flat penny/mile. So if you are not careful, you could get a $260 ailine ticket and cost you 40,000 miles. Best use is to save miles until you have 60,000 or more and then you get the most bang for the buck.

Posted by Gretchen
Andover, MA, USA
289 posts

Hi Ruth,
Let me start by saying I am no authority on this topic, but I've been doing a lot of reading about this lately. To answer your question, I'm assuming you mean the Capital One Venture (or Venture One) card? I JUST picked this up last month. Of course, a few days later I found. Www.frugaltravelguy.com and began reading up on freq flier miles. I am now wishing I had picked up the Chase Sapphire Preferred card instead (different from the regular Chase Sapphire card). The reason being is that with the CapOne card, its basically $.01 per mile (I.e., of you want to buy $500 ticket, you need 50000 pts) and depending upon your the amount you charge on the card each month, it could take you a LONG time to earn enough with for a free ticket. For example, if you want to travel to Europe next June it'll probably cost about $1500.00 per ticket, which is 150000 pts (which may be $75000! With double miles). I would assume you wouldn't be putting that much on your card in the next year. According to Frugal Travel Guy, the Chase Sapp. Pref. card is offering 40000 pts right now as a bonus (equal to $500 in rewards) but the good thing is that you can transfer your points into several other freq flier programs (so if you already have some pts with a particular airline, you can combine them, provided they are one of the Chase program partners). PLEASE DON'T quote me exactly on all the info here, but check frugal travel guy and other blogs like The points guy for BETTER, more accurate info about the credit cards. The way I've explained it is what I've garnered from these other websites. I suggest you read up. I think you can even email your particular details to the Frugal Travel Guy and he will make recommendations particular to your situation. I hope this helps. :)

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
2276 posts

Check what the Chase Saphire foreign transaction fees and annual fees are. The point of the OP was to have a card that doesn't ding you with fees while you're in Europe spending your own money. Between hotels, train tickets, restaurants, and shopping is easily $100 on a typical 2-3 week trip. I will add that at the end of the day, you are simply getting $.01 cash back for every $1.00 you spend.

Posted by Gretchen
Andover, MA, USA
289 posts

Hi Sam, FYI, the Chase Sapp Preferred also has no foreign transaction fees, but I'm not sure about an annual fee. The OP should definitely consider this when looking for a new credit card. Thanks for pointing that out. To answer the OPs question further, I do have the Capital One Venture card and I'm not saying its a bad card, there just may be others that work a little bit better. I'm just not sure. The CapOne Venture definitely has no foreign transaction fees and the 'purchase eraser' function definitely seems an easy way to go in terms of buying any travel-related ticket or other purchase. And it's really easy to keep track of - just add two zeros to the purchase price to see the amount of points you need (so for. $213.00 ticket, you need 21300 pts). As I said, I'm not authority on this but start checking around and you can easily find out more about it. :).

Posted by Gretchen
Andover, MA, USA
289 posts

Hi Ruth! I would call CapOne and make sure this is how many pts you would need (of course, assuming for an average summer ticket price of $1500). As I said above, please just don't take my advice. ;)

Posted by Gretchen
Andover, MA, USA
289 posts

One more thing Ruth about the CApOne. -the Venture card with the annual fee (which is waived the first year) is DoUBLE points, so it would be $75000 cash to get 150,000 points (Still a LOT), but I just wanted to make that clear. There is also a no-annual fee version, but instead that gives you 1.25 points per dollar spent, rather than 2.0 (double) points.

Posted by Randy
Minneapolis, MN, USA
1508 posts

I got mine recently and have not had the opportunity to do much with it yet, but it is my understanding that the points or "miles" are really just $.01 penny credits. And within 90 days after making any travel-related purchase (mainly hotel or flights) you have the opportunity to go online and redeem your "miles" for a credit card refund. At least that's how it seems to work for my card. I'll wind up eventually getting refunded for 2-3 hotel rooms, but we don't use any card enough to pay for a ticket to Europe that way. Mostly I just like it for the lack of currency conversion fee. Warning; no credit cards rewards will ever exceed finance charges on a credit card not fully paid off at the end of each month.

Posted by Ruth
Ithaca, NY, USA
126 posts

Thanks everyone -- really helpful information! It sounds like it is definitely worth it to get a card with no foreign transaction fees. And although I like how the Capital One miles feature works, I doubt I'd be able (or want!) to spend $150k between now and next spring. So I might think about that for domestic travel, but not for this trip. I'll explore my options.

Posted by bronwen
maplewood, new jersey, usa
750 posts

Chase Sapphire. Double miles for travel and restaurants and more important is using their rewards mall - I don't buy anything that I don't get miles for. Booking with Hotels.com is 4 miles for every dollar on rewards mall plus double miles for travel - so basically 6 miles/ $ spent. Also - I only use my miles for United Saver tickets - 50,000 for rt Econ and 100,000 for rt bus/first. I received 50,000 miles when I enrolled and my husband 40,000 (which I believe is still the promotion). No foreign transaction fees too.