What You Need to Know About the Capital One Venture X Travel Credit | Credit Cards

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Capital One recently informed cardholders who have the Venture X Rewards Credit Card that one of their key benefits has changed. Since the card’s launch, cardholders have enjoyed an annual $300 travel credit that was applied as a statement credit after you purchased an eligible travel booking through Capital One Travel.

Going forward, however, there is no more statement credit. Now, users will be able to redeem a $300 discount at the time of purchase.

Find out what this means for cardholders, if there’s any real difference and how the new $300 credit will work.

Same $300 Credit, But Applied Differently

Given Venture X’s annual fee of $395, the $300 travel credit goes a long way toward offsetting the cost of carrying the card. In the past, cardholders would use their card to book a trip via Capital One Travel costing $300 or more, and then – a statement cycle or two later – they’d receive a statement credit of $300.

Now, instead of waiting for the credit card statement to arrive, you’ll apply the $300 credit at the time of booking. So essentially you get a $300 upfront discount.

How the Change Impacts Cardholders

On the surface, not having to wait for your $300 savings sounds great. But it will cost cardholders some rewards dollars, because rewards will not be earned on the credit.

That refers earning 10 points per dollar spent on purchases made through Capital One Travel. Prior to the change, if you booked a trip for $400, you’d earn 4,000 points – which is the equivalent of $40 in rewards – and then you’d get your $300 statement credit soon after.

If you book that same $400 trip now, you’ll get an instant $300 discount, meaning you’ll only earn rewards on the remaining $100 purchase amount. So instead of 4,000 points, you’ll only earn 1,000 – taking your real dollar earnings from $40 to $10.

Basically, the updated terms mean that the card is losing $30 in annual value. With many other benefits, perks and earning opportunities, that may not make a difference to cardholders. For those considering the card, it’s up to you to decide if it’s a deal breaker.

Ultimately, credit cards have the right to change their program terms and conditions at any time. But in the world of higher-tier travel rewards cards, people take seriously any changes that diminish a card’s value. As such, there’s been some online chatter along those lines among cardholders alerted about the change.

Capital One’s Take

A Capital One spokesperson says, “This change comes from Capital One always listening to its customers and continuing to build a seamless booking experience for them from start to finish. Now that customers receive the annual credit immediately within Capital One Travel, it’s easier for them to decide when to apply the credit at their convenience, rather than waiting to receive the statement credit weeks after purchase.”

How Travel Credits Work With Other Cards

While some cardholders might be upset about Capital One’s updated travel credit policy, other major travel card issuers also don’t let you double-dip by earning rewards on travel credit-subsidized purchases.

For example, the Annual Travel Credit offer from American Express is redeemable at the time of purchase when you book travel via American Express Travel, the same way Capital One works now.

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, the $300 travel credit is a statement credit, but the terms specify that no rewards will be earned on purchases that qualify for the credit. What’s more, you won’t earn bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel purchases until the $300 credit is exhausted.

The Bottom Line

When you have rewards credit cards, tweaks to the program are par for the course. On the positive side, Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card users no longer have to wait weeks for their travel credit. But the rare opportunity to earn rewards on top of a travel credit purchase is no more.

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