Farewell gaming. $300 Venture X travel credit now applied as discount when booking


When the Capital One Venture X card launched a couple of years ago, one of the reasons it was so popular was that even though it has a $395 annual fee, it came with a $300 travel credit that was easy to use.

The credit wasn’t quite as flexible as the Chase Sapphire Reserve card’s $300 travel benefit as that one gives you statement credits for each purchase that codes as travel up to that $300 limit. The Venture X travel credit on the other hand only worked for travel booked through the Capital One travel portal, giving a statement credit within a week of that charge hitting your account.

I said it was easy to use the Venture X’s credit though because if you booked a refundable hotel stay, got the $300 statement credit and subsequently needed to cancel that stay for one reason or another, you’d be refunded for the hotel stay but the $300 statement credit would remain on your account, effectively letting you cash out the benefit.

The sad news is that going forward that’s no longer the case.

Sad unhappy disappointed devaluation hotel room
That feeling when you have to actually stay in that refundable hotel you booked through the Capital One travel portal if you want to use the $300 travel credit

The change that Capital One has made is presumably to eliminate this opportunity for gaming the travel credit. The way they’ve done that is that the $300 credit will no longer be applied as a statement credit but will instead be given as a discount when booking. If you subsequently cancel that booking you’ll get the travel credit back to use again, but it does mean you can’t cash out the $300 like you could before.

Here’s how Capital One is describing the new redemption process:

Eligible Venture X primary account holders receive a $300 annual Capital One Travel credit available to use for bookings through Capital One Travel.

To use your credit, select the option to apply it at checkout when you’re ready to make your next purchase through Capital One Travel. The credit may be used in whole for a single purchase or in part over multiple purchases. You can view your annual travel credit and any other travel credits by navigating to My Travel Credits and Offers within Capital One Travel.

Each annual credit will expire on the next account open date anniversary. If the purchase using the credit is canceled, the credit will be restored if it is not expired. Rewards will not be earned on the credit. Your Venture X card account must be open and in good standing to receive or use the Credit.

Unfortunately we’ve been caught up in this. My wife has two Venture X cards (one via a new application, one via an upgrade offer) and we’ve only used the travel credit on one account so far this year. We’d always gotten an error when trying to book travel through the portal on the other account and so hadn’t used the $300 credit yet with the card renewal coming up sometime soon. I’d procrastinated getting this resolved, so now we’ll have to use it towards $300 of actual travel through the portal. That’s disappointing because we don’t have any flights we need to pay for and booking hotel stays through the portal means we won’t be eligible for hotel elite status benefits, earning points, getting cashback/rewards through a shopping portal, etc. I guess we’ll just have to find some way to use the travel credit as Capital One would’ve originally intended which is fair enough from their perspective, but disappointing nonetheless.

It does mean though that with them making the travel credit harder to use, we’ll likely cancel or downgrade both cards at renewal rather than keeping either of them open. It’ll be interesting to see if many other Venture X cardholders do the same thing.

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This seems completely fair to me.


Hopefully, this change will not happen to Hilton’s $250 resort credit…


Is it possible to cash it out?


There are some expensive hotel which will do partial charge at reservation. It will trigger the $250 refund. Then cancel the reservation.


Maldives or Bora Bora?


Also in Hawaii.
Which ever place that partially charge at reservation.


I tried multiple times, and when they say that they gonna charge my card, but they never charge. Not sure, maybe Amex put some kind of restriction on my card. They do restrict me on offers and referrals.


Interestingly this isn’t being applied to everyone at once. I manage 3 accounts… 1 for my self and 2 for my folks. Mine and my mom’s accounts were opened last year when it first came out. but my Dad’s account was opened 4 month ago. I logged into all three last night and only getting the popup about the travel credit change on Dad’s account. I did a test booking and final screen shows available credit being applied but other two accounts don’t show this and works like old way. I guess they are rolling these out but I’d have thought oldest account would be the first get the change.


Thanks for the update. Was about to apply for business venture x card, but now having second thoughts since will have difficulty using this $300 coupon.


Anyone have any idea on using this shitportal coupon?
Hotels outside of major brands? Tiny regional airlines only carries handful passengers?

Someone told me to use for car rental, but I don’t think they recognize elite status from shitportals.

I’ve already burned through CSR and Plat. Never had chance to get Prestige, but this is an opportunity for Citi to rake some of gamers.


ITT: People who think they’re getting a deal through the credit, but don’t realize it’s often materially more costly (and sometimes risky) booking through a portal compared to direct or other means (direct + cb, direct + codes, etc).


of course. never take the travel credt at face value. 80%-90% at best due to many restrictions, lack of point earnings and elite credits (hotels).

Larry K

Ahh, that feeling when a gaming opportunity you didn’t know about gets eliminated, and you’re left with the feeling that you missed out! I have played my venture credits relatively straight, for flights, and should be able to do so, so not all that significant for me.

Dugroz Reports

Same! “Oh, why didn’t I think of that earlier!” 🙂

Qi Wan

This probably will cut down the crowd to the capital one lounge? I am sure each person will have different way of either justifying the card or not.


If this no longer works, I’ll downgrade to Venture One.


Very useful information. Thanks!


To me this doesn’t make the credit harder to use, it makes it harder for hobbyists to game. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I support Capital One in this change. Amex already does the same thing with their FHR credit and no one complains about that.
To me the perfect use case is a 1 or 2 night stay booked through the Premier Collection or Lifestyle Collection. You get good benefits, earn 10X on the amount any above $300, and get a $100 or $50 credit to help sweeten the pot. Worth giving up elite benefits or credit for a one-off stay imo.


Wow I didn’t even consider using the credit toward Premier Collection because those hotels (to me at least) are too pricey for my liking but with the $300 credit it makes it way more feasible.


Valid point


Yes, the biggest mistake people in this hobby make with high-AF cards is saying the card pays for itself because of the credits, and then also thinking of the credits as discounts. It’s one or the other, not both!


+1. Kind of irritates me how many people game these types of credits by booking something then refunding two days later completely in bad faith just to cash out the credit.

Too many people gaming the credits results in restrictions; if those restrictions hadn’t been put in place, people who booked legitimate travel and had to cancel plans in good faith wouldn’t be facing extra tracking and forced maximization.


Thanks for the info. This needs a follow-up article, or maybe a re-post about what are the worst and best value redemptions for the credit. I prefer independent hotels anyway, so is hotel a good value? I remember Nick writing about great value early on but I think that might have changed. Is it still true that rental cars are a bad idea, both bc of inflated prices and stricter cancelation rules? I assume airfare is about the same price but I rarely, if ever, pay cash for a flight.


Glad I got the Venture instead. I feel like 2 lounge visits a year is worth $95.


It’s a fair change.


You won’t earn points on the $300 discounted amount? Now that is a real loss. I used my $300 credit this year on a rental car. I earned 10x on the full price of the car for booking through the portal, and received the $300 credit later. If I book the same car rental now, I’ll receive 3000 less points!


I booked a ~$310 hotel night through the Premier Collection in Switzerland (got a ~115USD food credit), earned 3100 Cap1 points, etc, and only cost me $10 out of pocket. I don’t see this changing anything other than stopping people from gaming the system.


It didn’t cost you $10 out of pocket since you paid the AF upfront. The AF basically became a prepaid deposit for your hotel, and a free loan for C1 until you booked that room. The food credit and 100 incremental points are nice I’d guess.


100% this.


Well. They just change the the game for those who use the credit just to get a free $300 without actually staying, fliying or renting a car through the portal and actually use the such services.

For those who look for earn status on hotel then is a big game changer.

However I defer from you, lets use an example the Amex Platinum FHR credit , you are required to book through the portal and actually stayed at the property. They will not refund you the credit in cash to you if you cancelled. Then is the same rule , so or you use it or you lose it.

But for me, I travel ocasionally , and I do not chase hotel status, the 70% of the time I book hotels through OTA. So for me, its easy to get the 100% value of the credit.


FHR bookings are a bit different, though. Although they’re through a portal, unlike other Amex Travel reservations, FHR bookings are not regarded as third party reservations, so you can still get elite benefits.


Never had a problem burning the $300 legit; one car rental (at 5x w primary CDW) is pretty easy. prefer the coupon so at least you know right away you are getting the value back. The credit for me rarely posted ‘within a week’ no was a burden to have the check and recheck.


Cap1 has limited choices of providers and I have always found much better rates at non Cap1 providers

Anthony Garritano

I see this posted quite a bit and just have not found it to be true. They’ve had every major provider that’s actually available in the place I’m going and it is either cheaper or comparable to booking elsewhere.

I do think your statements, especially about providers, were true in the past but I’m not sure it’s quite so accurate anymore.


If you find availability on hopper then Cap One has it.


You are likely right in regards to hotels, but my point is that my experience is it doesn’t apply to car rentals anymore. You can find lots of comments about not being able to book National or Enterprise but I am currently booked with Enterprise for in PSP. Every single rental provider available was bookable via C1 portal. I poked around at a few other places too just to see if I saw what other folks found and didn’t have that issue. Something definitely changed with car rentals.


I haven’t seen quite as many non-airport options on C1, but it seems to be getting better. I’ve also had no availability show up when renting from a tiny airport…but I’ve been able to use the credit both years – once when work was reimbursing flight costs and the other to buy a friend’s airfare when he was joining me.

We’ve used my dad’s credit on rental car twice.

In both cases, the rates were on par with what we could get either directly with the airlines or from the other on-airport rental car options.


They used to not have National/Enterprise/Alamo(?) group cars but that appears to have changed in the past year. When my P2 got the card when it was released, National / Enterprise was never to be found in searches but when I got it in June of this year, I was able to immediately use the credit on a National booking. It’s about 5-10% more expensive than booking w/ National direct as an EE but whatever.


Cap one portal does this trick with car rentals where they charge you for one less day then you book, at least in my experience. I booked a five day car rental, and the charge was only for four days. So, even though the daily rate was higher than some other sites, the full booking came out to less because they were charging for one less day. I looked online, and this was confirmed by other bloggers who had the same experience.


I’m also seeing this with car rentals after looking through them last night for our trip next year to MCO.


I haven’t used my credit yet this year. So you are saying that it starts now even though that wasn’t how the credit worked when I signed up? It won’t start effective the next year?


P2 will most likely cancel the card, it was on the fence already with a free auth user.


Isn’t it pretty straightforward to use it to book a flight? Or am I missing something?


Travel always had to be booked through the portal though, right? The way I understand it, that part isn’t new, just that it’s a discount rather than a statement credit. I am kind of looking for excuses to cancel or downgrade, and this won’t do it yet for me.

A frequent visitor to frequent miler

I wouldn’t quite call this “making the credit harder to use” as if you actually booked something through the portal it’s just as easy to use. I would say they made the credit “impossible to game” but in an entire year is it really impossible to book one non-chain hotel? Maybe discount the $300 travel credit to $200 of value?


That’s hardly commonplace


Considering that you travel literally all the time is there really no way you can get value from this card? Also, IIRC it used to be that you got 10X points for a booking on cars or hotels while using the credit. Any idea if that’s still the case?

A frequent visitor to frequent miler

You’ll get the points only on what’s over the $300…


$395 annual fee when it launched, no?


Thanks for this notice. I don’t have any trouble using the credit as intended, but I often stay in places without major chains.


At least it came out now. I was about to sacrifice a 5/24 spot for the Venture x. Even worse i wanted to upgrade one of my oldest cards: quicksilver to venture x… and what if I don’t get a downgrade offer. I will be forced to cancel… does your wife have any product change options available on those venture X cards?


Gotcha. According to the DPs I’ve seen you need minimum of $10k limit to get venture x as product change option. (And $5k to get venture?) I’m trying to figure out what would be the minimum credit limit required to get savorone or ventureone as an option on my quicksilver. My current limit is only $850 and no product change options.


I had a very old QuickSilver and tried unsuccessfully multiple times to product change to a SavorOne or even a VentureOne. So I let CapitalOne close for non-activity in hopes of applying for the SavorOne as a new app sometime in the future.


what was your credit limit on that quicksilver card?


Very high, definitely over $10k, and I already had the Venture X, so I was just trying to PC to a lower level card, which should have required less than $10k credit limit.


wow I thought if I some how raised my limit, I would get PC options. looks like that might not be the case…


Yep, that’s why I commented. Capital One is weird….