How my family used the Capital One Venture Rewards card to save over $1,200 on a spring break vacation rental

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  • The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is currently offering an elevated welcome bonus.
  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles once you spend $20,000 on purchases within the first 12 months from account opening (or 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months)
  • My husband and I redeemed Capital One miles to save over $1,200 on our spring break vacation rental.
  • Read Insider’s guide to the best rewards credit cards.

Before the pandemic hit in March 2020, my husband and I lived a “travel lifestyle” of sorts. We traveled around 20 weeks in 2019, for example, working part of the time and traveling in spurts that lasted for anywhere from five to 25 days — both with and without our two kids. 

During that time, we mostly focused our rewards game on racking up points for flights, including flexible programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards as well as American Airlines AAdvantage and Delta SkyMiles. After all, flights are always the most expensive part of travel for a family of four, so covering airfare with miles has always been our priority.

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But, we all know how life changed practically overnight in 2020, and my family has mostly stayed home since then. We have taken a few socially distanced vacations over the last 12 months, including a road trip to Yellowstone National Park last summer, but most of our travel has been close to home.

We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

Why we signed up for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

This led us to applying for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, which offers an incredibly flexible rewards currency you can use for any type of travel. We wanted to book a two-week vacation rental in Destin, Florida for our children’s spring break vacation for school, so we knew this type of card would be perfect.

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card does have airline and hotel transfer partners you can access, and you can also redeem your rewards for purchases made with PayPal or Amazon. You can even use your rewards for non-travel expenses but at a lesser value.

Insider’s points and miles valuations estimate Capital One miles are worth 1.3 cents apiece on average, in part because it’s possible to get high value by transferring them to airline and hotel partners.

We love the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card because you can redeem your miles to cover travel purchases at a rate of 1 cent per mile. This makes it easy to book any flight, hotel, car rental, or other travel purchase with your card and “erase” all or part of the charge from your account.

In our case, we both signed up for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card when the welcome bonus was lower than it is now. Since this card also earns 2x miles for each dollar spent, we wound up with more than 60,000 miles each to pay for our vacation rental.

From there, we split the cost of our two-week vacation condo into two payments, and we each redeemed our miles to cover part of the charge. Here’s a screenshot that shows the $680+ rewards redemption we made from my Capital One credit card account.

Capital One

Ultimately, our two Capital One Venture cards helped us save more than $1,200 on our spring break vacation rental. I am currently on spring break with my kids as I write this piece, and the $1,200 in savings we accrued is coming in handy to pay for dinners out and a dolphin cruise we have booked for later this week.

Should you sign up for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card?

If you are wondering if a flexible rewards credit card like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card would work for you, now is an excellent time to consider it since the bonus is higher than normal.

At the moment, you can earn 100,000 bonus miles on this card when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months of account opening. If you can’t quite reach that threshold, you can instead focus on earning 50,000 bonus miles for spending $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening.

This card does come with a $95 annual fee, but you also earn 2x miles on all purchases with no limits. Further, you get benefits like a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck membership, no foreign transaction fees, travel accident insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, and extended warranty protection.

There are quite a few ways you can redeem your rewards as well — even if you don’t want to book a vacation rental like I did. Beyond redeeming your rewards for travel purchases or purchases made with PayPal or, you can also transfer to an array of Capital One airline and hotel partners:

  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue
  • Alitalia MilleMiglia
  • ALL – Accor Live Limitless 
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • EVA Infinity MileageLands
  • Finnair Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Singapore KrisFlyer
  • Wyndham Rewards

That said, there are similar credit cards with great offers right now that are worth considering, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Citi Premier® Card. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a top option out there, but you should compare other travel rewards credit cards and the best current card offers before you decide.

Bottom line: If you are looking to save on a vacation rental or even flights or airfare, this card is worth considering due to the flexibility of its rewards program alone. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card didn’t cover our entire spring break vacation, but it did pay for more than $1,200 of our rental with very little work on our part. 

Holly Johnson is a credit card expert, award-winning writer, and mother of two who is obsessed with frugality, budgeting, and travel.

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Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.

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