The No Hassle Miles credit card from Capital One has long been one of our favorite travel reward cards.
Now there’s a more rewarding, albeit more costly, alternative.
The new Venture VISA card is Capital One’s entre into the growing “upscale” market.
It offers pretty much the same rewards as the No Hassle Miles card, allowing users to redeem miles for hotels, rental cars and airline tickets on any carrier, with no blackout dates.
To figure out how many miles you need, just add two zeros to the price. If, for example, your ticket costs $150, you’ll be charged 15,000 miles. If your hotel costs $99, you’d need 9,900 miles.
The big difference is that the Venture card allows users to earn miles more quickly by providing 2 miles for every dollar spent, instead of the 1.25 miles per dollar with the No Hassle Miles card.
New cardholders can earn an extra 10,000 miles if they charge $1,000 worth of purchases during the first three months they have the card.
The drawback is the $59 annual fee — something most No Hassle Miles don’t have.
In dollars and cents, you must charge $2,950 a year to cover the annual fee and then another $1,844 to make up for all the miles that spending would have generated with the No Hassle card.
That means the break-even point is $4,794. If you charge more than that each year, you’re better off with the Venture card. If you charge less than that, stick with the No Hassle Miles card.
In our view, the Venture card should appeal to users with expense accounts and savvy consumers who charge virtually all of their personal expenses, from groceries to medical bills, to generate the most possible miles.
One final reason we like Capital One cards: If you travel abroad, you won’t be charged foreign transaction fees for items bought with foreign currency. Many cards ding you for 3% of the purchase price in U.S. dollars.
Want another opinion? Check out Bargaineering’s picks for the best credit cards.