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Compare the Features and Benefits of Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and
United℠ Explorer Card

Detailed Comparison Overview

Key Facts
Annual Fee
Avg. Min. Credit Score
Ongoing APR
Balance transfers fees
Best Multiplier
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
Bonus Offer
Rating
Review
Key features
Unique Card Benefits
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
Airport Lounge Access
Extended Warranty
Purchase Protection
Trip Protections
Concierge Services
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Free Access to Credit Score
Grants Car Rental Status
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
Earns Transferable Points
Roadside Assistance
No Fees for Authorized Users
Metal Card
Free Checked Bags
Priority Boarding
Primary Car Rental CDW Waiver
Annual Fee
$95
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
Ongoing APR
19.99%-29.99% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
Balance Transfer Fee applies to balances transferred at a promotional rate
Best Multiplier
5x Hotels

When booked through Capital One Travel; else earn 2X

5x Car Rentals

When booked through Capital One Travel; else earn 2X

2x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.016
Bonus Offer
75,000 bonus Miles when you spend $4,000 within your first 3 months
Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(4.25) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

With the ability to transfer miles to travel partners or use miles to cover the cost of whatever travel charges you wish — along with a simple rewards structure — the Venture card is a great $95 annual fee option that has only improved its value proposition and perks over the years. On the earnings front, Capital One miles are pretty much as easy as it gets. You’ll earn rewards at a rate of 2X miles per dollar spent on pretty much everything, with 5X miles per dollar spent on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

venture credit card car rental status

The redemption process is similar to other programs, such as Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards, with transferable points often providing a higher value for your travel rewards. Some high-value ways to use Capital One Venture miles include redeeming with Air Canada Aeroplan, Turkish Miles & Smiles, and Virgin Red (redeem miles for Virgin Voyages and Virgin Atlantic). For simplicity’s sake, you can also book travel however you want, then redeem miles for a statement credit for some or all of the cost. Miles are worth a flat 1 cent apiece when redeemed this way — and there’s no minimum redemption amount.

On top of all of that, there’s a decent array of travel and purchase protections (although it’s not as robust as the flagship $395-per-year annual fee Capital One Venture X Rewards credit card). Finally, you’ll get reimbursed for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years.

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
yes
Airport Lounge Access
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Trip Protections
yes
Concierge Services
yes
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Free Access to Credit Score
yes
Grants Car Rental Status
yes
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Earns Transferable Points
yes
Roadside Assistance
yes
No Fees for Authorized Users
yes
Metal Card
yes
Free Checked Bags
no
Priority Boarding
no
Primary Car Rental CDW Waiver
no
Annual Fee
$0 Introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $95
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
Ongoing APR
21.99%-28.99% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Best Multiplier
2x Airfare

On United flights only; otherwise earn 1X

2x Dining Out / Food Delivery
2x Hotels
1x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.012
Bonus Offer

Earn 60,000 United MileagePlus Miles after spending $3,000 on qualifying purchases in the first three months of opening an account, plus Annual Fee waived for the first year. Offer ends January 24, 2024.  

Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(4.05) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

The United Explorer is one of the best credit cards out there for occasional United flyers. That’s because you’ll get useful perks, such as free first checked bags, priority boarding privileges, a 25% food and beverage discount on board United operated flights, and even get a taste of airport lounge access with two anniversary United Club passes. Plus. the annual fee is waived the first year, then just $95 thereafter.

Consider this scenario: Even if you only fly United a couple of times per year, the Explorer Card is worth it for the free checked bag benefit alone. Keep in mind, this applies to the primary card holder and one companion on the same reservation, as long as you use the card to pay for your ticket. At $35 for one checked bag, and $140 for a round-trip flight for two people, it’s easy to get value that exceeds the card’s annual fee.

In addition to the sign-up bonus earned after account opening, the United Explorer card earns a decent 2X miles on United Airlines purchases, 2X miles on dining, including eligible delivery services, 2X miles on hotel stays when booked with the hotel and 1x miles on all other purchases. Also, the card helps to fast track your United elite status goals with 500 Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) for every $12,000 you spend on purchases (up to 1,000 PQPs in a calendar year). These PQPs can be applied toward your Premier status qualification — up to the Premier 1K level.

And don’t forget the ability to earn PQPs towards elite status from spend. You’ll earn 25 Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) for every $500 you spend on purchases – up to 1,000 PQPs per year.

If you’re in need of extra miles besides flying on United flights, keep in mind that Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to the United Mileage Plus program at a 1:1 ratio to help you top up your miles balance.

While the United Explorer card is a fantastic option for the occasional United flyer, those that travel more often with the airline might want to consider other options, including United’s other, more premium, credit cards.

In more simple terms, the Explorer card fits the “occasional United flyer” once or twice per year mold, while the $250-per-year United Quest fits the “semi-frequent United flyer.” Then, there’s the United Club Infinite Card for the “frequent United flyer.” If you’re looking for a United Club membership and need more than just two one-time passes, you’ll probably be better off with the United Club Infinite Card, which comes with a full United Club membership but also charges the highest annual fee of the United cards at $525.

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
yes
Airport Lounge Access
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Trip Protections
yes
Concierge Services
yes
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Free Access to Credit Score
yes
Grants Car Rental Status
no
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
no
Earns Transferable Points
no
Roadside Assistance
no
No Fees for Authorized Users
no
Metal Card
no
Free Checked Bags
yes
Priority Boarding
yes
Primary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes

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