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Capital One is Cutting Free Lounge Passes on Venture, Spark Cards

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Stop me if you've heard this before: A popular travel credit card is cutting lounge access in an effort to combat overcrowding.

The *capital one venture card* is the bank's entry-level travel card that comes with some not-so-entry-level benefits like up to $100 in credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and two free visits a year to the Capital One Lounges (or Plaza Premium Lounges.) At least for now.

In a move first reported by Award Wallet, Capital One quietly updated the benefits for the Venture Rewards Card, removing the two annual complimentary lounge visits effective January 2025. A nearly identical business version of the card, the *CapOne Spark Miles* is losing its two free yearly visits, too.

If there's one silver lining, it's that these changes are more than a year away. That gives cardholders plenty of time to use up their two free lounge visits in 2024, then decide whether getting unlimited free lounge visits with the *venture x* or the *venture x business* – plus a ton of other perks – is worth paying a higher annual fee.

The first Capital One Lounge in Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) was practically empty when it first opened in late 2021. The Venture X Card – Capital One's first premium travel card, with complimentary lounge access – had just launched, and it took time for travelers to add it to their wallets and make their way to the lounge in Dallas. But even then, we wondered how long it could last: “Honestly, it's so good that I wonder how long Capital One can keep this up before crowding becomes an issue or having to make cutbacks.”

Now we have our answer. As the Venture X has proven wildly popular (for good reason), the Dallas Capital One Lounge is regularly at capacity – as are brand-new locations in Denver (DEN) and Washington, D.C.-Dulles (IAD).

So while it no doubt stings, this was likely inevitable. It only makes sense that the lower-priced Venture Rewards and Spark Miles Cards will be the first to lose some lounge benefits. After all, unlimited lounge access has been a big selling point of the Venture X Cards from the start.

No changes have been made to the complimentary lounge access policies the Venture X. But it may only be a matter of time before we see a reduction in benefits or a hike to the annual fee on those cards as well.

Related reading: Why We Think the Capital One Venture X is Best for Traveling Families


About Capital One Lounges

Travelers love the Capital One Lounges – and they should. The food and drinks are second to none, with great seating to relax and beautiful design to soak in. They're easily some of the best airport lounges in the country, putting even Amex Centurion lounges – once the gold standard in the U.S. – to shame.

Dulles Capital One Lounge 

So far, Capital One has just three airport lounges at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Washington-D.C.-Dulles (IAD), and Denver International Airport (DEN). A fourth lounge is planned for Las Vegas (LAS), but no firm opening date has been announced.

The shining star of any Capital One lounge is its food and drink selection – and yes, all food and drink is free once you're inside. From a bowl of Korean bulgogi to fresh-made hummus and bacon mac and cheese, every single bite is delicious. The bars are all stocked with free wines, local beers, and even craft cocktails.

capital one lounge food and drink 

The new Capital One Lounge at Washington, D.C.-Dulles (IAD), even has a full-service coffee bar. The baristas can make your drinks to go or to enjoy in the lounge itself. Our favorite part? The latte art.

Dulles Capital One Lounge 

So really, it's no wonder these lounges have gotten crowded. Capital One did an outstanding job creating a space that actually makes getting to the airport early a good thing. Cupled with generous entry requirements for premium Venture X cardholders and their authorized users, it's clearly forced the bank to reel things in a bit.

Cutting even two visits a year from Venture and Spark Miles cardholders was the logical place to start.


How to Get In Going Forward

If you're a current Venture or Spark Miles cardholder, you can still use your two complimentary lounge visits through the end of this year and anytime in 2024. And even after these changes go into effect in January 2025, travelers with either card will still be able to purchase entry into the lounges for a reasonable fee of $45 per visit.

Beginning in January 2025, the easiest way to get in will no doubt be to pick up the Capital One Venture X card.

Venture X cardholders get unlimited complimentary access to all Capital One lounges and can even bring in two guests free on each visit, paying $45 per additional guest after that. Children under two are free.

Beyond that, Capital One Venture X cardholders can add up to four authorized users to their accounts for free. Each authorized user will get their own lounge access – including another two free guests! That's the most lucrative benefit you'll find on any premium travel credit card if you're hoping to share lounge access.

*venture x*

Learn more about the *venture x*.

Read more on the Capital One Venture X Card!

If you've got the *venture x business*, an awesome choice for any small business owner, you'll have the same unlimited access for the main cardholder and up to two guests. Unfortunately, if you've got employees added to your Venture X Business, they don't get lounge access like the personal Venture X's authorized users do.

*venture x biz*

Learn more about the *venture x business*.


Bottom Line

Capital One has quietly slashed complimentary lounge passes for cardholders with the standard *capital one venture card* and the business-oriented *CapOne Spark Miles*. Starting in January 2025, both cards will lose their two complimentary lounge visits a year to Capital One Lounges and Plaza Premium lounges.

After that, Venture and Spark cardholders can purchase access at the discounted rate of $45 a visit. While it no doubt stings for Capital One cardholders who pop into a lounge just once or twice a year, it was only a matter of time before we saw the bank scale back on lounge access policies.


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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