The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the best cards for beginner (and even experienced) travelers. It’s been a great starter card in part because its $95 annual fee was waived for the first year.
But that has changed. Capital One is no longer waiving the first annual fee for new Venture Rewards Credit cardholders, according to the bank’s website and terms and conditions. That means new cardholders getting approved for the card will have to pay $95 for the first year and every year thereafter.
A Capital One spokesperson confirmed that the change is permanent.
Click Here to get more information about the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
This was probably unavoidable, but it’s still a bummer.
Not paying an annual fee until your second year with the Capital One Venture Card made it extremely valuable. You could open the card, earn 50,000 Venture miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months, and use the $100 credit to apply for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck … all before paying an annual fee.
But as the economy turns south, banks are tightening things up. By charging the $95 annual fee immediately, Capital One pulls in some additional money while also limiting applications for the Venture card. Banks are all about trying to decrease their risk in economic downturns.
This move comes roughly a year or so after Chase did the same thing with its popular Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Chase started charging the $95 annual fee immediately last year when it upped the welcome bonus from 50,000 points to 60,000 points after spending $4,000 within three months.
Still, there’s plenty of value with the Capital One Venture Card. That 50,000-mile welcome bonus can be used to cover up to $500 in travel purchases. Those miles are extra versatile – you can use them for much more than just for flights and hotels. Using Capital One’s purchase eraser function, you can use points to cover Airbnbs, cruises, rental cars, parking fees, and much more.
With travel on hold for now, Capital One is allowing you to use points for takeout, food delivery, and streaming services through June 30.
And even with a $95 annual fee, the $100 credit to cover your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application comes in at a much lower price point than most cards that offer that benefit.
It’s a blow to anyone who was aiming to open the Capital One Venture card soon, but the Venture card still packs a punch.