Captial Venture vs US Airways Credit Card

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by NathalieXander, Sep 13, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. NathalieXander

    NathalieXander New Member

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    Hi guys, would really appreciate your help on finding the perfect card for me. Currently I'm looking at either the Capital Venture Card or the US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard. Here is the questionnaire:
    1. What is your origination city/airport? CLT (Charlotte International) or CAE (Columbia, SC airport)
    2. Where do you tend to travel? At least once a year I travel to Germany to visit my family. Other than that I would like to travel more, but usually don't have the money to buy flight tickets even within the US.
    3. What is you goal for the frequent flyer program (status, upgrades, rewards, etc.?)Upgrades would be great, status, cheap tickets
    4. How much do you travel in an average year? Once or twice
    5. Do you fly for business, pleasure, or a mix? Pleasure
    6. How much of your travel is paid by someone else? Never (sometimes my mom likes to chip in ^^)
    7. How much control do you have of choosing flights, airlines, etc.? Usually, when I travel to Germany it's always US Airways offering the cheapest tickets from CLT to FRA
    8. What days of the week do you typically travel? I usually choose during the week dates to and from the destination
    9. Can you book flexible fares? Sometimes, yes.
    10. If you are likely to qualify for elite status will it be miles or segments?
    11. Do you have a preference or imposed requirement of hotel/rental car/credit card partners?
    12. Can you get extra miles from credit cards, surveys, other partners? Maybe credit cards
    13. How would you like to use your miles for awards? (Intl F & C trips, domestic flights, other non flight awards). Definitely flight awards, but hotels would be nice also.
    14. What benefits do you hope to receive for elite status?
      1. upgrades: free, with instruments, paid x
      2. lounge access: domestic vs international travel x
      3. premium lines for check in x
      4. premium security lines
      5. IROPs handling (How are you treated when things go wrong?)
      6. elite phone line
      7. early boarding
      8. free bags x
      9. OPUPs (Upgrades without fees, miles, or upgrade documents) x
      10. last minute flight availability
      11. fee waivers x
      12. free same day confirmed/standby flight change
    Thanks so much for your help! As you can see, I'm bound to travel to Germany each year, but would like to travel within the US or Canada once in a while. While traveling to Germany I will always take US Airways, but within the US and Canada I have to be more open. Does a US Airways card still makes sense? Or would I be better off not bogging me down with an airline card and going for a Capital One? Questions over questions...
    Thanks,
    Nat
     
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  2. ChrisUNC

    ChrisUNC Silver Member

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    How much do you plan to spend on the card each year? Since you fly so little, it will take you a really long time to earn enough miles for free ticket on US unless you spend quite a bit on the credit card.

    With the US Airways MC, you earn only 1 mile per $ spent and those miles are only redeemable on US and partner flights once you have enough miles - which is also subject to the low/medium/high award scheme (finding low mile awards can be extremely challenging). With the Venture card, you earn 2 points per $ spent and can redeem those points for almost any travel related expenses with almost any provider. And you don't have to wait until to you've amassed a large amount of points before you start cashing them in. Earning points with the Venture Card is like receiving 2% cash back. The value of the US Airways miles depends on the cost of the ticket vs. how many miles needed for the award.

    2 miles per dollar on every purchase
    One-time bonus of 10,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months
    Earn unlimited miles that don't expire
    Redeem miles for flights, hotel rooms, car rentals, gift cards, and more
    Erase the cost of travel by redeeming your rewards with Purchase EraserSM
     
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  3. NathalieXander

    NathalieXander New Member

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    Ah, I see. I'm not planning on spending much on the card, just flight tickets and hotel stays, so it sounds like the Capital would be a better fit for me so far. Thanks, I'll do some more research, but you've already pointed me in the right direction. :)
     
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  4. ChrisUNC

    ChrisUNC Silver Member

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    Don't forget that both cards carry annual fees, although the Venture Card is $0 for the first year. If you're not earning enough points to at least break even with the annual fee, then you may want to look at another card (or cancel it before your assessed the annual fee). The Chase Freedom is a decent card with no annual fee. Amex has several no annual fee cards, too. If you have excellent credit, the CapOne Quicksilver Rewards Card (Visa) will give you 1.5% cash back, $100 bonus when you sign up for the card after spending $100, and no annual fee. You can then use the 1.5% cash back on whatever you want.
     
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  5. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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  6. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

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    Welcome to MilePoint, NathalieXander! :)
     
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  7. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    I would choose the US Airways card over any revenue-based card. Yes, it's only 1 mile per $, but with the Venture card, you're paying the cash price of the ticket. I would believe it would take equally as long, if not longer to get to Germany on the Venture or Arrival than it would with the US card. What's a coach redemption on US to Germany from CLT? 60k? (it's 60k from CLT-FRA) 60k US points is worth $1,280+any bag fees (if comparing the cash cost of the flight I looked at which cost 60k miles). Not only do you get the 60k miles, but you also get priority boarding, free checked bag (RT could be at least $50 if not more for int'l), and 10k free miles at each anniversary.

    Now, Venture and Arrival win when you're trying to redeem for more than just airline costs.
     
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  8. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

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    In addition to all the above, and speaking from the sign-up bonus perspective, I'd go for the US Airways card. I have the Venture card & two Barclay's US Airways MC.

    Capital One Venture: 10K bonus points (worth $100 in statement credit towards travel) when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. For the past couple years Capital One offered up to 100K sign-up bonus points, so the current 10K sign up bonus is not impressive. Earning 2 points per $ spent which means a 2% rebate.

    Barclay’s US Airways: 35K miles bonus miles will be awarded in the first billing cycle in which you have made a first purchase. I value US Airways miles at 1.6 cents each. so the sign up bonus is worth more than $500. Earning one mile per $ spend.
     
  9. WhiteDesert

    WhiteDesert Silver Member

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    Servo--are you certain that we get a checked bag per flight as a benefit of holding the US Airways MC? I don't think that I receive that benefit with the card (indeed, I saw that as one of the nice benefits of achieving Silver status with US).

    That said--I do very much like the US Airways card. The priority check-in and Zone 2 boarding are nice to have, although if you're not traveling all that often, those little pieces of convenience will likely mean less to you. Kalboz's point about the sign-up bonus is a good one; you start off with 30-40k miles in your account before you actually do any real spending.

    I don't have any direct intel on the Capital One card--but for my part I'm not a fan of the revenue-based rewards cards. I think I would try and find a no-fee 2% cash-back card in that case and dump the relevant funds into a high-yield savings account that is specifically dedicated to travel saving. If I'm going to throw a ~$70-100 membership fee at a credit card every year, then I want to make sure that card has a metric f-ton of benefits associated with it.
     
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  10. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

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    You will be traveling to Germany and it is important to note that the US Airways card has a 3% fee on all foreign transactions, while the Capital One Venture card has none.
     
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  11. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    You're right - I was mistaken about the checked bag. However, the other benefit that basically washes (if not better than a wash) the lack of checked bag fee is the reduced award ticket by 5k miles each way. So that 60k flight is actually 50k. If you start out with 40k, it's incredibly easy to earn another 10k miles to earn the first award ticket.
     
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  12. WhiteDesert

    WhiteDesert Silver Member

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    Oh...excellent point. I forgot to point out the 5000 mile award reduction or note the 3%FTF.

    Sent from my HTC PH39100 using milepoint
     
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  13. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    Not with the minimal amount of flying and credit card spend the OP is planning to do. Still, it would be a good card for her to churn (especially if she also gets a no annual fee cash back card as her "keep forever in wallet" card to use between churns).
     
  14. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    It's still significantly easier to reach a redemption milestone than with the Venture card, which is kinda the point.
     
  15. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    Not really. The point ultimately is to save money. There's no point in chasing a redemption you'll probably never be able to catch because the miles will be devalued before you can save enough of them to get an award ticket. Cash back doesn't have that problem.
     
  16. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    And how would using the Venture card save more money over $10k spend to earn a RT to Germany with the US card? I'm confused with the point you're trying to make.
     
  17. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    The point is that given the information in the OP's original post, she's not going to be putting 10K worth of spend on her card in any reasonable time frame - and every year she holds that card (apart from the first) she'll be paying a fairly high annual fee. So it's worth getting the card to gain the 40K signup bonus and then canceling it before the first annual fee comes due, but with her low CC spending habits, it shouldn't be regarded as a keeper, but merely as a card to churn. A no annual fee cash-back card is better as her "keeper" card, since it doesn't cost her anything to carry it long-term.
     
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  18. particlemn

    particlemn Silver Member

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    I would recommend a fee free cash back card like the chase freedom, when someone is looking for a single card unless they do a lot of spending i would not recommend a travel card, my rule of thumb for a single card user is the first 10,000 per year you get no reward, it just off sets the annual fee (i know some have first year free but someone looking ot get one card does not want to change so i have ot look at year two for my recomendation) that being said unless one spends 20,000 per year on the card and always pays it off each and every month cash back will be more suitable.
     
  19. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    That does make sense. Manufacturing $10k worth of spend is so incredibly easy though, that I would still recommend getting that card and then perhaps downgrading to the Arrival card with No-annual-fee before the 12 month mark, that keeps the history alive and prevents the annual fee, and gives the best chance to earn travel rewards she's looking for. With minimal spending, there really isn't a travel card that makes sense otherwise - she's better off going with the Freedom or Discover card with 5% cash back categories. The NAF version of the Venture card really isn't worth it. It's only 1.25x per $ on everything. The Arrival is 2x in both fee and no-fee versions on travel and dining and the NAF is 1x elsewhere, while the fee'd version is 2x everywhere.
     
  20. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    That approach makes sense, servo. She should also time receipt of the US Airways card so it coincides with her next USA-Germany ticket purchase, or she might not meet the minimum spend necessary to even get those 40,000 bonus miles.

    It's easy for those of us who've received great benefits from playing the miles/points game to forget that not everyone is able AND willing to do what it takes to rack up the miles effectively. Cash back isn't aspirational, but for many folks a cash-back card is the perfect card to start out with.
     
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  21. SuperKirby

    SuperKirby Gold Member

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    Hi Nat, it's going to be a tough call because we don't know what's going to happen with the US & AA merger. If you absolutely had to pick one now, I would go with the Cap1 Venture for two reasons:
    1. As stated, we don't know the future between US and AA so routes maybe screwy for you if you decide to stick with one airline.
    2. You said you fly only 1 or 2 times a year. It's hard to stick just to one airline and build status by just flying 1-2 times a year. Even if the cheapest routes you took were always US Airways, going back to reason 1, we don't know if this is going to be true after the 'supposed' merger.

    Other things come into play as well. If you have great credit and not looking for an auto loan, home loan, etc. in the near future, then get the US card anyway for the bonus miles (bonus is 40,000 miles which is worth at least $800 to me depending how one redeems), that way you get to try it out for a year to see if you like it and cancel if not. I don't know if the Cap1 Venture has a sign up bonus or not.

    IMO, if you're not in a hurry, i would wait to see where US is going...
    Just keep reading and come back here :)
     
  22. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

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