Venture X Vs American Express Platinum Card – Forbes Advisor

Statement Credits and Amex Offers

The American Express Platinum features a long list of statement credit offers offering discounts or rebates on services from Uber rides to Walmart+. Depending on your spending patterns, some of these credits may be more useful than others, but most cardmembers will be able to take advantage of at least some of these credits. Credits offered with the American Express Platinum include:

  • $200 Hotel Credit toward eligible Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel
  • Up to $100 Saks Credits issued in $50 biannual credits
  • Up to $200 Uber Cash Credits issued in $15 monthly credits with a bonus $20 in December. To be eligible a cardholder must link their eligible card to their Uber account. Uber Cash can be used for U.S. rides or Eats.
  • Up to $240 Digital Entertainment Credits for eligible digital entertainment once enrolled
  • $155+ Walmart Plus statement credit when you pay your monthly $12.95 fee with your card
  • Up to $300 Equinox Credits issued in $25 monthly credits for select Equinox memberships when you pay with your card
  • Up to $300 SoulCycle Credits
  • Up to $200 Airline Incidental Fee Credits on one eligible airline each year you enroll

For more details on the American Express Platinum’s various statement credits, take a peek at the Forbes Advisor review of the American Express Platinum.

In addition to statement credits, all American Express cards feature Amex Offers, which are promotions offered in partnership with merchants that can be added to your card online. Amex Offers frequently include discounts and rebates of 20% or more on popular national vendors from Sam’s Club to hotel chains and cruises.

Airport Lounge Access

Both the Venture X and American Express Platinum offer cardmembers lounge access through Priority Pass. Both cards include access for the primary cardmember and two accompanying guests and to the issuer’s network of airline lounges. However, it’s the card issuers own lounges that make the difference where American Express pulls ahead. While Capital One’s network of lounges currently includes three planned airport lounges, the American Express lounge network includes over 40 Centurion Lounges and Centurion Studios lounges.

In February 2023, American Express will change its lounge access policy, only admitting one cardmember until hitting a spending requirement, which will almost certainly change the calculus for everyone except solo travelers, but for now the lounge access advantage is with American Express.

However, with respect to lounge access, there’s one particular class of travelers who will benefit even more from the airport lounge access offered by the Platinum Card: Solo Delta Air Lines travelers.

Lounge Access for the Solo Delta Air Lines Flyer

Yes, we just mentioned lounge access above, but the American Express Platinum deserves a special call out for Delta Air Lines travelers.

If you usually travel alone and are a frequent Delta Air Lines flyer, the American Express Platinum card can provide tremendous value through its Delta Sky Club access benefit. The card includes Delta Air Lines lounge access for the primary cardmember when flying a same-day Delta itinerary. If you are a frequent Delta Air Lines traveler, this alone could tip the balance in favor of the American Express Platinum card.

Transfer Partners for U.S.-Based Travelers

Transfering points to airline and hotel partners has long been considered the best way to get outsized value from transferable points programs and the American Express Platinum and Capital One Venture X offer point transfers to many of the same partners. The American Express Platinum card ekes out a slight advantage for U.S. travelers, as it trades the Venture X’s partners TAP Air Portugal, FinnAir and Turkish Airlines for Virgin Atlantic, JetBlue, Iberia, El Al and Delta.

In addition to airline transfer partners, American Express Membership Rewards points can be transferred to IHG, Hilton and Marriott. While these transfer partners generally represent a low-value use of points, they are likely more usable than Capital One’s transfer partners, Accor and Wyndam, for U.S.-based travelers.

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Capital One Launches Premium Travel Credit Card Venture X

There’s a new player in the competitive realm of high-end travel credit cards: Capital One’s just-launched Venture X. The card offers rewards of 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One’s travel portal, and 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through the portal. All other purchases earn 2 miles per dollar spent.

Venture X has an annual fee of $395, but it is offset by significant benefits. New cardholders will earn a 100,000-mile bonus offer once they spend $10,000 on purchases within the first six months from account opening, and cardholders will earn 10,000 more bonus miles every account anniversary. Each Capital One mile generally is worth 1 cent when redeemed for travel. The Venture X also delivers an annual travel credit up to $300 in statement credits on bookings through Capital One Travel.

Relaunched Travel Portal and New Airport Lounges Part of Premium Push

Earlier this fall, Capital One debuted a redesigned Capital One Travel, the place for Capital One cardholders to redeem miles and book travel. Venture X cardholders get huge miles bonuses for booking via the portal, even compared with other Capital One cards. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, for instance, gets a 5-miles-per-dollar bonus for booking hotels and rental cars through the portal, compared with Venture X’s 10-miles-per-dollar bonus. Venture cardholders get no bonus for booking flights, compared with Venture X’s 5-miles-per-dollar bonus.

Capital One just opened its first airport lounge, located at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Venture X cardholders have unlimited free access, plus complimentary entry for two guests per visit. (By comparison, Venture cardholders get only two free visits per year.) Capital One plans to open two more lounges in 2022, at Denver International Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport.

What Are Additional Benefits and Terms of the Venture X Card?

For a limited time, Capital One is offering another new-cardholder benefit: Get up to $200 in statement credits for vacation rentals paid for with your Venture X within the first year. Additional card benefits include:

  • Enroll in Priority Pass and get unlimited complimentary access to more than 1,300 domestic and international airport lounges.
  • Receive up to $100 in reimbursement on Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • Venture X charges no foreign transaction fees.
  • Venture X miles won’t expire, and there are no blackout dates when you use them to book travel.

The Venture X has an annual fee of $395. Additional card terms and fees include:

  • Annual percentage rate for purchases and transfers of 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on creditworthiness.
  • Cash advance APR of 23.99%.
  • Transfer fee of 3% of each transferred balance.
  • Cash advance fee of either $10 or 3%, whichever is greater.
  • Late payment fee of up to $40.

Should You Get the Capital One Venture X Credit Card?

Before the Venture X, Capital One offered two travel rewards cards: the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, with an annual fee of $95, and the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, with no annual fee. The Venture X has a significantly higher annual fee of $395, but the benefits are also significantly better.

Capital One is positioning the Venture X to compete with high-end travel cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve ($550 annual fee) and The Platinum Card from American Express ($695 annual fee). If you travel often, you should certainly consider the Venture X – especially if you frequently pass through Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver or Washington Dulles airports, where a new Capital One lounge could be a welcome oasis during hectic travel days.

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Accor and Ennismore complete joint venture deal

Hospitality groups Accor and Ennismore have completed a joint
venture deal that will see the two companies merge and form a new lifestyle entity.

Under the terms of the agreement, first announced in
November 2020
, Accor owns a majority 66.67 per cent share in the new company,
which will be called Ennismore, while Sharan Pasricha owns 33.33 per cent.
Simultaneously, Accor is deconsolidating formerly leased assets into a separate
structure created with a fund managed by Keys REIM as majority owner with 51
per cent shareholding, while Accor and Ennismore affiliates both hold 24.5 per
cent each.

Ennismore founder Pasricha and Accor Lifestyle chief executive
Gaurav Bhushan become co-CEOs of the new company, which comprises 14 hotel and
co-working brands such as 21c Museum Hotels, 25hours, Gleneagles, Mama Shelter,
Mondrian, The Hoxton and TRIBE, as well as a collection of more than 150
restaurants and nightlife venues. The portfolio includes 87 operating hotel
properties with an additional 141 locations in a committed pipeline.

Pasricha commented: “It’s a very exciting day and the start
of a new chapter for Ennismore as we become the largest and fastest-growing
lifestyle hospitality company. I couldn’t be more excited to bring together our
unrivalled portfolio of brands in this new entity and share the reins with my
long-time friend and now co-CEO Gaurav.”

Bhushan added: “This joint venture has been months in the
making and I couldn’t be happier to join Ennismore as co-CEO alongside Sharan.
Our teams are ready and eager to build on each of our unique lifestyle brands,
with a dynamic global pipeline, creating an ecosystem of memorable and curated
experiences across all our properties.”

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Here’s a roundup of top-notch travel deals, whether you’d rather staycation in Alaska or venture abroad

We’re in between the two tallest pillars of the retail universe: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And many travelers are itching to go somewhere.

It’s a delicate balance for travel companies offering deals, though. Coaxing travelers to fly, to sail or to stay somewhere when COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in many communities is challenging for companies. After all, there’s still no vaccine to fight the coronavirus and preventive measures — masks, physical distancing and hand-washing — can be difficult to enforce.

Also, each state or country has its own protocols for entry, which may include advance testing, quarantine on arrival, or both. And those entry requirements change all the time.

So this week, travelers who are shopping for deals are betting on a vaccine and for improved testing and mitigation conditions in 2021. Feeling lucky?

The Alaska Collection by Pursuit is offering a 40% off sale for 2021 adventures here in Alaska. This includes Kenai Fjords Tours in Seward, Denali Backcountry Adventures and the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge.

My favorite boat ride in Seward is the six-hour “National Park Cruise,” which departs Seward’s small boat harbor, heads out Resurrection Bay and rounds the corner to visit Aialik Bay. Regular price for the cruise is $169, plus tax, and lunch on board is included. Cruises start on May 1, 2021. The sale price using the code CYBER40 is $112, and there’s no discount on the taxes.

Major Marine Tours also is offering a 40% off sale for its cruises in Seward to Kenai Fjords National Park.

If you want to stay overnight in Seward, which is a good idea, stay at the Seward Windsong Lodge. The hotel opens May 14 and the sale pricing brings the cost down from $179 to $107 per night. Use the discount code CYBER40.

Up in Talkeetna, the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge is opening for spring break starting on March 6, 2021. The rooms are much cheaper, and the snow will be ideal for skiing, cycling or snowmachining. The regular price is $129 per night, but the sale price is $77 per night. When the lodge reopens for the summer season on May 15, 2021, the rates go up to $229 per night. Using that same discount code brings that down to $137 per night, plus tax.

At Denali National Park, the company Pursuit offers a daily tour from the park entrance all the way back to Kantishna, at the end of the 92-mile park road. The Denali Backcountry Adventure tour includes a meal at the end of the road at Denali Backcountry Lodge. Very few travelers get this far back in the park. It’s a great opportunity to get the perfect shot of Denali, with Wonder Lake in the foreground.

Denali is reflected in a small pond just east of Wonder Lake in Denali National Park on August 23, 2006. (Bob Hallinen / ADN archive)

Usually, the bus tour is $199 per person, but the sale price — including the $15 Denali National Park fee — is $134.40. The discount code is a little different: CYBER40DBA. The tour leaves from Denali Cabins, located 8 miles south of the park entrance. However, the bus will pick you up at other hotels or campsites.

Denali Cabins consists of 46 individual cedar cabins. Usually, the summertime rate is $169 per night, plus tax. But using the CYBER40 discount code, the cost comes down to $101 per night.

There are other Black Friday sales for hotels, but none caught my eye like Fairmont Hotels. I got on their mailing list after staying at their beautiful hotel Chateau Lake Louise in Canada’s Banff National Park.

This is a big hotel in a spectacular setting. The rate when we stayed there was more than $500 per night. I used some credit card points there, as well as at the Fairmont Jasper Lodge farther north on the Icefield Parkway in the Canadian Rockies.

Of course, both of these hotels are off-limits to us right now, since the Canadians don’t want visiting Americans to potentially spread COVID-19.

But Fairmont has some beautiful hotels around the world, including the Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle. I checked the sale price for a stay in January: $185 per night. The Kea Lani resort in Maui also is a Fairmont resort, but I could not find a date where the Black Friday discount would work. The rack rates started at more than $500 per night.

It’s worth surfing around the Fairmont site to see if there’s a property that works for you in Chicago, California’s Sonoma County or Scottsdale, Arizona.

A view of the Hurtigruten’s vessel MS Roald Amundsen, docked in Tromso, Norway, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. (Terje Pedersen/NTB scanpix via AP)

One cruise company that stood out, though, is Hurtigruten. This Norwegian company has the craziest itineraries: around Iceland, to Antarctica and to Greenland. They also offer some itineraries around the coast of South America, in the Caribbean and in Alaska.

There were a few airfare specials on various airlines, but none here in Alaska. Sometimes, when there are no super-specials from Alaska, you have to cobble together a ticket to San Francisco or Los Angeles, along with a ticket to your final destination.

Cathay Pacific has some good Black Friday deals for travel starting in April. So, clearly, they’re banking that travelers will be allowed to visit by then. Here are some of the best rates:

• San Francisco-Taipei: $475 round trip

• Los Angeles/San Francisco-Ho Chi Minh City: $480 round trip

• Los Angeles-Manila: $469 round trip

• Los Angeles-Denpasar, Bali: $474 round trip

Other destinations also are available, including Tokyo and Singapore. But at this time, American citizens are not allowed to visit. Travelers on Cathay Pacific can earn Alaska Airlines miles.

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