This article is brought to you by Capital One. We get approached for sponsored posts all the time, but only take them up when they offer value or useful information to our readers. The partnership came along at a time when our view on the points game coincided with theirs, and I’m excited to offer this insight…

The best and most fascinating part of running a travel site is engaging with the audience on a daily basis. And with millions of people reading, opinions are one thing the site is certainly not short on. The beauty of having so many opinions shared daily, is that feedback helps form my opinions, seeing what travelers strive to achieve with their points, and that what advice *may* make sense for some, may make none for others. My view on points has evolved since I started writing this blog years ago, and our partnership with Capital One to promote the Venture card is a reflection of this ever-changing view. And with a welcome bonus of 50,000 miles worth $500 in travel, the view looks better than ever…

Every travel blogger starts out aspirational. You know, what I’m talking about, and you’ve certainly read the headlines, like “Man Flies First Class Around the World for $12”. Perhaps the greatest catalyst for people to initially get into the points game are the aspirational experiences points can unlock. There’s something very cool about flying an apartment in the sky for 35,000 credit card points via an obscure workaround, or transferring 25,000 hotel points for an otherwise impossibly expensive hotel room, through what seems like voodoo magic back channels.

But, once you’ve done that stuff – you just want to travel more. Travel is about seeing the world. Readers have taught me that: for most travelers, there is no flexibility, people would rather travel somewhere cool in any cabin, than go somewhere just to experience a plane, and that red tape, surcharges and other things typically associated with redeeming points via airlines ruins the fun of collecting them in the first place! 

I can safely say I’ve done just about everything aspirational in travel, and between my personal travel goals, and seeing how impractical some aspirational ideas are for other travelers, my focus is on earning the best rebate for my travels, that I can use for any part of them. Even if it only covers part of the purchase.

That’s where the Capital One Venture card caught my eye. The card has evolved from a seemingly standard rewards credit card to a highly lucrative travel card with seriously flexible perks. With the first year annual fee waived, and 50,000 bonus miles worth $500 towards travel as a welcome bonus, the card makes a lot of sense.

I’m talking about perks like receiving 10x miles when booking on Hotels.com/Venture which can be combined with Hotels.com’s lucrative loyalty program, which offers 1 night free for every 10 nights stayed, receiving a credit of up to $100 for either your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application, and being able to cash in your miles when you want to with no blackout dates. Capital One Venture earns two miles per dollar on all purchases, which makes it one of the strongest earning credit cards on the market. Plus, when you use your miles to cover travel purchases, you always unlock the full 2x return. When used toward travel, 100,000 Capital One Venture Miles covers $1000 of travel expenses, whether that’s flights, hotels, rental car, etc., without any gimmicks or blackout dates.

I care about this more and more, because I don’t have the flexibility I once did. I can’t hope that an airline releases just one seat using points, once a month, if I want to travel with my wife during defined travel dates. The more people you’re talking about, the more relevant availability becomes.

I just want to travel, I want to save and I want to breeze through the airport. If I see a flight that’s $200, I’d love to use some of my points to make it $100, or better yet – free! Capital One Venture is the card that makes more and more sense, as I aim not to unlock the craziest luxury travel experiences, but the best travel experiences for me, which is now traveling more often at times that best fit my schedule. With this card, you can receive arguably the best rebate on booking hotels, and one of the best earning rates for all spending, not just some of it. 

Has your view on points changed since you first started in the game?