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Capital One's new signup bonus surpasses Chase's Sapphire cards

Ethan Wolff-Mann
Senior Writer
The logo and ticker for Capital One are displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The community on the internet known as “churners,” people who look to take advantage of favorable credit card signup bonuses, celebrated this week as Capital One (COF) dramatically improved its Venture credit card, putting a value of over $750 on the bonus points alone.

Among the most important updates: a waived annual fee for the first year, and a boost of 25,000 points, putting the total bonus at 75,000 points for those who spend $5,000 over the first three months.

For years, Chase (JPM) has been the leader in doling out high bonuses to attract credit card customers, with the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s 100,000-point bonus setting a new tone for churners and others looking to gain an advantage through credit card optimization.

Since the Sapphire Reserve emerged in 2016 with that enormous bonus — it was knocked down to 50,000 — Barclays and others have attempted to figure out how to compete. Given the enormous amount of capital required to offer these significant bonuses, many banks have shied away from going big.

Not Capital One, however, which is dangling a carrot worth $750 to a demographic that may want to eat it.

“This is a really attractive signup bonus,” said CreditCard.com’s Ted Rossman, in a statement. “75,000 miles equal a $750 statement credit, which is astounding for a credit card with no annual fee in year one and just $95 after that.”

Many people assume the bonus will drop back down to 50,000 from 75,000, but Capital One has not yet indicated an expiration date for the promotion.

The card is worth even more than that figure, which is just the point value if redeemed on travel. The card comes with a $100 credit to cover TSA Pre Check or Global Entry memberships, no foreign transaction fees, and other elite credit card benefits like travel insurance. The points are also transferrable to 12 airline partners, though Rossman indicated that cardholders could probably extract more value by using points in the traditional way, canceling out travel purchases, and not by transferring miles.

In comparison to Chase’s offerings, which remain king on forums for churners and travelers, Rossman isn’t quite as impressed when it comes to the non-bonus aspects, meaning this card may end up, for that community at least, downgraded to a free version and a drawer.

Ethan Wolff-Mann is a writer at Yahoo Finance focusing on consumer issues, retail, personal finance, and more. Follow him on Twitter @ewolffmann.