Venture X Business Travel Credit Issue
I wanted to share a recent Venture X Business travel credit issue with you that I just ran into. It goes a bit hand and hand with my warning about booking low cost carriers through a bank travel portal. If you remember, it requires some hoop jumping if you need to cancel and get a refund on your flight. This is one of main reasons we encourage people to NEVER use a bank, or third party, travel portal when booking your vacations. Just too many headaches that come along with it. It is also why we were pretty nervous about the recent Venture X and Venture Business X change to the way their travel credit works.
Changes In The Venture X Travel Credit
The second annual fee on my Venture X Business card just hit so I knew I had a $300 travel credit to use. In the past you would complete the booking via the travel portal and the statement credit would post a week or so later. With their recent change the travel credit shows up at the time of booking and it comes off immediately. That kind of sounds like an improvement, but it is not.
It is actually a negative change for a few reasons:
- First, you no longer earn points on the purchase.
- That also means you can no longer use points to “erase” away the cost of the purchase with your points. That is something you could do before and kind of double dip it if you so pleased.
- Lastly, and this is the big one, if you had to cancel your travel and got refunded, the credit would stick.
It was a way to get $300 off your annual fee without booking travel. That is my guess on why the processed was changed this year. With this change the the Venture X travel credit is less flexible than some others.
The kids wanted to go to Orlando for a long weekend again this winter, like we have most years. I found some cheap flights on Frontier and decided they were a perfect use for my $300 Venture X Business travel credit. The total cost for the four of us was around $360, which allowed me to use my travel credit all at once. I love to hit it and forget it with perks and credits like this. It helps me avoid breakage since I am unable to forget to use it again in the future.
I made the booking and then Frontier went all Frontier on us and changed our flights … 3 days later! We moved from a 7PM flight to a 6AM flight which just wouldn't work. There were no other flights on Frontier that made sense either. This is exactly what happened last time when I learned that I needed to call the travel portal to get credited for the canceled flight.
They also changed the return flight, but the times still worked. I opened up chat and asked just to have them remove the flight down to Orlando. Frontier informed me that I would be credited around $175 for that flight. As expected, they also said that it was going to a credit card that was not mine. I could tell by the last four digits from the card used to book the flight. The travel portals pay for the low cost carrier flights directly and use their own credit card to do so. That is why you need to call for them to process the credit back to your card. A terrible system by the way.
Rebooking Is When My Venture X Travel Credit Gets Messy
Because of last year, I already knew the drill when the Frontier Airlines change came through. After contacting them via chat to get the first flight cancelled I knew I had to give it a few days to settle on the back end. Then I would need to call Capital One to process my refund. This is the annoying part and what leads to my Venture X Business travel credit issue.
After I got off the chat with Frontier I went back to the Capital One travel portal to see if there were any other options that would work. Spirit Airlines had a flight that had almost identical times to our original booking. It was a little cheaper overall to boot. It appeared the price had dropped from the previous week, when I first searched the route. This is exactly how it all played out last year too!
I decided to go ahead and book the flights for around $150 via the Capital One travel portal assuming this would get offset by my credit from Frontier. You know what they say about assumptions, right?
Capital One's Resolution Wasn't What I Expected
About 5 days later I reached out to Capital One to make sure the Frontier Airlines credit properly credited to my card. After some back and forth the agent agreed that I was due a $175 credit. He said $60 would go back to my card (what I paid out of pocket) and the rest would return to my account as a travel credit.
I asked if they could just apply the amount to my Spirit Airlines booking, which was also made via Capital One travel. He said that is not how it works and there was nothing he could do. He said the $115 credit would be back in my travel funds within a few minutes.
The Lack Of Flexibility Is Concerning
I was pretty surprised that they couldn't finagle this to make it work and use my credit towards the new booking. The fact that the amount is put back into my account quickly was nice, but it still takes several days to get to that point. Why? Because the low cost carrier cancellation goes back to Capital One and THEN back to me. That is only after I reach out begging for it. That means that I need to hope that the price of the flight I want stays the same for 5-6 days, which rarely happens.
For fun, I went and searched our Spirit Airlines flights to see what the price was once I had the Venture X Business travel credit back in my account. The price had already doubled, so I am glad I decided not to wait.
Venture X Business Travel Credit Issue: ToP Thoughts
So, what can we learn from this Venture X Business travel credit issue? I am really not sure since I don't think there is anything I could have done differently and had it not cost me more. This is a problem with travel portals as a whole, especially when booking a low cost carrier. The timeframe to get everything ironed out is too long for them to not be flexible on applying the credit after the fact. Maybe not booking airlines is the lesson here and book a hotel or car rental that is less time sensitive.
I guess the main thing to learn is not to value the $300 travel credit at full value, because it really isn't. It isn't as easy to use as cash and the pricing isn't always the same. The added stress of having a third party involved in your booking devalues it even more. That is why the true travel credit of the Chase Sapphire Reserve is far superior to the Capital One Venture X and Venture X Business.