Comparing Capital One Aspire versus Venture Card

Capital One used to be my favourite credit card company, especially when they still has the Delta SkyMiles and IHG Rewards co-branded credit cards. They really slimmed down their credit card portfolio in Canada. To be fair, the credit card that I will discuss today is actually also my primary credit card, so maybe they still are my favourite company!

Today, we are going to discuss their most premium credit card that they offer and compare it to a similar one in the United States.

Canadian Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite

  • $150 annual fee
  • Earn 40,000 sign up bonus points after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on all purchases

US Capital One Venture Visa Signature Card

  • $59 annual fee (first year fee waived)
  • Earn 40,000 sign up bonus points after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on all purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees

Annual Fee / Grandfathered version

At first glance, it is quite obvious that the US version is much better. However, if you are one of the lucky Canadian grandfathered cardholders who still benefits from paying $120 annual fee and a 10,000 points (equivalent of $100) anniversary bonus, the Canadian version is much better. I really hope that they will continue to honour grandfathered clients, as it is a greatly appreciated gesture on Capital One’s part, which I am extremely grateful for. As a result, I will continue to hold my card for as long as they plan to honour it! But if they switch the terms and conditions on me to be aligned with the current card, then I will cancel it right away.

For the purposes of this post, is only fair to compare apples to apples (current to current versions). The card that waives it first year fee and has a lower fee wins.

Winner: US

Sign Up Bonus

Check this out! The Canadian version has a significantly lower spending requirement. Even with the currency exchange rate factored in, they are clearly better.

Winner: Canada

Earning Ratios

If there is going to be a tie-break on earning ratios, the edge goes to Canada due to its weaker currency. What is great about these points is that they are fairly easy to redeem. Every point is worth 1 cent, that can be used to redeem for travel purchases. The Canadian version used to have a brutal tier-ing system, which they discontinued and now in line with the US version.

Winner: Canada

Foreign Transaction Fees

Since the Canadian version does not waive its foreign transaction fee they lose. Granted, waiving foreign transaction fees on travel credit cards has become a minimum benefit in the United States nowadays. It may be a while before Canada gets anywhere near that level. At this point, I hope to see just one new credit card make such a move.

Winner: US


If you have the grandfathered version of the Canadian card, then I would say that version is more competitive than the US one. However, the current hefty $150 annual fee makes the Canadian version much less competitive than the Capital One Venture Visa Signature Card one.

My hope is that Capital One Canada will introduce more products, ideally teaming up with a new frequent flyer or hotel loyalty program.


  1. Is there a way for us Canadians to apply for and get approved for the US Capital One Venture Visa Signature Card?

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