Campaign analysis: Capital One Venture Card
In October, Capital One launched a mass media campaign to promote the Venture Card. For a limited time, new Venture cardholders can earn 100,000 bonus miles after spending $20,000 on purchases within the first 12 months of account opening. If that spend is out of reach, new cardholders can still earn the normal 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening and forgo the additional 50,000 bonus miles.
While a 100k bonus offer may sound enticing, currently, the spend requirement is higher than most competitive offers. Competitors are offering 100k+ bonus offers with only $3-5k spend requirements in the first three months.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant from Amex is offering 100,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in purchases in the first three months. Plus, cardholders can earn an additional 25,000 bonus points after their first anniversary of card membership.
Amex’s Hilton Honors Surpass is offering 150,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months of card membership, plus one free weekend night after spending $15,000 in a year.
Sapphire Preferred is offering 80K bonus points, but since card members can earn an extra 25% when redeeming through Chase, it’s effectively 100K points. To get the bonus, new cardmembers only need to spend $4,000 in three months.
Capital One is outspending competitors in mass media as the top spend card issuer in national television. The issuer spent over $8M in national television, with TV buys concentrated against prime-time sports, predominantly College and NFL Football. The national TV spot emphasized the travel card’s lucrative double miles rewards rate. In display ads, Capital One urged prospects to ditch their airline cards. The issuer used rhetorical devices to emphasize the card’s competitive appeal.
Our quick analysis
Capital One targets co-brand card holders who may want more flexibility in how they can redeem their points. With just over 30% of US adults reporting they feel comfortable taking a flight – according to Mintel’s Global COVID-19 Tracker – the Venture card is best positioned to appeal to those who are still likely to travel in the next year but may be flying less often.
The issuer is emphasizing vacation rentals, car rentals, and more as redemption options—rather than addressing COVID-19 directly—and staying true to the quirky and approachable tone it’s known for.
In encouraging spend at a relatively high level for a full year, Capital One is positioning Venture as a top-of-wallet card, while also appealing to those who may not be redeeming travel miles in the near future.