Capital One offering miles for referrals (10K or 20K per referral up to 50K cap)

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The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card are now offering Capital One “miles” for referring new customers. Interestingly, the bonuses are not necessarily standard: while my wife’s account shows that she could receive 10,000 miles per referral (up to 50,000 miles per year), my Venture account shows that I would receive 20,000 miles per referral up to the same 50,000-mile cap.

The Dealary

  • Capital One Venture and VentureOne cardholders can now earn Capital One miles for referring friends (though note that the number of Capital One miles per referral may be targeted)
  • Log in to your Capital One account and click “I want to…” then “Refer a Friend” to find your link and offer

Key Terms

  • The friend you refer must be a new Capital One customer
  • For accountholders participating in the referral program through an eligible Miles rewards card, the maximum bonus you can receive in a calendar year is 50,000 miles, which is equal to $500 when redeemed for travel expenses.
  • For accountholders participating in the referral program through an eligible Cash Back rewards card or a card that doesn’t earn rewards, the maximum bonus you can receive in a calendar year is $500.
  • If you have multiple Capital One cards that are eligible for the referral program, the total combined amount of the bonus you can receive in a calendar year is 50,000 miles, $500, or a combination of the two not exceeding $500 in value. For example, you will meet the bonus cap for the calendar year if, through an eligible Miles rewards card, you receive 30,000 miles from referring friends, and through an eligible Cash Back rewards card, or a card that doesn’t earn rewards, you receive a bonus of $200 from referring friends.
  • In the event the bonus you earn from all referral offers exceeds 50,000 miles or $500 per calendar year, the bonus awarded may be a partial amount to keep your total bonus for the calendar year at 50,000 miles or $500. For example if you have already accumulated 40,000 bonus miles from referral offers for the calendar year and the maximum is 50,000 miles per calendar year, then the next award will be 10,000 miles even if the offer states 20,000 miles.
  • Once you have reached the maximum bonus amount for the calendar year, you can still refer your friends; however, you won’t receive additional bonus awards
  • Bonuses received through an eligible Cash Back rewards card or a card that doesn’t earn rewards, will be applied to your account as a statement credit.
  • If your referral offer is no longer valid when your friend applies for a card, you won’t receive a bonus for their approval.

Quick Thoughts

Previously, Venture cardholders could earn a statement credit for referring friends (it was $100 per referral up to $500 per calendar year). Cash is obviously more flexible than Capital One Miles in that cash can be used for anything whereas Capital One miles are only worth their cash value when redeemed toward travel.

On the other hand, since Capital One miles transfer to many partners (albeit at ratios less than 1:1), a referral bonus in miles may be more interesting to those looking to accumulate miles for a partner redemption.

Interestingly, the bonuses are not necessarily standardized. While I see the offer in the screen shot above (good for 20K “miles” per referral) when I log in and access my Capital One Venture card referral link, my wife received an email about this offer advertising 10K per referral rather than 20K:

I have that 10K offer on my VentureOne card (whereas my Venture card is 20K per referral).

The terms note that you can receive a maximum of $500 in referral bonuses per year across cards. That limit applies to personal cards (whereas Capital One business cards can earn up to $1,000 per year in referrals). The limit is indeed enforced across multiple cards. My wife received $500 in referrals on her Venture card this year; despite not referring anyone from her VentureOne account, both her Venture and VentureOne accounts show a message congratulating her on reaching the 50K-mile limit for the year.

While this will be of limited utility to most readers since Capital One is known to not approve those who have opened many credit cards with other issuers, it is worth knowing for those who do have a miles-earning Capital One account if you have friends or family members who are new to the game. The referral offer on the Venture card matches the same currently-increased offer available through other channels, so your friend won’t lose anything in applying through your link. This could be especially attractive if referring within your own family: since Capital One allows you to share miles with any other customer who has a miles-earning card (with no annual caps or restrictions), you could easily combine the bonus earned from referring with the new cardmember bonus.

Overall, it is interesting to see Capital One continue to switch things up and remain innovative over these past couple of years. While these current bonuses may not be as appealing for those looking for cash value, it’s nice to see something refreshed and different for those looking for transferability.

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