Capital One Miles have become a premier transferable currency system over the past couple of years. In addition to Capital One’s long-popular travel eraser feature, Capital One miles cards now feature 1:1 transfers to a range of valuable airline and hotel partners. Furthermore, Capital One makes it very easy to combine rewards between your cards or even between cardholders. Capital One has even introduced an ultra-premium card with the launch of the Capital One Venture X Rewards card and now competes directly with the likes of Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, and Amex Membership Rewards.
Capital One Miles can be redeemed for $0.01 each toward travel purchases or transferred 1:1 to most airline and hotel partners. Miles can be earned via credit card bonuses and ongoing spend. In addition to being used to erase travel purchases or transferred to partners, Capital One Miles can redeemed for gift cards or converted to cash back (Note: cash back redemptions are a horrible value).
Earn Capital One “Miles”
The easiest and quickest way to earn Capital One “miles” is through Capital One® Venture® and Capital One® Spark® Miles credit card welcome offers. Below are the current Capital One cards that earn Capital One miles.
|Card Offer and Details|
|Card Offer and Details|
|Card Offer and Details|
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|Card Offer and Details|
Move rewards: Cash back can be converted to miles and rewards can be moved between cards and cardholders
Capital One makes it very easy to move / combine rewards. It is easy to combine rewards among your own accounts online. Moving rewards to other cardholders is also quite easily done over the phone.
Of note, cash back earned on Capital One cards can be converted to miles if you have one of the above miles-earning cards or you transfer your rewards to someone who does. While it is not a published program benefit, we know from personal experience as well as the experience of readers that cash back can be converted to miles at a rate of $0.01 to 1 mile. This means that both welcome bonuses and cash back earned from spend can potentially become airline miles when award tickets yield significantly more value.
For instance, see the screen shot below from a cardholder who has cash back earned on a Spark Miles card. The same cardholder has a Venture card and can convert (as an example) $100 in cash back to 10,000 miles.
Note that you can make this conversion between your own accounts by first clicking “Redeem” under your rewards balance.
Then choose “Move Rewards”.
From there you can choose an account to which you would like to move rewards.
Note that cash back can be moved to miles cards, but miles can not be moved to cash back cards.
Also note that while you can self-serve for transfers between the cardholder’s own accounts, you need to call the number on the back of your card to move rewards to another cardholder. Capital One allows unlimited transfers from cardholder to cardholder and my wife has even been able to call and move cash back from her Spark card directly to miles on my Venture card. Again, this isn’t a published benefit and there is always a chance that a phone representative may not know how to do it, but personal experience shows that it can be done.
Redeem Capital One “Miles”
Capital One “miles” are worth 1 cent each when redeemed to erase travel purchases. Miles can also be redeemed for gift cards (most gift cards offer $0.01 in value per mile in fixed denominations). It is possible to get even more value by transferring points to airline partners.
Purchases made from airlines, hotels, rail lines, car rental agencies, limousine services, bus lines, cruise lines, taxi cabs, travel agents and time shares are generally considered to be travel purchases for the purposes of requesting a statement credit via Capital One’s “purchase eraser” (though note that this is based on the merchant category code assigned to them by the merchant). Purchase eraser requests for a statement credit must be made within 90 days of the date your travel purchase posts to your account and can be done easily online.
Since you can make your purchases directly from travel providers, you can make bookings that qualify for elite credit / benefits and then apply your Capital One Rewards “miles” after the fact. Another somewhat unique feature in the Capital One system is that you do not need to have earned the necessary miles before making a booking since you have 90 days from the date the charge posts to your account to make a redemption.
Capital One has launched its Capital One Travel site. Miles can be used to book travel at a value of $0.01 per 1 mile. While cardholders can already book travel elsewhere and redeem miles at a value of $0.01 per mile, the Capital One Travel portal comes with some interesting benefits. These include price matching and price drop protection on flights when you book at a time that Capital One recommends.
Price matching within 24hrs of booking is a pretty standard practice in the online travel agency business but is less common via credit card booking portals. It’s great to see that feature here.
While we haven’t yet tested out price drop protection on flights, it sounds interesting from the Capital One Frequently Asked Questions:
What is price drop protection?We’re so confident in our price prediction tool for flights that if you ‘book now’ when we recommend, we automatically offer free price drop protection. With price drop protection, we keep monitoring the price of the flight after you buy it, and if the price drops, we’ll give you a refund up to the maximum amount specified when you booked.
Often the best use of a transferable currency is to transfer points to airline partners in order to book high value awards. Your best bet is usually to wait until you find a great flight award before transferring points.
Transferring to your chosen program is simple: log in to your credit card account, click “Redeem” under your Rewards Miles balance, then choose “Convert Rewards” to transfer to airline and hotel partners. From there, select your chosen program and enter your loyalty account information as well as the number of miles you wish to transfer in increments of 100. For more on this process, see: How to transfer Capital one miles to partners.
It is notable that Capital One allows transfers in increments of just 100 miles (with a minimum of 1,000 miles). This makes it easier to top off an account more precisely and avoid orphaning extra miles.
Current Transfer Bonuses
Capital One has frequently offered transfer bonuses. Any current transfer bonuses are listed here:
|Transfer Bonus Details||End Date Sortable|
|Rewards Program||Capital One Transfer Ratio||Best Uses|
|Accor Live Limitless||1000 to 500||Use to pay hotel bill with value of 2 Euro cents per point. In some cases (such as hotel to airline transfer bonuses) it may make sense to convert Accor points to the following airline miles at a 1 to 1 ratio: Finnair, Iberia, Qantas, or Virgin Australia|
|AeroMexico ClubPremier||1 to 1||AeroMexico is a SkyTeam partner. Club Premier points can be used to book flights on AeroMexico, SkyTeam alliance members (such as Delta or Korean Air), or on select partner airlines. Unfortunately many have reported that awards are extremely difficult to book through AeroMexico so we do not recommend transferring points to this program. If you want to fly AeroMexico, look to transfer points to another SkyTeam partner (such as Air France) and then book AeroMexico with that program.|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||1 to 1||Redeem for Star Alliance flights and/or flights with Air Canada partners (such as Etihad). No fuel surcharges; $39 CAD award booking fee; 5,000 points to add stopover on one-way award. See: Air Canada Aeroplan: Everything you need to know.|
|Air France KLM Flying Blue||1 to 1||Monthly Air France Promo Awards often represent very good value. Air France miles can be used to book Sky Team awards, including Delta awards.|
|Avianca LifeMiles||1 to 1||Avianca LifeMiles can be great for Star Alliance awards. They offer reasonable award prices and no fuel surcharges on awards. They also offer shorthaul awards within the US (for flying United, for example) for as few as 7,500 miles one-way. Best of all, their mixed-cabin pricing can lead to fantastic first-class award prices. See this post for details.|
|British Airways Avios||1 to 1||While flights on British Airways itself often incur outrageously high fuel surcharges, many BA partners charge low or no fuel surcharges. Excellent value can be had in redeeming BA points for short distance flights. It's possible to move points (Avios) between Iberia, British Airways, and Aer Lingus. See also: Complete guide to Avios - British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus.|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||1 to 1||Cathay Pacific has a decent distance based award chart, but they no longer allow stopovers longer than 24 hours. Cathay Pacific Asia Miles can be a good option for booking American Airlines flights with a distance based award chart, especially if other OneWorld Alliance miles aren't available. For long distance flights, it is possible to reduce the cost of first class by adding on a business class flight. See this post for details.|
|Choice||1 to 1||Choice Privileges points seem to be randomly valuable within the US, but dependably valuable internationally in expensive locations such as Scandinavia and Japan|
|Emirates Skywards||1 to 1||The best use of Emirates miles is to fly Emirates itself. See: Emirates Sweet Spot Awards - First class from 30K miles round trip.|
|Etihad Guest||1 to 1||Etihad has a very competitive award chart for American Airlines flights, among others. For example, they charge only 50,000 miles one-way for business class flights from North America to Europe. Partner awards must be booked over the phone.|
|EVA Air Infinity MileageLands||1000 to 750||If you want to fly one of the best business class products in the sky, the best way to snag EVA flights is with their own miles since they release more award space to their own members. One-way business class flights from the US to Taipei cost 75K to 80K miles. Fuel surcharges are very low on these routes.
|Finnair Plus+||1 to 1||Award prices are quite high compared to competing programs. Interestingly, miles can be exchanged for tier points (towards elite status).|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||1 to 1||Best use is probably for flights on El Al with no fuel surcharges. Also useful for short AA flights. Qantas offers distance based award charts similar to Cathay Pacific. Both are OneWorld Alliance members. I recommend comparing award prices across both programs before transferring to either. Qantas offers round the world business class awards for only 280,000 points (but with many restrictions)|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||1 to 1||Use to book Singapore Airlines First Class awards (generally reserved for their own members), Alaska Airlines economy awards, or for Star Alliance awards (including United Airlines).|
|TAP Air Portugal||1 to 1|
|Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles||1 to 1||Miles & Smiles offers a number of awesome sweet-spot awards including 7.5K one-way anywhere within the US, even to Hawaii. Many awards cannot be booked online but can be booked via email. See: Turkish Miles & Smiles Complete Guide and Turkish business class sweet spots from the US.|
|Wyndham||1 to 1||Wyndham often allows booking multi-room suites for the same price as a standard room. It's sometimes possible to get great value from points in that way. Additionally, you can book vacation rentals for only 15K points per room per night.|
Capital One Rewards Miles can be redeemed for 0.5 cents each either as statement credits or as cash back via check. That’s a very poor value and not recommended.
Through the Capital One Rewards portal you can redeem Rewards miles for gift cards. Most merchant gift cards (like Amazon, Best Buy, etc) yield exactly $0.01 per mile — that is to say that a $25 gift card costs 2,500 Rewards Miles.
One notable exception is the ability for some cardholders to redeem for “Special Hotel Offers”, which are specific hotel gift cards offered at much better rates. At the time of writing, this section of the Rewards portal offers a $900 gift card to Fairmont, Four Seasons, Marriott, Raffles, or Ritz-Carlton for 64,250 miles. That’s a value of 1.4 cents per Rewards mile and certainly might be worth considering. It is unclear as to how an account becomes targeted for this capability.
Note that you will not find the Special Hotel Offers under the “gift cards” section. To find these offers, log in to your credit card account, click on your Rewards miles balance, and then choose “Get Special Hotel Offers”:
Sweet spot awards
Our post, Capital One Miles Sweet Spots, details the best value uses of Capital One “Miles”. Either click here or click below to jump to a section of the post:
- Domestic US Flights
- Caribbean / Latin America
- Australia / New Zealand / Oceania
Manage Capital One “Miles”
Capital One makes it very easy to combine Rewards among your own accounts. To combine Rewards within your own accounts (for example, to move Rewards miles from your Venture One card to your Capital One® Spark® Miles card), simply open the card account from which you wish to move the miles, click on “Redeem” under your Rewards miles balance, and choose “Move Rewards”. This will give you a drop-down menu where you can choose the account you want to send your Rewards miles to. You can then enter the exact amount you wish to transfer. There is no minimum transfer. The maximum is simply your current available Rewards miles balance.
See: Now share Capital One miles with others for more on this.
Note that you can also move cash back earned on Capital One cash back cards to miles. While not a published program feature, if you click “Redeem” under your cash back rewards and choose “Move Rewards”, you can move cash back to your miles card at a value of $0.01 to 1 mile.
Capital One very generously allows people to transfer Rewards to anyone else, for free. There are no minimums and no limits as to the number of Rewards miles you can transfer to another cardholder.
Unfortunately, this can not be done online. You’ll need to call the number on the back of your card and provide the agent with the name and card number of the person to whom you would like to transfer your Rewards miles. Keep in mind that the recipient will need to have a Capital One Rewards Miles-earning card to receive your miles.
This is valuable because:
- If a friend has airline elite status with one of Capital One’s transfer partners with which you want to book an award, you may be better off transferring points to your friend who can then transfer the points to the airline partner and book the award for you (to get free award changes, for example).
- If your spouse/sibling/parent/neighbor/cousin/friend is a few thousand miles short of having enough for a business or first class ticket when transferred to a partner, this program feature makes it easy to top up and/or to combine with other transferable points to put together the desired award. Along the same lines, if you are redeeming points for several travelers and you would rather have them all on one PNR rather than booking multiple tickets out of separate accounts, combining points across cardholders can make this easier.
See: Now share Capital One miles with others for more on this.
Capital One Rewards Miles do not expire as long as your account is open and in good standing. If you cancel an account with a Rewards miles balance, you will forfeit those rewards. For this reason, you’ll want to transfer to an airline partner or another Capital One miles-earning card via the methods above before canceling an account.
You can find the full terms and conditions for your card by logging in to your account, clicking on your rewards balance, and clicking on “Terms and Conditions” or “FAQ”.