In response to my post this morning about the ascending value of Capital One’s rewards program, a reader commented to note a couple of fascinating data points indicating that cash back rewards earned on the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card can be combined with Capital One Venture Rewards miles and transferred to airline and hotel partners. Digging deeper into the data points, it looks like this might also be possible with Quicksilver rewards and now based on my own investigation I think it is also possible to convert Capital One Spark Cash Business Credit Card rewards to Capital One miles (Update: Dave at Miles Talk has previously written a post indicating that it is indeed possible to transfer from Spark Cash to miles). Extrapolating further, I think it should be possible to earn 3x airline miles per dollar spent on dining and entertainment with no annual fees if this all works (see more below). We have reached out to Capital One looking for official comment and haven’t heard back, but if these data points are accurate, it means the ability to earn 3-4x airline miles for dining and entertainment either without an annual fee or with a reasonable fee and the potential to combine welcome bonuses from multiple Capital One credit cards to accumulate more airline miles when transferred first to the Venture or VentureOne card. Note that we still have some question marks here and this may not work for all cardholders.
In response to this morning’s post, reader Kent pointed out a couple of fascinating data points:
“Furthermore, there are 2 personal cards that earn Capital One miles (only one of which has a worthwhile bonus and ongoing return for spend)”
I assume you mean the Venture and VentureOne. Apparently though, one can transfer Savor (and presumably SavorOne) rewards to Venture miles at 1:1.
Checking into the data points, the original poster in that thread from the MyFico forums confirms that they have converted cash back rewards from the Savor card to the Venture card. First, mr_suave said this (bolding is mine):
Yes, this is certainly a good earning rate none the less. 2% on everything while earning 4% on restaurants/entertainment on Savor that can then be transferred to the “miles equivalent” on the Venture. The ability to convert Savor cash to Venture miles is straightforward as well. You just simply look for Share my rewards that can be found in Rewards cash tab. You can convert/transfer Savor cash to your eligible accounts or someone else’s. I believe eligible accounts are Quicksilver and Venture accounts.
At the time of that comment, he hadn’t yet done it. However, he went on to make the conversion successfully:
Note the time and date stamp: that data point is almost two and a half years old, so this is not a new development. And apparently, it may not be limited to the Savor card:
Why is this so exciting?
This is very exciting for several reasons:
- Capital One offers a couple of cards that earn excellent category bonuses on dining. It may be possible to earn 3x airline miles on dining and entertainment with no annual fees.
- It may be possible to convert welcome bonuses from cash back cards (including those earned on the business side) into miles. YMMV, but more on why I think this is likely possible below.
To the first point, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card has no annual fee and earns 3% back on dining and entertainment, which means 3x miles per dollar that if rewards convert 1:1 to the Venture or VentureOne cards as indicated above.
The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has a $95 annual fee and earns 4% back on dining and entertainment, which means 4x miles per dollar spent if rewards convert 1:1 to the Venture or VentureOne cards as indicated above.
Remember that both the Venture and VentureOne cards convert to airline and hotel partners at the same ratios. Now that Capital One miles convert 1:1 to several key partners and have picked up some key transfer partners like Turkish and British Airways, I argued this morning that their program is quickly ascending.
Someone who wants to earn airline miles for dining and entertainment purchases could theoretically pair the SavorOne card with the VentureOne card and earn 3x on dining and entertainment without an annual fee and convert 1:1 to partners like Avianca LifeMiles, Wyndham, Asia Miles, and more. That’s awesome.
While the Savor card has a $95 annual fee, some cardholders may be grandfathered in to a version that has no annual fee, which means that at least some people may be able to earn 4x on dining and entertainment without an annual fee. Even for those who pay the $95 fee, that may well be worth it if you spend a lot on dining and entertainment.
Furthermore, since Capital One allows you to combine rewards with other cardholders, it may be possible for a Savor cardholder to share their rewards with another cardholder who has the Venture or VentureOne card.
And that’s not all. Remember that the key Capital One weakness I noted in this morning’s post is that there are not many ways to earn Capital One miles from new card bonuses or category bonuses. If this is true, it would open up additional new card bonuses and category bonuses from the other Capital One credit cards. In fact, it may even open up earning and sharing between the business and personal sides.
For instance, my wife has the Capital One Spark Cash Business credit card. She also has both the Venture and VentureOne cards. If she goes to her Spark Cash account and clicks to “View Rewards? and then “Move Rewards” to one of her own accounts, this is what she sees in the drop-down menu:
I had seen this in the past and (I think incorrectly) assumed it meant that she could only transfer rewards between the Venture and VentureOne accounts. However, when she goes to her Venture account and chooses to move rewards to one of her own accounts, this is what she sees:
Note that it says her Spark Cash card is not eligible. In other words, she can’t convert Venture miles to her Spark Cash card. However, in the opposite direction, it does not indicate that her Venture accounts are not eligible — leading me to believe that converting cash back earned on a Spark Cash card to miles would work. If she hadn’t cashed out her Spark Cash rewards for a check yesterday, we would have tested this out. However, it appears to me very likely that it would work. That’s huge because we sometimes see very big bonuses on the Spark side — being able to convert a $1,000 or $2,000 Spark Cash bonus into 100K or 200K miles would be huge. Furthermore, spending on the Spark Cash would make more sense than spending on a Venture card because the Spark Cash card would give the flexibility of redeeming rewards for straight cash (not only to reimburse travel purchases) or convert to miles. As my wife has a Spark Cash card with a lower grandfathered annual fee, it would also be cheaper for us to maintain a Spark Cash and VentureOne card.
It’s possible that this won’t work for everyone
I do not personally have a Savor or Quicksilver card in my household, so I can’t test this theory with other cards (I will test with the Spark Cash as soon as cash rewards post from today’s purchases). Capital One has been known to grandfather certain features on certain cards (like my ability to get 1.4cpp with my VentureOne card by redeeming for a $900 Marriott, Fairmont, or Raffles gift card). So it is possible that this feature won’t work for everyone — at this point we don’t know for sure.
I’ll also note that I previously had a Capital One credit card that earned 1.5% cash back (see: Turning a Capital One lemon into Lemonade) — mine was not a Quicksilver card but rather some nondescript Capital One card that charged an annual fee — and I am 85% certain that I was not able to combine rewards from that card with my VentureOne (as I wrote about in that post, I converted that card to a Venture card).
If you have a Quicksilver, Savor, or Spark Cash card and a Venture or Venture One card in your household, please share any relevant data points in the comments regarding your ability to move rewards. In order to move rewards, go to your Capital One card account and click “View Rewards” under your card name in the top left of the card account.
Then select “move rewards”.
If you want to move rewards to someone else’s account, you’ll need to call the number on the back of your card and provide the card number of the person to which you are moving rewards.
If it is indeed possible to convert rewards earned on Capital One cash back to miles on a Venture or VentureOne card, this would be huge news for those looking to accumulate miles with bonus categories or welcome bonuses. For those who don’t yet have Capital One cards, it’s worth a mention that Capital One has long been a difficult approval for anyone with many credit cards open. However, Greg recently got approved and we’ve had a few success reports from readers. That could be totally anecdotal or it could be that they have eased up some – YMMV.