Capital One miles: How to earn, redeem and transfer rewards


Transferable credit card rewards are especially valuable because of the many ways you can redeem them. You might be familiar with rewards like Chase Ultimate Rewards points and American Express Membership Rewards points. But, another transferable reward currency that can offer significant value to some travelers is Capital One miles.

Capital One miles are appealing for many reasons. For example, several Capital One cards that earn miles earn more than 1 mile per dollar spent on all purchases. And one Capital One card that earns miles only requires good credit. Plus, you should always be able to get at least 1 cent per mile when you redeem — and you may get significantly more value if you use Capital One’s transfer partners.

So, here’s everything you need to know about Capital One miles.

What are Capital One miles?

Capital One miles are the rewards you earn with select Capital One cards, including the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Spark Miles for Business.

You can redeem these miles in many ways, including transferring to select airline and hotel loyalty programs, redeeming for travel booked through the Capital One travel portal and redeeming to cover recent travel purchases.

Related: Who should (and shouldn’t) get the Capital One Venture X card?

How to earn Capital One miles

You can earn Capital One miles through select credit cards. In particular, most Capital One credit cards offer an initial sign-up bonus when you open a new card and meet the specified spending requirements to earn the bonus. You’ll also earn miles on most purchases, and some cards even offer anniversary bonus miles each year you renew your card.

Although Capital One offers many different credit cards, the Capital One cards that earn miles are those in the Venture and Spark Miles families. Here’s a quick look at these cards and who they are best for:

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The information for the Capital One Spark Miles Select card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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You can convert Capital One cash back into miles if you have one of the above cards. That means if you have a Capital One card like the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card that earns cash-back rewards, you can convert your cash-back rewards into Capital One miles if you also have a card that earns Capital One miles.

I have the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and plan to keep it long-term since it offers perks that more than offset its $395 annual fee (see rates and fees). After all, I easily use the $300 Capital One Travel credit each account anniversary year by booking flights through the travel portal, and the 10,000-mile anniversary bonus is worth about $185 based on TPG’s valuations. But check out our Capital One Venture X card review to learn about its many other valuable perks.

Related: The best time to apply for these popular Capital One credit cards based on offer history

Capital One transfer partners

Capital One partners with several airline and hotel loyalty programs. You can transfer Capital One miles to these partner programs and then redeem through these loyalty programs if you wish.

Here’s a look at the current Capital One transfer partners and the standard transfer ratios:

  • Accor Live Limitless: 2:1 transfer ratio
  • Aeromexico Rewards: 1:1 transfer ratio
  • Air Canada Aeroplan: 1:1 transfer ratio
  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue: 1:1 transfer ratio
  • Avianca LifeMiles: 1:1 transfer ratio
  • British Airways Executive Club: 1:1 transfer ratio
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles: 1:1 transfer ratio
  • Choice Privileges: 1:1 transfer ratio
  • Emirates Skywards: 1:1 transfer ratio
  • Etihad Airways Guest: 1:1 transfer ratio
  • EVA Airways Infinity MileageLands: 4:3 transfer ratio
  • Finnair Plus: 1:1 transfer ratio
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer: 1:1 transfer ratio
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer: 1:1 transfer ratio
  • TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go: 1:1 transfer ratio
  • Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles: 1:1 transfer ratio
  • Virgin Red: 1:1 transfer ratio
  • Wyndham Rewards: 1:1 transfer ratio

Transfer bonuses may occasionally let you transfer Capital One miles to one or more partner programs at an elevated rate. Remember, transfers are one-way: Transferring rewards back to Capital One miles is almost always impossible once you’ve transferred them to a loyalty program.

Related: Why transferable points are worth more than other rewards

How to redeem Capital One miles

You’ll see multiple options for redeeming Capital One miles in your online account.

CAPITALONE.COM

You’ll typically get the best value when you transfer your miles to airline and hotel partners, but you can also get decent value when booking through the Capital One travel portal or redeeming miles to offset recent travel purchases. Here are your options and the redemption value each should provide.

Redeem with airline and hotel partners

As mentioned above, you’ll typically get the best value from your miles when you transfer them to airline and hotel partners by clicking “Convert rewards.” In the previous section, I listed the Capital One transfer partners and the ratios at which you can transfer Capital One miles to each partner.

CAPITALONE.COM

Based on TPG’s valuations, you can expect to get about 1.85 cents per Capital One mile when you redeem with airline and hotel partners. However, the exact value you get will depend on which transfer partners you use and the types of awards you book with these partners. Check out our story on maximizing Capital One miles for some recommendations.

Related: How to transfer Capital One miles to airline and hotel partners

Book through the Capital One travel portal

You can also redeem miles at a rate of 1 cent per mile when booking flights, hotels and rental cars through the Capital One travel portal. However, if you book paid travel through the Capital One travel portal with your Capital One card that earns transferable miles, you can earn as follows:

  • Venture X and Venture X Business: 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars and 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Venture, VentureOne, VentureOne for Good Credit, Spark Miles and Spark Miles Select: 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel

As such, I recommend booking paid rates instead of redeeming Capital One miles when you book travel through the Capital One travel portal. Even if you want to redeem miles for your flight, hotel or car rental booking, you’ll often be better off using miles to cover recent travel purchases instead of redeeming when booking through the travel portal.

Related: Should you transfer Capital One miles to partners or redeem directly for travel?

PIXELSEFFECT/GETTY IMAGES

Cover travel purchases

You can redeem Capital One miles to cover recent travel purchases made with your card. Capital One says eligible travel purchases usually include those you make with “airlines, hotels, rail lines, car rental agencies, limousine services, bus lines, cruise lines, taxi cabs, travel agents and time shares.” However, whether a specific purchase is eligible depends on the merchant category code attached to the purchase.

You’ll see any eligible purchases — which are travel purchases posted to your account in the last 90 days — listed in your online account when you click “Cover travel purchases.”

CAPITALONE.COM

You can opt to cover the entire purchase if you have enough miles. Or, you can use miles to cover just part of the purchase. Either way, your miles are worth 1 cent each when you redeem them to cover recent travel purchases.

Related: How to redeem Capital One miles at a fixed value

Other ways to redeem Capital One miles

As you might have noticed in the screenshot above, cardholders have several other ways to redeem Capital One miles. Most of these other redemption options offer lower redemption values, so we don’t generally recommend using them. But here’s an overview of your other redemption options:

  • Redeem for experiences: You can redeem miles for sports and concert tickets through Capital One Entertainment, usually at a redemption rate of 0.8 cents per mile.
  • Get gift cards: You can redeem miles for gift cards, usually at a redemption rate of 0.8 to 1.067 cents per mile.
  • Redeem for cash: You can request a statement credit or a check to your address at a redemption rate of 1 cent per mile.
  • Redeem with PayPal: You can apply miles when checking out with PayPal at a redemption rate of 0.8 cents per mile.
  • Shop with Amazon: You can apply miles at checkout for your Amazon.com orders at a redemption rate of 0.8 cents per mile.

As you can see, there are many ways to redeem Capital One miles for at least 1 cent each. So, there will rarely be a reason to redeem Capital One miles for anything less than 1 cent each.

Bottom line

When traveling overseas, I often use the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card as my everyday spending card. It doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, I know I’ll earn at least 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, and I rarely have issues using it. But, I also generally find it useful to have access to Capital One miles when booking award flights. So, I’m always happy to earn more Capital One miles on my everyday purchases.

Now that you know how to earn and redeem Capital One miles, I expect you may also understand their value — especially if you transfer your miles to airline or hotel partners.



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