Capital One Miles Guide

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Capital One Miles Guide: What You Need to Know

 

Capital One Miles became competitive after they improved transfer ratio of most of their airline and hotel partners with other transferable points programs like American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou. With that said, it’s worth having Capital One Miles in you credit card points portfolio as they also have good amount of options to earn the points. Here’s what you need to know about Capital One Miles.

 

How to Get Capital One Miles Earning Credit Cards

To earn Capital One Miles, you need to at least have one of the credit cards from the Venture series. That includes the Venture X, Venture, or VentureOne. Here’s a brief rundown of all the cards’ benefits:

 Capital One Venture XCapital One VentureCapital One VentureOne
Annual Fee$395$95None
Travel Credit (Capital One Travel Portal)$300NoneNone
Anniversary Miles10,000 Capital One MilesNoneNone
Spending multiplier: Capital One Travel10x on hotels and car rentals; 5x on flights5x on everything Capital One Travel5x on hotels and car rentals
Spending multiplier: Everything else2x2x1.25x
Lounge AccessPriority Pass SelectNoneNone
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Credit$100 every 4 years$100 every 4 yearsNone

Once you have one of those cards, all Capital One credit cards that earn cashback can have the rewards be converted to Capital One Miles, which in turn allows you to transfer the points to airline and hotel partners. Beware that you can’t turn back and turn the Miles into cashback once you’ve convert them. Here are the Capital One cards that earn cashback:

  • Capital One Savor ($95 AF)
  • Capital One SavorOne (no AF)
  • Capital One Quicksilver (no AF)
  • Capital One QuicksilverOne ($39 AF)

Capital One also have selection of business credit cards. Few of them earn Spark Miles, but they are actually Capital One Miles with the same airline and hotel partners. Here’s a guide on how to apply for business credit cards. Here’s the list of Capital One business credit cards:

  • Capital One Spark Miles ($95 AF)
  • Capital One Spark Miles Select (no AF)
  • Capital One Spark Cash Plus ($150 AF)
  • Capital One Spark Cash Select (no AF)

By having either Spark Miles or Spark Miles Select, you necessarily don’t have to have a card from the Venture Series, but they can complement each other with more signup bonuses opportunities.

 

Capital One Application Rules

Capital One can be quite inconsistent when it comes to application rules. These are some of the known rules based from anecdotal experiences that may or may not be enforced by Capital One:

  • 2 personal card limit: You can only open 2 Capital One personal cards at a time. If you want to hunt for signup bonus for more Capital One Miles, you’ll have to close a card before applying for a new one. A good method to alleviate this issue is to keep a card from the Venture series open to maintain Capital One Miles and open/close new cards then.
  • 1 card application in every 6 months: Capital One will only accept applications once in every 6 months. This rule applies to both Capital One personal and business credit cards.
  • Hard inquiry sensitive: Capital One appears to be very sensitive to hard inquiries compared to other issuers. Be mindful of yours before applying.
  • Too good of credit score: Capital One may reject you if your credit score is too good (~760-800). Capital One is one of the issuers where they receive more revenue from credit card interests rather than swipe fees.

However, after the recent release of the Capital One Venture X, there are rumors where Capital One is loosening up on these rules to possibly attract more customers. Only time will tell if these are true. I mentioned before that Capital One is sensitive to hard inquiries, but I was approved for the Venture X with 10 recent inquiries in the past 2 years. I’ll leave it up to you to make out of that information.

 

Capital One Duo – Capital One Venture X & Capital One SavorOne

A simple but great setup Capital One has is with the Venture X and SavorOne. The Venture X can get you massive points on its travel portal purchases. If you’re not in favor of using the travel portal, it gives 2x Capital One Miles on every purchases. You can also opt for the VentureOne or downgrade the Venture X after the first year if you only care about accessing Capital One’s travel partners for no annual fee!

Capital One Venture
A Capital One Venture series card is needed to transfer Capital One Miles into airline and hotel partners

With the SavorOne, you’re getting 3x on groceries, dining, entertainment, and streaming services purchases. The SavorOne creates a strong value proposition because of its attractive multipliers on categories many people are likely to buy on for no annual fee. This makes the card very competitive to other cards like the American Express Gold Card and Citi Premier.

Capital One SavorOne
Capital One SavorOne can act as the main daily earner for Capital One Miles

 

Ways to Redeem Capital One Miles

Statement Credit

Capital One Miles are worth 0.5 cents when you redeem them through statement credit. This is a terrible value as it’s even less than cashback, which has the floor and static value of 1 cent per point. It’s especially a worse way to redeem after you convert cashback from certain Capital One cards to Capital One Miles. I’d avoid redeeming Capital One Miles through this way.

 

Cover for Travel Purchases

You can redeem Capital One Miles to cover your travel expenses made from Capital One Travel Portal. The way it works is similar to redeeming through Statement Credit, but each point is now worth 1 cent, which is the same as cashback. Even though it’s better than the straight Statement Credit, I’d still shy away from redeeming points through this way. I wouldn’t go my way on getting points earning card when simple cashback cards can do the same job in this case.

 

Transfer Capital One Miles to Transfer Partners

Transferring your Capital One Miles to airline and hotel partners is the best move in getting the best value out of your points. Here’s a list of Capital One travel partners:

Airlines

  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • EVA Infinity MileageLands (2:1.5 transfer ratio)
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • TAP Portugal Miles & Go
  • Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
  • Virgin Red

Hotels

  • ALL Accor Live Limitless (2:1 transfer ratio)
  • Choice Privileges
  • Wyndham Rewards

 

Notable Capital One Transfer Partners

Air Canada Aeroplan is good for Star Alliance flights due to its generous stopover policy and does not pass surcharges to award tickets.

Avianca LifeMiles is an alternative to Aeroplan for Star Alliance flights. A one-way Business Class from US to Asia can cost you 75,000 LifeMiles.

British Airways Avios is the sole option for Oneworld flights under Capital One Miles and also shares partners like Amex and Chase.

Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles offer one of the best deals to fly Turkish Airlines, which flies to more destinations than any other airlines in the world. It will give you easy access to places that are harder to fly into from the US like the Caucasus and Central Asia for 52,500 miles at most for a one-way ticket in 2 separate Business Class.

LAX-GYD
Los Angeles-Baku Round Trip in Business Class for 90,000 Turkish Miles!

Virgin Red gets the best deal when it comes to booking ANA First Class from US to Tokyo, Japan. It only requires 55,000 miles one way for West Coast and 60,000 for East Coast!

ANA First Class
ANA First Class can be booked with Virgin Red!

ALL (Accor Live Limitless) may be the only hotel program under Capital One Miles worth transferring points to. Even with a 2:1 transfer ratio, each Accor point is worth ~2.2 cents. In turn, transferring to Accor can net you ~1.1 cents for each Capital One Mile. Accor has great footprint in Europe and Asia with variety of high-end to lower end brands ranging from Raffles, Fairmont, Sofitel to Ibis hotels. So far, there’s no co-branded credit cards that help you progress with Accor loyalty program in the US.

 

Conclusion

Capital One Miles is now a transferable points program worth looking into to earn even more points towards free flights. Beware that many of their cards focus on the Capital One Travel Portal, but redeeming points towards those expenses isn’t the ideal use of your points. If you have loyalty to hotels, that can conflict with earning hotel benefits if you have status with them. Instead, if you’re that type of traveler who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time searching for award availability and learn the complexity of airline loyalty programs, then the Chase Ultimate Rewards system will suit your needs better.

However, for those who are looking to earn more of the major airline partners’ points, Capital One include some of the popular airline partners that complement well with other points systems.

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