How to use your Capital One miles for maximum advantage
Here is how you can get maximum value from your Capital One miles. Read on to learn how to use them wisely and begin to plan for your next trip!
by Danilo Pereira
Travel miles from Capital One: the complete guide
Do you want to know how you can maximize your Capital One miles? Are you a travel rewards seeker? Here is how you can get more. Capital One has recently added airline and hotel transfer partners to the Venture and Spark branded cards. Many of them are already partnered with Chase Ultimate rewards and American Express Membership Rewards.
What makes Capital One different is combining fixed-value redemptions and transferable miles into one single low-cost card. They have also improved a number of transfer rates and made significant improvements to its program. They have a total of 18 transfer partners, which makes it one of the largest collection of loyalty partners among transferable points programs.
Transfer partners are one of the best ways for you to make the most out of your hard earned points. With them you get access to special rates for converting your points into hotel stays and airline tickets. Capital offers four cards that earn miles instead of just cash back. They include a primary personal and business card, and also versions of each which charge no annual fee.
The Capital One Venture Rewards credit card has an introductory bonus of 60,000 miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. The Capital One VentureOne Rewards credit card has more affordable requirements. It offers a welcome bonus of 20,000 miles for the first $500 spent on purchases within the first three months from opening your account.
The Capital One Spark Miles for Business card currently offers a 50,000-mile bonus after you spend a hefty $4,500 on purchases within the first three months. Finally, the Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business will earn you 20,000 miles after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months.
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Get free miles from Capital One: how much is one mile worth?
How much points are worth depends on which card you have and how you choose to redeem them. If you redeem them for Amazon gift cards, for example, one mile is worth 0.8 cents. If you redeem them for cash back, they will be worth 0.5 cents apiece. Then, of course, you are much better off using your miles for travel.
In this case, most of the time you will get the value of 1 cent per mile, and you can earn them in 1x, 1.5x or even 2x increments. If you keep an eye on specific partners, however, you may be able to get an even higher value for your points and convert them into excellent airfare.
TPG values Capital One miles at 1.85 cents apiece because of the value you can get by transferring directly to partners. Airline partners are part of alliances such as SkyTeam, Star Alliance and Oneworld. It’s worth noting that some partners will offer better conversion rates than others.
In the next section you will learn about the best transfer partners if you are looking for maximum value when using your hard-earned miles.
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Travel the world with Capital One’s credit cards: airlines the miles work with
Four airline transfer partners make up the majority of Capital One’s miles’ value. With Air Canada’s Aeroplan loyalty program, for example, you do not face fuel surcharges using partner redemptions. Also, short-haul economy flights that don’t exceed 500 miles can be purchased with as little as 6,000 Aeroplan miles.
If you are planning a transcontinental trip, you will be happy to know it’s possible to book a business class flight for just 25,000 miles each way. No wonder Aeroplan has long been one of Star Alliance’s most popular options for booking.
Avianca’s LifeMiles als offers the advantage of not passing on fuel surcharges from partner airlines. To put things into perspective, this makes it possible for you to book Lufthansa first-class awards for 87,000 miles.
Another excellent point about LifeMiles is that it has a policy of discounting mixed-cabin awards, so even though this is not ideal, you will be traveling at a discount.
Another great transfer partner is Etihad. If you find saver-level award space, you can fly from the U.S. to Europe for as little as 50,000 miles each way, and that’s business class we are talking about. This is possible thanks to Etihad’s partnership with American Airlines, which makes reciprocal mileage redemptions possible.
Last but not least, Turkish. With their Miles & Smiles they offer a number of sweet spots for Star Alliance-operated flights. Flying to Hawaii for example can cost as much as any other domestic flight. You can find these flights for about 7,500 miles each way in economy, and 12,500 miles each way in business class.
These are just four of Capital One’s transfer partners. Other partners include Aeromexico Club Premier, Air France-KLM Flying Blue, ALL Accor Live Limitless, british Airways Executive Club, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Choice Privileges, Emirates Skywards, EVA Infinity MileageLands, Finnair Plus, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, TAP Portugal Miles&Go and Wyndham Rewards.
Use your Capital One miles for a free trip: can you transfer it to someone else?
Capital One has just recently updated its rewards sharing policy to include the facility of transfering points to other account holders. There are no stated transfer caps, restrictions to family members and they charge no fees for transferring miles into another account.
To transfer your points you must log into your Capital One account, click on “Rewards Miles”, then click “Share your rewards”. You will then see the options of transferring between your own miles-earning cards to combine rewards, or moving your miles into someone else’s Capital One account.
To complete the transfer, however, you still have to call the number on the back of your card. Still this was very well played out by Capital One, making it a strong competitor in the mileage space.
Now you know how the Capital One Miles program work. If you wanto learn about the Chase Ultimate Rewards Partners, check the link below.
A guide to Chase Ultimate Rewards Partners
Check out Chase's Ultimate Rewards partners and decide whether their rewards program is for you.
About the author / Danilo Pereira
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