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How the Capital One Travel Portal Works?
The Capital One Travel Portal is an easy to navigate booking platform that is available to certain cardholders. Unfortunately, not every Capital One card has access to this facility, but many of its reward cards including the Venture X, Venture Rewards, VentureOne, Spark Miles and Walmart Rewards allow you to use this platform.
Essentially, the Capital One Travel Portal is an OTA (Online Travel Agent). You can log in and look for flights, hotels, rental cars and other travel options to your preferred destination on specific dates. However, where the Capital One Travel Portal differs from mainstream OTAs such as Expedia is that you can use your rewards and/or cash to pay for your travel purchases.
Since travel usually represents the highest redemption value for credit card rewards, this means that you can get the best “price” for your accumulated rewards. You don’t need to worry about transferring points to other programs or swapping points for miles, as you can simply browse the available travel options and make your plans directly through the Travel Portal.
This is a great feature for eligible cardholders who enjoy saving up rewards for trips and other leisure activities.
Capital One Miles: Different Earning Per Card
Depending on your card, you’ll earn at least one mile per dollar on each purchase you make using your eligible card. Many of the eligible cards have a tiered reward structure, so you may earn 3 miles per dollar in one category and only one mile per dollar in others. Regardless of how many miles you earn, each time you make a purchase, Capital One will calculate the miles and they will be added to your rewards balance.
You can then accumulate your miles to purchase flights, hotels and other travel purchases through the Travel Portal or use them as a statement credit against a travel purchase that has already been charged to your account.
If you’re using the Travel Portal, you can expect a typical redemption rate of 1 cent per mile. However, this can vary depending on the specific travel purchase. Some deals offer a better rate, while others may offer a lower redemption rate.
How to Sign Up For Capital One Travel Portal?
There is no separate sign up for the Capital One Travel Portal. Once you have your new Capital One credit card, simply log into the website and on the dashboard, you’ll see a Rewards link. You can then select “Book a Trip” or “Discover Travel” which will take you through to the Travel Portal.
Since there is no separate log in, you don’t need to remember your card details or create a separate ID. You can click onto the Travel Portal at any time to view the current travel deals and offers. This will enable you to decide when and how you want to use your rewards.
How to Book a Flight With Capital One?
If you’ve ever used an online travel agent, you’ll find the layout of the Capital One Travel Portal very familiar. Once you log into your account and enter the portal, you can start by entering your preferred travel dates. You can click to search for hotels, flights or rental cars.
When you click flights you’ll be presented with a number of options for your travel dates and destination. You can sort the itineraries via price, departure time, arrival time, duration or number of stops. The layout clearly shows the fare options, so you can see at a glance whether you’re looking at a basic economy flight or first class option. It's quite similar to the process of other portals such as the Amex membership or the Citi ThankYou Rewards program.
Use The Calendar, Get Free Price Drop Protection
A nice feature of the portal is the calendar, which allows you to see the price variations over a few weeks. This is helpful if you have flexible travel dates and simply want to find the best deals.
You can also “watch” a trip and receive an email notification when it is the best time to book. There are price predictions for flights, so you can see if it is best to book now or hold off. Capital One claims that its customers can save an average of 15% per flight with this feature.
However, there is the reassurance of free price drop protection. If Capital One recommends booking a flight and there is a price drop within 10 days, you’ll receive a refund for the difference, up to $50.
As you explore the flight options, you can check your available rewards balance on the top right corner of the page. You’ll see the flight price in cash and miles, so you can quickly evaluate if it is a good deal.
How Fare Class Works?
As we touched on above, the fare class is easily visible on the list, which provides you with a fairly standardized view across various carriers.
- Basic: These are typically the best priced options, with basic fares and few amenities.
- Standard: These are typically economy and main fares that offer simple amenities such as seat selection and carry on bags.
- Enhanced: These fares typically include free beverages and snacks, priority boarding, and more legroom.
- Premium: These include priority boarding, premium beverages, and snacks, reclined or cradled seats.
- Luxury: Priority boarding, premium meals, luxury recliner seats, and personalized services feature in this class.
Once you find a flight you’d like to book, you can click for full details, which includes a breakdown of the carrier features such as seat measurements, food options and if there are any additional perks such as lounge access.
If you decide to proceed, simply enter the traveler information and click book. You’ll have the option to apply your miles, at a typical rate of 1 cent each, but you can select “Do not apply my rewards” if you would prefer to save your miles for another time.
How to Book a Hotel With Capital One?
The Capital One Travel Portal provides access to millions of hotel properties around the world. This varies from independent boutique hotels to large chains. However, when you book a hotel using Capital One, the platform will proactively adjust the prices to match or beat other travel sites. This means that you can feel confident that you’re getting the best price. However, if tend to use the same hotel anytime you travel, you can may want to pick up a specific hotel credit card that may provide with more rewards.
The process of booking a hotel through the Capital One Travel Portal is similar to booking a flight. You’ll need to select hotels and enter your desired dates and destination. However, unlike with flights, there isn’t a color coded calendar showing different prices. But, you can still enjoy a price match guarantee and if you do find a better price, notify the Capital One Travel team and they will refund the difference.
Once you have a list of possible hotels, you can sort them by star rating, price and recommended properties. There are also filters, so you can filter by price range, and features such as a fitness center, pool, WiFi and more.
As with flights, you can then choose to pay using your rewards, your card or a combination of the two.
This can be a great way to access deals on premium or budget properties, with the assurance that if you do happen to find a better price, Capital One will price match.
What Else Can You Book Through Capital One?
If you don't carry a credit card with rental car insurance, the other option for the Capital One Travel Portal is to book rental cars. You can reserve a rental car both here and in other countries around the world. As with hotels and flights, you can select the location and dates. You can then filter the list of car options by vehicle type, rental car company, cancellation policy, specifications and price per day. This allows you to see which rental package represents the best deal.
Once you find a vehicle you would like to hire, you can reserve it with just a couple of clicks. You’ll also get clear information about the vehicle pick up and drop off.
Although you may think that a credit card portal will not be the best place to rent a car, vehicle rentals are also covered by the Capital One best price guarantee. This means that if you find a better price within 24 hours of making your reservation, Capital One will refund the difference.
How to Maximize Your Rewards With Capital One Travel?
Unlike many credit card reward platforms, Capital One has a straightforward one cent per point or mile redemption rate. This means that you can compare deals quickly and easily.
However, there are still some things that you can do to maximize your Capital One Travel rewards. These include:
- Be Flexible with Your Travel Dates: As with all travel agency platforms, you can find the best pricing for flights and hotels if you have a little flexibility with your travel dates. The calendar feature on this platform makes it easy to see how the pricing can change by adjusting your plans.
- Comparison Shop: Just because you’ve booked a flight, hotel or rental car, don’t give up looking at prices. If you can find a better deal within 24 hours of booking, Capital One will refund the difference. This means that you can get the best deal for your rewards.
- Watch Flights: If you have some flexibility and don’t need to immediately book a flight, watch the flight. This will allow Capital One to recommend when it is the optimum time to book the flight to get the best price. You can also take note of the recommendations when you’re browsing for flights, to see if Capital One recommends booking now or waiting.
- Explore the Flight Classes: Before you book any flights, take a look at how Capital One determines the flight classes. You can often get some great perks by choosing a standard or enhanced fare without paying premium prices. So, think about what you need and choose the fare class accordingly.
Capital One Travel Points Benefits
There are a number of benefits associated with the Capital One Travel Program. These include:
- Straightforward Redemption: Unlike many other platforms where the points can vary in value, Capital One has a straightforward redemption rate of one cent per point or mile. This means that you don’t need to do any complicated calculations to work out if you’re getting a good deal.
- Best Price Guarantee: Many credit card rewards portals can be hit and miss when you’re looking for a great deal. While some packages are obviously good value, others can work out far better if you book elsewhere. However, Capital One has a best price guarantee, which means that if you find a better deal within 24 hours of booking your flights, hotel or rental car, you’ll get a refund.
- Price Freeze: It may be possible to freeze the price of a flight for a fee. If you find a good deal and it is recommended to book now, it may be possible to lock in the price and return later if you need some more time to make your travel plans.
- Refunds in Same Currency: If you do need to cancel a booking and obtain a refund, you’ll be refunded like for like. So, if you paid with rewards, you’ll get a rewards refund. If you paid with a card and some rewards, you will receive a proportional refund according to how you paid. This means that you won’t end up bulking up your rewards balance at the expense of cash.
- Cancel for Any Reason: This is a new feature for 2022, but it allows you to pay an upfront fee and have the flexibility to cancel your flights up to 24 hours before the departure time for any reason and you’ll still receive a refund on most of your fare.
What is Missing From the Capital One Travel Portal?
Of course, no platform is perfect and there are some potential gaps in the Capital One Travel Portal. These include:
- Some Airlines Are Missing: If you’re a fan of Southwest airlines, you may find it frustrating that this and some other airlines do not show up in the Capital One Travel Portal results. If you're looking for a specific website, you mat want to look for airline credit cards options.
- May Not Get Bonuses: When you book through Capital One Travel, you may not receive reward points, elite status contributions, free nights or other benefits of a hotel, airline or rental company loyalty scheme. If you have a loyalty membership with a particular brand, you may be better to book directly rather than using the travel portal.
Choose the Best Capital One Card For You
With so many travel card options, if you are interested in the Capital One Travel Portal, you’ll need to work out which is the best card for you.
There are several card options that include the Travel Portal as part of its benefits package. Each card has different features and terms, which will determine whether it is the best choice for you.
- Capital One Venture X: While the Venture X does have an annual fee, this is easily offset with the available statement credit and welcome bonus. You can also earn generous rewards when you make purchases using the Capital One Travel Portal. This makes it a great option for frequent travelers who can offset the annual fee.
- Capital One Venture Rewards: The Venture Rewards card is a general purpose travel card with generous rewards for any travel purchases made using the Capital One Travel Portal. This makes it a great option for regular travelers and those who are fans of using the Travel Portal, yet don’t want to pay a large annual fee. .
- Capital One VentureOne: As with the other Venture cards, the VentureOne offers its highest reward tier for Travel Portal purchases. However, this is an annual fee free card, so you don’t need to worry about offsetting the cost each year. This is better suited to less frequent travelers who are more interested in keeping the costs low at the expense of a lower reward rate.
- Capital One Spark Miles: The Spark Miles card waives the annual fee for the first year, but after year one, it is reasonable and low enough to cover with the card benefits. However, this is offset by the limited benefits package. The miles rate for purchases is far lower than the other card options and there is only statement credit for TSA Pre Check. This makes the card better suited to those who occasionally travel and prefer to earn rewards on all purchases.
- Capital One Walmart Rewards: As the name suggests, the Capital One Walmart Rewards is designed for those brand loyal to this retailer. You’ll get the highest tier of rewards when you shop at Walmart and you can redeem your rewards via the Travel Portal or via Walmart Pay.
There are a number of benefits associated with the Capital One Travel Portal, but the main benefit is that you can browse flights, hotel and car rental deals with the reassurance of a price match guarantee. You can also pay with your card, rewards or a combination of the two.
Accessing the Capital One Travel Portal is easy and you don’t need a separate log in. Simply log in to your Capital One account and then click the rewards tab. This will bring up several options, but if you click “Book a Trip” or “Discover Travel” to launch the Travel Portal.
With the new Capital One cards featuring chip technology, you no longer need to notify them if you’re planning on traveling abroad. You can continue to use your card as you would at home. Just be sure that your phone number and email address are to date in case Capital One needs to reach you while you’re away.
The Capital One Travel platform is continually evolving and developing. Capital One continues to add travel partners to the program and adding new features to the Travel Portal. The latest addition is the Cancel for Any Reason feature, which allows you to pay a fee and be able to cancel your booked flight for any reason up to 24 hours before departure.
The Capital One Travel platform can be a great way to access travel deals with the reassurance of a price match guarantee. However, if you’re a member of an airline or hotel loyalty program, you may not qualify for bonuses and elite status contributions if you book using the portal.