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How Do Capital One Miles Work?
If you’re interested in prime examples of how credit card reward programs work, Capital One Miles is a great example. This rewards program is not only flexible and user-friendly but provides some great opportunities to maximize redemption values.
Capital One Miles or Capital One Rewards provides the rewards program for several of the Capital One credit card options. This program allows you to earn miles on qualifying purchases that you can redeem for both travel and non-travel rewards.
The miles you can earn will vary according to the specific card that you hold, but many cards allow you to earn multiple miles for certain types of purchases.
Here we’ll delve a little deeper into the Capital One Rewards program and look at the best ways to redeem your Capital One Miles.
How Much Are Capital One Miles Worth?
As with most credit card reward programs, there is no hard and fast rule about how much Capital One Miles is worth. The miles have an approximate average value of one cent each, but this will ultimately depend on how you choose to use your miles.
For example, if you choose to redeem your miles for statement credit, you can expect a redemption value of one cent per mile. This means that if you have 10,000 miles, you can apply a $100 credit to your credit card statement.
However, if you use your miles to make a travel purchase, the value could be considerably more, which we will explore in more detail.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
2X 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, plus 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
75,000 miles 75,000 miles once they spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
1.25X – 5X unlimited 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 1.25X miles on all other purchases
20,000 miles 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
1X – 10X 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars when booking via Capital One Travel, 5 miles per dollar on flights and 2 miles per dollar on all eligible purchases
75,000 miles 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
Capital One Spark Miles For Business
2X 2X miles per dollar on every purchase
50,000 miles 50,000 miles once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
$95 ($0 first year)
What Can You Redeem Capital One Miles For?
One of the most attractive aspects of the Capital One rewards program is its flexibility. Although the currency is “miles”, you are not restricted to purely using your miles for travel purchases.
You can redeem your miles in a number of ways including:
- Booking New Travel: Capital One has a travel portal that allows you to book flights, hotels and other travel purchases. The Capital One portal is easy to use and if you’re familiar with online travel agency platforms, you should find it looks quite familiar. Just bear in mind that if you do book via Capital One, you may not receive the rewards offered by third party platforms.
- Redeem for Your Recent Travel: You can also use your Capital One miles to redeem against your recent eligible travel purchases. These need to have been made over the last 90 days and the redemption rate is set at one cent each. You can redeem for purchases in a very broad sense of “travel” including commuting, hotels, timeshares, travel agents, cruises and airlines.
- Transfer to Partner Programs: Capital One has a number of partnership programs, which allow you to swap your Capital One miles for miles or points from other programs. The value you can get for your miles will depend on the specific program.
- Gift Cards: Capital One has a selection of gift card options from a variety of popular retailers. These are also available at one cent per mile. So, a $50 gift card would require 5,000 miles.
- Cash Back: This is perhaps the worst redemption option as it only offers a miles value of 0.5 cents each. So, it is far better to use your miles for statement credit against travel purchases or gift cards.
- Online Shopping: Capital One also allows you to use your miles when you’re online shopping with Amazon or merchants who use PayPal. You will need to link your Capital One card account to your Amazon or PayPal account, then you can use the Shop with Points program.
16 Ways To Redeem Capital One Miles
Now we’ve covered the basics of how you can redeem your Capital One miles, we’ll look at our picks for the best ways to use your miles.
1. Fly American Airlines To Europe
This is another Etihad Guest transfer deal, which will allow you to redeem your Capital One miles for Etihad Guest miles and fly first class to Europe on American Airlines.
The Etihad Guest award chart for American Airlines is simply fantastic and allows you to fly between Los Angeles and London for only a little more than business class. The first class cabin only has eight seats in a 1-2-1 configuration for a great sense of privacy.
However, this does make it tricky to book awards for two passengers. On the LA to London itinerary, you can book an award for 62.500 miles with $28 in fees and taxes.
2. Enjoy Business Class With United Airlines
Another great way to redeem your Capital One miles is U.S transcontinental business flights on United Airlines.
United has moved away from first class towards Polaris business class, which means that as an award traveler, you can enjoy business class pricing.
For example, you could fly New York to San Francisco or Los Angeles for 25,000 Lifemiles with a 1:1 transfer ratio for Capital One miles. Alternatively, you could fly to LA or San Francisco from Newark for the same 25,000 miles.
You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United MileagePlus miles at a 1:1 ratio.
3. Fly Business Class New York to Abu Dhabi via Etihad
If you transfer your miles to Air Canada, you can access Etihad flights and the Air Carrier does not pass on any carrier-imposed surcharges.
If you want to fly from New York to Abu Dhabi, you’ll need to transfer 82,500 Capital One miles, which will give you 82,500 Aeroplan points. In this example, you’ll only need to pay approximately $45 in fees and taxes. You can cover most of it it quickly if you're eligible for Capital One Venture welcome bonus – 75,000 miles once they spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
However, you can also fly to Abu Dhabi from London for 45,000 Capital One miles and the same fees and taxes.
4. Fly Business Class American Airlines to New Zealand
This is another American Airlines itinerary made possible through a Etihad Guest loyalty program transfer. AA is a superb long haul network that has recently added LA to Auckland to its roster.
This route allows you to fly business class with no transiting for 62,500 miles and $52 in fees and taxes, which is unrivaled pricing for this itinerary that is normally considered an expensive option.
If you need more Etihad Guest, you can transfer also with Amex and Citi:
- Citi ThankYou Points can be transferred to Etihad Guest at a 1:1 ratio.
- American Express Membership Rewards Points can also be transferred at a 1:1 ratio.
5. Multi Carrier Asia Miles Awards
Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles program has a complicated series of routing rules and award charts that allow you to build massive itineraries with five or more flights on five or more airlines in either business or first class for a relatively low cost.
You will need to take a little time to familiarize yourself with the routing rules, but a good example of the best ways to redeem your Capital One miles would be:
- LA to Hong Kong in Business Class on American Airlines
- Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur in Business Class with Cathay Pacific
- Singapore to Sydney with Qantas Business Class
- Sydney to Doha with Qatar Airways QSuites
- Doha to Hong Kong with Qatar Airways QSuites
- Hong Kong to Osaka with Cathay Pacific Business Class
- Tokyo to LA With Japan Airlines’s Sky Suite Business Class
This is a massive itinerary, with a flight time of approximately 65 hours, yet with the 1:1 transfer ratio, it would cost just 210,000 Capital One miles.
6. Fly First Class To Europe With Lufthansa
If your bucket list features lots of travel, traveling Lufthansa first class should feature.
However, award travel to Europe typically involves lots of fuel surcharges which can take the shine of this redemption method. Fortunately, it is possible to make this journey without surcharges.
To do this, you’ll need to transfer your Capital One miles to a frequent flyer program that will not pass on fuel surcharges, such as Avianca Lifemiles. If you transfer 87,000 miles, you could fly Chicago, New York or Newark to Frankfurt with only $31 in taxes.
Just bear in mind that Lufthansa first class typically only releases award availability on partner programs within 15 days, so you’ll need to be prepared for spontaneity.
7. Fly Business Class From The East Coast To Europe
Etihad Guest has numerous partnerships with different award charts for each airline, including some region based charts and distance based award charts. However, if you can navigate this potentially complicated program, you can score some great deals.
For example, Brussels Airlines offers an excellent business class product that flies from three cities on the East Coast; New York, Toronto and Washington DC to Brussels. Although this doesn’t offer great route flexibility, you can travel for 44,000 miles with $100 in fees and taxes.
This will allow you to enjoy a premium cabin with flat bed seats, cozy bedding, superb cuisine and impressive Belgian products including beers and decadent chocolates.
8. Fly THAI Business Class Bangkok To New Zealand
This is another Avianca LifeMiles transfer deal that will allow you to fly THAI.
THAI is generally not well regarded for its first and business class fares as the seating arrangement is quite unconventional. However, on the Auckland itinerary, it is a different proposition. This is a fairly new itinerary between Bangkok and Auckland, but this 11 to 12 hour flight provides a great travel experience.
The business class seating arrangement is set in a reverse herringbone layout and you can expect superb service. This route will cost you 40,000 Avianca Lifemiles plus $31 for fees and taxes.
9. Fly Air India To Delhi Or Mumbai
Air Canada’s Aeroplan is a great program offering some excellent round-the-world awards, including with Air India.
While Air India may not be considered a premium airline, it does offer no-frills business class, nonstop flights to the continent. If you value your time and don’t want to mess around transiting through various airports, you’re sure to appreciate this award.
If you transfer 85,000 Capital One miles to Air Canada’s Aeroplan program, you can book a one-way Air India business class flight from Chicago to Delhi, San Francisco to Delhi or New York to Mumbai for 85,000 miles with $45 in fees and taxes.
10. Fly To Europe With SWISS Business Class
Our final airline option for redeeming your Capital One miles is using Avianca LifeMiles to fly in SWISS business class. This is a great way to fly to Europe and not incur any fuel surcharges with reasonable mileage prices.
If you transfer 63,000 miles to the LifeMiles program, you could fly LA to Zurich, Miami to Zurich or New York to Geneva with only $31 in fees and taxes. As a comparison, the Capital One VentureX welcome bonus – 75,000 miles once they spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
This airline offers “throne” seats with wide side tables, so you can easily store all your small items and retain USB and power ports with easy reach. In business class, the seats recline into a fully flat position with built- in massage functions, so you can relax, work or sleep in complete comfort.
11. Fly To Hong Kong With American Airlines Business Class
The Etihad Guest loyalty program represents one of the best ways to redeem your Capital One miles for maximum value. If you transfer your Capital One miles to Etihad Guest, you can book first and business class flights on American Airlines. One of American Airlines' focus cities is Hong Kong.
You can fly LA to Hong Kong for 55,000 miles plus $87 in fees and taxes. This provides access to one of the best business class products on the market. You can enjoy 1-2-1 seating, regional dishes, and a variety of beverages with refills.
12. Fly Tokyo To New Zealand On Air New Zealand
Another great way to use LifeMiles is flying from North Asia to New Zealand or Australia.
Air New Zealand has fantastic business class fares with lie flat seats, a reverse herringbone layout and you can enjoy locally inspired delicious cuisine. Despite this being a ten hour flight, you can book this type of award with just 40,000 Capital One miles.
For example, if you transfer Capital One miles to Avianca LifeMiles, you can book Tokyo to Auckland on Air New Zealand business class for 40,000 miles and $31 in fees and taxes.
13. Book Nights On Wyndham Hotels
Although the focus for transfer partners is typically set on airlines, you can also transfer your Capital One miles to the Wyndham Hotels program.
The transfer ratio is 1:1 and you can then use your points to book award nights. The award chart is straightforward and simple with properties divided into three tiers.
For example, you could book a night at the Grand Residences Riviera Cancun for 30,000 points.
14. Enjoy Choice Hotels
The Choice Hotels program has a 1:1 transfer ratio, so you can simply convert your Capital One Miles into Choice Privileges Points. However, unlike many other programs, Choice doesn’t group its properties into categories. Instead each property rate is set according to the date and season.
For example, you can book a night at the Comfort Suites in Augusta, Georgia during the Masters Golf tournament for 16,000 points.
15. Get A Walmart Gift Card
With the rising cost of essentials, you can turn your Capital One Miles into gift cards for everyday spending. A good example of this is a Walmart gift card. You can get a $50 gift card for 5,000 miles.
16. Shop On Amazon
Although this option may not represent the best value for your Capital One miles, it is one of the most convenient. You can link your Capital One card to your Amazon account.
When you checkout your orders, you can redeem points towards your purchases at a rate of 0.8 cents each.
Can Capital One Miles be Redeemed for Cash?
Capital One does allow cardholders to redeem their rewards for cash, but this is not the best use of your miles. You can request a statement credit or a mailed check, but the typical redemption rate is only 0.5 cents each.
You can expect your statement credit to arrive on your account in up to three business days. However, it is important to note that while a statement credit will lower your outstanding balance, it will not count towards the minimum payment due, so you will still need to make at least this amount when you receive your bill.
Capital One Miles are the currency for Capital One’s reward program.
Yes, you can combine the Capital One miles you’ve earned on multiple card accounts into one balance.
Providing your account remains open and in good standing, your miles will not expire
On your rewards dashboard, click “View Rewards” and select “Convert Rewards,” you should see a transfer miles link on the right hand side of the page for each partner program.
Simply select the appropriate program and enter the number of rewards you want to transfer.
Focus on the top tier reward categories for your card and ensure that you meet any welcome bonus criteria. Also, check out Capital one promotions and bonuses.