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Beginning May 1, 2019, Capital One Venture and Spark Miles cardholders will be able to transfer miles to a new airline partner — JetBlue. Capital One revamped their Venture program in late 2018 with the addition of airline transfer partners, which has earned the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card attention from both points and miles beginners and savvy travelers.
JetBlue is the first domestic airline that Capital One has added to its partner list. The airline opened its gates in 2000, but it has risen in popularity since its brand overhaul in 2009. In fact, JetBlue won Best Domestic Premium Class at the inaugural TPG Awards last year.
Underwhelming transfer ratio
For a limited time throughout May, Capital One Venture, Capital One Spark Miles for Business and Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business cardholders will be able to transfer miles to JetBlue at a 2:1.5 ratio, available for transfer starting at 1000 Capital One miles in increments of 100. Once the limited time offer ends May 31st, cardholders will be able to transfer miles at a 2:1 ratio.
Neither the limited time offer nor the standard ratio holds up against the ratio of other credit card rewards programs. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Premier and Citi Prestige cardholders can transfer points to JetBlue at a 1:1, and Amex cardholders can transfer Membership Rewards points at a 5:4 ratio.
While the addition of a new transfer partner is exciting for Capital One Venture cardholders, the current transfer value is nothing to write home about. Ted Rossman, credit card analyst for Bankrate, explains that most cardholders will actually get the same — or in some cases more — value from redeeming your Capital One miles as a statement credit for JetBlue purchases.
“I’ve been eagerly anticipating this card adding a domestic airline partner, but even with the 50% bonus in May, that essentially brings the Capital One/JetBlue promotion in line with the 2% cash back travel eraser concept,” says Rossman. “That’s because each JetBlue TrueBlue point is worth about 1.3 cents, so 1.5 TrueBlue points for every dollar in Capital One Venture spending comes out to about 2 cents per point. That’s where you’d be with the travel eraser.”
However, for savvy luxury travelers, this transfer partner edition could be a gamechanger.
Transferable points are becoming more valuable
In recent years, many major airlines have been moving to dynamic pricing for award flights, a move that increases profits while shortchanging loyal customers by devaluing miles. Even JetBlue recently devalued their Mint award flights, their premium domestic flight product.
As miles with specific airlines decrease in value, having flexible points and miles with issuers like Capital One, Citi, Chase and American Express becomes more valuable. You can often find great deals on premium economy, business class and first class tickets by booking with miles. Travel rewards cardholders can rack up flexible rewards points or miles more easily, then transfer those points to whichever airline is offering a better deal at the time.
The downside to this strategy, however, is that it takes a bit of points and miles knowledge — plus a lot of time and patience throughout the process.
For beginners, Capital One’s standard redemption process is still the better option
If you aren’t willing or able to put in the time and effort to play the points and miles game, the Capital One Venture’s standard redemption process will provide you with the most value.
“Most cardholders are better off treating this as a 2% cash back card to be applied towards travel,” explains Rossman. “Two exceptions: if you’re looking to top off your account with JetBlue or a different partner, or if you’re someone who treats rewards programs like a game and has the time, energy and know-how to research potential loopholes.”
As JetBlue expands routes to London and Ecuador in the coming years (pending government approval), the ability to transfer miles to JetBlue will likely become a hot commodity for those who have come to love the airline.
Until then, cardholders can take advantage of this new partnership for domestic and Caribbean flights — or, they can continue to redeem miles as a statement credit for travel purchases at a great value. This addition only adds another reason to the list of why the Capital One Venture is a staple credit card in many frequent travelers’ wallets.
As of May 1, 2019, the full list of Capital One’s transfer partners includes:
- Aeromexico (Club Premier)
- Air Canada (Aeroplan)
- Air France KLM (Flying Blue)
- Alitalia (MilleMiglia Program)
- Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles)
- Avianca (LifeMiles)
- Emirates (Emirates Skywards)
- Etihad Airways (Etihad Guest)
- EVA Air (Infinity MileageLands)
- Finnair (Finnair Plus)
- Hainan Airlines (Fortune Wings Club)
- JetBlue (TrueBlue)
- Qantas (Qantas Frequent Flyer) and Qatar Airways (Privilege Club)
- Singapore Airlines (KrisFlyer)