Woman at balloon festival
Frantic00/Getty Images

 

If you’re looking for a prime example of how a credit card rewards program can offset travel costs and maximize value, look no further than Capital One Miles. Capital One offers four distinct cards to choose from to rack up miles, as well as a user-friendly rewards system with lots of redemption options.

How do you earn Capital One Miles?

Earning miles to go toward your next flight or hotel stay has never been easier than with Capital One. To earn miles, you simply have to use your Capital One VentureOne® Rewards, Capital One Venture® Rewards, Capital One Spark® Miles, or Capital One Spark® Miles Select card on everyday purchases. It couldn’t be easier.

With these travel cards from Capital One, there’s no limit on the number of miles you can earn. Owners of any of these travel cards can take comfort in knowing they will never max out their rewards and miles, and on top of that there are no confusing spending categories for these cards – all eligible purchases qualify for miles.

How to use Capital One miles

When you’re ready to redeem your miles, your first stop is the Capital One Credit Card Rewards portal. From this page, you can log in to the Capital One rewards portal to choose or browse the redemption option that is right for you. Redemption option categories include: travel, cash, gift cards, and other.

Travel rewards give the card owner the option to book travel or to redeem miles for a statement credit on past travel purchases. Card owners can also browse hotel specials only available through Hotels.com/Venture.

The “gift cards” section of the redemption options gives you the ability to redeem your miles for popular gift cards. Finally, the “other” category gives card owners the option to link offer miles transfers, including the newly expanded airline partner program.

Card owners can also choose to redeem their miles for cash through the “cash” section of the redemption portal. Cash back for miles is paid through a statement credit or check by mail.

It’s important to remember that your best bet for getting the most value out of your Capital One Miles is not by redeeming them for cash back. The value of your miles drops by 50% when you redeem them for cash. For example, if you have 2,500 miles that you want to redeem, they would equal $25 in travel rewards but only $12.50 in direct cash via statement credit or check.

Which airlines accept Capital One Miles?

Transferring points to Capital One transfer partners or other cardholders is easy through the Capital One portal. Best of all, when you transfer points to other cardholders the points don’t lose value.

Capital One transfer partners include:

  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Air Canada Aeoplan
  • Air France/ KLM Flying Blue
  • Alitalia MilleMiglia
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Etihad Airways (Etihad Guest)
  • EVA Air
  • Finnair (Finnair Plus)
  • Hainan Airlines (Fortune Wings Club)
  • JetBlue (TrueBlue)
  • Qantas (Qantas Frequent Flyer)
  • Qatar Airways (Privilege Club)
  • Emirates (Emirates Skywards)
  • Singapore Airlines (KrisFlyer)

But, always remember to be careful when transferring your miles to apply to a flight because transfers are irreversible. With most partners, the minimum miles allowed per transfer is 1,000 miles and then card owners can increase the amount they transfer in 100-mile increments.

Capital One Miles transfers can take up to five business days to process, but travelers on a time crunch are not out of luck. Seven travel partners of Capital One offer instant transfers, while some others take 24 to 36 hours rather than five business days.

What are Capital One Miles worth?

You don’t need to be an industry expert to reap the rewards of your Capital One Miles. The miles program is as simple as it gets with a straight forward hassle-free rewards program.

You can use your Capital One Miles in a variety of ways. When you redeem miles for travel or gift cards, each mile is worth one cent. Capital One Miles can also be used to “erase” travel purchases from your credit card statement at the same rate. So, 50,000 miles erases up to $500 in travel purchases. You can only erase travel purchases made in the last 90 days, which is a good incentive to erase your purchase quickly.

When you transfer points to a Capital One Miles partner, in most cases you’ll get 1.5 airline miles for every two Capital One Miles. Exceptions to this rule are Emirates Skywards and Singapore KrisFlyer, both of which only give one airline mile for every two miles.

Which credit cards offer Capital Miles?

Rewards Earned New Cardmember Offer APR Annual Fee
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card Unlimited 1.25 miles earned per dollar on every purchase 20,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months 0% APR in first 12 months on purchases, then 13.74 – 23.74% variable APR $0
Capital One Venture Rewards Unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase 50,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 in first 3 months 17.49% – 24.74% variable APR $0 intro for the first year and then $95 after that
Capital One Spark Miles 2X Miles per dollar on every purchase + 5X miles on hotel and rental car purchases through Capital One Travel 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months 18.74% variable APR $0 intro for the first year and $95 after that
Capital One Spark Miles Select Unlimited 1.5X miles on every purchase 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 in first three months 0% APR in the first 12 months, then 14.74% – 22.74% $0

How many miles do I need for a flight?

With so many airline transfer partners, it’s difficult to determine a specific minimum of miles you need for a flight. Every airline has different ways of valuing miles and other types of rewards.

Remember, if you aren’t happy with the offers currently available on transfer partner airlines, you can always book your flight through the Capital One portal. You can also use your Capital One travel rewards card to purchase a flight through any platform and then redeem your miles for a travel statement credit.

Why we like Capital One Miles

Capital One Miles are a favorite of ours because of their “no hassle” miles program that is user-friendly and simple to understand.

Card owners can earn their miles quickly because they earn them from all purchases, they make with the Capital One travel card of their choice. As we said before, there are no special categories you need to remember in order to get rewards and no cap on the number of rewards you can earn. With Capital One travel cards the sky’s the limit with rewards options and your next flight or hotel stay could be covered just by owning the card.

Best Capital One card for earning Miles

Customers can choose from a wide range of travel and mile-earning cards that offer a range of sign-up bonuses and varying amounts of travel miles per dollar spent.

Our top pick for the best Capital One card for earning miles is the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card.

We would recommend the Venture Rewards credit card for avid travelers looking to earn miles because it offers 2X miles on every purchase every day, so you don’t have to adjust your shopping habits to earn miles. Additionally, consumers who get the Capital One Venture Rewards card before January 2020 can take advantage of additional 10X miles on thousands of hotels through hotels.com/venture.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.


Learn more: