A traveler’s guide to Capital One miles

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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. There are four distinct Capital One credit 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 Credit Card, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Spark Miles for Business or Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business card on everyday purchases.

With these travel credit 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, browse and choose the redemption option that is right for you. Redemption option categories include travel, cash, gift cards and more.

Travel rewards give the card owner the option to book travel or to redeem miles for a statement credit on past travel purchases. The “gift cards” section of the redemption options gives you the ability to redeem your miles for popular gift cards. Lastly, the “other” category gives card owners the option to transfer miles to Capital One airline and hotel partners.

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 percent 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 (but are not limited to):

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada (Aeroplan)
  • Alitalia
  • Asia Miles
  • Avianca
  • British Airways
  • Emirates
  • Etihad
  • EVA Air
  • Finnair
  • Air France & KLM (Flying Blue)
  • JetBlue
  • Qantas
  • Singapore (KrisFlyer)
  • TAP Air Portugal
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Accor Live Limitless
  • Wyndham Rewards

British Airways, TAP Air Portugal and Turkish Airlines were recently added as transfer partners on April 20, 2021, as well as Choice Hotels. Additionally, seven transfer partners have been boosted from a 2:1.5 transfer ratio to a 1:1 transfer ratio, including Avianca, Etihad, Asia Miles, Aeromexico Finnair, Qantas and Wyndham Rewards.

As always, remember to be careful when transferring your miles to apply to a flight as transfers are irreversible. With most partners, the minimum miles allowed per transfer is 1,000, 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. A few Capital One travel partners 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 straightforward, 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 redeemed for recent travel purchases from your credit card statement at the same rate. So, 60,000 miles is worth $600 toward recent travel purchases.

Which credit cards offer Capital One miles?

Rewards earned Welcome offer APR Annual fee
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card Unlimited 1.25X miles earned per dollar on every purchase 20,000 bonus miles if you spend $500 in the first 3 months 0% intro APR for the first 12 months on purchases, then 15.49% to 25.49% variable APR after $0
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening 17.24% to 24.49% variable APR $95
Capital One Spark Miles for Business 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 $4,500 in the first 3 months 20.99% variable APR $0 intro for the first year, $95 after that
Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business Unlimited 1.5X miles per dollar on all purchases, plus 5X miles per dollar on hotels and car rentals through Capital One Travel 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 in the first three months 0% intro APR for the first 9 months on purchases, then 14.49% to 22.49% variable APR after $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

The Capital One miles program is a favorite of ours because it’s 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 optionsyour 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 rewards credit cards that offer a range of sign-up bonuses and varying 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. Travelers looking to earn miles can enjoy an unlimited 2X miles on every purchase every day, so you don’t have to adjust your shopping habits to earn miles.

The information about the Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business card and U.S. Bank Business Platinum has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

Written by
Meredith Hoffman
Credit Cards Reporter
Meredith Hoffman is a personal finance writer covering credit card news and advice at Bankrate. She is originally from Columbia, S.C., and received her bachelor's degree from the Univ. of North Carolina at Wilmington. Before joining Bankrate in October 2019, Meredith worked as the news editor of Wilmington’s local newspaper, The Seahawk.