No Hassle Miles: Are Capital One Rewards Really Not a Hassle?
What is a Capital One No Hassle Mile worth? NerdWallet estimates 1.00 cent.
Overall, Capital One No Hassle Miles are pretty decent. They have a lot going for them, not least that their value is constant at ~1 cent no matter how many points you redeem. Many other rewards programs ask you to accrue, say, 10k points before getting them at full value. Also, you can use your points as a credit against travel expenses, so you can still use miles for tickets booked through discount sites, rooms at any hotel, or even inflight meals. Finally, the miles don’t expire so long as the account is active. One major downside is that you need to work pretty hard to figure out what you can do with a No Hassle Mile until you’re a cardholder – CapitalOne isn’t much for transparency.
As we said above, CapOne’s a bit evasive about its No Hassle Miles program until you’ve already got a card. A login is required to view the redemption options, and the rewards program description is vague, but this is how we determined the 100-miles-per-dollar reward rate:
- Travel – According to CapOne, “add two zeros to the price of your travel purchase, then trade in that number of miles to pay for it”. For example if your statement shows a $109 hotel bill, trade in 10,900 points. Or for a $224 plane ticket, trade in 22,400 points. You can either book the travel on your own, and then redeem points for a statement credit against your travel expenses, or you can book through Capital One’s Rewards program. Generally speaking, we prefer to find the cheapest flight first using sites like Kayak.com, rather than rely on a non-transparent travel agent.
- Gift Cards - Capital One has a very low minimum number of points you can redeem for gift cards. You can trade in 1,000 No Hassle Miles for a $10 Target, Amazon or Starbucks gift certificate, among others. The gift card collection is pretty extensive, including Barnes and Noble and the Ritz-Carlton. Across the board, there’s a redemption rate of 100 miles to the dollar, so you’ll still get your 2% if you spend your miles on gift cards.
Points do not expire until the account is closed. This puts it above Citi ThankYou Points and Chase Flexible Rewards Points (3 years till expiration) and Bank of America Worldpoints (5 years).
How best to earn them
The top-notch No Hassle card is the Capital One Venture, which earns 2 No Hassle Miles for every single dollar spent. It gives you the flexibility to fly on any airline, and you earn high rewards on all your purchases, not just on a specific airline.
|Capital One® VentureSM Rewards Credit Card|
|Annual Fee||Signup Bonus||APR , Variable*||Intro APR Promotions|
|$0 intro for first year; $59 after that||Earn 10,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $100 in travel||13.9% - 20.9% (V)||Purchase: None