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With travel at a near standstill because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Capital One has made reward redemption more flexible for several of its travel credit cards.
Through Sept. 30, 2020, holders of Venture and Spark travel cards can redeem miles to cover purchases of things like restaurant delivery and takeout, among other services. Crucially, miles redeemed for these new categories are worth one cent each, the same value they'd have if redeemed for travel — and a major improvement over the cards' normal redemption rate of half a cent per mile for cash back or statement credit.
"We understand that our customers’ day-to-day lives have changed, so we’re continually looking at providing value in new and different ways," a Capital One representative tells NerdWallet.
For Venture cardholders
Eligible restaurant delivery and takeout: This includes delivery services such as DoorDash, Uber Eats and Postmates, or purchases made directly with restaurants, cafes or fast-food chains.
Eligible streaming service purchases: This includes Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Disney+ and Kindle Unlimited.
For Spark cardholders
Eligible restaurant delivery and takeout: The same services apply as for Venture cardholders.
Eligible phone services. This includes bills and purchases from qualifying wireless providers like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and others. Capital One notes that internet, Wi-Fi and landline services do not qualify.
How to redeem
The process to redeem points in these categories is similar to how you’d use the Capital One Purchase Eraser to offset travel costs. Once eligible purchases appear on your statement, request a statement credit by signing into your rewards account and selecting “Cover Your Purchases.” You’ll see a list of purchases eligible for mileage redemption from the past 90 days.
You can also redeem points for Amazon purchases, or to cover the cost of a Prime membership, but at a lower value. Miles are worth 0.8 cent each when redeemed on Amazon.com.