Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.
Capital One might trail behind other big banks, like American Express and Chase, in the eyes of savvy travelers optimizing for credit card perks that level up their status, like airline lounges, trip flexibility and copious rewards points.
But the bank behind the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is emerging as a dark horse in the travel credit card space, especially with news that more loyalty programs will join its mileage transfer programs. Couple that with its new Capital One airport lounges set to open later this year, and Capital One is shaping up to be a more competitive player.
Here's an overview of several of the changes in the works for Capital One that will perk the ears of travelers.
More hotel and airline loyalty programs join Capital One’s program
One of the best ways to spend miles earned through Capital One is by transferring them to the loyalty programs of other airlines or hotels.
There were already over a dozen airlines and hotel partners you could transfer to, but in April, Capital One announced four more. They are:
Capital One improves redemptions with more 1:1 transfer partners
Transferring miles can get confusing. For example, 2,000 Capital One Venture miles won’t get you 2,000 Eva Air Infinity MileageLands miles (they’ll get you 1,500 Eva Air Infinity MileageLands miles, actually).
That’s because some programs transfer at a rate of 2 Venture miles to 1.5 airline miles. As of late 2021 though, Capital One has simplified things by adjusting to a 1:1 transfer ratio for the majority of airline partners.
Choice Hotels and the following airlines now have a 1:1 transfer ratio:
A full list of Capital One's transfer partners
Here are all of the Capital One partners and transfer ratios:
Aeromexico Club Premier
Air Canada Aeroplan
Air France/KLM Flying Blue
ALL Accor Live Limitless
British Airways Executive Club
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
TAP Portugal Miles&Go
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
New details on the upcoming Capital One airport lounges
Capital One previously announced that it would launch a couple new airport lounges, and the company just revealed new details as to what they’ll be like.
The lounges will be located at Dallas-Fort Worth, opening in fall 2021, and Washington-Dulles, opening in 2022. Dulles is not far from Capital One’s headquarters in McLean, Virginia, and the company also has corporate offices in Plano, Texas, which is not far from Dallas-Fort Worth.
Don’t expect these airport lounges to be overcrowded, serving nothing but a sad tray of cheese cubes. The lounges could compete with the esteemed Centurion Lounges run by American Express. There are more than a dozen Centurion Lounges around the world, all offering high-quality food, top-shelf cocktails and a classy place to wait for your flight. Some offer extra amenities including showers, spas, play areas for kids and wine-tasting areas.
It sounds like the Capital One lounges will be similar — and in some ways, potentially better.
What to expect from the Capital One airport lounge refreshments
Capital One said its lounges will open with a grab-and-go food section featuring curated menus by local, up-and-coming chefs. Travelers should expect healthy selections made with regionally sourced ingredients, plus cold brew on tap.
There will also be a restaurant-quality, in-lounge dining experience that serves craft cocktails on tap, local beers and regional wines.
What to expect from the Capital One airport lounge amenities
Of course, there’s going to be more to do than eat. Capital One said its lounges will include a cycling and yoga room. You’ll probably need a shower after that — and luckily there are shower suites with luxury bath amenities. There will also be relaxation rooms, nursing rooms and a multi-faith room for prayer or meditation.
Additionally, luggage lockers will be available to help clear up space — and avoid you tripping on the handles of someone else's bag.
» Learn more: When is an airport lounge day pass worth the splurge?
How to get into a Capital One airport lounge
It's not entirely clear how Capital One will allow access quite yet, but a spokesperson told NerdWallet that Capital One customers will be eligible for special cardholder pricing depending on their card. It sounds like the higher the annual fee is on your Capital One card, the lower pricing will be available to you.
That's a different model than The Centurion Lounge from American Express, which is only accessible to cardholders of its highest-end cards (though entrance is complimentary). Unless you're visiting as a guest of an eligible cardholder, you can't buy your way into a Centurion Lounge.
Capital One partners with Hopper
Earlier this year, Capital One announced a partnership with online booking site Hopper to power its own booking site, Capital One Travel. That new site will launch later this year, allowing Capital One customers to set up alerts and use price prediction models to get recommendations on when to book trips. The service is also set to help customers more easily change or cancel their reservations (with full Cancel for Any Reason coverage launching in Spring 2022), and to serve as a shop to earn and redeem rewards.
Earn more miles with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
To get in on the improved transfer ratios — and to set yourself up for entrance into the new airport lounges — consider applying for a Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. Here is how many miles you could earn through its welcome offer: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.
Not bad for a $95-annual-fee card that will earn an unlimited 2x miles per dollar on every purchase.
And while the rewards are referred to as miles, that’s a bit of a misnomer; your miles can be redeemed for any recent travel purchase, such as vacation rentals, flights, car rentals and more. In fact, you'll actually earn an increased 5x miles when you book rental cars or hotels through Capital One Travel.
» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now
The bottom line
Capital One typically isn’t the first credit card issuer people think of when it comes to premium travel. But as Capital One improves redemption rates and adds new transfer partners — while also adding a couple very fancy airport lounges to its offerings — it looks like that could change. And to go with that, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card might end up being one of the top cards in a traveler’s wallet, with greater flexibility and an increased sign-up bonus.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card