The Capital One Travel Portal: How it Works

Booking travel through the Capital One Travel portal will get you a higher earning rate and other benefits.
Alisha McDarris
By Alisha McDarris 

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If you’ve recently added a Capital One travel credit card such as the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, or new Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card to your wallet, you’re probably curious about how to best redeem all those miles you’re planning to earn.

One popular way is the newly updated Capital One Travel Portal powered by Hopper. We’ll show you the ins and outs of using the Capital One Travel Portal.

Who can use the Capital One Travel portal?

The new portal is sleek and easy to navigate. What's more, all Capital One rewards cardholders can use the booking platform, including, but not limited to:

How to book travel in the Capital One Travel portal

First, you'll have to sign up for an online account. Once that's done, you can easily book online or over the phone (though the latter may incur a fee).

  • Start by entering your travel dates.

  • Search for flights, rental cars or hotels.

  • Pick the one you want and book it.

  • Pay with miles or with your card.

At the top right corner of the page, you can see how many miles you have available in your account and how much they're worth. Each flight or hotel option will present the price in miles and cash; no need to toggle back and forth between pages or listings.

You can sort flights by price, number of stops and more. And you can sort hotels by price per night, rating or recommended properties. Plus, there's a map if you're looking to make a location-specific booking. For rental cars, you can filter by car type, price, rental company and more. After choosing your preferred travel options, you move on to Rewards & Payment, the checkout process where you can select whether you want to pay with cash or miles.

Benefits of booking travel in the Capital One Travel portal

There are several benefits to booking with the Capital One Travel Portal. For starters, booking on the portal and paying with your card can earn you between 5x-10x miles on hotel and rental car bookings. The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offer 5x miles while the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers 10x miles, plus 5x miles when booking airfare.

That’s a big boost from the 1.25x miles you get when purchasing travel outside the portal with the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card and 2x miles with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.

There are other valuable benefits to the portal. They include:

  • A price prediction tool recommends when to book to get the best deal (the site claims to do this with 95% accuracy).

  • Price drop protection shields you from overpaying if the price on a recommended flight falls after purchasing.

  • A price-match guarantee offers a refund for the difference if you find a better price on another booking portal. Just submit a request within 24 hours for the refund.

  • Cancel For Any Reason coverage on all flights booked through the portal. Beginning in Spring 2022, for an upfront fee, travelers will be able to cancel flights booked through the portal up to 24 hours before departure for any reason and receive a refund on most of their fare.

You can even set price alerts to let you know when the price for a specific flight has changed.

Whether you're paying with miles or cash, it's easy to book on the Capital One travel site. All you do is select "points" or "cash" when choosing how to pay. Don't have quite enough miles saved up? Not a problem. The platform also lets you use a combination of points and your credit card so you can put every last mile to use.

What else to know about the Capital One Travel portal

While the platform is easy to use, there are a few things you need to know.

  • Certain airlines — mainly Southwest — won't show up in any automated search aggregators, including Capital One Travel. So you may have to search elsewhere to ensure you're seeing all your options. If you do have to book outside of the portal, as long as you pay with your Capital One credit card, you can always redeem any miles in your account as a statement credit.

  • If you have to cancel a booking and a refund is in order, you'll get refunded in miles if you paid with Capital One rewards miles. If you used a credit card, you'd be refunded that way. And if you paid with a combination of rewards and a card, you'd be refunded proportionally to how you paid.

  • You can sometimes "freeze" a flight's price for a fee. So, if you find a good deal and Capital One recommends booking now to score the best price, you can lock in the price and come back to it later if you need a bit more time to plan. The fee was $27 or 2,700 miles per traveler for one search we did.

  • You may not get any bonus rewards points, free nights, or elite status contributions if you are a rewards member with a hotel or rental car company and book through the Capital One Travel Portal. You might want to consider booking directly with the rental car company or the property if you want to earn those rewards. So it's worth checking to see where you get better earning potential: with the travel brand or through the portal. If you're not concerned with status or extra benefits, go ahead and book in the portal.

  • Make sure to consider options like transferring your Capital One miles to flight and hotel travel partners. There are 15 airlines to choose from and one hotel partner. Most miles can be transferred to your favorite loyalty program on a 1:1 ratio. This can sometimes save you many points or miles if, for example, one $200 flight requires 20,000 miles in the portal but only 12,000 dedicated airline miles. Familiarize yourself with airline alliances to understand which program points and miles can be used on which airlines, then do your research to see what booking method offers a better deal.

Why you should use Capital One Travel

The newly updated Capital One Travel Portal is easy to use whether you're booking flights, hotels and rental cars with your Capital One credit card or the miles you've earned. Of course, there are a few trade-offs, but between the price-match guarantee, the ability to pay with cash and miles, and the boost in points you get when paying with your card, it's a convenient way to arrange travel — especially flights.

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:

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