Capital One made headlines last year by offering a welcome bonus of up to 200,000 miles for its Capital One Spark Miles for Business credit card. The current welcome bonus is not nearly as generous: Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
But no matter how you start earning Capital One Spark Miles, when it’s time to redeem them, you’ll find that this popular rewards currency offers value and versatility.
» Learn more: Capital One Spark Miles review
Ways to use Capital One Spark Miles
There are many options to redeem rewards. You can:
Book a trip.
Get gift cards.
Redeem for cash.
Shop with rewards.
For most travel partners, 1,000 Capital One Spark Miles translate to 750 miles or points in the partner program, including:
Three partners have a less-favorable ratio, with 1,000 Capital One Spark Miles transferring at 500 points or miles in the partner program:
Although all of these travel partners offer different sweet spots, transferring Capital One Spark Miles to Air Canada’s Aeroplan is one way to maximize the value of your miles.
For example, you can transfer 73,400 Capital One Spark Miles into 55,050 Aeroplan miles, then use those miles to book a one-way business class flight from Zurich to Los Angeles (although fees can vary for each flight, we found this award flight with less than $65 in total fees). Because a round-trip business class flight might cost around $8,000 in cash, the 147,000 Capital One Spark Miles for a round trip is a value of more than 5 cents per mile.
» Learn more: 5 award sweet spots using Air France/KLM miles
Book a trip
You can use Capital One Spark Miles to pay for trips booked through Capital One Travel at a value of 1 cent per mile. This option is particularly useful for cardholders who would like to apply their points to fly on an airline or stay at a hotel that isn’t a Capital One transfer partner (such as Delta or Hilton), and it's also useful if you can’t find award availability with a transfer partner.
Get gift cards
You can redeem Capital One Spark Miles for gift cards at a value of 0.8 cent per mile. There are a wide variety of gift card partners including Uber, Walmart, Amazon, American Airlines and Best Buy.
Redeem for cash
You can redeem them for cash by having the miles applied to your credit card bill or by having a check sent to you. You’ll get a value of 0.5 cent per mile using this redemption, so we recommend using another option that offers more value for your miles.
Shop with rewards
Capital One recently made it possible to redeem Capital One Spark Miles for purchases on Amazon.com You’ll receive a redemption value of 0.8 cent per mile using this option.
Share your rewards
Capital One cardholders can transfer points between accounts. This is helpful if you’re trying to pool points for a larger redemption or if you want to combine your Capital One Venture Miles and Spark Miles. Transferred miles can even make a great gift.
The bottom line
There are a number of great ways to use your Capital One Spark Miles. Although the best way to maximize the value of miles is to transfer them to one of Capital One’s travel partners, you can still get good value by redeeming points directly for travel, shopping or gift cards.
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 2021, 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