Capital One is adding 12 airline loyalty programs across 13 carriers as transfer partners for their cardholders, allowing them to exchange their points directly for frequent flyer miles. The new benefits will also apply to the mileage-earning business cards: Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business and Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business.
Overall, these new additions give more mileage flexibility to travelers, who can now choose to use their points as cash back, or put them directly toward flights with their favorite airlines. Because all three airline alliances are represented, it’s possible to apply airline miles to both domestic and international award flights — but your mileage may vary based on how you use them.
As it announced the transfer partners in November 2018, Capital One also rolled out a limited-time offer of a bigger sign-up bonus on the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. To get this offer, you must go to the Capital One website.
The 12 new loyalty program transfer partners
An exact date hasn’t been released, but starting in December 2018 travelers can transfer their Venture Miles to 12 frequent flyer loyalty programs partners:
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue
- Alitalia MilleMiglia
- Avianca LifeMiles
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Etihad Airways Guest
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
- Finnair Plus
- Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club
Venture Miles members can choose to use their rewards through the rewards center or via transfer partners. While Venture Miles will still exchange at the rate of 1 cent per mile when used for flights and hotels, members can transfer to frequent flyer miles at a ratio of 2 Venture Miles to 1.5 frequent flyer miles.
»Learn More: Nine easy ways to earn airline miles
To transfer, Venture cardholders must exchange a minimum of 1,000 Venture Miles to their chosen frequent flyer program, and increments of 100 each. In the lowest possible transfer, 1,000 Venture Miles will yield 750 frequent flyer miles.
No changes on how you can earn miles
While Capital One is adding new benefits for cardholders, the primary ways to earn miles won’t change. Those who hold Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card will earn 2 Venture Miles per one dollar on everyday spending, while Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card cardholders will earn 1.25 Venture Miles per dollar.
But when you book your hotels through Hotels.com using your Venture card, you will still earn 10 Venture Miles per $1 spent on eligible bookings. To earn the bonus miles, travelers need to book at hotels.com/venture, and select the “Pay Now” option at checkout using your Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card or Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card.
Is it a good deal?
For frequent international travelers, the new benefits can be an easy way to either keep frequent flyer accounts alive, or add to balances to get closer to a free flight. Despite the uneven ratio, regular flyers could find additional value by transferring to their favorite airline – especially if they don’t use their card enough to pay for a flight using Venture Miles.
»Learn More: How to get started with frequent flyer programs
In addition, all three major airline alliances are represented among the transfer partners. If you’re trying to find discounted domestic flights, Venture Miles can now be directly applied to Star Alliance flights via Air Canada Aeroplan or EVA Air Infinity MileageLands, Oneworld via Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Qantas Frequent Flyer, or SkyTeam via Air France/KLM Flying Blue.
On the downside, the programs aren’t known for the best award availability, nor are they known for the most competitive prices. International flights may be more expensive through these partners, while domestic flights may be more difficult to find. Before transferring any miles, be sure to search for an award and only initiate a transfer when you’re ready to book.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2019, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
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This strategy is how I started earning major travel rewards