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The 4 Best Capital One Transfer Partners — and 7 to Avoid

Oct. 29, 2019
Reward Optimization, Travel, Travel Credit Cards
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Historically, Capital One miles have only been redeemable as “cash” points, typically for 1 cent per point. So points earned from the Capital One Venture card or Capital One Spark cards would be redeemable to offset cash purchases made for travel. A 50,000-point welcome offer meant that you could use those points to offset $500 in travel. There was no way to make those points be worth less, but also no way to get any more value from them, either.

But in November 2018, Capital One added 12 hotel and airline transfer partners, followed by two additional partners and the addition of JetBlue, for a total of 15 Capital One transfer partners.

You can transfer Capital One Venture Miles in 1,000 mile increments, and in most cases, 2 Venture Miles transfer to 1.5 airline miles. You can transfer miles to Emirates and Singapore Airlines at a 2:1 ratio, and there are periodic transfer bonuses, like the 33% bonus to Qantas Frequent Flyer or 25% to Avianca LifeMiles.

» Learn more: Capital One Venture review: Easy earnings, effortless redemptions

The 4 best Capital One transfer partners

Here are my top four Capital One transfer partners:

  1. Singapore Airlines: One reason Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles are useful because they are easy to get; in addition to Capital One, they transfer from Chase, American Express, Citi and Marriott points. Check out our Singapore Airlines sweet spots.
  2. Air France/KLM Flying Blue: Flying Blue has monthly promo awards that discount certain routes by up to 50%. That means you can sometimes find one-way travel from the U.S. to Europe as low as 16,500 Flying Blue miles.
  3. Air Canada Aeroplan: My favorite use of Air Canada miles is to book United flights within the United States, especially last-minute flights. United currently charges a $75 close-in booking fee for flights booked within 21 days of travel (that’s going away Nov. 15, 2019), but that same flight booked through Air Canada does not.
  4. Avianca Lifemiles: Avianca is (along with Singapore and Air Canada) a member of the Star Alliance, meaning you can use Avianca LifeMiles to book flights on United, Lufthansa and other Star Alliance carriers.

Best of the rest: Other CapitalOne transfer partner redemptions

  • Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles: Cathay Pacific has an odd award chart that depends in part on whether you’re flying only Cathay or including additional Oneworld partners. The AsiaMiles award chart is distance-based, so your best redemption will be 7,500 miles for intra-Asia flights under 750 flown miles.
  • Emirates Skywards: Ever since Alaska devalued its award chart for flying Emirates first class, using Emirates’ own miles is one of the best ways to fly premium cabins on Emirates. Check out some of our other Emirates Skywards sweet spots.
  • Etihad Guest: Etihad is another program with a quirky award chart that has some amazing redemptions. Over the past year or so, they’ve been shutting down some of the truly excellent deals, but I just returned from a trip to Morocco that I booked for only 22,000 Etihad miles one-way.

    Me on a camel in Marrakech, Morocco

  • Qantas: Qantas also has a distance-based award chart, and flights under 600 miles cost only 8,000 miles to book. This can be a great option for last-minute short-hops within the U.S. (flying on American Airlines) or in Australia itself.

Transfer partners to avoid

The remaining Capital One transfer partners are not a good use of your time or miles. I would avoid transferring to any of the following programs unless you have a specific redemption in mind and feel you’re getting good value:

  • Aeromexico.
  • Alitalia.
  • Eva Air.
  • Finnair.
  • Hainan Airlines.
  • JetBlue TrueBlue.
  • Qatar Airways.

It’s important to note that JetBlue doesn’t have an award chart. Instead, the cost in miles is loosely tied to the cash cost of a particular flight. NerdWallet values JetBlue points at around 1.6 cents per point, and 2 VentureMiles only gets you 1 TrueBlue mile. Here’s an example of a flight from New York-JFK to Reno, Nevada. It will cost either $174 to buy it in cash or 12,500 JetBlue miles.

Buying the flight with cash from JetBlue will cost $174, which you can pay for with 17,400 CapitalOne Venture miles. Transferring points to JetBlue to buy it with miles would cost 25,000 Venture miles (due to the 2:1 transfer ratio). As this shows, you’ll often be better off paying cash and using your Venture Miles to offset the cost of the flight. Plus, that way you earn TrueBlue miles and elite credit.

Photo by Dan Miller

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 2020, including those best for:

Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
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