Capital One Hugely Improves Mileage Transfer Program

Filed Under: Capital One, Credit Cards
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This is major! In late 2018, Capital One introduced the ability to convert Venture and Spark miles into airline miles, essentially creating a new transferable points currency.

Well, today the program has announced some other significant improvements, which should get people excited. This includes more transfer partners and a new 1:1 transfer ratio for select partners. This news is on top of Capital One revealing plans to open two airport lounges.

With these changes, personally I now value Capital One miles at 1.3 cents each (compared to 1.1 cents each before).

Capital One adds four more mileage transfer partners

Capital One will be adding four additional partner airline and hotel loyalty programs, including:

  • British Airways Executive Club, which has been added as of April 20; convert at a 2:1.5 ratio
  • TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go, which has been added as of April 20; convert at a 1:1 ratio
  • Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles, which has been added as of April 20; convert at a 2:1.5 ratio
  • Choice Privileges, which is being added later in 2021; miles will convert at a 1:1 ratio

This is fantastic to see, particularly British Airways Executive Club and Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles, given what useful programs they are. Previously Capital One had 15 partners, including 13 airline programs and two hotel programs. Now Capital One will have a total of 19 partners, including 16 airline programs and three hotel programs.

Turkish Miles&Smiles is being added as a Capital One transfer partner

Capital One adds 1:1 mileage transfers

I’d argue that this is the much more exciting news. As of April 20, 2021, Capital One miles can be transferred to select travel loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio. Points transfers to the following nine programs will be at a 1:1 ratio (increased from 2:1.5):

  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Choice Privileges
  • Etihad Guest
  • Finnair Plus
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go
  • Wyndham Rewards

There’s no denying that some of these partners are more useful than others. In particular, being able to transfer Capital One miles to Avianca LifeMiles, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, and Etihad Guest, potentially sounds like a great opportunity.

Transfer Capital One miles to Etihad Guest at a 1:1 ratio

Why this development is significant

You might be thinking to yourself “well shouldn’t Capital One have offered 1:1 mileage transfers all along, like other programs?” Not quite.

Keep in mind that:

Given the previous transfer ratio of up to 2:1.5, you were earning up to 1.5 airline miles per dollar spent on the card, which was solid for non-bonused spending. Well, now Capital One cards offer up to 2x airline miles per dollar spent, which is pretty awesome.

In fairness, Capital One isn’t the first issuer to offer up to 2x airline miles per dollar spent, though the other options have limits or require jumping through some hoops:

Transfer Capital One miles to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles at a 1:1 ratio

Bottom line

Capital One is significantly improving its mileage transfer program. We’re seeing four more partner programs added, meaning that Capital One will soon have a total of 19 airline and hotel partners. On top of that, points transfers to nine programs will be at a 1:1 ratio. This significantly improves the value proposition of spending money on Capital One cards, at least for those looking to earn airline miles or hotel points.

What do you make of these changes to Capital One mileage transfers? Will it change whether or not you use Capital One cards?

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  1. Without the existence of Double Cash + Premier, this would be one of the best options for unbonused spend. 2x on all spending gets you 2x miles or 2% cashback for travel. In many ways the card is better than Chase Sapphire Preferred is on a standalone basis. But Double Cash + Citi Premier is a compelling combo.

    I was debating whether to cancel my Venture, I may keep it for some unbounded spend. What they could really do to compete would be to add some bonus categories

  2. @ Ben — AMEX Bkue Biz is still the top option in my book. I hope that we won’t need to spend $100k in a year that is not going towards a new opening bonus or elite status, but who knows when the Queen may want a new Palace or Chariot.

  3. Am I right in thinking my Spark card does not charge foreign transaction fees and is therefore good on an international trip which is an advantage over Double Cash and Blue Plus?

  4. While not as widely usable as the airline miles, transferring to Choice points could be valuable for stays in places like Northern Europe (Nordic Choice hotels) and Japan, which tend to offer better points values than elsewhere.

  5. But you’re still dealing with a sub-prime bank and horrific customer service. That’s a big nope. I mean, I’d rather keep dealing with Citi and that’s saying something.

  6. I assume this means Capital One points get their value updated from 1.1 cpp to something closer to Citi/Amex/Chase (1.7)?

  7. All good news but none of this will really mean much if they still continue to deny CCs for excellent credit scores for no reason. I’ve pretty much given up on them – I have one biz card but they denied 3 personal applications over 3 years. Hopefully, this development means they are finally diversifying beyond their subprime audience into a two-tier bank and will actually start approving applications.

  8. As others have noted they need to address the issue of denying people with high income and perfect credit as well as creating a proper recon department. Combine that with the fact they PULL ALL THREE credit bureaus it’s just a waste of time, energy, and inquiries for most.

  9. The Capital One Venture card offers an advantage over the American Express Blue Business Plus and Citi Double Cash cards, especially when traveling or purchasing goods/services from non-US countries – no foreign transaction fees.

    The transaction fees on the Citi and Amex cards wipe out the points earn for non-US purchases.

    Unfortunately, Capital One do perform a hard pull against all three bureaus for any application and continue to report the Spark Miles product as a personal credit line.

  10. @Francois:

    “As others have noted they need to address the issue of denying people with high income and perfect credit as well as creating a proper recon department. Combine that with the fact they PULL ALL THREE credit bureaus it’s just a waste of time, energy, and inquiries for most.”

    Thanks for this. Was debating Cap One Venture card and Chase Sapphire Preferred and will go with Chase thanks to you. After being refused a US Bank biz card due to 815 credit score and timely payment of all bills monthly with excellent credit I’m not their subprime target audience.

  11. So 1:1 for LifeMiles, which often run bank points to miles transfer bonuses means earning up to 2.5 LM per $ spent. Which means almost 4% return on any spending! How nice!

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