When it comes to collecting points through credit card spend, I’ve long recommend earning a transferable points currency, which gives you the flexibility to transfer points to a variety of airline partners.
As of now, Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou are the “big three” currencies. Barclays has also tried to introduce a transferable points currency with the new Barclay Arrival Premier, but that hasn’t been very popular, and it seems like they’re regrouping, as the card isn’t open to new members at the moment.
Well, today Capital One has announced that they’re introducing a transferable points currency, and the details are super exciting.
Capital One miles will be transferable to airlines!
Those who earn Venture miles or Spark miles will soon be able to transfer their miles to 14 travel loyalty programs, including popular options like Air Canada Aeroplan, Avianca LifeMiles, Etihad Guest, Air France-KLM Flying Blue, and more. This new feature is expected to go live in early December.
Here’s a full chart of the new Capital One transfer partners:
|Transfer Partner||Transfer Ratio|
|Aeromexico (Club Premier)||2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750|
|Air Canada (Aeroplan)||2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750|
|Air France KLM (Flying Blue)||2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750|
|Alitalia (MilleMiglia Program)||2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750|
|Avianca (LifeMiles)||2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750|
|Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles)||2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750|
|Emirates (Emirates Skywards)||2 : 1 | 1000 : 500|
|Etihad Airways (Etihad Guest)||2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750|
|EVA Air (Infinity MileageLands)||2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750|
|Finnair (Finnair Plus)||2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750|
|Hainan Airlines (Fortune Wings Club)||2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750|
|Qantas (Qantas Frequent Flyer)||2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750|
|Qatar Airways (Privilege Club)||2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750|
|Singapore Airlines (KrisFlyer)||2 : 1 | 1000 : 500|
What will the transfer ratio be?
Currently the Capital One Venture and Spark Miles earn two miles per dollar spent, and each of those miles can be redeemed for one cent towards the cost of a travel purchase. That option will remain, meaning each dollar spent on the cards will continue to earn the equivalent of two cents you can redeem towards travel.
So, what will the transfer ratio for these cards be? You’ll be able to transfer Spark and Venture miles into partner airline miles at an up to 2:1.5 ratio.
This means that both cards will essentially offer up to 1.5 miles per dollar spent, which is a solid return. This is especially solid when you consider that the alternative is earning two cents towards travel per dollar spent on these cards, which is also competitive.
These will be very flexible cards.
What this means for increased new welcome bonuses
At the moment we’re seeing increased welcome bonuses on the two cards that benefit the most from this.
The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business is offering a welcome bonus of 50,000 Venture miles when you spend $5,000 within the first three months, plus an additional 150,000 Venture miles when you spend $50,000 within the first six months.
This is in addition to the two miles per dollar you usually earn. So that means spending $50,000 within six months would you earn 300,000 Venture miles. Given the 2:1.5 ratio, this means that you could convert those into 225,000 airline miles, which is the equivalent of 4.5 airline miles on the first $50,000 spent, which is incredible.
Meanwhile the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is offering a welcome bonus of 50,000 Venture miles when you spend $3,000 within the first three months.
When you spend $3,000 you’d earn a total of 56,000 Venture miles, which could in turn be converted into up to ~42,000 airline miles.
This is such a fantastic development on the part of Capital One, since these cards will be so flexible. The cards already offered great flexibility with points being redeemable towards the cost of virtually any travel purchase, but now you’ll also be able to convert them into airline miles at a pretty favorable ratio.
While Capital One lacks the bonus categories offered by some other cards, for your everyday, non-bonused spend, this is a return that is pretty tough to beat, as every dollar spent will earn you either two cents worth of rewards towards travel, or 1.5 airline miles.
What do you make of Capital One’s new transferable points currency?