Now Live: Capital One’s Incredible New Mileage Transfer Perk

In the interest of full disclosure, this post has been sponsored by the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card as part of their launch of the new mileage transfer benefit. Additionally, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about the partners we work with. Thanks for your support!
In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out my advertiser policy for further details about our partners, including American Express, Capital One, Chase, and Citi, and thanks for your support!

Today Capital One is launching an exciting new benefit for a few of their miles-earning cards, including:

This new feature makes cards like the popular Capital One Venture Card, which already earns an unlimited 2x miles on all purchases, even more broadly appealing than before. In the below post I’ll talk about the basics of the card, and then we’ll get into how these new features work.

To start out, here’s a video with details of what’s changing about the card:

Capital One’s new game-changing feature

A new era starts today for Capital One. Not only will this make cards like the Capital One Venture more appealing to those who don’t yet have it, but it makes the card even more beneficial for those that do.

As of December 6th, it’s possible to transfer Venture miles to over a dozen travel loyalty programs including popular options like Air Canada Aeroplan, Air France-KLM Flying Blue, Avianca LifeMiles, Etihad Guest, and more.

Here’s a full chart of the new Capital One transfer partners:

Transfer PartnerTransfer 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

At what rate do Capital One miles convert into airline miles?

Currently the Capital One Venture Card earns two miles per dollar spent on all purchases, and each of those miles can be redeemed for one cent towards the cost of a travel purchase.

That option remains, meaning each dollar spent on the card will continue to earn the equivalent of two cents you can redeem towards travel.

With this new feature, however, you’re able to transfer Venture miles into airline miles at up to a 2:1.5 ratio. This means that the card essentially offers up to 1.5 miles per dollar spent if you transfer to a participating airline loyalty program, which is a solid return.

How does this compare with the existing Purchase Eraser® option?

For years the Capital One Venture Card has been popular for being such a straightforward and rewarding travel rewards card. The card offers 2x miles per dollar spent, and each mile can be redeemed for one cent towards the cost of a travel purchase.

Cardholders can do this in one of two ways. You can choose to use the “Purchase Eraser” feature to “wipe out” the cost of a travel purchase within 90 days of when you made the purchase on your Venture Card. This allows you to make a travel-related purchase with your favorite travel provider (whether that’s an airline, hotel, online travel agency, or other travel company), and then receive a statement credit from Capital One for that purchase at the rate of one cent per mile.

Personally I recommend the “Purchase Eraser” feature, since it allows you to buy travel with no capacity controls or blackout dates, and then get a statement credit.

Who should take advantage of this new mileage transfer benefit?

If you already have the Venture Card and love redeeming your miles towards travel purchases with no blackout dates or capacity controls, that’s great. You can keep doing so, as Capital One isn’t taking anything away.

The benefit of transferring Venture miles to airline programs is that often the cost of a ticket if paying cash isn’t correlated to the number of miles required. So while you historically get a consistent one cent of value per Venture mile (or two cents for every dollar you spend), with airline miles you could be getting anywhere from a fraction of a cent of value per mile, to 10+ cents of value per mile.

I’d say the greatest value to be had with this new redemption option is if you want to redeem miles for international first and business class airline tickets. Many people think that these kinds of flights are out of reach, but with airline miles they are more reasonable than you might expect!

To demonstrate this, let’s take a look at a portion of the award chart of Avianca LifeMiles, one of the new Capital One mileage transfer options:

Continental U.S. To/From:EconomyBusinessFirst
Europe 1
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, United Kingdom
US 1 20,000
US 2, 3, & Rest of N.A. 30,000
US 1 60,000
US 2, 3, & Rest of N.A. 63,000
87,000
Europe 2
Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic., France, Germany, Gibraltar, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland
30,00063,00087,000
Europe 3
Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Turkey
30,00063,00087,000
Middle East / North Africa
Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Egypt, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen
42,50078,000105,000
Southern Africa40,00078,000105,000
North Asia
China, Guam, Hong Kong, Japan, Mariana Islands, Macao, Mongolia, North Korea, Palau, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan
35,00075,00090,000
Central Asia
Afghanistan, India, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
42,50078,000111,000
South Asia
Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
39,00078,00099,000
Oceania / Others40,00080,000111,000

Let’s say you wanted to fly one-way from New York to Tokyo on Japanese carrier ANA (a LifeMiles partner through Star Alliance, more on this in a bit), which is one of my favorite airlines.

Pending award availability, a ticket would cost you the following number of LifeMiles, plus taxes and fees:

  • >35,000 miles one-way in economy class
  • 75,000 miles one-way in business class
  • 90,000 miles one-way in first class

Now, keep in mind that while you’re earning 2x miles for every purchase on your Venture Card, the transfer ratio from Capital One to airline loyalty programs isn’t 1:1. In order to get 90,000 LifeMiles you’d need to transfer 120,000 Venture miles, which would otherwise ordinarily get you $1,200 worth of travel.

In this case, you could instead redeem those miles for a one-way ticket that would otherwise cost nearly $14,000 if paying cash.

To further unbundle that, you’d otherwise have to redeem nearly 1.4 million Venture miles to book that ticket, so in this case transferring to a loyalty program is a much better value.

The new mileage transfer option gives you access to a LOT MORE than a dozen airlines

You might be saying to yourself “wait a minute, Capital One doesn’t let you transfer miles to ANA, how can you redeem for flights on them?”

This is where the beauty of these partnerships comes in.

Venture miles can now be transferred to about a dozen airline programs. That’s great in and of itself, but the reality is that you have access to way more airlines than that.

Why? Because airline loyalty programs in many cases have multiple airline partners as well. Just because you transfer miles to an airline loyalty program doesn’t mean you actually have to fly with that airline:

  • Venture miles can be transferred to Air Canada Aeroplan, and you can redeem Aeroplan miles for travel on any of the over two dozen Star Alliance airlines (including United Airlines)
  • Venture miles can be transferred to Air France-KLM Flying Blue and you can redeem Flying Blue miles for travel on any of the nearly two dozen SkyTeam airlines (including Delta Air Lines)
  • Venture miles can be transferred to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, and you can redeem Asia Miles for travel on any of the over dozen oneworld airlines (including American Airlines)

So these miles give you access to all of the “big three” alliances, and then there are many more airline partners on top of that.

For example, Etihad Guest partners with several airlines that don’t otherwise belong to one of the major alliances, like Philippine Airlines, Virgin Australia, and more.

The amount of flexibility you’re getting with your miles here is huge.

You shouldn’t always transfer miles to airlines, though

While the ability to convert Venture miles into airline miles is exciting, there are still going to be plenty of circumstances under which you get a better deal using the old redemption method.

In many cases airfare nowadays is as cheap as it has ever been, and in those cases you’re generally better off using the Purchase Eraser feature.

For example, it’s pretty common to see cheap roundtrip economy tickets from the US to Asia or Europe. Take the below flight from Los Angeles to Beijing, which costs $458.

You could purchase that ticket and then redeem ~46,000 Venture miles for a statement credit using Purchase Eraser.

Meanwhile most airlines would charge 60,000-70,000 miles plus taxes and fees for a roundtrip economy ticket.

If you were to convert Venture miles into airline miles, you’d be doing so at an up to 2:1.5 ratio, so you’d need to transfer over at least 80,000-93,000 Venture miles.

The other benefit of redeeming Venture miles towards the cost of a ticket is that you’d still be earning miles for those flights through the airline loyalty program, which you don’t get when redeeming traditional airline miles for award tickets. This can be great if you’re going for elite status, since you’d earn elite qualifying miles, and would potentially be eligible for upgrades, and other elite benefits.

It can also make more sense to redeem Venture miles using Purchase Eraser for domestic flights. With the number of ultra low cost carriers we have nowadays domestic airfare can be less expensive than the corresponding number of miles required through an airline award chart. In those cases you’re better off redeeming Venture miles using the Purchase Eraser, rather than converting them into airline miles.

Other things to be aware of if converting Capital One miles into airline miles

The Purchase Eraser feature makes using Venture miles so straightforward, and that simplicity has been a large part of the appeal of the rewards program for years. If you’re a cardmember who is used to that, the number of hoops you have to jump through to redeem airline miles might come as a surprise.

If you are going to convert Venture miles into airline miles, I’d generally recommend going through the following process:

  • Study the loyalty program transfer options that Capital One is now offering
  • Look at their respective award charts to understand how many miles are required
  • Find out what partners these loyalty programs have beyond their “home” carrier, so you know which airlines you can redeem on
  • Try to search availability for yourself to get a sense of how many award seats there are; sometimes this can be done directly on the loyalty program’s website, while in other instances you have to call
  • Once you’ve verified there’s availability and have verified the price (both in terms of miles and cash), transfer your Venture miles to the loyalty program
  • Airline award availability is heavily capacity controlled and subject to change, so you’ll want to book as quickly after finding the award availability as possible

Miles transfers are just one of several great benefits Capital One has added to the Venture Card lately

In addition to offering a solid return on your credit card spend, the Venture Card has introduced several new features recently.

Most notably, in the past year we’ve seen the Venture Card add two key benefits:

  • A statement credit for either Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check once every four years, worth up to $100; I recommend applying for Global Entry, which includes TSA Pre-Check, so you can enjoy both expedited immigration and security
  • Through January 2020, the ability to earn 10x miles on hotels when booking through hotels.com/venture

Many cards offer a Global Entry benefit these days, but the hotels.com partnership is unique. Given that hotels.com also has a loyalty program where for every 10 nights you book you earn one free night at the average rate of your 10 paid nights, this is a great way to “double dip” and earn excellent rewards for your hotel stays without actually having to be loyal to one hotel brand.

Combined with the mileage transfer benefit, I appreciate that Venture is taking a fresh approach to the card and the rewards offered, while keeping the core benefits that have made the card popular historically.

The Capital One Venture Card is now incredibly flexible

When it comes to credit card rewards, often you have to choose whether you want points that can be redeemed towards the cost of any travel purchase, or points that can be converted into airline miles.

This new mileage transfer perk makes the Capital One Venture such a well-rounded card. Remember that you’re earning 2x miles on all purchases (or 10x miles through hotels.com/venture), so the rewards will add up quickly. That means for every dollar you spend on the card you have the choice of whether you want to redeem miles for two cents each towards the cost of a travel purchase, or whether you want up to 1.5 airline miles that can get you all kinds of great trips.

So while the Venture Card has long been a favorite among consumers, this ushers in a new era of flexibility for this card that I’m very excited about.

The redemption rates and travel rewards programs described above are current as of November 2018 and may change. It’s always best to review the most current information directly on the loyalty program’s site.

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. Dear robot who replaced ben, how long do miles take to transfer? Are they instant? That’s key, don’t you think?

  2. @stvr this is brand new how does anyone know?

    the 10X only applies to Pay Now so a bit of risk. also need to check price is the same on regular portal.

  3. @ stvr @ ktc — Capital One has said “customers should expect industry standard transfer times”, and that some transfers will be same-day (if not instant), with other programs taking a few days (under 5 days though, so we’re not talking Marriott-standard transfer times). Obviously too early to test, but we’ll update when we know more.

  4. So, to get a round trip on ANA in J between NYC and TYO would cost you 240,000 Venture miles.

    Or, for 240,000 Ultimate Reward points you could get two round trips NYC-TYO on ANA in F via Virgin Atlantic.

    How exactly is the Venture transfer scheme a good deal again?

    This blog is great for talking about new routes or product reviews, why does it have to be so disingenuous when it comes to credit cards?

  5. @ PeteyNice — A round trip in J through LifeMiles would be 150k, so ~200k CapOne, not 240k. F would be ~253k. Either way, it’s a tremendous deal compared to the previous option of 1.4 million Capital One miles for that flight.

    In general I don’t think it makes sense to discount a program by comparing it to a super-duper sweet-spot award in another program. Keep in mind that when redeeming through LifeMiles, you can add connections to North Asia on other Star Alliance partners on both ends of your journey (or Central/South Asia for just 3k additional miles), can book one-way awards, and aren’t paying fuel surcharges — none of which are possible on the VS ANA awards. So the more direct comparison, award to award, would be transferring Ultimate Rewards to United. There you’re paying 160k to Japan/North Asia, or 180k to South Asia for the round-trip in business class using Star alliance carriers.

    At first glance that’s certainly fewer miles than you’d spend with Capital One, but you’re also earning 2x on all purchases with the Venture and Spark Miles, with no caps. Depending on spending patterns (particularly for those with lots of unbonused/everyday spend), the award redemption cost per dollar spent is actually better with LifeMiles through Capital One than United through Ultimate Rewards.

    Everyone has different circumstances and travel goals, and it’s hardly disingenuous to note that a given option exists or might make sense for some.

  6. Tiffany, but with no AF Chase Freedom Unlimited (combined with a CSP), the rate is 1.5 miles per $ for non-bonus spend, same as Venture. The plus for Capital One cards though is that there is no foreign transaction fee.

  7. @ Mishas — Yep, so you have here an option to get 2x points (or up to 1.5 airline miles) on all spending, with no caps or forex fees, on a single card. There are definitely people who will appreciate the simplicity of that approach.

  8. Interested to know Cap1’s policies on transferring miles into the frequent flyer account of another person (AU or otherwise), and also if you can combine miles with another Cap1 cardholder (a la chase)

  9. I had the venture card a while ago. How likely is it I would be eligible for the bonus? Their terms and conditions are cagey about this:
    “You will earn 75,000 bonus miles if you spend at least $5,000 within 3 months of your rewards membership enrollment date. Once you qualify for this bonus, we will apply it to your rewards balance within two billing cycles. Existing or previous Accountholders may not be eligible for this one-time bonus.”
    And if I get approved, would I know if I was approved for the bonus?

  10. What bothers me with this is the transfer ratio. So even if the 2x on everything is “simple”, you lose a lot of value when transferring. So why would I choose this option instead of going with a card with much better faster point earning (x3,4,5 on various categories) and 1:1 ratio. There are even occasional offers for a 1:1.3 transfer ratio to the same FF programs as Capital one. I get the sponsorship but I feel you are pushing too much for something that is just an average option compared to what we already have.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *