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Capital One Miles is a popular scheme, due in part to the availability of excellent low-cost, high earning Capital One credit cards. But, how best to use Capital One Venture Miles? There are several ways to spend them, and this article looks at the best value options. As you will see, you can often do better than just convert the miles to cash!
Capital One Venture Miles
Points (known in the program as Miles) can be earned from a number of Capital One cards. The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is one of favorites (see our comparison article). It offers a 50,000 mile sign up bonus after $3,000 spend in the first three months, and two miles per dollar on all spend, with an annual fee of $95 (waived in the first year). The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card offers a lower bonus and earning rates but with no annual fee.
There are five main ways to redeem Capital One Venture Miles once you have earned them:
- Convert miles to cash
- Get a rebate on any previous travel purchase
- Redeem miles for gift cards
- Book new travel through Capital One
- Transfer as miles to a partner airline
Converting miles to cash
Converting Venture miles to cash is simple – but is the lowest value option and should be avoided! Miles are converted to cash (as a rebate or statement credit) at a rate of 0.5 cents per mile.
Using miles for a travel rebate
You can straight away get double the value – one cent per miles- by using miles to ‘Erase’ any previous travel purchase made with the Capital One card. This can be used to offset any travel related purchase (not just flights and hotels, but car hire, taxis, Uber bookings and more) made within the last 90 days. Selection is simple with an online system to choose the transaction you want to remove from your statement.
Redeem miles for gift cards
The same value, one cent per mile, can be obtained by using miles to purchase a variety of gift cards. This is useful if you really have no travel purchases. Gift cards can often be obtained for a lower price elsewhere though, so do not represent as good value.
As of early 2019 the price of many of these increased. Some are now 1,250 miles for a $10 card, which is even lower value! Check carefully if you buy gift cards, as these may change again.
Use miles for a new travel purchase
Travel booked through the Capital One travel portal can be paid for using miles – again at a fixed rate of one cent per mile. This works much like any other travel booking portal, offering a wide range of flights, hotels and car hire.
In our opinion, it is better though just to book direct or through your preferred online booking website and then apply to offset the transaction. The value is the same, and you may even get additional rewards by booking through another site!
Transferring miles to a partner airlines scheme
Transferring Venture Rewards miles to miles in an airline loyalty scheme is the only way to get value greater than the fixed one cent per mile. This is a new option that Capital One introduced in 2018 (much later than other programs such as Chase Ultimate Rewards).
Miles can currently be transferred to 14 partner airline mileage programs.
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Air France / KLM Flying Blue
- Alitalia MileMiglia
- Avianca LifeMiles
- Emirates Skywards
- Finnair Plus
- Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Etihad Guest
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
- Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club
- Qantas Club
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club
This is a solid set of partners, including some normally hard to access carriers like Singapore and Emirates. And of course, each of these has multiple partners for redemption too.
The lack of a major US based airline included as a transfer partner may be a limitation for some people. However, this can be overcome to a certain extent as they are included as partners of other airlines for awards.
Most of these partners offer mileage transfer at a rate of 2:1.5 (so 10,000 Venture Reward miles would become 7,500 airline miles). Miles to Emirates Skywards and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer transfer at a rate of 2:1.
Transfers are simple from within your Capital One Venture Rewards account. The minimum transfer for any partner is 1,000 miles, but above that miles can be in increments of 100 – useful to be able to transfer just what you need!
Airline transfers – best value options
Just transferring to an airline scheme does not guarantee better value! You need to be sure that you know what award you want, it is available and will offer an acceptable value for you. Check this out before you transfer miles – as transfers cannot be reversed or changed once made.
Remember too that miles are transferring at a rate of 2:1.5 or 2:1. Those that also use the Chase Ultimate Rewards program will be used to the better rate of 1:1.
Transferring miles opens up all the possibilities of redemption with each of the 14 partner airlines. For more ideas on the value you can get here, take a look at some of our airline loyalty guides.
Here are some of our favorite options available:
Redeem for luxury travel with Singapore Airline
KrisFlyer is one of the most popular loyalty schemes among frequent flyers. It allows access to some of most luxurious seats in the sky – Singapore Airlines First Class Suites. This will likely be very good value compared to the cash rate, if you can find availability! First class rates between New York and Singapore, for example, start at 132,000 miles one way.
Get good value in Asia with Cathay Pacific and Asia Miles
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles opens up travel on another excellent Asian airline, as well as several partners. Awards here are well priced, and also have the benefit of allowing a free stopover (with Cathay Pacific and some partners).
There are some good value options here – for example you can fly from Denpasar (Bali) to Hong Kong, enjoy a stopover, then take another flight to Taiwan or Southern China for only 10,000 miles in economy.
Redeem for short haul flights in the US
One of the problems with the Venture Rewards partners is the lack of a major US based airline partner. One way around this is to book through other airlines which allow booking of US airlines as partners. One of the best value options is booking American Airlines awards via Qantas. Short haul flights within the US start at just 8,000 Qantas miles each way in economy, and to/from Hawaii they start at 22,500 miles.
This can be especially good value for peak season, last minute flights. If award tickets are available they can be very good value compared to the high cash rates at those times.
Fixed value redemptions for previous or future travel purchases are very simple with Capital One Venture Rewards, and everyone should be able to use them this way. Our favorite option is the very flexible ‘Erase’ for a previous purchase, so you can always rely on getting one cent per mile. Used this way, Venture Rewards is one of the simplest programs around – good, fixed earning rates and easy redemption!
To get any better value from miles they must be transferred to a partner airline program. This is more complex as you need to work out how to redeem and the best airline for what you want, but if done right there is much more value here. It is a shame that the transfer rates are worse than 1:1, and you need to be careful here when comparing value, but there are still some great redemption options.
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