Best Ways to Earn Capital One Miles

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The miles-earning Capital One credit cards are among the most popular general travel rewards cards out there.

Capital One has two top-rated business and personal credit cards that earn miles. You can use these miles to book travel directly, use like cash back for statement credits, or transfer to partner airlines to get an even better value.

Here’s how to start earning Capital One miles to work toward your next free trip.

What Are Capital One Miles?

Capital One miles are a type of credit card rewards points earned with a Capital One travel credit card. Capital One has four participating credit cards that earn miles including personal and business credit cards.

Capital One miles aren’t like airline miles; like other credit card reward miles, they work like cash back that can be used toward travel. However, you can now transfer Capital One miles to 15 airline partners to get actual airline miles that can be used to directly book an award flight.

Why Are Capital One Miles So Valuable?

What makes the Capital One travel rewards cards so worthwhile? Why should you bother trying to earn Capital One miles? The Capital One miles program has a lot going for it with miles that are easy to earn with top-rated credit cards and very flexible redemption options. Whether you use the miles like cash back or transfer them into a partner airline to book directly, you’ll find Capital One miles very valuable.

Easy to Earn

Capital One miles are very easy to earn with an eligible Capital One travel credit card. You don’t need to worry about signing up for changing bonus categories or meeting spending limits: all spending on your credit card will earn miles. You even have a choice between four cards: two personal Capital One travel cards and two business Capital One travel cards, each with an annual fee and no-annual-fee version.

With that said, it isn’t as easy to earn Capital One miles as other rewards points like Chase Ultimate Rewards points. That’s because Capital One has no online shopping portal, dining program, or rotating bonus categories. Of course, if you value a program that’s straightforward and easy to use, you may find Capital One perfect.

Flexible Redemption Options

Capital One miles have become so valuable, in part, because they come with flexible redemption options. While most redemption options are centered around travel, of course, you aren’t limited to using miles for travel.

Want to know how to redeem Capital One Venture miles or miles you earn with a different Capital One travel credit card? As you earn miles with a Capital One travel card, you can redeem them in a number of ways. One option is the Capital One Purchase Eraser which allows you to redeem Capital One miles as a statement credit toward travel expenses. Miles can be credited to purchases from airlines, car rental agencies, hotels, and more within the last 90 days.

Miles can also be used to book new travel reservations with the Capital One Rewards Center. This works like a typical online travel booking site to book hotel stays, car rentals, and flights with your miles.

Capital One was once known for its lineup of great fixed-value rewards credit cards, but in 2018, it introduced the ability to earn and transfer miles on certain credit cards to airline partners. That makes Capital One miles more valuable than ever.

Capital One transfer partners include:

  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue
  • Alitalia MilleMiglia
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Emirates Skywards*
  • Etihad Guest
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
  • Finnair Plus
  • Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club
  • JetBlue TrueBlue*
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer*

* All transfer partners have a 2:1.5 transfer ratio except these three airlines which have a 2:1 transfer ratio.

You can redeem Capital One miles in other ways such as redeeming them for gift cards, receiving a check in the mail, donating them to charity, or transferring them to friends.

What Are Capital One Miles Worth?

Before Capital One miles became transferrable with the introduction of Capital One Venture airline partners, they were worth a standard 1 cent each. This is still the value you will get with most redemption options. However, your miles may be worth less if you redeem them for statement credits for non-travel purchases.

When you transfer miles to Capital One transfer partners, you have the potential to get a better value, though. In addition to offering a solid lineup of transfer partners, there are often transfer bonuses like a 100% bonus when you transfer Capital One miles to Emirates Skywards.

Because most partners have a transfer ratio of 2 Capital One miles to 1.5 airline miles, you need to get a value of 1.34 to 2 cents per airline mile to make it worthwhile. This is definitely possible — you may get a value of 2.5 cents per Capital One mile or even more, especially with costly flights in business class over low-value economy flights.

How to Earn Capital One Miles

Ready to start earning Capital One miles? You’ll need one of four Capital One credit cards that earns miles. Here’s how to earn points on Capital One Venture and Capital One Spark Miles for Business cards to start earning free travel today.

Earn Capital One Miles With Personal Credit Cards

There are two personal Capital One travel credit cards that earn miles:

Capital One Venture ($95 Annual Fee, $0 First Year)

  • 2x miles on all purchases
  • 10x miles on hotels through hotels.com/venture

The Capital One Venture card is considered one of the best general travel rewards credit cards thanks to its generous and flat 2x miles back on all purchases. The card has a no-fuss rewards program and allows you to transfer miles to airline partners.

Capital One VentureOne (No Annual Fee)

  • 1.25x miles on all purchases
  • 10x miles on hotels through hotels.com/venture

This no-annual-fee version of the Venture card has a reduced reward rate of 1.25x miles on purchases, but your miles will be worth the same and can still be transferred to airline partners.

Earn Capital One Miles With Business Credit Cards

If you own a business, are self-employed, or even have a side hustle as an independent contractor, you can earn Capital One miles with one of two Capital One business travel cards.

Capital One Spark Miles for Business ($95 Annual Fee, $0 First Year)

  • 2x miles on all purchases
  • 5x miles on rental cars and hotels booked through Capital One Travel

The Capital One Spark Miles card is a straightforward business travel rewards card that earns a flat 2x miles on all spending, just like the Capital One Venture credit card. You’ll also earn extra miles when you book hotels and rental cars through Capital One Travel, although the Venture card offers a better return on hotels when you book through hotels.com.

Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business ($0 Annual Fee)

  • 1.5x miles on all purchases
  • 5x miles on rental cars and hotels booked through Capital One Travel

The Capital One Spark Miles Select card works like the Capital One Venture and VentureOne cards with an unlimited, flat number of miles earned on all spending. The interesting thing about the Spark Miles Select card is it earns more miles than the VentureOne card, although both have no annual fee.

Earn a Sign-up Bonus

Want to earn tons of Capital One miles in a hurry? You can typically get a sizeable Capital One welcome offer when you are first approved for a Capital One travel credit card and meet the spending threshold within 90 days.

There’s almost always a Capital One sign-up bonus, although these welcome offers change all the time. The Capital One travel cards with annual fees usually have larger welcome offers than the no-annual-fee cards, but this isn’t always true. Depending on the offer, you can get up to 200,000 Capital One miles when you sign up for a Capital One Venture or Capital One Spark Miles card!

Spending on Credit Cards

Once you’ve chosen a participating Capital One credit card that earns miles, all spending with your card will earn miles. Everything from your morning coffee, utility payments, and fill-ups at the gas station to travel will earn miles, although you may earn miles for spending in bonus categories if you have a Capital One Spark Miles card.

Want to know how to earn points on Capital One Venture and VentureOne cards? All spending earns miles at the same flat rate with no need to worry about bonus categories.

Earn Extra Points with Bonus Spending Categories

All four Capital One miles credit cards earn a flat rate of miles on all spending, although all have at least one bonus category or promotional portal. With spending in bonus categories, you can earn up to 10x miles to pay for your next flight or vacation even faster. Here’s how to earn Capital One bonus miles.

Hotels

All four Capital One miles cards can earn extra miles on hotel bookings — but it depends on where you book. With the Capital One Spark Miles and Capital One Spark Miles Select cards, only hotel bookings made through Capital One Travel qualify for bonus points. With the Capital One Venture and Capital One VentureOne cards, you need to use the hotels.com promotional portal. We’ll go into more detail about that shortly.

  • Capital One Spark Miles
    • 5x miles on hotel bookings through Capital One Travel
  • Capital One Spark Miles Select
    • 5x miles on hotel bookings through Capital One Travel
  • Capital One Venture
    • 10x miles on hotel stays booked through hotels.com/venture
  • Capital One VentureOne
    • 10x miles on hotel stays booked through hotels.com/venture

Rental Cars

Only the Capital One Spark Miles business credit cards earn bonus miles when you book a rental car. Even then, you only earn bonus points for rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

Book Stays Through Hotels.com Promotional Portal

Want to know how to get more miles on Venture card? Book hotels through the hotels.com/venture portal. You must book a hotel through this link to earn 10x miles on your stay.

Both the Capital One Venture card and the Capital One VentureOne card are eligible for 10x miles.

Note: this offer is only available through January 31, 2020. You need to pay in full online at the time of booking otherwise you will not be eligible for bonus points. Your booking can’t include a flight, either, or be made with the Hotels.com app or over the phone.

Hotels.com has its own rewards program in which you earn a free night stay for every 10 nights you complete with a free night that’s worth the average of your paid stays. This rewards program stacks with the 10x miles from the Capital One Venture card.

When you combine the free night stay you can earn at Hotels.com with the 10x miles with the Venture cards, you’re essentially getting 20% back — or around 24% back when you factor in the value of Capital One miles when they’re transferred to airline partners.

Refer a Friend Bonuses

Capital One doesn’t have a large refer-a-friend program like some card issuers, but they do now offer refer-a-friend bonuses to all cardholders with the Capital One Venture or Capital One Ventureone cards.

By generating a referral link and sharing it with family and friends, you can earn a $100 referral bonus credited to your account every time someone uses your link and gets approved for the same card you have. You can earn up to 5 referral bonuses per year.

Add Authorized Users

By adding an authorized user to your Capital One account, you will begin earning Capital One miles on all of their purchases, including bonus points for travel and hotels. With the Capital One Venture card, you can add up to 5 authorized users with no fee.

Wrap Up

The Capital One miles program makes it easy to earn free travel, especially airfare, with a range of partner airlines and the ability to redeem miles directly against travel expenses as statement credits. If you want a straightforward travel rewards program, a miles-earning Capital One card like the Capital One Venture is a good choice with plenty of ways to earn miles.

FAQs

What are Capital One Miles?

Capital One miles are rewards points earned with Capital One travel credit cards like the Capital One Venture.

How do Capital One miles work?

Capital One miles can be redeemed as statement credits against travel expenses like airfare or car rentals, or they can be transferred to more than one dozen airline partners to book award flights.

How does Capital One cash-back work?

Capital One cards that earn cash back allow you to redeem your rewards balance for statement credits at any time.

Which is the best Capital One credit card?

The best Capital One credit card depends on your spending habits. If you travel frequently, the Capital One Venture may be the best bet with generous rewards and free Global Entry. The Capital One Quicksilver is a good choice if you prefer cash back and aren’t interested in travel rewards.

How much are Capital One miles worth?

When you use Capital One miles for statement credits against travel expenses, they are worth 1 cent each. You can potentially get a better value by transferring the miles to a partner airline program.

Can you transfer Capital One miles to airlines? Which airlines?

Yes, you can now transfer Capital One miles to 15 airline partners including JetBlue, Emirates, Etihad, Quantas, and Air France-KLM Flying Blue.

How many Capital One points do you need for a flight?

You need 1 mile per cent if you use the Purchase Eraser feature to get a statement credit for a flight. That means a $300 flight requires 30,000 miles. If you transfer miles to partner airlines, the number you need for an award flight depends largely on where you are traveling, when you are flying, the transfer ratio, and the partner airline’s award flight costs.

When do Capital One Miles post in your account?

Capital One miles post to your account very quickly, typically as soon as the transaction is posted to your account.

Do Capital One Miles expire?

As long as your Capital One account is open and in good standing, your miles will not expire.

Can I transfer my Capital One Miles to family or friends?

You can share Capital One Venture and Capital One Sparks Miles with anyone. Transfers aren’t restricted to family or household members, and there are no fees to transfer miles. You can’t transfer between miles-earning and cash-back credit cards, however. To share points, choose “Reward Miles” under your balance and “Share Your Rewards.”

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