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A traveler’s guide to Capital One miles

Bankrate logo Bankrate 6/27/2022 Jacqueline DeMarco
couple walking down the street in Amsterdam © Drazen_/Getty Images couple walking down the street in Amsterdam

If you’re looking for a prime example of how a credit card rewards program can offset travel costs and maximize value, look no further than Capital One miles. This rewards program is user-friendly and flexible and has numerous redemption options.

In this guide we'll take a closer look at what Capital One miles are, how you can earn and redeem them, which credit cards earn Capital One miles and everything else you should know about this rewards program.

Capital One miles basics

Capital One miles - also known as Capital One Rewards or Capital One Travel Rewards - is the rewards program for several Capital One credit cards. With this program, you'll earn miles on all qualifying purchases, which you can then redeem for travel or non-travel options. The number of miles you'll earn vary depending on the card you have, but several Capital One cards allow you to earn more miles for certain types of travel purchases.

Who is the Capital One miles program best for?

The Capital One miles rewards program is best for people who travel frequently and would rather earn and redeem flexible travel rewards instead of cash back.

How to earn Capital One miles

So many people don’t unlock the true potential of their travel rewards cards because the process can be confusing and overwhelming. Luckily, earning miles toward your next flight or hotel stay is easy with Capital One.

Earn with eligible credit card spending

To earn miles, simply use one of the Capital One credit cards that earn miles - the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Spark Miles for Business or Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business.

With these Capital One cards, there’s no limit on the number of miles you can earn. No matter which card you have, you'll earn miles on all purchases you make. With the more premium cards, you'll earn boosted miles on certain types of travel purchases - like 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

Earn with a credit card welcome bonus

All of the above-mentioned Capital One cards offer welcome bonuses for new cardholders, offering you the chance to earn thousands of extra miles as long as you meet certain spending requirements. For example, you can earn 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 within the first three months for both the Capital One Venture and Capital One Venture X. Or, you could earn 50,000 miles after spending $4,500 within the first three months with the Capital One Spark Miles for Business.

How to redeem Capital One miles

To redeem your Capital One miles, log in to your account via the website or Capital One mobile app. Then, go to the rewards page and choose which redemption option you're interested in. Here are all of the ways you can redeem your Capital One miles:

Redeem for travel purchases

The best way to redeem Capital One miles is for travel purchases, including transfers to Capital One travel partners. Through the Capital One travel portal, you can redeem your miles for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, vacation packages and more. Alternatively, you can redeem your miles to cover qualifying travel purchases made with your card within 90 days of purchase.

Redeem for transfers to travel partners

Capital One has more than 15 airline and hotel partners you can transfer your rewards to. Like travel, this is one of the best ways to redeem your rewards, since you'll usually get far more value out of your miles.

Redeem for gift cards

If you don't want to use your miles for travel, you can also redeem them for gift cards to popular merchants. Some merchants include Apple, Best Buy and Barnes & Noble.

Redeem for cash back

You can also choose to redeem your miles for cash through the “cash” section of the redemption portal. Cash back can be redeemed in the form of a statement credit, account credit or check. However, keep in mind that this is not the best way to use Capital One miles since you'll get far less value out of this redemption method.

Redeem for event tickets

Another option is to redeem your miles for tickets to more than 500,000 events - including sports, dining and music events - through Capital One Entertainment.

Redeem for PayPal or Amazon shopping


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If you want to redeem your miles for online shopping purchases, you have two options: PayPal or Amazon. With PayPal, you'll shop with a participating merchant and choose the option to checkout with PayPal. Then, you'll choose your linked Capital One card and pay with Capital One Rewards.

Shopping with Amazon follows a similar process. First, you'll link your eligible Capital One card to its Shop with Points program. Then, you'll shop on Amazon and choose the option to pay with Capital One Rewards.

How much are Capital One miles worth?

According to valuations from The Points Guy, Capital One miles are worth about 1.85 cents each. This valuation falls into the mid- to high-range for credit card rewards programs. Of course, how you choose to redeem your rewards ultimately determines the value of your rewards.

How do Capital One miles compare to other programs?

For comparison, here is how Capital One miles stack up against other major credit card rewards programs:

Credit card rewards programValue*
*Valuations provided from The Points Guy
Capital One Rewards1.85 cents
American Express Membership Rewards2 cents
Chase Ultimate Rewards2 cents
Citi ThankYou Points1.8 cents
Bank of America Premium Rewards1 cent
Discover Rewards1 cent

Capital One miles transfer partners

Transferring miles to Capital One transfer partners is easy. Once you're logged in to your account, go to the Capital One rewards page. Then, select the option to transfer rewards and choose which partner you'd like to transfer your miles to. Keep in mind that when you transfer your miles to a loyalty partner, transfers are irreversible.

Note that Capital One miles transfers can take up to five business days to process, but travelers on a time crunch are not out of luck. Several Capital One travel partners offer instant transfers, while others take 24 to 36 hours (rather than five business days).

Airline partners

Currently, you can transfer Capital One miles to more than 15 airline loyalty programs. However, note that Capital One transfer partners are subject to change. Also, with most Capital One partners, the minimum miles allowed per transfer is 1,000.

All of the following programs have a 1,000:1,000 transfer ratio - meaning that 1,000 Capital One miles will equal 1,000 airline loyalty points or miles - unless otherwise noted:

  • Accor Live Limitless (1,000:500)
  • Aeromexico
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • Air Canada (Aeroplan)
  • Asia Miles
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • British Airways
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Airways
  • EVA Air (1,000:750)
  • Finnair
  • Qantas
  • Singapore Airlines
  • TAP Air Portugal
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Virgin Red

Hotel partners

Capital One has one hotel transfer partner, Choice Privileges. Choice Partners has 12 hotel brands - including Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, MainStay Suites and the Ascend Hotel Collection - and more than 7,000 hotel locations worldwide. For this partner, Capital One rewards will transfer at a rate of 1,000:1,000.

Top credit cards that earn Capital One miles

There are a number of Capital one credit cards that earn miles, all with varying rewards structures, welcome bonuses, benefits and more. The top Capital One credit cards for earning miles include:

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card offers a fair amount of value for a no-annual-fee travel card. It offers a welcome bonus of 20,000 miles (worth $200) if you spend $500 within the first three months, which is very attainable. For rewards, you'll earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 1.25X miles on all other purchases.

Notable travel perks include 24/7 travel assistance services, no foreign transaction fees, an auto rental collision damage waiver, travel accident insurance and access to the Capital One Lounge.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Another top Capital One card for earning miles is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. Travelers looking to earn miles can enjoy 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2X miles on all other purchases. Plus, new cardholders can earn 75,000 bonus miles (worth $750 in travel) after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening.

This card comes with a $95 annual fee, but the cost of card membership can be easily recouped if you take advantage of the up to $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. Some other travel benefits include two free Capital One Lounge visits per year, no foreign transaction fees, 24/7 travel assistance services, an auto rental collision damage waiver and travel accident insurance.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

If you're interested in a lower-cost luxury travel card, consider the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. This card has a $395 annual fee, which is much lower than The Platinum Card(R) from American Express's $695 annual fee or the Chase Sapphire Reserve(R)'s $550 annual fee. As for rewards, the Capital One Venture X earns 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel and 2X miles on all other purchases. New cardholders can also earn 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 with the first three months of card membership.

Notable travel benefits include up to a $300 annual travel credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, up to a $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary (worth $100 in travel), no foreign transaction fees and unlimited access to Capital One Lounges and more than 1,400 partner lounges.

Capital One Spark Miles for Business

For business owners looking to earn travel rewards, the Capital One Spark Miles for Business is a great card to consider. This card comes with a $95 annual fee, but that fee is waived for the first year. To start with, you can earn 50,000 miles after spending $4,500 within the first three months of account opening. You'll also earn 2X miles on all purchases.

Some notable travel benefits include up to a $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, two free visits to the Capital One Lounge per year and no foreign transaction fees. As for business benefits, you'll get perks like streamlined purchase records, free employee cards, customized spending limits for employee cards, itemized annual spending reports and more.

Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business

Capital One also has a no-annual-fee business card that earns miles, the Capital One(R) Spark(R) Miles Select for Business. With this card you'll earn 1.5X miles on all purchases, along with the chance to earn 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 within the first three months of card membership. You'll also get a 0 percent intro APR on purchases for nine months, followed by a variable APR of 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent.

Like the Capital One Spark Miles, you'll get free employee cards, customized spending limits for employee cards, streamlined purchase records and itemized annual spending reports. This card also comes with no foreign transaction fees, auto rental collision coverage and roadside assistance.

FAQs about Capital One miles

    • Do Capital One miles expire?
    • Can you share miles with friends and family members?
    • How many Capital One miles do you need for a flight?

The bottom line

The Capital One miles program is user-friendly, flexible and easy to understand. You can earn miles quickly on eligible purchases made with a Capital One travel card of your choice. Plus, there are no special categories you'll need to remember for earning rewards and there’s no cap on the number of rewards you can earn. As for redeeming miles, the sky’s the limit - your next flight, hotel stay or vacation could be covered just by using your Capital One travel card.

The information about the Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

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