Learn the best ways to earn and redeem your Capital One miles to get the most out of the rewards program.
If you are on the hunt for a straightforward but rewarding travel credit card, Capital One has a few great options. Whether you are looking for a business card or personal card, you can earn flexible Capital One miles on your everyday purchases.
What are Capital One rewards?
The Capital One rewards program is well known for its ease of use, making cards such as the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card a favorite of frequent travelers. Across all Capital One rewards cards, cardholders have no limits to the number of miles they can earn. The redemption options are also very flexible, including statement credits and Amazon and travel purchases.
Capital One also has a list of more than 15 travel partners to which cardholders can transfer their miles.
Capital One rewards program overview
|Type of currency||Flexible miles|
|Average point value||1 cent|
|Credit cards||Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Spark Miles for Business, Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business*|
|Redemption options||Travel, statement credits, gift cards, PayPal, Amazon.com|
|Minimum required to redeem||Redeem any number of miles at any time|
|Do rewards expire?||No|
|Blackout dates/travel restrictions||None|
|Mile transfer options||15+ airline and hotel partners, certain Capital One rewards accounts|
|Is there a fee to transfer miles?||No|
How to earn Capital One miles
Every Capital One rewards card has its own unique rewards rate and earning scheme, but there are a few strategies to help you earn more. To make the most of your Capital One rewards card, here are a few tips for racking up miles and getting one step closer to your next vacation.
Best ways to earn Capital One rewards
Sign up for Capital One rewards cards to earn intro bonuses
All Capital One rewards cards offer competitive sign-up bonuses. No matter which card works best for your spending habits, the intro bonus can make a significant dent in the price of your next trip.
|Card||Sign-up bonus||Estimated value|
|Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card||75,000 miles if you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months||$750|
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||75,000 miles if you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months||$750|
|Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card||20,000 miles if you spend $500 in the first 3 months||$200|
|Capital One Spark Miles for Business||50,000 miles if you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months||$500|
|Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business||20,000 miles if you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months||$200|
Unfortunately, all of these sign-up bonuses are only available to new cardholders. Capital One also limits the number of cards you can have open with it. So if you already have two open credit cards with the issuer, you can’t apply for a new one.
Keep an eye out for referral bonus offers
By referring a friend to a Capital One rewards card, you could earn up to $500 per year. Just keep in mind that offers are targeted and might change by the cardholder.
Use your Capital One rewards card for most of your purchases
All the five Capital One rewards cards also offer great flat rewards rates for general purchases – between 1.25 and 2 miles per dollar on every purchase. While many rewards cards require you to weigh your spending toward bonus categories to get a similar overall rate, Capital One rewards you for every purchase you make.
To earn great rewards on spending you are already doing, put big charges (like mortgage or utility payments) on your Venture or Spark Miles cards. You’ll earn miles faster without increasing your monthly spending. Just be sure to pay off your balance each month to avoid accruing interest.
How to use Capital One miles
The Capital One rewards program is one of the most flexible around, allowing cardholders to redeem miles for travel purchases, cash back or Amazon purchases, among other redemption options. Whether you book through the Capital One Travel Center or an outside travel site, you get the same value for each reward mile.
One downside to redeeming Capital One miles is that you lose some value if you redeem your miles for Amazon purchases, statement credit or a check.
You also have the option to transfer your miles to over 15 travel partners, with a 1:1, 2:1.5 or 2:1 transfer rate depending on the partner. While the 2:1 and 2:1.5 rates seem like you are always losing value, some airline miles have a higher valuation, and you can occasionally get more per mile.
6 ways to use Capital One rewards
Capital One rewards redemption options
|Redemption option||Miles value (cents)|
|Travel purchase in Capital One Travel Center||1|
|Outside travel purchases||1|
|Gift card||0.8 to 1|
|Shop with points on Amazon.com||0.8|
1. Booking travel through Capital One Travel
When you use your miles to book travel through Capital One Travel, you can choose to redeem for any portion of the purchase. That means you can book this way no matter how many miles you have and cover the rest of the cost with cash. There’s also no minimum requirement, and you can redeem as little as one mile.
2. Redeeming for previous travel purchases
Perhaps the best feature of Capital One rewards is the ability to use miles for any previous travel purchases (redeemed as a statement credit). You get the same value for your rewards as if you’d booked through Capital One Travel, with the added flexibility of choosing any airline or hotel you can find. That way, you can go hunting for travel deals and still take advantage of your miles, as long as you redeem within 90 days of the purchase date.
To use this feature, first book your hotel stay, flight or cruise with your Capital One rewards card. When you log in to your Capital One account and click “redeem rewards,” you’ll be able to select “redeem a purchase” and view all eligible travel charges in the last 90 days. Simply choose the amount of the charge you want to use miles for, and it will be awarded to your account as a statement credit.
3. Using miles for cash back
Redeeming your rewards miles for cash back, whether as a check or statement credit, is usually not the best choice for Capital One rewards cardholders. Both of these options only get you 0.5 cents per mile – half the standard value.
4. Using miles to buy gift cards
If you still want to redeem your Capital One rewards for something other than travel, you can also choose to use your miles to purchase gift cards. With this option, you can often get the full point value of 1 cent per mile. However, that value is subject to change. Using your miles for travel purchases still offers the best consistent value.
5. Using miles to shop on Amazon
Capital One gives cardholders the option to redeem their miles for purchases made on Amazon.com. Unfortunately, this redemption option doesn’t get quite as high a value out of your miles as if you used them for travel. When you use your miles on Amazon, you’ll only get about 0.8 cents per mile.
6. Transferring points to a Capital One travel partner
When you transfer your miles to a partner rewards program, you’ll either get 1 partner mile for every 1 Capital One mile, 1.5 partner miles for every 2 Capital One miles or 1 mile for every 2 Capital One miles. That means you’re losing value by transferring, in some cases.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what your miles are worth with each Capital One transfer partner.
|Partner||Transfer ratio||Miles value(cents)||Value of 2 miles transferred(cents)|
|Aeroplan (Air Canada)||1:1||1.5||3|
|British Airways (Avios)||1:1||1.4||2.8|
|Flying Blue (Air France-KLM)||1:1||1.2||2.4|
|TAP Air Portugal||1:1||1.2||2.4|
|Accor Live Limitless||2:1||2||2|
To help understand how these values stack up, consider what you can get out of a Capital One intro offer. With the Capital One Spark Miles for Business card, your sign-up bonus is worth up to $500 in travel (when you spend $4,500 in the first three months). If you transfer all Capital One miles to Avianca, it could be worth $850. This can make a huge difference in how many flights you can afford on rewards alone.
Unfortunately, there are no major U.S. airlines on Capital One’s list of travel partners, so you might end up not transferring most of your miles if you travel mainly within the country. However, frequent flyers of Aeroplan (Air Canada), Air Portugal, Avianca, British Airways, Etihad, Flying Blue (Air France-KLM) and Singapore Airlines can get great value.
*All information about the Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer.