Find out how to get the most of your Capital One rewards cards. Plus, check out some of the limited sign-up bonus offers and extra ways to redeem miles through 2020.
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 or personal card, you can earn flexible 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, as well as Amazon and travel purchases.
Capital One also has a list of more than 10 travel partners that cardholders can transfer their miles to.
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 Spark Miles for Business, Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business*|
|Redemption options||Travel, statement credits, gift cards, Amazon purchases|
|Minimum required to redeem||Redeem any number of miles at any time|
|Do rewards expire?||No|
|Blackout dates/travel restrictions||None|
|Mile transfer options||10+ 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.
|Sign-up bonus||Estimated value|
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||100,000 miles if you spend $20,000 in your first 12 months or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months||Up to $1,000|
|Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card||20,000 miles if you spend $500 in first 3 months||$200|
|Capital One Spark Miles for Business||50,000 miles if you spend $4,500 in first 3 months||$500|
|Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business||20,000 miles if you spend $3,000 in 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 them. So if you already have two open credit cards with the bank, 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 potentially earn up to 50,000 miles 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 purchasesAll four Capital One rewards cards 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, make any 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 rewards is that you lose value if you redeem your miles for Amazon purchases or cash back, whether as a statement credit or check.
You also have the option to transfer your miles to over 10 travel partners, with a 2:1.5 transfer rate for most partners. This might seem like you are always losing value, but since some airline miles have a higher valuation, you can occasionally get more for your 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 – 1|
|Shop with points on Amazon.com||0.8|
1. Booking travel through the Capital One Travel Center
When you use your miles to book travel through the Capital One Travel Center, 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. You also aren’t required to meet any minimum requirements and 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 the Travel Center, 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.
To use this feature, first book your hotel stay, flight or cruise with your Capital One rewards card. When you log into 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 select 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 not usually the best choice for Capital One rewards cardholders. Both of these options only get you 0.5 cents per mile – half of the normal 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 buy gift cards. With this option, you can often get a 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 recently rolled out the option for cardholders 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 worth of value.
6. Transferring points to a Capital One travel partner
When you transfer your miles to a partner rewards program, two of your Capital One miles only get you 1.5 partner miles (2:1 rate for Emirates and Singapore Airlines). For the most part, you will be losing value by choosing this option. However, there are a few cases when transferring can actually get you more for your mile, since some airline rewards points are worth a bit more.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what your miles are worth with each transfer partner.
|Partner||Transfer ratio||Miles value (cents)||Value of 2 miles transferred (cents)|
|Aeroplan (Air Canada)||2:1.5||1.5||2.25|
|Flying Blue (Air France, KLM)||2:1.5||1.2||1.8|
|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 your miles to Avianca, it could be worth around $638. This can make a difference in how many flights you can afford on rewards alone.
Since there are no major airlines on Capital One’s list of travel partners, you probably won’t end up transferring most of your miles. But frequent flyers of Singapore Airlines, Aeroplan (Air Canada), Etihad and Avianca can get great value.
Other things to know about Capital One Rewards
- What are Capital One miles worth?
- Which cards earn Capital One miles?
- Capital One rewards transfer partners
- Booking a trip through Capital One Travel
- Using CreditWise to keep track of your credit score
*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.