We take a deep dive into how upcoming transfer options with the Capital One Venture card compare to other point transfer cards.
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If you haven’t heard the news, Capital One has a special gift for its cardholders this holiday season: As of Dec. 10, 2018, Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card holders (as well as members of several other Capital One cards) can transfer their miles to a variety of airline partners. And, as a part of the official launch of its mile transfer option, Capital One has announced two additional (and valuable) partners: Emirates and Singapore Airlines.
The update is a definite plus for current Venture cardholders: In addition to the card’s already flexible redemption options, cardholders now have the option of transferring miles to 14 airline partners to maximize the value of their rewards. These new options most certainly boost the value of the card. In fact, The Points Guy recently increased its valuation of Venture card miles to 1.4 cents apiece.
However, if you are thinking of applying for the Capital One Venture card, you may be wondering how the new mile transfer options affect the value of the card and whether the Venture Card is your best option for transferring points.
Good transfer value
On the down side, the Venture card will not offer as a high a transfer ratio as some of its competitors. While AmEx, Citi and Chase allow you to transfer points at mostly a 1:1 ratio, Capital One’s airline partners will only bestow 1.5 miles for every 2 Venture miles transferred.
However, given that the Venture card offers a much higher earning rate on average than most of its competitors – 2 miles for every dollar spent – when we compare the ratio of miles transferred to dollars spent, the Venture card comes out ahead of most cards, save for the American Express® Gold Card (which has a very high $250 annual fee) and the Citi Premier℠ Card (which has a very short list of airline partners):
|Average Earning Rate||Transfer Ratio||Average Miles Transferred||Annual Fee|
|Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card||2 miles per dollar||2:1.5||1.5||$95, $0 first year|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||1.44 points per dollar||1:1||1.44||$450|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||1.22 points per dollar||1:1||1.22||$95|
|American Express® Gold Card||2.19 points per dollar||1:1 (most partners)||2.19||$250|
|Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express||2.08 points per dollar||3:1 (most partners)||0.69||$95, $0 first year|
|Citi Premier℠ Card||1.65 points per dollar||1:1 (most partners)||1.65||$95, $0 first year|
Limited list of transfer partners
Where Capital One falls short is in its breadth of airline partners. Unlike Chase, which partners with United and Southwest Airlines, or AmEx, which partners with Delta Airlines, Capital One doesn’t currently doesn’t include a major airline in the list.
If you are looking for a flexible points cards to fund worldwide travel, you may find the Venture’s transfer options constraining (although you can expand your options by browsing for award flights with each airline’s list of alliance partners). Also, if you’re a member of a major U.S. airline loyalty program looking to top off your balance on a regular basis, you’ll be out of luck with the Venture card.
Capital One transfer partners
|Aeroplan (Air Canada)||Star|
|Flying Blue (AirFrance, KLM)||SkyTeam|
Mile transfer isn’t the best option in most cases
Counterintuitively, it turns out that transferring miles with the Venture card is usually not your best bet, thanks to the Venture card’s already flexible redemption options. You can redeem miles as statement credits for any airfare that you purchase with the Venture card at a value of 1 cent per mile. Meanwhile, your miles lose 25 percent of their value when you transfer them.
Basically, it doesn’t make sense to transfer Venture card miles unless you’re trying to top off a balance in a loyalty program account, or you can find a sweet spot in an airline redemption chart that allows you to eek more than 2 cents of value out of every 2 miles that you transfer.
Our chart below shows our valuations for each of the Venture card’s transfer partners. As you can see, on average, transferring Venture card miles is going to result in a loss of value:
|Transfer Ratio||Miles Valuation (cents)||Value of 2 Miles Transferred (cents)|
|Aeroplan (Air Canada)||2:1.5||1.5||2.25|
|Flying Blue (AirFrance, KLM)||2:1.5||1.2||1.8|
However, it is possible to find redemption options among the Venture card’s partners that make up the loss of value in the transfer. In fact, Capital One has several especially valuable partners – Aeroplan, Avianca, Etihad and Singapore – with whom you can get more than 2 cents of value on average for each 2 miles that you transfer.
Is the Capital One Venture card the best point-transfer card?
In light of the Venture card’s lower transfer ratio and its currently limited list of airline partners, it wouldn’t be our top choice as a point-transfer card (that title probably goes to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve). Nonetheless, the card offers some highly appealing options for transferring Venture miles.
If you were already leaning toward the Venture card because of its high earning rate and simple, flexible redemption options, the new miles transfer option is a great added incentive to sign up.