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Your ultimate guide to Capital One’s 17 airline and hotel transfer partners

Oct. 07, 2021
22 min read
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.


As the travel rewards credit card space has become very competitive, card issuers have tried to differentiate themselves and attract customers. For some issuers, that’s meant launching entirely new credit cards or revamping existing ones. But, Capital One undertook what is possibly the best possible improvement in 2018 when it decided to add transfer partners to its Venture and Spark card families.

Capital One added several transfer partners in early 2020. Then in 2021, they announced the addition of several more transfer partners and a new 1:1 transfer ratio for select partners. Now in October, it has expanded its roster of 1:1 transfer partners so now almost all partners transfer at this ratio. In other words -- the program has come a long way in a short amount of time.

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Currently, Capital One fields many airline and hotel transfer partners, though it lost an airline partner (JetBlue) this month. Today we'll walk through each of your transfer options — the good, the bad and the genuinely aspirational — and help you figure out which ones to use on your next trip.

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How to earn Capital One miles

First, let’s look at a quick rundown of the cards that earn Capital One miles. Capital One made its name offering fixed value/cash-back cards. However, there are now four cards that let you earn transferable miles. Here’s a closer look at each of these Capital One cards:

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
  • Current bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
  • Benefits: 2x miles on everyday purchases; Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit (up to $100) once every four years
  • Annual fee: $95

For more information, see our review of the Capital One Venture card.

Related: Why the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card has a front spot in our wallets

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

(Photo by Eric Heglas/The Points Guy)
  • Current bonus: 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • Benefits: 1.25x miles on everyday purchases
  • Annual fee: $0

For more information, see our review of the Capital One VentureOne Card.

Related: Capital One Venture Card vs. Capital One VentureOne Card: Which one is right for you?

Capital One Spark Miles for Business

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
  • Current bonus: 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • Benefits: 2x miles on all purchases; Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit (up to $100) once every four years
  • Annual fee: $0 intro annual fee the first year, then $95

For more information, see our review of the Capital One Spark Miles for Business Card.

Related: Credit card showdown: Capital One Spark Cash for Business vs Spark Miles for Business

Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
  • Current bonus: 20,000 miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • Benefits: 1.5x miles on all purchases
  • Annual fee: $0

For more information, see our review of the Capital One Spark Miles Select card.

The information for the Capital One Spark Miles Select has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: How to complete a Capital One business credit card application

Capital One transfer partner overview

Before look at each program, let’s start with a quick summary of Capital One’s different transfer partners, as well as the transfer ratios and estimated transfer times.

Transfer partnerTransfer ratioTransfer time
Aeromexico Club Premier1:1Instant
Air Canada Aeroplan1:1Instant
Air France-KLM Flying Blue1:1Instant
ALL Accor Live Limitless2:1One business day
Avianca LifeMiles1:1Instant
British Airways Executive Club1:1Instant
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles1:1Five business days
Choice Privileges1:1Untested, transfers won’t be available until later this year
Emirates Skywards1:1Instant
Etihad Guest1:124-hour turnaround
EVA Infinity MileageLands2:1.536-hour turnaround
Finnair Plus1:1Instant
Qantas Frequent Flyer1:124-hour turnaround
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1:136-hour turnaround
TAP Portugal Miles&Go1:1Instant
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles1:1Instant
Wyndham Rewards1:1Instant

Make sure to pay close attention to the transfer ratios — there are still a handful of programs process transfers at less than 1:1. Also, the times listed above represent our personal experiences and should not be taken as hard-and-fast rules.

Keeping track of transfer partners can feel like waiting in airport security. Fast-track your way to smarter points transfers with the free TPG App!

Related: Tips and tricks to get maximum value from your Capital One miles

Best Capital One transfer partners

When Capital One first launched its transfer partner program, points and miles experts on the TPG team sat down to determine how much transferable Capital One miles are worth. We ultimately landed on a valuation of 1.4 cents per mile. But, with the addition of more 1:1 transfer partners and new partners, we’ve since boosted our valuation to 1.85 cents per mile.

This number takes into account the flexibility, the number of high-value transfer partners, unique transfer partners and more. But now, let’s take a closer look at some of the best Capital One transfer partners.

Air Canada Aeroplan

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Air Canada’s Aeroplan loyalty program saw significant changes in November 2020. However, most award travelers are relatively happy with the changes. For example, TPG’s Zach Griff wrote about Aeroplan’s most innovative and exciting changes. Meanwhile, TPG’s Emily McNutt discussed how Aeroplan’s Family Sharing prevents ‘gaming’ while letting families rack up rewards faster. Then, TPG’s Andrew Kunesh found significant value in Aeroplan’s award routing and stopover rules.

Air Canada’s own flights now have variable pricing. But, unlike fully dynamic programs, there are caps on award costs. The program also eliminated carrier surcharges meaning you can book any Star Alliance award ticket with relatively low taxes and fees.

Best of all, partner awards have a fixed price based on a chart. In particular, the partner award chart can provide excellent value on short-haul awards to Canada and international premium-cabin awards.

For example, flights of less than 500 miles within North America on partners cost just 6,000 points each way. And transcontinental business class flights operated by United are just 25,000 points each way. Plus, when traveling from the continental U.S. to Europe on one of Air Canada’s partners, you’ll typically pay 35,000 – 40,000 points for economy, 60,000 – 70,000 points for business and 90,000 – 100,000 points for first class. Plus, you can add a stopover to a one-way ticket for just 5,000 points.

Related: 19 things you need to know about redeeming with the new Aeroplan

Avianca LifeMiles

Avianca LifeMiles is known for two positive attributes: very cheap redemption rates on Star Alliance partner flights and not passing on fuel surcharges on partner awards.

For example, you can redeem just 87,000 LifeMiles for Lufthansa first class between Chicago and Munich with just $5.60 in taxes and fees. Even better, Lufthansa is now releasing first-class award availability to partners up to 30 days out.

(Screenshot courtesy of Avianca LifeMiles)

You might be able to drop that price even further thanks to a very generous pricing structure for mixed-cabin awards. If you’re flying in long-haul first class and connecting on to another destination, it’s almost a guarantee that your connection will be in a lower class of service.

Avianca refunds you the difference, meaning that adding a connection can make your flight cheaper. A one-way first-class award from the U.S. to Asia should cost 90,000 miles.

(Screenshot courtesy of Avianca LifeMiles)

But if you add a connection to Okinawa (OKA) in economy, your cost drops to only 83,200 miles.

(Screenshot courtesy of Avianca LifeMiles)

Avianca uses a confusing pricing scheme that doesn’t match its published award chart but often works out quite favorably in domestic travel on United. You can book plenty of short-haul routes for as few as 6,500 miles each way in economy.

(Screenshot courtesy of Avianca LifeMiles)

Most domestic economy trips cost 10,000 LifeMiles or less each way, which is slightly below the industry average.

Related: I woke up to LifeMiles changing its program, but don’t fret

British Airways Executive Club

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

There are many reasons why you should care about British Airways Avios. For example, you can get significant value when you book short- and medium-haul American Award flights through British Airways. And, it’s possible to maximize the British Airways distance-based award chart.

Plus, you can effectively get Iberia Plus Avios via the Combine My Avios feature as long as your accounts have been open for at least 90 days. From there, you can find plenty of high-value ways to redeem Iberia Avios, like off-peak business class flights to Madrid for just 34,000 Avios one-way.

Related: How to book award flights using British Airways Avios

Etihad Guest

Despite not being a member of any major alliances, Etihad Guest has a close partnership with American Airlines. This partnership lets you book flights on American Airlines at prices that roughly match what AA used to charge before its mega devaluation several years back. In other words, if you can find the elusive premium-cabin award space, you’re in for quite a deal.

Flying business class each way to Europe for just 50,000 miles or 62,500 miles to Australia is excellent. American is also the last of the U.S. airlines to offer a true international first-class cabin, available only on 777-300ER aircraft.

Related: The ultimate guide to Etihad partners

Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles

Business class on Turkish Airlines’ new Boeing 787-9 (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy).

Turkish Airways Miles&Smiles has plenty to love about it. The program still uses award charts and it provides the best domestic sweet spot award you’ll find: United flights from most U.S. states to Hawaii for just 7,500 miles one-way in economy.

Fuel surcharges can be problematic if you want to fly select Star Alliance carriers. But you won’t be charged fuel surcharges on United-operated flights, and fuel surcharges are reasonable on Turkish-operated flights. In turn, you can get good value when redeeming for Turkish-operated flights between the U.S. and Europe.

Related: Star Alliance business-class flights to Europe for 45,000 Turkish miles each way

Mid-tier Capital One transfer partners

Several Capital One’s transfer partners fall into what we'd call the mid-tier group. These programs can offer solid value in the right context, but it’s by no means a guarantee. Run the numbers for your own bookings before transferring your miles over to these programs.

Related: To transfer or not to transfer: What to do with Capital One miles

Air France-KLM Flying Blue

(Photo by hanohiki/Shutterstock)

Flying Blue, the joint loyalty program of Air France-KLM, was one of the first major frequent flyer programs outside of the U.S. to adopt dynamic award pricing. This makes it very difficult to talk about specific award pricing as prices fluctuate from daily. But, if you’re looking to redeem Flying Blue miles, you should focus on the program’s rotating monthly Promo Rewards.

Flying Blue temporarily suspended Promo Rewards due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now they are back, but there’s not anything currently on offer for U.S.-based travelers yet. However, you usually can find award flights to, from and within Europe at a fixed discount. Usually, this discount will be 25% or 50% off the miles needed for an award.

Flying Blue will also specify what classes of service are eligible for Promo Rewards. So, some cities might have discounted business-class awards while others will only have economy. Plus, there is one time you can use dynamic pricing in your favor: If you find cheap awards to a secondary European city during less busy times, the percentage discount will further drop your out-of-pocket cost.

Related: The easiest airline miles to get and why you want them

ALL Accor Live Limitless

Hotel chain Accor uses a fixed-value redemption scheme in its Accor Live Limitless program. So, transferring miles from Capital One will always represent a solid — though by no means aspirational — value. ALL allows you to redeem 2,000 points for 40 euros off a stay (~$48 based on current exchange rates).

Given the 2:1 transfer ratio, you’d need to transfer 4,000 Capital One miles to get $48 off your stay, as opposed to $40 if you redeemed your miles for recent travel purchases thanks to Capital One’s fixed-rate redemption option. While it’s only an $8 difference, this means you’re guaranteed to get a slightly better value by transferring your miles to Accor if you want to stay at an Accor property.

Related: You can now book these awesome Accor hotels with miles

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

A Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 landing in Hong Kong. (Photo by Vivek Prakash/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Because Asia Miles uses a distance-based award chart, this program can be expensive if you’re looking to fly Cathay Pacific to or from the U.S. You might decide that it’s worth it to pay up for Cathay Pacific first class, especially since Asia Miles tends to have access to more Cathay Pacific award space than partner programs. You’ll also find decent values when redeeming Asia Miles for shorter domestic flights operated by American Airlines and some Oneworld flights from the east coast to Europe.

Related: From round-the-world bookings to lower surcharges: The complete guide to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Emirates Skywards

Emirates Skywards can be a valuable program for those looking to fly in the Gulf carrier’s jealousy-inducing premium cabins. However, the award rates aren't especially cheap. Emirates also doesn't have many partner airlines you can book awards on, though there are some good deals for booking JetBlue Mint awards with Emirates miles. Once Capital One loses JetBlue as a transfer partner, Emirates will be the only transfer partner it has that you can book JetBlue awards with.

Related: Emirates first class awards now only available through some partners

Singapore KrisFlyer

(Photo by Zach Honig / The Points Guy)

Singapore KrisFlyer is a solid program that’s long been undercut by a paltry 2:1 transfer ratio.

However, this is no longer the case since transfers now process at a 1:1 ratio, which we are pretty excited about.

KrisFlyer awards have gotten more expensive over the years after several devaluations, but there still are some sweet spots. In particular, the only way to book premium cabin awards on Singapore Airlines is through KrisFlyer directly. You can also book premium domestic tickets on United Airlines-operated flights for just 23,000 miles each way, which is below the industry average, though you'll probably be better off booking these same awards with Turkish Airlines.

Related: Maximizing Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer partner awards

Qantas Frequent Flyer

Qantas airplanes in Melbourne. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Qantas is another program that uses a distance-based chart, which means long-haul flights from the U.S. to Australia are prohibitively expensive in most cases. Like KrisFlyer and Asia Miles, one advantage of booking directly with Qantas is that you might have access to some elusive premium-cabin award space that other programs can’t see.

One of the best uses of Qantas miles falls entirely outside the Oneworld alliance, with partner El Al. You can get a good value redeeming Qantas points for business-class awards between Newark (EWR) and Tel Aviv (TLV). Given the more favorable transfer ratio than to Emirates Skywards, Qantas can also be useful for booking Emirates awards.

Related: Why I wouldn’t get too excited about Qantas’ plan to restart flights in July

Wyndham Rewards

Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive (Photo by Jeff Greenberg/Getty Images)

TPG’s valuations only peg Wyndham Rewards points at 1.1 cents each. But, even with the now-improved 1:1 transfer ratio, it can still be challenging to come out ahead. After all, even if you redeem Capital One miles at a fixed rate, you’ll get at least one cent per mile.

Still, Wyndham has an extensive global portfolio. You may be able to find individual redemptions that make this transfer worth it, especially if you’re just short on the points you need for a specific award. In particular, several on the TPG staff are pretty excited about the ability to redeem Wyndham points for home rentals at a flat 15,000 points per bedroom, per night rate.

Related: 16 ways to earn Wyndham Rewards points for your next redemption

Least favorite Capital One transfer partners

Between expensive award charts, bad transfer ratios, hidden fees and programs that are just difficult to navigate, many of Capital One’s partners are unlikely to be your go-to options. While you may find a single redemption within these programs that constitutes a good value, you should generally avoid transferring to these partners.

Aeromexico Club Premier

(Photo by Alejandro Gonzalez M/Shutterstock)

Aeromexico Club Premier is an underrated program — but not if you’re transferring from Capital One. Club Premier prices its awards in “kilometers” instead of miles, so prices are inflated about 1.6x above normal. American Express Membership Rewards compensates for this by offering a 1:1.6 transfer ratio, making several awards, including round-the-world awards, quite attractively priced. But, you should stay away from Capital One’s 1:1 transfer ratio unless you know you’ll get excellent value from your redemption.

Related: What you need to know about Aeromexico’s dynamic award pricing

Choice Privileges

The Ridgeline Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, is bookable using Choice points. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

There’s a lot of value to be found in the Choice Privileges program. But, since award rates can shift every few months and you can only book awards within 100 days of your stay, it can be challenging to plan. Although it’s possible to find excellent value when redeeming Choice Privileges points in popular domestic destinations, this isn’t a given. Instead, you have to actively seek out high-value redemptions.

TPG’s valuations only peg the value of Choice points at 0.6 cents per point. So, even once the 1:1 transfer ratio becomes available later this year, it usually won’t make sense to transfer Capital One miles to Choice Privileges.

Related: Register for Choice Hotels Your Extras to earn gift cards and other perks on weekday stays

EVA Infinity MileageLands

Capital One already partners with two of the best Star Alliance loyalty programs — Avianca LifeMiles and Aeroplan — so there’s no reason to bother with EVA. EVA’s award chart is more expensive and the program is significantly harder to navigate.

Finnair Plus

A Finnair plane in Helsinki. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto/Getty Images)

Finnair’s sky-high award rates are reason enough to avoid the program, with a one-way economy award between New York-JFK and Helsinki (HEL) costing 45,000 miles. If you’re flying from the U.S. to Europe, you may have better luck with Oneworld award pricing by looking at Asia Miles or British Airways instead.

Related: Best ways to redeem Capital One miles on Oneworld airlines

TAP Portugal Miles&Go

TAP Portugal has award charts. But in practice, you’ll see dynamically priced TAP-operated award flights (although TAP-operated award prices are often lower than what’s listed on the award chart). When I looked at TAP’s partner award charts, only one sweet spot stood out: 50,000 miles to fly one-way from the U.S. to South America in business class.

However, you can often buy TAP miles for under one cent per mile during buy miles sales. So, even if you want to book an award flight using TAP miles, transferring Capital One miles to TAP likely won’t be your best option.

Again, you’ll almost always get a better value transferring to Air Canada Aeroplan or Avianca LifeMiles.

Related: 7 great airline mileage programs for booking Star Alliance awards

Bottom line

Capital One has something for everyone, but not every transfer partner is a winner. But that's OK because some programs offer such an incredible return that they can almost singlehandedly carry the value of Capital One miles — especially now that most partners transfer at a 1:1 ratio. Some of our favorite partners include Air Canada Aeroplan, Avianca LifeMiles, Turkish Miles & Smiles and Etihad Guest.

Just remember that you should always compare the cash price of your ticket before transferring points. In some cases, it may be better to buy a cash ticket and then redeem Capital One miles to offset your recent travel purchase. This is often the case with low-cost paid tickets and hotel stays.

Additional reporting by Benji Stawski and Katie Genter.

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
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Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases