Your ultimate guide to the 19 Capital One transfer partners
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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 provided the best possible value-add back in 2018 when it decided to add transfer partners to its Venture and Spark card families.
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Air France-KLM Flying Blue
- Alitalia MilleMiglia
- ALL Accor Live Limitless
- Avianca LifeMiles
- British Airways Executive Club
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Choice Privileges (coming later this year)
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Guest
- EVA Infinity MileageLands
- Finnair Plus
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Singapore KrisFlyer
- TAP Portugal Miles&Go
- Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
- Wyndham Rewards
Today I’ll walk you 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
- Current bonus: Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months
- Benefits: 2x miles on everyday purchases; Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit (up to $100) every four years
- Annual fee: $95
For more information, see our review of the Capital One Venture card.
- 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.
- 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) every four years
- Annual fee: $95 (waived first year)
For more information, see our review of the Capital One Spark Miles for Business Card.
- 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 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.
Capital One transfer partner overview
Before we start diving into each individual 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. Note that Capital One recently added four new partners and improved the transfer ratios for several partners.
|Transfer partner||Transfer ratio||Transfer time|
|Aeromexico Club Premier||1:1||Instant|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||2:1.5||Instant|
|Air France-KLM Flying Blue||2:1.5||Instant|
|ALL Accor Live Limitless||2:1||One business day|
|British Airways Executive Club||2:1.5||Untested|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||1:1||Five business days|
|Choice Privileges||1:1||Untested, transfers won’t be available until later this year|
|Etihad Guest||1:1||24-hour turnaround|
|EVA Infinity MileageLands||2:1.5||36-hour turnaround|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||1:1||24-hour turnaround|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||2:1||36-hour turnaround|
|TAP Portugal Miles&Go||1:1||Untested|
|Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles||2:1.5||Untested|
Make sure to pay close attention to the transfer ratios, as they vary from program to program and can often make or break the math here.
Best Capital One transfer partners
When Capital One first launched its transfer partner program, a few points and miles experts on the TPG team sat down to figure out how much transferable Capital One miles would be worth. We ultimately landed on a valuation of 1.4 cents per mile. But, with the recent addition of several 1:1 transfer partners and new partners, we may boost our valuation to 1.7 cents per mile next month.
Of course, our valuation primarily comes from just a handful of exceptional transfer partners. So, let’s take a closer look at some of the best Capital One transfer partners.
Air Canada Aeroplan
Air Canada’s Aeroplan loyalty program saw significant changes on Nov. 8, 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 you rack up rewards faster. And 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. And, Aeroplan eliminated carrier surcharges in its new program. 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 economy awards and international premium-cabin awards.
For example, flights of less than 500 miles within North America on partners cost just 6,000 miles 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. In short, there are many ways to maximize Air Canada’s Aeroplan program.
Avianca LifeMiles is known for two positive attributes: very cheap rates on Star Alliance tickets and not passing on fuel surcharges on partner awards. For example, once Lufthansa begins offering first class on U.S. routes again, you’ll be able to redeem just 87,000 LifeMiles for Lufthansa first class between Chicago and Munich.
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 for this 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.
But if you add a connection to Okinawa (OKA) in economy, like in the example shown below, your cost drops to only 83,200 miles.
In terms of domestic travel on United, Avianca uses a confusing pricing scheme that doesn’t match its published award chart but often still works out quite favorably. You can book plenty of short-haul routes for as little as 6,500 miles each way in economy.
Most domestic economy trips cost 10,000 LifeMiles or less each way, which is slightly below the industry average.
British Airways Executive Club
Frankly, I could have listed British Airways Executive Club as an average transfer partner due to its 2:1.5 transfer ratio. After all, if you have Chase Ultimate Rewards points or Amex Membership Rewards points you may prefer to transfer either of these currencies to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio.
But, even considering the 2:1.5 transfer ratio, I think enough of an argument can be made for British Airways to still be among the best Capital One transfer partners. After all, there are many reasons why you should care about British Airways Avios. For example, you can get significant value when you book 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. And, there are plenty of high-value ways to redeem Iberia Avios.
Despite not being a member of any of the major alliances, Etihad has a close partnership with American Airlines. And, this partnership gives the Etihad Guest program a considerable amount of value. 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 to Europe for just 50,000 miles or 62,500 miles to Australia is excellent. But, American is also the last of the U.S. airlines to offer a true international first class cabin, available only on 777-300ER aircraft.
Average Capital One transfer partners
Several Capital One’s transfer partners fall into the average group. These programs can offer solid value in the right context, but it’s by no means a guarantee. So, you’ll need to run the numbers for your own situation before transferring your miles over.
Air France-KLM Flying Blue
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 good redemption values in general terms as prices fluctuate from day to day. 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 on offer for U.S.-based travelers. 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. This is one time you can use dynamic pricing to your favor: If you find cheap awards to a secondary European city during less busy times, the percentage discount will drop your out-of-pocket cost even further.
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. 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.
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
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 partners like Alaska and American. You’ll also find some decent values on shorter domestic flights operated by American Airlines and some Oneworld flights from the east coast to Europe.
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Qantas also uses a distance-based chart, which means long-haul flights from the U.S. to Australia are prohibitively expensive in most cases. Like 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. In particular, you can get a good value redeeming Qantas points for business-class awards between Newark (EWR) and Tel Aviv (TLV).
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
Turkish Airways Miles&Smiles certainly 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 typically somewhat reasonable on Turkish-operated flights. So, you may get good value when redeeming for Turkish-operated flights between the U.S. and Europe.
However, the reason I listed Miles&Smiles as an average Capital One miles transfer partner is due to your other options. In particular, I’d prefer to transfer Citi ThankYou points to Miles&Smiles at a 1:1 ratio. After all, the transfer ratio for transferring Capital One miles to Miles&Smiles is 2:1.5.
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. So, 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.
Worst 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 should not be on your radar at all. While you may find a single redemption within these programs that constitutes a good value, you should avoid transferring to these partners more often than not.
Aeromexico Club Premier
Aeromexico Club Premier is a decent and 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.
There are several good reasons to be wary of using Alitalia MilleMiglia, including the carrier’s perpetually troubled financial situation, a buggy website and award prices that don’t match the carrier’s published award chart. Add in the fact that you’re required to book round-trip awards with partner airlines, and there are simply better ways to redeem Capital One miles on SkyTeam airlines.
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. And 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 typically won’t make sense to transfer Capital One miles to Choice Privileges.
Emirates Skywards can be a valuable program for those looking to fly in the Gulf carrier’s jealousy inducing premium cabins. But the 2:1 transfer ratio from Capital One makes these awards much more expensive than they already were. You’d be better off transferring points from Citi ThankYou Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards or Amex Membership Rewards at a 1:1 ratio if you want to fly with Emirates, or look into other programs for booking Emirates awards.
EVA Infinity MileageLands
Capital One already partners with two of the best Star Alliance loyalty programs in the form of Avianca LifeMiles and Aeroplan, so there’s no reason to bother with EVA. EVA’s award chart is more expensive and the program is harder to navigate as a whole.
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 55,000 miles. That’s double what many other airlines would charge on that route. 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.
JetBlue TrueBlue uses a fixed-value redemption scheme like Southwest Rapid Rewards for its own flights. So, award rates are tied directly to the cash price of the flight. You’ll get an average of about 1.3 cents for every TrueBlue point you redeem. So, when you transfer 2 Capital One miles (worth at least 2 cents), you’ll get 1.5 TrueBlue points worth 1.95 cents. Since this is a wash from a value perspective, you should instead book your JetBlue flights with cash. Then, you can use redeem your Capital One miles to offset this recent travel purchase.
Like Emirates Skywards, Singapore KrisFlyer is a solid program that’s undercut here by a paltry 2:1 transfer ratio. KrisFlyer awards have gotten more expensive over the years after several devaluations. So, this low transfer ratio will make it unreasonably expensive. Instead, you should consider transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points, Citi ThankYou points or American Express Membership Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio.
TAP Portugal Miles&Go
TAP Portugal has award charts. But in practice, you’ll see dynamically priced TAP-operated awards (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. And, for most Star Alliance redemptions, you’ll get better value transferring to Air Canada Aeroplan or Avianca LifeMiles.
Especially with the new transfer partners and improved transfer rates, Capital One has something for everyone. Not every transfer partner is a winner. But, some programs offer such an incredible return that they can almost singlehandedly carry the value of Capital One miles.
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.
Additional reporting by Katie Genter.
Featured photo by baona/Getty Images.
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