Your ultimate guide to Capital One’s 17 airline and hotel 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 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.
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:
- Current bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of 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.
- 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) 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.
- 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.
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 partner||Transfer ratio||Transfer time|
|Aeromexico Club Premier||1:1||Instant|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||1:1||Instant|
|Air France-KLM Flying Blue||1:1||Instant|
|ALL Accor Live Limitless||2:1||One business day|
|British Airways Executive Club||1:1||Instant|
|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||1:1||36-hour turnaround|
|TAP Portugal Miles&Go||1:1||Instant|
|Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles||1:1||Instant|
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
But if you add a connection to Okinawa (OKA) in economy, your cost drops to only 83,200 miles.
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.
Most domestic economy trips cost 10,000 LifeMiles or less each way, which is slightly below the industry average.
British Airways Executive Club
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.
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.
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Qantas Frequent Flyer
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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 photo by Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy.
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