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Capital One announced a dozen brand-new mileage transfer airline partners just a scant few weeks ago, and account holders are now able to link their loyalty accounts and transfer Capital One miles directly.

TPG tested out the transfer process, and our findings are below. For each of the program’s 14 transfer partners, I transferred 1,000 points from my Capital One account, and tracked how long it took for them to show up in my airline accounts. Here’s what I found:

Program Transfer Time

Aeromexico Club Premier

Instant

Air Canada Aeroplan

Instant

Air France-KLM Flying Blue

Instant

Alitalia MilleMiglia

Instant

Avianca LifeMiles

Instant

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

5 business days

Emirates Skywards

Instant

Etihad Guest

24-hour turnaround

EVA Infinity MileageLands

36-hour turnaround

Finnair Plus

Instant

 Hainan Fortune Wings Club

36-hour turnaround

Qantas Frequent Flyer

24-hour turnaround

Qatar Airways Privilege Club

24-hour turnaround

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

36-hour turnaround

Note that the times listed above represent my personal experience, and shouldn’t be taken as hard and fast rules. Your transfer experience may be faster or slower, but these times can serve as guidelines for when you plan your own trip.

Caution: The Capital One partner portal defaults to transferring all of your Capital One miles to the airline partner of your choice, and the pop-up screen doesn’t add an additional layer of verification before that all-important “Complete Transfer” button. So be super, super careful to adjust that number to the exact number of miles you want to transfer, because transfers are irreversible once complete. This functionality is a pretty big user concern Capital One would do well to note for future updates.

Less risky but still worth noting: Capital One doesn’t store your airline membership number for any of the partners, so you’ll have to pull up your account info each time you transfer points to an airline. It’s only slightly inconvenient, but for those of us used to the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, it’s a slight disappointment. As we all know, award availability changes quickly in this space, so the ability to link airline partners greatly simplifies the process of getting Capital One miles over to the loyalty program as quickly as possible.

If you do find yourself in a scenario where you’re scrambling for some last-minute points to top up your account, here are a few tips:

1. Put your award reservation on hold prior to transferring. Not all programs allow you to do this, but those that do make things much easier. For example, Singapore KrisFlyer allows you to hold an award reservation so long as you have 50% of the necessary miles in your account.

2. Choose flights that have more than one available award seat. This is helpful in case someone else books before your miles show up. Use tools like ExpertFlyer or KVS to find how many award seats are available on a flight. You can also do a single search for three or four passengers — that way, you can determine precisely how many seats are available.

3. Select uncommon routes. You can improve your chances by flying routes that are less popular or originate from non-hubs, since those often have better award availability.

4. Let the availability determine your destination. If you have some flexibility and your original itinerary is no longer an option because availability has dried up, one solution is to choose your destination based on which awards are still bookable.

If your original flights have disappeared, don’t panic. Keep in mind that award availability changes frequently and can increase dramatically as you get closer to your departure date. Check regularly and be ready to act quickly when seats do open up.

Earning Capital One Miles

You can earn Capital One miles with four cards from the issuer. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card ($95 fee waived the first year) earns 10x miles at Hotels.com when you book at Hotels.com/Venture and 2x miles on all other purchases. The Capital One Spark Miles for Business ($95 fee waived the first year) earns 2x miles on all purchases, and is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months.

Those cards’ no-fee counterparts earn miles as well. The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card earns 10x miles at Hotels.com/Venture and 1.25x miles on all other purchases, and is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 20,000 miles after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. The Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business earns 1.5x miles on all purchases and is offering a sign-up bonus of 20,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.

Know before you go.

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Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

SIGN-UP BONUS: 50,000 Miles

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $700

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 10X miles on stays booked and paid for through Hotels.com/Venture + 2x miles on everything else. Miles are now transferrable to over a dozen airline partners

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.99% - 25.24% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Balance Transfer Fee
$0
Recommended Credit
Excellent, Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.