6 ways to get $1,700+ in value from the 100k Capital One Venture bonus
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The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is more intriguing than ever before. Not only is it running a limited-time offer of up to 100,000 bonus miles (after spending $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening), the Capital One Rewards program recently added four new transfer partners — some at a new 1:1 transfer level. This means Capital One miles are worth more than ever before, and we’ve even adjusted our Capital One valuation from 1.4 to 1.7 cents per mile in our latest monthly TPG valuations.
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It’s possible to get $1,700 in value* from your Venture card’s sign-up bonus — but if you play your cards right, you could get even more than that. To illustrate this, I’ll walk you through some of the best Capital One Rewards redemptions. This includes everything from high-end first-class seats to Asia to multiple domestic flights around the U.S. and lots in between.
Let’s take a look at six ways to get $1,700+ in value from your Venture card’s sign-up bonus.
*Based off TPG valuation and not provided by the issuer.
A quick look at Capital One transfer partners
On April 20, 2021, Capital One added three airline and one hotel transfer partners and moved some existing partners to a new 1:1 transfer tier. Previously, all transfers were processed at a 2:1.5 or 2:1 transfer ratio. This new tier includes the following airline and hotel programs:
- Avianca LifeMiles
- Etihad Guest
- Asia Miles
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Finnair Plus
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- TAP Portugal Miles&Go
- Wyndham Rewards
- Choice Privileges (later in 2021)
Further, Capital One has also added new partners at the 2:1.5 transfer ratio, including:
Lufthansa first class to Europe
Lufthansa first class is one of the best — if not the best — ways to fly to Europe. The onboard experience is great, with excellent food and beverage options, a huge seat and top-notch service. I flew this product from Frankfurt (FRA) to Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) in 2018 and it’s still the best experience I’ve had in the sky.
You can book Lufthansa first class from the U.S. to Europe by transferring 87,000 Capital One miles to Avianca LifeMiles at a 1:1 transfer ratio. You’ll pay limited taxes and fees and no fuel surcharges, and you can save miles on connecting tickets if you book your connection in economy class. For reference, these tickets frequently cost more than $10,000.
One thing to note: Lufthansa only opens first-class award space to partners within 14 days of departure, so this is only good for last-minute trips. Additionally, this is one to put on your post-pandemic travel list as Lufthansa First Class to the U.S. has been largely suspended during this reduced travel demand.
Cathay Pacific first or business class
Cathay Pacific is the flag carrier of Hong Kong and has service to many major U.S. airports. You can use the airline to fly to Hong Kong or countless other Asian cities, including Bangkok (BKK), Singapore (SIN), and Taipei (TPE).
Cathay Pacific offers some of the best first and business class products in the sky, and its lounges at Hong Kong (HKG) airport don’t disappoint. You can redeem Capital One miles for these flights by transferring points to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles. This program has a distance-based award chart, so you’ll pay more points on longer flights. Thankfully, redemption rates are reasonable.
Here’s a look at one-way pricing from Cathay Pacific’s U.S. gateways in all cabins:
|Route||Economy||Premium Economy||Business||First (if offered)|
|Boston (BOS) to Hong Kong (HKG)||42,000 miles||60,000 miles||85,000 miles||125,000 miles|
|Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to Hong Kong (HKG)||42,000 miles||60,000 miles||85,000 miles||125,000 miles|
|Los Angeles (LAX) to Hong Kong (HKG)||30,000 miles||45,000 miles||70,000 miles||110,000 miles|
|New York-JFK/Newark (EWR) to Hong Kong (HKG)||42,000 miles||60,000 miles||85,000 miles||125,000 miles|
|San Francisco (SFO) to Hong Kong (HKG)||30,000 miles||45,000 miles||70,000 miles||110,000 miles|
This means that your Capital One Venture card’s sign-up bonus is — after meeting the spend requirement — enough miles for a round-trip ticket from the West Coast to Hong Kong in business class. Alternatively, you can use your miles to book a one-way first-class ticket to Hong Kong from anywhere in the U.S.
A round-trip Cathay Pacific business class ticket from Los Angeles (LAX) to Hong Kong (HKG) costs $6,775 this September, so you’re getting an excellent deal with this redemption.
American Airlines Flagship first class
American Airlines offers a true first-class product on select flights. The airline calls its first-class cabin “Flagship® First” and offers it on premier domestic and international routes. During normal travel times, this includes routes from New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX), London (LHR) and Sao Paulo (GRU). American also operates Flagship First on select routes from Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW), Miami (MIA) and Los Angeles (LAX).
Onboard, you’ll find enhanced dining options, top-notch service and larger seats. While not the most luxurious first-class product in the sky, it’s sure to offer a great experience and will ensure you arrive at your destination rested and ready to work or explore.
Your best bet for booking these awards with Capital One miles is transferring to Etihad Guest. Here’s how much you’ll pay one-way for a Flagship first route:
- Asia: 62,500 – 67,500 points
- Europe: 62,500 points
- South America: 62,500
- Transcontinental: 32,500 points
These are excellent deals, especially for transcontinental flights between New York-JFK and Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO). This route costs just under $2,100 round-trip over the summer, but you can pay just the cost of taxes and fees if you use 65,000 Capital One miles to book.
Brussels Airlines business class
Etihad Guest also partners with Brussels Airlines, a Belgian Star Alliance member. Etihad charges 44,000 miles for a one-way business class ticket from New York-JFK or Washington-Dulles (IAD) to its hub in Brussels (BRU). The Capital One Venture card’s sign-up bonus requires $20,000 in spending to earn, so you’ll have more than enough miles/points to book three one-way tickets to Europe in Brussels Airlines business class.
A round-trip ticket from New York-JFK to Brussels costs just under $2,400 in business class this summer, so two tickets would get you nearly $5,000 in value.
Turkish Airlines flights to Turkey and beyond
Capital One miles transfer to Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles at a 2:1.5 ratio, which is lower than other examples on this list. That said, it can still make a lot of sense to transfer to Turkish if you’re planning to travel to Turkey or one of Turkish Airlines‘ other destinations. This is because of its excellent redemption rates.
Turkish charges just 45,000 miles and minimal taxes to fly one-way from the U.S. to Istanbul (IST) in business class. You need to transfer just 60,000 Capital One miles to book one of these awards, which is still an excellent deal.
This even includes flights from the U.S. West Coast to Istanbul. For example, Los Angeles (LAX) to Istanbul costs 90,000 Turkish miles — or 120,000 Capital One miles — round-trip in business class.
A round-trip ticket from Los Angeles to Istanbul in Turkish Airlines business class costs $4,401 this summer, so you’re getting an excellent value with this redemption.
10+ domestic one-way flights in the U.S.
Another great way to maximize your points is on flights around the U.S. You can book domestic United flights by transferring Capital One points to Avianca LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio. The LifeMiles award chart splits the U.S. into three different regions and prices flights based on how many regions you cross. Flights officially start at 7,500 LifeMiles, though some routes price out even cheaper.
For example, you can fly from Newark (EWR) to Pittsburgh (PIT) for 6,500 LifeMiles one-way.
On the other hand, you can book single-zone tickets for just 7,500 LifeMiles one-way. For example, Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to Washington-National (DCA).
Or, you can book longer flights that span two zones — like Salt Lake City (SLC) to Houston (IAH) — for 10,000 LifeMiles.
Flights spanning all three regions cost 12,500 to 13,500 miles one-way.
You can use the up to 100,000-mile sign-up bonus for 10+ short-haul domestic tickets, which can easily be worth thousands of dollars in value. Plus, it gives you an easy way to save money on domestic flights during the holidays and other high-demand times when paid airfare is more expensive than normal.
These are just a few ways you can use your Capital One Venture card’s sign-up bonus to get more than $1,700 in value.
Keep these redemptions in mind as you earn your bonus and look for ways to redeem your miles as travel restarts in a post-pandemic world. Capital One’s revamped list of transfer partners and ratios makes this easier than ever to do.
Application link: Capital One Ventures Rewards Credit Card currently available with up to 100,000 bonus miles.
Additional reporting by Stella Shon.
Feature photo of Lufthansa First Class by Zach Honig/The Points Guy
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