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As exciting as the addition of airline transfer partners to Capital One cards like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One Spark Miles for Business is, it’s important to remember that transferring credit cards points to airline miles isn’t always the best idea, as sometimes you’ll get sub-par or even negative value. Not to mention, not all travel expenses (i.e., Uber rides and Airbnb stays) can be covered by airline miles.
When you come across an ultra-cheap flight that renders your points worthless, don’t want to worry about chasing award availability or simply can’t use airline miles for your travel expense, consider redeeming your Capital One miles at a fixed value. The process is relatively easy, and unlike transferring miles, doesn’t require jumping through any hoops. Here’s a step-by-step guide showing how to use your Capital One miles at a fixed value.
Once signed in to your Capital One account, click on your mileage balance (located below the icon of your card) to be taken to the rewards page. There, you’ll be presented with four fixed-value redemption options — you can use your miles for travel, gift cards, cash or transfer them to another account.
When it comes to redeeming miles for travel, you can either book new travel or use the miles as a statement credit against previous eligible travel purchases. Regardless of which route you take, the redemption rate when using Venture miles for travel is always 1 cent per point.
Option 1: Erase a Previously Made Travel Purchase
Clicking “Redeem Travel Purchases” will bring you to a screen with all your eligible travel purchases made with the card in the last 90 days. The term “travel” is used quite broadly and includes everything from flight and hotel bookings to Uber and Airbnb purchases. From there, you’re just two clicks away from essentially erasing travel expenses from your statement.
After selecting the purchase you’d like to make disappear, you can either approve the redemption outright or edit the number of miles used for a partial credit of the charge. Note that there’s no minimum redemption amount, unless you’re redeeming for a partial credit, in which case you’ll need to use at least 2,500 miles.
Option 2: Book New Travel Through Capital One
Alternatively, you can use your miles to book new travel directly through Capital One. The portal looks like any other booking site, and since the miles have a fixed value, you’ll never need to worry about blackout dates or award restrictions. That being said, you’ll probably be better off booking your travel using an online travel agency (OTA) like Orbitz or Hotels.com and then offsetting the purchase using the method previously described. This is because many OTAs have their own rewards programs and appear on cash-back shopping portals, so you can double- or triple-dip on a booking and get even more cash back. However, you won’t be able to earn 10x miles on Hotels.com bookings with a Venture card if you go through a shopping portal, since you need to book directly and pay through the Hotels.com/venture link to be eligible for the 10x earnings.
Option 3: Redeem for Gift Cards
Miles maintain the same fixed value of 1 cent apiece when redeeming for gift cards, such as for Amazon. However, gift cards can often be bought with a discount or cash back, so you’re better off using your miles to offset travel expenses first.
Option 4: Redeem for Cash Back
The least-valuable redemption option is for cash in the form of an account credit or a check by mail. You’d probably want to avoid this option because the value of the miles is cut in half when using this method.
Option 5: Transfer Miles to Another Account
The final way you can redeem your miles is by transferring your miles to another account. There are no costs associated with this, and as long as the other person holds a miles-earning card, there are no restrictions as to who you can send them to.
Redeeming Capital One miles at a fixed value is very simple — even beginners to the award travel hobby won’t have any trouble doing so. When you’re ready to put in more effort and begin experimenting with more complex (and potentially more valuable) redemptions, head to our guide on transferring Capital One miles to airline partners for the full rundown. If you need help deciding whether you should transfer Capital One miles to airline partners or stick with one of the fixed-value redemptions discussed above, check out this post for the pros and cons of each option.
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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
- 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