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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Spark Miles for Business, Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business
Capital One added airline transfer partners to its rewards program last December, placing it in the big leagues with similar programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards. It’s now upping its game again by running a limited-time transfer bonus to one of its airline partners. Starting today, select Capital One credit card holders will receive a 100% bonus on all transfers to Emirates Skywards.
Most Capital One miles transfer to the other mileage programs at a 2:1.5 ratio, however when transferring to Emirates or Singapore KrisFlyer, card holders normally transfer miles at 2:1 ratio. From March 18 to March 24 at 11:59 p.m. EST, card holders can transfer miles at a 1:1 ratio to Emirates.
Only certain cards earn Capital One miles, but all of those cards are eligible for a bonus. If you hold any of these cards, you’ll be able to transfer to Capital One miles to Emirates with the 100% bonus:
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One Spark Miles for Business
- Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business
It’s definitely great to see Capital One offer its first-ever transfer bonus, and we hope it’s the first of many. Emirates generally doesn’t have the best award prices, so you’re going to be shelling out a large amount of miles regardless of this promotion. Additionally, Skywards charges high taxes and fees on award tickets. For instance, a round-trip first-class flight on Emirates from New York-JFK to Dubai (DXB) booked through Skywards comes with over $1,500 in fees.
Emirates doesn’t publish an award chart, so you’ll want to use its Miles Calculator to see how much a flight you’d want to book would potentially cost.
For instance, a round-trip flight from New York-JFK to Dubai would cost 72,500 miles in economy, 145,000 miles in business and 217,500 miles in first. Rates are somewhat reasonable, but the high fuel surcharges make it a bit tougher to stomach. While one-way awards are available, you’ll usually be getting a better rate if you book a round-trip flight. Without the transfer bonus, you’d need 145,000 Capital One miles for a round-trip economy award, 290,000 miles for business and 435,000 miles for first on the JFK-DXB route — so this is still a significant savings if Capital One is your only option.
You can also transfer Capital One miles to Qantas and book Emirates flights through its distance based award chart, but the transfer ratio is not as compelling at 2:1.5 (at least when compared with the current transfer bonus) — Qantas will also hit you with significant taxes and fees. There are still some nuggets in the award chart, so it’s at least worth comparing your options.
However there are some potential sweet spots, especially if you want to try Emirates’ incredible new first class suite. A round-trip flight from Dubai to Brussels (BRU) is just 135,000 miles — or 67,500 each way. That flight can go for $9,000 round-trip, so you’re getting a great value out of your miles regardless of the surcharges. Check out our Ultimate guide to Emirates first class to learn more about the new first-class routes and booking it with miles.
Emirates has a variety of partners including Alaska, Korean Air, JAL and JetBlue and there are some potential redemptions with them too. Using miles to upgrade a fare aboard Emirates on a paid ticket can have value too.
We recommend only transferring miles if you have a specific redemption with Emirates Skywards in mind. Once you transfer your miles, they’ll be stuck with Emirates and you’ll lose the flexibility of transferring to any other partner. Make sure you explore options with other partners before you transfer.
If you need to top up your Skywards balance after transferring from Capital One, you can also move Amex Membership Rewards (1:1) and Marriott points (3:1) to Emirates.
Featured image by Zach Honig / The Points Guy.
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