Capital One adds new hotel transfer partners, improves rate for JetBlue
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Back in November 2018, Capital One made waves in the travel rewards world when it announced the addition of transfer partners for its Venture and Spark credit cards. Instead of being limited to fixed-value redemptions in the program (where each point is worth a flat one cent toward travel charges), holders of cards like the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business became able to transfer their miles to 14 airline programs.
And today, Capital One is enhancing the transfer rate for one popular airline partner while simultaneously adding its first set of hotel transfer partners, a welcome expansion to the program.
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Here are the full details of today’s announcement, with all of the changes set to take effect tomorrow (Feb. 4, 2020).
Capital One adds Wyndham and Accor
Starting tomorrow, eligible cardholders will be able to transfer their Capital One miles to two hotel programs: Wyndham Rewards and Accor Live Limitless (ALL). This enhancement represents Capital One’s first hotel transfer partnerships, and it also becomes the only issuer to offer transfers to Wyndham and Accor at the same time. Here are the transfer ratios for the two programs:
- Wyndham — 2:1.5 (1,000 Capital One miles = 750 Wyndham Rewards points)
- Accor — 2:1 (1,000 Capital One miles = 500 ALL Rewards points)
These programs aren’t the most well-known in the points and miles universe, but it’s always nice to have new options. (And the high-end Fairmont brand is a part of Accor, so there’s that.)
JetBlue transfer ratio improves
In addition to adding Wyndham and Accor as new transfer partners, Capital One is also announcing that JetBlue’s transfer ratio will be improving as of tomorrow (Feb. 4, 2020), shifting from 2:1 to 2:1.5 (so 1,000 Capital One miles = 750 TrueBlue points). This actually matches the promotion that was offered when TrueBlue was first added as a transfer partner back in May 2019, so it’s great to see this come back with more permanence. This means that for every dollar charged to the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, you’re essentially earning 1.5 JetBlue points, if you used them in that manner. That’s better than the everyday non-bonus earning on the JetBlue credit cards.
Should you use these new options?
That being said, you should carefully crunch the numbers to make sure that transferring to any of these programs makes the most sense. Remember that you can redeem Capital One miles to erase travel purchases at a rate of 1 cent per mile. As a result, you’ll want to make sure you’ll get a higher value before you transfer them to partners.
For Accor, this calculation is relatively easy, since ALL Rewards uses a fixed-value redemption scheme. Redeeming 2,000 points gets you €40 off a stay (~$44 based on current exchange rates). With the above transfer ratio, you’d need to transfer 4,000 Capital One miles to receive 2,000 ALL Rewards points and thus get $44 off your stay. Those same 4,000 Capital One miles would only cover $40 when redeemed directly. As a result, you’re essentially guaranteed to get better value by transferring your miles to Accor if you wanted to stay at an Accor related property.
Things get trickier with the other two changes. If 2 Capital One miles (2 cents of value) get you 1.5 Wyndham points, you must get at least 2 cents of value out of those 1.5 Wyndham points (or 1.33 cents for every one Wyndham point you redeem). This is slightly higher than our most valuation’s here at TPG, which pegged Wyndham points at 1.1 cents apiece — though it’s not impossible to get a higher value.
For example, let’s say you wanted to book a stay at a Wyndham property in New York City for the first weekend in May. You could book a room with a king bed at the La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Times Square South for two nights at a rate of 15,000 points per night. That same room would set you back $833.19 in total, giving you a redemption value of 2.78 cents per point. In this case, transferring 40,000 Capital One miles to 30,000 Wyndham Rewards points is a fantastic value.
The TRYP Times Square South property can also be a fantastic redemption value for large families as there’s a suite that sleeps up to eight. (Do note that Wyndham is adjusting which category its properties map into this month.)
However, when the cash rates are low, you’re better off paying for the stay and then using your Capital One miles to erase the purchase. As an example, let’s take that same weekend in Orlando, FL. A two-night stay at the Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive would set you back 30,000 points (15,000 per night) or $232.20.
Instead of transferring 40,000 Capital One miles to Wyndham (which would get you 30,000 points), you could use just 23,220 points to “erase” that purchase after it posts.
JetBlue presents a similar math challenge. The carrier uses a revenue-based rewards program, and you’ll generally get roughly 1.3 cents of value from every point you redeem. At this rate, you’re better off paying for the flight with your Capital One card and then using the purchase eraser — since 2 miles (2 cents) = 1.5 TrueBlue points (1.95 cents). However, if you can find a flight with a higher redemption value, it can make sense to transfer.
Again, do the math to see what makes the most sense for your particular award.
Related: How to redeem points with JetBlue
Current sign-up bonuses
If you’re intrigued by any of these enhancements and don’t currently have a Capital One card in your wallet, here are the sign-up bonuses you can currently earn across the four cards that allow you to transfer your miles:
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: Earn 50,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
- Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card: Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
- Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business: Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
- Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business: Earn a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
Since the initial launch of transfer partners for cards like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Spark Miles for Business card, it’s been great to see the issuer expand your options. With today’s announcement of the addition of Wyndham Rewards and Accor Live Limitless (starting tomorrow), the list of partners now totals 17. Fingers crossed that we’ll continue to see new partner programs (and/or further improvements to transfer rates) in the near future, as that will add even more value to the issuer’s Venture and Spark lineups.
Featured photo courtesy of the Wyndham Bonnet Creek
SIGN-UP BONUS: 50,000 Miles
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $700
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: Miles are now transferrable to over a dozen airline partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- 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.
- 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
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