Capital One Adds Airline Transfer Partners, Offers Limited-Time Bonuses of up to 200,000 Miles

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One has stepped up its game in a major way in 2018, first by adding a 10x bonus category for on the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, and then a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit on the Venture Rewards. Both are great perks on a card that costs only $95, and that’s even waived for the first year.

But today the bank is announcing a groundbreaking leap forward for its miles-earning cards, and it’s news that many of us have been waiting to hear for years. Starting in December, Capital One miles will become a flexible points currency with real power. On top of being able to redeem Capital One miles for travel purchases with the Purchase Eraser, you’ll be able to transfer Capital One miles to at least a dozen airline programs, and at a solid ratio.

And if that gets you as excited as I am, here’s the second bit of great news: you don’t even have to wait to start stockpiling Capital One miles. That’s because as of today, Capital One is offering a limited-time elevated sign-up bonus on the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. If you sign-up right now, you’ll get a bonus of 75,000 Capital One miles after you spend $5,000 in the first three months. And if you’re a business, you can get a whopping 200,000 Capital One bonus miles on the Capital One Spark Miles For Business card after a two-tier total spend of $50,000 in the first six months which, along with the miles earned from meeting the minimum spend, will result in an incredible total of 300,000 Capital One miles.

Sign-Up Bonus

The Venture Rewards Card normally offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles after $3,000 in spending in the first three months, so 75,000 miles is a big step up. If you just used the Purchase Eraser to redeem these 75,000 miles at 1 cent apiece, the sign-up bonus would be worth a cool $750, which is pretty great. But with the new transfer partners, the value of Capital One miles are going up, and I estimate that these 75,000 miles are now worth over $1,000.

With that kind of value, this limited-time bonus is going to immediately vault the Venture card right up to the top rungs of my Top Travel Rewards Cards. And with this offer, you still get all the great features of the Venture card I mentioned before, including 10x at and a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every 5 years. To top it all off, the $95 annual fee is still waived for the first year. In my opinion, it’s an outstanding deal. Just remember that Capital One does pull from all three credit bureaus.

On the other hand, if you’ve got a business and can spend a lot of money on your credit card, there’s another offer that could be extremely interesting to you. The Capital One Spark Miles For Business card is offering an obscene 200,000 bonus miles in two tiers. First, you’ll earn 50,000 miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months, then you’ll earn another 150,000 miles when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of opening your account. That’s on top of the 2 miles per dollar you already earn with the card on all purchases, which means after spending $50,000, you’ll have an incredible 300,000 Capital One miles in the bank.

Here’s the link to apply for the Capital One Spark Miles For Business card with an up to 200k sign-up bonus.

Airline Transfer Partners

Capital One has never offered any transfer partners before, but here’s the list of a dozen partners that will be available when the new feature is launched at some point in December:

Aeromexico Club Premier
Air Canada Aeroplan
Air France/KLM Flying Blue
Alitalia MilleMiglia
Avianca LifeMiles
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
Etihad Guest
EVA Infinity MileageLands
Finnair Plus
Hainan Fortune Wings Club
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Qatar Airways Privilege Club

Transfers to all 12 of these partners will be at a ratio of 2 Capital One miles to 1.5 points or miles in the airline program. Why is Capital One basing its transfer ratio on 2 miles instead of 1? Because the Venture Rewards card — as well as the Capital One Spark Miles for Business Card — earns 2x miles on all your everyday purchases. So essentially for every dollar you spend on either card, you’re getting 1.5 points or miles in one of these transfer partners.

As for the partners themselves, there are some real gems here, like Air Canada’s Aeroplan, Avianca LifeMiles and Air France/KLM’s Flying Blue. Others will require more effort to find value. But don’t worry, because our team of points and miles experts here at TPG are already well into the process of creating extensive guides on all of these airline programs, which we’ll be publishing over the coming days and weeks to highlight all the sweet spots you’ll want to know about.

But the transfer partners aren’t limited to the Venture Rewards and Spark Miles for Business cards — the other two miles-earning Capital One cards will earn the same transferable miles as well. These are the VentureOne Rewards card and the Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business, both of which have no annual fee but earn either 1.25x miles (VentureOne) or 1.5x miles (Spark Miles Select) on all purchases, which translates to either 0.94 or 1.12 transferred miles per dollar spent — still pretty good for cards with no annual fees.

Transfer Times, Valuation, Podcast and Facebook Live

Since transfers to these partners are not yet available, we don’t know for sure yet how long transfers will take. However, Capital One says that they should be in line with the transfer times of Amex and Chase, so anywhere from instantly to a few days. We’ll be running transfer tests as soon as these partners go live and will report our findings.

The addition of transfer partners means I’ll need to update my valuation of Capital One’s loyalty currency. It’s a pretty momentous change, so to help me make this decision, I asked my top points and miles experts to get together and discuss what kind of value they think people can expect to get with these different transfer partners. I could tell you what they said, but I thought it’d be more fun for you to experience the debate itself, so check out their Slack chat and find out what value they recommended I put on Capital One miles.

Also, I wanted to ask the folks at Capital One about how these new partners came together and what else we might expect going forward with their miles (because while I love this new feature, I’m greedy — I want even more. More partners, occasional transfer bonuses, maybe even a US airline or two.) So I sat down with Matt Knise, Business Director at Capital One and one of the architects of these new transfer partners. You can listen to our conversation on the very first episode of my brand new podcast “Talking Points, which you’ll find below or on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle PodcastsAcastOvercastTuneIn and PocketCasts.

Finally, I’ll be hosting a Facebook Live at 5pm Eastern today to talk about all this Capital One news, so make sure you tune in. Looking forward to chatting with you all and taking some questions about these new transfer partners and the limited-time 75,000-mile sign-up bonus.

Here’s the link to apply for the Capital One Spark Miles For Business card with an up to 200k sign-up bonus.

Bottom Line

I think this is fantastic news. The Venture Rewards card has been our go-to credit card for booking company hotel stays ever since it introduced a 10x earning category for Stacked with the one free night for every 10 paid nights you book through the Rewards program, you’re looking at an amazing 20% return on this spending — and yes, those 10x miles will be transferable at the same 2-to-1.5 ratio as all the other miles you earn. The Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee waiver only made this card more valuable, but the addition of airline transfer partners is a game-changer. While the 2-to-1.5 transfer ratio seems a little tricky at first glance, it’s easy when you think of it as 1.5 transferred points or miles earned for every dollar spent on the Venture Rewards or Spark Miles cards.

We don’t know how long the limited-time 75,000-mile sign-up bonus will be around, but it’s unlikely there’s going to be a better time to get this card and earn these miles. So if you’re interested in the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, don’t wait. Apply now, bank your miles and then start deciding which partners you’re going to want to transfer your miles to for great redemptions.

Want to learn more about the Capital One airline transfer partners? See our in-depth guides:

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.

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