To switch or to not switch: What to do with Capital One miles

Capital One first added switch companions to a few of its high bank cards in 2018 — and issues have solely gotten higher since then. With an array of recent companions, enhanced switch ratios and the launch of the Capital One Enterprise X Rewards Credit score Card (see charges and charges) in 2021, Capital One has considerably boosted the flexibleness of its rewards program.

Nevertheless, understanding whether or not it is higher to switch your miles or redeem them for a set worth might be complicated.

On this put up, we’ll define the benefits and drawbacks of every choice and supply particular examples that will help you resolve which alternative is good in your award journey targets.

Eligible Capital One playing cards

These are the Capital One playing cards which might be eligible for transfers to this system’s airline and lodge companions:

The knowledge for the Capital One Spark Miles Choose has been collected independently by The Factors Man. The cardboard particulars on this web page haven’t been reviewed or offered by the cardboard issuer.

Capital One has three totally different ratios for these transfers. Once you convert your miles to Accor Reside Limitless factors, the ratio is 2:1 (so 1,000 Capital One miles = 500 ALL factors). In the meantime, transfers to EVA Air are 2:1.5 (1,000 Capital One miles = 750 Infinity MileageLands miles).

Nevertheless, the remainder of the companions have 1:1 switch ratios — together with precious choices like Air France-KLM Flying Blue, Air Canada Aeroplan and British Airways Avios.

Fortuitously, Capital One has a useful device to indicate what number of miles you’ll obtain earlier than making a switch.

The assertion credit score choice

The Capital One Enterprise X Rewards Credit score Card, Capital One Enterprise Rewards Credit score Card and the Capital One Spark Miles for Enterprise supply 2 miles per greenback on all purchases and the flexibility to redeem your miles for assertion credit towards any qualifying journey expense made inside the final 90 days. Capital One defines journey bills as purchases from airways, lodges, rail strains, automobile rental businesses, limousine companies, bus strains, cruise strains, taxi cabs, journey brokers and timeshares.

Notice that you would be able to additionally use your miles immediately for bookings by means of Capital One Journey. Nevertheless, we strongly advocate paying for these purchases together with your eligible Capital One card (which can earn you bonus rewards) or in any other case reserving immediately with a journey supplier after which utilizing your miles to cowl the acquisition.

The professionals

  • It is easy: Journey assertion credit supply the flexibleness to make reservations in varied methods, comparable to reserving immediately with the supplier, utilizing on-line journey businesses or working with conventional journey brokers. If the acquisition falls below the required service provider classes, you should utilize your Capital One miles to offset these transactions. There are not any award charts, blackout dates, capability controls or extra taxes, charges and surcharges to fret about.
  • You may have flexibility: Capital One’s definition of journey consists of purchases for taxis, bus fares and rail strains, increasing your choices for utilizing factors and miles. This flexibility permits you to redeem miles for impartial lodges and flights on any airline, liberating you from relying solely on main airways and chain lodges.
  • Awards are handled like common purchases: With Capital One, you’ll be able to ebook immediately with an airline or lodge, pay for the acquisition together with your card after which use your miles to cowl journey. This manner, you may nonetheless earn your lodge factors, airline miles and credit score towards elite standing.

The cons

  • It solely will get you a set worth: The downside of utilizing Capital One miles for journey assertion credit is that you’re going to all the time obtain a set worth of 1 cent per mile. Because you’re incomes a minimum of 2 miles per greenback spent on all purchases, that is a stable return of two% — however you will not discover any distinctive awards that supply the next worth.

The choice to switch rewards to journey companions

Capital One permits you to switch your bank card rewards on to airline and lodge applications, just like different main card issuers. This is not obtainable for all of its playing cards however permits you to maximize the worth of your miles to a a lot higher extent. There are additionally some potential downsides to remember. Capital One presents quite a lot of switch companions, starting from distinctive to much less spectacular choices.

Program Switch time Switch ratio
Aeromexico Rewards Immediate 1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Aeromexico Rewards factors)
Air Canada Aeroplan Immediate 1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Aeroplan factors)
Air France-KLM Flying Blue Immediate 1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Flying Blue miles)
Avianca LifeMiles Immediate 1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 LifeMiles)
Accor Reside Limitless Two enterprise days 2:1 (1,000 miles = 500 ALL factors)
British Airways Govt Membership Immediate 1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Avios)
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 24-hour turnaround 1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Asia Miles)
Alternative Privileges 24-hour turnaround 1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Alternative Privileges factors)
Emirates Skywards Immediate 1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Emirates Skywards miles)
Etihad Visitor Immediate 1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Etihad Visitor miles)
EVA Infinity MileageLands 36-hour turnaround 2:1.5 (1,000 miles = 750 Infinity MileageLands miles)
Finnair Plus Immediate 1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Finnair Plus factors)
Qantas Frequent Flyer Immediate 1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer factors)
Singapore Airways KrisFlyer Immediate 1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Singapore KrisFlyer miles)
TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go Immediate 1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 TAP Miles&Go miles)
Turkish Airways Miles&Smiles Immediate 1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Turkish Miles&Smiles miles)
Virgin Crimson Immediate 1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Virgin Crimson factors)
Wyndham Rewards Immediate 1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Wyndham Rewards factors)

* Switch occasions might range. Some TPG workers have reported switch occasions of as much as two weeks for Accor.
Try our put up on transferring Capital One miles to airline companions for full particulars on this course of.

The professionals

  • You may have the potential to redeem miles for distinctive worth: Award journey fans know that there are alternatives to redeem miles for distinctive worth. Applications like Avianca LifeMiles and Air Canada Aeroplan are nice for reserving awards on Star Alliance carriers. When you redeem LifeMiles for a Lufthansa first-class award (with out gas surcharges), you may get distinctive worth in your Capital One miles.
  • You may mix miles with present balances: Capital One miles might be extraordinarily helpful for topping off your frequent flyer account steadiness. As an illustration, when you have credited a flight to Aeroplan however lack sufficient miles for an award, you’ll be able to switch some Capital One miles to Air Canada to make up the distinction and ebook the ticket.

The cons

  • Selecting a switch companion and reserving awards might be complicated: Reserving award journey requires understanding totally different frequent flyer applications and looking for one of the best awards. It may be price it — if you journey in business- or first-class seats that might often be unaffordable, you may be glad you bought into factors and miles. Nevertheless, gaining this information requires important effort and is extra advanced than merely utilizing miles for assertion credit.
  • You will not earn miles or elite standing from conventional frequent flyer awards: Frequent flyer applications typically do not assist you to earn miles or elite standing on flights booked with miles (although there are exceptions). If the award you are concerned about prices the same quantity of Capital One miles, it is advisable to pay in your flights together with your bank card and use your miles to erase the associated fee moderately than transferring them. This method permits you to earn miles from the flight, obtain credit score towards elite standing and doubtlessly qualify for upgrades if you have already got elite standing.
  • Transfers will not be instantaneous: There could also be a delay when transferring Capital One miles to airline or lodge companions, though most transfers occur immediately. Nevertheless, it is vital to notice {that a} sought-after premium-class award seat could possibly be taken if there are any delays. To mitigate this, take into account placing your required award ticket on maintain or having a backup plan prepared.
  • It might supply inferior worth: Once you switch Capital One miles to airline or lodge companions, there is not any assure that you simply’re getting extra worth in your rewards. For instance, if a flight requires 50,000 airline miles by means of one among Capital One’s companions however solely prices $250 in the event you paid for it, you may cost it to your Capital One card after which use simply 25,000 miles to cowl that buy.

That is why it is vital to resolve which is the most suitable choice.

Tips on how to resolve in the event you ought to switch Capital One miles

When you’ve got a Enterprise or Spark Miles card, exploring one of the best airline and lodge switch companions is vital. When you may get extra worth than 1 cent per Capital One mile, transferring your rewards to airline companions is best than redeeming them as journey assertion credit.

Keep in mind to contemplate the worth of the lowest-priced flight you may have booked, not simply the present value of the award ticket. As an illustration, in the event you may have bought a less expensive flight on a reduction provider and acquired an announcement credit score, that value needs to be thought-about when deciding.

Moreover, examine award charges when reserving flights with carriers which have a number of Capital One switch companions. Some examples embrace utilizing Air France-KLM miles or Virgin Crimson factors for SkyTeam flights and Asia Miles and British Airways Avios for American Airways-operated flights.

Lastly, in some instances, there could also be no possible method to switch your Capital One miles to ebook a given flight or lodge room.

Actual-world examples of transferring Capital One miles

To illustrate you have been a round-trip flight from San Francisco Worldwide Airport (SFO) to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). Listed below are the primary choices for nonstop financial system flights on United on a random date subsequent 12 months.

  • Paid ticket: $1,724.90 (172,490 Capital One miles)
  • Award ticket by means of Aeroplan: 80,000 factors plus about $160 in taxes and charges
  • Award ticket by means of LifeMiles: 55,500 miles plus about $140 in taxes and charges

On this case, Avianca LifeMiles is the winner.

Nevertheless, let’s take into account a one-way flight from Newark Liberty Worldwide Airport (EWR) to George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) on an off-peak date:

  • Paid ticket: $119.80 (11,980 Capital One miles)
  • Award ticket by means of Aeroplan: 10,000 factors plus about $35 in taxes and charges
  • Award ticket by means of LifeMiles: 12,500 miles plus about $6 in taxes and charges

For this journey, you are higher off reserving your ticket by means of the Capital One journey portal and making use of your miles at checkout or reserving by means of United’s web site and redeeming Capital One miles towards an announcement credit score. Embrace your MileagePlus quantity to earn miles and obtain any Premier standing advantages, if relevant.

This is an instance of a lodge redemption. When you’re trying to go to Park Metropolis, Utah, to go snowboarding this January, you may ebook a two-bedroom suite on the Park Plaza Resort for the next costs:

  • Paid reservation: $796.69 per night time (79,669 Capital One miles)
  • Award reservation by means of Wyndham Rewards: 30,000 factors per night time

The clear winner right here is to switch to Wyndham Rewards moderately than reserving immediately.

Once more, rigorously take into account the choices so you do not redeem extra Capital One miles than wanted.

Backside line

Capital One’s switch companions can supply some implausible worth to prospects with playing cards just like the Capital One Enterprise Rewards Credit score Card and Capital One Spark Miles for Enterprise. Nevertheless, this additionally brings some complexity. Chances are you’ll surprise when to switch miles and when to redeem them immediately for assertion credit.

Leave a comment