The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you’ll like. Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network.
- The Points Guy
- Starting today, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card holders can transfer their miles to 14 different airline partners.
- Capital One announced the transfer feature last month, but did not share an effective start date.
- Capital One also announced two additional airline partners, in addition to the 12 announced last month.
- For a limited time, new applicants can earn 75,000 miles when they open a new Venture card and spend $5,000 in the first three months.
- The Capital One Venture has rapidly ascended to be one of the most valuable rewards cards of 2018.
Capital One announced last month the upcoming ability to transfer miles, with an effective start date sometime in December and a tentative list of 12 airline partners. The new feature is now live.
There are a few different kinds of credit card rewards, but generally, the most valuable kind is transferable points. That means that you can transfer the points you earn from everyday spending to certain partners – generally, airline frequent flyer programs. Transferability generally offers the most flexibility, allowing you a few different redemption options, and giving points a higher potential value.
Until now, the only way to redeem Capital One Venture miles was to apply them as a statement credit against specific purchases that were classified as travel, with each mile being worth 1¢.
In addition, Capital One announced two new airline transfer partners – on top of the 12 announced last month.
The new partners, Emirates and Singapore Airlines, are available for mileage transfers at a 2:1 ratio, meaning two Capital One miles equals one airline mile for those two. The previous 12 partners are available at a more generous 2:1.5 ratio.
The previous 12 airline partners, all of which convert at the 2:1.5 ratio, are:
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Air France/KLM
- Cathay Pacific
The reason that transferable points are more valuable is because booking frequent flyer “award tickets” is different than buying reservations outright – you can read more about how it works here. In most cases, the cash price and the miles price of a ticket aren’t linked, so in a scenario where a ticket’s cash price is high, but its award price is low, you can get more value from your credit card points by transferring them to the relevant frequent flyer program and booking the flight as an award ticket. The alternative – paying with your card and using points to “erase” the purchase – would mean you spend many more credit card points in that scenario.
Cardholders will continue to have the option of using miles to erase travel purchases, and every other feature about the card will remain unchanged. Those with the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card – a no-annual-fee, but slower-earning sibling to the Venture– will also be able to transfer points to airline frequent flyer partners, as will those with the Capital One Spark Miles for Business and the Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business credit cards.
While the Capital One Venture has long been a solid rewards credit card – at least, for a card that earned fixed-value rewards points – the ability to transfer miles to airline partners elevates it to one of the more competitive cards available.
Adding to the card’s value: the ability to earn a tremendous 10x miles on every dollar spent on hotel bookings when you book and pay through Hotels.com/Venture. Given the 2:1.5 transfer ratio for most airlines, that means earning up to 7.5 airline miles per dollar spent on hotels with the original airlines. Hotels.com also operates its own loyalty program that offers a free night after 10 paid nights.
Given the airline transfer ability, combined with the earning rate of 10x miles on hotels through the Venture portal, and 2x miles on everything else, along with other benefits added by Capital One this year, the Capital One Venture has rapidly ascended to be one of the most potentially valuable rewards credit cards of 2018 – even if the partner airlines aren’t quite as useful as Chase’s.
To top off the announcement, Capital One is offering a 50% higher sign-up bonus for new applicants, but only for a limited time – an end date hasn’t been announced.
The current bonus is 75,000 miles when you spend $5,000 on the card in the first three months – up from 50,000 miles. That’s worth $750 of travel when used to erase travel purchases, or potentially more when transferred to airline miles – you’d get 56,250 airline miles at the 2:1.5 ratio.
There’s an additional limited-time offer of up to an incredible 200,000 miles on the Spark Miles for Business card – 50,000 miles after your business spends $5,000 in the first three months, and an additional 150,000 miles after spending $50,000 in the first six months. Those 200,000 Capital One miles would transfer to 150,000 airline miles.
These bonuses may not be around for long, so this is the time to apply for the cards, especially if you can use holiday shopping and travel to help meet the minimum spending requirement. The Capital One Venture has a $95 annual fee, but it’s waived the first year. The Spark Miles has the same annual fee.