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How to maximize your Capital One miles: From booking travel to redeeming rewards


With an impressive list of 15-plus transfer partners for select Venture and Spark cardholders, Capital One miles transfer to many of the same valuable travel partners as Chase Ultimate Rewards points, Citi ThankYou Rewards points and American Express Membership Rewards points.

Capital One also allows you to combine fixed-rate miles earned on other credit cards to maximize transferable miles. Here are the best strategies for maximizing your return on Capital One miles.

Earning Capital One miles


Here are the five Capital One cards that earn Capital One miles:

Card Annual fee Welcome offer Notable perks
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card $95 (see rates and fees) Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. 2 miles per dollar on purchases, no foreign transaction fees, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit (up to $100)
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card $395 (see rates and fees) Earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. 2 miles per dollar on purchases, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit (up to $100), no foreign transaction fees, extended warranty protection, Priority Pass Select membership, Capital One Lounge access and 10,000 annual bonus miles
Capital One Venture X Business $395 (see rates and fees) Earn 150,000 bonus miles when you spend $30,000 in the first three months from account opening. 2 miles per dollar on purchases, annual $300 Capital One Travel credit, $10,000 annual bonus miles and Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit (up to $100)
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card $0 (see rates and fees) Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $500 within the first three months from account opening. 1.25 miles per dollar on all purchases
Capital One Spark Miles for Business $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95 (see rates and fees) Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. 2 miles per dollar on all purchases
Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business $0 Earn 50,000 miles after you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. 1.5 miles per dollar on all purchases, free employee cards

The information for the Capital One Spark Miles Select has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: Best Capital One credit cards

How to redeem Capital One miles


You have two broad options for redeeming your Capital One miles: for a fixed value or transferring them to airline and hotel partners.

Transferring will usually get you a better value. Still, the ability to mix and match redemptions to suit your travel needs gives Capital One a unique edge over the competition.

Fixed-value rewards

Capital One provides a few options for getting a fixed-value return when you redeem your miles. However, not all options will provide an equal return.

Redeem for Amazon and PayPal purchases

When you use your points to pay with Amazon and PayPal, you’ll get 0.8 cents per mile. You can link your Amazon account here and your PayPal account here.

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Redeem for recent travel

You can use your miles to redeem for recent eligible travel purchases made in the last 90 days on your Venture or Spark card at a fixed rate of 1 cent each. There’s no minimum redemption amount. You can redeem for purchases made with airlines, hotels, rail lines, car rental agencies, limousine services, bus lines, cruise lines, taxi cabs, travel agents and timeshares.

Book new travel

You can book new travel through Capital One and redeem your miles at the same value of 1 cent each, but this would prevent you from double dipping with any rewards program offered by an online travel agency. Remember that booking hotels through a third-party site (including Capital One) would likely prevent you from earning points and enjoying applicable elite status perks. As a result, you’re likely better off booking travel directly and then redeeming miles toward those charges.

Redeem for gift cards

You can use your Capital One miles for gift cards at the same rate of 1 cent per mile, but since gift cards can often be purchased on sale, redeeming miles to cover travel purchases is a better option.

Redeem for cash back

You should do everything possible to avoid this option, as it will only provide a redemption value of 0.5 cents per mile.

The Premier Collection

The Premier Collection, available exclusively to Venture X and Spark Travel Elite cardholders, provides premium perks like room upgrades, free breakfast and a $100 on-property credit at boutique and luxury hotels when booked through this platform. If you redeem your points for a Premier Collection hotel, you’ll get just 1 cent per point, though the on-property perks may make for a better redemption. While Capital One doesn’t guarantee you’ll earn points and status qualification through hotel loyalty programs, you can always try to add your loyalty number ahead of (or at) check-in.

If you don’t want to play with transferable points, consider redeeming your Capital One miles at a fixed value. The process is relatively easy and doesn’t require jumping through any hoops.

Here’s a step-by-step guide showing how to use your Capital One miles at a fixed value.

How to redeem Capital One miles at a fixed value

First, sign in to your Capital One account and click on your mileage balance. There, you’ll see several fixed-value redemption options — you can use your miles for travel, gift cards, cash, Amazon, PayPal and experiences, or transfer them to another account.


When redeeming miles for travel, you can either book new travel or use the miles as a statement credit against previous travel purchases. Regardless of your route, the redemption rate when using Venture miles for travel is 1 cent per mile.

Transfer to airline and hotel partners

If you want higher value for your miles, transferring to airline partners may be your best bet. Select “Convert rewards.” From here, you can transfer your rewards to more than 15 airline and hotel loyalty programs.


Here’s an overview of the program’s airline transfer partners, most of which have a 1:1 transfer ratio.

Program Transfer ratio Online booking?
Aeromexico Rewards 1:1 Yes
Air Canada Aeroplan 1:1 Yes
Air France-KLM Flying Blue 1:1 Yes
Avianca LifeMiles 1:1 Yes
British Airways Avios 1:1 Yes
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 1:1 Yes
Emirates Skywards 1:1 Yes
Etihad Airways Guest 1:1 No
EVA Airways Infinity MileageLands 2:1.5 Yes
Finnair Plus 1:1 No
Qantas Frequent Flyer 1:1 Yes
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (to book United Airlines) 1:1 Yes
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (to book Alaska Airlines) 1:1 No
TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go 1:1 Yes
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles 1:1 Yes
Virgin Red 1:1 Yes

Given the earning rate of 2 miles per dollar on the Spark and Venture cards, you can effectively think of them as earning 1.5 or 2 partner airline miles per dollar spent on every purchase, depending on the partner. Remember that these partners have variable transfer times, so check out our guide to Capital One transfer times so you know how long you’ll have to wait for your miles to post.

Meanwhile, here’s an overview of the program’s hotel transfer partners:

Program Transfer ratio Online booking?
ALL — Accor Live Limitless 2:1 Yes
Choice Privileges 1:1 Yes
Wyndham Rewards 1:1 Yes

Since Accor is a revenue-based program, there’s no way to get outsize value from those rewards. Choice Privileges and Wyndham Rewards do offer some solid redemptions, though other hotel programs tend to be more rewarding.

Redeeming miles for travel vs. transferring to airlines


Capital One’s Venture and Spark cards have always allowed cardholders to redeem miles for travel; you can redeem your miles for 1 cent each as statement credits toward any travel purchase you’ve made within the last 90 days. So, how do you decide when to transfer miles and when to redeem for travel to book a domestic flight, for instance?

  • Cost: If you find any domestic fares for $120 round-trip or less, it’s probably best to redeem miles for travel as a statement credit instead of transferring them to the airline that will charge 12,000 miles for the same ticket.
  • Award availability: Next, look for award availability at the lowest mileage levels using the major domestic carriers’ websites (American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines) or ExpertFlyer (owned by TPG’s parent company, Red Ventures). When you find saver-level award space, you can use the chart above to see how many airline miles it will require.
  • Factor in mileage earning and upgrade opportunities: When you redeem miles for travel, you can book tickets as you normally do. That means you can earn miles from the flight and credit toward elite status. If you currently hold elite status, you should still enjoy all of your elite status benefits, including being eligible for upgrades. When transferring your Capital One miles to a partner, you may not receive those benefits.
  • Consider taxes and fees: All frequent flyer programs will add Transportation Security Administration taxes, a minimum of $5.60 each way on nonstop, domestic flights. However, some programs tack on hefty surcharges on top of that.

Maximizing Capital One’s airline transfer partners


TPG values Capital One miles at 1.85 cents apiece, thanks to the value you can get by transferring to a handful of partner programs.

Air Canada Aeroplan

Air Canada’s loyalty program, Aeroplan, has long been one of the most popular options for booking Star Alliance awards, especially in premium cabins. After United switched to dynamic award pricing, it’s been more important than ever to leverage foreign partners with award charts that set fixed mileage prices, and Aeroplan is a great option.

The program’s award chart underwent a major overhaul, and it eliminated fuel surcharges for partner redemptions, bringing mostly positive changes to the program. Sweet spots include short-haul economy flights under 500 miles for just 6,000 Aeroplan points. Or, you can book transcontinental business-class awards from just 25,000 points each way — well below what United would charge if you booked through its MileagePlus program.

Additionally, you can book Emirates award tickets using Aeroplan points.


Avianca LifeMiles

Despite its IT and customer service woes, Avianca LifeMiles offers many bargain-priced award tickets. One of its biggest advantages is that it doesn’t pass on fuel surcharges from partner airlines, so you can book Lufthansa first-class awards for 87,000 miles and just $53 in taxes from 15 days before departure (more seats may be released at the very last minute as well).

LifeMiles also has the odd but consumer-friendly policy of discounting mixed-cabin awards, such as the one-way business-class award on All Nippon Airways below from Ontario International Airport (ONT) near Los Angeles to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (HND). The LifeMiles award chart says the transpacific flight should cost 90,000 miles, but because of the mixed-cabin award, you effectively get two free positioning flights and save 4,390 miles.


Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles

Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles offers several sweet spots for Star Alliance-operated flights and has gotten more user-friendly with the addition of an online booking tool.

The program prices award flights according to region-based award charts. Since Hawaii is included in the North America region, you can book United flights to the Aloha State for the same amount as any other domestic flight — just 7,500 miles each way in economy or 12,500 miles each way in business class. Alternatively, you could fly on United’s premium transcontinental routes at the same prices. These rates are a fraction of what United normally charges for these flights if you were to book your awards directly. However, award availability on all these flights is extremely limited.

Other gems include flights from the U.S. to Mexico on United for 10,000 Turkish miles one-way in economy and 15,000 in business class. Or, you can head to Europe in business class for just 45,000 miles one-way on Star Alliance airlines. Turkish doesn’t charge fuel surcharges on United flights, though they can be high on other partners like Austrian Airlines and Lufthansa.

Related: The complete guide to the Turkish Miles&Smiles program

Transferring Capital One miles to hotels


You can also transfer Capital One miles to the following three hotel loyalty programs:

This could be an appealing option if you plan on staying at an Accor property, including one of its higher-end Fairmont hotels. The program uses a fixed-value redemption scheme where you can redeem 2,000 points for a 40-euro discount on your hotel stay (about $44). Since you’d need to transfer 4,000 Capital One miles to get 2,000 ALL points, transferring points will give you a slightly higher redemption value (1.07 cents apiece).

We peg Wyndham points at 1.1 cents apiece, though you might be able to get a better redemption by following our guide.

Meanwhile, Choice Privileges can provide solid value as well. The program generally charges between 6,000 and 35,000 points for a free night, though some hotels can cost up to 75,000 points per night. You usually won’t get great value for your points when redeeming at these high points costs. In addition, you can only reserve a room using points within 100 days of your stay.

Related: Your ultimate guide to Capital One’s airline and hotel transfer partners

Bottom line

Capital One miles have become much more valuable over the last few years thanks to new transfer partners, improved transfer ratios and elevated welcome bonuses on its credit cards. Almost all airline partners transfer at a 1:1 ratio, which is phenomenal, considering the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card earns 2 miles per dollar on everyday purchases.

With 15-plus transfer partners, Capital One offers one of the most diverse transferable points programs. The beauty of Capital One miles comes from the ability to combine transfer partner redemptions with fixed-value redemptions to suit your travel needs.


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