How to transfer Capital One miles to airline partners

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.

It’s been nearly four years since Capital One first added transfer partners to its travel rewards cards, and since then, the currency has blossomed into a quality points program — now boasting 14 airline and 3 hotel partners. Capital One miles have gained value in our monthly valuations in recent months too, due to the addition of more transfer partners, improved transfer ratios and reduced transfer times for your miles to arrive at the destination program.

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And the issuer’s top two travel cards — the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card — are currently offering solid (and identical) sign-up bonuses. New cardholders for each one can earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

The value of these ever-popular travel rewards cards has only increased with Capital One’s recent program improvements.

In this guide, we’re going to share how to get the highest value out of the miles you’ve earned: redeeming your miles for flights.

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Redemption options

(Photo by Westend61/Getty)

You can earn Capital One miles on five credit cards:

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.
Capital One Spark Miles for Business.
Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business.

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.          

You have two broad options for redeeming your Capital One miles: for a fixed value at 1 cent each or by transferring them to airline and hotel partners. Transferring can get you a better value (especially for luxury rewards), but it’s the ability to mix and match redemptions to suit your personal travel needs that gives Capital One such a unique edge here.

Let’s take a closer look at these two redemption alternatives.

Related: Should you use cash or miles to book airline tickets?

Fixed-value rewards

Capital One provides a few options for getting a fixed-value return when you redeem your miles. However, not all of these are created equal:

Redeem for recent travel — You can use your miles as credit toward travel purchases made in the last 90 days on your Venture or Spark card, done at a fixed rate of 1 cent each. There’s no minimum redemption amount.
Book new travel — You can book new travel directly through Capital One Travel and redeem your miles at the same value of 1 cent apiece, but this would prevent you from double-dipping with any rewards program offered by an online travel agency. In addition, booking hotels through a third-party site — including Capital One Travel — 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 your miles toward the charge on your statement credit. However, you will still earn miles on flights booked this way and can still enjoy loyalty perks with Hertz — but not with other rental car programs.
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.
Redeem on Amazon — You can shop with points on Amazon. You’ll fetch only 0.8 cents per point in value here, so this is a bad value proposition unless you have an offer to get steep discounts when using just one point at checkout.

If you aren’t in the mood to search for award availability, you’ve found a screaming deal for cash airfare or you simply can’t use airline miles for your travel expenses, redeem 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.

Transferring Capital One miles to airline partners

You have the potential to get even more value from your Capital One miles if you utilize the issuer’s transfer partners. Thankfully, the process or doing so is very simply. The Capital One Rewards Miles portal can be accessed directly from the main page of your account by clicking the “View Rewards” icon.

Screen shot courtesy of Capital One.

From there, find the “Convert Rewards” section.

Screen shot courtesy of Capital One

Capital One currently has 14 airline and three hotel partners. The programs include:

Aeromexico Club Premier.
Air Canada Aeroplan.
Air France-KLM Flying Blue.
ALL Accor Live Limitless.
Avianca LifeMiles.
British Airways Executive Club.
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles.
Choice Privileges.
Emirates Skywards.
Etihad Guest.
EVA Infinity MileageLands.
Finnair Plus.
Qantas Frequent Flyer.
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.
TAP Portugal Miles & Go.
Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles.
Wyndham Rewards.

Related: How long do Capital One miles transfers take?

The link to “Transfer Miles” is toward the right of the page.

(Screenshot from capitalone.com)

Find the option for the program you want to transfer your miles to. Once you click on “Transfer Miles,” you will be prompted to enter your loyalty number for that program and agree to terms before completing the transfer.

Things to know before you transfer Capital One Miles

Transfers are irreversible as soon as they’re complete, so be super careful to enter the exact number of miles you want to transfer.

Note that the minimum number of miles you can transfer is 1,000; from there, you can increase the amount in increments of 100. This is a very nice feature that differs from other transferable currencies. For example, transfers from Chase Ultimate Rewards must be in increments of 1,000 points. Capital One can thus be especially useful if you just need to top off your account, though be sure to pay attention to the transfer ratios.

Capital One transfers at three different ratios depending on the partner (1:1, 2:1.5 or 2:1), so 10,000 Capital One miles will not get you 10,000 points and miles for every program. Fortunately, you’ll see this information during the transfer process, telling you explicitly tell you how many miles you’ll receive in exchange for the designated number of Capital One miles. Transfer ratios are also found in the table below — though note that you may occasionally see transfer bonuses.

Screen shot courtesy of Capital One

Once the transfer is complete, you’ll see a “Success!” pop-up that includes a confirmation code you can save and/or print. That’s helpful, especially since seven of the partner airlines did not offer instant transfer capability as of our latest test.

Related: The best Capital One credit cards

Capital One transfer times

From our latest tests, these are the typical transfer times for your miles to move from Capital One to the destination loyalty program, as well as the transfer ratios.

Program
Transfer time
Transfer ratio

Aeromexico Club Premier
Instant.
1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Club Premier points).

Air Canada Aeroplan
Instant.
1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Aeroplan points).

Air France-KLM Flying Blue
Instant.
1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Flying Blue miles).

Avianca LifeMiles
Instant.
1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 LifeMiles).

ALL Accor Live Limitless
Two business days.
2:1 (1,000 miles = 500 ALL points).

British Airways Executive Club
Instant.
1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Avios).

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
24-hour turnaround.
1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Asia Miles).

Choice Privileges
24-hour turnaround.
1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Choice Privileges points).

Emirates Skywards
Instant.
1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Emirates Skywards miles).

Etihad Guest
Instant.
1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Etihad Guest miles).

EVA Infinity MileageLands
36-hour turnaround.
2:1.5 (1,000 miles = 750 Infinity MileageLands miles).

Finnair Plus
Instant.
1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Finnair Plus points).

Qantas Frequent Flyer
Instant.
1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points).

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Instant.
1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Singapore KrisFlyer miles).

TAP Air Portugal Miles & Go
Instant.
1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 TAP Miles&Go miles).

Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
Instant.
1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Turkish Miles&Smiles miles).

Wyndham Rewards
Instant.
1:1 (1,000 miles = 1,000 Wyndham Rewards points).

* Transfer times may vary. Some TPG staff have reported transfer times of up to two weeks for Accor.

Of course, just because you can transfer Capital One miles to airline partners does not necessarily mean that you should. We’ve collected some tips and tricks to get maximum value from your Capital One miles, which should help you understand the good and bad redemptions.

Transferring to partners can unlock a variety of valuable redemptions through the above airlines, so be sure to take that into consideration.

Related: Step-by-step: How to complete a Capital One business credit card application

Bottom line

The ability to transfer Capital One miles to a number of valuable partner programs paired with the always-available option to use your rewards directly makes for a solid lineup of Capital One credit cards. The currency’s current value is 1.85 cents in TPG’s most recent valuations.

By transfer to airline and hotel partners, you can start taking advantage of some incredible redemptions. Of course, be sure to carefully input how many Capital One miles you want to transfer, in case you inadvertently send your entire balance to a single airline. And the fact the both the Venture and Venture X cards feature an elevated welcome bonus right now can help you quickly amass Capital One miles for your next trip.

Application link: Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, each with a 75,000-mile welcome bonus.

Additional reporting by Katherine Fan. 

Featured photo by LWA for Getty Images.

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