Best ways to maximize Capital One miles

With an impressive list of 18 transfer partners for select Venture and Spark cardholders, Capital One miles transfer to many of the same valuable travel partners as Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou points and American Express Membership Rewards.

Capital One also allows you to combine fixed-rate miles you’ve earned on other credit cards to maximize transferable miles. This guide will discuss some strategies for maximizing your return with Capital One miles.

Earning Capital One miles


Here’s a look at the five Capital One cards that earn Capital One miles:

Card Annual fee Welcome offer Notable perks
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card $95. 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. 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) every four years, no foreign transaction fees, extended warranty protection, Priority Pass Select membership, Capital One Lounge access and 10,000 annual bonus miles.
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card $0. Earn a bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 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. 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. 20,000 miles after you spend $3,000 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

Capital One redemption options


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. Let’s take a closer look at alternate redemption options:

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:

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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.

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 directly 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 towards 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 four fixed-value redemption options — you can use your miles for travel, gift cards, cash, Amazon, PayPal, 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 18 airline and hotel loyalty programs.


Here’s a high-level overview of the program’s airline transfer partners, most of which are now converted on a 1:1 basis from Capital One miles and some sample redemption values.

Program Entry award prices for a one-way domestic flight (economy/business) Capital One miles needed
Transfer ratio Online booking?
Aeromexico Club Premier 40,000-44,000 / 80,000-88,000* 40,000-44,000 / 80,000-88,000 1:1 Yes
Air Canada Aeroplan 6,000 / 15,000 6,000 / 15,000 1:1 Yes
Air France-KLM Flying Blue Dynamic Dynamic 1:1 Yes
Avianca LifeMiles 7,500 / 25,000 7,500 / 25,000 1:1 Yes
British Airways Avios 9,000 / 16,500 9,000 / 16,500 1:1 Yes
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 15,000 / 32,000 15,000 / 32,000 1:1 Yes
Emirates Skywards Varies based on carrier and route Varies based on carrier and route 1:1 Yes
Etihad Guest 6,000 / 10,000* 6,000 / 10,000 1:1 No
EVA Infinity MileageLands 39,000 / 58,000 52,000 / 77,333 2:1.5 Yes
Finnair Plus 27,000 / 51,000 27,000 / 51,000 1:1 No
Qantas Frequent Flyer 18,000 / 36,000 18,000 / 36,000 1:1 Yes
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (United) 28,000 / 52,000 28,000 / 52,000 1:1 Yes
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (Alaska) 7,500 / 17,500 7,500 / 17,500 1:1 No
TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go 30,000 / 45,000 30,000 / 45,000 1:1 Yes
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles 7,500 / 12,500 7,500 / 12,500 1:1 Yes
Virgin Red 7,500 / 23,750 7,500 / 23,750 1:1 Yes

* Uses dynamic pricing and is often higher than award charts.

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 Starting / top award prices for a one-night stay
Capital One miles needed
Transfer ratio Online booking?
ALL — Accor Live Limitless 2,000 points = 40 Euros Dependent on room price 2:1 Yes
Choice Privileges 6,000 / 35,000 6,000 / 35,000 1:1 Yes
Wyndham Rewards 7,500 / 30,000 7,500 / 30,000 1:1 Yes

Since Accor is a revenue-based program, there’s no way to get outsized 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

If you’re redeeming miles for recent travel with Capital One, you have your pick of airlines. ALBERTO RIVA/THE POINTS GUY

Capital One’s Venture and Spark Miles cards have always allowed cardholders to redeem miles for travel, which lets you 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?

1. Cost

The easiest way to start looking for a flight is to search Google Flights for your desired itinerary. As noted above, the least expensive domestic round-trip awards require you to transfer 12,000 Capital One miles to Air Canada Aeroplan and Etihad Guest. However, you should confirm award space and pricing before transferring miles. If you find any fares for $120 round-trip or less, it’s probably best to redeem miles for travel instead of transferring them to the airline.

Knowing the cost is critical if the flights are more expensive than $120, since that price will translate to the number of Capital One miles required. Simply add two zeros to the end; a $500 ticket, for example, will cost 50,000 Capital One miles if you redeem miles for travel. This information comes in handy if there’s no award space available.

2. Award availability

Next, look for award availability at the lowest mileage levels using the major domestic carriers’ websites (American, Delta and United) 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.

3. 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.

You may not receive those benefits when transferring your Capital One miles to a partner. Generally, you won’t earn miles or elite qualifying credit on award tickets. However, you may be able to use some elite status benefits on award tickets — even if you’re booking with a partner.

For example, a United Gold member booking a Lufthansa flight through Turkish Miles&Smiles may receive their Star Alliance Gold benefits like free checked bags and lounge access. To access these benefits, you must replace your Turkish Airlines frequent flyer number with your United frequent flyer number.

4. 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. This is worth remembering before transferring Capital One miles.

5. Think about the risks and hassle factor

When you are faced with redeeming miles for recent travel or transferring them to frequent flyer programs, consider the time it could cost you, especially if the airline doesn’t offer online booking for partner award tickets. You may have to create a new account and spend time calling the airline.

There’s also the risk that the airline won’t be able to see the award you want or that the award could disappear before you receive your airline miles. For these reasons, you should probably redeem miles for travel if you’re not going to save a lot of miles by transferring them. That’s especially true when you aren’t familiar with the frequent flyer program or don’t want to spend too much time on the booking process. As with other transferable points programs, all transfers are irreversible.

Related: Capital One Venture Rewards Card: When to redeem miles vs. transferring to airline partners

Maximizing airline transfer partners

Capital One miles don’t transfer to United MileagePlus, but you can still use them to fly United. KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

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. To keep things simple, let’s look at your transfer options in three groups:

  • Those you should avoid.
  • Those you should use only in specific circumstances.
  • Those that consistently offer high value.

Because of the wide variety of transfer partners, you can use Capital One miles to fly all three major alliances: SkyTeam, Star Alliance and Oneworld.

Less appealing transfer options

Etihad Guest, EVA, Finnair and TAP Air Portugal don’t offer enough value in their loyalty programs to consider transferring your Capital One miles to them. Although there might be a specific route or redemption that gives you a good return, the overall process will be plagued by some combination of high fuel surcharges, difficult websites and customer service and limited award availability. It isn’t worth the time.

Etihad Guest went from one of the best to one of the worst transfer partners when it overhauled its partner chart and scrapped sweet spots.

Aeromexico also appears on the “avoid” list despite a few decent SkyTeam redemption options (like round-the-world tickets). This is because the carrier uses kilometers instead of miles, thus boosting award rates by roughly 60% over “standard” mileage charts. If you find value in Aeromexico’s Club Premier program, you should transfer points from Amex Membership Rewards at a 1:1.6 ratio instead to compensate for this inflated award pricing.

Average transfer options

Air France-KLM Flying Blue

Flying Blue can be a good option, especially if you can take advantage of one of the carrier’s monthly promo awards that offer discounts of 25%-50% on select routes. However, dynamic pricing makes it impossible to discuss Flying Blue redemptions in general terms because award rates can vary significantly daily. Also, remember that Flying Blue adds additional surcharges to Delta awards.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles uses a distance-based award chart, so Cathay Pacific flights from the U.S. to Asia are expensive due to their length. Still, it might be worth paying up for one of the world’s best first-class products or nonstop flights to Asia from cities like Boston and Washington, D.C. You can also find good values on some shorter domestic American and Alaska flights and Oneworld awards from the East Coast to Europe.

British Airways Avios Executive Club

British Airways is another Oneworld carrier that uses a distance-based award chart. There are some Executive Club sweet spots, such as short- and medium-haul domestic flights. You can sometimes get more value by converting these points to other Avios programs, such as Iberia Plus.

Emirates Skywards

Although Emirates Skywards’ fuel surcharges aren’t as high as they once were, the award rates aren’t particularly appealing. Emirates also lacks the partner airlines some of the other programs offer.

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Singapore KrisFlyer is useful for those looking to fly long-haul business or first class on Singapore Airlines, as the airline seldom releases these awards to partner airlines. There are also some good deals like domestic U.S. business-class awards for 23,000 miles each way, but you’ll likely be better off booking these awards through Turkish Miles&Smiles as it charges fewer miles.

Qantas Frequent Flyer

Qantas Frequent Flyer is another program that uses a distance-based award chart for Oneworld flights, but it generally isn’t the most rewarding. One advantage of using the Frequent Flyer program is that you might have access to additional premium-class Qantas award space that other partners can’t book.

Qantas also partners with Israeli flag carrier El Al. You can get a good value redeeming Qantas miles to Israel, especially for business-class flights on El Al’s new 787 Dreamliner between Newark and Tel Aviv.

Virgin Red

Virgin Red occasionally offers great deals, including 100,000 points for an eight-night cruise for two people. You can also use Virgin Red points as you would redeem Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points, though U.K. air travel taxes (which can reach $1,000 for business-class flights) devalue redemptions.

High-value options

Most of the value of Capital One miles comes from three transfer partners. Aside from Turkish Miles&Smiles, all of them are also 1:1 transfer partners of American Express Membership Rewards.

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 recently 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 miles. Or, you can book transcontinental business-class awards for just 25,000 miles each way — well below what United would charge if you booked directly 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 $5.60 in taxes.


LifeMiles also has the odd but consumer-friendly policy of discounting mixed-cabin awards, such as the one-way business-class award on ANA 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 Miles&Smiles

Turkish 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 on 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 and Lufthansa.

Related: Turkish Miles&Smiles: Why you should care about the hottest frequent flyer program of the year

Transferring 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 $43). Since you’d need to transfer 4,000 Capital One miles to get 2,000 ALL points, transferring points will give you around a slightly higher redemption value (1.075 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 introducing 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 17 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.

Additional reporting by Ethan Steinberg, Joseph Hostetler and Kyle Olsen.

For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.

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