In some very exciting news, Capital One has come out with some very significant additions and changes to their “miles” program. In the old days, Capital One miles weren’t really miles. They simply allowed you to offset travel related charges on your statement.
In this article
Capital One: Transferable Miles
In 2018, Capital One changed their game, adding several transfer partners – most at a 2:1.5 ratio and some at 2:1 (two Capital One miles becomes one airline mile).
Today, Capital One announced a major update to the program.
Capital One Adds Tier Levels to Transfer Partners (Different Transfer Ratios)
The transfer partners are now grouped into three tiers, based on the transfer ratio. When the program started, all transfers were either 2:1.5 or 2:1. The new tier adds a 1:1 ratio for select transfer partners which is fantastic.
Starting tomorrow, Capital One miles can be transferred to the following existing transfer partners at a 1 to 1 value:
- Avianca (LifeMiles)
- Etihad (Etihad Guest)
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- AeroMexico (Club Premier)
- Finnair (Finnair Plus)
- Qantas (Qantas Frequent Flyer)
- Wyndham Rewards
New Capital One Miles Transfer Partners
Capital One is also adding 4 new transfer partners as of April 20, 2021:
British Airways (Avios) in the 2:1.5 tier
Choice Hotels (Choice Privileges) in the 1:1 tier – launching later this year.
TAP Air Portugal (Miles&Go) in the 1:1 tier
Turkish Airlines (Miles&Smiles) in the 2:1.5 tier.
All Current Capital One Transfer Partners
|Capital One Miles|
|Transfer Ratio||Expected Transfer Time|
|Air Canada (Aeroplan)||1:1||Instant|
|Air France / KLM Flying Blue||1:1||Instant|
|British Airways Avios||1:1||TBD|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||1:1||Nearly instant|
|Choice Hotels||1:1||1 day|
|Etihad Guest||1:1||1-2 days|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||1:1||1-2 days|
|TAP Air Portugal||1:1||TBD|
|Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles||1:1||TBD|
|Wyndham Rewards Hotel Program||1:1||Instant|
|Accor Live Limitless (ALL) Hotel Program||2:1||1-2 days|
This is really fantastic news. It won’t surprise any regular readers that I think the addition of Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles is the best news in here. You may have read my post about how you can use 12,500 – 15,000 miles to fly anywhere in North America in Business Class using Turkish miles. In fact, I just came home from a trip in which I used 25,000 miles to fly roundtrip from New York to Hawaii and back in Business Class using those Turkish miles. Turkish is also great for a variety of other Star Alliance redemptions, like 45,000 miles from the US to Europe in Business Class. And you can put award flights on hold via the call center while you transfer.
Until now, you could only get Turkish miles via Citi ThankYou (of the transferable bank points; if you *really* want, Marriott also transfers to Turkish). The addition or Turkish to Capital One means you have two major bank programs with which to earn Turkish miles. Citi ThankYou takes 1-2 days to transfer on average. We’ll have to wait and see how long it takes with Capital One.
My only hope is that Turkish doesn’t wind up joining every transferable program, since too much awareness would likely cause a devaluation of the sweet spots.
Changing Wyndham to 1:1 opens up some new possibilities given that you can use them for Wyndham vacation rentals (including Vacasa) at just 15,000 points per bedroom. Note that booking Wyndham vacation rentals is not an easy nor online process, but it can represent some solid value.
Avianca Lifemiles at 1:1 is nice, although you can already transfer pretty much every transferable points (everyone but Chase) to Avianca. You can review both the best ways to spend Avianca Lifemiles as well as read about the challenges with the Avianca Lifemiles program (and there are many.)
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles are a great way to book long-haul Oneworld flights – especially if you can do a mixed cabin itinerary. Amazingly, JFK-HKG (in First) and then on to another city in Coach or Business will price lower than JFK-HKG alone!
Etihad has a few sweet spots, most notably booking American Airlines flights up front at lower rates than the AAdvantage program itself.
And British Airways Avios (1:1) are fantastic for short-haul Oneworld awards on airlines like American, Alaska, British Airways, JAL, and Qantas as they use an economical distance based award chart that is poor value on long premium flights but great value on shorter coach flights.
It’s also a good time to remind you that not only can you transfer miles between Capital One accounts (friend, family, or anyone else!) and you can “convert” Capital One Spark Cash points into a Spark Miles card if you decide that the miles make more sense. Also keep in mind that Capital One Spark Cash cards no longer report to your personal credit file, though Spark Miles cards do.
While I still love the Citi Trifecta of a DoubleCash, Premier, and Rewards+ for Turkish miles, these changes do make it feasible to use the Capital One Venture as a “one and done” card if you really wanted to keep it simple.
You can also view all credit cards that earn Capital One miles.
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New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.