It’s a rich offer, but with an equally rich minimum spend requirement. If your business spends an average of around $9,000 a month, though, you would meet the spend and collect the miles. This offer was available early this year and then disappeared for over 6 months, returning today.
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The Capital One Early Spend Bonus Offer:
The Capital One Spark Miles for Business card (Learn how to apply) is offering a bonus of up to 200,000 miles (which would become 150,000 airline miles). You will earn a bonus of 50,000 miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account and then another 150,000 miles when you spend $50,000 within the first 6 months.
The card earns 2 Capital One miles per dollar on all spend and, as of today, 5X miles on hotels and car rental bookings made through the Capital One Travel portal.
The miles earned from the bonus offer + minimum spend would be 300,000 Capital One “miles” and would be equal to 225,000 airline miles. In fact, you could have some pretty fantastic redemptions. For instance, you could use the miles to fly round trip in Lufthansa’s famed First Class from the US to Europe and back with plenty to spare. Or head to Asia in First on a Star Alliance carrier. (Learn How to Apply)
Capital One miles are transferable to 14 airline partners, 12 of which transfer at a 1.5:2 ratio.
The list of transfer partners is:
- Aeroplan (Air Canada’s program)
- Cathay Pacific
- Etihad Airways
- EVA Air
- Flying Blue (Air France / KLM)
- Hainan Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines (2:1 ratio)
- Emirates (2:1 ratio)
- JetBlue (2:1 ratio)
The transfer ratio for all of these is 1.5 miles for every 2 Capital One miles or, put another way, you’ll get 3/4 of a mile for every one Capital One mile. Singapore and Emirates are exceptions, giving you just 1 mile per 2 Capital One miles.
Here are the most exciting Capital One transfer partners in my opinion – and why:
- Aeroplan: Provides a low cost Star Alliance award chart with very generous open jaw / stopover rules. They are a great way to book United Business class to Europe. They’ve hashed out their differences with Air Canada and will remain the Air Canada program and maintain their Star Alliance relationship. Only Amex and Marriott are currently partners with Aeroplan.
- Etihad Airways: I’ve written about my favorite use here. That involved using Etihad miles to book premium class AA flights. You can also use them for a bunch of solid deals, like 44,000 each way in Business class on Royal Jordanian. Only Citi and Marriott are current Etihad partners.
- Avianca: Read my Avianca Cheat Sheet here. Amex, Citi and Marriott are current Avianca partners.
- Cathay Pacific: Currently only a Citi ThankYou and Marriott partner, it’s another way to use points for Oneworld bookings. They did recently devalue their award chart but it’s always worth comparing to your other options, namely using American Airlines miles or Avios.
- Singapore Airlines is less amazing since you can already transfer every other transferable currency there and this ratio is lower than the others, but it could still be useful if you need to top off for an award. Singapore’s own miles remain the only way to book their famous Singapore First Class Suites.
- Air France / KLM Flying Blue: With every other transferable credit card point also transferring to Flying Blue, this is another source you can combine miles from for a big award.
Be aware: Capital One will pull all 3 credit bureaus when deciding to approve or deny your application. As well, a business card with Capital One will be reported to credit bureaus on your personal report, meaning that it will count against your Chase 5/24 status.
Want cash instead of miles?
The Capital One Spark Cash for Business (Learn How to Apply) has a similar offer with a Limited Time Bonus of up to $2,000. You will earn a bonus of $500 when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account and then another $1,500 miles when you spend $50,000 within the first 6 months.
This card earns a straight 2% cash back. If you spend the full $50,000 for the full bonus offer, you’ll have $3,000 in total cash back in your account. ($2,000 for the bonus + $1,000 in earned rewards from spend). (More information)
These two offers aren’t for everyone and you shouldn’t spend more than you would otherwise to get them. But if you spend this normally, you’d be hard pressed to find a better offer right now.
New to all of this? My new “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available now.