The 5 Best Ways to Use Capital One Miles [Top Redemptions]

Capital One miles are best used for travel redemptions if you want to maximize your value.

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Updated May 24, 2024
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Capital One miles aren’t as well-known as Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards points. But they still provide plenty of redemption options, including a few ways you can maximize your value.

In most cases, getting the most value out of your points means using Capital One miles for travel redemptions, such as flights and hotel stays. This could include redeeming miles through the Capital One Travel portal, covering past travel purchases, and transferring rewards to travel partners.

Let’s dig into the details and explore the best ways to use Capital One miles.

In this article

1. Flights

There are three main ways you can redeem Capital One miles for flights:

  1. Using Capital One Travel
  2. Transferring your rewards to a travel partner
  3. Covering a past flight purchase

Capital One Travel is the travel portal for Capital One. You can use it like you would any other travel booking platform, such as Expedia or Priceline. Simply plug in some details about your itinerary and search for flights.

This is often the easiest way to book flights with your Capital One miles and it provides a redemption value of $1 per 100 miles. So a $500 flight would cost 50,000 miles.

Transferring miles to travel partners for flights

You can also transfer your miles to more than a dozen Capital One transfer partners, including Air Canada, Air France KLM, and British Airways. It’s easy to transfer miles in your online account, but this is a more advanced strategy because the redemption value can vary.

You might be able to get much more than the standard $1 per 100 miles from your travel rewards with the right redemption, which is often a round-trip flight in business class or first class.

Here’s an example of a business class flight on Air France from Paris to Tokyo:

  • Cost in currency: 2,983 euros
  • Cost in miles: 175,500 miles, plus taxes and fees
An Air France flight listing for Paris to Tokyo showing the cost in both euros (2,983) and points (175,500).

That’s about $3,180.15 at the current exchange rate (as of Dec. 16, 2022). And that gives you a value of about 1.8 cents per mile, or about $1 per 180 miles using this calculation: $3,180.15 / 175,500 = 0.01812.

This value would go down a bit after calculating the cost of the taxes and fees, but it would still be more than $1 per 100 miles on a flight from Europe to Asia.

Covering past flight purchases

Perhaps striking a balance between simplicity and good value is using your miles to cover past travel purchases. This involves paying for a flight and then using miles to cover that purchase once it posts to your credit card account.

The benefit of this method is that you get to both earn miles for booking a flight and also redeem miles at 100 miles per $1 toward your travel purchase.

2. Hotels

There are three main ways you can redeem Capital One miles for hotels:

  1. Using Capital One Travel
  2. Transferring your rewards to a travel partner
  3. Covering a past hotel purchase

Redeeming your miles for hotel stays follows the same principle as redeeming your miles for flights. You can use Capital One Travel as an easy method to book hotels, transfer miles to a hotel partner, or cover a past hotel stay with miles.

The best way for you depends on your preferences, but covering past hotel stays is an easy way to earn miles for a purchase and then redeem miles at a decent rate.

Note that there’s a unique method for using miles on lodging by transferring rewards to Wyndham. The Wyndham Rewards program lets you use points toward Vacasa stays. Vacasa is a vacation rental site similar to Airbnb and VRBO.

The Wyndham-Vacasa award chart charges 15,000 points per bedroom per night. So a 1-bedroom vacation rental would cost 15,000 points per night. That might not sound like a sweet deal until you realize you can book in expensive areas that would normally cost much more, including Hawaii, Washington, and New York.

3. Other travel rewards

Apart from flights and hotel stays, you can also redeem miles for car rentals through the Capital One Travel portal. And if you’re using miles to cover travel purchases, you can basically redeem miles for any travel-related expense.

If you think about it, this opens up loads of redemption opportunities. But be careful, not every purchase counts as “travel.” So it might require a bit of testing and research on your end to see whether a specific purchase codes as travel and can be covered with miles.

Flights, hotel stays, and car rentals are common travel purchases. You might also see public transportation and rideshares show up as travel. You typically won’t be able to count tickets to amusement parks as travel, including Universal Studios and Disneyland.

Points tip
Capital One will sometimes count things such as amusement park tickets as travel if you use a third-party site that sells legitimate tickets. One such trusted site is Undercover Tourist, which lets you buy Disney tickets, which you could then cover using your Capital One miles.

4. Cash back

Cash back isn’t the best redemption option for Capital One miles. You typically receive 50 cents per 100 miles, which is half the value of redeeming through Capital One Travel or covering a past travel purchase.

This redemption option is better than nothing, but there are better ways to get cash back. Check out our recommended list to compare credit cards (including cashback cards) and credit card offers from different issuers.

5. Gift cards

Gift cards aren’t a terrible redemption option for Capital One miles, but they also aren’t the best. You can receive between 80 cents to $1 per 100 miles depending on the gift card. Expect gift cards from popular retailers, such as Amazon and Apple, to provide lower value.

Capital One transfer partners

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

Capital One miles typically transfer at a one-to-one ratio to all hotel and airline partners. The exceptions are Accor and EVA Air, which provide lower transfer ratios:

  • Accor Live Limitless: 1,000 Capital One miles = 500 ALL Rewards points
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands: 1,000 Capital One miles = 750 Infinity MileageLands miles

Note that Capital One occasionally offers transfer bonuses to some of its travel partners. This means you could receive bonus miles or points on top of the normal amount you would typically receive, offering an opportunity to boost your rewards.

Listings for three of Capital One's transfer partners: Accor Live Limitless, British Airways Executive Club, and Air France KLM.

Keep in mind that it’s not always worth it to use a transfer bonus. This is often true if you don’t have any upcoming travel planned with a specific loyalty program. Because once you transfer your miles, you can’t transfer them back. This effectively locks you into using rewards with another program rather than having the flexibility of Capital One miles.

How much are Capital One miles worth?

It depends on how you choose to redeem your miles. Here’s the breakdown of Capital One miles redemption options and their values:

Redemption option Value
Capital One Travel 100 miles equals $1
Cover past travel purchases 100 miles equals $1
Transfers to travel partners Varies (100 miles could equal less or more than $1)
Gift cards 100 miles equals $0.80 to $1
Experiences 100 miles equals $0.80
Redeem with PayPal 100 miles equals $0.80
Shop with Amazon 100 miles equals $0.80
Statement credits or mailed checks 100 miles equals $0.50

How do you earn Capital One miles?

You can earn Capital One miles by using a credit card that earns Capital One miles. This could include making eligible purchases that earn miles and earning welcome bonuses on specific Capital One credit cards.

The most common credit cards that earn Capital One miles are branded as “Venture” or “Spark” cards. So you might see references of Capital One cards earning “Venture miles” or “Spark miles.” In reality, these are all just Capital One miles with the same redemption options and values for cardholders.

Five cards that give you access to offers from Capital One miles

There are five Capital One credit cards that earn Capital One miles:

  1. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  2. Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
  3. Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
  4. Capital One Spark Miles for Business
  5. Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business

Let’s take a look at the three personal credit card options that earn Capital One miles:

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Sign-up bonus Earn a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
Rewards rate Earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5 miles per dollar on Capital One Entertainment purchases through 12/31/25.
Annual fee $95

The Capital One Venture is our recommended pick for an excellent travel credit card with a relatively low $95 annual fee. This card can be used abroad with no foreign transaction fees, and you can take advantage of receiving up to a $100 credit toward a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee.

With the Venture, you also receive two free lounge visits per year to Plaza Premium and Capital One Lounges.

Learn more in our Capital One Venture review.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Sign-up bonus Earn 75,000 miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Rewards rate Earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel, and 5 miles per dollar on Capital One Entertainment purchases through 12/31/25.
Annual fee $395

The Capital One Venture X is one of our recommendations for the best travel credit cards. It has a high $395 annual fee, but you can quickly offset this with a $300 Capital One Travel credit and 10,000 anniversary miles (worth $100 toward travel) each year.

Even better, you also get complimentary Priority Pass, Plaza Premium, and Capital One Lounge access, as well as cell phone protection and Hertz President’s Circle elite status.

Check out our Capital One Venture X review.

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

Sign-up bonus Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
Rewards rate Earn 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
Annual fee $0

The Capital One VentureOne is a great choice if you want to earn travel rewards with a $0-annual-fee card. You don’t get the elevated perks and benefits of the Venture Rewards or Venture X cards, but there aren’t any foreign transaction fees and your miles can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and more.

Read our Capital One VentureOne review.

FAQs

How much is 100,000 points worth in Capital One miles?

Having 100,000 Capital One miles is equal to at least $1,000 if you book travel through Capital One Travel or cover past travel purchases with statement credits. You might get more value from your miles if you transfer them to a Capital One travel partner, but it depends on each specific redemption. Capital One miles generally provide less value if you redeem them for cash back, online shopping purchases, and some gift cards.

What is the minimum amount of Capital One miles for a flight?

There’s no minimum number of miles needed for a flight through Capital One as it depends on how much the flight costs. Capital One miles can be redeemed for flights through Capital One Travel at a rate of 100 miles per $1. This means you would need 10,000 miles to book a $100 flight.

How do I convert Capital One miles to cash?

Log into your Capital One online account to redeem your miles for cash. Cashback options include receiving a statement credit or having a check mailed to your address. You can find these and other redemption options in the View Rewards section of your Capital One online account.

Bottom line

The best ways to use Capital One miles involve travel because that’s where you can often get the most bang for your buck. Redeeming through Capital One Travel and covering past travel purchases net you $1 for every 100 miles. And transferring miles to a travel partner could provide even more value depending on how you redeem your rewards.

But cash back, gift cards, online shopping, and experiences are often the worst redemption options in terms of value. For better cashback options, check out our list of the best cashback credit cards.

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Benefits

Card Details

  • Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
  • Longer intro APR on qualifying purchases and balance transfers
  • No foreign transaction fees
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  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire as long as your account remains open.
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 19.24% - 29.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
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Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases

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Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is credit cards specialist. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.