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Capital One has just announced that it will be adding two hotel loyalty programs to the list of partners to which holders of select Capital One cards can transfer their miles (these are programs to which no other credit card currency can be transferred) as well as improving the transfer ratio to one of its existing partner programs.
Capital One’s new partners
From tomorrow, 4 February 2020, Capital One will add ALL – Accor Live Limitless and Wyndham Rewards to the list of transfer partners that it offers to holders of select Capital One credit cards and, in doing so, Capital One miles becomes the first US credit card currency which can be transferred to the Accor or Wyndham loyalty programs.
These two programs also become the first two hotel loyalty programs to partner with Capital One.
The transfer ratios for these programs will be as follows:
- ALL – 2:1
- Wyndham Rewards – 4:3
With the addition of these two new partners, Capital One now offers a total of 17 transfer partners.
Capital One improves a transfer ratio
At the same time as Capital One adds two new hotel partners to its rewards program, it will also improve the transfer ratio on offer to an existing partner program.
As of 4 February 2020, Capital One miles will transfer to JetBlue’s TrueBlue in a ratio of 4:3 (previously 2:1).
The addition of the ALL (Accor Live Limitless) program to Capital One’s stable of partners is an interesting move because Accor’s program is very clear about how much its currency is worth…and that makes it very easy to see how much value Capital One is offering.
2,000 Accor Points will get you a €40 (~$44) discount on a hotel booking so, as it would take 4,000 Capital One miles to generate 2,000 Accor points, that values 4,000 Capital One miles at ~$44 or ~1.1 cents each.
Clearly a transfer to Accor will require you to keep an eye on the USD/Euro conversion rate, but, as things stand, 1.1 cents of value per Capital One mile isn’t a bad rate (you only get 1 cent/mile of value when using Capital One miles for travel booked through Capital One or when you use Capital One’s “Purchase Eraser” – more on this feature later in this post).
I rarely have much to do with the Wyndham Rewards program as it isn’t one that really works for me, but on the infrequent occasions that I’ve used the program, I’ve never got more than around 0.75 cents of value out of each point I’ve used… and that makes this transfer option a bad one for me.
4,000 Capital One miles (which can be used to offset $40 of travel costs through Capital One) will only generate 3,000 Wyndham Rewards points which I value no higher than $22.50.
To make a transfer from Capital One to Wyndham Rewards make sense you’d have to value Wyndham points at over 1.3 cents each and, if that’s your valuation, that’s great – go for it – but most people almost certainly don’t value Wyndham’s currency that highly.
JetBlue has a revenue-based rewards program and, as with Accor, that makes it relatively easy to give its currency a value – each JetBlue TrueBlue point will get you approximately 1.4 cents of value.
We know that Capital One miles can be used to pay for travel at 1 cent each (so that’s the value I use for the currency) so now that Capital One has now improved the TrueBlue transfer ratio to 4:3, a transfer of 4,000 Capital One miles (worth $40) will now generate 3,000 TrueBlue points (worth $42).
On the face of things that a reasonable deal to be offered (at my valuations you’re turning $40 of currency into something worth $42) but this still isn’t a deal I’d go for…the extra value on offer isn’t really worth what you have to give up.
If you use Capital One miles to offset the cost of JetBlue flights (at 1 cent each) your JetBlue booking will earn you TrueBlue points (because as far as JetBlue is concerned you paid for your fare with dollars, not points) and those TrueBlue points have value in excess of what is on offer here.
These Capital One cards earn transferable miles
Capital One miles earned by the following cards can be transferred to the card issuer’s loyalty program partners.
- card_name (10 miles/dollar for all hotel and car rental bookings made through Capital One, 5 miles/dollar for all flight bookings made through Capital One & 2 miles/dollar for spending in all other categories)
- card_name (2 miles/dollar on all purchases)
- card_name (1.25 miles/dollar on all purchases)
- card_name (2 miles/dollar on all purchases)
- Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business (1.5 miles/dollar on all purchases)
Capital One transfer partners (at the time of writing)
- Aeromexico Club Premier – 4:3
- Air Canada Aeroplan – 4:3
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue – 4:3
- Alitalia MilleMiglia Program – 4:3
- ALL – Accor Live Limitless – 2:1
- Avianca LifeMiles – 4:3
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles – 4:3
- Emirates Airlines Skywards – 2:1
- Etihad Airways Etihad Guest – 4:3
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands – 4:3
- Finnair Plus – 4:3
- Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club – 4:3
- JetBlue TrueBlue – 4:3
- Qantas Frequent Flyer – 4:3
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club – 4:3
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer – 2:1
- Wyndham Rewards – 4:3
Using Capital One miles
Holders of the miles-earning Capital One cards have the option of transferring miles to any of the loyalty programs listed above or they can redeem their miles for travel at a value of 1 cent/mile.
Miles earned through Capital One’s Venture and Sparks cards can be used towards the cost of travel that has already been booked using the “Purchase Eraser” feature that Capital One offers.
With Purchase Eraser, travel costs that have been put on one of the 4 mileage earning cards can be ‘”erased” within the first 90 days of the charge being made by using miles at a value of 1 cent/dollar. This retrospective credit can be made online and usually takes no longer than 3 days to appear in a cardholder’s account.
The big benefit of using miles in this way is that there are no blackout dates (because you’re not booking award travel) and, because you’re not booking award travel, any airfares that you book will still earn you miles/points and credit towards elite status.
It’s good to see that Capital One is keeping its promise to continue growing its list of transfer partners, it’s good to see hotel programs finally being added and it’s good to see that Capital One is happy to revisit the transfer ratios that it has in place… but there isn’t too much to get excited about here.
With cards like the card_name and the card_name card both earning 2 miles/dollar on all purchases, I still prefer to redeem those miles directly for travel rather than for transfers to Capital One’s partners – I find I get greater value that way.
How do you feel about Capital One’s new additions and transfer ratio improvement?