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If Amex deciding that Walmart is an appropriate partner for its Platinum Card wasn’t a big enough surprise for your Thursday morning, then try this on for size: Capital One has announced that the miles earned from spending on two of its cards will now convert over to most of its partners in a 1:1 ratio. Who saw that coming?!
Capital one miles just got more interesting
Up until now, the discussion of Capital One’s cards (and the miles they earn) has been kept to a bare minimum on TFM because, to be frank, they haven’t really ever sparked my imagination.
Capital One Miles have only been transferable to partner programs for the past three years and for a good proportion of that time the partner programs were either not very useful to me or the transfer ratios were poor so, sensibly, I’ve been concentrating on currencies that have been keeping me engaged.
The news out today has just changed that.
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Avianca LifeMiles
- British Airways Executive Club
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Choice Privileges (coming later in 2021)
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Guest
- Finnair Plus
- Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go
- Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
- Wyndham Rewards
Note: Transfers to Accor Live Limitless (ALL) remain at 2:1 and transfers to EVA Air remain at 4:3 and I haven’t bothered to mention JetBlue because Capital One’s relationship with JetBlue ends later this month.
I should probably point out that Capital One has been making gradual improvements to its miles transfer program over the years so transfers to some of the partners that I’ve listed above were already going through in a 1:1 ratio before today’s announcement, but it’s today’s addition of Air Canada, British Airways, Emirates, Flying Blue, Singapore Airlines and Turkish Airlines to the 1:1 club that really adds a lot of extra value to what Capital One offers.
Both the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One Spark Miles for Business Card offer 2 Capital One miles/dollar spent and so, effectively, now earn 2 miles/points in each of the programs listed above. That’s fantastic.
While it’s true to say that we already have two cards on the market that (effectively) offer 2 partner miles/dollar…
- The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express earns 2 points/dollar on the first $50,000 of spending every year (terms apply)
- The Citi® Double Cash Card earns 1% cash back when a cardholder makes a purchase and 1% cash back when a cardholder pays for that purchase
…both cards, as great as they are, come with some limitations.
Both of these cards charge foreign transaction fees, the excellent Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express only earns 2 points/dollar on the first $50,000 of spending every year, and the Citi® Double Cash card has to be paired with the Citi Prestige Card before its cash back can be transformed into points that will transfer over to a variety of partner programs.
Neither the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card nor the Capital One Spark Miles for Business Card charges foreign transaction fees, and neither places a cap on spending that will earn 2 miles/dollar.
Suddenly, at least for me, two key Capital One cards (and the miles they earn) have become considerably more interesting.
Yes, when it comes to spending in categories in which my other cards offer good/great bonuses (travel, groceries, dining, etc,…) I’m still going to pull out one of my Chase, Citi, or Amex cards, but when it comes to unbonused spending (especially unbonused spending abroad), a Capital One Venture Rewards Card or a Capital One Spark Miles for Business Card could come in very useful.
Capital One managed to pull a pretty big surprise on a lot of us today when it announced that the transfer ratio that its mileage transfer program offers on six of its key partners has been improved to 1:1. Capital One Miles now transfer over to 15 partners in a 1:1 ratio (this includes Choice Privileges which will be added as a partner later this year) and with those partners including the likes of Air Canada, British Airways, Etihad, and Singapore Airlines, Capital One Miles just got a lot more interesting.
Featured image: Finnair A350 Business Class