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Transferring flexible currency—including Capital One Miles—to partner loyalty programs can provide the greatest value compared to other uses of these miles. 

Capital One has 15 airline partner programs. We have several related articles about Capital One transfer partners:

In this post, we’re focusing on details about the four Oneworld alliance transfer partners: British Airways Executive Club, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Finnair Plus and Qantas Frequent Flyer. These partners are especially useful for travel on Oneworld airlines, such as Alaska Airlines or American Airlines.

British Airways Executive Club
British Airways is a member of the Oneworld alliance, and its currency, called Avios.

British Airways Executive Club

British Airways is a member of the Oneworld alliance, and its currency, called Avios, is easy to obtain. American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy points can be transferred to British Airways Executive Club.

British Airways Avios can be combined with other airlines’ loyalty programs that use Avios: Aer Lingus, Iberia, Qatar Airways and Vueling. This provides flexibility and the ability to maximize value by leveraging multiple programs.

The option to combine Avios essentially opens up award possibilities in each of these programs. Since there are differences among these airlines’ loyalty programs with respect to partners, award availability and award pricing, in some cases, it’s advantageous to book awards through one program compared to another. 

If you want to use Capital One Miles to book through another Avios program, this involves an extra step. First, you’ll have to transfer miles from Capital One to British Airways and then combine British Airways Avios with Avios from one of the other programs. The option also can be useful to consolidate Avios among your accounts. 

British Airways award rates are based on distance bands with pricing per segment, but determining what an award should cost can be challenging because of several factors. First, dates are designated as peak vs. off-peak for British Airways and some other airlines’ flights, and award costs differ between peak and off-peak dates. In addition, award zones (distance bands and number of Avios required for each class of service) vary by airline. As detailed below, passengers can choose to use different combinations of Avios and cash.

British Airways Executive Club offers the ability to vary the number of Avios and cash used for an award ticket. While using more cash is similar to buying Avios, they’re sold at a lower price than what you’d typically pay, so it may be worth considering depending on your available Avios and preference for spending cash vs. points. 

In the example below for a British Airways nonstop business-class flight from New York (JFK) to London (LHR), the flight should require 50,000 to 60,000 Avios, but you might also see a higher Avios rate with a lower cash copay as the initial option with more pricing options available below.

One issue that many travelers have with British Airways awards is that the fees and surcharges are often high, especially on departures from London and in premium cabins. One-way fees between the U.S. and London on a business- or a first-class award ticket often are about $1,000 when using the standard number of Avios. British Airways assesses fuel surcharges on its own flights and passes on other airlines’ fuel surcharge.

There’s also a significant United Kingdom Air Passenger Duty (APD). The APD is a government tax that applies to flights departing from the U.K., and the fee varies based on class of service and time spent in the U.K. prior to departure. In other words, the APD is less on a short connection in London and less in economy class. Strategies to minimize the APD when flying to the U.S. include beginning the trip in a nearby country or flying in a lower class of service.

As an alternative, many passengers prefer to use Avios for travel outside the U.K. and/or travel on partner airlines that don’t assess fuel surcharges or have low fuel surcharges. For example, American Airlines doesn’t assess fuel surcharges, so flights operated by American Airlines can be booked with lower fees when you redeem Avios.

Given per-segment award pricing, British Airways Avios are most useful for nonstop routes or minimal connections, since each flight adds to the award cost.

Some of the best uses of Avios involve nonstop flights where distance-based award pricing makes Executive Club redemptions less expensive than competitors. British Airways no longer publishes award charts with distance bands and the number of Avios required for each class of service, but sample searches suggest that the last published pricing generally applies. Let’s discuss some potentially good uses for Avios.

Nonstop flights within Europe up to 650 miles for as few as 4,500 Avios in economy: This pricing applies to British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus flights. There are several considerations. The lowest prices are for off-peak dates, which vary between programs. Peak dates require 5,000 Avios. Surcharges may be significant and vary among carriers. For European short-haul flights on these airlines, you should check award prices for each Avios program, as well as other Oneworld programs and cash prices, to decide which option provides the lowest total cost.

Nonstop partner flights within Australia up to 650 miles for 6,000 Avios in economy: British Airways charges 6,000 Avios in economy or 12,500 Avios in business for Zone 1 flights in Australia, and in some other parts of the world. An example is nonstop Qantas Airways flights between Sydney (SYD) and Melbourne (MEL). Since Capital One Miles also can be transferred to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Qantas Frequent Flyer, you should check these programs if planning flights within Australia.

Nonstop partner flights within North America up to 650 miles for 7,500 Avios in economy: British Airways charges 7,500 Avios per direction for the lowest mileage zone North American economy flights, and this may be less than what Alaska Airlines or American Airlines charges. American historically has priced awards for travel between the U.S. and Canada or the Caribbean higher than comparable distance flights within the contiguous United States. For example, a flight from Miami (MIA) to Nassau, Bahamas (NAS), requires 7,500 Avios in economy when booked through British Airways. Before American Airlines eliminated saver awards in 2023, they were charging 10,000 AAdvantage miles for the same flight.

Nonstop partner flights within North America for 9,000 to 13,000 Avios in economy: British Airways one-way partner pricing is 9,000 Avios for Zone 2 (651 to 1,151 miles), 11,000 Avios for Zone 3 (1,152 to 2,000 miles) and 13,000 Avios for Zone 4 (2,001 to 3,000 miles). 

  • Zones 2 and 3 cover most American Airlines Caribbean flights from Miami or Charlotte, North Carolina. For example, a longer Caribbean flight from Charlotte (CLT) to Aruba (AUA) is 11,000 Avios. 
  • Zone 4 includes American Airlines or Alaska Airlines nonstop flights from the West Coast to Hawaii. A flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Honolulu (HNL) costs 13,000 Avios in economy, while American Airlines charges 20,000 miles for the same flight.

Nonstop flights between North America and Europe on Aer Lingus or British Airways: Nonstop flights under 4,000 miles generally cost 13,000 Avios (off-peak dates) or 20,000 Avios (peak dates) in economy. If you prefer business class, the award prices are 50,000 / 60,000 Avios (off-peak / peak). On Aer Lingus, this distance covers routes between Ireland and eastern North America locations, such as Boston, Chicago, New York, Toronto and Washington. A few similar-distance British Airways nonstop flights between Europe and North America require the same number of Avios but have higher fees.

Nonstop flights between the U.S. and Europe on Iberia: For itineraries entirely on Iberia flights, economy, premium economy and business award rates provide good value. One-way business-class awards from the eastern U.S., including Boston (BOS), New York (JFK), Washington (IAD) and Chicago (ORD) to Madrid on off-peak dates cost only 34,000 Avios. Economy and premium-economy pricing on the same routes are 17,000 and 25,500 Avios respectively. Taxes and fees are also lower compared to British Airways flights.

Some additional details about Iberia awards include:

  • In the past, lower-priced awards for travel on Iberia were available only when booking through Iberia Plus. The British Airways’ website recently showed the same pricing (Avios and taxes) for business-class awards, but economy and premium economy-awards priced out differently.
  • Iberia award rates are higher from southern and western U.S. airports, including Miami (MIA), Dallas (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO), and for peak dates
  • Adding an Iberia connection within Europe adds to the award price.
  • U.S. connecting flights on Oneworld partner flights to an Iberia gateway can’t be included in this award, so you’ll need a separate positioning flight if traveling to or from a U.S. city without Iberia service.

Nonstop business-class flights between the U.S. and Doha, Qatar, on Qatar Airways for 70,000 Avios: This is a good redemption for a great product. Avios required are equivalent to award booking options through American Airlines or Qatar Airways if Doha (DOH) is your ultimate destination. However, booking through the AAdvantage program costs fewer miles if your final destination is somewhere else in the Indian Subcontinent, Middle East or Africa. In addition, Qatar Airways may provide more award availability through its own Privilege Club program than it offers to partners.

Cathay Pacific
The Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific is a member of Oneworld, and through the Asia Miles program, you can book flights on Oneworld and non-alliance partners.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Asia Miles are fairly easy to obtain and can be useful in some situations. American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy points can be transferred to Cathay Pacific.

The Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific is a member of Oneworld, and through the Asia Miles program, you can book flights on Oneworld and non-alliance partners. A list of partners and classes of service bookable for each partner are shown in the “Airline partners award” section of the flights awards chart page. 

Cathay Pacific’s award pricing is distance-based and relies on total distance for the entire route rather than pricing each segment separately. On Oct. 1, 2023, Cathay Pacific implemented new award charts. As often is the case, the updated award charts represent a significant increase in cost for many premium-cabin awards. There also are some changes in the mileage band categories and decreases in costs of some awards.

The table below shows mileage bands and award prices for standard awards on Cathay Pacific-operated flights booked beginning Oct. 1.

Distance zone
(Example – from/to Hong Kong)
EconomyPremium EconomyBusinessFirst
Ultra-short
1-750 miles(e.g. Hanoi, Manila, Taipei, Xiamen)
7,50011,00016,000N/A
Short – Type 1
751-2,750 miles(e.g. Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore)
10,00020,00028,00043,000
Short – Type 2
751-2,750 miles(e.g. Jakarta, Mumbai, Tokyo)
12,50023,00032,00050,000
Medium
2,751-5,000 miles(e.g. Dubai, Sydney, Tel Aviv)
20,00038,00058,00090,000
Long
5,001-7,500 miles(e.g. London, Paris, San Francisco, Vancouver)
27,00050,00084,000125,000
Ultra-long
7,501+ miles(e.g. Chicago, New York, Toronto)
38,00075,000110,000160,000

Asia Miles award prices typically increase if a single partner airline operates any segments, but there isn’t a chart showing specific award prices for this scenario.

The same link as above also contains a section displaying the program’s Oneworld Multi-Carrier award chart. This chart determines award rates when the itinerary includes flights on either:

  • Two Oneworld carriers without any Cathay Pacific-operated flights
  • Three or more Oneworld carriers, including Cathay Pacific 

These awards can be used to build a multi-city or round-the-world trip.

Multi-carrier award prices generally increased beginning Oct. 1. For example, a business-class award for distances of 20,001 to 25,000 miles increased from 185,000 Asia Miles to 250,000 Asia Miles.

Let’s discuss some interesting redemption opportunities using Asia Miles.

Premium-cabin awards on Cathay Pacific: At the time of writing, Cathay Pacific’s operations remain far below pre-pandemic levels, and with limited supply and high demand, the airline generally isn’t releasing business- or first-class award space to partners. In addition, Cathay Pacific opens its schedule about three weeks earlier than Alaska Airlines and American Airlines. Booking Cathay Pacific flights through Asia Miles increases the chance of securing scarce award space.

Ultra-long trips on Cathay Pacific: The highest mileage band on the standard award chart for one-way flights is 7,500 miles and above. Longer flights from North America to Hong Kong fall into this mileage band, but so do flights from North America to Australia or to South Africa with a connection in Hong Kong. For example, a business-class award from Melbourne, Australia, to Hong Kong and onto New York costs 110,000 miles. The relative value is that these two long flights require the same number of miles needed to get from Hong Kong to New York.

Flights on British Airways: Flights operated by British Airways often can be booked through Asia Miles with lower fuel surcharges than British Airways Executive Club charges for the same award. Since both programs are Capital One partners, it’s worth comparing the two. Looking at the same business class flight from New York to London displayed above, the redemption cost through Cathay Pacific is 63,000 Asia Miles + 1,851 Hong Kong dollars (about $240). This combination of miles and cash is better than any of the British Airways’ Avios and cash combinations.

Flights on British Airways

Mixed-cabin award pricing: If you’re looking for premium-cabin awards but can’t find availability on all segments in the desired cabin, or if you prefer saving miles by traveling in a lower class of service on some segments, Asia Miles adjusts pricing so that you redeem fewer miles for a mixed-cabin award compared to a single-class award. The cost of the award is prorated to reflect the percentage of the total trip in each class of service.

There are a few things to be aware of when using Asia Miles. First, there are some reports that transfers from Capital One to Cathay Pacific can take several days, although this isn’t a reported issue for other transferable currency programs. In addition, Cathay Pacific passes along fuel surcharges. Finally, flights on some partners can’t be booked online.

Finnair: The Helsinki, Finland-based airline is a member of the Oneworld alliance and also has some non-alliance partners.

Finnair Plus

Capital One Rewards is the only major flexible currency program that allows transfers to Finnair Plus. 

The Helsinki, Finland-based airline is a member of the Oneworld alliance and also has some non-alliance partners. Separate region-based award charts are provided for Finnair operated flights and for each partner airline.

In August 2023, Finnair announced planned changes to its program beginning in early 2024. These changes include adopting Avios currency, which is used by British Airlines and other airlines, as discussed above. The initial announcement also noted that Finnair will increase the number of Classic reward seats and guarantee a minimum number of award seats on Finnair flights. 

Finnair subsequently provided additional details about the transition to Avios currency including:

  • In late January 2024, existing Finnair Plus award points will be converted to Avios at a 3:2 ratio, so 15,000 Finnair points would become 10,000 Avios.
  • When Avios becomes the Finnair Plus currency, award prices will be adjusted “on average” to reflect the same 3:2 ratio.
  • Finnair will publish Avios rates for award flights and travel class upgrades one month before the changes are implemented.
  • In late spring 2024, members will be able to link Finnair Plus and British Airways Executive Club accounts and transfer Avios between these accounts at a 1:1 ratio.

In most situations, you should avoid transferring Capital One Miles to Finnair between now and when Finnair begins using Avios currency, unless you’re going to redeem Finnair points before the transition.

In general, the 2023 Finnair Plus program doesn’t offer strong value compared to other Capital One transfer partners and won’t be the best transfer partner for most situations. Some drawbacks of the program are:

  • Many Finnair Plus awards are priced much higher than similar awards offered through other airline loyalty programs. For example, a Finnair Plus award ticket between the U.S. and Doha (DOH) on Qatar Airways costs 360,000 miles round trip in business class. American Airlines and British Airways business-class awards rates for Qatar flights on these routes are 140,000 Avios round trip, and both programs offer the flexibility of one-way awards at half the price of round-trip awards.
  • One-way awards on Finnair’s partner airlines cost more than half the round-trip award price. For example, using Finnair Plus to book American Airlines economy flights within North America, which encompasses the continental United States and Canada, costs 45,000 miles round trip or 27,000 miles one way.
  • Finnair passes along other airlines’ fuel surcharges.
  • Finnair implemented program changes effective on bookings made on or after June 15, 2023, that include higher award costs and award surcharges for awards on Finnair flights. Surcharges vary by region and class of service. The lowest one-way surcharges are for economy awards within Finland at €10 ($10.50), and they go up to €120 ($125) for business class awards to or from Asia.
  • The program isn’t easy to use, given its multiple award charts, complex award and routing rules, and limited online partner booking.

One of the better ways to use Finnair Plus miles are on Finnair-operated flights within Northern Europe. This region includes Bergen, Norway; Copenhagen, Denmark; Gothenburg, Sweden; Gdansk, Poland; Krakow, Poland; Oslo, Norway; Stockholm; Reykjavik, Iceland; Riga, Latvia; Tallinn, Estonia; Tromso, Norway; Visby, Sweden; Vilnius, Lithuania; Warsaw, Poland; and all flights within Finland. 

Economy award flights cost 10,000 miles each way. Business class isn’t available within Finland, and it costs 5,000 miles more in each direction on other routes.

Finnair’s regional definition of Europe includes Tel Aviv, Israel, so this may present some interesting redemption opportunities for travel to Israel. One-way travel on Finnair flights between Europe and Israel is 20,000 miles in economy or 30,000 miles in business class. One-way travel on Finnair flights between the U.S. and Tel Aviv costs 45,000 miles in economy, 65,000 miles in premium economy and 95,000 miles in business class.

Qantas
Qantas miles are fairly easy to obtain. American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points and Marriott Bonvoy points all can be transferred to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.

Qantas Frequent Flyer

Qantas miles are fairly easy to obtain. American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points and Marriott Bonvoy points all can be transferred to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.

The Australian carrier is a member of the Oneworld alliance and also has non-alliance partners.

Qantas’ program uses multiple distance-based award charts, as follows:

  • Qantas Classic Flight Reward table: For one-way awards on flights operated by Qantas, Jetstar Airways (some), Fiji Airways, Air Vanuatu and American Airlines
  • Jetstar Classic Flight Reward table: For one-way awards on flights operated by Jetstar, Jetstar Asia and Jetstar Japan
  • Partner Classic Flight Reward table: For one-way awards on Air France, Alaska Airlines, Bangkok Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, China Eastern, El Al Israel Airlines, Emirates, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, KLM, LATAM Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, SriLankan Airlines and WestJet
  • Oneworld Classic Flight Reward table: For “return” awards on an itinerary that includes travel on at least two Oneworld member airlines other than Qantas and doesn’t include travel on any airline that isn’t a Oneworld member

Let’s discuss some potentially good uses for Qantas points.

Long-haul premium-cabin awards on Qantas flights: Similar to Cathay Pacific, Qantas doesn’t release much business or first-class award space to partners. In addition, Qantas opens its schedule about three weeks earlier than Alaska Airlines and American Airlines. Although award prices are higher compared to booking through some other Oneworld programs, booking international Qantas flights through Qantas Frequent Flyer increases the chance of securing scarce award space. When available, one-way awards on Qantas flights between western U.S. and eastern Australia cities cost 108,400 Qantas points in business class or 162,800 points in first class.

Short-distance flights on Qantas or American Airlines: For flights under 600 miles, one-way economy awards for flights on Qantas and American Airlines cost 8,000 points. When seeking short-haul award flights on a Oneworld carrier, it’s worth checking pricing with multiple programs, such as American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qantas, to find the lowest priced option.

Flights on El Al: The Israeli airline isn’t in an alliance or a transfer partner with any flexible currency programs, so the Qantas partnership is one of a limited number of options for booking an award flight on El Al if you don’t earn miles through El Al’s program. Award costs between the U.S. and Tel Aviv (TLV) vary based on distance, and one-way award costs are shown below.

U.S. regionDistance range (in miles)Economy award costPremium economy award costBusiness award cost
Northeast4,801 – 5,80037,80070,80090,000
Southeast / Midwest5,801 – 7,00045,00081,800104,500
West7,001 – 8,40050,30093,500119,200

Round-the-world award on Oneworld carriers: Although Qantas’ Oneworld Classic Flight Rewards are noted as applying to “return” awards, that doesn’t limit use to simple round-trip itineraries. This award chart is based on total trip distance, and stopovers can be included to build a round-the-world trip. Section 14.5 of the Qantas terms and conditions provides details on the award rules, but these awards can include up to five stopovers and up to two transfers, which are gaps between flights. The maximum total distance is 35,000 miles, including transfers during the trip and the distance back to the origin city if the trip ends somewhere else. 

While Oneworld award prices are quite high, the longest distance band can include a lot of flying. For distances of 19,201 to 35,000 miles, award prices are 132,400 / 249,600 / 318,000 / 455,000 Qantas points in economy, premium economy, business and first-class respectively.

There are some drawbacks to Qantas Frequent Flyer:

  • Searching for and booking awards with some partners can’t be done online.
  • Qantas imposes fuel surcharges, which vary depending on the operating airline.

Qantas restricts award bookings to the loyalty account owner and family members. Although eligible family members are defined broadly and the relationship likely isn’t verified, this may be an issue for some people.

Final Thoughts

If you have Capital One Miles and are interested in traveling on a Oneworld alliance airline or another airline that is a partner in the British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair or Qantas loyalty programs, there are several options to consider. It’s often useful to compare programs, since award availability and pricing may vary.