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Most experienced points and miles enthusiasts agree that transferring flexible currency, including Capital One Miles or Spark Miles, to partner loyalty programs often provides the greatest value. In recent years, Capital One Miles have become significantly more valuable, as Capital One has added transfer partners and improved transfer ratios.

In a related article, we provide details about how to transfer Capital One Miles to partners, address factors to consider in evaluating transfer options, discuss common questions and describe how to obtain Capital One Miles. We also discuss each of the hotel loyalty program transfer options.

Our focus here is to dive deeper into all Capital One airline partners. However, before getting into the specifics of each program, let us share some background information below.

Given the number of partners, we’re addressing specific airline partners’ loyalty programs in three posts: 

  • Oneworld partners, which include British Airways Executive Club, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Finnair Plus and Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • SkyTeam and non-alliance partners, which include Aeroméxico Rewards, AirFrance-KLM Flying Blue, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest and Virgin Red / Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 
  • Star Alliance partners, which include Air Canada Aeroplan, Avianca LifeMiles, EVA Air Infinity MileageLands, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go and Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
Air Canada Business Class
Air Canada business class

Capital One Airline and Hotel Transfer Partners

Capital One partners with 15 airline loyalty programs and three hotel loyalty programs. For most partners, 1 Capital One mile becomes 1 unit in the loyalty program’s currency. The minimum transfer amount for all programs is 1,000 miles.

You can transfer Capital One Miles to the following loyalty programs at the transfer ratios noted below.

Airline Loyalty ProgramTransfer Ratio
Aeroméxico Rewards 1:1
Air Canada Aeroplan1:1
Air France-KLM Flying Blue1:1
Avianca LifeMiles1:1
British Airways Executive Club1:1
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles1:1
Emirates Skywards1:1
Etihad Guest1:1
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands4:3
Finnair Plus1:1
Qantas Frequent Flyer1:1
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1:1
TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go1:1
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles1:1
Virgin Red1:1
Hotel Loyalty ProgramTransfer Ratio
Accor Live Limitless2:1
Choice Privileges1:1
Wyndham Rewards1:1
hotel loyalty program

Airline Transfer Partner Analysis Approach

There’s no universal answer to the question about when and to which program you should transfer Capital One Miles. Before getting into specific transfer partners, let’s review some factors that may help you determine which transfer partners might work best for you.

Each time you’re considering transferring points to an airline, it’s important to consider multiple related factors including:

  • Travel style and preferences: Whether you’re interested in flying in economy class or premium cabins, which include business or first class, is an important consideration. Some programs are better than others for awards in specific cabins. Another consideration is individual preferences around number of connections, overall travel time and willingness to spend more miles to travel on a preferred routing or carrier. Individual preferences run the gamut from people wanting extra flights to maximize time in a premium cabin or purposely including extra stops to see other places to people wanting to fly nonstop only.
  • Airlines that provide service to places you plan to travel and each program’s partner airlines: While it may seem like you should transfer miles to the loyalty program of the airline you want to fly, that’s not always possible or advantageous. For example, you may want to travel within the United States on United Airlines from Houston (IAH), where United Airlines operates a large number of flights. Although United isn’t a Capital One transfer partner, the airline is a member of Star Alliance, which is one of the three major alliances. In this case, you can transfer Capital One Miles to another Star Alliance partner’s program, such as Avianca LifeMiles or Air Canada Aeroplan, and use these programs to book United flights, as long as United Saver-level award space is available. Certain loyalty programs also are better for travel between specific regions due to award pricing and/or airline partners.
  • Number and type of points and miles you have: There are a couple of key considerations. First, if you already have miles in a specific airline program but not enough to book an award, you may be able to book an award by transferring only a small amount of flexible currency. Second, if you have multiple types of flexible currency, you can transfer points from different bank programs to accumulate enough loyalty program miles for a desired award. For example, if you need 100,000 British Airways Avios to book an award, you could transfer 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points and 40,000 Capital One Miles to British Airways Executive Club.

With so many transfer partners, it can be overwhelming to consider each one, so many people want to know which partners are “best” or generally most useful. Capital One partners that many points and miles experts consider within the top tier often include Air Canada Aeroplan, Air France-KLM Flying Blue, Avianca LifeMiles, British Airways Executive Club, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles.

Some people also like to categorize other transfer partners as worst or least useful. Since all programs have pros and cons and everyone has different priorities, even programs that generally are considered to be less valuable can be useful in certain situations. 

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We’re taking a comprehensive approach that discusses all Capital One airline transfer partners. For each airline program, we’re addressing multiple factors:

  • Transferable currency partners
  • Alliance participation
  • Unique things about the program
  • Award prices, with a focus on awards between the United States and other countries or within the U.S.

When reviewing program specific details, it’s helpful to have some background about the following concepts:

  • Airline alliances: There are three major alliances: Oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance. You can see all current alliance members on the alliances’ websites. Among U.S. airlines, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines are in Oneworld; Delta Air Lines is in SkyTeam; and United is in Star Alliance.
  • Award approach: Some airline loyalty programs have an award chart, which identifies the number of miles required for a specific award based on distance flown or geographic regions. In other cases, award pricing is fully dynamic or there’s a hybrid of fixed and dynamic award pricing.
  • Award fees: Besides the cost in miles, different programs have big differences in tax and fee amounts. Some government taxes and fees apply to all flights based on route and sometimes class of service. Airline-imposed fees, particularly fuel surcharges, vary significantly. Fuel surcharges for awards booked through the same airline loyalty program may be different depending on which airline operates the flight. Some programs also have partner booking fees. Award change and cancelation fees also vary by program. While many U.S. airlines have eliminated fees for changing or canceling award tickets, most foreign loyalty programs have fees.
  • Connections and stopovers: For international travel, a connection of at least 24 hours generally is considered a stopover, and each program has different rules about whether stopovers are allowed on award tickets and how they are priced. Key differences include whether stopovers can be included with one-way awards or only with round-trip awards, apply to any award through the program or only to specific awards (based on award cost, connecting airport and/or operating airline) and are free or require additional miles. We won’t discuss stopover rules for all Capital One transfer partners, but we’ll note some interesting stopover options.
  • Transferable currency types: Besides Capital One, major flexible points programs include American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards. While predominantly a hotel loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy points also can be transferred to many airlines, typically at a 3:1 ratio and sometimes with a bonus for transferring in increments of 60,000 Marriott points.
  • Transfer ratios and bonuses: If you have multiple types of transferable currency and want to transfer to a specific partner, it’s beneficial to compare the transfer ratios and also consider if any programs are offering temporary transfer bonuses. For most types of transferable currency and most airline programs, the transfer ratio is 1:1, but there are a few exceptions where it’s beneficial to transfer one type of currency instead of another. Transfer bonuses occur periodically and increase the standard transfer ratio. For example, if there’s a 30% transfer bonus from Chase to British Airways, that means that 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points become 1,300 Avios.
  • Ways to obtain airline program miles: Besides transferring flexible currency, there are other ways to obtain miles in airline loyalty programs. While we won’t discuss details for each program, the relative ease of accumulating miles in a program may be relevant to deciding which transfer partners work best for you. Key methods to earn miles include flying on a specific airline or partner and crediting miles to the program, earning miles through co-branded credit cards, buying miles directly from the program and earning miles through other loyalty program partners. Other partners may include shopping portals, dining programs, hotel programs and car rental programs.

Final Thoughts

As detailed in the supporting posts discussing Capital One airline partners by alliance—Oneworld, Skyteam and unaffiliated airlines , and Star Alliance—Capital One has a diverse and useful set of transfer partners.

Capital One allows transfers to airline loyalty programs at both ends of the spectrum in terms of ease of accumulating miles through flexible currency transfers, with some airline partners that are unique to Capital One and other airline loyalty programs that partner with all major flexible currency programs.

In most circumstances, we recommend that you don’t transfer miles until you find a desired award or that you transfer miles to a program with multiple desirable options. This approach provides more flexibility since the best award options depend on specific travel plans. In addition, holding transferable currency until you’re ready to book awards provides better protection against devaluations in a specific loyalty program.