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There are four major transferrable point currencies: American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, Capital One miles, and Chase Ultimate Rewards. The first three types of points periodically run transfer bonuses to airline mileage partners. Chase Ultimate Rewards recently offered their first transfer bonus ever in May to British Airways Avios.

Why You Should Care

If you have the flexibility to wait to book your award, and you have an idea of when the next transfer bonus is, you could wait to save points.

Welcome to the Party, Capital One

Capital One calls their travel reward currency “miles”, but they are not what we normally refer to as miles (airline miles). Capital One “miles” are bank points, that up until recently were only redeemable for 1 cent each, much like Barclaycard’s Arrival “miles” or Bank of America points.

At the end of 2018, Capital One added 12 airline transfer partners and joined the ranks of Amex, Citi, and Chase’s transferrable point currencies. Over time they have since added two more transfer partners. Having the ability to transfer a point to an airline mile typically makes it more valuable–particularly for international and/or premium cabin awards–than a point only redeemable for ~1 cent each. That’s because many airline mileage prices are not based on just the cash price of the ticket, but rather the regions you fly between or the distance flown. That leaves room for getting outsized value on tickets that are typically expensive (i.e. international flights, premium cabin flights, and especially international premium cabin flights). There are instances when redeeming miles over fixed-value points isn’t advantageous, and most of those instances occur with cheap domestic flights. Anyways, I digress…

Currently, Capital One miles earned by the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Card, the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business, and the
Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business
are all transferrable, at a rate of 1,000 Capital One miles = 750 airline miles, to:

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada (Aeroplan)
  • Air France/KLM (Flying Blue)
  • Alitalia
  • Avianca
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Etihad
  • EVA Air
  • Finnair
  • Hainan
  • Qantas
  • Qatar

Later they added Emirates, JetBlue, and Singapore as transfer partners, but with worse rates of 1,000 Capital One miles = 500 airline miles.

JetBlue is my favorite domestic airline. Free internet and Cheez-its? Sold. Above is Mint Class which features fully lie-flat seats.

To stay competitive with Chase, Citi, and Amex’s transferrable reward currencies, Capital One has also begun offering transfer bonuses which improve these less than desirable ratios.

When Was the Last Transfer Bonus? Series Index

*Prior to the merger of Marriott and SPG, there were two separate reward currencies for each hotel chain. In August of 2018, all SPG points were converted to Marriott points. You can still transfer Marriott points to airline partners as you could before with SPG points, but Marriott has not offered any transfer bonuses on top of the consistently available 5k airline mile bonus you’ll receive for every 60k Marriott points transferred so I’ve left them out of this series.

Transfer Bonus History of Capital One Miles

These histories are brand new so no patterns have been established yet. I do find it impressive though that since December there have been six transfer bonuses available, one of which is current. I update this series at least annually so hopefully a year or two from now we’ll have more of an idea what to expect moving forward.

Avianca LifeMiles

  • In July 2019: 25% transfer bonus (which brought the rate to 1,000 Capital One miles = 938 Avianca miles)
  • In June of 2019: 15% transfer bonus (which brought the rate to 1,000 Capital One miles = 863 Avianca miles)

Emirates Skywards

  • For the second half of March 2019: 100% transfer bonus (which brought the rate to 1,000 Capital One miles = 1,0000 Emirates miles)

Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)

  • In June 2019: 20% transfer bonus (which brought the rate to 1,000 Capital One miles = 900 Flying Blue miles)
  • In November 2019: 20% transfer bonus

JetBlue TrueBlue

  • In May 2019: 50% transfer bonus (which brought the rate to 1,000 Capital One Miles = 938 JetBlue points)

Qantas Frequent Flyer

  • From mid September through the end of October 2019: 33.3% transfer bonus (which brings the rate to 1,000 Capital One miles = 1,000 Qantas miles)

Capital One Mile Earning Cards

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has a sign up bonus offer of 50,000 miles for spending $3,000 within three months, and earns 2 miles per dollar spent on ALL purchases. You’ll also get $100 in the form of a statement credit to cover a Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ application fee. The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.

The no-annual fee Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Card comes with a sign up bonus offer of 20,000 miles for spending $1,000 within three months, and 1.25 Capital One miles on all purchases.

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business offers a jumbo 200,000 mile sign up bonus for spending a total of $50,000 within three months. That bonus is broken into two tiers: the first 50,000 bonus miles is unlocked after spending $5,000 in three months, and the remaining 150,000 bonus miles you’ll receive once you spent the full $50,000 within six months. You’ll earn 2x on all purchases, get a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓, and avoid the $95 annual for the first year as it’s waived.

Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business collects no annual fee and comes with a sign up bonus of 20,000 miles for spending $3,000 within three months. It earns 1.5x on all purchases.

Bottom Line

Bookmark this page for future reference! And let me know below if there was a past transfer bonus I missed.