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Capital One Will Offer Transfer Bonuses When Sending Points to Airlines

Capital One Transfer Bonuses

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Late last year, Capital One shook things up by adding the ability to transfer points directly to 14 different airlines. And now, the popular travel rewards card issuer is sweetening the deal.

Capital One has announced it will occasionally offer transfer bonuses when sending miles to specific airlines. Though it started this new bonus feature with a real dud – a 1:1 transfer to Emirates Skywards, which is a very weak mileage program – it’s an encouraging sign. A spokeswoman from Capital One made clear this is simply the first in a rotating series of such bonuses.

And that’s great news. These transfer bonuses are essentially free miles. American Express and Citi both offer them occasionally, and it’s part of the reason we value American Express Membership Rewards points so highly. These bonuses typically range from an extra 10% to 30% when transferring your credit card points to a designated airline.

Just how this will look with Capital One remains unclear. But it could help address a glaring flaw with the Capital One’s new transferability: A relatively poor return when you transfer your miles.

Scan through the list of Capital One transfer partners, and you’ll see that it takes 2 points to get 1.5 miles for almost every airline. It’s worse with Emirates and Singapore, where points transfer on a 2:1 basis.

 

ProgramTypeRatioTransfer Time
AeromexicoAirline2:1.5Same day
Air Canada Aeroplan Airline2:1.5Same day
Air France/KLMAirline2:1.5Same day
AlitaliaAirline2:1.5Same day
AviancaAirline2:1.5Same day
Cathay PacificAirline2:1.5Up to five business days
Emirates Airline2:1Same day
EtihadAirline2:1.5Same day
EVA AirAirline2:1.5Up to five business days
FinnairAirline2:1.5Same day
HainanAirline2:1.5Up to five business days
JetBlueAirline2:1TBD
QantasAirline2:1.5Up to five business days
Qatar Airline2:1.5Up to five business days
SingaporeAirline2:1Up to five business days

 

Compared to the 1:1 transfers you get to most airlines from other banks, it’s an issue. That means the 50,000-point sign-up bonus on the Capital One Venture card is good for just 37,500 airline miles at most. 

 

Our Analysis

This is welcome news, to say the least.

While the launch of points transfers was a mixed bag, this could help level the playing field for Capital One. And despite the fact that Capital One kicked off these transfer bonuses with a pretty horrible option, it’s encouraging.

As I said above, these transfer bonuses are essentially free miles. It can drastically lower the amount of points you need to book some insane flights.

Now, whether these bonuses will ever match the amazing 30% transfer bonuses from American Express to Virgin Atlantic remains to be seen.

 

Bottom Line


This is a great step for Capital One that can give your points an extra boost. We just hope the next transfer bonus airline is better than Emirates.

 

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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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