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New Capital One Transfer Bonus: Get up to 40% More Etihad Miles

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Transfer bonuses are some of the best ways to use your credit card points, but it's been months since Capital One cardholders with cards like the *venture x* have seen one. The wait is over.

Abu Dhabi (AUH)-based airline Etihad Airways just rolled out a transfer bonus of up to 40% from Capital One Venture miles, along with a slew of other foreign banks. But you won't see this bonus when you log into your Capital One account – Etihad is handling it on the backend after you've started a transfer. But there could be a long lag: The airline says bonus miles will hit your account within 15 business days of when this transfer bonus ends on March 31.

While they don't charge the cheapest rates and some recent changes to cancellation policies mean you'll want to ensure your plans are set in stone, Etihad Guest miles are one of the best ways to book Etihad business class or first class – including a ride in the Etihad Apartment from New York City (JFK) or other global cities. Exactly how big of a bonus you'll get hinges on how many Capital One miles you transfer:

  • Transfers of 1,000 to 10,000 points get a 20% bonus
  • Transferring 10,001 to 50,000 points gets you a 30% bonus
  • Transferring 50,001 points or more gets you a 40% bonus


etihad transfer bonus


It's available through March 31, and Capital One is the only major transferrable points program that benefits from this particular Etihad transfer bonus, so you won't get a bonus when transferring points to Etihad from Citi ThankYou Points. American Express, meanwhile, is currently offering its own 20% transfer bonus to Etihad.

See all the current transfer bonuses available right now! 

But one of the beauties of Capital One Venture Miles is that you can really fine-tune these transfers. While other banks require you to transfer points in increments of 1,000, you can adjust your Capital One transfers by the 100s (so long as you send at least 1,000).

Sending your points to airline partners is one of the best ways to maximize their value, and these transfer bonuses make it even better – think of it as a way to get some free airline miles. Just keep in mind: These point transfers are a one-way street. Once you send your Venture Miles to Etihad, you can't get them back to your Capital One account.

Read next: Save Points When Booking Flights: Transfer Them to an Airline Partner


How to Use this Transfer Bonus

Etihad Guest miles are typically the best way to book Etihad's vaunted Apartment first class suites on the Airbus A380, which returns to the U.S. next month. Thanks to some recent reductions, the airline now charges as few as 160,000 miles each way for a first class flight between New York City (JFK) and Abu Dhabi – though the airline seems to charge at least 200,000 miles each way for an Apartment-equipped flight.

Factor in this bonus, and you could transfer just 142,900 Capital One Venture miles to book one of the world's best first class seats overseas. Just bear in mind it might take until mid-to-late April for the bonus miles from Etihad to hit your account for the full 200,000-mile amount to book.


etihad first class award


Booking Etihad first class is no sure thing, though: You'll need to find award availability to actually book these suites with miles before transferring anything. Lucky you, we recently sent Thrifty Traveler Premium members an award alert with wide-open award space on this exact route.



etihad award alert


The airline also flies its A380s with Apartment suites on the upper deck to other cities like London-Heathrow (LHR), and the bargain is even better: Just 140,000 miles each way, meaning you can book with just 100,000 Venture Miles!

But Etihad business class is nothing to scoff at – especially if you can snag a ride in one of the new business class suites on Airbus A350-1000s and select Boeing 787s.


etihad business class cabin
Photo courtesy of Etihad


The airline charges 120,000 miles each way for business class flying to Abu Dhabi from U.S. cities like New York City (JFK), Boston (BOS), Chicago-O'Hare (ORD), and Washington, D.C.-Dulles (IAD). With this up to 40% bonus, you could book by transferring 85,800 Capital One Venture Miles.


etihad business class award


For years, Etihad Guest miles were a great way to book award tickets on partner airlines like American Airlines to Europe or Royal Air Maroc between the U.S. and Morocco. Those redemptions took a major hit last year with some major award rate increases, but this transfer bonus makes them more reasonable, including:

  • American Airlines business class to Europe for 80,000 to 100,000 miles each way, or as low as 57,200 Capital One Venture Miles with a 40% bonus.
  • Royal Air Maroc business class to Morocco for 80,000 miles each way, or as low as 57,200 Capital One Venture Miles with this 40% bonus.


What to Watch For

Sold on these deals and ready to transfer all your Capital One miles to Etihad?

Not so fast: There are a few major pitfalls to watch for:

  • You won't get your bonus miles immediately: Etihad says it may take up to 15 business days after the March 31 promotional period for bonus miles to deposit. So if you transfer 100,000 Venture miles today, you might not get that full 140,000 amount in your account until mid-to-late April. That means the award space you want to book could disappear by the time you have all the miles you want to book, so you'll want to have a backup plan (or three) to put all these miles to use.
  • Canceling award tickets is painfully expensive thanks to a change made last month. You'll forfeit a hefty chunk of your miles if you need to cancel a flight, and the penalty gets greater the longer you wait.
    • You'll forfeit 25% of your miles if you cancel 21 days in advance or more
    • You'll forfeit 50% of those miles if you cancel eight to 20 days in advance
    • Canceling within seven days of departure? You'll fork over a whopping 75% of the miles you used to book
  • Come June 2024, Etihad Guest's mileage expiration policy will get even worse. While miles will still expire within 18 months of when you earn them, the only way to reset that clock will be to take a flight with Etihad or one of its partners. Previously, earning any miles with Etihad (including transferring another 1,000 credit card points) would reset that expiration date.

Add it all up, and those painful restrictions could negate the value of even a 40% transfer bonus. Unless you're confident you can find a way to put Etihad miles to use within the next year and a half, it might be best to simply sit this one out.


Bottom Line

Capital One cardholders have their first transfer bonus in months, with up to a 40% bonus when sending Venture miles to Etihad available through March 31.

This could be incredibly lucrative whether you're hoping to fly Etihad business class to Abu Dhabi, book the amazing Etihad Apartments, or score a flight on a partner airline. But the long lag in actually getting these bonus miles in your account combined with some painful cancellation policies means you'll really want to do your homework before transferring any miles to Etihad.


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

1 Responses

  • While it could be a little painful I overall don’t mind the cancellation penalties so much. Right now a lot of premium seat saver award space gets grabbed by a few people who have little intention of using it, making it a just-in-case situation that keeps the awards from everyone else. Several points and miles bloggers have bragged about doing just that so the Etihad policy would pretty much put an end to that practice. The only major concern for me would be the 18 month expiration in conjunction with a lack of award seats.

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