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Why You Shouldn’t Redeem Venture Miles Through the Capital One Travel Portal

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Capital One has been on a tear the past few years making considerable improvements to its Venture Miles program, adding additional ways to use those miles – and, more importantly, more lucrative redemptions through Capital One's network of transfer partners.

But with the addition of a new Capital One Travel Portal and a longtime favorite option of using Venture Miles to cover travel purchases – which allows you to pay for any travel expense with your Capital One card, then go back and cover the cost with miles – there are now three different ways to put your Capital One Venture miles to use. Deciding which avenue is best to make the most of your miles can be confusing.

In our opinion, you shouldn’t ever redeem your Venture Miles directly through the Capital One Travel Portal. You can still use Capital One’s travel portal to book flights (and put your $300 travel credit to use if you’ve got the Venture X Card) … but there’s a workaround that will ultimately save you Venture Miles in the long run.

Here's what you need to know.


Booking Travel Through the Capital One Travel Portal

No matter which Capital One card you have, Venture Miles will always be worth a fixed amount of one cent each when you redeem them through Capital One Travel. That means if you are looking to book a flight, hotel, or rental car through Capital One Travel that costs $500, you would need to use 50,000 Venture Miles to do so. Unlike redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards through the Chase Travel Portal, where your points are worth up to 1.5x more depending on which card you hold, your Venture Miles will never be worth more than one cent each when you use them this way.

Capital One does offer some additional perks for using its travel portal, though, including a tool that predicts whether the price of your flight will drop, the option to watch pricing before booking, and the ability to freeze the price of a flight if you're not ready to book.

But if you're looking to pay for a flight with cash rather than points, Capital One provides a pretty good incentive.

If you hold the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, you'll earn 10x miles per dollar spent on hotels and rental cars booked through the travel portal. For flights, you'll earn 5x miles per dollar spent on those bookings. Not to mention, Venture X cardholders get a $300 credit to use for bookings through Capital One Travel each and every year they hold the card.

If you hold the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, you'll earn 5x miles per dollar spent on hotels and rental cars booked through the portal.

Both cards earn 2x miles per dollar spent on every other purchase you make with your card.

Read More: How to Book Flights & More Through the Capital One Travel Portal


Using Venture Miles to Cover Travel Purchases

Capital One offers another, easy way to redeem your Venture Miles by using them to cover travel purchases after the fact.

If you have Venture Miles, you'll have the ability to get reimbursed for the cost of flights, hotels, Airbnbs, cruises, or any other purchase you make that codes to your card as travel. Using this method, you can use Venture Miles to cover almost any travel expense imaginable.

Simply charge any travel expense to your account and wait for it to post to your card statement. Once it does, you'll have up to 90 days to remove that charge from your account with Venture Miles. It's as easy as that.


capital one purchase eraser menu


When you redeem them this way, each Venture Mile will be worth one cent each. That means a $500 flight can be covered with 50,000 Venture Miles – the same rate you'll find by redeeming points in the Capital One Travel Portal.

No matter if you book directly with an airline or a hotel or through an online travel agency like Expedia, Kayak, or Capital One Travel itself, those charges can all be covered with Venture Miles. That's why we think it never makes sense to redeem Venture Miles directly through the Capital One Travel Portal.

Read our step-by-step guide to covering travel purchases with Capital One Venture Miles!


Why You Shouldn't Redeem Points Through Capital One Travel

Purchases made through Capital One Travel are eligible to be covered with Venture Miles using the option described above – and that opens up a door to get a better value for your miles when booking travel than you would by redeeming them through the travel portal.

Since you can earn up to 10x Venture Miles per dollar spent on bookings made through Capital One Travel depending on which card you hold, you can earn a lot more miles booking through the portal than you could booking directly through the airline, hotel, or rental car agency.

Those additional Venture Miles post to your account immediately, so you can come out ahead by booking first through the Capital One Travel Portal using cash, earning miles, and then later removing the charge from your statement using those Venture Miles.

Here's an example of how this works in practice: A few weeks ago, I needed to book a one-way flight from San Francisco (SFO) to Minneapolis – St. Paul (MSP) to get home from a trip to Japan I'm taking this fall. I zeroed in on a Sun Country flight that would cost me a total of $101.90.

I hold the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, and if I booked that flight directly with Sun Country, I would have earned 203 Capital One Venture Miles since I earn 2x Venture Miles per dollar spent on that purchase. Once that charge was posted to my statement, I could remove it for 10,190 Venture Miles since each Venture Mile is worth one cent each when redeemed that way.

Instead, I opted to book the flight through the Capital One Travel Portal to earn 5x points on the flight purchase instead of the 2x I would have earned by booking directly with Sun Country, for a total of 510 Venture Miles.


Earn 5x Venture Miles on Flights


More importantly, since purchases made through the travel portal can still be removed with Venture Miles once they post to your statement, I can still remove the charge for only 10,190 Venture Miles.


Capital_One purchase eraser


By doing it this way, I earned an additional 307 Venture Miles, a better value than if I had simply redeemed my Venture Miles through the travel portal.

The math here works better for Venture X cardholders, who earn 5x points when booking flights through Capital One Travel, and 10x points when booking hotels and rental cars.

Other Venture cards only earn 5x points on hotels and rental cars and 2x points on all other purchases, including flights. So unless you're interested in the fringe benefits of using the travel portal, it makes more sense to cut out the middleman of an OTA like Capital One Travel and book directly through the airline, then use your Venture Miles to remove the charge from your statement after the fact – it will cost you the same number of miles either way.

Thrifty Tip: Booking through Capital One Travel also allows you to take advantage of the $300 travel credit from the Venture X card. About a week after booking my Sun Country flight, I received a statement credit for the $101.90 purchase. And even though I was already credited back the $101.90 as part of my $300 travel credit benefit from Venture X, I could still remove the original charge with miles.


Bottom Line

Capital One provides cardholders with three different ways to use Venture Miles. You can transfer them to airline and hotel transfer partners, use them to cover travel purchases, and even redeem them directly through Capital One's new travel portal. But in theory, there isn't much value in redeeming them direclty through the Capital One Travel Portal.

You're better off paying cash to book a flight or hotel through the travel portal and removing that charge with Venture Miles at a later time.


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.

10 Responses

  • I booked a flight on expedia, used some expedia dollars, and used a 8x cashback portal, then erased the charge later.

  • If I’m calculating correctly I think it may be better to use my Capital One Venture X card to book through a third party site that ALSO provides a way to earn points (like Hotels.com). Event though Capital One provides a lower rate for these purchases if I can double-dip in this way I can come out ahead.

  • Does anybody else have a problem with making purchases on the Capital One travel site? CapOne says my credit card is declined but the credit card company says the charge never shows up on their end. So I go to another website, the charge goes through and the flight is $40 cheaper.

    • I like the cover purchases made option because it lets me stay in unique hotels or in places where chains with points are not àvailable

  • Those examples on cheap flights sound enticing, but my CapitalOne points transferred to Virgin Atlantic have been much more valuable.
    So far I’ve used my 90,000 CapitalOne bonus points for signing up for the card and using it for the minimum purchases to qualify for the bonus, to be able to book three European flights home for my wife and I from, Florence, Italy, London, England, and Naples, Italy for 15,000 points each for the six seats. The advertised cash prices on each of those flights was listed at over $2,000 each had we chosen the cash option when we booked. After seeing the cash price, it took a matter of minutes to transfer 30,000 points each time for our flights to LAX.
    I like finding out as many ways as possible to save money on travel with points, but the direct transfer to partner airlines has worked for me. Good luck to all.

  • I have an MS in engineering but learned that I could not easily figure out how I will use this information. 🙁 I got super lost. I need a decision tree or something to simplify it for my comprehension.

    • This tip is for those who are inclined to use their accumulated miles to book travel. Rather than using the points at the time of booking, you should charge the booking to the card as it will result in more points being awarded. Then use the “cover travel” option to offset the purchase.
      First Scenario:
      $100 flight – 10000 miles= $0 spent and 0 miles earned
      Second Scenario:
      $100 flight – $100 spent on card = $100 spend and 500 miles earned
      $100 spent – 10000 miles in cover travel option = $0 spent 500 miles
      In the second scenario you earn an additional 500 miles you would not earn in the first scenario.

      • Thank you so much for simplifying for us simpletons. For some reason I had trouble following what the article was suggesting. After reading your comment everything clicked!

  • I used CapitalOne travel to book hotel and air travel last summer.
    For air travel, cash price was about equal to points price, example 20,000 points = $200. Purchasing our tickets for cash would have given us a better class of tickets, allowing us to change our tickets without penalty, 2 free pieces of luggage allotment per ticket and the ability to select our seats. Using points, our tickets were non refundable nor changeable, 1 piece of luggage allotment and no seat selection. We regretted using Capitol One travel to book our tickets.
    In hotel bookings, we were given the worst rooms available. None of our requests the type of room or bed size were honored.
    In my opinion, it isn’t worth the extra points to book through CapitalOne travel.
    We have been booking directly with the airlines or another vendor, then using travel benefits to offset the cost using points.

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