Travelers love their go-to Capital One cards like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the premium Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. And for good reason: Capital One Venture miles have become some of the most valuable points on the planet.
No matter which card you're eyeing, you'll currently get the exact same bonus. Both cards will earn you 75,000 Venture Miles after spending $4,000 within the first three months. It's up to you to earn those miles – and to do so responsibly.
But actually using those points to get the best bang for your buck? That's what we're here for.
Not sure which card is right for you? Read our guide comparing the Capital One Venture vs the Venture X card!
Book $750 in Travel (Anything…)
This is no big secret. In fact, it's the go-to method for millions of Capital One cardholders.
No airline or credit card company makes it easier to redeem points and miles toward travel than Capital One. Just charge your flight, hotel, Airbnb, or almost any other travel expense to your Capital One card. A few days later, you can go in and remove that charge from your statement using miles.
Read our step-by-step guide to covering travel purchases to see how it's done!
Using this method, every Capital One Venture Mile is worth 1 cent. That means you can book $750 in flights using that 75,000-mile bonus. Or cover a $750 bill at a hotel or Airbnb. Or $750 for a rental car. We could go on and on like this.
Is that earth-shattering value? No. There are better ways to squeeze more out of your Capital One bonus. But if delving into airline award charts and Capital One transfer partners isn't your thing, the simplicity and flexibility of redeeming Capital One miles this way makes it a serious sweet spot – especially when you pair it with a cheap flight.
Here's an example. Let's say you're a Thrifty Traveler Premium member and just received this alert for $460 nonstop flights from Miami (MIA) to Rome (FCO) for the fall.
Get cheap flights like this one sent straight to your inbox with Thrifty Traveler Premium!
Just pay for that flight with your Capital One card, go to your account a few days later, and remove it from your statement for 46,000 Venture miles. That's all it takes.
There are a few advantages to covering travel charges with miles beyond convenience. For starters, it's one of the few ways to make a flight completely free, as your Venture Miles will cover the taxes and fees that a traditional airline award booking would not. You'll still earn miles with the airline you're flying. And most importantly, you're booking directly with the airline – not through a third-party online travel agency that could mess up your booking.
But if you want to get more value from your Venture miles, you'll want to look into Capital One transfer partners.
Capital One added the ability to transfer miles straight to airline programs years ago. After steadily adding more and more partners and making significant improvements, it's now a bonafide option with some killer value. With few exceptions, every 1,000 Capital One miles you transfer gets you 1,000 airline miles or hotel points.
Read our guide to Capital One transfer partners and learn how you can transfer your miles!
Fly to Hawaii for 26K Miles (Or Less!)
American Airlines may not be a Capital One transfer partner, but you can still fly American to Hawaii and back using these miles – often at a huge discount.
How? British Airways. You can transfer miles to British Airways, which you can use to book flights to Hawaii on American Airlines. And while American charges 45,000 AAdvantage miles for a round-trip from the West Coast, you can book the exact same flights for just 26,000 British Airways Avios.
The trick here is that you have to fly from the West Coast, specifically Los Angeles (LAX) and Phoenix (PHX). You can fly from both cities to all four major Hawaiian airports at this low price. Venture Miles transfer to British Airways on a 1:1 basis, so 26,000 Venture miles is all you need.
Prefer to fly United? You can use Singapore KrisFlyer miles to book United flights to Hawaii and back from even further away for just 35,000 miles roundtrip! One thing to be aware of: While many transfers to Singapore are instant, they can can take up to five days to hit your account so there may be a holdup.
If you time it right, these redemptions get even cheaper. Capital One regularly rolls out transfer bonuses to select airline partners, giving you a 15% to 40% bonus on top of the miles you're transferring.
…Or Just 15K to Hawaii and Back!
This one requires a bit more work, but the savings are worth it. Those exact same United flights from above? You can book them for just 15,000 miles roundtrip.
It hinges on using Turkish Miles & Smiles program, another 1:1 transfer partner and perhaps the single-most valuable option in Capital One's arsenal. Case in point: Turkish's award chart makes it possible to fly from almost anywhere in the U.S. to Hawaii and back for just 15,000 miles roundtrip – or 25,000 miles in first class.
So what's the problem? Well, booking is a bit of a pain. For starters, you'll need to find award availability through United.com or another site like Singapore's. From there, you might have luck finding and booking straight through Turkish's website, but it can be incredibly hit or miss.
Read our full walkthrough on how to book these incredibly cheap flights to Hawaii through Turkish!
At times, nonstop flights simply won't show up at all. So odds are, you'll need either email Turkish or call them at 1-800-874-8875 to book. Make sure to read our full guide on how to book flights to Hawaii through Turkish.
But considering United itself would charge 45,000 miles or more for these exact same flights, this is a steal. You won't find a cheaper way to get to Hawaii using your Capital One bonus.
15K Miles to Get to Europe
This might just be the sweetest spot of all – especially if you live in Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP).
You can transfer your Capital One bonus to Virgin Atlantic. And you can use those Virgin Atlantic points to book nonstop flights on Air France or KLM from the U.S. to Amsterdam (AMS) and Paris (CDG) – or connect almost anywhere in Europe – starting for just 12,000 to 15,000 Virgin points one-way or 24,000 to 30,000 roundtrip in economy. If you fly during the peak summer, it clocks in as high as 50,000 points roundtrip – still a bargain.
From many cities, you'll get hit with close to $200 in fees for a one-way to Europe – or almost $400 for a roundtrip. But not from Minneapolis: This midwestern hub gets spared from those hefty fees, meaning you book a roundtrip to Amsterdam (AMS) for as low as 30,000 miles and just $91 in taxes and fees.
It gets better. Whether you want to pop over to Madrid (MAD) or Lisbon (LIS), party in Dublin (DUB), or eat your way around Rome (FCO), you can fly almost anywhere in western Europe for as low as 15,000 miles each way and under $100 in taxes and fees. You can even fly into one European city and back from another!
Virgin Atlantic isn't a Capital One transfer partner … but Virgin Red is. Virgin Red is the overarching loyalty program for all Virgin brands, from the airline to Virgin Hotels, Virgin Voyages, and more. Be sure to read our instructions on how you can transfer your Capital One bonus to Virgin Red and make this amazing deal a reality.
Or Business Class to Anywhere in Europe for 45K!
Turkish has the cheapest way to fly from the mainland to Hawaii, but they've also got one of the most economical ways to fly business class to Europe.
For just 45,000 miles each way, you can book a business class seat between the U.S. and Europe thanks to the incredible Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles program. With a 1:1 transfer ratio, 45,000 Venture Miles is all you need. Most airlines charge close to double that or more!
You can fly almost any Star Alliance airline to Europe for 45,000 miles each way, but you'll want to focus on airlines that don't pass on hefty fees like United or SAS. But if you ask us, your best bet is going to be flying Turkish Airlines itself – and that's not a bad thing. The airline is renowned for its inflight catering and solid service. Look for flights on the airlines' newest Boeing 787s or Airbus A350s.
Read our full review of Turkish Airlines business class!
Get to the Caribbean for Less
Pining for the beaches of Aruba (AUA), Saint Martin (SXM), or elsewhere? Transferring your Capital One miles to British Airways is your answer.
British Airways uses a distance-based chart, where the number of miles you need to book a flight depends on how many miles you’re flying. That means short flights are often a bargain – even after a recent price hike for using British Airways Avios on partner airlines like American.
To keep things short and cheap, the best play is flying from East Coast American Airlines hubs like Miami (MIA), Charlotte (CLT), Philadelphia (PHL), or New York City-LaGuardia (LGA). British Airways charges for flights per segment, so you’ll want to make sure to find nonstop flights on American.
When you do, it can be a goldmine for getting to even far-flung Caribbean islands – like St. Lucia (UVF) – using miles.
One-Way to Lisbon in Biz for 35K
You can transfer your Capital One to Avianca LifeMiles on a 1:1 basis, then use them to book a business class flight to Europe. Normally, that'll take you 63,000 miles each way, which isn't bad. But there's one incredible sweet spot for almost half the cost.
You can fly from New York-JFK (JFK) to Lisbon (LIS) in TAP Air Portugal business class for just 35,000 miles. Just that one route prices out that low – that's it. Every other Star Alliance business class redemption from JFK will run you 63,000 miles. Even the same flight from nearby Newark (EWR) and the return flight from Lisbon back to JFK cost nearly twice as much.
At 35,000 miles, this is an absolute steal. Plus, LifeMiles passes on less than $25 in taxes and fees. That means you can book a $2,000-plus business class flight for just 35,000 Venture miles and a few bucks.
Most days TAP flies its new Airbus A330-900neo on this route, which means you’ll get the best business class seats TAP has to offer, with lie-flat seats in a spacious 1-2-1 arrangement.
This is just the tip of the iceberg.
With a stash of 75,000 Venture miles, an easy way to redeem them toward almost any travel expense, plus a portfolio of nearly 20 transfer partners, the world is – quite literally – your oyster. But these are some of our favorite ways to put a Capital One bonus to use.