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The Best Ways to Use Your Capital One Venture Miles

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Capital One has flipped the travel world on its head in the last few years, transforming Capital One Venture Miles into an indispensable program for travelers who want to do more for less.

In fact, no other credit card points give you more flexibility and versatility to redeem miles toward travel. That includes flights, hotels, rental cars, and much more. Whether you're just getting started earning and redeeming miles and want a simple option or you consider yourself an advanced traveler who's ready to put the nearly 20 Capital One transfer partners to use to maximize your miles, there's a path for you.

Here are some of the best ways to redeem Capital One Venture Miles.

Get alerts for flight deals bookable with Capital One Venture Miles straight to your inbox with Thrifty Traveler Premium+!

 

Use Miles to Cover Any Travel Purchases

Let's start with the easiest route. This is what Capital One is really known for.

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.

 

capital one purchase eraser redemption

 

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 a $500 flight using 50,000 Capital One miles. That may not be earth-shattering value, but it's easy as can be – and it goes far when you find a cheap flight.

Here's a real-world example. Let's say you're a Thrifty Traveler Premium member and just received this alert for $426 flights from Boston (BOS) to Barcelona, Spain (BCN) next year.

 

BOS to BCN Capital One Miles

 

Just pay for that flight with your Capital One card directly through the airline's website, then go to your account a few days later, and remove it from your statement for 42,600 Venture miles. That's all it takes: It really is that easy.

This is tailor-made for travelers who want a quick-and-easy way to use their miles. Don't want to deal with booking through third-party travel portals or try decoding the mystifying world of how airlines set award rates when using their miles? This method is for you.

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 traditional airline miles will not. And you'll still earn miles with the airline you're flying.

But the real beauty is that it can go, far, far beyond booking flights. Think of any travel expense, and you can cover it using your Venture Miles – including expenses that other credit card points can't cover. For example…

  • You could cover a $500 Airbnb or VRBO reservation for 50,000 Venture Miles
  • Charge your $40 train ticket anywhere in the world to your Capital One Card, then erase it using 4,000 Venture Miles
  • Book a tour or excursion through Viator or Airbnb Experiences, then use Venture Miles to cover the cost
  • Ubers, Lyft rides … you name it, you can cover it with miles

The list goes on and on. Needless to say, there's a ton of flexibility and ease when using miles to cover travel purchases.

Be ready to book the next cheap flight alert with Venture Miles. Sign up for Thrifty Traveler Premium today!

 

Level Up Using Capital One Transfer Partners

For years, the beauty of Capital One Miles has been their simplicity. Charge a flight to your Capital One card, then go back and cover the cost using miles.

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 back in late 2018. 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.

Here's the full list.

ProgramTypeRatioTransfer Time
AeromexicoAirline1:1Instant
Air Canada Aeroplan Airline1:1Instant
Air France/KLMAirline1:1Instant
Avianca LifeMilesAirline1:1Instant
British AirwaysAirline1:1Instant
Cathay Pacific AsiaMilesAirline1:1Up to five business days
Emirates Airline1:1Instant
EtihadAirline1:1Up to 1 day
EVA AirAirline2:1.5Up to five business days
FinnairAirline1:1Instant
QantasAirline1:1Instant
SingaporeAirline1:1Instant
TAP Air PortugalAirline1:1Same day
Turkish AirlinesAirline1:1Same day
Virgin RedOther1:1Same day
AccorHotel2:1Up to two business days
WyndhamHotel1:1Same day
Choice HotelsHotel1:1Same day

Read our guide to Capital One transfer partners and learn how you can transfer your miles!

It gets even better, as Capital One regularly offers transfer bonuses, giving you a 15% to 40% bonus when sending your Venture Miles to select partners on this list. That's a great way to maximize your Venture Miles.

Thrifty Tip: Unlike many other banks, Capital One allows you to fine-tune your transfers in increments of 100 (so long as you transfer at least 1,000 miles).

With that many options, the world is your oyster. But here are a few of our favorites to redeem your Capital One miles for big value.

 

Business Class to Europe for 45K – Or Less!

Turkish Airlines offers one of the most economical ways to fly business class to Europe. And Capital One Venture Miles are one of the only ways to make it happen.

For just 45,000 miles each way, you can book a business class seat between the U.S. and almost anywhere in 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!

 

newark to istanbul turkish redemption

 

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, SAS, or TAP Air Portugal. 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 airline's newest Boeing 787s or Airbus A350.

 

turkish airlines business class seat

 

Read our full review of Turkish Airlines business class!

We do all the legwork for our Thrifty Traveler Premium+ members: Finding availability, in-depth booking instructions, and guiding you to the best credit card points to use to book what's typically a $4,000-plus fare – like this recent deal to fly business class to Istanbul (IST) for just 45,000 miles each way.

And since Turkish is a transfer partner with Capital One, it was easily bookable with Capital One

 

Turkish Biz Premium deal

 

Only Thrifty Traveler Premium+ members get award alerts like these to use their points and miles!

 

15K Miles to Get to Europe (30K Round Trip)

This might just be the sweetest spot of all when using Capital One Venture Miles – especially if you live in Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP).

You can instantly transfer your Capital One Venture Miles 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.

 

msp to amsterdam

 

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.

Want award alerts like this to use Capital One Miles to book round-trip flights to Europe? Sign Up for Thrifty Traveler Premium+ today!

 

Fly to Hawaii for 26K to 35K Miles RT (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. And the same goes for Alaska Airlines.

How? British Airways. You can transfer Venture Miles to British Airways, which you can use to book flights to Hawaii on American Airlines or Alaska. And while both airlines regularly charge 45,000 of their own miles (or more) 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) or Phoenix (PHX) with American or Los Angeles, San Francisco (SFO), San Jose (SJC), San Diego (SAN), Portland (PDX), or Seattle (SEA) with Alaska.

So long as there's a nonstop flight, you can fly from all those 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.

 

capital one venture miles hawaii

 

But if you're not on the West Coast, you're probably better off booking flights on Delta … using miles from Virgin Atlantic. The airline charges just 45,000 miles roundtrip all the way from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Honolulu (HNL) – a fraction of what Delta itself regularly charges.

Venture Miles also transfer 1:1 to Virgin Red – the overarching loyalty program for all things Virgin – so 45,000 miles means you're set. Just beware that finding the Delta flights you want can be a bit of a challenge, so be sure to read our guide on how to book these Delta flights for huge savings. And never transfer miles before you've confirmed the flights you want are available.

 

virgin atlantic msp to hawaii

 

We recently sent our Thrifty Traveler Premium+ members a deal to book non-stop flights between Minneapolis St. Paul (MSP) and Honolulu (HNL) for just 35,000 Virgin Atlantic miles round trip.

While this award typically prices out at 45,000 miles round trip, there is currently a 30% transfer bonus from Capital One to Virgin Atlantic. That means 35,000 Capital One Venture Miles is all you needed to take advantage of this deal!

 

MSP HNL Virgin Premium deal

 

Get the next award alert to book flights using your points and miles with Thrifty Traveler Premium+!

Prefer to fly United? You can get a great deal using Singapore KrisFlyer miles to book United flights to Hawaii and back: 39,000 miles roundtrip! One thing to be aware of, though, is that transfers to Singapore can take up to five days to hit your account, so there may be a holdup.

 

chicago to honolulu

 

 

…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 the 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.

 

capital one venture miles hawaii

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.

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 Capital One miles – as long as you are able to book it.

 

Fly Emirates Business Class to Italy or Greece for 108K Points RT!

This deal has taken a hit recently, but it's still a stellar way to get to Europe and back in style on one of the world's best airlines.

Emirates operates two funky fifth-freedom flights between the U.S. and Europe: One from New York City (JFK) to Milan (MXP) and another from Newark (EWR) to Athens (ATH). On either route, you can snag a seat in Emirates business class for as low as 108,000 Skywards miles roundtrip – plus under $250 in fees.

Capital One Venture Miles transfer instantly to Emirates, so as long as you have the miles, you can book this deal.

But the trick is finding the award availability at those lowest rates: Searching yourself on Emirates, you might only see flights for closer to 200,000 miles … if you see anything at all. Thrifty Traveler Premium+ has you covered there, too, pinpointing you to the exact dates you can travel to book.

 

thrifty traveler premium deal to europe with emirates

 

These seats all got booked – get the next award alert to fly business class with Thrifty Traveler Premium+!

The flights to Athens are also an option, but the ride over to Italy with Emirates is our top choice because Emirates flies its Airbus A380 on that route. Guess what that means? An onboard bar at 35,000 feet! You can even try your luck at upgrading to Emirates First Class at the airport!

 

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.

 

capital one venture miles redemptions

 

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.

 

TAP Air Portugal business class

 

How to Earn Capital One Miles

To spend Capital One Venture miles wisely, you've first got to earn them. You're in luck: There are a handful of cards that can help you bolster your balance of Venture miles, including a brand new option.

 

The Capital One Venture X Card

The Venture X card might just be the best travel credit card we've ever seen.

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is the bank's very first premium travel card. Think of it as a souped-up version of the ever-popular Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card that’s chock full of extra benefits: Access to Capital One Lounges and Priority Pass lounges, a $300 annual travel credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, a credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, great travel and rental car insurance protection, and more. The annual fee clocks in at $395 a year, but the benefits can easily outweigh that.

Here's the best part: You can currently earn 75,000 Venture Miles after spending $4,000 in the first three months. Considering you earn at least 2x for every dollar you spend on the Venture X Card, you’ll earn a total of at least 83,000 Venture Miles.

 

*venture x*

 

Learn more about the *venture x*.

 

Capital One Venture Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has been a fan favorite among travelers for years – and for good reason. It's truly one of the best travel credit cards for beginners.

You earn 2x miles on every purchase and even get a credit that covers the cost of Global Entry or TSA PreCheck – all for a card with a $95 annual fee.

Capital One currently offers a welcome bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within three months from account opening. This is equal to $750 in travel expenses – or get even more by transferring those 75,000 miles to partner airlines or hotels.

 

*capital one venture card*

 

Learn more about the *capital one venture card*

 

Capital One VentureOne Card

Think of the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card as the littlest sibling to the Venture X and Venture Card.

It's a no-annual-fee card that will earn you 1.25x miles per dollar you spend. The welcome bonus is smaller, too – though still quite nice. You can currently earn bonus_miles_full

 

*Cap One VentureOne*

 

Learn more about the *Cap One VentureOne*.

 

Bottom Line

There are some incredible ways to redeem Capital One Venture Miles.

As the credit card company has improved its transfer partner program, that list has only grown. But even if you're looking to keep things simple, Venture Miles give you an easy route to cover almost any travel expense you can think of.

That versatility is the beauty of using Capital One Venture Miles.

Want award alerts like these to use Capital One Miles? Sign Up for Thrifty Traveler Premium+ today!

 

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.

6 Responses

  • Yes, I agree that 35,000 miles on TAP would be a great deal in business class, but alas, there are absolutely ZERO seats offered on TAP for non-stop JFK to LIS through the end of the booking period next June. You got my hopes up. Bummer.

    On the other hand, I am really enjoying my premium service with ThriftyTraveler. None of your great finds for international business travel seem to be able to be booked so far by me.

    • Award space on that particular route can be very hit or miss. It may not be there today, but we’ve seen some wide-open seats in the last few months so stay tuned.

      Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected] if you’re having some issues with booking those Premium deals – we’re always here to help!

  • I’m a huge fan of the Venture X card. I’m traveling to Indonesia, Vietnam, and Cambodia this summer and have done a combination of booking through the Capital One travel portal and booking through other sites using my card and, so far, the trip is costing me very little. (Of course, I used my $300 annual travel credit already. I blew through that for another trip earlier this year.) It’s simple to cover travel purchases through the app and online. The card is everything it was promised to be.

  • We have the VentureX card. It’s my understanding that contrary to what you say in point #1, we cannot travel erase a VRBO purchase because travel erase only works on “Travel” coded purchases. Since the category is set by the company and not Cap1, VRBO codes as Real Estate, so it’s not available to erase those charges? Please reply, we’re looking to book something in Moab for Sept and our preference is always VRBO but not if we can’t figure out how to erase (or partner) them….

  • Do purchases made in the Capital One travel portal code as travel to the Venture X? Could you book a hotel in the Capital One portal at 10x points and then erase those charges using miles? Use the miles on the backend of the transaction (instead of upfront, during the booking) so that you could get the 10x multiplier on the original purchase…

  • I want to book a flight to tokyo with my capital one miles, any recommended route/plan to actually book through ANA or something similar for business?

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