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Back in 2021, Capital One announced game-changing improvements to its loyalty program. These improvements included Capital One adding four new transfer partners and upgrading seven existing partners. In addition, the changes highlighted Capital One's vision of building a winning flexible rewards program. Ultimately, the changes marked the rewards program as one of the few that are increasing value for members by adding partners and improving the transfer rates.
A few years on, Venture Miles are more valuable now than ever before. Let's take a look at some of the best ways to redeem them with Capital One's most valuable transfer partners.
- How We Picked the Best Transfer Partners
- Best Overall Partner: Avianca LifeMiles
- Best Hotel Partner: Wyndham Rewards
- Best Airline Partner: Air France–KLM Flying Blue
- Best Sweet Spots: Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
- How To Get Capital One Miles
- Bottom Line
How We Picked the Best Transfer Partners
To determine the most valuable transfer partners for Capital One (or any program, really), it essentially comes down to three factors:
- Transfer rate: With the exception of two transfer partners (EVA Air and Accor), all Capital One miles transfer at a 1:1 ratio. So you won't be losing out on any of your hard-earned miles.
- Competitive pricing: The next factor we considered is the partner program’s award pricing. A good transfer ratio won’t do any good if an award ticket or free hotel night is too expensive.
- Diversity of usefulness: Lastly, we considered whether a program offers attractive prices for a diverse set of trips. Almost every program can outshine the competition in specific situations. But having a variety of options from one points program is much more useful overall.
Best Overall Partner: Avianca LifeMiles
It should come as no surprise that we're big fans of Avianca LifeMiles. As a Star Alliance member, LifeMiles offers some of the most generous award pricing you can find. The program doesn't add fuel surcharges to your out-of-pocket costs or charge close-in booking fees. This means you can book a last-minute flight for the same amount as one that you book months in advance. Plus, you can pay for award tickets using a combination of miles and cash, providing ultimate flexibility.
It's important to note that you will need to search on the LifeMiles website, not the Avianca website, when looking for award tickets.
Here are some examples of the great redemptions possible with Avianca LifeMiles:
Denver (DEN) to Chicago (ORD) in United economy
Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney (SYD) in United economy
New York (JFK) to Brussels (BRU) in Brussels Airlines business class
Importantly, notice that the taxes and fees for all of these flights are very low. Not only are you getting a great price when it comes to points, you also won't fork over a ton of cash to cover the surcharges.
Best Hotel Partner: Wyndham Rewards
While not well known for the glitz and glamour of its luxury rivals, you shouldn't ignore Wyndham Rewards. Beyond its partnership with Caesars Rewards, Wyndham happens to have the largest hotel footprint in the world. No matter where you go, you'll likely find a Wyndham property to rest your head.
Nightly redemption rates at Wyndham properties fall within three award categories:
- 7,500 points
- 15,000 points
- 30,000 points
Below are a few examples of good Wyndham redemptions. However, keep in mind that it isn't always a good move to use points. When cash rates are low, using points is less attractive. As a general rule, you're looking for redemptions that save you more than one cent per point.
The cash rate for this hotel starts at $350 for a studio room and goes up from there. In this case, consider booking with 30,000 points instead. That's a redemption value of 1.17¢ per point.
Off-season rates can be as low as $175. During peak travel time, however, when paid rates are higher than $300, you should consider booking with 30,000 points.
But the same applies to Wyndham's lower-tier redemptions, as well. This hotel in downtown Cancun charges $80 or more per night, but you'll redeem just 7,500 points.
Best Airline Partner: Air France–KLM Flying Blue
Flying Blue, the award program for both Air France and KLM, is another great use of your miles. Each month, the program offers Flying Blue Promo Rewards. These awards are 25% to 50% off typical pricing, available for one month and typically includes flights up to three months out.
There are specific routes that are discounted, and they are grouped into short/medium-haul flights and long-haul flights.
Flying Blue sweet spots
Furthermore, Flying Blue has a variety of sweet spots. Some of these come in the form of leveraging points with Flying Blue's airline partners like Delta and Aeromexico./ You can book a flight from Los Angeles to Mexico City for as low as 16,500 miles one-way flying on Delta or 18,500 on Aeromexico.
Other sweet spots come directly from Air France and KLM. Fly business class from the U.S. to Europe for just 55,000 miles one-way, plus approximately $200 in taxes and fees. These fees can be lower than other carriers, where surcharges can run you upwards of $500.
Flying Blue family account
In addition to promos and sweet spots, Flying Blue is also great for families. There are two important perks you need to know about:
- You can create a family account with two adults and up to six children. First, you will need to create a free loyalty account for each person. Once you do, you can pool points between family members, making it simple to track each person's account without having to separately log in.
- Award tickets for children ages 2–11 are 25% off when flying with an adult. This means that a family of four can fly from the U.S. to Europe for as little as 52,500 miles one-way.
Best Sweet Spots: Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
No list of valuable Capital One transfer partners would be complete without mentioning its most unique option: Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles. Turkish Airlines is a part of the Star Alliance network, which means that you use Turkish miles to book flights with any of these partner airlines.
Turkish Airlines has some excellent award sweet spots because of its region-based awards chart. For example, flights from the mainland U.S. to Hawaii are considered domestic flights within one region. Therefore, you can fly from anywhere in the U.S. to Hawaii for just 7,500 miles.
Other sweet spots to be aware of include:
- United Polaris business class from North America to Europe for 45,000 miles
- ANA's “The Room” from San Francisco to Tokyo for 67,500 miles
- Fly between Europe 2 and the Far East for 45,000 miles.
That's quite some distance and a range of opportunities on the last item. ”
“Europe 2” includes these countries: Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom. The “Far East” region includes: Brunei, Cambodia, China (except Hong Kong and Macao), China Taipei, Hong Kong – SAR of China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam
Some popular routes for this redemption would be London to Tokyo, Munich to Bangkok, Seoul to Rome, and Singapore to Zurich.
As great as Turkish Airlines is when it comes to redemptions, it does have one big downside. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to find award availability. Miles & Smiles is notorious for not showing available award flights online.
To remedy this, you can log on to United's website and do an award search. You're looking for the “saver award” note. Once you find this, call Turkish Airlines at 800-874-8875. You should be able to book the flights over the phone. Make sure to not transfer your Capital One miles until you've confirmed availability with a Turkish agent.
How To Get Capital One Miles
So how do you get Capital One miles to use with these valuable partners? Consider any of the following credit cards for their welcome bonuses and earning on daily spending:
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One Venture X Business
- Capital One Spark Miles for Business
- 2 miles per dollar on all eligible purchases
- 5 miles per dollar on flights when booking via Capital One Travel
- 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars when booking via Capital One Travel
What makes these miles even better is that you can share them with anyone, helping you combine miles for an upcoming redemption. Moreover, if you have a Capital One cash-back rewards card and a miles-earning card, you can combine your cash earnings with miles. Thus, any Capital One card can essentially earn miles.
Capital One miles don't expire, and there are multiple credit cards that earn these valuable miles that you can use with a wide range of transfer partners. However, we've highlighted four of the best partners here. These provide excellent opportunities to redeem your miles for flights or hotel stays at outsized value. That's true whether you're flying domestically in economy or redeeming for a luxury hotel stay in a foreign country.
But don't forget that you also can use Capital One miles to cover recent travel purchases on your card, help you “use miles when you can't use miles.” These fixed-value redemptions offer a quality option for simplicity, but spending the time to redeem through the partners we've highlighted here — Avianca LifeMiles, Wyndham Rewards, Flying Blue, and Miles & Smiles — can yield numerous opportunities for great uses of your miles.
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