Do Capital One Rewards Miles Expire?

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Capital One Rewards do not expire as long as your account is in good standing. If you close your account, you will lose any rewards that have not been redeemed. This applies to Capital One miles rewards and cash rewards.

Capital One Logo

The single most important thing to remember with Capital One Rewards is that if you close your account (and haven't transferred your points out of your account first), your points will be lost. If you are thinking of or decide to close your Capital one cards, you need to use your points beforehand to stop them from disappearing forever.

Remember to always drain your balance using fixed-value redemptions or convert your points to airline miles or hotel points. With 16 airline options and 3 hotels, there is no excuse for losing a single Capital One mile!

What Happens if you Close a Credit Card?

If you close a credit card, the rewards associated with that card are lost. If you earn miles using the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card or Capital One Spark Miles for Business, you can transfer your points to travel partners before closing your card. And you'll want to do so you don't lose your rewards points.

What About Expiration Due to Inactivity?

Many rewards programs have points that expire due to inactivity. However, that is not the case with Capital One Rewards — or other bank transferable point currencies.

If you're ever concerned about points expiring or somehow losing your rewards, you can call the number on the back of your card to address your particular concern.

How Different Reward Program Points Expire

There are five major transferrable point currencies that we often discuss: Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Marriott Bonvoy. When it comes to expiration, there is a fundamental difference between these.

Amex, Chase, Citi, and Capital One are financial institutions, and the existence of your points is linked to the credit card account you have with them. If you close an account, you'll generally lose the points associated with that card. Some banks let you avoid point expiration. For example, you can combine Chase points with another points-earning card to avoid your Ultimate Rewards points from expiring. Other banks force you to use the points associated with a card. For example, Citi points expire 60 days after account closure.

How to Keep Your Capital One Miles From Expiring

Thankfully, Capital One gives cardholders an out. Capital One cardholders can transfer Capital One miles to another account before closing a card to effectively avoid expiration. The only limitation here is that you need to have another Capital One account to transfer to.

Here's how to transfer your points out before closing an account. First, you'll want to log into your Capital One account. Then click on your miles balance right on the dashboard. That will open your account redemption options:

Capital One redemption options

You can take advantage of any of these redemption options before closing your account to keep your Capital One miles from expiring. But, if you want to transfer to another account, you'll want to select the “move rewards” option at the bottom of the list. If you have another Capital One account, you can select that card and transfer your points to it.

If you don't have another Capital One account, you may be able to transfer to a friend or family member's account. But, that option isn't available online. So, you'll need to call the number on the back of your card to request a transfer.

What Capital One Cards Earn Transferrable Miles?

Capital One offers 4 credit cards that earn miles that can be transferred to nearly 20 transfer partners:

Other Capital One credit cards earn cashback. These include:

Bottom Line

Capital One Rewards miles do expire, but only if you close your Capital One account. You can keep your miles from expiring by redeeming them for cash back or by transferring miles to transfer partners or other Capital One accounts.

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Comments

  • Per my understanding, you do not have a card without annual fee, you can also product change (downgrade) any card with the annual fee to a no annual fee card (Venture to VentureOne, or Spark Miles to Spark Miles Select). This should also preserve your miles from expiring, and will not limit you with transfer options. You can still transfer your miles to the same list of partners with the same transfer ratio whether you hold a card with or without an annual fee.

    This is a nice feature, which is not available, i.e. on Chase UR cards, where you have to have at least one card with AF in the family to keep the option to transfer.

    So, unless you are earning bunch of extra miles with your spend, there is really no excuse to keep paying an annual fee on either Venture or Spark.

    Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Thanks.

  • This is exactly why I got the Capital One Venture years ago when I decided I wanted to start travelling. At the time I only used credit cards for purchases I didn’t have cash for and needed to finance, which is to say seldom (not a big spender here). Thank goodness I discovered this forum about a year ago, and since then I’ve watched the rewards points skyrocket! Can’t wait to make that first redemption considering the different avenues of approach I could use with this card!

  • Easy answer- no unless you close your account. Thanks!

  • Don’t have any Capital One credit cards to worry about this.

  • Its always good to know when points expire.

  • I haven’t really perceived Capital One’s products to be as competitive/worthwhile as some of the offerings from Amex or Chase. I may to explore Capital One more in the future.

  • Flexible points are always the best bet. I wish I could be approved for a Capital One card but I think it will never happen. I’ll just have to branch out into the City TY points next.

  • This hasn’t been on my radar but it will be now.

  • A lot of folks at work have a rewards card from Capital One and mentioned they have really good reward cards. I might have to check them out.

  • This will be a program for me to research 🙂

  • Cindi Anderson says:

    I used this card for years but now have the Alliant cash back card which is 3% the first year, then 2.5%. I always liked Cap One but now they have lost me. Last year they agreed to waive my fee. I kept some spend on the card because the autopays are already set up and it’s my oldest card so it helps my credit score. I didn’t know if I’d be charged the fee this year, so waited to see. The day it posted I called to downgrade to the no fee card which earns 1.25% instead of 2%, and they wouldn’t reverse the annual fee that they charged that day. But they said I can cancel and get the annual fee reversed. How dumb is that? Thanks for the memories.

    • On its face that annual fee refund policy does not seem well thought out. If you’re going to be willing to reverse, why not keep the customer as a cardholder? But, I guess if they have waived it once for you, and you try again the next year, they believe they see the writing on the wall and determine you’ll never be willing to pay it. And, if that’s the case, they’ve deemed that the math doesn’t work for them, fee v. rewards. Finally, they don’t want to refuse refunds if canceled within 24hrs of charging or they’d simply get tons of flak.

  • It sure would be nice to see tCap One’s mileage-balance-match sign-up offer come back around!

  • Karen Klein says:

    Good to know, however, I do prefer my Chase UR. Have you done a post on the benefits of Capital One points? I have looked into the card in the past and I think I have come to the conclusion that Chase Ultimate Rewards are better.

    • We haven’t compared them. The true value in Capital One Rewards is that they are ultimately flexible as they have a fixed cash value of 1 penny per point and can be used for anything.

  • Just redeem for cash/credit in your account.

  • No need to hold on the capital one as they are straight cash so I redeem asap.

  • That’s good to know. This is a card I don’t use that much and it will take a while to accumulate any relevant number of points!

  • Phew, that’s a relief! With all of my miles expiring on various airlines, I’m glad I have one safe haven…