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If you hold a Capital One travel card, you may already be aware of the Capital One Travel portal. It's a way to use the miles you earn to book flights, hotels, and rental cars. Plus, certain cards award bonus miles on Capital One Travel portal purchases, which is useful when you're paying out-of-pocket rather than using your miles to book travel.
Capital One Travel has many positives but also a few negatives. In this article, we'll go over everything you need to know about the Capital One Travel portal.
- What Is the Capital One Travel Portal?
- Booking Flights With Capital One Travel
- Booking Hotels and Rental Cars With Capital One Travel
- Earning and Using Miles With Capital One Travel
- Using the Capital One Venture X and Venture X Business $300 Travel Credit
- Limitations to the Capital One Travel Portal
- Bottom Line
What Is the Capital One Travel Portal?
The Capital One Travel Portal (found here) is an easy-to-use website that helps you find and book travel. It is powered by Hopper, an app that helps predict the best time to book travel based on cost. The portal offers a huge selection of flights, hotels, and rental car options. It also offers exclusive discounts and access to premier hotels.
Further, you can earn extra miles to use at a later date when making paid reservations through the portal. It's also possible to redeem miles to pay for these bookings, and the portal has several features to help you save money or know when to book to get the best price.
Who has access?
At first launch, only those with miles-earning cards had access to Capital One Travel. That includes cards like these:
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One Spark Miles for Business
- Capital One Venture X Business
However, access to the portal has expanded to those with cash-back credit cards, such as:
- Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Savor Rewards from Capital One
- Capital One Spark Cash Plus
Booking Flights With Capital One Travel
There are two ways to access the Capital One Travel Portal. The first option is to log on to your Capital One account. From there, click on your award miles. That will take you to a page with all the ways to use your miles.
Choose either “Discover Travel” or “Book a Trip.” This will take you to the portal, and you can book from there.
Alternatively, go directly to the Capital One Travel Portal at capitalonetravel.com and log in.
When booking flights, go through the standard process of entering your departing and returning cities, dates, and number of passengers. Once you click on the option to select dates, a color-coded calendar will pop up.
If you've used Hopper before, this may feel familiar. Each day is color-coded by price from lowest (green) to highest (red), with a key at the bottom showing approximate prices.
This is where the Capital One Travel Portal shines. You know you're getting a good deal if the price is green. This is especially helpful if you have flexible dates. You could save hundreds of dollars just by shifting your dates forward or backward by a day or two. Those savings multiply quickly when you're booking for an entire family.
Once you've selected your dates, you'll be taken to a screen that shows all of your flight options. You can filter options by fare class, number of stops, airlines, and more. Additionally, you can sort by price, departure and arrival time, stops, and duration.
You should be aware of a few handy features when booking flights. At the top of the booking page, you'll see an explanation of why you should or should not book the flight, based on the price predictions for your route. If Capital One Travel suggests waiting, set up a price watch to keep an eye on prices, allowing you to book if/when they drop.
If the site suggests booking now, you'll automatically be enrolled in price protection. If the price drops within 10 days of booking, you'll get a refund.
Previously, the price difference was credited back to your form of payment. However, Capital One recently updated its terms and conditions for this perk. Now, this refund comes in the form of a Capital One Travel credit — up to $50 of the price difference. The upside is that it can be used for anything in the Capital One Travel portal, including flights, hotels, and rental cars.
Price predictions are listed by date and amount. This is helpful for knowing when may be the best time to buy.
There are a few other features to notice here. First, you have the option to freeze the price for a small fee. This price freeze is in place for up to 14 days. If the price goes up during this time, Capital One will cover the difference — up to $500. If the price goes down during this time, you will pay the lower price. On the small chance that the flight sells out during this time and there are no seats available, you'll get a refund for the cost of freezing the price.
The cost of freezing a price varies, based on things like route, how far in advance you're booking, and travel dates. You can't use price freeze if your departing flight is within 36 hours.
Finally, once you've selected your flight, Capital One Travel offers a very comprehensive look at the flight details and each class fare. You'll see what's included in each option, plus how much it will cost in cash and miles.
After you decide which flight is best, go through the standard booking process of entering your personal information and payment details.
Booking Hotels and Rental Cars With Capital One Travel
Booking hotels and rental cars is a simpler process — for better or worse. There are no color-coded systems, price freezes, or price drop protections. Instead, it works like any other travel portal. Simply enter your location and dates, and you'll be given all of the options for booking. You can sort and filter by price, features, stars, etc.
When looking at hotels, notice that the first option is a Premier Collection hotel. This curated collection of luxury hotels around the world provides extra perks on each reservation, including daily breakfast for two, a $100 resort credit, complimentary Wi-Fi, room upgrades when available, and late check-out when available. Capital One's other hotel program is the Lifestyle Collection, offering complimentary Wi-Fi, room upgrades when available, and a $50 experience credit.
With hotels and rental cars, you'll check out as you normally would, providing your personal details and payment method — including the ability to pay with miles.
Earning and Using Miles With Capital One Travel
As you go through the booking process in the portal, you'll be given the option to pay with a credit card or redeem miles to cover the cost of the reservation.
While this may be tempting, we don't recommend redeeming Capital One miles through Capital One Travel. That's because travel booked in the Capital One Travel portal earns extra miles if you pay with the right credit card.
With the Capital One Venture X or Venture X Business, you'll earn 10 Miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5 Miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel.. With the Capital One Venture, you'll earn 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
Because of this, it's better to pay with your credit card, earn the extra miles, and then go to your account and apply your rewards as a statement credit. You're still using rewards to pay, but you're also getting extra miles for the purchase and coming out ahead.
- Earn 75,000 Miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening; worth $750 in travel if redeemed for a fixed-value, or potentially much more when transferred to airline partners
- 2 Miles on every purchase
- Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® (up to $100)
- No foreign transaction fees
- $95 annual fee
- 5X miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
- 2X miles per dollar on all other purchases
Using the Capital One Venture X and Venture X Business $300 Travel Credit
If you're a Capital One Venture X or Venture X Business cardholder, you are likely already aware that the cards come with an annual $300 travel credit. This is a helpful way to offset the majority of the cards' large annual fees.
Capital One recently changed how this credit is used. Formerly, you received a statement credit after making a qualifying reservation through the Capital One Travel portal. Now, the credit is applied during the reservation checkout process — working like a discount or coupon.
When making a reservation, you can choose whether to apply your annual credit. You even can select “edit amount” if you'd like to apply a portion of your credit to a particular booking. If your booking is less than $300, you can use the remaining credit on a future reservation.
Once you check out, you will see the credit listed as a discount on the booking.
Unfortunately, the new changes for using the credit also mean that you no longer earn additional miles on your booking by paying with your card and then being reimbursed by the travel credit. However, we still think that the Capital One Venture X is a great card to hold.
Limitations to the Capital One Travel Portal
The Capital One Travel Portal has a few limitations that travelers should be aware of:
- Travel booked through the portal typically won't count toward earning hotel elite status. If you value the benefits of status, using the Capital One Travel Portal may not be the best option. However, if that's not a factor for you, it may not matter. Also, if you're booking a small boutique hotel, it won't matter because there's no status to be earned at independently owned properties.
- You may use fewer miles by transferring to a travel partner for an award. Transferring miles to a Capital One transfer partner is a great way to make sure you're getting maximum value for your miles.
- Southwest Airlines does not show up on any travel search engines. The huge majority of airlines will show up in your search. However, Southwest does not. If you like flying Southwest, it may be worth checking its website separately before deciding your best option.
Capital One has done a great job making a travel portal that is easy to use, has helpful features, and allows flexibility with booking and payment options. Benefits like price freeze and price drop protection make it easy for travelers to feel confident about booking. While there are a few limitations to Capital One Travel, they aren't things that would prevent the portal from being a great option for most people.
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