Capital One Replaces Hotels.com Partnership With New 5x Bonus Category

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Last year we wrote about Capital One's expiring partnership with Hotels.com. Well, folks, the sad day has come and gone, and you can no longer earn 10X miles at Hotels.com.

January 31st, 2020, was the last day you can earn 10X Capital One® miles on Hotels.com/venture bookings using your Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card or Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card.

Key Terms

The End of an Era

The ability to earn 10X on Hotels.com reservations was one of the sweetest deals for paid hotel bookings. To quickly recap, each Capital One mile is redeemable for 1¢ against travel purchases using their Purchase Eraser® feature. (They're potentially worth much more if transferred to any one of Capital One's 15 airline transfer partners.) When used in conjunction with Hotels.com's loyalty program where you earn one free night for every 10 paid nights (minus taxes and fees), this meant you were saving 20% or more with every booking!

Capital One Has Introduced New 5X Bonus Categories

With the end of their most prized benefit, Capital One has introduced a new earning scheme to fill the void. In place of the 10X earnings at Hotels.com, you will now have the ability to earn 5X miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and paid with your Capital One Venture or Capital One VentureOne cards.

You have to book your hotel or rental car through Capital One Travel to earn 5X miles. Any other charges made on your Capital One Venture or Capital One VentureOne card that are not booked through the Capital One portal, regardless if they are hotel or rental-car related, will only earn the standard purchase earn rate.

Our Take

Both of these cards still have some good things going for them. Earning 5X on hotels and rental cars isn’t as good as 10X on hotels, but it’s still a better purchase earn rate than most cards with similar annual fees offer. The Capital One Venture card still offers a solid 2X earning rate on everyday spending. And the Capital One VentureOne offers 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months (then 15.49% - 25.49%), a 20,000-mile sign-up bonus, and the ability to transfer to airline partners–all for no annual fee.

We were hoping this promotion would get extended past this initial expiration date. It’s tough to see a great deal end. In any case, we hope you locked-in some hotels at 10x before the cutoff!

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Comments

  • My issue with this is that it’s economically inferior to hotels.com’s reward program, so, even if you choose to forego booking directly with a hotel for its perks, it’s still more worth it to use hotels.com for the free 10th night than it is to get the 5x miles from using Capital One’s portal.

    They should just give 5x, or even 4x miles for any hotel stay, frankly – that would make this far more competitive.

  • Sounds like they recognize Chase has a good thing going and want to get a piece of their business.

  • I have never been a fan of these rotating categories, and for the most part avoid cards that use them. It’s just too much of a hassle to move purchases around every quarter or so. I stick mostly to my Amex Blue Preferred card for groceries (6%) and Amazon Prime for Amazon/WholeFoods (5%). The rest goes on my Capital One Quicksilver, which at 1.5% is not the best card possible for some categories, but it’s a decent rate and easy to set as my default.

  • I don’t have the Capital One so it doesn’t directly affect me. It is a big loss if you used hotels.com. However, always prefer to book directly with the hotel in case any issues arise.

  • If you want to hold just one card, this might be a decent option but do hotel bookings made thru capital one travel portal earn hotel points and do you get the benefits ?

  • 5x still competitive in my books!

  • Hotels.com is just as competitive as some of the other booking portals. I think credit card companies are welcome to try tweaking their incentives, as long as we can get the ones we want 🙂

  • I never used Hotels.com so this is perfect for me

  • Not as good as it sounds if the “Travel Portal” is treated like an OTA and you lose elite privilege/credit.

  • This was one of the only reasons to put spend on the capital one venture card.

  • Hmm, 5x sounds fantastic on paper but it’s through their travel portal, an OTA. I’d really like to avoid OTAs as much as possible as agents are able to assist better by booking direct – not to mention hotels not granting points or acknowledging status. I’m not sure it’s worth it.

  • Had strongly considered the card for becoming a hotel free agent – but no way now.

  • don’t care for fees so don’t care for this

  • Sad that the bonus points are reduced and you have to book through them to get the lower amount.

  • I guess the hotels.com bonus was too good to be true.
    All things come to and end sadly.

  • If I have to go thru their travel portal, then I dont get cash back on other shopping portals which makes this not so much of a win.

  • I can see this as a bonus but I think I’d rather still book with the hotel to get any elite benefits. Though they all need to work on those.
    Chase and Amex will still be my go to. Capital is good but UR and MR I believe is a better fit for me.

  • I paid rent to meet spending requirements as I didn’t want to go on a shopping spree but hotels booked through venture are more expensive. Surely it only matters if it over a 5% difference

  • Pitty I can take advantage from my country.

  • Maybe the hotels.com 10x was not generating enough new business. But I am sorry to see this go. I think the 5x car rentals and hotel categories will slow down growth for these cards.

  • In my opinion, hotels.com is the best third-party hotel booking website. I believe that I am one of the many fans out there.

  • 10x is probably not sustainable. Very generous.

  • If I book a hotel through Capital One Travel can I still earn hotel loyalty points?

    • Nope. All hotels that I know of need to be booked direct to have anything to do with their loyalty program (nights, stays, points, etc).

  • I have never been able to qualify for one of their cards. However, I probably wouldn’t have taken advantage of this offer anyway as hotels usually don’t give their elite benefits when booked through a portal. I also try to avoid another layer of complexity when booking — when things go wrong, I find it is always easiest to have book direct.

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    My favorite aspect is the ability to earn or for each Capital One mile to be redeemable for 1¢ against travel purchases. That’s a very dulcet offer.

    • Keep in mind your opportunity cost though. Booking through the portal means no hotel points or elite night credits. Or it forgoes booking through an OTA through another portal and earning both miles and teward dollards through that OTA’s reward system.

  • I really need to get one of their high end cards, but their minimum spending is so high it’s hard to meet.

  • I can understand a promotion like this not being sustainable long-term. It was definitely nice to have while it lasted, though I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should have. At least they are replacing it with a means of earning greater rewards with other travel-related expenditures to build their rewards portfolio; it helps make them competitive with other travel rewards cards I’ve seen.

  • Not a bad no-fee card. Worth looking into for some, especially those dipping their toes into the points and miles game.

  • Thank you for the alert to the end of 10x miles at hotels.com. I called Capital One last night to confirm that the bonus still applied. Not only did I just beat the deadline, I learned that it is also necessary to make the booking from the Venture card Portal to hotels.com.
    Those steps should earn a couple thousand more miles on this booking!

  • Definitely not a card I’d waste a 5/24 slot on.