Capital One Announces New Popular Transfer Partners & Other Improvements
Capital One has long been the redheaded stepchild of the miles and points community. Their cards are hard to get, that doesn’t stop us from trying though, and their transfer partners have been mostly an after thought. That didn’t stop us from salivating over the Capital One Venture card and the 100,000 point welcome offer, not to mention the uncapped 2X earning. But outside of using travel eraser there wasn’t much going on. The transfer partners were mostly meh and the rates were less than 1 to 1. Capital One decided to change some of that. Let’s take a look at the details.
Transfer Partner Rate Adjustments
Most of Capital One’s transfer partners are at a rate of 2 to 1.5. So you would need to cash in 2 Capital One Venture card or Capital One Spark Miles card points for 1.5 airline miles or hotel points. That is below the standard 1 to 1 rate that other banks offer.
Beginning on April 20th that is changing for some programs. Capital One miles can be transferred to these select travel loyalty programs at a 1 to 1 value:
- Avianca (LifeMiles)
- Etihad (Etihad Guest)
- Asia Miles
- AeroMexico (Club Premier)
- Finnair (Finnair Plus)
- Qantas (Qantas Frequent Flyer)
- Wyndham Rewards
Capital One is also adding 4 new transfer partners starting April 20th.
- TAP Air Portugal (Miles&Go) – 1:1 Transfer Rate
- Choice Hotels (Choice Privileges) – 1:1 Transfer Rate
- British Airways (Avios) – 2:1.5 Transfer Rate
- Turkish Airlines (Miles&Smiles) – 2:1.5 Transfer Rate
Other Program Improvements
Outside of new transfer partners and improved transfer partner rates Capital One has some other good news to share.
Capital One is adding two new airport lounges as well. They will be at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (DFW), opening in late summer 2021, and Dulles Airport (IAD), coming in 2022.
You can find more details on the lounges here. From the renderings they look very similar to an Amex Centurion Lounge. I am waiting to hear back on if this is free to certain cardholders, or all cardholders etc.
UPDATE: Capital One said they have not finalized cost or free access. They said all cardholders will get reduced rates on entry for sure. If there are not some cardholders that get free entry or at least a super cheap entry fee (like $10) this will be non news in my opinion. That info should come out closer to the lounge openings.
New Travel Booking Option
The new Capital One Travel, launching later this year, will pair Hopper’s best-in-class technology and capabilities with Capital One’s customer-first, digital approach.
- Capital One Travel will offer benefits specifically for cardholders as travel makes a comeback: Best-in-class price prediction and alert technology, driven by Hopper’s AI-powered dynamic pricing and recommendations, will help protect customers from pricing volatility and ensure they get great value when booking flights, hotel, and rental cars.
- Offer unique products and servicing capabilities to help customers easily change or cancel their reservations.
- Capital One Travel will be seamlessly integrated into the Capital One rewards ecosystem, allowing customers to both earn and redeem rewards, while also leveraging Capital One’s industry-leading mobile app and digital messaging capabilities.
I am not sure if this will amount to much but time will tell. The prediction and alert aspect sounds pretty cool. It does sound like it will be better than a traditional clunky bank travel portal.
While Capital One has long been lagging behind their competition I will say they seem the most willing to continually adjust their program. I think that these changes they have greatly closed the gap in value between themselves and Citi ThankYou points for that 3rd slot. If British Airways and Turkish Airlines had been added at 1 to 1 transfer rates it would be neck and neck in my book as far as transfer partners go. I would still give Citi the lead on the earnings side though.
It is just nice to see a bank add value to their customers without raising the fees on everything. Hopefully this trend will continue with Capital One. That 100,000 point welcome offer on the Capital One Venture card looks even sweeter. The spending requirement is on the steep side but you do get an entire year to reach it.
I know Ian Snyder will be happy about the Turkish addition for sure 😁