Capital One News: Airline Transfers, New Higher Bonuses – and Should You Even Bother?

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 Capital One Venture 75,000 miles

The new Capital One Venture 75,000 miles and Spark  up-to-200,000 miles offers are not the only Capital One’s recent newsworthy changes. The issuer has also added airline transfer options to its Venture and business Spark cards. The transfer rate is 2:1.5, and the partner airlines are as follows:

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada
  • Air France and KLM (Flying Blue)
  • Alitalia
  • Avianca
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Etihad Airways
  • EVA Air, Finnair
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways

Practically speaking, only a few of these airlines are making sense to me in terms of transferring miles and even then – under limited circumstances:

  • Air Canada
  • Avianca
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Etihad Airways
  • Air France and KLM (Flying Blue)

Etihad is the one that shines here because it still – incredibly – charges the pre-devaluation American Airlines levels and include all pre-devaluation AA off-peak discounts, as well.

 Capital One Venture 75,000 miles

Etihad still offers pre-devaluated American AIrlines chart, but you have to call.

Capital One has new, elevated sign-up bonuses

Capital One Venture offers an increased 75,000-miles bonus.

Spark Miles from Capital One offers up to 200,000 miles.

Both cards waive annual fee in the first year, and offer 2x earning rates. Transfer the Capital One Venture 75,000-point bonus to one of the airline partners and you get roughly 56,000 miles.

Yay, hurrah, right? Well, yes and no.

Yes, because:

  • It’s always a good thing when a credit card issuer puts some more pressure on its competitors.
  • Capital One cards are easy to get if you’re a newbie with a high enough credit score.
  • The Venture and one of the Sparks offer great earning rates, which makes transferring your points to airlines a winning proposition.

No, because: it’s Capital One – the ultimate churners-hating issuer in the credit card universe!

Here is a little fact from my own experience if you’re curious. Since 2010, I’ve only managed to get 2 Capital One cards: the Venture and the Spark. How many times have I tried? Quite a few. I don’t remember exactly, but it was more than 5 or 6, and at some point, I just stopped trying.

That’s right: Capital One is worse than Chase, worse than City, worse than Amex, and worse than Barclays. And, if that’s not enough, they pull all 3 credit reports!

So think hard before applying for one of those. You don’t have to be a hardcore churner to fall into the bad graces of Capital One. This Reddit Survey can help you evaluate your chances.

But 200,000 points…

Gee, I hope no one is falling for that.

Say you get approved for the Spark Miles card. You’ll need to spend $5,000 in the first 3 months to get 50,000 miles and $50,000 in the first 6 months to get the final 150,000 miles.

This is insane!

Unless we’re talking legit business with high organic spend, MS-ing that kind of money – $45,000 – doesn’t make any sense. You’d be getting 3.3x miles per dollar spent, which wouldn’t be so bad if you didn’t have to churn $45,000 in 6 months. Of course, if you run a legit business that requires this kind of spend, that’s not a bad deal (although not spectacular, either). Otherwise, just grab the first 50,000 miles and be done with it.

Are you going to apply for one of the Capital One cards, or have you already?

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