Every purchase you make, every swipe you take, you’ll be earning miles with your Capital One credit card. No, that’s not a new advertising slogan — it’s more of a statement on the simplicity of earning miles with Capital One credit cards.
Simplicity translates into earnings with no requirements to register for quarterly bonus categories. You won’t have to memorize long lists of which purchases earn extra miles either. Simplified earning also provides a fast track to easily accumulating lots of Capital One miles.
When it comes time to redeem your Capital One miles, you’ll find several options, including travel statement credits or the potential for greater value when transferring miles to airline or hotel partners.
Whether you have personal spending you’d like to earn miles for, or you run a business with unrewarded business expenses, there’s a Capital One Miles credit card that can fit your spending profile.
In this article, we’ll highlight what Capital One miles are and why you’d want to earn them, which Capital One credit cards earn miles, and how to earn lots of miles with Capital One cards (and why you’d want to!).
Why Capital One Miles?
Flexibility of Capital One Miles
Capital One uses the term “miles” only to correspond with the fact that you can use them for statement credits for previous travel purchases — and that you are able to use the miles toward travel purchases directly.
Although Capital One miles are not real airline miles, the most flexible and valuable redemption option of Capital One miles is that you can turn them into real miles! This is done by transferring Capital One miles to airline or hotel partners!
This option elevates the value of earning miles on Capital One credit cards and is a major consideration for jumping on the bandwagon.
Let’s sum up the value of Capital One miles:
- No blackout dates or devaluations like traditional airline frequent flyer miles
- Can use miles to “erase” previous travel purchases
- Potential of greater value when transferring miles to airline or hotel travel partners
- Book travel directly through Capital One Travel
- Transfer miles to other Capital One accounts for no charge
- Redeem for gift cards, donate to charity, or receive a check (at a reduced value)
Hot Tip: Capital One miles are valuable because you can use them like cash-back toward travel purchases or transfer them to airline or hotel partners for potentially more value!
Ease of Earning Capital One Miles
As we mentioned at the start of this article, Capital One credit cards are known for their simple earning structures.
There are no fluctuating bonus categories, periodic registration requirements, or annual spending levels to meet — you simply make a purchase and earn miles. You’ll also earn miles on every purchase you make.
Let’s take a look at which Capital One credit cards earn the most miles.
Bottom Line: Capital One miles are earned on every purchase, with extra earnings in bonus categories. Although Capital One miles are not airline miles and cannot be used to book award flights directly, you can use the miles as a statement credit toward previous travel purchases, transfer miles to airline or hotel partners, or book travel directly with Capital One.
Earn Lots of Miles With Personal Capital One Credit Cards
Personal Credit Cards That Earn Capital One Miles
Capital One personal credit cards earn miles on every purchase and have bonus spending categories to earn even more.
1. Earn a Welcome Offer
Welcome offers are the fastest way to accumulate Capital One miles.
Just complete the required spending in the first 90 days after you are approved for the card, and your welcome offer will be credited to your Capital One Miles account.
2. Purchase Travel
You’ll earn well when you purchase travel with certain personal Capital One credit cards.
Capital One defines travel quite generously; this category includes:
- Bus tickets
- Car rental agencies
- Cruise lines
- Limo and taxi services
- Travel agencies
Although not officially listed, cardholders have also reported that Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb purchases have been reimbursable with Capital One miles.
Here’s how these Capital One credit cards reward travel purchases:
3. Pay Household Expenses
Whether you need to fill up the car with gas, pay your heating bill, or pay your auto insurance, you can earn more Capital One miles by paying household expenses with your Capital One credit card.
Both the CapOne Venture X card and the CapOne Venture card earn 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase, including those everyday household expenses.
4. Buy Groceries
The CapOne Venture X card and CapOne Venture card earn 2 miles per dollar spent at the supermarket, which may mean one of them becomes your everyday spending card!
Hot Tip: Use your CapOne Venture X card or CapOne Venture card to purchase no-fee gift cards at supermarkets to use for non-bonus category purchases, such as entertainment and gas. Note that not all stores allow purchasing gift cards with credit cards, but many do.
Earn Lots of Miles With Business Capital One Credit Cards
Getting back to simplified earnings, it’s a good reminder that Capital One business credit cards have no bonus spending categories.
You’re going to earn 1.5 to 2 miles per dollar spent, depending on the credit card.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to leverage those earnings and also score some upfront bonuses.
Business Credit Cards That Earn Capital One Miles
Every prudent business owner knows the importance of keeping personal and business purchases separate.
Business credit cards facilitate that objective, but they also allow you to earn miles on all of those business purchases.
The following business credit cards earn Capital One Miles:
1. Earn a Welcome Offer
The fastest way to build a bank of Capital One miles is with a welcome offer.
After selecting the business credit card that best fits your spending profile, just complete the required initial spending in the first 90 days to receive a generous bonus of Capital One miles.
2. Earn Bigger With Tiered Spending Bonuses
Beyond the initial welcome offer, Capital One may offer another spending tier for an additional bonus.
For example, an initial welcome offer may require you to spend $5,000 in the first 3 months after card approval to receive a 50,000-mile welcome offer.
But there may be an additional tiered spending bonus after that, too. For example, you might earn 150,000 miles if your business spends $50,000 in the first 6 months after card approval.
3. Purchase Travel
Both the CapOne Spark Miles card and CapOne Spark Miles Select card earn 5x miles on hotel and rental car bookings made through Capital One Travel.
However, you’ll also earn unlimited 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase, including travel, with the CapOne Spark Miles card.
4. Pay Business Expenses
Whether you’re paying for business dinners, remodeling the office, or purchasing office supplies, you’ll earn 2 miles per dollar spent on every business purchase with the CapOne Spark Miles card.
Hot Tip: You would only need to spend $4,750 annually to offset the annual fee on the CapOne Spark Miles card, which provides a greater level of earning potential than the CapOne Spark Miles Select card.
Everything Else You Need To Know
Miles that you earn on your Capital One card never expire as long as you have a Capital One account open and in good standing. If you close your account, unused miles will be forfeited.
Capital One miles can be transferred to other Capital One accounts, and Capital One credit cards do not charge foreign transaction fees.
Occasionally, Capital One runs Refer a Friend promotions that reward you with statement credits for referring a friend who is subsequently approved for the credit card.
These promotions are usually targeted to specific cardholders who receive an invitation email with the terms of the referral program, but cardholders of the CapOne Venture X card, CapOne Venture card, or CapOne VentureOne card in good standing may qualify for the referral program.
To find your referral link, sign in to your account or look in the app for the Refer a Friend tile on the account details page.
While simplicity can be a positive thing, when it comes to earning Capital One miles, some added analysis is worthwhile.
There’s no doubt that Capital One cards offer decent (and sometimes lucrative) welcome bonuses that deliver great value. The ongoing value will depend on whether your spending matches their few sweet spots. For example, if you’re booking a lot of hotel rooms and don’t have a loyalty preference, earning 10 miles for each dollar spent is fantastic.
But Capital One miles basically have a fixed value, so if you’re only earning 2 miles per dollar spent on most of your purchases, you might do better on those purchases with a card that earns Membership Rewards or Ultimate Rewards points.
The American Express® Gold Card, for instance, earns 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on dining — and Membership Rewards have the potential to deliver value far greater at 2.2 cents per point than Capital One’s value of 1.8 cent per mile (according to our valuations).
However, a big positive is that Capital One miles can be transferred to airline and hotel partners, which opens up new possibilities for receiving increased redemption value.
Look long and hard at Capital One options — but don’t fall in love unless it’s the perfect match of a generous sign-up bonus, ongoing earnings that match your spending, and redemption value that you can use.
The information regarding the Capital One Spark Miles Select For Business and Capital One Spark Miles for Business was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.