Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.
As great as it is to transfer Capital One miles to 18 airline and hotel partners, doing so isn’t always the best idea. You’ll sometimes get subpar value, and you can’t cover all travel expenses this way.
Whether you come across an ultracheap flight deal that doesn’t make sense to book with airline miles, don’t want to worry about chasing award availability or simply can’t use points or miles for your travel expense, consider redeeming your Capital One miles at a fixed value. The process is relatively easy and, unlike transferring Capital One miles, doesn’t require jumping through any hoops. And if you end up canceling a redemption, you won’t have to worry about your points or miles being “stuck” in a program you have little use for beyond your originally intended award ticket or hotel night.
Redeeming Capital One miles at a fixed rate can provide up to 1 cent per mile in value. With both the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (see rates and fees) and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (see rates and fees) currently offering 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening, you’d be looking at $750 in value, just by opening a new card and redeeming in this fashion.
In this guide, we’ll discuss how you can redeem your Capital One miles at a fixed value.
Redeeming Capital One miles at a fixed value
Before we dive in, here’s a high-level overview of the various fixed-value redemption options:
|Redemption option||Per-mile value|
|Cover travel purchases||1 cent|
|Book new travel||1 cent|
|Gift cards||0.8 cents|
|Shop online through Amazon or PayPal||0.8 cents|
|Capital One Entertainment||0.8 cents|
|Cash back||0.5 cent|
To see all of your redemption options, sign in to your Capital One account and click on your mileage balance to be taken to the rewards page. Scroll down and you’ll see all your fixed-value redemption options. You can use your miles for travel, gift cards, cash back, PayPal purchases, Amazon orders or Capital One Entertainment purchases.
Alternatively, you can transfer them to another account.
When redeeming miles for travel, you have two options:
- You can book new travel through Capital One Travel.
- You can use the miles as a statement credit against recent travel purchases.
Regardless of which route you take, the redemption rate is always 1 cent per mile. However, the second option — covering recent purchases — is the clear winner. We’ll explain why in a bit.
Redeem for a recent travel purchase
Clicking “Cover travel purchases” will bring you to a screen with all your eligible travel purchases made within the last 90 days. The term “travel” is used quite broadly and includes everything from flight and hotel bookings to train tickets, Uber and Airbnb bookings. From there, you’re just two clicks away from offsetting travel expenses on your account with miles.
After selecting the purchase you’d like to cover, you can either approve the redemption outright or edit the number of miles used to get a partial credit toward the charge.
Book new travel through Capital One
Alternatively, you can use your miles to book new travel directly with Capital One. The issuer’s travel portal looks like any other booking site, though it integrates some fantastic features from Hopper. And since the miles have a fixed value, you’ll never need to worry about blackout dates or award restrictions.
However, you’ll probably be better off making reservations directly with a travel provider and then offsetting the purchase using the method previously described. After all, there are many benefits to booking directly. It may be easier to get support from an airline in the event of a schedule change or cancellation. In addition, most hotel and car rental reservations booked through third-party platforms aren’t eligible to earn points in the company’s loyalty program, nor would you enjoy any elite status perks on those stays.
You may also be able to use cash-back shopping portals or other loyalty programs when booking directly, and you may gain access to additional inventory that’s not bookable through Capital One Travel.
For example, you could book a vacation rental through Vrbo, which would earn you 2% back through the new One Key program. Or, you could book an IHG One Rewards property by starting at Rakuten. Then, you’d cover either purchase with your Capital One miles. This is a great way to double dip on a booking and get even more cash back.
Redeem for gift cards
In the past, Capital One miles typically maintained the same fixed value of 1 cent apiece when redeeming for gift cards. However, the majority of options now show a value of just 0.8 cents apiece, including Amazon, Apple and DoorDash.
You can often buy gift cards with a discount or cash back, so you’re better off using your miles to offset travel expenses.
Shop online with Amazon or PayPal
Another option is to redeem Capital One miles directly when shopping online and checking out through PayPal or Amazon.
However, you’ll only get 0.8 cents per mile in value this way. As such, you should probably avoid this redemption option.
Redeem for cash back
The least-valuable redemption option is for cash in the form of an account credit or a check by mail. You’d want to avoid this option because you’ll only get 0.5 cents per mile in value when redeeming for cash-back rewards.
Related: The best cash-back credit cards
Transfer miles to another account
The final way you can redeem your Capital One miles is by transferring your miles to another account — either yours or another person’s account. There are no costs associated with this and, as long as the other person holds a Capital One miles-earning card, there are no restrictions as to who you can send them to. However, you may need to call Capital One to request the transfer.
Earning Capital One miles
Five Capital One cards earn miles instead of just cash back, including a mix of personal and business cards. Here’s an overview of the cards’ sign-up bonuses:
- Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
- Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card (see rates and fees): Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $500 within the first three months from account opening.
- Capital One Spark Miles for Business (see rates and fees): Earn 50,000 miles after you spend $4,500 within the first three months of account opening.
- Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business: Earn 20,000 miles after you spend $3,000 within the first three months from account opening.
The information for the Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Redeeming Capital One miles at a fixed value is very simple — even beginners to the award travel hobby won’t have any trouble doing so.
When you’re ready to put in more effort and begin experimenting with more complex (and potentially more valuable) redemptions, head to our guide on transferring Capital One miles to airline partners for the full rundown. If you need help deciding how to redeem your miles, check out our post on whether you should transfer Capital One miles to airline partners. Alternatively, you can stick with one of the fixed-value redemptions discussed above.
Finally, if you don’t already have the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, now is a great time to apply: You can earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.