Capital One announces new 1:1 transfer tier, additional travel partners and more airport lounge details


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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.

It’s been a couple of years since Capital One made waves in the travel credit card landscape by introducing transfer partners. When it initially did, the miles earned with several of its credit cards that were exclusively a fixed-value loyalty currency worth 1 cent toward travel became more valuable overnight.

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In April, Capital One has announced exciting changes by adding a handful of new transfer partners, a few limited-time transfer bonuses and even occasional increases in the Capital One card sign-up bonus for up to 100,000 miles.

In fact, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card currently has an increased sign-up bonus of up to 100,000 miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months.

There are also far-reaching changes to its lineup of airline and hotel partners, along with more details (and a second location) for its previously announced airport lounge at Washington Dulles (IAD).

In short, Capital One is announcing the following updates:

  • Adding four new transfer partners for Venture and Spark miles: British Airways, Turkish Airlines, TAP Portugal and Choice Hotels
  • Creating a new, 1:1 transfer ratio for select partners
  • Announcing a second Capital One lounge to come at Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and providing more information on what to expect inside these lounges

Read on for full details on these very positive developments.

In This Post

19 total transfer partners

Before this update, Capital One had a total of 15 partners — 13 airlines and two hotels. Many of these offered some notable value. But with this announcement, the list will add another three airline loyalty programs and one hotel program.

  • British Airways Executive Club (2:1.5 transfer ratio)
  • Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles (2:1.5 transfer ratio)
  • TAP Portugal Miles&Go (1:1 transfer ratio — more on that in a moment)
  • Choice Privileges (1:1 transfer ratio)

The top two additions are probably the most exciting, as you can get some significant value from redeeming British Airways Avios and Turkish miles. I frequently book American Airlines-operated flights with Avios, and there are several other great values across the Oneworld alliance using Avios.

Related: Best websites for finding Oneworld award availability

Bear in mind that, thanks to the Combine My Avios feature, adding British Airways effectively means that you can transfer to Iberia Plus too — by transferring your Capital One miles to British Airways and then from there to Iberia (as long as your accounts have been open 90 days). With business-class flights on Iberia from the U.S. to Madrid (MAD) starting at just 34,000 Avios one-way and requiring minimal fuel surcharges, this can be an outstanding new option for your miles.

Meanwhile, the Miles&Smiles program can be a great option for snagging Turkish-operated flights to Europe. It also offers perhaps the single best domestic award sweet spot within the U.S.: United flights from the lower 48 to Hawaii for just 7,500 miles each way. With the 2:1.5 transfer ratio, that means that just 10,000 Capital One miles can get you a one-way flight from the mainland to the Aloha State.

The Choice Privileges program is another new addition, and some TPG staffers see it as an incredibly underrated hotel loyalty program. Sure, it has budget hotels like Econo Lodge and Comfort Inn, but you can also redeem points at upscale brands like Ascend Hotel Collection and Cambria Hotels.

Finally, while TAP Air Portugal Miles & Go won’t be as exciting to most TPG readers as BA and Turkish, the addition of its Miles&Go program highlights another key part of Capital One’s announcement.

Related: 5 incredible sweet spots of Capital One’s revamped transferable miles program

New 1:1 tier of transfer partners

Since late 2018, Capital One has utilized a two-tiered approach to transfer ratios. Most of its airline and hotel partners fall into a 2:1.5 tier — meaning that 2 Capital One miles will get you 1.5 points or miles in the receiving loyalty program. However, a handful are just 2:1.

Capital One has now added a third tier to the mix where transfers to some partners will be available at a 1:1 ratio. This improves the transfer rates for seven existing partners and introduces two new partners at that new 1:1 level. You can now transfer your Venture miles to a decent list of select partners at a 1:1 ratio — one that matches the majority of other major transferable point programs.

Here are the partners that will fall into this new, 1:1 tier:

  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Etihad Guest
  • Asia Miles
  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Finnair Plus
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • TAP Portugal Miles&Go
  • Wyndham Rewards

One of the other new partners (Choice Privileges) will launch with a 1:1 ratio later this year.

As you can see, this 1:1 tier includes airline programs from all three major airline alliances along with a strong non-alliance program (Etihad Guest) and a solid hotel option (Wyndham Rewards) — with another hotel program (Choice Privileges) reaching this level at a future date. The top three programs listed above are probably most exciting to us here at TPG, but we’ll do a deep dive into these new transfer options later this week.

Note that this change means that you can now effectively earn 2 airline miles (or 2 hotel points) with the above partners for every dollar you spend on the Capital One Venture Card or the Capital One Spark Miles for Business — without needing to worry about maximizing bonus categories. Simply put, that’s a fantastic new value proposition for both of these cards.

Related: Is the Capital One Venture card worth it?

And that’s not all.

New airport lounges

Just weeks before the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a global pandemic in 2020, Capital One announced it was planning to open its first airport lounge at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). Details were scant at the time, but now we’re getting a better idea of what to expect — and learning that a second location is in the works.

Later this year, the first Capital One lounge will open at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), with the Dulles location now slated for a 2022 opening. The press release provides an exciting glimpse into what the lounge will offer, including:

  • Locally inspired food and beverage options — including packaged items to go
  • A cycling and yoga room
  • Relaxation rooms

Unfortunately, we don’t have details on precisely what it will take to access these lounges, as the advance information indicates that they’ll be “open to everyone, but certain Capital One cardholders will be eligible for a special entry rate and additional perks.”

We’ve asked Capital One for additional information on access requirements, and we’ll be sure to update this post when we receive any further details.

Related: Best credit cards for airport lounge access in 2021

Current sign-up bonus

These new announcements make the current sign-up bonus on the Capital One Venture card even more attractive.

As a reminder, new cardholders can earn 100,000 bonus miles after spending $20,000 on purchases within the first 12 months of account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

When you consider that you’ll earn 2 miles per dollar spent on the card, spending $20,000 to earn the full sign-up bonus will earn another 40,000 miles — meaning that new cardholders could take home 140,000 miles through this limited-time offer.

That haul of rewards can get you the following:

  • Seven round-trip economy flights from the U.S. to Hawaii on United booked through Turkish Miles&Smiles.
  • Nine nights in one of thousands of Wyndham properties priced at 15,000 points per night.
  • One round-trip, business-class flight from the U.S. to Europe — either on American booked through Etihad Guest or a Star Alliance carrier booked through Avianca LifeMiles.

Or, if you don’t want to research and maximize the new transfer partners, you can use those miles at a fixed value to offset $1,400-worth of travel purchases on your account.

Related: Why the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card has a front spot in our wallets

Bottom line

Capital One has announced considerable improvements, adding four new transfer partners, improving the transfer rates of seven existing partners by creating a new 1:1 transfer tier and announcing more details on its upcoming airport lounges. If you thought Capital One miles were valuable before, they’ve gained a ton of additional value with these updates.

In fact, we’ve updated these miles to jump to a value from 1.4 cents to 1.7 cents apiece in our monthly point valuations.

Stay tuned for more details and analysis of these announcements.

Additional reporting by Stella Shon

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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