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Thanks to a reader tip, we know that the Capital One 100,000 point Match My Miles promotion will be back in a few days. Last year Capital One, which typically is very stingy (10,000 points. Seriously?) with the sign-up bonuses had a very lucrative promotion.
You could match up to 100,000 miles in your existing frequent flyer account with Capital One’s Venture Miles. Each Capital One Venture mile could be redeemed for 1 cent towards any type of travel (cruises, taxes, car rentals etc.) or $1,800 worth of Hyatt gift certificates.
I signed up for the personal card and received 100,000 Venture miles after matching those miles to my American Airlines account (most of those miles were earned from Citi credit card sign-up bonuses). I redeemed these for $1,800 worth of Hyatt certificates and treated my dad at the Grand Hyatt in Bangkok.
Is Capital One Crazy?
But why on earth did Capital One let you match miles in your frequent flyer account with their Venture Miles which can usually be earned only by actually spending money on their credit card (remember they are stingy with sign-up bonuses)?
I suspect that Capital One’s intention was to match miles earned from credit card spending only because they wanted to attract high spending new customers.
After all, why should Capital One match the miles of someone who flies a lot and has a lot of miles in their frequent flier account (but who may may not spend heavily on a credit card)?
Now it’s time to show us your current hard-to-use airline credit card miles so we can match them with easy-to-use Venture miles!
The very clear intent of the Match My Miles promotion was for Capital One to acquire new customers who had lots of airline miles earned via credit card spending.
But here’s where things broke down.
Capital One allowed folks to submit their airline frequent flyer statements as proof of miles earned from credit card spending. I suspect that Capital One didn’t think through the logistics of how to verify miles earned from credit card spending only and used airline frequent flyer statements as a very imprecise proxy of miles earned from credit cards.
So this was a jackpot for many of us.
Is this year different?
Capital One is a very well run bank known for using a lot of analytical tools (in an industry which uses a lot of analytical tools). You can be rest assured that Capital One figured out that last year’s promotion may not have acquired the high-spending customer they were looking for.
A few days ago, Capital One (perhaps inadvertently or just to get our blood pressure up) posted on the same website which was used last year to submit one’s frequent flyer statement to match miles:
Submit your 2011 year-end summary from your travel credit card
Clearly, Capital One is trying to run the promotion so that they match only miles earned from credit card spending (not miles earned from flying, other promotions etc.)
In effect, Capital One will give you 2 Venture miles for every $1 spent on another travel credit card, so you can get 100,000 Venture miles only if you’ve spent $50,000 on another travel credit card. What’s unclear is if you can submit multiple year end statements from different credit cards.
The Capital One Get My Miles site now taunts us by saying:
I haven’t spent $50,000 on a single credit card, and I suspect many other folks haven’t either. I also suspect many folks aren’t too keen on uploading & sharing their year-end credit card statement with their spending history. That’s assuming you know where your year-end statement is.
I completely understand why Capital One wants to match credit card spending only, but I’m hoping that they realize that not many folks will upload their year end summary and give us an alternative way to prove that we have lots of airline miles!
Bottom Line: I’m hoping for a repeat of last year’s Match my Miles promotion, but I understand why Capital One would not want a repeat of that. Let’s see what the next few days bring us.