Why Capital One Miles Are Better Than Chase Points for All Hotel Stays (Except Hyatt)

Signing-up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Why Capital One Miles Are Better Than Chase Points for All Hotel Stays (Except Hyatt)

Joseph HostetlerWhy Capital One Miles Are Better Than Chase Points for All Hotel Stays (Except Hyatt)Million Mile Secrets Team

Signing-up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Absurd as it may sound, Capital One miles can make a lot more sense than Chase Ultimate Rewards points in a few areas of the miles & points hobby.

One of those areas is paid hotel stays.  There are multiple reasons for this.

The current best option for earning Capital One miles in a hurry is the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.  I have the card, and I’ve used the bonus for fun stays in a tree house Airbnb, as well as a castle near Galway.

Capital One Miles Are Good for Booking Boutique Hotels That You Can’t Reserve With Other Hotel Points.  I Stayed in the YOTEL New York, and the Views From the Balcony Were Unbelievable

Use Capital One Miles for Paid Hotel Stays

Here’s a simple summary:   When you book with Capital One miles, you get all the benefits of booking directly with the hotel.  When you book through the Chase Travel Portal, you don’t.  That’s because the Chase travel portal is powered by Expedia, so you’re essentially using your points to book through Expedia.

When you book directly with the hotel, you’ll get the following benefits:

You’ll Probably Get a Better Room

Hotels like when you book directly with them.  They can see who booked through a third party and who booked direct, and they prioritize folks who come straight to them.

For example, if a hotel is filling up, travelers who book direct will get all the preferred rooms before anyone who booked third party.  I experienced this in Ireland when I booked a night at Clontarf Castle through Expedia.  Looking at the floor plan on the back of my door, I literally had the smallest room in the hotel.

Blurry Photo of Clontarf Castle at Night.  I Wish I Had Taken a Picture of the Floor Plan!

In all fairness, I can’t prove the reason I was given that room, but I strongly suspect they save it for third party bookings.

You Earn Hotel Points

When you book with an online travel agency like Orbitz or Expedia, you won’t earn any hotel rewards.  So if you’re staying at a chain hotel like Marriott, Hilton, or Hyatt, you won’t earn points that you can redeem later for free nights!  Only travelers that book directly with the hotel will earn points.

You Earn Hotel Night Credits Toward Elite Status

You also will not earn elite night credits at chain hotels if you don’t book direct.  So if you desire hotel elite status, booking through a third party is the worst thing you can do.

You Receive Elite Status Benefits

If you already have elite status, you won’t receive any of your status benefits unless you book directly with the hotel.

For example, if you have Hilton Gold elite status, you’ll receive the following benefits just for booking direct:

  • 80% bonus points
  • Potential upgrade to Executive room type
  • Complimentary breakfast at all hotels

If you book through Expedia, you’ll get none of that.

Reservation Changes Are Much Easier

Need to change or cancel your reservation?  You’ll have a WAY easier time if you book direct with the hotel.

You (usually) can’t call the hotel to make any changes to your reservation if you bought your room from a third party.  You’ll have to contact the website from which you made your purchase, and then they’ll have to get with the hotel.  It can be a nightmare.

If you simply book with the hotel, you can contact them for an immediate solution to your problem.

Capital One Miles Are Usually a Better Deal Than Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Hotels

There is a way to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book directly with certain hotels:   Transfer your points!

However, with the exception of Hyatt, it’s usually a good idea NOT to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to hotel partners, namely:

  • Marriott
  • IHG

You’ll often receive a value below 1 cent per point with these currencies.  For example, here are both the cash and the points prices for IHG hotels in my area.

You’ll Spend a Fraction of the Capital One Miles Compared to the Number of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points You’d Have to Transfer

As you can see, you’ll spend significantly more Chase Ultimate Rewards points than you would Capital One miles for all these hotels.  In the last example, you’ll pay ~11,000 Capital One miles for the room (after tax), and 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (transferred to IHG) for the same room.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are great for TONS of things.  But in the hotel department, I’d only recommend you use them exclusively for Hyatt stays.  Better to redeem Capital One miles for everything else.

You can read our post on smart ways to use Capital One miles here.  And let me know your favorite card to receive free hotel nights!

If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 37,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!


by Newest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

Hmmm… Not buying this one. You could also simply use your Chase card to book the rooms (like a CSR/INK Preferred for 3x points) then cash in Chase points for 1 cent a piece to pay off that balance and get all your perks plus a better point value than the 2 offered by the Capital One card. OR as mentioned below, just go with the 10x points through Hotels.com.

Side question: It says the 10x hotels.com promo is good until Jan 2020. Are they planning to discontinue the program after that?

So you’d rather book directly and get 2% back rather than book through hotels.com and get a minimum of 10% back (or 20% with hotel.com rewards). Interesting approach.

I would also add that Chase points with the Sapphire cards are more valuable for airline bookings than hotel bookings where Capital One points don’t get the same bonus for flights. For that reason, I’m more inclined to use Capital One points for hotels than Chase.