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Losing your hard-earned rewards due to account inactivity or closure is a mistake folks make all too often, even experienced miles and points enthusiasts.
We like Capital One miles because they’re straightforward to earn from the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business, and Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business. And they’re just as simple to redeem.
Capital One’s expiration policy is as easy as it gets, too.
Do Capital One miles expire? Nope! As long as your account is open, your miles will not expire.
If your Capital One account stays open, you’ve got nothing to worry about. But what if you want to close your account?
Do Capital One Miles Expire?
Capital One’s rewards expiration rules can’t be any easier. They say:
There’s no limit to the amount of rewards you can earn and they never expire, but you will lose them if you ever close your account.
So keep your account open and in good standing, and you’ll be in good shape. Capital One cards that earn miles are:
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
- Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business
But what if you need to close your account? Don’t do it until you’ve done one of these things to save your miles.
1. Transfer Your Miles to Another Capital One Account
You can now transfer your Capital One miles to another Capital One miles-earning account (either your own or someone else’s). This is probably the easiest way to prevent your Capital One miles from expiring if you need to close a card.
Joseph wrote an excellent guide to combining your Capital One miles that’ll take you through the process step by step.
2. Transfer Capital One Miles to an Airline Partner
Last year, Capital One added the ability to transfer miles to 14 airline partners:
- Air Canada (Aeroplan)
- Air France & KLM (Flying Blue)
- Cathay Pacific
- EVA Air
- Hainan Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
The transfer ratio is 2:1.5 for most partners, so you’ll get 1.5 airline miles for every 2 miles you transfer. The exceptions are Emirates and Singapore Airlines, which have a 2:1 transfer ratio.
Of course, you should pick a transfer partner where you’ll actually be able to use the miles. Check out Harlan’s post on the best and worst Capital One airline transfer partners to see what’s best for you.
3. Redeem Your Capital One Miles for Travel, Gift Cards, or Cash Back
If you’ve recently booked travel or have plans coming up, you can use Capital One miles to “erase” your travel purchase at a rate of 1 cent per mile.
You can either use your Capital One Venture or Spark card to make a travel purchase, then log into your account to use your miles to offset the charge within 90 days.
There are a couple of other ways to redeem Capital One miles, but they’re not all as attractive. You can cash out your miles for gift cards at a rate of 1 cent per mile (same as travel). Worst case, you can redeem them for cash back, but you’ll only get half the value – 0.5 cents per mile.
Any of these options is a better deal than letting your miles go altogether if you close your Capital One account.
Capital One miles earned from the Capital One® Venture®, Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business, and Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business will NOT expire as long as your account stays open and is in good standing.
But if you need to close your account, make sure to do something with your miles first so you don’t lose them! Your options are:
- Move your miles to another Capital One account (your own or someone else’s)
- Transfer Capital One miles to an airline partner
- Redeem your Capital One miles for travel, gift cards, or cash back