How to Earn Capital One Miles

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There aren’t as many ways to earn Capital One miles as many other miles & points currencies, like Amex Membership Rewards points and Chase Ultimate Rewards points. After all, Capital One has no dining program. There are no online shopping portals. There are no rotating quarterly bonus categories.

And that’s part of what gives the program its charm. Capital One miles are so straightforward, with no complications. It’s perfect for those of you who don’t want to have to remember which card to spend at which merchant. It’s perfect for travelers who don’t like to worry about blackout dates or available award seats.

But despite the flat earning rate, there are a few ways to score some extra Capital One miles that you’re probably not aware of, not least of which is opening the best Capital One credit cards. Here’s a complete rundown of how to earn Capital One miles.

Earn Capital One miles for a Swiss Alps ski vacation in Verbier, Switzerland. (Photo by Anna Mente/Shutterstock)

Earn Capital One miles with valuable welcome bonuses

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

For a limited time, the Capital One Venture card comes with 100,000 Capital One miles after spending $20,000 on purchases within the first 12 months of account opening. Or still earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months. As Capital One miles are 1 cent each, this bonus is worth $1,000 in travel. Again, you can use Capital One miles by transferring your miles to Capital One airline partners, and receive potentially more than $1,000 in value. Read our post on the best ways to use Capital One miles.

In addition to the valuable welcome bonus, you’ll get:


  • 2 Capital One miles per dollar you spend on purchases
  • Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee (up to $100) once every four years
  • No foreign transaction fees

The card comes with a $95 annual fee. Read our full Capital One Venture review.

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One VentureOne is a no-annual-fee card that comes with 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases within three months from account opening. Because each mile is worth 1 cent, you’re guaranteed to get $200 in travel from this bonus.

Capital One miles are good for buying travel for which you can’t redeem airline miles or hotel points. I used my for a tree house Airbnb in Barbados. (Photo by Joseph Hostetler)

The card also comes with:

  • 1.25 Capital One miles per dollar on every purchase
  • No foreign transaction fees

Because this card doesn’t have an annual fee, it’s free to keep forever. You can continue to improve your credit history just by never canceling the card.

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

With the Capital One Spark Miles for Business card you can earn 50,000 miles after you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. Each mile is worth 1 cent, so you’ll receive a guaranteed $500 in travel.

The card also 2x miles on every purchase, which is great for businesses with expenses that don’t fall into other small-business credit card’s bonus categories. Plus, there is no limit to the number of miles you can earn. And you’ll earn 5x Spark miles on hotel and rental car bookings made with your card through Capital One travel.

Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business

The Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business is a no-annual fee small business card that comes with 20,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. Again, each mile is worth 1 cent, so you’ll receive a guaranteed $200 in travel.

The card also earns 1.5 miles per dollar on every purchase. And it has no foreign transaction fees, so it’s a good one to bring for international travel.

The information for the Capital One Spark Miles and Capital One Spark Miles Select has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Other ways to earn Capital One miles

No matter which of the best Capital One credit cards you have, you’ll earn bonus miles when booking your travel via Capital One’s proprietary online travel agency. You’ll earn 5 Capital One miles per dollar you spend on hotels and rental car bookings by using your card and booking through Capital One Travel℠.

Combine your miles with others

You can transfer your miles to ANYONE as long as they have one of the cards above.  So if you and a travel buddy want to reserve an amazing hotel, you can combine your miles!

You can also ask your kind and loving family to open one of these cards and transfer the miles to you. 😉

Targeted referral offers

Capital One occasionally has targeted refer-a-friend offers with the Capital One Venture cards, though they often come in the form of very generous statement credits.  If you have one of the above cards, keep an eye on your email to see if Capital One gives you a Capital One miles incentive to refer others to the card.

Swipe that thing for all purchases

The final (and most obvious) way to earn more Capital One miles is to use your card for your everyday purchases. You’ll get 2 miles per dollar, so estimate your monthly spending and multiply it by two, and that’s how many miles you can expect.

We have a helpful guide showing folks how to easily meet minimum spending requirements (you can read it here). Lots of the information in that post is an all-around effective strategy to show you how to generate miles on your card without spending a dime more than you already plan to spend. There are some things most folks didn’t think about using their credit card for.

How much are Capital One miles worth?

The short answer is that Capital One mile value is 1 cent each. You can purchase travel with the card and use miles to “erase” the purchase for 1 cent per mile.

If you have any of the below Capital One cards, you can transfer them to several different airline partners, like Singapore Airlines and Air Canada Aeroplan. So while each mile is guaranteed to be worth at least 1 cent when you redeem it for purchased travel, you can potentially get a better value by transferring your miles to airlines for an award flight!

Check out this post about Capital One transfer partners if you want to learn more.

Bottom line

The easiest way to quickly earn a whole bunch of Capital One miles is by opening these cards and earning the welcome bonus:

You can then redeem them toward any travel purchase at a rate of 1 cent each. Or you can transfer them to 15 different Capital One transfer partners and potentially receive an even better value. Remember, you can combine your miles with anyone who has one of the above cards. You can grow your miles balance dramatically if you and a friend both apply for cards.

We’ll let you know when Capital One gives us more ways to earn Capital One miles. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest miles and points news.

Meghan Hunter is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, she covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

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! :)

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