Pinpointing Capital One miles value (with new ways to use them)

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full advertising policy: How we make money.

Capital One calls them miles. They’re not really.

They’re super-easy-to-use-points, and you’re sure to receive a value of at least 1 cent each as long as you adhere to this post. I’ll show you how to calculate Capital One miles value so you can decide if opening the best Capital One credit cards, like the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is worth it for you.

Subscribe to our newsletter for more easy-to-understand miles & points jargon to help you travel sooner (and FREEer).
You can score a higher Capital One miles value by transferring them to airlines for fancy seats to Europe. (Photo by Vadim Petrakov/Shutterstock)

What are Capital One miles worth?

Let me repeat the short answer for anyone with an attention span as abject as my own — Capital One miles are worth at least 1 cent each. You can confidently collect them knowing you’ll get a return of 1 cent or more. They’re easy to earn with these cards:

Credit cardSign-up bonusAnnual feeEarning rateReview
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardEarn 100,000 bonus 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 3 months.$952 miles per dollar on every purchaseCapital One Venture review
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card20,000 miles after spending $500 on purchases within 3 months of account openingNo annual feeUnlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchaseCapital One VentureOne credit card review
Capital One Spark Miles for Business50,000 Capital One miles after spending $4,500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening$95, waived the first year2 miles per dollar on every purchaseCapital One Spark Miles review
Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business20,000 Capital One miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of account openingNo annual fee1.5 miles per dollar on every purchase

For example, the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business  comes with 50,000 Capital One miles after you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. That bonus is worth at least $500 in travel (you can read our Capital One Spark miles review for the full details).

There are two methods to redeeming your miles for free travel. Let’s look at them both.

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

The EASY way – Use Capital One miles with “Purchase Eraser”

Purchase Eraser allows you to redeem your Capital One miles at a flat rate of 1 cent each toward travel purchases.

Simply buy your travel (things like airfare, hotels, car rentals, Uber, Airbnb, etc.) with your Capital One card as you normally would. Then, once the purchase appears in your credit card transaction history, you can sign into your online account and erase the charge within 90 days of the purchase date (up to the value of your miles), and it wipes the expense from your balance.

In other words, if you have 50,000 Capital One miles and you purchase a $350 hotel stay, you can completely erase that transaction for 35,000 Capital One miles. Or, if you make a $600 hotel stay, you’ll have enough miles to erase $500 worth of your bill.

This is the ideal method for travelers who don’t want to worry about blackout dates. You reserve your travel with cash, and reimburse yourself later. And you’ll know exactly how much you’ll receive from your miles at all times.

Now redeem your miles for dining and streaming services (through June 30, 2020)

Until June 30, 2020, Capital One is allowing you to redeem your miles for eligible restaurant delivery, takeout and streaming service purchases. You’ll redeem your miles in exactly the same way as for travel — you’ll have 90 days from the time of purchase to erase your transaction from your bill. Just note that if you use your card via a mobile wallet or any third-party payment account, your purchases may not code as they normally would with Capital One. This could mean your purchase won’t appear as eligible to be erased.

Whether you visit a restaurant or choose delivery, your purchase can be erased with miles. Note that food subscription boxes and grocery deliveries don’t qualify. You can check out this page for more information.

The LESS EASY way – Transfer miles to airline partners

It’s possible to squeeze a value greater than 1 cent from your Capital One miles, but it might take some grappling. You can transfer Capital One miles to airline partners like:

  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Avianca
  • Qantas
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Accor
  • Wyndham

The transfer ratio is not 1:1 (it’s either 2:1.5 or 2:1, depending on the airline), so receiving a value greater than 1 cent per mile isn’t exactly child’s play — but it’s certainly possible. For example, Air Canada Aeroplan charges 55,000 miles one-way for a business class flight to Western Europe. Transferring 74,000 Capital One miles to Air Canada will get you enough miles for the trip. The same ticket could easily cost $1,500, so spending 74,000 Capital One miles is a great deal.

If you bought that same ticket with the Capital One Purchase Eraser, you’d pay 150,000 Capital One miles. You’re basically paying half price by transferring your Capital One miles to Air Canada.

Jonesing for an Air Canada business class seat? Transfer your miles to Air Canada Aeroplan instead of redeeming through the Purchase Eraser. (Photo by Zach Honig)

Just know it’s possible to receive a value much less than 1 cent per point when you transfer your miles to airlines. Examine the cash price of your desired flight before you transfer your miles, as it might be cheaper to use the Purchase Eraser.

Also, when you transfer your miles to an airline or hotel program, you’ll be subject to blackout dates, available award seats or nights, and even fuel surcharges in some cases. It could be well worth the hassle, but it’s exponentially more time consuming than simply using your miles through the Purchase Eraser. And time is money!

Bottom line

You can effortlessly receive a value of 1 cent per Capital One mile if you keep it simple and redeem them for travel expenses through the Purchase Eraser. This is how I recommend using your miles (and it’s how I use them myself), but you should still check out our guide for the best ways to use Capital One miles.

You can receive a value greater (or less!) than 1 cent if you transfer your miles to airline partners. But it’s more complicated, and you’ll be subject to blackout dates and available award seats. In short, if you’re interested in booking business or first class flights, you’ll likely receive more value by transferring your points to airlines. If you’re flying coach, I’d stick to the Purchase Eraser.

Check out my post on the full Capital One miles review for step-by-step instruction on how to redeem Capital One miles — as well as our Capital One Venture review, one of the top travel credit cards. And let us know how you like to redeem Capital One miles.

Subscribe to our newsletter for more travel news and reviews.

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! :)

Join the Discussion!

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments