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INSIDER SECRET: When you use Capital One miles to pay for flights using the “purchase eraser” you can still earn frequent flyer miles and elite status credit on the ticket.
Capital One has just announced the addition of JetBlue as a transfer partner. And with this addition, they are running a 50% transfer bonus to JetBlue through May 31, 2019.
Capital One miles normally transfer to JetBlue at a 2:1 ratio, so with the bonus, the ratio is increased to 2:1.5. JetBlue doesn’t have an award chart; instead, the points price for a flight is linked to the cash price.
Under the normal ratio, you’ll never want to transfer Capital One miles to JetBlue. And even with the bonus, it doesn’t make much sense. But Capital One miles can still be useful for booking JetBlue flights.
Transfer Capital One Miles to JetBlue
Capital One miles are always worth 1 cent each when you redeem them toward travel expenses. You just make an eligible travel purchase with your card and then use points to erase it. So anytime you’re going to transfer Capital One miles to an airline partner, you want to be sure you’re getting more than 1 cent per point in value.
This is where it gets tricky with JetBlue. JetBlue points are usually worth ~1.4 cents each toward airfare. Keep in mind that if you’re redeeming JetBlue points for Mint seats the redemption value is close to 1 cent per point.
Below is a $99 flight from Albany to Orlando that you can book for 6,400 JetBlue points + $5.60 in taxes.
This flight would get you ~1.46 cents per point in value (($99 fare – $5.60 in taxes) / 6,400 points). This is how many Capital One miles you’d need to use to book the flight:
- Under the normal transfer ratio of 2:1 you’d need 12,800 miles + $5.60
- With the 50% transfer bonus (2:1.5 ratio) you’d need 9,600 miles + $5.60
- If you purchased the flight and redeemed miles at 1 cent each toward the ticket you’d need 9,900 miles
With the transfer bonus, you’d use slightly fewer Capital One miles for this flight. However, if you purchased the flight and “erased” the charge with Capital One miles, you would still earn JetBlue points, elite status credit for the ticket, and the taxes would be covered.
When you book Blue fares through the JetBlue website, you’ll earn 6 points per $1 spent. For this flight, you’d earn 594 JetBlue points. So even with the transfer bonus, you’ll almost always want to pay for your flights with your Capital One card and then redeem miles to erase the purchase.
The only time it makes sense to transfer Capital One miles to JetBlue is if you need to top off your account to book an award.
There are other Capital One transfer partners that can be valuable, like Etihad, Air Canada, and Flying Blue.
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