You Can Still Get $500+ in Free Travel Even If You Have NO POINTS and You Depart Next Week – It’s What Makes Capital One Miles Truly Spectacular

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Have you got upcoming travel plans, but procrastinated on opening a miles & points credit card that would have saved you hundreds of dollars?  Capital One miles can solve this problem.

If you’ve got at least a couple weeks before your departure, it’s not too late.  Folks who do NOT have a stash of miles & points can still get hundreds (even thousands) in free travel with Capital One miles by opening:

  • Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card – 50,000 bonus miles ($500 in travel) after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business – Up to 200,000 Capital One miles ($2,000 in travel) after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements (Offer ends January 28, 2019)

I’ll tell you why these cards are best for unexpected travel plans!

I Saved Hundreds by Using Capital One Miles During an Impromptu Trip to Barbados for a Swim With Turtles

Open a Capital One Miles Earning Card When You Need Free Travel in a Hurry

To earn a credit card sign-up bonus, you’ll usually first need to meet minimum spending requirements.

Because of this, it’s smart to apply for a miles & points earning credit card as soon as you know you want to travel somewhere.  That’s because it can take a while to meet your minimum spending, and then receive the points (it can sometimes take weeks after you’ve completed the spending requirement!).

In other words, if you plan to travel this month, it’s probably too late for you to open a card that will give you a discount on your travel because you’ll need to:

  • Obtain the card through the mail
  • Achieve the spending requirement
  • Receive the points
  • Book your travel

For example, if you sign-up for the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, you’ll earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.  When you open the card, you’ll first need to spend $5,000 with it.  And then wait a while longer for Chase to deposit the points into your account.

You’ll ideally want to open a card like this months before you even plan to book your travel.  You want your points WAY before your travel begins, so you can use them to reserve your travel while there are still available award seats, reward nights, low cash prices, etc.

Capital One Miles Work Differently

If you’re afraid you’ve waited too long to open a credit card that gives you huge discounts on upcoming travel, don’t worry!  You probably haven’t.

Cards like the Capital One Venture and Capital One Spark Miles provide you with a discount on travel purchases AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE THE CARD.  You don’t need to complete a spending requirement and earn the sign-up bonus before you book your travel!

Here’s why:   You can redeem Capital One miles for travel you’ve booked in the past 90 days.

Capital One Miles Reimburse You for Nearly ANY Travel Purchase, Including Hotels, Airfare, Train Tickets, Cruises, and Airbnb.  Like One of My Favorites in Soufriere, Saint Lucia!

Here’s How It Works:   If you want to catch a friend’s wedding in a few weeks:

  • Apply for the Capital One Venture in time to receive the card through the mail
  • Once you receive your card, purchase your airfare with the card
  • You’ll then have 90 days to sign-in to your online account, find the travel purchase, and “erase” it with the miles you’ve earned.

As long as you complete the card’s spending requirement within 90 days and it posts to your account, you’ll be able to use the $500 sign-up bonus to go back and erase the cost of your airfare.

Bottom Line

If you have upcoming travel and don’t think there’s time to open a card and earn points for your trip, you still have options!

The Capital One Venture and Capital One Spark Miles both allow you to redeem your miles for travel months after you’ve made your reservations.  So you can open the cards and use them to purchase travel now, and then earn the sign-up bonus and erase those travel purchases later!

What’s your strategy for saving on last-minute travel?

Joseph Hostetler is a full-time writer for Million Mile Secrets, covering miles and points tips and tricks, as well as helpful travel-related news and deals. He has also authored and edited for The Points Guy.

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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