You can save Big Money using miles and points for award flights and stays. But other travel expenses can be harder to off-set, like commuter transportation, boutique hotels, or amusement park tickets.
The Capital One Venture sign-up bonus alone is worth $400 in travel after meeting minimum spending. And Capital One Venture miles are straightfoward to earn and redeem for LOTS of different travel purchases!
Capital One has a very broad definition of what counts as travel, so you might be surprised at the types of travel expenses you can redeem miles for! But some travel purchases are better redemptions than others. Especially if you collect other flexible miles and points which can be worth far more in certain situations!
I’ll share clever ways to use your Capital One Venture miles for Big Travel!
Free Travel With Capital One Venture Miles
Link: Capital One® Venture® Card
Link: My Review of the Capital One Venture Card
Million Mile Secrets readers have commented on the best ways to use Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card miles.
The Capital One Venture card offers 40,000 Venture miles (worth $400 in travel) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.
You’ll also get:
- 2 Venture miles per $1 you spend on all purchases
- NO foreign transaction fees
- $59 annual fee, waived the first year
The card also comes with Visa Signature Benefits, which include:
- Rental car insurance – Secondary protection against collision or theft
- Travel accident insurance – Up to $250,000 insurance for accidental loss of life, limb, sight, speech or hearing
- Lost luggage insurance – Up to $3,000 per trip, provided the luggage was lost from theft or misdirection by the airline, cruise, etc.
There’s no limit to the number of miles you can earn, and miles won’t expire if your account is open. And there are no blackout dates so you can travel when you want!
That said, Capital One Venture miles have a fixed value of 1 cent per point when you redeem them for travel. And you can NOT transfer Venture miles to airline or hotel programs, like you can with Chase Ultimate Rewards or Citi ThankYou points.
So for expensive award flights or hotel stays, you’ll often spend fewer miles or points by transferring other flexible points to travel partners.
For example, an award night at the Park Hyatt New York costs 30,000 Hyatt points. And rooms there can cost over $1,000 per night!
In the example above, you’d have to spend ~118,000 Venture miles to erase the cost of the room (~$1,180 cost of room / 1 cent per mile). That doesn’t make sense if you have Hyatt points (or Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which you can transfer to Hyatt) to use instead.
So it’s often better to use Capital One Venture miles for travel you can’t redeem other miles and points for. Or for smaller travel purchases that might not be eligible for redemption through other programs.
Capital One Venture Miles Are Easy to Redeem
Folks like Capital One Venture miles because you can redeem them for a wide variety of travel costs, including Airbnb stays, Uber rides, and flights or hotels with NO blackout dates.
To redeem your Capital One Venture miles for travel, use your Capital One Venture card to pay for your travel purchase. Once it’s posted to your account, you can “erase” the cost with miles. However, you must redeem the miles within 90 days of your purchase.
For example, you could use 40,000 Venture miles to erase the cost of a $400 flight.
I like that these cards have NO minimum redemption increment when redeeming miles, unless you’re using miles to partially pay for a travel purchase. In that case, the minimum is 2,500 Venture miles ($25).
That’s much better than the similar Barclaycard Arrival Plus, where you can only redeem your miles for purchases of $100+. So Capital One Venture miles are much more useful for smaller travel purchases, like Uber or train tickets.
Check out my comparison of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus and the Capital One Venture.
What OFFICIALLY Counts as a Travel Purchase
According to Capital One, travel purchases include:
Airlines, hotels, rail lines, car rental agencies, limousine services, bus lines, cruise lines, taxi cabs, travel agents, and time shares.
Availability for redemption is based on the merchant category code assigned to them by the merchant. Capital One is not responsible for how merchants assign these codes.
These Are NOT Officially Listed but Folks Report Good Luck
That said, data points from cardholders suggest the travel category is much more broad. You can typically redeem Capital One Venture miles for:
- Hotels (including boutique and independent hotels)
- Car rentals
- Online travel agencies and 3rd-party booking sites (like Orbitz)
- Cruise lines
- Bus lines
- Rail lines
- Hotel meals (when charged to your hotel room, including Disney hotels)
- Lyft and Uber
- Taxi rides
- Disney World tickets or other park tickets purchased through Undercover Tourist
- Travel agents
- U-Haul storage units, according to a phone call with a Capital One representative
For example, you could use your miles to stay at a unique Airbnb!
Or consider taking a dream cruise to the Greek Islands.
If you often take Uber, Lyft, or taxi rides, using Capital One Venture miles to erase these costs is a good choice.
If you’re planning a Disney or Universal Studios trip, Undercover Tourist sells discounted tickets. And folks report these purchases qualify for Capital One Venture miles redemption!
And lots of folks book train travel as a cheaper alternative to flying. Rail lines like Amtrak qualify as travel, too!
Sorry, You Can NOT Erase These Types of Purchases
Keep in mind, some purchases you’d think would code as travel aren’t actually eligible.
- Global Entry fee
- Airport parking
- Gas stations
- Some hotel point purchases
- Some airline mile purchases
As always, the best way to use miles and points is for travel that’s important to YOU. So use your Capital One Venture miles however you like!
But if you’re new to miles & points, and plan to apply for more cards later, the Capital One Venture isn’t a good pick. There are other credit cards with much higher sign-up bonuses that earn more valuable points and have better travel benefits.
Capital One Venture miles are valuable because they offer great flexibility and are NOT subject to blackout dates. The sign-up bonus on the Capital One Venture card is worth $400 in travel after meeting minimum spending requirements.
And miles are easy to redeem! Just book your travel with the card, then use your miles to erase the whole charge or a partial amount within 90 days of your purchase.
It often makes more sense to redeem Capital One Venture miles for travel purchases that can’t be off-set by other miles and points, like boutique hotels, inexpensive Uber or taxi rides, or train tickets. You can even use Venture miles to pay for Disney and Universal Studios tickets purchased through Undercover Tourist!
What travel purchases have you erased with Capital One Venture miles?