I previously wrote about the Capital One 100,000 point matching bonus signup offer and then followed up with more information on eligibility for getting two cards.
Capital One was willing to match points that you had in US airline frequent flyer accounts — up to 100,000 — as a signup bonus for getting a new Venture card (or small business Venture card), in addition to their usual 10,000 point signup offer. The catch was that they were ‘capping’ the offer at 1 billion miles.
That sounds like a big number, but if each of the first ten thousand card applicants grabbed 100,000 miles apiece that would be it. And they were heavily promoting the card and offer with a television commercial featuring Alec Baldwin. They promised the offer would run through mid-May or when the billion miles were all reserved, which ever came first.
And as of now, they now say that the miles are gone.
Strictly speaking, they’re only ‘reserved’ — anyone who doesn’t meet the minimum spend requirement on the card won’t get the points. So it’s possible that they won’t actually award the full billion points. But they have now withdrawn the offer to new card applicants.
So it’s too late to sign up. If you were on the fence and considering the offer, the time has past.
What everyone is wondering is what happens if they had signed up for a card, but hadn’t gotten the ‘passcode’ from Capital One yet to submit the proof of their miles? This was an incredibly complex promotion, you had to get approved for the card and then wait 8-10 days for a passcode that Capital One would email you, you would then submit an airline program statement, your packet had to meet some very specific criteria. Lots of hoops to jump through, and then you’d wait for Capital One to process your submission. Much outside of your control.
Well, despite much hand wringing about how this would all work out, I didn’t think that the cumbersome rules were really going to be a mechanism for Capital One to gain cardmembers, stick it to those cardmembers, and expect them to stay. And I didn’t think a major initiative with TV ad buys and Alec Baldwin was something they were looking to trick consumers with, either.
Unsurprisingly, then, the answer that folks with an approved card but miles not yet matched are wondering is… Capital One will honor the offer, even though it means awarding more than the promised billion points.
Specifically, I’m told that:
[C]ardholders who were approved during the promotion period will still have 45 days from when they opened their account to register their miles and qualify for the match
I’m actually in that boat myself. I matched the points on my personal card, and then went back for a business card. I didn’t get an instant approval, that took about a week, and I’m still waiting for my passcode. Fortunately I will still be able to qualify for the 100,000 mile signup, even though the offer is closed to new applicants.
The only folks who may not make out successfully are those that applied for cards which have not yet been approved. I didn’t ask specifically, but it sounds as though you do need to have an approval prior to 8 am Eastern this morning to qualify.
Great offer, actually got me to sign up for Capital One credit cards which really hadn’t been on my radar, they’ve certainly gotten a lot of additional attention for themselves. But all good things come to an end. Fortunately I hear rumblings that a deal that some will find even more rewarding than what Capital One was offering may be on its way tomorrow.. At least I’m confident that the days of mega bonuses in frequent flyer world are far from over!