Capital One’s 100,000 Point Signup (“Match”) Offer is Over

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 But they have now withdrawn the offer to new card applicants.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!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. I’m glad it’s over! I saw the commercial for the venture card at least 10 times last night during the Final four Game.

  2. Do you think it’s coincidental that the promo ended almost immediately after the national championship game? I bet that Cap1 is actually over their 1B miles allotment, but figured they had already paid Alec Baldwin big money and bought the air time for the commercials — thus they might as well let it run through the end of March Madness!

    Between my wife and my folks, we are 8/8 on approvals (just waiting for 1 biz passcode, same as yourself). If they honor all the matches, that represents 800k points or just shy of .1% of the total pool!

    At this rate Gary, your blog readers alone might be able to claim 10-20% of the 1B pool! Fascinating!

  3. They’ll keep airing commercials and selling signups even though the miles are gone. They’re not dumb.

  4. Nah, if you’re talking about the 80k Chase Sapphire Preferred then I doubt it. Been on an off for a while but never really happened. Wouldn’t get approval after so many recent approvals anyway. 🙂

  5. Just got my passcode via email for my small biz application submitted 4/1/11.

    I received my card in the mail today too, called up to activate and asked representative to confirm that those who applied beforehand would still be eligible for the match. The clueless representative started saying that the promotion ended in March despite it being on the website clearly in April.

    I’ll ignore the rep and go with Gary as passcode allowed me to successfully enter and upload my mileage statement. Another easy 100K!

    P.S. I’m with hobo13! I’m pretty sure Gary’s readers reserved a couple hundred million points.

  6. I didn’t see it mentioned, but I read the terms and conditions and it appears you can get an additional 5,000 bonus miles for adding an authorized user to the business account. That’s easily a $50 gift card to over 30 retailer choices on their site.

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