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Some of the biggest miles and points news of 2018 was the launch of Capital One’s transferable points. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business cardholders can use their points to buy paid travel as always — or can now transfer their Capital One miles to airline frequent flyer miles.
At the time they had shared that they’d be adding airline points transfer partners. And when they ran an Emirates miles transfer bonus in March they shared that there would be more transfer bonuses to come.
So it’s cool to see both of those things happening already.
- They have added JetBlue TrueBlue as a transfer partner.
- They are running a 50% transfer bonus to help launch this addition.
Now, their normal transfer rate is going to be 2:1. Since the cards earn 2 points per dollar spent, they offer the ability to earn 1 JetBlue mile per dollar. That’s fair, but not as aggressive as transfers to most of their airline partners. Capital One miles transfer to most airline loyalty programs at a 2-to-1.5 ratio.
With this 50% transfer bonus that runs through the entire month of May transfers to JetBlue will also be 2-to-1.5.
JetBlue is clearly a strategic add, since it represents their only US airline partner. American Express has Delta (as the exclusive issuer of their cards), Hawaiian Airlines, and JetBlue. Chase has United, Southwest, and JetBlue (added last summer). Citi has JetBlue. (It’s really surprising that Barclays, that issues Hawaiian and JetBlue cards, wasn’t able to get greater exclusivity but when they did those deals they did not have their own points transfer program.)
As a general matter I don’t like transferring points to JetBlue, which has a revenue-based redemption program. The cost of award tickets are based on the prevailing fare for the ticket. I value JetBlue points at 1.3 cents apiece, a little less than what they can buy in terms of airfare.
If you want to travel on JetBlue you’re usually best off using Capital One points to straight up buy the ticket. However the transfer option is nice if you need to top off a JetBlue account with most of the points for an award already in it, as an attractive alternative to buying points from the airline.
The most exciting thing about this announcement is to see that Capital One continues to improve their miles transfer program, as they’ve continued to improve their cards without taking anything away over the last 18 months.
It’s also great to see a second transfer bonus. Capital One promises “[t]his promotion is one of multiple bonus promotions we plan to run this year, so that we can continue to deliver exceptional value to our customers.” (Emphasis mine.) In my view then most readers will benefit by getting a card if they don’t have one, spending on the card, and holding their powder for a specific redemption need or another bonus that comes along later in 2019.
Here’s Capital One’s updated list of airline transfer partners:
|Airline Frequent Flyer Program||Transfer Ratio|
|Aeromexico Club Premier||2-to-1.5|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||2-to-1.5|
|Air France KLM Flying Blue||2-to-1.5|
|Alitalia MilleMiglia Program||2-to-1.5|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||2-to-1.5|
|Etihad Airways Etihad Guest||2-to-1.5|
|EVA Air Infinity MileageLands||2-to-1.5|
|Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club||2-to-1.5|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||2-to-1.5|
|Qatar Airways Privilege Club||2-to-1.5|
|Singapore Airlines Krisflyer||2-to-1.0|