Capital One Improves Redemption Options and Benefits for Venture and Spark Cards

Boosts miles-transfer ratio, adds new partners, introduces airport lounge access

Capital One has added more value to its Venture and Spark Miles credit cards, including new transfer partners and an improved transfer ratio. The card issuer has also announced two airport lounges for its miles credit card holders and a partnership with Hopper to improve its travel booking experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Capital One has increased the miles transfer ratio on its Venture and Spark Miles cards to 1:1 for seven of its travel partners. Previously, the best transfer ratio was 2:1.5.
  • The card issuer also added four new partners, including three airlines and one hotel brand.
  • In 2021 and 2022, it will open two Capital One Lounges, at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Dulles International Airport. 
  • Later in 2021, Capital One will partner with Hopper to add more features to its travel booking platform.

Slightly Improved Miles Transfer Program

Capital One first announced the ability to transfer Venture and Spark miles to other travel loyalty programs in 2018. The move was an effort to make its rewards program more competitive with the flagship programs from American Express, Chase, and Citi. 

But up until now, the bank didn't offer a 1:1 transfer ratio for any of its partners, which is the standard for Chase Ultimate Rewards and available for most Amex Membership Rewards and Citi Thank You partners. 

Now, Capital One Miles cardholders can get the improved ratio on transfers made to the following programs: 

  • AeroMexico Club Premier
  • Asia Miles
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Etihad Guest
  • Finnair Plus
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Wyndham Rewards

Previously, its best transfer ratio was 2:1.5.

While that still leaves many programs with a less-than-stellar transfer ratio, it's a huge step in the right direction and adds value to the bank's Venture and Spark credit cards. 

Capital One has also added four new partners, including British Airways Executive Club, Choice Privileges, TAP Air Portugual Miles & Go, and Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles.

New Lounge Access with Special Entry Rates

Airport lounge access has become a staple among premium travel credit cards, but if you want complimentary access, you'll typically have to pay an annual fee of hundreds of dollars per year for your card.

In late summer 2021, Capital One is opening an airport lounge at Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport. While access isn't complimentary, Capital One cardholders can get special entry rates, depending on which card they have. The bank hasn't disclosed what those rates will be, but everything in the lounge is included in the entry fee.

Features and amenities include:

  • Restaurant-style dining
  • Craft cocktails, local beers, and regional wines
  • Cycling, yoga room, relaxation rooms, nursing rooms, and shower suites
  • Grab-and-go food section with menus by local chefs
  • Cold brew on tap
  • High-speed Wi-Fi
  • Luggage lockers
  • Multifaith rooms for prayer, meditation, or quiet reflection

In 2022, Capital One plans to add a second lounge at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C., with the same features. While it's not as good as complimentary access, you won't have to pay premium annual fees to get the perk.

New and Improved Travel Booking

Later this year, Capital One will partner with travel startup Hopper to provide cardholders with the chance to get price predictions and alerts on future bookings, helping them capture more value with their miles.

The bank will also offer certain features that can help customers more easily change or cancel their reservations through Capital One Travel.

It's unclear at this point whether the card issuer will be increasing annual fees to make up for these additional benefits. But for now, these new features add a lot of value for existing cardholders without increasing their yearly cost ($95 for Venture, $0 for Spark Miles). They can also be a major incentive for new cardholders to pull the trigger and apply.