- Summer may be ending soon, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for a final summer trip to enjoy the warm weather.
- Capital One miles can be redeemed for virtually any flight, hotel, cruise, train, and other eligible travel at a rate of 1 cent per mile. You can also transfer them to a list of airline partners, including Singapore Airlines.
- You can earn these miles with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One Spark Miles for Business, among other cards.
- With flexible dates, times, and destinations, you may be able to put together a perfect vacation without paying for any travel costs out of pocket.
Summer vacations are wrapping up, but you may be able to squeeze in one last trip before schools kick back into full gear. If you have the Capital One Venture Rewards card, you might be sitting on a pool of miles that could get you out of town for a little weekend away or even a major last-minute getaway. (You can also earn miles with the Capital One Spark Miles for Business, and with the no-annual fee Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business).
Here are some of the best ways to put those miles to good use.
Getaway in your own city
I have a friend who loves to take his family to a hotel about a 20 minutes away so they can enjoy the pool, room service, and other hotel luxuries you don’t get at home.
You can book a hotel through the Capital One portal using miles or pay with the credit card and reimburse yourself with the Purchase Eraser at a rate of 1 cent per point. When you “travel” like this, you save a bundle on airfare. Take the opportunity to be a tourist in your own town and check out a new restaurant, museum, or show you’ve been meaning to try.
Book a local experience in an Airbnb
A few months ago, I took my family for a weekend getaway in San Luis Obispo, about two hours from home. We wanted to relax, go at our own pace, and still enjoy some of the comforts of home like a kitchen. We found a great Airbnb a few blocks from the lively downtown and it covered every one of our needs.
Just like a hotel, you can book an Airbnb using your Capital One miles-earning card and reimburse yourself using miles. A great perk of reimbursing yourself using the Venture card is that you earn the 2 miles per dollar on the purchase and then get to wipe the cost off of your balance. Make sure to use the Purchase Eraser with 90 days of making the reservation.
Hunt down a last-minute airfare on Skyscanner
The Purchase Eraser should work for any airline, hotel, or travel agency purchase. If you want to hop on a plane to somewhere fun, new, or far from home, you should point your browser to Skyscanner. Specifically, go to the last-minute flight search tool here.
With flexible dates and destinations, you can often find bargain-priced flights. Plugging in LAX, I found flights to most of the entire western half of the United States under $US150, with Las Vegas as the cheapest option at $US39 round-trip. That’s just 3,900 Venture miles per person.
While travelling within the US is always fun, I was more excited by deals to Mexico, Canada, and Europe. Many of those deals are out of reach with airline-specific miles. A general travel rewards card like the Venture card, however, gives you more flexibility in how you redeem.
Take the luxury flight of a lifetime
Capital One miles are transferrable to a list of partner airlines based around the world. That list includes three airlines that are known for their luxurious premium cabins. If you can book an international business-class fare or better with miles, you’ll probably get among the best redemption values possible per mile, well over the standard 1 cent per mile.
Singapore, Emirates, and Etihad consistently rank among the best airlines in the world for customer service and in-flight experience. If you’ve never heard of Singapore Airlines suites, you have to check this out:
This kind of ticket can cost over $US20,000 per person round-trip. If you have enough miles, this kind of award ticket starts around 76,000 each way for New York to Frankfurt.
Find a last-minute cruise
Points are good for cruises, trains, taxis, and rideshares too. If you’ve never taken a cruise, this could be your big chance. Many cruise companies will heavily discount rooms at the last minute just to fill up the ship.
This is most feasible if you live near a busy cruise port in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, New York, or Southern California. If you can skip flights and hotels on both ends of the trip, you may be able to snag a week-long cruise for just a few hundred dollars per person. Reimburse yourself after paying with miles, of course.
When you have a big pile of miles or points, the world is a lot more accessible. Visits to places in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America go from thousands of dollars to zero dollars.
The Venture card offers a flat 2 miles per dollar on every purchase (plus 10x miles on paid hotels booked via hotels.com/venture). If you save up, you’ll be able to book a trip to nearly any destination in the world without paying anything out of pocket.
Click here to learn more about the Capital One Venture Rewards card from our partner The Points Guy.
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