Capitol One Mileage Card: Worth It?

Oct 18th, 2004, 10:22 AM
  #1  
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Capitol One Mileage Card: Worth It?

We've had Citibank AAdvantage MasterCards for the past few years and have racked up the miles nicely. However, when I've tried to actually use the miles for a trip, I've found no availability.

Thinking of switching to Capitol One, which says no blackout dates and no seat restrictions, and can be used on any airline. What's the downside? What's your experience?
Marilyn is offline  
Oct 18th, 2004, 10:25 AM
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I used to have a Capital One card - never could get a good 'miles for ticket' deal so ended up just cashing out the points - worked fine, take the cash and run (or fly - I took the cash and bought Southwest Rapid Rewards vouchers on ebay!)

Have since changed to a Southwest Airlines Visa - much better redemption program, IMHO. Don't have to worry about using tons of miles/points for last-minute travel. With SW - if they have a seat, even if day before, takes the same number of credits - plus free drink coupons (nice perk!!!!!)
hightide is offline  
Oct 18th, 2004, 10:29 AM
  #3  
pat
 
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I have a citibank card too, and talked about changing to capital one. The down side was they said No miles for traveling, so be sure and check that out. Just for complaining, AA gave me 3,000 miles which is better than nothing. I had asked they drop my fee, but American said it`s Citibank that charges the fee, not AA.
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Oct 18th, 2004, 10:35 AM
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But you would still get the milage for traveling in your frequent flyer account with the airline you travel on. I guess the disadvantage is that you can't combine the Capitol One miles with the miles in your American or United account. So it's more difficult to get the miles you need for a free trip.
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Oct 18th, 2004, 10:37 AM
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Marilyn,

We've had our Capital One card for years and love it. I pick out my itinerary, call them and tell them exactly what I want, I think up to 21 days in advance. I've never had a problem getting on the flight I want. The biggest downside is that you can't do open jaw flights. In addition, if your flight costs more than their ceiling value ($1000 for US to Europe), you have to make up the difference. They have increased the points you need a couple of times over the years, but they're certainly not alone in that. $1 spent = 1 point, and you need 65,000 points for a ticket to Europe. You can accrue up to 10,000 points a month.

Since we had racked up some miles on AA, we had thought about getting a Citibank card to supplement our Capital One and use our AA miles for upgrades, but because of their change in policy (the new fee for upgrading using miles) we decided against it.
Jocelyn_P is offline  
Oct 18th, 2004, 10:41 AM
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Marilyn,

Yes, you can upgrade your award ticket. I went round and round with both Capital One and AA a few months ago. From the airline's perspective, you bought your ticket with your cc through a travel agency. We're still thinking of doing it on AA, but not sure we want to pay the new fee.
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Oct 18th, 2004, 10:42 AM
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My mom switched her airmiles to a different credit card with supposedly no restrictions, blackouts etc., but when she booked a trip to vegas (from Toronto, Canada) there were literally 4 or 5 stops.

I have no idea how a europe flight would compare but it's something to keep in mind b/c of course no one mentions it beforehand.
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Oct 18th, 2004, 10:45 AM
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Bonus with SW Visa: you get credits for flights, extra credits for booking online and sometimes (promos) double credits at certain times. Also credits for 'partner' purchases (hertz, some hotels, etc.) Plus, you get the miles when you put it on your SW visa. I think you have to sign up for SW Rapid Reward account, then get the visa card to get everything... like I said, worth it to me...
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Oct 18th, 2004, 11:02 AM
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Jocelyn, thanks for the info. The promo brochure I have says that you "pay" for your ticket with miles that correspond to the dollar value of the ticket. They list, for example, a $500 ticket costs 45,000 miles, and a $750 ticket costs 67,500 miles. But where do they get the dollar value of the ticket? If they go by the straight published coach fare, then it seems very overpriced. I take it you have not had a problem with this?

hightide, doesn't the SW Visa only get you rewards on SW? (Which doesn't fly outside the US last time I checked.)
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Oct 18th, 2004, 11:33 AM
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Marilyn, are you talking bout the Capital One card? They do call it "miles" you need for a ticket, but it's really points -- one point for $1 spent on the card. I think they are trying to copy airline cards by that term.

I have one and don't use a credit card as much as many, so don't really use it to get tickets, I just use it for cash back, so it more than pays for itself. HOwever, you do need 9000 points for each $100 of ticket you buy. As for the value of the ticket, I think that's up to you - you can buy whatever ticket you want however you want, so if you get a bargain, you use less points. I believe they say you can use their travel agent, your travel agent, or various online sites like Travelocity. I think the points are somewhat high compared to airline cards (eg, a $1000 ticket would cost you 90,000 points unless it is cheaper at the upper ends of the range), whereas you could get a peak season RT ticket US/Europea for around 60-65K points on some airline cards, I believe. However, it's flexible and you get points for anything you spend, and the other features are good anyway (which is why I have it -- no foreign currency transaction fee and a low $19 fee per year for the basic one).

I think it's especially good for those willing to fly offseason, because then a $500 ticket would only cost you 45,000 points. It's really like giving you money to buy an airline ticket, which is why there are no blackout periods, etc. and you can book whatever airline and route you want. Perhaps someone who's used it more can elaborate on how they got their ticket, or if I'm wrong in that you can buy one any way you want.
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Oct 18th, 2004, 11:40 AM
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If you always fly the same airline, you'll probably get a better deal with one of the airline cards, since you can combine its points with your FF miles,

But I like my Cap One card because its points are good on any airline, and can also be traded for dollars.

They have recently changed the way the card works for travel, and I haven't had a chance to check out how well it works. Apparently you no longer have to book through their agency; you can book any flight you want directly with your airline or Expedia, etc. Once the charge has posted to your account, supposedly you just call their service number to get a credit for the number of miles you have. Sounds like a very flexible system, if it works as advertised. And of course, the flight itself will still earn FF miles on that airline.

Generally speaking, I have been very happy with Capital One's service, and would definitely recommend them as a credit card company.
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Oct 18th, 2004, 11:43 AM
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So let me see if I understand this correctly. You actually find the ticket yourself, charge it on the Capitol One card, and then instead of paying for it on the card, they deduct miles from your account to "pay" for it. So even if you find a cheap ticket from a consolidator, you can still use the miles to pay for it.

The deal I am being offered is no annual fee if you transfer your existing balance.

Christina, since we got our AA mileage MasterCard we've been using it to pay for everything possible, from groceries to the dentist bill. We are about to start a house remodel and I want to work out a deal with the contractor to put all our costs on a credit card. We have a friend who built a house and got two free air tickets to Australia out of the deal!
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Oct 18th, 2004, 11:44 AM
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P.S. According to the schedule I have, it takes 8,000 "miles" (that means $8000 worth of purchases) to get a $100 ticket, not 9000 as Christina said. I wonder if they have different redemption rates for different cards.
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Oct 18th, 2004, 11:46 AM
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nonnafelice, maybe they have raised the bar recently. Many airlines have raised the required mileage for an award.

Thanks everyone for the info. It has been very helpful.
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Oct 18th, 2004, 11:59 AM
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I have a Capital One MilesOne Reward Card and am very happy with it. They have just changed the rules though, however I think they are still pretty good. Until a couple of months ago (August 2004) you needed a certain number of points for a ticket. For example for a US to Europe ticket you needed 60,000 points and you could use any ticket up to $1000. Last summer I flew to Italy and my ticket was $1008, they charged me $8. I had to use 60,000 points. You get one point for every dollar you spend. The only drawback was that you had to fly into and out of the same cities (no open jaw). But it was very easy to redeem, no blackout dates, etc.

Well the new rules are in some ways even better. No blackout dates, no Saturday night stays required, no 21 day advance purchase required, open jaw tickets allowed, and you can buy your ticket anywhere - Orbitz, Travelocity, etc or go to the Airlines directly, or go to a travel agent (why you'd do that I don't know). However, the ticket price is directly related to the number of points you have to use. So if you want to fly somewhere on a ticket that costs only $400 you only have to use 32,000 points (it's 8000 points per $100 of ticket price). This is great for flying on cheaper priced tickets. The drawback is that that $1008 ticket I used last summer would now cost me 80,000 points instead of the 60,000 it did with the old rules. You can even buy the ticket yourself and then tell them and they'll deduct the points and credit your account with the ticket price. Makes it easier if you want to buy more than one ticket but only have enough points for one.

So it can depend on the type of travel you tend to do. But I still think it's a good idea. You can go to www.capitalone.com/gomiles to see more information on how to use the card.

The main things I like about it are you can use it on any airline, on any date. And you get points for everything you buy. I use mine to charge everything I buy including gas, groceries, etc. If it costs more than $5 and they take credit cards I put it on my card.
isabel is offline  
Oct 18th, 2004, 12:05 PM
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Wow, it sounds like things have changed quite a bit recently! I'm going to go check out their website...I'm not sure if this will be to my benefit or not.
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Oct 18th, 2004, 12:18 PM
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I wonder if there are different versions of the Capital One card. I have the Miles One Rewards card, and when I log into their website it gives me the same chart, with 65,000 points giving you a Europe ticket with a $1000 ceiling...no exchanging points for a certain dollar value. Can someone give me a link to the other version? Marilyn, does the brochure you have say Miles One? I'm confused.
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Oct 18th, 2004, 12:30 PM
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Jocelyn, my brochure is called Capitol One "Go Miles." I wonder if they have started a new program, or if you can still enroll in the Miles Ones program as a new member?
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Oct 18th, 2004, 12:52 PM
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Okay. A couple of months ago Capital One sent us new cards. My new card says Go Miles Professional Rewards (the old one was Mile One). Perhaps that's when they changed the program? I went to the Miles One website and accessed all my current info and the old redemption chart. There was a link to a "Go Miles" site. I logged in again on the Go Miles site and it gave me the same old chart in accordance with my current info. I wonder if I have the option to switch to the new version, or if I can even use both ways? It sounds like I'd get better value using the old way if I redeem the miles for Europe, but maybe a better value with the new version with some domestic traveling. Hmmmm...I am guilty of not reading everything Capital One sends to us, so I may have thrown away the explanation. I guess I need to call them. Thanks for bringing this up, Marilyn!
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Oct 18th, 2004, 12:56 PM
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Yes, Marilyn, you're right - didn't think to point that out! Must be redeemed for SW flights and they are only domestic... Even so, still worth it to me...
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