Credit Cards Miles and Points

Capital One Venture card adds airline transfer partners – best programs for family travel

News broke today that the Capital One Venture card will be offering airline transfers at a ratio of 2:1.5. Since the card earns 2 miles per dollar (good for 2 cents towards travel), it essentially has become a 2 cents per dollar OR 1.5 miles per dollar card. Some outlets are now offering 75,000 miles for $5000 as a sign up bonus in order to promote the change. Let’s take a closer look at what Capital One Venture airline transfers mean for families.

Here is the list of transfer partners:

  • Aeromexico
  • Aeroplan (Air Canada)
  • Air France/KLM (Flying Blue)
  • Alitalia
  • Avianca
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Etihad
  • EVA Air
  • Finnair
  • Hainan
  • Qantas
  • Qatar

Ever since Capital One rejected me ten years ago before my honeymoon, I haven’t bothered with their cards. (I wasn’t even playing the miles and points game back then). Although I don’t worry too much about credit checks these days, I’m still salty they checked three bureaus and didn’t even approve me. Since many cards offer no foreign transaction fees (my initial reason to want the card back when I was a neophyte), I never looked back at Capital One.

Capital One Venture

Flexibility is always good, so the fact that the Capital One Venture card offers multiple options for using your miles obviously is a plus. I’m still not totally sold on the card because I don’t have the time and energy to deal with less mainstream programs today, though some transfer partners do jump out in terms of value for me. Here’s what I’m looking at – is it enough to get me to change my mind on yet another credit card?

Aeroplan (Air Canada)

It will be a plus to have another option for Air Canada airline transfers besides American Express Membership Rewards. Air Canada is great for families who want to travel internationally with their babies because they charge super low rates for lap infants. While most airlines will charge you 10% of the adult cash fare for an international lap infant, Air Canada charges a reasonable $50-$125 or 5000 to 12,500 miles for lap infants depending on the cabin. So instead of paying hundreds of dollars for a lap infant in business class on Eva Air, you just pay $100 or 10,000 points. A great deal for those families that need to travel abroad with a lap infant.

Avianca Lifemiles

This transfer partner is notable if you’re trying to get away from your family. It’s still one of if not the best Star Alliance partner out there for booking Lufthansa First Class. You can book 14 days out (which is when they usually open space) and Avianca doesn’t pass on any fuel surcharges. My days in LH F might be over, but I know a lot of people will be happy to have another program to earn Lifemiles with. 

Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)

We really like flying Delta as a family, so if we were to get a Venture card it’d be nice to have another transfer partner to Air France/KLM. You can use those Flying Blue miles to book Delta flights, but if I need to combine miles from different programs (a regular occurrence for family travel), it’s nice to be able to pool between Capital One Venture and American Express without having to pay the excise tax (which I’d have to pay if transferring from AMEX to Delta). 

Final Thoughts

It really does seem like the Capital One Venture airline transfers are more niche, which means they can represent a ton of value but also a ton of work. So I’d say for right now, I’m still going to pass on the card unless I have a specific trip in mind. More Air Canada miles are tempting, so 75,000 miles converted to 56,250 Aeroplan miles sounds pretty good – if I plan to use them. Avianca and some of the others are too niche for me at this point in my life, but I’m sure other families can extract a ton of value from them.

What transfer partners stood out for you? Does the Venture card seem more exciting? Let me know in the comments!

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Just an average joe trying to fly his family for less

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