Capital One is making more improvements for card holders interested in getting the most out of their travel credit card. On Tuesday, the issuer announced that it’s adding both a new transfer partner to its flexible miles program and a new “cancel for any reason” option when booking flights via Capital One Travel.
Both moves come as part of the issuer’s ongoing effort to become a major player in the travel credit card market, and follow the launch of the Capital One Venture X in 2021, as well as the introduction of the first Capital One airport lounge at Dallas/ ft. Worth (DFW) and improved transfer ratios across many of the program’s airline and hotel partners.
Capital One will soon be adding Virgin Red — which is the combined loyalty program of Virgin-branded companies — to its transfer partner roster. Virgin Red points can be redeemed for a number of different travel experiences — think cruises with Virgin Voyages, flights with Virgin Atlantic and much more. You can find a complete listing of Virgin Red redemptions on its website.
Capital One says Virgin Red will be added as a transfer partner “in the coming weeks.” When Virgin Red officially joins as the issuer’s 16th transfer partner, you’ll be able to transfer Capital One miles to Virgin Red at a 1-to-1 ratio, meaning one Capital One mile becomes one point or mile in the respective partner program. Most of Capital One’s other airline and hotel partners also transfer at a 1-to-1 rate, with a handful of exceptions.
While Capital One is the first US-based transfer program to partner directly with Virgin Red, several other programs partner with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, which is the airline’s frequent flyer program that shares points with Virgin Red. Transfer partners of Virgin Atlantic include Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards.
In addition to adding Virgin Red as a transfer partner, Capital One also announced on Tuesday that it’s launching three limited-time bonus promotions. For the month of March, Capital One travel card holders will receive a 20% bonus when they transfer miles to Aeromexico’s Club Premier program, Avianca’s LifeMiles program and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ Wyndham Rewards program.
While you may not be familiar with those loyalty programs, you can find some good value from transferring your miles — especially with the 20% bonus. For example, while Avianca is based in Colombia, it’s also a member of the Star Alliance, of which United Airlines is also a member. So, you can transfer Capital One miles to Avianca LifeMiles and redeem them for flights in the US — or beyond — with United Airlines.
Similarly, Aeromexico is a member of SkyTeam, of which Delta Air Lines is also a member. So, you could book award flights through Club Premier for travel with Delta. And, as far as hotels go, Wyndham Rewards offers plenty of value, which can take you even further with a 20% bonus.
In addition to adding Virgin Red as a new transfer option, Capital One is introducing a new feature to its recently relaunched Capital One Travel portal. Card holders booking on the platform will be able to buy an option to cancel flights for any reason and get back the majority of the ticket cost.
According to Capital One, with this “cancel for any reason” protection, if you book a flight through Capital One Travel and pay a “small upfront fee,” you can cancel your flight up to 24 hours before scheduled departure and get back between 70 % and 90% of what you paid. The amount of the refund will be disclosed before card holders elect to pay for the option.
As far as the cost of this new option, according to the issuer, the fee will vary and is “dynamically priced based on a number of factors,” including how far in advance the flight is booked, the route of the flight and the date or departure.
Capital One Travel is only accessible to people with an eligible Capital One credit card. If you don’t already have one, right now until March 14, you can snag the Capital One Venture X card with a sign-up bonus of 100,000 miles after spending $10,000 in the first six months after opening the account, as well as up to a $200 vacation rental credit to be used with vacation rentals like Airbnb and Vrbo.
The card has an annual fee of $395, but also comes with $300 in annual statement credits to use through Capital One Travel, 10,000 bonus miles each year starting with the second year you have the card and a number of other perks.
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