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Last night, Tony and I each signed up, and were approved, for the new Capital One Venture Card. Combined, we will earn a whopping $2200 in sign-up bonuses, to be used essentially like CASH towards any travel purchases.  $2200 for 10 minutes of work and a little follow-up paperwork!!

Here’s the deal: Capital One is offering a 10,000 ‘mile’ sign-up bonus for their Venture Card. But they’ve added a huge kicker — they will match up to 100,000 miles you currently have in another program. So if you have a frequent flyer account that has 100,000 miles in it, when you spend $1000 on their Capital One Venture card within 3 months they’ll give you the usual 10,000 miles plus 100,000 miles. There is a $59 annual fee, but it is waived the first year.

Note, Capital One ‘miles’ are really their own version of points, that can be used toward any travel purchase at the rate of 1 cent per point.  So 110,000 miles will get you $1100 in travel credit.

If you have 100,000 miles sitting in any of your frequent flyer accounts, then this is a sign-up bonus you don’t want to miss. Tony and I each have 100,000+ AA miles from the Citi AAdvantage Sign-up bonuses, so we hopped on it. We felt $1100 was well worth the temporary credit hit.

More info can be found in this MilePoint thread. Gary at View from the Wing has a very informative post, with the details on what you actually have to do to get the 100,000 matching bonus. The short answer: You send Capital One your frequent flyer statement, and they’ll match the balance in your account.

Essentially, this is a slam dunk for anyone who recently partook in the Citi 75K or 100K sign-up offers.

Some information you might want to know:

  • Capital One does a hard credit pull on ALL three credit bureaus. Normally, credit applications only affect one credit bureau — so if you are planning on applying for a loan (car, refinance, etc) within the next 6 months, then I would hold off on this offer.
  • There are only 1 billion miles available for matching — at 100,000 a pop, this means only 10,000 people will be able to get in on this offer. Bottom line: act soon.
  • You can use your $1100 towards any travel purchase, including plane tickets, cruises, hotel rooms, rental cars, and taxis. You can even use it toward baggage fees and parking fees. Janelle — I’m thinking a free cruise is in the works? :)
  • According to this MP thread, Capital One has confirmed that they will not send a 1099 form for the earnings from this card. *Huge* sigh of relief.  That would have sucked to pay taxes on the ‘miles’!
  • If you are a current Capital One customer, you can call and request to have your card upgraded to the Venture card, with no hard credit pull at all.  However, you will be charged the first year annual fee of $59, and you will only be eligible for the 100,000 matching bonus (not the 10,000 one-time bonus). I could have done this, but my Capital One credit card is a no-fee credit card, and it’s my oldest card in my credit history. Closing my oldest account would have had a much more negative impact on my credit than opening a new card. So I chose to apply separately for the Venture card.
  • Capital One cards have no foreign currency fees, which is one of the sole reasons that people keep CapOne cards in their wallet. This is a very nice feature when you’re traveling abroad.  For this reason, you might want to downgrade to a no-annual-fee card after you get your miles, rather than closing your account completely, if it’s possible.

Redeeming Your Miles
I have the Discover Miles credit card, and redeeming the credit works in exactly the same way as the Capital One Venture Card. It’s fairly easy and has a great deal of flexibility. You make your purchase anywhere (airline ticket, cruise, rental car, etc), then request a credit through your account within 90 days of your purchase. They usually just credit it onto your bill.

For the Capital One Venture card, you can redeem your points at a value of 1 cent per point.   Here’s an easy math trick: just add two zeros to find out how many miles you need for redemption. For example: A $189 purchase requires 18,900 miles.   So, with 110,000 miles, you’ll be able to pay for $1100 in travel purchases!!

{and to think I used to take credit hits for little $100-$150 sign-up bonuses! No more!}

One Response to “How We Will Earn $2200 Towards Free Travel”

  1. […] and I got the magical emails this morning, stating that our Venture cards have shipped and we could log in to claim our miles using our unique 16 digit code. I had to wait […]

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