Capital One has two credit card rewards programs, Capital One Cash Back Rewards and Capital One Miles Rewards. These two Capital One rewards programs feature different credit cards, reward currencies, earning rates and redemption options
Capital One Credit Card Rewards Program Overview
|Name||Overall Rating||Type of Rewards||Average Value Per $1 Spent|
|Capital One Cash Back Rewards||5/5||Cash Back||1 cent|
|Capital One Miles Rewards||4.5/5||Miles||0.7 cents|
Offers information was collected on Feb. 20, 2022, and is likely to have changed since.
Summary: Capital One Credit Card Rewards Program Scores by Review Category
|Rewards Value per $1 Spent||30/30|
|Eligibility & Transparency||17/20|
How to Earn Capital One Rewards
Category Rating: 100% (30/30)
The credit cards within each Capital One rewards program offer different earning rates, though you will receive at least 1.25 mile per $1 spent or 1% cash back on all purchases.
Earning Rates by Program
- Capital One Miles Rewards: 1.25 to 10 miles per $1 spent
- Capital One Cash Back Rewards: 1% to 4% cash back
The Capital One credit card rewards programs (and specific cards within those programs) may place restrictions on the rewards you can earn. For example, some Capital One Miles Rewards credit cards offer extra miles on flights, hotels and car rentals, but only when those purchases are made through Capital One Travel. On the other hand, the Capital One Cash Back Rewards program currently has no notable earning restrictions.
You can learn more by checking out WalletHub’s individual reviews of the rewards programs.
How to Redeem Capital One Rewards
Category Rating: 71% (14/20)
The best way to redeem Capital One rewards is for cash back or travel, depending on whether you have a card with cash back rewards or miles. Those options have the highest redemption values. Below, you can learn more about the redemption options for each program.
For both Capital One Cash Back Rewards and Capital One Miles Rewards, cash back redemption can take the form of a statement credit or a check.
The only program that lets you redeem for travel is Capital One Miles Rewards. You can book new travel through Capital One’s booking tool or use your miles to cover travel purchases made in the past 90 days. You can also transfer your miles into the loyalty program of one of Capital One’s transfer partners.
Both Capital One Cash Back Rewards and Capital One Miles Rewards allow you to redeem your rewards for gift cards from a variety of popular retailers such as Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, Subway and Starbucks.
Capital One Miles Rewards lets you transfer your miles to various companies’ loyalty programs. Capital One Cash Back Rewards does not allow you to directly transfer your rewards to any hotel or airline loyalty programs, but you can transfer your cash back rewards to a Capital One Miles card that you own (1 cent in cash back = 1 mile). Then, you can take advantage of the Capital One Miles transfer partners.
|Capital One Miles Rewards||Capital One Cash Back Rewards|
|Accor Live Limitless
Aeromexico Club Premier
Air Canada Aeroplan
Air France KLM Flying Blue
British Airways Avios
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
|None (but can transfer rewards to a Capital One Miles card)|
Both Capital One credit card rewards programs place certain restrictions on how you can redeem your rewards. For example, Capital One Cash Back Rewards does not let you redeem your earnings for travel or merchandise, and Capital One Miles Rewards offers drastically lower redemption value for non-travel options.
You can learn more about these restrictions, as well as see a full list of the different ways to redeem, by checking out WalletHub’s individual reviews of the rewards programs.
Capital One Rewards Value
Category Rating: 100% (30/30)
- Capital One Miles Rewards: 0.7 cents per mile
- Capital One Cash Back Rewards: $1 in rewards = $1 in cash back
|Redemption Option||Programs That Offer||Average Rewards Value|
|Cash Back||Capital One Miles Rewards
Capital One Cash Back Rewards
|Miles Rewards: 0.5 cents per mile
Cash Back Rewards: $1 in rewards = $1 cash back
|Travel||Capital One Miles Rewards||1 cent per mile|
|Gift Cards||Capital One Miles Rewards
Capital One Cash Back Rewards
|Miles Rewards: 0.8 cents per mile
Cash Back Rewards: Value varies based on gift card
Overall, Capital One Cash Back Rewards offers more rewards value for every dollar you spend. However, the best rewards program for you depends on your individual spending habits and what you want to redeem your rewards for.
Capital One Rewards Eligibility & Transparency
Category Rating: 85% (17/20)
Each of the Capital One credit card rewards programs has a different set of cards that participate in it. Choosing any of the cards in a program will subject you to the same basic rules.
Participating Cards by American Express Rewards Program
There are a few other key things that you should know about each of the Capital One credit card rewards programs. You can find highlights below. For the full details, check out WalletHub’s individual reviews of the programs.
Key Things to Know About Capital One Miles Rewards
- Miles never expire as long as your account stays open and in good standing.
- Certain cards offer bonus miles that can only be attained by making purchases through Capital One Travel.
- You can earn up to 10 miles per $1 spent with certain cards.
Key Things to Know About Capital One Cash Back Rewards
- There are only two redemption options: cash back in the form of a statement credit or check, or gift cards.
- Your cash back never expires as long as the account stays open and in good standing.
- You can transfer your cash back to a Capital One Miles card at a rate of 1 cent = 1 mile. But you must own both cards.
Capital One Rewards Programs vs. Other Popular Options
|Capital One Cash Back Rewards||93/100|
|Capital One Miles Rewards||89/100|
|Chase Ultimate Rewards||86/100|
|Citi ThankYou Rewards||85/100|
|Amex Blue Cash Reward Dollars||81/100|
Summary: Capital One Rewards Program Ratings by Category
|Name||Overall Rating||Earning Policies Rating||Redemption Policies Rating||Rewards Value Per $1 Spent Rating||Eligibility & Transparency Rating|
|Capital One Cash Back Rewards||93/100||30/30||14/20||30/30||19/20|
|Capital One Miles Rewards||89/100||30/30||14/20||30/30||15/20|
Editor’s ratings reflect the sum of each program’s scores across the study’s five major categories, adjusted to a 5-point scale to create a representative distribution of ratings. The four major categories considered were: Earning Policies, Redemption Policies, Rewards Value per $1 Spent and Eligibility & Transparency.