|by Jason Steele|
A few weeks ago, I was excited to learn that Capital One was holding a “Match My Miles” promotion where new recipients of their Venture Rewards card would be eligible to receive up to 100,000 “miles” from Capital One by submitting a statement from a frequent flier program. The terms indicated the miles had to have been accrued from credit card spending, but further investigation revealed that pretty much any existing mileage in an eligible account would be “matched”. The terms of the offer indicated that they would only offer it until 1 Billion “Miles” had been matched. This morning, Capital One announced they had reached that figure and the offer is now closed.
Why This Was Such A Great Offer
Capital One’s miles are worth one penny each as a statement credit against existing travel expenditures, including hotels, car rentals, and airfare. For anyone who travels at all, this is as good as $1,000 cash back, an unprecedented sign up bonus. The actual sign up bonus for new customers was 10,000 miles, the equivalent of another $100 cash back (towards any travel expenditure).
Unlike actual airline or hotel miles or points, redemptions are transparent to the vendor. You will still receive points, miles, and upgrades from your award bookings when you use your Capital One card.
Beyond just their fantastic promotion, the Capital One card is a decent card to have. Their Venture Rewards card is essentially a 2% cash back card. I have always been a fan of Capital One since they have never charged a foreign transaction fee. While more and more cards are now starting to drop that bogus fee, I will remain loyal to Capital One when I travel, as they are not just jumping on the bandwagon.
I upgraded my existing Capital One card to the Venture card the moment I heard of the offer. I then made a PDF of my US Airways account, which has more than 100,000 miles in it. I submitted the PDF and waited. I was a little concerned that I did not receive a confirmation email indicating that my mileage had been “reserved”. Another person I recommended this offer to received such an email. I think that was because she submitted her airline statement via fax, and I used their online submission form. After I submitted online, I did see a page confirming my submission, so I was not too worried.
It took about a week, but my account was eventually credited the 100,000 miles. My next step is to make some travel purchases and claim the credit online. When I do, I will be sure to post my experiences.
What If You Have Not Received Your Miles Yet?
All indications point to this promotion being honored for everyone who applied for a card before today, April 5. The View From The Wing blog has more here and here. Capital One appears to be doing the right thing and honoring this promotion for every who applied before todays announcement, regardless of whether or not their account has been approved. To do otherwise would have been to create an unregulated lottery. The airlines do it all the time with their award availability, this would just have been a new twist in making the millage accrual into a lottery. Thankfully, Capital One took the high road on this.
Once or twice a year, an airline, hotel, or credit card loyalty program will offer a promotion so exceptional, that you just have to jump on it. Never expect these promotions to last a long time as the early bird will always catch the worm. For those of you who took my advice and got this card, congratulations on receiving an $1,100 sign up bonus and a decent travel rewards card to boot.