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How To Redeem Your Capital One Miles For Travel Expenses


I, like many others, have already received my 100,000 miles in their Match My Miles promotion.  For me, it was easy, as I was already a Capital One customer.  With a single phone call, I changed cards from my previous one to their Venture One card.  Next, I sent in a copy of a qualifying airline statement with over 100,000 miles. Finally, I charged the required $1,000 to my new card. Soon, I was sitting on a six figure pile of miles just waiting to be redeemed.

What Qualifies?

You can actually redeem your miles for any purchase, but only travel expenses qualify for the best reimbursement rate of 1 mile/cent. Other, non travel, expenses cost 2 miles/cent. When you log into your account, the purchases that are coded as travel are segregated from the non-travel purchases.  These purchases include charges from merchants like airline tickets, rental cars, hotels, and cruise lines. I have also read anecdotal reports of people calling Capital One and claiming non-travel coded transactions such as vacation rentals.  Interestingly, any charge made within the last 90 days qualifies, so you certainly can ask for credit for travel purchases made before you received your bonus.  If you haven’t already received your bonus, there is no reason not to charge travel purchases now, and get reimbursed later.

How To Claim Expenses

Allow me to walk you through the process

Step 1: Log In If you do not already have a Capital One login name and password, go ahead and create one.

Step 2:Go To Explore Rewards

Step 3: Select Redeem For Previously Purchased Travel

Step 4:Select Transactions

You will be presented all the travel coded transactions from the last 90 days. You should not expect to see any transactions placed in the last 48 hours.  Next, select as many qualified transactions that you have miles for.

Oddly, Capital One’s website seems to think that the the hotel reservation I made through Expedia is actually some sort of a “ticket”.  It goes so far as to allow me to select the number of tickets in the transaction and how many of which I want reimbursed. I suppose this would be useful if you had travel expenses that exceeded your available miles, and you had to use this feature to only claim a portion of them.

Step 5. Confirmations: Actually, you have to press a “Confirm” button twice, but then you are done.

When Will You Get Your Credit

The website indicates that it will be 5-7 days to process the credit, so I would recommend you do this at least a week before your statement closing date to ensure that the credit is shown when you receive your statement.  It is unknown what will happen if you were to receive a refund for travel you have already been reimbursed for.  For example, a canceled hotel room that was refundable or the cancellation of a fully refundable airfare.  I have a hard time imagining that Capital One would have any way to connect the refund to the original transaction, or that they would have any way revoke the credit previously received.

In Conclusion

Capital One does not make it super easy to find the right page to get a credit for previously purchased travel, but one you get there, it is not too hard to complete the form.  As a promotion meant to acquire and retain new customers, they really have no interest in denying you the credits you are promised.  Follow these simple steps and you will quickly realize the incredible sign up bonus that you have received.

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