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The travel rewards credit card space has been awash in generous customer-acquisition promotions, including recent sign-up bonuses of as much as 100,000 miles for cards linked to the programs of American and British Airways.
As high as it’s been, the bar has now been raised even higher.
CapitalOne is making an aggressive pitch for its Venture rewards credit card, offering to match up to 100,000 miles earned with competing airline-linked cards, in addition to its standard 10,000-mile bonus after spending at least $1,000 during the first three months.
That translates into a potential total bonus of 110,000 miles—the most I’ve ever seen.
Over and above the Venture Visa card’s normal sign-up bonus of 10,000 miles after spending $1,000 in three months, CapitalOne will match one-for-one miles or points earned with the following credit cards:
For the AirTran A+ Visa card, the match is 1,000 Venture miles per A+ Rewards Credit, and for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa card, it’s 1200 Venture miles per Rapid Rewards Credit.
While the CapitalOne marketing pitch specifically promises to match credit card miles, we all know that’s not really possible, since monthly account statements only show the current balance and the latest transactions.
Elsewhere, CapitalOne states that they will match miles based on your &quot;current airline rewards program statement as proof of your existing rewards/miles.&quot;&#0160; In other words, send them your program statement and they will match the balance, up to 100,000 miles, regardless of how the miles were earned.
The &quot;Match My Miles Challenge&quot; remains in place until May 13, or until CapitalOne has given away 1 billion miles through the promotion.
Update: Confirming the above regarding proof of miles earned in competing airline programs, I received the following from CapitalOne:
Basically the customer needs to be a co-brand airline credit cardholder and needs to send us &#0160;their airline card rewards statement. So it’s the total miles balance on the statement and we understand that in some cases it’s hard to separate the miles earned via a co brand airline credit card or the miles earned from flying. In this scenario, we will accept general airline rewards statements for those programs that accrue the card miles into the airline’s general rewards account.
The Venture card awards two miles for every $1 in charges, and CapitalOne miles are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, and vacation packages.
The Venture card’s annual fee is $59, waived the first year. The annual percentage rate is variable—Prime plus 8.65 percent, 12.65 percent, or 16.65 percent, based on creditworthiness—currently 11.9 percent, 15.9 percent, or 19.9 percent.
When using the card overseas, there are no foreign currency transaction fees.
There’s no limit to the number of miles that may be earned, and miles do not expire as long as the credit card account remains open and in good standing.
Deal or No Deal
That 110,000-mile bonus is worth $1,100 in travel after spending just $1,000 in three months. With no annual fee the first year.
As bonuses go, that’s getting a lot, for doing very little.
So even if a CapitalOne Venture card isn’t destined for a permanent place in your wallet, this offer is a compelling one.
Reader Reality Check
What’s in your wallet?
Is this offer rich enough to warrant adding another credit card to your collection?