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The World’s Richest Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus: 110,000 Miles

The World’s Richest Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus: 110,000 Miles

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.

The Offer

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:

  • Alaska Airlines Visa card
  • American Airlines card
  • Continental Airlines card
  • Delta SkyMiles card from American Express
  • Frontier Airlines MasterCard
  • Hawaiian Airlines Visa card
  • JetBlue card from American Express
  • Spirit Free SPIRIT MasterCard
  • United Mileage Plus Visa card
  • US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard
  • Virgin America Visa card

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 "current airline rewards program statement as proof of your existing rewards/miles."  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 "Match My Miles Challenge" 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  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.

Card Details

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?

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  • Aaron A

    I don’t fully understand. Does one only get the 10,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in the first three months and the remaining 100,000 miles can only be earned through the joint matching program?
    I don’t have any of the other listed Loyalty credit cards listed so therefore could not earn any matching miles.
    Does this mean the highest return I will see with this card is my original 10,000 bonus miles?

  • JDG

    I AGREE. HOW DO YOU REALLY GET THIS EXTRA 100,000MILES??

  • w

    I skimmed the terms and conditions of the promotion. I guess CapitalOne would match what you have in your existing competitor’s program (i.e. if currently you have 500 miles in your AA credit card program, CapitalOne will match the 500 miles; see its terms: “You will need to complete a form and then submit a current airline rewards program statement as proof of your existing miles/rewards.”).

  • w

    I think the article title should contain the terms “potential” or “up to” because the CapitalOne promotion was about the matching of “up to” or “Potential” 110000 Miles.

  • austinflyguy

    Tim really did not do his homework on this one. I went through two live chat sessions, read the promotion details, and it is still not clear. My airline credit cards show me a monthly summary and nothing else. I am not even sure how I would get the needed informaion….if I only knew what it ws.

  • beth

    is capital one matching what you earn in one of those other loyalty programs within the time frame (may 13th) or match what you currently have (up to 100K)?

  • phillip

    Can the matching bonus include Bonus miles? For instance, if one just received the AA card witha signup bonus of 75,000 miles, would that be matched?

  • DCH

    I am confused about how you provide proof. For example, I have 160,000 miles in my AAdvantage account, roughly half of which were earned on my AAdvantage credit card, but I’d need to go through ten or more credit card statements to find out exactly how many were earned from my credit card and not from flying. However you’re only allowed to submit one statement! My credit card statements only show how many miles were earned that month. So either way, one statement only ‘proves’ one month’s worth of eligible miles. Oversight or clever ploy by CapitalOne?

  • Tim Winship

    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 based on your “current airline rewards program statement as proof of your existing rewards/miles.” 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.

  • DAK

    I just got off the phone with a CSR at the new application phone number. I read her the statement from Tim’s article above about miles from any source, and she said that is absolutely wrong. You can only submit one statement, and they will match the miles showing on the statement. She agreed you would have to have spent $100,000 in one month to earn the maximum bonus from them. I think the deal stinks, and is extremely misleading.

  • SJCDAL

    320,000 miles in AA…110,000 in BA…basically all from CC..but earned some time ago. how would they know, and will they really match?
    Capital One does not have a consumer-friendly reputation so I am skeptical.

  • a l

    you also dont seem to get real miles… they are capital one miles … they give you 10,000 miles which is far less than the 75,000 or even 100,000 american was giving out just recently just for opening the account.

  • JVal

    Very confusing. It is typical of lawyers getting together to put “gotcha” letters/words in the process. Can they (Capital One) put this out in “reader friendly”, straight forward words for us lay folks to grasp it better? I would be tempted to sign up if done so.
    JAV

  • Diane

    I also just talked with a Cap One CSR, who emphatically told me that you must submit a statement from your credit card company, not from your airline program.

    I would be seriously disappointed and annoyed if I applied for their card, spent $1k for the meager bonus miles, and then learned that the big payoff of 100k matching miles doesn’t materialize.

    Tim, there is enough reader confusion on this one that I wonder if you could nail down for us, specifically what would be required?

  • Tim Winship

    Diane – I’ve been in touch with CapOne at the corporate level, and they assure me that they will accept an airline FFP statement as the basis for mile-matching. OTOH, some of their phone reps apparently continue to insist that only a credit card statement is acceptable. Clearly there is a communications breakdown within CapOne. I assume the corporate line is the correct one, but obviously I’m not in a position to guarantee anything.

  • peter

    just look at who they picked for advertising this stuff. remember glengary glenross? if they give out 100k to anyone, i’ll eat my shorts.

  • Clarelouise44

    I’ve already received the confirmation e-mail from CapOne for submitting my current AA statement which I got off the internet and faxed to them. It is the TOTAL miles in the account, up to 100,000. They already confirmed that they will match my 96,768 miles only 45 of which were actually earned by spend this statement period. Now all I need to do is spend $1,000 on my new Venture card…..

  • bill

    what are these elusive capitol one points good for even if you do get them? i doubt you can transfer them to any airline program as you can with starwoods.

  • RJBob

    I jumped on this promo immediately. Already received my card and just got confirmation that they are matching 100K from my Delta SkyMiles AmEx card (which has a balance far in excess of that amount). If I spend $1000 total over the next three months, I get the 10K bonus. Seems pretty straightforward to me.

    I do agree with others here that the instructions for submitting proof of FF mileage are somewhat confusing. My AmEx paper statement does NOT show total mileage. However, that information does appear if you check your account on the AmEx website. I did a screen grab and submitted it. And just to be sure, I submitted a screen grab of my mileage total and recent activity from Delta.com and submitted that, as well.

  • William Gibson

    I don’ understand the program. I have 400,000 miles on American Visa card. What do I have to do to get 110,000 Cap one miles?

  • debi57

    I just got approved for this card and am waiting for it to arrive in the mail. I checked the FAQ of their website regarding this promotion (after reading all the comments posted here). Copied and pasted from their website:

    “You’ll need to submit one airline rewards statement as proof of your existing airline credit card miles. We will look at the total miles balance on the statement; understanding that in some cases it’s hard to separate the miles earned via an airline credit card and the miles earned from flying. We will accept the following as validation of your current miles balance:

    Eligible airline credit card statement
    Frequent flyer miles statement associated with the eligible airline credit card program
    Screen print of your online miles account summary from the eligible airline credit card program

    You must be listed as the primary account holder and your statement must be dated within six months of the time you submit it. Statements can be submitted online, by fax, or mail. All statement information will be kept confidential.”

    So I’m hoping the various CSRs who others have spoken to, and who say something different, are off base. I’ll repost when I find out if they honor my 100,000 AA miles from “a screen print of your online mileage account summary.”

  • HCM

    It’s over. Their website says “SOLD OUT- we gave away a billion miles – wow, that was fun.” Not for me it wasn’t…

  • MORT

    THE COMMENTS LEAVE MY HEAD SPINNING. HOWEVER, SIMPLY TOLD ARE SOME OF MY RECENT EXPERIENCES:
    APPLIED TO CHASE FOR A B/A CARD ON AN OFFER OF 100,000 BONUS MILES. GOT THE CARD, SPENT THE REQUIRED AMOUNT, DIDN’T GET THE BONUS. CHASE RENEGED. WHEN I TOLD THEM I SPECIFICALLY WAS TOLD I QUALIFIED. THEY THEN DENIED TELLING ME THAT THEY EVER TOLD ME I QUALIFIED. THEN I TOLD THEM THAT I RECORDED THE CONVERSATION. I GOT THE PROMISED MILES.
    I LEARNED THAT IT IS PERFECTLY LEGAL TO RECORD YOUR OWN CALLS ON YOUR OWN TELEPHONE. I DO IT ALL THE TIME WITH BANKS & AIRLINES. IN GOD WE TRUST, OTHERS WE RECORD.

  • njb

    Has there been an update to all of this confusion? We are looking into an alternate travel rewards card (we currently have Citi Aadvantage) and CapitalOne sounds good if they actually followed through on their promotion promise. What is the reality around this program?
    Thanks in advance.

  • Mort

    I AM ANTICIPATING THE BEGINNING OF A NEW CREDIT CARD. I PREDICT IT WILL BE ISSUED BY THE “FORKED TONGUE” BANK. IT WILL PROVIDE IMPOSSIBLE TO UNDERSTAND RULES AND OFFERS IN INCREDIBLY SMALL PRINT UNABLE TO DECIPHER UNDER EXTREME MAGNIFICATION.

    IT IS HEREBY SUGGESTED THAT MY ADMONITION ABOUT ALL BANKS BE ADHERED TO IF THIS ONE COMES TO BEING.

    ADMONITION: IN GOD WE TRUST – WITH BANKS, CREDIT CARDS AND AIRLINES – RECORD ALL CONVERSATIONS.

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