Hurry, Double Your Airline Miles!

by John Kiernan on March 16, 2011

double airline milesOn March 9, Capital One began a promotion centered on its popular Venture Card that could ultimately result in thousands of customers easily doubling their airline miles, while also increasing the flexibility of their use.

As part of the Capital One Venture Card “Match My Miles” program, the financial giant has pledged to match as many as 100,000 already-earned airline miles for each consumer that opens a Venture Card until May 13 or one billion miles have been given out, whichever comes first. Consumers who do not currently have Capital One accounts will also receive 10,000 bonus miles if they spend at least $1,000 during the first three months their Venture Cards are open.

While consumers cannot submit proof of earned miles until they have received their cards, this should not discourage people from applying.

The Venture Card is one of the best, most versatile travel rewards credit cards out there. In fact, it’s one of the best rewards credit cards period. With a Venture Card, you earn double miles and as a long as these miles are redeemed for travel-related expenses, the card basically acts as a 2% cash back card. So, even if all of the allotted miles have been given out by the time a consumer goes through the application process and submits the requisite documentation, that person is still pretty darn well-off.

Still, let’s play out a couple scenarios to see roughly how long the promotion should last. If everyone who applies for this deal has at least the maximum 100,000 miles, the promotion will last for 10,000 applications. However, as you need good to excellent credit to even qualify for approval, this is unlikely.

According to the Fair Isaac Corporation—the company that produces the FICO score, the most widely-used credit score in the nation—about half of all U.S. consumers do not even meet this credit standing threshold. And considering that only a fraction of those have cards that provide airline miles and only a fraction of those people have a substantial amount of miles saved, the deal should not expire too quickly.

Still, as Capital One has over 40 million credit card accounts and this deal is so lucrative, it’s in the best interest of consumers to apply as early as possible and to arrange proof of their miles ahead of time. Spending $1,000 during the first three months you have a Venture Card is also a prerequisite for anyone hoping to have their miles matched, which means that those hoping to take advantage of the promotion might have to wait a while before hearing where or not they were awarded miles.

While this promotion should therefore not be relied upon to provide travel perks in the immediate future, it will ultimately be quite beneficial for those who are able to take advantage of it. Unlike other credit card rewards programs, Capital One rewards have no blackout dates on any airlines and no expiration dates. So by essentially converting already-earned miles to Capital One miles, a consumer will increase both the flexibility and stability of his or her rewards.

The Venture Card also has no foreign transaction fee, which means it is a great product for overseas travel.

[Disclosure: Some of the links within this article point to, which is owned by the same parent company as Wallet Blog.]

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