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This time last year we were poking at Capital One for not having transfer partners. It’s actually kind of fun when you think about it. Capital One launched its transferable points program in December 2018 and then promptly started running transfer bonus promotions. None of us are poking at them now.
In fact, we’ve become big fans.
Today, Capital One has launched another transfer bonus — Qantas Frequent Flyer. If you haven’t been keeping up with all things Capital One this year, we’ve already seen transfer promos to Air France-KLM Flying Blue, Avianca LifeMiles and Emirates Skywards. Let’s be honest, if you really want to squeeze as much value out of your points as you can, transfer bonuses are absolutely clutch.
Capital One Transfer Promo Details
Starting at 12:01am ET on September 16, 2019, you can transfer Capital One miles at a 1:1 ratio. That’s a 33.3% bonus on top of the standard 2:1.5 ratio. That means 2,000 Capital One miles will become 2,000 Qantas points.
To take advantage of the promo rate, you’ll need to transfer Capital One miles to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account by October 31, 2019 at 11:59pm ET.
Transfers generally take 1-2 days but can take up to 3 business days to process. Keep this in mind before you transfer since award space could disappear while you wait.
Stretch Your Qantas Points For More Value
The two major knocks against the Qantas program is that the award rates aren’t very competitive and the taxes and fees are steep thanks to some nasty surcharges. While I won’t say that Qantas should be your go-to program, there are some ways to leverage it from some serious value. Let’s take a look at a couple of ways to do so.
El Al Business Class To Israel
This is perhaps my favorite way to book a flight with Qantas points — in fact, I did it myself. With 78,000 Qantas points, you can book a one-way business class flight between the east coast and Tel Aviv (TLV) with minimal taxes and fees. Since El Al isn’t a member of one of the three major airline alliances, this partnership can really come in handy.
Qantas First Class (or Business Class)
While I’d much prefer to book Qantas first class for 110,000 American AAdvantage miles or 70,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles, it’s rare that either has access to first class award space. The same goes for business class. There are a couple of reasons for this.
First, Qantas sometimes only releases first and business class award space to its own members. That leaves you with only one option to book. Second, Qantas members can book award flights 355 days from departure while American and Alaska can’t book awards until 331 and 330 days from departure, respectively. Even if Qantas allows partners to book, its own members still have a 24-day head start!
Currently, you’d need 144,000 Qantas points for a one-way non-stop first class award between Los Angeles (LAX) and Sydney (SYD) or Melbourne (MEL). As of September 18, that will increase to 162,800 Qantas points — however, the taxes/fees will be reduced. More on this later.
What The Qantas Devaluation Means
A few months ago, Qantas announced that it would be increasing the number of points required for business and first class award tickets on its own flights and decreasing the award rates on many economy flights. This change takes place on September 18 — just 2 days after this promo launches.
Here’s a look at the current Qantas award chart for its own flights as well as flights on American Airlines, Emirates, Fiji Airways, Jetstar, QantasLink, Air Vanuatu and Airnorth:
As of September 18, 2019, the new rates will be as follows:
Qantas uses a separate distance-based award chart for other partners including El Al and other Oneworld carriers. We’ll update you as we have more information on any changes made to that chart.
How To Earn Capital One Miles
If you want to earn Capital One miles that you can transfer to Qantas, you have two really solid options in the Capital One Venture Card and the Capital One Spark Miles For Business. Both of these cards earn 2X miles per dollar on all purchases. With the standard transfer rate, this means both cards earn 1.5X airline miles per dollar.
Get Your Capital One Miles Quickly
One of the ways Capital One sets itself apart from other transferable points programs is that miles post when you make a purchase rather than after your statement closes. Realistically, it can take a few days but that can still come through big time during one of these transfer promos.
Think about it, if you just opened the card and were going to hit the minimum spend required to earn the sign-up bonus, you’d be able to do so with plenty of time to take advantage of the transfer bonus.
Pass on Speculative Transfers
While I generally don’t recommend speculative transfers unless you have flexible travel dates and are well versed with the ins and outs of booking award tickets, I feel even stronger about this one. Qantas Frequent Flyer is too much of a niche program to risk transferring then not being able to use the points on the flights you want. Make sure you have found award space — perhaps, even backup options — before you transfer Capital One miles to Qantas.
Clearly, Qantas Frequent Flyer is not an industry-leading loyalty program. However, if you want to book El Al flights or Qantas flights when partners don’t have access to award space, it can really come through for you. So, if you have your eye on a particular award flight and have been debating whether or not to transfer some Capital One miles, you might as well take advantage of the 33.3% transfer bonus to get the most out of your miles.
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