Sunday, December 16, 2007

Capital One Points System Changes?

If you have – or have considered getting – a Capital One “No Hassle” miles credit card, take a look at the points (fake miles) redemption rates. We’d previously posted that Capital One was a one-cent-per-dollar scheme (1%), with redemptions starting at 15,000 miles/points for a $150 statement credit for air purchases made on the card. The kicker was that the next redemption level was 30,000 points for a $300 credit, but you had no intermediate options (no $225 credit for 22,500 points).

Now, at least on our account, we’ve been notified that at 12,500 points we can get the same $150 statement credit, and at 25,000 points we can receive a $350 credit (1.4%). This is beginning to look like a much better deal. Of course, the “intermediate” redemptions still kick down to the lower level, so you’ll thus have to make sure your purchases match a redemption level that’s in your favor. (In other words, if you have 25,000 points, make sure you purchase a ticket not over $350, or you will have to wait until the next redemption level. And remember that if you have 25,000 points but want to get a credit for a $151 air purchase, it will still “cost” the full 25,000 points. Hold out for that $349 purchase.)

Credit card companies have different terms for different cardholders, so check your Capital One account. We’ve already begun to move our credit card spending to “points” cards rather than airline miles cards (see our previous entry), so this is a welcome change. Capital One has always been our preferred card for international travel, as they don’t add a “service charge” for foreign transactions (which is frequently 1-3% with other cards).