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Although a 2% card isn’t the leader of the pack anymore, it’s still a good option to have in your wallet.  The Spark Miles form Capital One is just that, with an added twist:  the Miles are now transferrable!

Capital One often has competitive offers on their Spark cards, but you may hesitate to apply, more on that below…

The Spark Miles Card from Capital One

The Spark Miles card earns double miles on every single purchase, no matter what.  With no foreign transaction fees, it’s not a bad travel card, but lacks many of the benefits of other travel cards in the arena.  Let’s talk about the good stuff first:

  • The card has a great welcome offer right now, divided into two parts.  You’ll earn a bonus of 50,000 Miles after the first $5,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. Read more about the card and apply here (affiliate link)
  • You’ll then earn a further 150,000 Miles if you spend at least $50,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.  Whoah.  That’s a lot of spend.  Not a bad value proposition necessarily, but you could hit multiple, smaller bonuses with that kind of spend, so keep that in mind.
  • The card normally has a $95 annual fee, but that’s waived the first year.
  • Double miles on every purchase, unlimited.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

When compared to other credit cards in a similar category (low fee, travel points, etc.) it’s missing some key benefits.  The card has no lounge access, mediocre earning rates, no TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit (not that I need anymore of those..), and a short list of transfer partners.

If you’re interested in the card, here’s the link!

Using Your Capital One Spark Miles

Capital One just announced the addition of transfer partners to their miles program.  Currently, all miles transfer at a 2:1.5 ratio, effectively making the Spark Miles card a 1.5 miles/dollar card on everything.  The list of partners includes:

  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France/KLM
  • Alitalia
  • Avianca
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Etihad
  • EVA
  • Finnair
  • Hainan
  • Qantas
  • Qatar

In terms of the welcome offer, you’ll be getting at least 150,000 miles of your choice, once transferred to an airline partner.  150,000 Asia miles will get you some pretty sweet deals!

Have an upcoming Asia Miles redemption in mind? Use the Capital One Spark miles to get you there!

Remember, these miles can also be redeemed for statement credits to “erase your purchases” in Capital One parlance, at a rate of 1 Mile = 1 cent.  Not the best value individually, but that gives us a benchmark of $500 for the first tier welcome offer, and $2,000 for the second tier.  Any $2,000 welcome offer should make you stop and consider it, even if the card requires a lot of spend to get there.

Should you apply?

This welcome offer is definitely a good one, but BE WARNED!  Capital One likes to pull all three bureaus and can be stingy with approvals.  If you get denied, you’re looking at a mail-in reconsideration route (yes, snail mail!).  Once they receive your letter, chances are they’ll pull all three credit bureaus AGAIN, just to be sure they don’t like your credit profile…and still deny you.

So while you may get lucky, don’t apply for this card unless you’ve got a pretty good (and not churn-y) credit history lately. If you want to apply for the card and support the site, you can do so here.

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