Capital One brings back some travel gift cards [including special offers]

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Color me pleasantly surprised: Capital One has brought back some travel gift card redemptions in its gift card portal. That’s good news — while they had said that they were working on restoring them, we weren’t sure of the timeline. Even more exciting for the few who have it is the return of Special Hotel Offers, whereby in some instances some select cardholders can get up to 1.4c per Capital One mile when redeeming for special hotel gift cards.

For most cardholders, this update means you will once again have a way to redeem Capital One “miles” for select travel-related gift cards. In many cases, the value on those types of redemptions isn’t good. For example, you can redeem miles for Delta gift cards at a rate of 0.8c per point:

But that generally wouldn’t make sense since you could instead just make a purchase directly from Delta and use your Capital One miles to offset that travel purchase at a rate of $0.01 per Capital One mile.

A few hotel gift cards are available at a redemption rate of $0.01 per mile, like Fairmont or Raffles gift cards in select denominations:

However, some cardholders who opened Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card or Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card cards during some small window of time in the past (we don’t know exactly when or for how long this existed) have had a special section in their online account that says “Get Special Hotel Offers”. We’ve written about this before (See: The best hotel credit card ever) — essentially, some cardholders can redeem 64,250 Capital One “Miles” for a $900 Marriott, Ritz, Raffles, or Fairmont gift card.

I have this ability on an old Venture One account. Last year, the Get Special Hotel Offers section disappeared and the special offer gift cards got lumped in with the regular “Gift Cards” section. Then, gift card redemptions were temporarily unavailable for a while. When they came back, there were no travel gift cards and I mourned the loss of my $900 Marriott gift card redemption thinking it highly unlikely to return. I am excited to report that the Get Special Hotel Offers section has indeed returned in my account, with the Marriott Bonvoy gift card art updated to reflect the new Bonvoy logo. That tells me that this was an intentional update and hopefully this redemption will stick around.

Again, we think there is a very very limited number of cardholders who have that capability. The good news is that Capital One allows you to transfer Capital One miles to any other cardholder with no annual caps or limits, so if you know someone who has this redemption you could combine forces to take advantage of it – though it may be a matter of luck in finding that person in your circle.

Overall, it is good news to see this come back. Capital One has continually impressed me over the past year or two with enhancements and with its follow-through. It’s unfortunate that they can be so tough on approvals for those with many credit cards because I feel like their program misses opportunities to compete by limiting the customer pool. I’m just lucky that I kept my only Capital One cards.

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