The Capital One No Hassle Rewards program is one of the top rewards programs in Canada. The No Hassle Rewards program allows you to redeem miles towards travel costs booked through any provider; that means you’re never restricted to using certain airlines or by the inability to travel on blackout dates. If you want that type of flexibility in a travel rewards credit card, keep reading.
How to Earn Capital One Rewards Miles
Capital One has several credit cards that are affiliated with its No Hassle Rewards program. The Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard – which is the signature credit card of the program – is consistently ranked as one of the best travel rewards credit cards in the country. With this card, you earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all purchases, no matter where you shop. The card also comes with a bonus of 40,000 miles ($400 value), after you make your first purchase, which counters the entire annual fee ($150) in the first year.
How to Redeem Capital One Rewards Miles
One of the unique features of the No Hassle Rewards program is that you can book a travel expense through any provider, wait for it to show up on your online account and then apply your miles towards the cost of the purchase.
After paying for a travel expense, you have 90 days to redeem your miles towards the cost of that purchase. For example, let’s say you booked a $700 flight and you have 70,000 miles to redeem – which is enough to cover the entire purchase. You have up to 90 days to login to your online account and apply those miles to receive the full credit. If you only had 60,000 miles, however, you could wait and try to accumulate the other 10,000 miles in the 90 days that followed. As long as you apply the 70,000 miles within 90 days, you’ll receive a full credit. (You can also choose to redeem your miles for a cash credit or merchandise.)
To redeem your miles, login to your online account and go to the redemption centre. In the redemption centre, you can choose to use miles towards travel expenses by selecting the purchase eraser. When you select the purchase eraser, travel transactions that you can redeem miles for are displayed. Any flights, hotels and, car rentals you’ve already paid for will be displayed here, as well as some smaller travel expenses, such as cabs and trains. Using the purchase eraser, Capital One allows you to redeem miles to fully erase (you’ll receive a credit) a travel expense.
How to Maximize the Value of Your Miles
With the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard, you receive 2 miles for every $1 spent on the card. If used properly, 1 mile = $0.01. However, because you receive 2 miles for every $1 spent, each $1 spent rewards you back with $0.02; that’s a 2% return.
The reason you need to be careful when redeeming your miles is because 1 mile can also be worth less than a $0.01, due to the tier system Capital One uses. The tier system applies to all travel expenses under $600.01:
In general, it is best to save your miles for travel expenses over $600. Travel expenses of $600.01 or more can be redeemed for $0.01 per mile (travel cost x 100), which is the best value you could get per mile. Here are three examples that prove why you should strive for this:
Example: Redeeming Miles for a $700 Flight
Required miles: $700 x 100 = 70,000 miles
Value of a mile: $700 ÷ 70,000 = $0.01
Return for every $1 spent = $0.02
Because you receive 2 miles for every $1 spent, you receive $0.02 back; that’s a 2% return on every $1 spent, which is a great value for any travel rewards credit card. This example shows that, in order to maximize the value of your miles, you should redeem for expenses over $600.
Example: Redeeming Miles for a $340 Flight
Required miles: 35,000 (as outlined in tier system)
Value of a mile: $340 ÷ 35,000 = $0.0097
Return for every $1 spent = $0.019
Because you receive 2 miles for every $1 spent, you receive $0.019 back; that’s a 1.9% return for every $1 spent, which is still great. However, this example shows that if you’re going to spend less than $600, you should try to spend close to the top end of a tier price range, in order to get the most value of your miles.
Example: Redeeming Miles for a $170 Flight
Required miles: 35,000 (as outlined in tier system)
Value of a mile: $170 ÷ 35,000 = $0.0048
Return for every $1 spent = $0.0097
In this example, because you spent at the lower end of one of the tiers, you’d essentially be wasting your miles by redeeming them to cover this cost. If you did choose to redeem them for this flight, your miles would literally be worth half as much, compared to the $340 flight.
In general, you can receive around a 2% return for every $1 spent on this credit card, as long as you avoid redeeming miles for travel expenses near the lower end of a tier price range. If you do not have a travel expense that you would like to redeem your miles for, miles can also be redeemed for a cash credit. The downside of redeeming for a cash credit is that you receive less value for each mile. When you redeem miles for travel purchases, 1 mile = $0.01. If you redeem miles for a cash credit, 1 mile = $0.0075. But since you receive 2 miles for every $1 spent, your return on $1 is $0.015 (1.5%). Even though this figure is lower than the 2% you can receive back when redeeming for travel expenses, a 1.5% return is still good value.
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