The main Capital One Rewards program is called No Hassle Rewards. This is to indicate that unlike other programs their credit card rewards program is easy. Is it? Yes, depending on who you compare it to of course.
Compared to airline rewards credit cards and the Capital One Rewards for travel, the NoHassle Miles program is easier. The best part about the program is the ability to actually book your travel using your rewards miles (points) by yourself online. If you login to the NoHassle Rewards site, one of the options is book my travel online. This is wonderful if you are booking only rewards tickets. It has some hang ups if not. For example, on my last trip, I cashed in enough miles to get my ticket, but I had to buy my wife’s ticket with cash.
By calling an using a live human being, they were able to buy both tickets for me at the same time ensuring that we get to set together on the plane. With the online system, you need to buy your (or your spouse’s) ticket first, and then go back and buy the other ticket. This makes it harder to get seats together particularly if you happen to be booking one of the increasing number of flights that does not allow you to choose your own seat (see agent at gate for seat assignment). Airlines know that people who bought their tickets together want to sit together. If you buy your ticket on one transaction and your companion’s ticket on another transaction, even if they are just minutes apart, you can end up in seat 12A while they end up in seat 22E. So, keep that in mind when using the program.
Even worse, with airlines starting to give second-class status to travelers who book somewhere other than directly through the airline, you might get no seat assignments at all, or have to pay extra for things like checked bags, or even carry-on bags.
With no further ado, here is the relevant Capital One No Hassle Rewards reward structure table:
Instead of points per miles, the Capital One program works via points per dollar. This is great if you are hunting down a cheap fare (probably because you are paying out of pocket for companion tickets). Another card that uses miles instead of dollars might be more advantageous when you are flying short but expensive routes like New York to Washington, D.C.
|Cost of Ticket||Number of Points|
|$150.01 to $350.00||35,000|
|$350.01 to $600.00||60,000|
|> $600.01||Cost x 100|
As you can see there is some analysis to be done here. If your ticket is barely in the next tier ($373.00 for example) you can be wasting a lot of points, so make sure and do your homework first.
There is another option with many Capital One Rewards cards called the Purchase Eraser. Using this tool, you can get a statement credit for your travel instead. The free plane ticket comes at a rate of $1 per 100 miles. That means you can buy a ticket for $277 using your card. Then, you go online and “erase” that airline ticket for 27,770 miles. Using this feature, you can book your ticket directly with the airline while still using your miles.
This program is good for several types of gift cards. The going rate is 100 miles per dollar, however some cards have a better deal. Typically, a $50 gift card will cost you 5,000 miles.
Retailers of note available:
- Best Buy
- Home Depot
- Toys R Us / Babies R Us
- Pier 1
- Lands’ End
- Eddie Bauer
- Barnes & Noble
- Bath & Body Works
- Linens & Things
- Pottery Barn
- L.L. Bean
- Foot Locker
Cash / Statement Credit
The Capital One No Hassle Miles program does have the option to get cash either in the form of a check or a statement credit. Either way, the going rate is 200 miles per dollar, so a $100 check or statement credit will cost you 20,000 miles. As you can see, if you have an upcoming purchase that you can use a free gift card for instead, you’ll come out ahead by redeeming for the card instead of getting a cash reward or statement credit.
|Reward||Miles Per Dollar||Rating|
|Gift Cards||100 (most)||Average|
|Cash / Statement Credit||200||Average|
* See tiers above for actual cost below $600.
Looking for Other Capital One Credit Cards or Rewards Information?
Other Credit Information:
Check out the Credit Score Primer to get an idea about how your credit score works.
Check out the Credit Report Primer to see how you credit report works.
Before you comment, note that this is not a Capital One website and I am not affiliated with Capital One. This is an independent personal finance website.