The Capital One 100K Offer – It’s Coming Back, but in What Form?

Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.

For months we have been hearing rumors that the famed Capital One 110,000 point offer from 2011 will be making a return this year.  Many people proclaimed it to be the best miles and points promotion of 2011.  Last year the offer came out during “March Madness”, and all signs point to that happening again this year.  I didn’t get in on this deal last year for many reasons, but was strongly considering jumping in this year if the offer came back.  Last year the offer awarded up to 110,000 points if you had a frequent flyer account that had 100,000 miles in it.  That equates to $1,100 in travel – what makes that even better was that you could use it to pay for travel and still earn miles and points for the travel.  So, it was a double-dip of sorts.  You were able to stretch your points even further by getting Hyatt gift cards at a rate better than 1 cent per point, but that very lucrative option has since been taken away.  However, while the 100,000 point offer is making a return this year, it looks like it won’t be quite as lucrative for most of us on this go-round.

It seems like the offer will be returning within the next week or so, but this time it might be based on the amount spent on a travel credit card in 2011.  Last week I saw some info at  The website wasn’t fully operational, and likely was not intended for “public consumption”, but it absolutely pointed toward the bonus being tied to credit card spending instead of a balance in a frequent flyer mileage account.  I’m pretty sure I saved a screen shot of that info before they changed it, but with no less than four computers being used in my house right now (I’m having a computer identity crisis), I don’t know which computer I stored it on.  However, The Man of a Thousand Places also took a screen shot that is posted on his site, so instead of having a screen shot scavenger hunt, I thankfully was just able to look at his post.

Last week the website said the following:

  • Spend $1000 on your Capital One Venture Rewards within 90 days of approval and earn up to 100,000 points.
  • You have to submit your 2011 year-end statement from a rewards credit card and you will be awarded 2x points per dollar spent.  So, it seems logical that $50,000 spent on an eligible travel credit card would earn you 100,000 points.

The website has since been changed to display this shot shown below.  I actually like that they are kind of having fun with those of us who are stalking the website early.  They do seem to confirm that the promo will be back, but that it will be different this time around.  That matches the conclusions drawn from the information that was displayed on the previous website (and the phone conversations that some of have had with Capital One CSRs).

The most I spent on any one credit card in 2011 was a little over $25,000 on my Continental OnePass Plus card (so that I could get the 10,000 miles bonus).  Since Capital One has a reputation for pulling credit reports from all three credit bureaus for one application, I will likely be sitting this one out if all I will get for the promo is a little over 50,000 points.  Of course, it is entirely possible that the promo will be different than what is currently speculated, but you will find me on the sidelines if it is based on the spending from one travel credit card for 2011.

You can read about the speculation on Milepoint and Flyertalk.  According to rumors in both of those threads, previous Venture card holders will not be eligible, and there will not be a business card version of this offer – but again, who knows for sure.  I’m sure you will see much more about this offer in the coming days.  What do you think?  If the rumors are true, will you be going for it this year or sitting on the sidelines with me?




The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.



  1. Pretty disappointing. I think I did so many cards this year that I didn’t accumulate more than $5,000 on any of them. I really wish I had gotten in on this last year.

  2. Sounds like I’ll be on the sidelines. Which is too bad, because I was really hoping for this one to be as good as last year when I wasn’t quite into the miles/points game and didn’t have enough miles to really benefit.

  3. Not worth it for me if they go with the spend requirement. I missed this last year. I think they should do the spend requirement for second time applicants and match the miles for first time applicants. This way they can grab a lot more applicants.

  4. The three bureau inquiry isn’t too bad for Californians, since all the card issuers use Experian except for Barclays (TransUnion).

    In your case, with a 10K signup bonus you’d still be getting $600 worth of redeemable travel. Not very different from the Citi ThankYou Premier which you’ve promoted for its $660 of redeemable.

    It was definitely the highlight of last year for me. I got the $900 in Hyatt certs for 51.5K points, but even more lucrative were the Raffles/Fairmont Suite certificates. For 57K I got four nights at the Fairmont Kea Lani on Maui. The certs included free breakfast, booked into Ocean View, and had no blackout dates. Our room went for $2800 (non-refundable rates). If the offered that I’d try to sign up for the biz card…

  5. I was also disappointed when I saw the reports of this year’s potential offer. I got in on the personal card offer last year and the bonus miles took Mrs. Wanderer and I to Costa Rica last August. I was hoping to get in on the business card if they did the same offer this year, but if it’s based on spend, I will probably be sitting out. With all the new cards I got last year, I would be surprised if there was more than 6k or 7k on any single card. If they let us combine all of our travel cards, I might have a shot.

  6. I will likely be on the sidelines for this as well. I churned 14 cards last year so no huge spends on any one card.
    @Tim, not true for all of California. I live in Northern and both Chase and Citibank pull from Equifax.

  7. My guess is there won’t be a requirement to submit the “year-end summary” as such, since who keeps those?? Last year they didn’t know exactly how to handle verification issues until the last minute, they probably haven’t finalized yet this year either.

  8. Two days ago (Saturday), spoke with nice C1 CSR who told me this new offer will be active this Wednesday, March 7th. Will sit out if T&C prohibit previous Venture card holders eligibility (in prep to reapply for this March offer and following a tip from one of Million Mile readers, in mid Feb, downgraded venture to C1 cash card, cashed 120K C1 points for $1200). Looks like I’m sitting in the dugout for this year’s C1 promo. However, wife’s travel CC spend was significantly more than mine in 2011–she will work this offer hard (was easily able to get her year end summary on line and will b/p to send to C1 Wednesday, if required for verification of 2011 travel card spend)

  9. @Early FI, I think there will be a club of people wishing they had gotten in last year if these rumors turn out to be true.

    @Cory, I hear ya!

    @rookie10, though of course if you already had the card and showed you put that much spend on a different card (instead of your Venture card), then they may not be all that excited to give you even more points. 😉

    @Kris, always good to have a back-up plan!

    @Tim, those Hyatt gift certificates and the suite certificates sound like amazing deals. If I could go back in time, I would have jumped on those as well! As for the three pulls, it may impact some less than others, but only getting $600ish worth of benefits for three pulls doesn’t sound like a great trade-off for me (unless you have just run out of other options). Also, I’m not sure there will be the 10,000 point sign-up bonus this year. I have read (though again, it is just rumors) that the max this year will be 100K instead of 110K, so I guess we’ll see what that actually means soon. Congrats on maximizing the promo last year!

    @Mark, I haven’t seen a list yet of what cards will and won’t count.

    @The Wanderer, here’s to hoping the rumors aren’t true. 😉

    @carwag25, thanks for sharing that info!

    @Gary, aren’t many year-end statements available online though, so presumably you can just print them out? Regardless, I hope you are right that they aren’t able to really enforce it that way this year either. Fingers crossed.

    @PanAm, let’s hope they go a different direction.

    @Colonel (Ret.) Wes, glad this will work for your wife and thanks for sharing that info.

  10. I am in the exact same situation…no where near enough to get the full miles and with three pulls I will likely sit this out. Bummer…I was looking forward to it.

  11. MommyPoints, if your readers are any indication of the the population of people who might sign up for this card then Capital One will be severely disappointed in their new signups with this promo.

  12. 100,000 miles qualification would not be a problem. $50,000 on one card BIG problem. We’ll be sitting this one out and IMHO, so will most people.

  13. Looks like my highest single card is < $23k. If it's 2x that, I'll go for other 40-50k offers that I haven't gotten before (Sapphire Preferred, AAx2, US Air) instead of this one. I'm new to the game, so I still have a ton of good cards to pursue. Now if only the AA offer will go back to 75k miles in the next couple weeks…

  14. I’m sitting things out till the summer unless I see an amazing deal (more like 100,000), and since like most people my spend was spread out over several cards, this deal won’t qualify. Sorry Cap One. Better luck next time 🙂 Someone else will get my business.

  15. I am wondering if my $40,000 spend on my Amex Hilton Surpass card will count. That’s as close to 50 as I can get on a single card.

  16. Made me curious enough to check my cards to see what we did spend on cards in 2011. DH did manage to crack 40k on AMEX Gold.

    However, after a couple of year of card applications, I think we are just about done. Not worried about sign up bonuses anymore, maybe just focus on concentrating our spending where we can maximise our returns for what we really want rather than just following the trend.

  17. Not surprised the program will be different. There was tremendous fraud potential in the way the last go round was executed. I spread my spend around many cards so the anticipated change would make the Venture challenge of little value to me. Good luck to the Capitol One Cardinals (fraud, audit and risk pros) in keeping the new challenge fraud free.

  18. I was very excited about the upcoming offer until the offer terms were leaked. My husband and I each have 2-3 mileage accounts over 100k. If those terms are correct, I will let our credit scores recover another month (we got the United Card January 4th) and go after better credit card offers.

  19. I did $25k on a Delta Amex Plat card (for the MQM’s) so that’ll be my best shot unless they accept $30k on a Amex Premier Rewards Gold card.

    Nonetheless, I’m in. 50k+ meets my $500 minimum.

    Not so good for my spouse though and she has the cleaner credit report at the moment. Too bad but I’ll probably try for a business card if that’s possible (despite having had the personal card last year).

  20. the link is up for the promo now…

    Doesn’t look good for those of us who got in on the personal card last year, doesn’t show any business card option, and you need $50k of spend on one card to get 100k of their miles/points. Also, it specifically indicates the 2011 year end statement proof must be from the account holder not an authorized user, which means I’m out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *