Capital One Brings Back 100,000 Point Signup Matching Bonus

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Capital One has brought back the 100,000 point signup bonus on their Venture card.

The card earns two points per dollar, each point being worth a penny, roughly speaking it’s a 2% cash back card where the cash has to be spent on travel or on gift cards they offer.

For folks who aren’t looking for premium cabin international air awards from their credit card spend — if you want domestic coach trips especially — then this is a reasonable card (though I still prefer the straight 2% cash back from the Fidelity American Express).

Last year, Capital One offered this and it applied to both the personal and the small business card. You had to provide a mileage statement showing 100,000 miles in it to get your points matched to 100,000 by Capital One.

This year it’s a little bit harder — they want to see your year-end credit card summary statement and they’ll match two points for every dollar you spent, up to 100,000.

In other words, you have to demonstrate $50,000 in spending on a single credit card to get the full 100,000 point bonus — rather than just showing a balance of 100,000 miles in a frequent flyer account.

Last year also it was possible to get a personal and small business card, I haven’t yet seen the offer available for a small business card and I don’t believe there will be one (though I’m working to verify to be sure). Also last year — and what I did — there were redemption offers for hotel gift certificates where the value was significantly greater than 1 cent per point (~1.7 cents). I redeemed all my points for Hyatt gift certificates, and used those at the Park Hyatt Maldives (in the current trip report I’m in the middle of writing).

100,000 points always grabs attention. These aren’t frequent flyer miles that’ll be useful for aspirational awards. Instead, if you qualify for the full signup bonus it’s $1000 cash to spend on travel, more or less.

The offer is supposed to remain open until they’ve awarded a billion points. Last year that meant from March 9 through April 5, no doubt this year it will too but my hunch is not as quickly — because fewer people have spent $50,000 on a single rewards card in a year and fewer people still actually saved their year-end summary statements (goodness knows I don’t save mine). I’m trying to find out as well whether any alternate method of proof will work to qualify for the points matching offer.

Some folks will balk at the notion that Capital One pulls three different credit reports (one from each of three credit bureaus) when you apply for the card. To me it’s worth it, but I’ve already had the card from last year’s offer so I won’t be able to get this bonus again.

I do love 100,000 point offers, they’ve been around for the Citibank American Airlines Visa and American Express (it was intended as a targeted offer but was available to everyone) and also twice for the Chase British Airways Visa.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I don’t mind submitting proof that I spent more than $50,000 on another card, but giving them the actual Year End Summary would be giving them a day-to-day look at everything I did for an entire year, which seems like a tremendous sacrifice in privacy. Does anyone know if they will insist on seeing a record of every transaction, or will they simply accept proof of the required $50,000 spending (for example, a Year End summary with the details, other than the total amount spent, redacted)? I would have called them to ask, but I did not see a phone number on the website linked in this post.

  2. If you don’t save your year-end statements, you can likely access them online via your credit card company’s website. $50k spend is going to be tough for most people.

  3. so even if i spend the $1000 in 90 days, if i only have a travel card with a 2011 statement of $10k, i only get 20k points?

  4. This is what happens when travel and points blogging sturs too much attention to lucrative deals…

  5. One thing about the fine print I find troublesome is the 1billion mile limit. It seems risky that you could meet all the criteria and miss on timing if they run out of miles during the submission process.

  6. From the T&C:

    “Promotional miles available only to new Venture card customers that meet the eligibility criteria and whose applications are received before the promotion ends. Only one entry per person and per account. Customers who participated in the 2011 “Match My Miles Challenge” may be approved for a Venture card, but are not eligible for the Double Miles Challenge program.”

    Those of us who participated last year are excluded. 🙁

  7. Well, this time they got smarter. This is a non event for 99.9% of the population. I doubt they will ever reach a billion….

  8. @John – They set a cap last year of 1 billion miles. They were planning on giving that many away, bloggers only sped up the process some … but it still took a month to get rid of them all.

    As with most large promotions, the first time around is gonna have a few bugs. It is a learning experience for the sponsor and the second will be more finely tuned. I hardly see how this is the bloggers fault.

    And if you assign blame to the bloggers, why are you frequenting their blogs?

  9. I agree John. Gone are the days of good promotions because anyone can blog about good deals. Maybe more people will lose interest and stop reading then you and I will get the better deals.

  10. I put just under $36K on my Starwood card. Is this still lucrative for only 70,000 points?

  11. Can you submit multiple card end of year statements, maybe I can add up to $50k in 3 cards.

    You can retrieve electronic end of year statements online. I know AMEX has awesome interactive tools, you can generate reports and print as pdf. Chase also has bargraphs, but not interactive. Citi has what seems a basement scanned copy of a printed out statement. You can retrieve a couple of years in the past. SO this is not a problem to get end of year statements.

    Also, these statements have title pages, that summarize end of year expenses, so if concerned for privacy, you can send summary page that details your annual expense in bulk categories.

  12. I wouldn’t agree that they have “brought it back” as this year’s offer is substantially different, except for the 100,000 “mile” cap.

    I don’t think that Cap1 necessarily intended to give away all billion “miles”…I suspect the underestimated the amount of folks with huge sign on bonuses, and thought most people would maybe have 40-50K balances. Just my guess, the whole rollout last year was very haphazard and didn’t seem like they thought everything through.

    I think too much publicity on some of these things isn’t always a good thing.

  13. Hi Gary,
    So, I have an SPG account with $35K in spend on my card and $30K in spend on my wife’s card. Do they look at account spend levels or card spend levels, i.e., can I qualify for one 100K versus one for 60K and one for 70K?

  14. Blah.

    I don’t care much that they’re not allowing churning (it doesn’t make good business sense to allow churning every year, but it *does* make good sense to allow “churning” after a greater length of time.

    This match offer isn’t very lucrative. For me, (and I have a substantial income, at least compared to the American public) the most I can reasonably expect to charge is about $15k annually. A bonus that gives me 30,000 miles? Gee, awesome! Good thing I got on last year.

    When discussing whether or not “bloggers” kill deals, I think there’s two types of deals to consider:

    1) The mistake type, which will get shut down with too much attention. But I don’t blame bloggers for this, because “the public” doesn’t have an inalienable right to take advantage of someone else’s screw up.

    2) Legitimate offers. If I’m a business who properly thought out a promotion, I *want* people to take advantage of it. I *want* people to see it. The whole point of the promo is to get eyes on my product. Otherwise, what’s the point? If it’s a loss leader, then I should take steps to mitigate that, or keep people from taking “unfair advantage” of it.

    If a business forgot to do that, and they get swamped, it’s not the bloggers’ fault. Consider a deal getting pulled early as an implicit cap on losses. C1 did it right last year — they allocated 1 billion miles. The only question was when they would reach their limit.

  15. Went ahead and applied and instantly got denied. My credit scores are solid though. It’s probably the old, “too many inquiries” reason. Time to wait for that letter and see.

  16. @Basil, I plan on submitting the view of my year end summary that is by category. No additional cardholders are mentioned on it, but mine is at the top with the last four digits of my account number.

  17. What prohibits me from getting a PDF of my year end statement from a certain card and edit it to show that I indeed spent 50,000 when I didnt? They would have no way of knowing. Call that cheating, but isn’t this whole game a cheating game?

  18. There are deals that can be killed by too much exposure, but that doesn’t apply to things like this. Alec Baldwin’s face was all over TV touting this deal. I’m sure he’ll be out there again this year. Cap One is trying to promote this to as wide an audience as possible.

  19. Dang. Looks like I will be sitting this one out. I churn cards too much to put $50K spending on any one card. Missed out on this offer last year, so was looking forward to taking advantage of it this year, darnit.

  20. @Walt, i don’t think it’d fall under Wire Fraud, but perhaps under something! But tell me how would Capital One be able to verify if I put 50k on my cards.

    we’re sticking it to the banks and credit card companies, by signing up for offers, and then letting go of the cards, essentially doing something that would be considered highly immoral if you were dealing with a locally run business.

    We seem to think it’s ok because they’re big corporations and they’re hoping to cash in on the millions of “ignorants” who are not like you and me, when it comes to looking out for their best interest.

    The banks stick it to “us” – genpop – all the time; more to those who don’t pay attention, of course.

    It’s not to say that I’ll do this – but thought i’d throw a wild idea out there. Not to hard to do!

  21. Gosh, in this world of lucrative sign-up bonueses, what percentage of your readership puts 50K on one card? One percent? And what about the general public — 1/10 of 1 percent?

    I suppose that half the people who apply for this will try to trick CapitalOne with a phony statement. But can’t they use the credit reports to see what your spending really was?

  22. husband applied-never had cap1 prev-great credit-not approved! I guess they really want to keep their miles this time around!

  23. AND he put 100K on chase AARP 5% cash back card ( in the last 3 months of 2011) -which I was hoping would count as a travel reward card, because you can purchase rental card certs through the rewards program. BUT they wont even give him a card, so not only do most folks NOT qualify-those that DO are getting turned down!

  24. I put 51K on my Delta Amex Skymiles Business card. The card has my name as owner, not a business. Any way would this fly? I did not do this deal last year?

  25. William,

    Epic fail on this one. SPG should figure out by now that there’s a pretty strong demand for points that you cat for no cash and 60 seconds of effort.

  26. Called Capital One on this and got a card but the person on the phone was not able to tell me what qualifies as a travel card and what doesnt. Was not very knowledgeable about the product they are selling, but hey its still 2 points per dollar spent and can be used as discount on any travel items purchased… and no limit to future rewards as opposed to other cards that have limits on all the promotional points over 1 per dollar, Will have to wait and see if my points from other card count or not.

  27. Kathy, check the T&CS very carefully!

    iirc, small business credit cards are excluded from the match offer.

  28. Applied and was immediately rejected despite excellent credit (but maybe too many card apps in the last 6 months). Never got to the point of submitting proof of spending.

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