Capital One Has New Design-Focused Hotel Collection, Better Benefits Than Booking Direct?

At the beginning of the year, Capital One launched their premium hotel collection with extra benefits for Venture X cardmembers. Now they’re extending this to a new type of hotel and crucially these are available to Venture X, Venture X Business, Venture, and Spark Miles cardmembers.

  • American Express has Fine Hotels and Resorts. Chase has its Luxury Hotel Collection. Visa as well has its Luxury Hotel Collection, without bank branding. And Mastercard has its Luxury Hotel & Resorts Portfolio. The benefits vary, but in general you’ll find them to be somewhat similar to booking through agency programs like Virtuoso or Four Seasons Preferred Partners – which also in some cases adding additional value or points, giving back more to the customer by foregoing or rebating commission.

  • These hotels often focus on the luxury segment, where there’s more revenue out of which to offer perks and more commission to rebate back to the customer. In the case of Capital One, this includes properties which are part of Small Luxury Hotels, The Leading Hotels of the World, Six Senses, and 1 Hotels.

  • But Capital One has found an opportunity to offer more nice hotels, often not included in other programs, that also may appeal to a younger affluent demographic. And it’s an add-on to their premium hotel program, not a replacement, so it’s great.

Later this year they’ll be offering their ‘Lifestyle Collection’ of hotel properties which will “represent everything from well known brands such as Virgin Hotels, The Standard, Design Hotels, and The LINE to smaller, independent and boutique hotels.”

Virgin Hotel Dallas

Some examples of participating hotels:

Benefits include:

  • A $50 experience credit to use toward rooftop drinks, signature hotel restaurants, room service or other activities

  • Complimentary Wifi

  • Room upgrades, when available

  • Early check-in and late checkout, when available

  • Enhanced earning: 10X per dollar for Venture X and Venture X Business cardholders, 5X per dollar for Venture and Spark Miles cardholders

The Robey, Design Hotels

Including Design Hotels is interesting. They’re part of Marriott, but many elite benefits like suite upgrades and breakfast don’t apply. Booking through Capital One will get you something that Marriott bookings do not. And like American Express bookings and unlike Chase these reservations should offer hotel loyalty program credit where applicable.

I’ll use my Venture X $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel on an airline ticket. I won’t have difficulty using it (though it’ll be a simple domestic ticket for ease since I’m booking through an online travel agency). However those who either prefer not to do so, or book all their flights with points, may find this an outstanding use for their travel credit.

Ultimately this is a value add for cardmembers. It addresses an area where competitors have had an offering, while Capital One has quickly ramped up in the space. Whether the specific benefits are best for you compared to other offerings is something you’ll need to consider in each case.

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. Early check-in and late checkout, when available

    I hate “perks” that are worded like this. First of all early check-in is available at literally every property that is not a penny pinching Super 8 Wyndham where the owner is an idiot.

    Late checkout needs to be guaranteed or it’s useless to me.

  2. @Gary: And like American Express bookings and unlike Chase these reservations should offer hotel loyalty program credit where applicable.

    Curious why you think this is the case, that’s always the barrier for participating in these programs. Getting 10x from CO, ability to use the $300 VX credit, and getting hotel status benefits/credit would indeed be awesome. Do you have any intel that this will actually be the case?

  3. My problem with using credit card portals for hotel bookings it they have to be pre-paid (ie non-refundable) and I always need to be able to cancel after the first night because I find so many hotel rooms to be moldy.
    My problem with using credit cards portals for airline bookings is you can’t choose your seats.
    Either of these fixed with the Capital One portal?

  4. Excellent comments on this thread about utility of portals. Hopefully Cap1 will make their portal so it is actually useful.

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