What Is the Capital One Purchase Eraser?

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DEFINITION
The Capital One Purchase Eraser is a feature of some of the card issuer's rewards credit cards that allows cardholders to redeem miles to cover the cost of past travel purchases.

The Capital One Purchase Eraser is a feature of some of Capital One's cards that allow cardholders to redeem miles to cover the cost of past travel purchases.

Learn how to use the feature to "erase" your purchases, which cards offer it, and other ways to redeem Capital One travel rewards.

Definition and Example of the Capital One Purchase Eraser

The Capital One Purchase Eraser feature allows you to redeem reward miles for an account credit for travel purchases made on certain rewards credit cards in the previous 90 days, in effect “erasing” those purchases.

For example, if you're traveling and rent a car to help you see the sights, you can receive a credit in your account for the cost of the rental if you have enough reward miles.

How the Capital One Purchase Eraser Works

“Purchase Eraser” is a fancy way of saying that you can cash in any reward miles you have earned on a qualifying Capital One credit card for a travel purchase charged to the card, thus clearing the charge (or a partial charge) as though you never incurred it.

The feature has two main rules:

  1. Redemptions are only available for travel purchases made within 90 days from the date the purchase posts to your account. Qualifying travel purchases generally include those coded by the merchant as having been made from airlines; hotels; car rental companies; limousine and taxi services; bus, cruise, or rail lines; travel agents; and timeshares. 
  2. You'll receive $.01 in value per Capital One mile when redeeming miles for account credits using the Purchase Eraser feature.

Suppose you’ve racked up 50,000 miles with a Capital One travel credit card. Those miles are worth $500 (50,000 x $0.01). If you've used your credit card to book a hotel stay or flight for $750 in the past 90 days, you could “erase” or subtract $500 using your travel credit, knocking the amount you owe down to $250.

To do the reverse calculation and figure out how many miles you need to erase a purchase in its entirety, multiply the travel purchase amount by 100. So, if you have $100 in travel purchases, you'll need 10,000 miles ($100 x 100) to erase those purchases.

How to Redeem Rewards With the Capital One Purchase Eraser

To redeem your rewards for travel using the Purchase Eraser, log into your Capital One account online or call the Capital One Rewards Center. Use the Purchase Eraser feature to redeem miles in any amount to receive an account credit that covers qualifying travel purchases made within the preceding 90 days.

Your account credit will usually be applied to your balance within two to three business days after you make a redemption. Partial credits are available, too, and your rewards will never expire as long as your account remains open.

Capital One isn't responsible for how merchants assign purchase codes, and some travel-related charges could code the wrong way and thus be ineligible for removal via the Purchase Eraser.

What Cards Does the Capital One Purchase Eraser Cover?

Not all of Capital One's cards provide the Purchase Eraser feature. However, all of its travel rewards credit cards offer it, which include three personal credit cards and two business credit cards:

Capital One Credit Card Annual Fee Miles Earned Type
Venture Rewards $95 2 miles for each dollar spent Personal
VentureOne Rewards $0 1.25 miles for each dollar spent Personal
VentureOne Rewards for Good Credit $0 1.25 miles for each dollar spent Personal
Spark Miles $95 (waived the first year) 2 miles for each dollar spent Business
Spark Miles Select $0 annual fee 1.5 miles for each dollar spent Business

The VentureOne Rewards and VentureOne Rewards for Good Credit cards have the same rewards earning structure. The difference is that the former is designed for those with excellent credit and is eligible for bonus miles and a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months. The latter is for borrowers with good credit and excludes these perks.

Benefits of the Capital One Purchase Eraser

Having the ability to “erase” your travel purchases from your account is a huge benefit. You can shop around and purchase quite a few amenities or services. Moreover, getting $.01 per mile in value is far better than the $.005 per mile given when you redeem miles for statement credits on non-travel purchases.

It's helpful to check whether you can secure more value from your miles by transferring them to Capital One’s airline and hotel partners. Either way, it’s nice to have some flexibility in redeeming your rewards.

Alternatives to the Capital One Purchase Eraser

There are other ways to redeem your reward miles from this card issuer if you prefer not to cash them in to cover the cost of past travel purchases:

  • New reservations: You can also use your miles to pay for new travel reservations booked through Capital One Travel. The miles needed for a travel redemption depend on the cost of the travel, but you’ll still get $.01 per mile in value.
  • Cash for non-travel purchases: You can also redeem your miles for cash for non-travel purchases, which can take the form of a check or statement credit, gift cards, and more. Redemption rates and options vary and may change over time but are usually lower; you'll generally only get $.005 per mile when you redeem miles for statement credits.
  • Mile transfers: If you’re a real travel enthusiast, note that Capital One travel rewards credit cards let you transfer your miles to over 10 airline and hotel loyalty programs. However, the value per mile may vary. Current airline transfer partners include Accor Live Limitless, Aeromexico, Air France/KLM, Air Canada, Alitalia, Asia Miles, Avianca Lifemiles, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, JetBlue, Qantas, and Singapore Airlines. Hotel programs have also been added to the mix, giving you even more ways to utilize your miles for travel around the world.

Key Takeaways

  • The Capital One Purchase Eraser is a feature included with the issuer's travel rewards credit cards that allows you to cash in miles for an account credit that effectively "erases" travel purchases.
  • You'll secure $.01 per mile in value with the Capital One Purchase eraser, but your purchase must be coded as travel-related on your credit card account and must have been within 90 days.
  • The Capital One Venture Rewards, VentureOne Rewards, VentureOne Rewards for Good Credit, Spark Miles, and Spark Select cards offer the feature.
  • Instead of redeeming miles to cover past travel purchases, you can use them to book new travel, get credit for non-travel purchases, or transfer them for use with loyalty programs.

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