What Is the Capital One Purchase Eraser?

Definition & Examples of the Capital One Purchase Eraser

man uses credit card with laptop on sofa
•••

 10'000 Hours / Getty Images

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.

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

What Is 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.

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 that are coded by the merchant as having been made from airlines, hotels, car rental, limousine, and taxi services, bus, cruise, and rail lines, and travel agents and timeshares. 
  2. You'll receive one cent in value per Capital One mile when redeeming miles for account credits using the Purchase Eraser feature.

For example, say that you’ve racked up 50,000 miles with a Capital One travel credit card. Those miles are worth $500 (50,000 * $0.01). If you then use your credit card to book a hotel stay or flights 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 * 100) to erase those purchases.

How to Redeem Rewards With the Capital Purchase Eraser

To redeem your rewards for travel using the Purchase Eraser, log in to 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 Capital One cards provide the Purchase Eraser feature. However, all of its travel rewards credit cards offer it, which includes 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.

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 depends on the cost of the travel, but you’ll still get one cent per mile in value. If you plan to book a $200 hotel stay through Capital One Travel, for example, you would need over 20,000 miles to pay for it. 
  • 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 half a cent per mile when you redeem miles for statement credits.
  • Mile transfers: If you’re a real travel aficionado, also be aware that Capital One travel rewards credit cards let you transfer your miles to over 10 airline and hotel loyalty programs, although the value per mile may differ. 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.

Is the Capital One Purchase Eraser Worth It?

Having the ability to “erase” your travel purchases from your account is a huge benefit. You can shop around and purchase most any type of travel you can think of. Moreover, getting one cent per mile in value is also a far better deal than the half a cent per mile you'll get by redeeming miles for statement credits for non-travel purchases. However, it's useful to first check whether you can secure more value out of your miles by transferring them to Capital One’s airline and hotel partners. Regardless, it’s nice to have some flexibility in how you redeem your rewards.

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 "erases" travel purchases.
  • You'll secure one cent per mile in value with the Capital One Purchase eraser, but your purchase must get coded as travel-related on your credit card account and have been made within 90 days.
  • The Capital One Venture Rewards, VentureOne Rewards, VentureOne Rewards for Good Credit, Spark Miles, and Spark Select cards all offer the feature.
  • Instead of redeeming miles to cover past travel purchases, you can also use them to book new travel, get credit for non-travel purchases, or transfer them for use with loyalty programs.

Article Sources

  1. Capital One. "Venture Rewards from Capital One." Accessed Oct. 20, 2020. 

  2. Capital One. "VentureOne Rewards for Good Credit." Accessed Oct. 20, 2020.

  3. Experian. "How to Use Your Rewards Points When Travel Is Restricted." Accessed Oct. 20, 2020.