What Is the Capital One Purchase Eraser?
How to Use the Capital One Purchase Eraser
Capital One’s “Purchase Eraser” feature can be used to “erase” travel purchases made on the issuer’s travel-friendly credit cards in the previous 90 days. “Purchase Eraser” is a fancy way of saying that you can cash in your miles for any travel purchase charged to your credit card account, thus erasing the charge (or a partial charge) from your life—and next month’s bill.
How the Capital One Purchase Eraser Works
Capital One Purchase Eraser comes with two main rules:
First, you receive 1 cent in value per Capital One mile when redeeming for travel, using the Purchase Eraser feature.
Second, redemptions are available for travel purchases made within the last 90 days.
Imagine for a moment you’d racked up 50,000 miles with your Capital One travel credit card. Those miles are worth $500. If you then used your credit card to book a hotel stay or flights for $750 in the past 90 days, you could “erase” $500 using your travel credit, knocking your bill down to $250.
How to Redeem With the Purchase Eraser
To redeem your rewards for travel using the Purchase Eraser, you’ll simply log in to your account with Capital One online or call the Capital One Rewards Center. Either way, you can redeem miles in any amount to cover travel purchases made within the preceding 90 days.
Capital One says that 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.
Which Cards Offer the Purchase Eraser?
Not all Capital One cards provide the Purchase Eraser. Two personal Capital One credit cards and two business credit cards offer the Purchase Eraser as one of the primary ways of using miles accrued.
All are travel-focused credit cards:
|Capital One Card||Fee||Miles Earned||Type|
|Venture Rewards||$95 annual fee||2 miles for each dollar spent||Personal|
|VentureOne Rewards||$0 annual fee||1.25 miles for each dollar spent||Personal|
|Spark Miles||$95 annual fee (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|
Purchase Eraser Challenges
Securing 1 cent per mile in value with the Capital One Purchase eraser requires your purchase to get coded as “travel” on your credit card account.
What counts as travel? According to Capital One, travel includes “purchases made from airlines, hotels, rail lines, car rental agencies, limousine services, bus lines, cruise lines, taxi cabs, travel agents and timeshares are generally considered to be travel purchases and availability for redemption is based on the merchant category code assigned to them by the merchant.”
Capital One is not responsible for how merchants assign purchase codes, and some travel-related charges could code the wrong way.
Other Ways to Redeem Miles From Capital One
New Reservations: While you can use the Capital One Purchase Eraser for travel purchases with most travel vendors (airlines, hotels, cruise lines, and more), you can also book your new travel reservations through Capital One and pay with your miles that way.
The miles needed for a travel redemption depends on the cost of the travel, but you’ll still get 1 cent per mile in value. If you plan to book a $200 hotel stay through Capital One Travel, for example, you would need to fork over 20,000 miles.
Redemption Credits: You can also redeem your miles for non-travel purchases including a check or statement credit, gift cards, and more, although redemption rates and options vary and are subject to change.
Generally speaking, you’ll only get one half of a cent in value per mile when you redeem for cash back or statement credits.
Mile Transfers: If you’re a real travel aficionado, you should also know that Capital One travel credit cards let you transfer your miles to a handful of airline and hotel loyalty programs, although the value per mile may differ.
Current airline transfer partners include Aeromexico, Air France/KLM, Air Canada, Alitalia, Asia Miles, Avianca, Emirates, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, JetBlue, Qantas, and Singapore Airlines.
In early February of 2020, hotel programs Accor and Wyndham were also added to the mix, giving you even more ways to utilize your miles for travel around the world.
While points don't have a fixed value when transferred, we've found that some of the best values come from transferring points, with an average value of 1.71 cents per mile.
The Bottom Line
Having the ability to “erase” your travel purchases from your account is a huge benefit. You can shop around and purchase any travel you want. Getting 1 cent per mile in value is also a good deal, although you may be able to secure more value out of your miles if you transfer to Capital One’s airline and hotel partners. Either way, it’s nice to have some flexibility in how you redeem your rewards.
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Capital One. "Venture Rewards from Capital One." Accessed March 30, 2020.
Capital One. "Spark Miles Select from Capital One." Accessed March 30, 2020.
Capital One. "Spark Miles from Capital Rewards." Accessed March 30, 2020.
Capital One. "VentureOne Rewards from Capital One." Accessed March 30, 2020.