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February 19, 2007

Capital One No Hassle Rewards: Only $48,000 Roundtrip

Filed under: Finance,Travel — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:11 am

Capital One card Everyone has seen the Capital One TV commercials that convey the impression that cashing in points you have earned for a free trip with other banks’ credit cards is nearly impossible. Whatever date you want, “the answer is always ‘no’.” [Watch commercial.]

The fix, they say, is to get a Capital One “no hassle” card with no blackout dates on any airline. Sounds great, right?

What they don’t tell you in the ad is that they charge you an arm and a leg in points for some “free” domestic roundtrips — far more than many of their competitors. So, in keeping with the spirit of their press release a few weeks ago, urging consumers to be more informed when making financial decisions, herewith are their terms and conditions: 

*MOUSE PRINT:

§ The number of miles required by the Cardholder for travel redemption will depend on the cost of the itinerary chosen by the Cardholder at the time of redemption. The mileage requirement is as follows: 15,000 miles are required for tickets up to $150.00; 35,000 miles are required for tickets from $150.01 up to $350.00; 60,000 miles are required for tickets from $350.01 up to $600.00. For tickets over $600.00 in value, the required number of miles will be determined by multiplying the cost of the ticket by 100 (ex. $768 ticket requires 76,800 miles). [see website]

Translation: A $400 airline ticket will require 60,000 points. To earn 60,000 points under Capital One’s revised system where every dollar spent earns 1.25 points on their regular card [up from 1 point], you would have to purchase $48,000 worth of goods and services.(Some purchases and other of their cards may earn 2 points per dollar spent.) 

It has been a rule of thumb in the travel industry to charge 25,000 points or miles for a free domestic roundtrip. Bank of America, for example, lets you redeem 25,000 points for a ticket worth up to $400. Earning points at the rate of 1 point per dollar spent, your free trip would require $25,000 in expenditures on the card, about half what Capital One requires.

Providian’s “Real Rewards” card earns a point per dollar spent, and one can get a $500 ticket for only 20,000 points. [Card no longer available to new applicants.]

Both Chase and Citibank, the two leading credit card issuers, make it almost impossible to determine in advance of applying for their cards how many points are required for particular rewards. And some of them are now imposing up to a $59 redemption fee.

The power of repeated advertising for Capital One’s “no hassle” card no doubt has brought it many customers who didn’t bother to check the fine print before applying.

• • •

65 Comments

  1. Wow, a credit card company scamming its costomers. Is there something unusual here?

    Comment by JimmmyBob — February 19, 2007 @ 7:56 am
  2. Beware of them, they change the rules whenever they want, my 0% balance transfer is now costing me 12.99%

    Comment by me2 — February 19, 2007 @ 11:55 am
  3. Nice … Is there a website out there that will tell you which card is best based upon how you use and pay off your balances. and what type of rewardas are immportant? I am looking for a questioaire that i fill out

    Comment by JLC1050 — February 19, 2007 @ 1:02 pm
  4. I have the Citibank Premier Pass reward credit card associated with the Thankyou
    Network where you get 1 point for $1 charged. You can redeem these points for
    air travel through expedia.com (variable points needed with taxes included) and
    the Thankyou network (using a fixed point scale with applicable taxes). For
    example, you can book a R/T ticket from Chicago to Atlanta using your points at
    expedia.com starting at approximately 19,000 and up. This depends on the cost of
    the ticket. You can choose to book this same R/T ticket through the Thankyou
    network and it will cost 25,000 points plus the applicable airport fees and
    taxes. You can choose between redeeming your points for air travel between
    expedia.com or the Thankyou network (depending on which is cheaper for you). I
    recently redeemed a R/T ticket to the Caribbean with the Thankyou network for
    40,000 points plus I paid taxes of approx. $67. I priced this ticket at American
    Airline’s website for $700 for the exact itinerary. This was a good deal for
    me

    Comment by Sean — February 19, 2007 @ 1:04 pm
  5. what gets me with capitol one is that in our case our credit rating is horrible atm and we are trying very hard to get it back up. I would bet that we’ve had at least 100 mailers saying we have been accepted for their card. I remind you.. at LEAST 100 mailers.. if now more.. amazing

    Comment by jackie — February 19, 2007 @ 8:00 pm
  6. I’ve had my Capital One card for about 2 years now and have about 10,600 points (and have never redeemed anything.) Fortunately I did not get the card for it’s redemptions. and now that I’ve had some customer support problems with them, I am considering moving on to one that treats me like a customer instead of someone to be taken advantage of. During a recent call I was on the verge of cancelling my account so they offered to give me a better interest rate. That means nothing to me since I pay my bill off every month, and they should have known that with a very simple glance at my account (which must have already been up on their screen.)

    We’ll see if I have any other issues with them. If so, then bye-bye Cap-1. (Maybe I’ll get one from Bank of America…hmmm…then there’s that whole issue with claims of giving cards to illegal aliens…I’d like to get more details on that one!)

    Comment by RS — February 20, 2007 @ 1:50 am
  7. Comment below from Lawrence Kaplowitz:

    I believe you painted the CapitalOne Rewards program with a VERY BLACK
    paint brush.
    What you stated is true – but only a small part of the total picture.
    The card I have has an annual cost of $39: more on that later.
    The reward schedule is:
    1.25 points/ $1 for MOST purchases.
    2.0 points/ $1 for travel, entertainment and restaurants – plus a few
    other MINOR categories.

    You can use EXISTING POINTS to ‘buy an airline tix – OR, as I recently
    did, buy the tix outright using the CapitalOne charge card
    and accumulate more points, then redeem the points to pay for the tix –
    WITHIN 90 days of their purchase.
    It does NOT MATTER WHERE the tix are bought – as long as paid for using
    the CapitalOne card.

    Cost of various price tix:
    15,000 points if tix costs up to $150 >> Get credit for cost of tix.
    So if the tix cost $124 I would have to ‘spend’ 15000 points and get a
    $124 credit to my CapitalOne account.

    35000 points if tix costs up to $350 >> Get credit for cost of tix.
    So if the tix cost $305 I would have to ‘spend’ 35000 points and get a
    $305 credit to my CapitalOne account.
    These are the numbers of the tix when we recently visited our kids.
    ALSO: TO REPEAT – must apply for point credit within 90 days of the
    ticket charge.
    I had around 68,000 points, so I immediately applied for one refund –
    and was able to
    accumulate the other 2000 points within the 90 days of the ticket
    purchase to get the refund for the second tix.
    Had the tix cost $348 each – also would have gotten FULL credit using
    35000 points.

    BTW: They tell you the credit can take UP TO 2 weeks to show up – BOTH
    took two days – or less.

    Above $350 – need 60,000 points.
    I am not sure how – but as part on my program I have the “anytime
    points” feature.
    With this feature, a $400 ticket [like the Mouseprint article] would
    cost 50,000 points.

    BTW: With my $39/ year card [NoHassle miles ultra] and how I use it, I
    figure the average weighted point value as at least 1.4 points/dollar;
    so 35,000 points has the equivalent of 25,000 ‘old points’

    As can EASILY be observed from the above – there are LOTS of variables
    among the different programs – best to speak with a CapitalOne Rewards
    consultant to check YOUR program – 800-228-3001

    Comment by Edgar — February 20, 2007 @ 6:45 am
  8. I purchased tickets for our whole family this past year to fly to Orlando.
    Our tickets each cost 159.00. I could not get a cent reimbursed from capital one since
    the price was above 150 but less then 350. They did however pay for the travelocity
    fees of 20 dollars per ticket. and for the travel insurance. It is a catch-22 though if yo
    you have tickets that are over 150 but less than 350.

    Comment by Myra — February 20, 2007 @ 6:13 pm
  9. Yes, credit cards companies will do anything to confuse their customers, and we should all complain as loud as we can. However, credit card users should also understand that using a credit card means that they are spending someone else’s money and that that is never free. That’s why it’s called a CREDIT CARD, and not a FREE GIFT CARD. Nevertheless, it won’t surprise me if that’d happen any time soon.

    Comment by Jasper — February 21, 2007 @ 5:41 pm
  10. I love those commercials! They’re so funny! “WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET!!”

    I’m laughing all the way to the bank.

    Comment by shawn — February 22, 2007 @ 5:56 pm
  11. My Capital One miles card allows me to redeem for a coach ticket in the
    Continental US after 25000 miles.

    Comment by Dave — February 24, 2007 @ 11:31 am
  12. Weird — my CapitalOne “No Hassle Miles” card gets me 1.25 points per dollar spent, and is redeemed at 80 (not 100) points per dollar the plane ticket costs. Take a $400 ticket — that’s 32,000 ($400 * 80) points I need. But since I get 1.25 points per dollar, I only need to spend $25,600 (32,000 / 1.25). No blackout dates, absolutely no restrictions other than that you purchase the ticket with the rewards card. That is admittedly $480 ( $600 / 1.25 ) above the $25,000 gold standard you mention, but nowhere near the excesses you’re talking about. It’s also on a dollar-for-dollar basis, nothing about the ranges you quote above, where you basically get screwed if your ticket falls at the low end of the range.

    Maybe I’ve got a different flavor of the card. Maybe, like the Providian one, the terms I have are no longer offered to new applicants. I sure as hell hope they’re not changing their policies over to what’s quoted above, as I feel the setup now is pretty good. I should mention there’s no annual fee.

    The only kinda crappy thing they’ve done recently is require tickets to be redeemed in full. Unless I was imagining it, you used to be able to do partial redemptions — if you had enough points for a $200 ticket and you purchased one for $300, you could use up your points to take the $200 off and pay the remaining $100. Now you have to have the points for the full amount of the ticket. Not really a big deal, but sort of a shame.

    Comment by Mike — February 25, 2007 @ 2:21 am
  13. Capital One is all about the commercials – all style, little substance. Wait unitl you paye a bill late and see how you feel about the card then.
    Your best bet is to pick one airline and fly all your miles on them. And get a credit card that earns you miles on that airline. All major airlines have affiliations with visa, mastercard or amex.
    My airline and card of choice is Delta and Amex. I earn 2 miles per $1 spent on everyday purchases and on Delta flights PLUS miles for miles flown. To redeem, it’s only 25,000 miles for a coasch ticket. There’s no $ limit that I have ever seen. The card I have has an annual fee but they waived it for the 1st year. They have one card with no fee if that really bothers you. For me, the sign-on bonus was worth it – I got 20,000 miles to start. Pretty much a free ticket. I had enough miles in 3 month sot redeem.
    So shop around. Don’t be fooled by funny ads!

    Comment by otto — February 26, 2007 @ 9:56 pm
  14. Don’t pay you bills late!

    Comment by shawn — February 27, 2007 @ 5:15 pm
  15. Mike said: “That is admittedly $480 ( $600 / 1.25 ) above the $25,000 gold standard you mention, but nowhere near the excesses you’re talking about. It’s also on a dollar-for-dollar basis, nothing about the ranges you quote above, where you basically get screwed if your ticket falls at the low end of the range.”

    I can’t follow this but am trying. How come you are are paying $480 for a $400 ticket? Thanks. L

    Comment by Litchfield — March 1, 2007 @ 6:59 pm
  16. The headline is misleading – nobody is paying $48,000 for the ticket. Presumably you spent the $48K on something you needed, so the ticket is just a nice extra. If you buy $48K worth of stuff you have no use for just to get a free ticket – hey, whose fault is it?

    Comment by Alex — March 10, 2007 @ 11:24 am
  17. Well, first off Cap One has many different versions of the Miles program. I worked in their call center so I know. The program is decent not great but decent. See a lot of people wanted to complain after the fact. They booked the travel but didn’t take the time to see how it really works. Customers are all like oh I didn’t know that and whine. People you have to realize that this a program to reward you for using the card and should not be a sole purpose of getting ANY cards. What really cracked me up was the complainers that weren’t paying a dime for the program. So you are getting a free rewards program and paying your balance off every month to avoid finance fees. Tell me how are you a good customer to Cap One or any credit card company for that matter. Look these company’s don’t have to do these programs and there is going to be ones better. However honestly I would look into the Cash Rewards there as they are better than the Miles. Like at least with the cash rewards you can redeem at anytime time. So example if you have a $400 ticket that is 60k miles but even if you just have 1% rebate on cash you only have to spend $40k vs. $48k or more on Miles program. If rewards are important to you thats fine just research the programs better.

    Comment by Todd — March 11, 2007 @ 2:12 am
  18. Todd,

    What you say has some merit, but the act that they are advertising free flights by getting teh card means that they WANT you to get their card rather than some other card. It is an advertising gimmick.

    The complain on this site is that they are not as straight-forward as they should be with their promotion. They say “free ticket” in large print, then in “mouse print” they say, “oh, by the way, you only get the ticket if you book on Tuesday and stay over a weekend and get tickets priced above market rate and sit in a middle seat in the cargo section.

    Well, obviously I’m exaggerating a bit, but the point is that they draw you in with one thing then don’t give you what you expect. And just because “everyone” is doing it doesn’t make it right.

    Comment by RS — March 12, 2007 @ 9:42 pm
  19. No offense, but its a bank. Its a credit card. It was never intended to actually help you, and everything about it should be assumed deceptive and harmful.

    Comment by Indiana — March 15, 2007 @ 12:46 pm
  20. Called Capitol One and was told I wasn/t in the No Hassle Rewards program or any other program. I insisted that with Card in hand it said No Hassle Rewards. Operator went off line and I was later told I had 78,000 miles coming. On the card it should read A Hassle Reward Card. IT PAYS TO BE PERSISTANT. I feel they have not trained their personnel enough.

    Comment by Patricia Klemens — March 17, 2007 @ 1:55 pm
  21. Hi…
    I just got off the phone with a Capitol One rep who informed me that interest rates will be increased as of April 1st 2007 from an APR of 8.95% to 13.99% for their loyal and long-standing customers with great credit histories with the company. How’s that for a reward??

    Comment by mac — March 20, 2007 @ 3:21 pm
  22. Otto did not fully explain about paying late. I was out of town and paid on line when I returned Fri afternoon–not credited until Mon.–under Cap 1 rules I not only did not pay on time, but being 1-2 days late(actually minutes) resulted in late charge of $35+ finance charge+lost(forfeited in their terms) Miles equal to several thousand.
    But sir you were late?
    Rate also jumped about 10%.
    Thank you for being a valuable customer.

    Comment by Bluesky — March 29, 2007 @ 3:20 pm
  23. Capital One is the only credit card that I know of, that doesn’t charge a 2-3% transaction charge for foreign transactions, so that’s the main reason of having it!

    Comment by Emil — April 7, 2007 @ 10:19 pm
  24. 4I have tried for over an hour to get http://www.capitolone.com/miles rewards to no avail07

    Comment by Jan — April 15, 2007 @ 8:11 am
  25. Welcome to the unethical world of Capital One.

    It’s July 2007, and I was treated like chattel by this heartless corporation. The mercenary representative: [deleted], employee # [deleted].

    As soon as I found that my rate jumped from 5.99% to 11.90% i called immediately and insisted that it be brought back down. I too was told that it’s too bad, that I missed their notice. I said I never got one, which I didn’t. They told me it wasn’t sent with my statement. Also Ernesto told me that this has happened to thousands of customers and him too. But he informed me it was too late. Then, when I said I want you to specifically tell me that you refuse to revert my interest rate back to its original rate, he said he’d have to terminate the conversation if I was recording it. too funny–I wasn’t recording it, but in theory they can record it.

    Now, I’m stuck paying this unethical rate until my balance will be down to zero. Is there any way this uncaring mercenary company can be held accountable? Is there at least one attorney general who cares?

    Bob

    Comment by robert lipske — July 5, 2007 @ 9:12 pm
  26. everyone is bashing capital one, without any examples of other credit card companies which offer better services.

    Comment by john — September 25, 2007 @ 6:01 pm
  27. Capital One is the most hassle of any of my credit cards. After notifying them I would be using the card in Dubai, UAE, they assured me everything would be fine, and after the first charge, they cut off the card. I called and they said that the MidEast is so bad, they automatically cut off the card if it is used there. They assured me that it would be ok, now that they had correctly noted that I would be in UAE using the card. Sure enough, the next time I used it once, it was cut off again, leaving me stuck once more. The third phone call, they told me that the computer cuts off the card from the MidEast and there is nothing they can do about it! The BIG HASSLE card!@

    Comment by Sally Jane — September 29, 2007 @ 1:24 am
  28. Maybe it’s because I have good credit, but my Cap 1 card seems pretty good. I earn 2 miles for every dollar spent on my card. Then, I can redeem the miles in a number of ways. The best deal for redeeming them seems to be if I have airline tickets that cost just at or below $150, or just at or below $350, or near $600 or anything higher. Then I can get about $1 for every 100 miles earned. If the tickets cost just over $150 or just over $350, then I only get about 40 or 50 cents for every 100 miles earned (see the mouse print at the top of the page to see why.) In either case, I can buy the tickets however I want, using my card, and then apply the miles anytime within 90 days – I don’t need to go through capital one’s travel agency. Another good way to redeem the miles is called Anytime Rewards. With this option I can apply the miles to any recent charge on my card and get 80 cents for every 100 miles earned – not bad. This seems to be the next best deal. The other options for redeeming for dollars (rather than merchandise) which are Gift Cards or Cash only give me 50 cents for every 100 miles and therefore aren’t worth it. I can redeem by the Shopping option or the Experience Rewards option, but who knows what the actual value of this stuff is? Maybe there’s a good deal in there, but I’m not going to try to hunt it down. Of course, even if I use the miles in the maximal way and get $1 for every 100 miles, Capital 1 is only returning 2% of the value of my purchases back to me. Maybe other cards have a better deal than this for people with good credit?

    Comment by John P — September 30, 2007 @ 11:40 pm
  29. Get the CapOne VISA signature card — you get 2 miles per $.
    Then only use it for close but under $150 or $350. At $600 or more, it’s 100x.
    Use an airline card (SWA accumulates “points” quickly) for other tickets.
    Make you’re own reservations — find bargains and you get best fare.
    I’ve found it very useful, but I also have UA, AA, CA, and SWA.
    Get new card when they’re offering 10K or 20K or more bonus miles.

    Comment by Jesse P — October 24, 2007 @ 6:30 pm
  30. I tried to redeem 60k award points for a domestic coach fare and all they would pay is $270.00 toward a $800 ticket which I could get cheaper on my own. All travel is booked through Carlson travel agency and they charge an additional $25.00 for processing. Thanks for nothing… nothing but hassles!! I’m going back to Chase… suddenly they’re looking better and I wasn’t so pleased with them but at least for 60k they paid the whole fare – restrictions or not.

    Comment by robert — November 3, 2007 @ 3:22 pm
  31. Has anyone redeemed their Small Business No Hassle Rewards for cash? How much cash per miles do you get back?
    I was also misled by how much of a ticket you got with miles rewards you had and am curious as to the cash
    back value you would get back iwth something like 42,000 miles rewards.

    Comment by Tony — November 5, 2007 @ 10:06 am
  32. My husband and I just got burned by the fine print…should have learned from our experience with
    GM rewards. We’ve spent over $40,000 this year on the card, excited about earning miles to travel.
    Purchased one airfare for $357.20. If you’ve read the other comments, you can guess what happened.
    We were told that we need at least 60,000 points to cover this flight since it was $7.20 over the
    “tier”. We would have to spend $60,000 to earn a $357.20 flight! Needless to say, we are soured
    by our experience but have hopefully learned the lesson this time – trust no one, especially if they
    have cool commercials. Signed – “Sucked in again”

    Comment by Susan — November 20, 2007 @ 8:03 pm
  33. Disgusted by misleading commmercials. Buyer beware is all that can be said.

    Comment by Brian — November 20, 2007 @ 8:23 pm
  34. Another part of their scam:

    Say you buy 4 tickets (a family trip) on Orbitz, totaling $1500 with your capital one card. You might think, that since you have exceeded the $600 “barrier”, you’re going to be paying 100 pts for each $1 of ticket– meaning 150,000 points would buy the tickets. (This would be the case if you bought 1 $1500 ticket to Europe, for example).

    But, no. The travel sites (Orbtiz, etc) are in cahoots with the credit cards. They will bill your card 4 separate times (once for each full round trip ticket). So you have no charge over $350. Now, you need 240,000 points to buy the ticktets (60,000 points each).

    It’s remarkable that the travel agencies choose to do this, since they probably pay an additional transaction fee for each charge. I’m surprised the travel agencies don’t charge you for each “leg” of the trip separately on the credit card to keep the amounts even smaller.

    Rip off.

    Comment by jorge — December 18, 2007 @ 1:14 am
  35. Capital One’s Latest Double Scam : Part I -C1 announced in August they were changing the rewards system. Beginning Dec. 15, 2007 they would “reward” 2 miles per every dollar spent – whoppee! Read further. To cash in reward miles you would need to use 15,000 miles for tickets valued up to $150.00, 35,000 miles for tickets valued between $150.01 – $350.00, 60,000 miles for tickets valued between $350.01 – $600.00, and 100 miles/each dollar of ticket valued at $600.00 and up. Sooo… you’ve now just lost value for your miles.

    Part II – Even though I had 61,884+ miles accumulated by Dec. 15, 2007, I was “compensated” only 45,539 miles in the changeover – an additional loss of 16,346 miles ($150.00+). What a cheatful disgrace!!!

    The boldness of these Multi-Million Dollar Executives is shameless. I’m so irate that I’ve written Capital One Financial – I suggest others also do so: Mr. Robert Alexander,VP, Capital One Financial Corporation, 1680 Capital One Dr., McLean, VA 22102-3407

    Comment by Daniel — January 15, 2008 @ 1:56 pm
  36. What am I missing? I book my tickets however I want, then use my capital one points to pay for them at the rate of 80 points per $.
    So..I book a $400 ticket and I have over 32,000 rewards points. On my next statement they credit me the $400 and debit me the 32,000 points. Simple, easy, no complications EVER. I pay my bill every month, so no concerns about the APR. What seems to be the problem, or do I have a different agreement than some of you?

    Comment by gillybrit — January 16, 2008 @ 10:30 pm
  37. Cap1 miles can be redeemed for cash, and it’s usually a better deal to get the cash. Miles are worth a penny each. The 60,000 points you’d trade in for a $400 ticket could, instead, be cashed in for $600, giving you $400 to pay for the ticket directly, and $200 to enjoy the trip. That’s a much better deal. However, it can take 2 months for them to cash in your points, and they may charge you a fee for cashing in your points (but that one’s not in the fine print). Then again, if you’ve accumulated 60,000 points, you can afford to pay for your own plane tix.

    Comment by Tracy — February 16, 2008 @ 3:34 pm
  38. I found out some corporate numbers to capital one if anyone wants them. The 1800-955-7070 number will get you no where. “Senior account managers” at that nu,ber will apologize profusely and say that there is no one else who can help you besides them. Of, course, they will offer no help. The corporate office numbers are are 804-284-5xxx. Capital One seems to own most of the exchanges above 284-5200. If you try enough of them, you may actually get someone who will help. Some of their faxes are 804-284-5200, 804-284-5201, 804-284-5203, 804-284-5204, 804-284-5202, and 804-284-5704. god Bless the consumer!

    Comment by creditcardscam — March 3, 2008 @ 3:26 pm
  39. Dear all,
    I just became aware of this issue.. when I went to book a ticket with my hard-earned miles. I am so angry and upset!

    I called them, spoke with rep.. she told me a note was sent in Nov to consumers (Postcard) yet, no notification on website or online (which i use only for everything). So, it really sounds fishy.. plus, even only 30 day notification of program change… that is bad! They offered me 1% cash back (still a bad deal, but slightly better than their rewards for cash offer).

    I plan on writing a letter to the president or something like that…. has anyone else tried this or done this? If so, any hope or results? And, any idea of a good address / contact name(s) to use?

    Also, is there any lawsuit that could happen over this? Or are we all screwed cause it was an awards program that they can change at will?

    Let me know – lets GO DOWN FIGHTING!
    – Justin

    Comment by Justin — May 6, 2008 @ 9:59 pm
  40. Hi everyone,

    I have a question about the Capital One No Hassle Reward Credit Card. I just signed up for the points card where I get 1 point for every dollar I spend, and 5 points for dollars spent at gas station or drug store. Now, here’s the question. Will I be able to get points if I use my new card to pay my monthly utility bills, wireless phone bill, and mortgage?

    If so, then I get get over 20,000 points a year easily. If not, then I’ll be getting so little points in a year because I don’t spend that much.

    Hey gillybrit. Do you have a “No hassle mile card” or “NO hassle point card”? I don’t know about the point reward system yet because I have got my card yet, but I think that might be the difference.

    Comment by Trace — May 18, 2008 @ 9:26 pm
  41. I’m a banker by profession and I can only assume that the people complaining about CapitalOne are the same people that sit down in my office and are up to their eye balls in debt with no way out. Here is a hint, don’t borrow so much money and you won’t need to “earn” miles, you will be able to pay for your own damn tickets with no restrictions. Also, pay your card off every month and APR doesn’t mean anything. Some people are sad.

    Comment by Scott — June 4, 2008 @ 10:47 pm
  42. It’s taken me several hours today to navigate the lousy Capital One Customer Service. Webpage links that don’t connect to anything, phone numbers that disconnect after several rings, the discovery that the miles I’ve earned can’t be redeemed or even donated to charity because they are too few.

    Finally, after navigating 3 or 4 separate menus, entering all kinds of digits, I managed to speak to “Dave” a senior account manager. I asked to please cancel the card.

    He informed me that I am not allowed to make this decision, only my husband can, as the primary card holder. Then he tried to sell me various things and persuade me to keep the card. I pointed out that I was surprised at his efforts to keep me as a customer or sell me additional features, since he had just informed me that I’m not qualified to make decisions about the account. He said, “Well, I’m just telling you the information your husband will need to consider.”

    What century do we live in? Last I checked, women were allowed to make financial decisions in America.

    Comment by Annoyed — June 6, 2008 @ 6:30 pm
  43. I just want to share my experience with Capital One. Needless to say I am very unhappy and completely disillusioned and faithless in light of what these mega-financial companies can do to their customers in the most shameless of manners. I have found finance charges and now an over-the-limit charge on yet another statement and all these are unfounded. They say it’s a technical problem on their side and they are sorry they will refund my money in my next statement! At $39.00 or $75.00 a pop per number of customers they have that’s what I call a rip-off! I am mad and have decided to share with whoever want to hear. CHECK your statements like a HAWK! The NO-HASSLE thieves are out to get you. I am canceling all my cards personal and business. This is intolerable…

    Comment by Mad — June 29, 2008 @ 8:24 am
  44. Answer to Scott the s0-called Banker who left a message on June 6th. I have no debt except my mortgage on my home. I teach my kids to spend less than they earn and they will forever be happy and stressless. I am not a person who sits in a bankers office and complains. Your job as a banker comes with the customer contact side and having to deal with people who borrow and bank with you. How dare you assume that people who write in this blog are over-indebted and just whiners? You must not be a happy professional and all I can recommend is that you do a little introspection and maybe find a better more fulfilling job.

    Comment by Mad — June 29, 2008 @ 8:29 am
  45. Capital One USED to be a good rewards card. A Ticket to Hawaii cost only 45,000 miles. Now the same ticket cost over 90,000 miles. I’m one of those people who pay the card off every month. I had a 6.95% interest and then noticed one day it was 14.5%. Now that’s no big deal since I pay it off every month. Never the less I called them and asked them to lower the rate since there was no good reason for them to have more than doubled it. They graciously reduced it to 9.5% for one month and then raised it to 15.95% the next month. With the devaluing of the miles (and no notification of same) the card is not a good card if you are shopping for awards. Granted, as some pointed out, you are getting the airline tickets for free so quit whining. However, they SELL the awards program as if it is a good deal. My banker said they actually like people like me who charge a lot but pay it off because they are still getting a transaction fee for every charge. Oh, and I noticed they now charge an annual fee. Now here is the REAL kicker. I purchased a time share at the Hilton Grand Vacation Club and they took a deposit of $2,695 out of the card. We had 7 days to recind the transaction and if we did so, Hilton had 15 business days to refund our money. We did recind. Hilton did ignore us. I sent Capital One a charge dispute and they took it off the bill. A month later, no credit from Hilton. Two months later, still no credit. BUT, Capital One put the charge back on my bill. I called and explained that I had been in the hospital for a month and wasn’t aware of the rebilling until I got home. My husband had called (which they duly noted) and explained we had not been home, we were still disputing the charge. No credit back to the card. SOOO, I finally called them again. They said I had to respond in writing – the call my husband made didn’t count. I sent everything to them via fax. The very next day we received a check (mind you the Hilton sent this 4 months after they were supposed to credit my account. I went on line and immediately paid the Capital One bill which still included the $2695 for which I had just received the check. I paid the full amount of the transactions that were on the bill at that time – not just the amount that was due for the previous month. So now the bill is resolved – right? Wrong. The next day they took the charge (that I already paid) off the bill. I called and they said it was all straight. Then they recharged the amount I had already paid. SOOO, I called them AGAIN and they said they would correct the bill. Judy said I didn’t owe it. You know the end of this story – they still have not credited my account so I’m sitting here trying to figure out how the heck to deal with them since they are charging me for something that I have already paid and they said I don’t owe, but do.

    Okay. Can anyone buy a plane ticket anywhere for $150??? And why the huge gap – $151 to $350 for which you must redeem 35,000 per ticket.

    The best deal is my American Airlines card – 35,000 miles gets me to Hawaii. Needless to say, I won’t be using my Capital One card anymore. BUT, American just notified me that in Sept 08 they would be increasing the number of miles you have to redeem. Still, it is a much better deal.

    Comment by Melanie — July 8, 2008 @ 4:46 pm
  46. Review Capital one CAREFULLY before you sign. I saw the deal online and thought it was great. No annual fee and 2 points for every dollar spent at various places like gas and grocery. Then after I get the card and login, I find that their point exchange rate is TWICE what my Chase card does. For example, a $100 Best buy gift card is 20,000 points at Capital One and only 10,000 points at Chase. That is a nobrainer. They fool you into thinking you get more points but the points are only worth half as much.

    I was fooled, sounds like a bunch of other people were too. I just hope that they don’t raise my ‘fixed for life’ balance transfer at 6.99% to some outrageous rate like they did for other posters here.

    Stay away from Capital One! American Express is pretty good if you can get a card with no fee.

    Comment by Anthony — August 19, 2008 @ 5:05 pm
  47. I have had nothing but problems with capital one. They charge erroneous fees. I had to call every month about something. They did reverse the charges but if I hadn’t called they would have left them on my card. I got all kinds of excuses such as, for some reason your payment did not get credited. Thank goodness I did it online and had proof showing when it was deducted from my account. They charged me late fees, over the limit fees, and some fees I still can’t identify. I paid it off in June and cancelled it via certified letter. Then in July I get a bill for some credit info thing for $5.99. I had requested a couple months earlier in writing, when I had to send a certified letter regarding their errors on the account, that I didn’t want this service. They never took it off the card. They charged me $5.99 again in July, after I sent a certified letter closing the account. Now in August I had to pay another $5.99. I think they will keep charging me that every month even though when I call they say my account is closed. Of course if I don’t pay the $5.99 fee, then they will heep on late payment fees, etc. My next call is going to be to the Attorney General’s office.

    Comment by suej — August 20, 2008 @ 1:44 pm
  48. Capital One had the worst customer service of any card we have had. We accidentally overpaid our card about $1000. We called customer service many times and kept getting the run around. They would say they were sending a check. It would never show. When asked if we used one of those promotional checks they send out to settle up, they either could not get waht we were trying to do, or we were told no. We were not sure if there would be additional fees involved. After many months of phone calls and waiting, we finally used one of the checks, which worked fine, and then closed the account. That was only one of the customer service experiences with them too. I would not recommend this card to anyone.

    Comment by Chuck — October 8, 2008 @ 10:20 am
  49. Comment to Scott from another banker: Scott, as a 20 year bank veteran I strongly ENCOURAGE my clients who pay off their balances on a monthly basis to research the various rewards programs and select one that works best for them and utilize it to the fullest. Why not get free money for a month and accumulate travel, cash back or other rewards on top of it?! These days, points and rewards are another form of currency! I’ve done my research before I’ve signed up for a program and if I get a change notice, I redeem before the change and move to a better program!

    Comment by Chris — November 13, 2008 @ 6:06 pm
  50. I love my Capital One Visa! I pay my balance in full every month and recently used my points to pay for a $900 hotel bill and a $300 rental car bill. In addition, the rental car company said there was a scratch on the car that was our fault and, although we disagreed, we got charged $350 for the body work!! But, as it turns out, we had coverage through our Capital One Visa card. The entire amount was paid in full. I have no plans of canceling my card. I got $1,550.00 out of it so far!

    Comment by Donna — November 14, 2008 @ 10:03 pm
  51. I am trying to figure out the rewards portion of my Capitol One card.
    I have 26,700 miles and am going to Hawaii at a cost of about 450. round trip. Can I use these miles for that and will it cost me extra.
    Thank you.

    Comment by Lorine Gaines — December 31, 2008 @ 11:55 pm
  52. Finally got to 65,000 Capital One points and went to get the $599 credit to my account to defray the three $1,225 tickets we purchased. Sure enough, we now need 122,500 points to get a reduction!

    Another thing they are doing is breaking everything down into tiny pieces — we also purchased three $165 tickets at the same time, each was listed separately. Because $165 is just over the $150 tier-1 (15,000 points) maximum, it would have taken 35,000 points to get $165 in credit.

    So when CapitalOne asks, “What’s in yerrr walllet?”, the correct answer should be
    “NOT MUCH, AND YOU?”

    Finally, if you google “Capital One” + rewards + scam, the ONLY thing that appears in the 1st page of hits and on MOST of the 2nd page, is http://www.capitalone.com propaganda, so it appears that they are trying to control the bad press (possibly with google’s paid assistance?).

    keywords: rip-off, scam, bait-and-switch, CapitalOne, credit card

    Comment by Chuck — February 7, 2009 @ 10:30 am
  53. [This post has been edited] Cap1 is not trying to “scam” you. For $39.00 a year I earn 2 miles per dollar spent on my Cap1 CC and I also earned 5000 miles for opeing up a Cap1 Rewards Checking Account which now gives me 10 miles per ANY transaction. And if you do the math you will find out that each mile has a maximun cash value on $0.01. That’s one penny. So the bottom line is this, you are going to spend yhe money anyways, right? Bills, Gas, Movies, Groceries, etc.. So just use your Cap1 CC and pay it off every month and watch your miles grow. And yes the comment by “Edgar — February 20, 2007 @ 6:45 am” is the only one that makes any sense. My refund was next day. So easy. So stop your conspiracy theories …!!! Joey

    Comment by Joey — February 10, 2009 @ 2:27 pm
  54. I am considering the capital one ultra professional. It looks too good to be true. Has any one had experience with this one.
    It gives 2 points per dollar spent. Then to redeem, it says you can buy tickets from any sight and get reimbursemnt based upon
    100 miles X dollar spent.
    I think this means if a ticket costs $480.00 , you need 48,000 miles. However, you only need to spend $24,000 to earn the
    48,000 miles. So this ticket really only costs 24,000 miles (if you had earned 1 mile per dollar)..
    Anyway.. does it really work like this.. I would like to know people’s experience with this card.. Most of the feedback on
    Capital one is negative and I am a little nervous to find out the glitch..

    Comment by gloria Sherman — February 27, 2009 @ 2:47 pm
  55. Not only do they rape you with their undisclosed mileage costs, but even after they supposedly close an account, they arbitrarily reopen it and send a letter telling you that a NEW charge has been charged to your closed account. Closed in May and a charge then processed in Dec. What a company that claims to do business the RIGHT way. Every time I have tried to do what is “right” with them I learn they don’t believe in fair and honest business practices. It is only what will line their bottom line. You who are happy with them beware. I was too once, but your day will come…

    Comment by David — March 16, 2009 @ 5:09 pm
  56. So for no reason I see my rate increase 7.4%. now up over 22%
    So I call the customer service number and I’m in another country (you know)
    So I ask why?
    He said….actual words..Due to the economic problems in your country Capital one wants to increase rates to everyone. they are all going to above 22%.

    What can we do to let them know they cannot do this?

    Comment by Steve — June 23, 2009 @ 9:09 pm
  57. Part1
    First of all, I would like to say thank you to all the comments in this blog. I have been researching different mileage credit card blogs about Capital One and this is definitely the most informative. With that said, I would like to contribute my own experience.

    Background:
    I have also worked in the banking industry and work on putting together financial products and promotions like the ones you have reviewed. I have spent over 20 hours researching different mileage credit cards (both on-line and via customer service) and in final summary, the Capital One No Hassles miles Ultra for Professionals appears to be the best card FOR ME. I say for me, because it really depends on what your credit status/ Cost Tolerance/ CC usage/ travel frequency and pricing is in order to determine what is best for you. Of course the true test will be when I try to redeem my miles as I have just signed up for the card.

    My situation:
    I have excellent credit so all products/offers are available to me. I pay my balances off every month, so I don’t care about APR. I am willing to pay annual fees < $50 if I can get more miles or bonuses to achieve my trip faster. I spend over $10K a year on CC purchases for various expenses and so I want to maximize the miles I can get. I would like to use my miles at least once every 18 months and plan to buy tickets to destinations likely in the $400 – $500 range.

    Comment by Gregg — September 2, 2009 @ 6:37 pm
  58. Part2
    Capital One No Hassle Miles Ultra for Professionals Summary:
    Based on those needs, I think this card is really the best, but like I said I am reserving judgment until I acquire and redeem my rewards. Promotional APR is 0% until Feb of 2010, which I guess cool and with some fancy banking transactions, I can stash the money I would have paid for the balances into a 2% APY savings account. There is no bonus miles offer (too bad), but the card offers 2 miles per every $1 spent. There is a $39 annual fee, which I am willing to pay to get more miles, and a $0.50 per month minimum finance charge. The redemption is 100 miles for every $1 spent on ticket/travel purchases which include taxes, surcharges and fees.
    Finance and Annual Fees: I do care about finance fees and Capital One charges only a $0.50 per month minimum. Other cards (especially airline cards) can charge between $1 – $2 per month. That’s up to $24 a year just in additional fees although you probably won’t feel it each month. Annual fees should be paid on mileage cards only if you receive some type of accelerated mileage attainment or bonus miles. You have to think in the 4 – 5 year range of what you expect to get out of this card…multiple trips, higher priced trips, etc. At $39 a year for double miles, it is better than airline cards (which tends to charge between $50 to $75/ year).

    Comment by Gregg — September 2, 2009 @ 6:40 pm
  59. Part3
    Rewards Accrual:
    At 2 miles for every $1 spent, I think this is better than those bonus miles you get up front (30,000 bonus miles in a DM piece I received from Capital One on a 1 mile per $1/ no annual fee card, BTW which is the best I have seen) because #1 it will probably take a while to accumulate enough for a trip and usually those offers are awarded in a tiered annual structure. The double miles will add up really fast and at year 3, assuming the same CC usage as me, you will have received more miles vs those bonus miles (trust me, I did a spreadsheet). Be aware of other cards that offer different calculations based on your buying behavior. Some other cards offer more miles when used on weekends only, or on travel only, or on gas/groceries only, or only above a monthly spend level, etc. In my opinion these cards are for niche shoppers of which you probably won’t get the full value unless you spend majority of your dollars on those specific situations. My card offers 2 miles for each $1 spent, period. So I don’t have to worry about my purchasing behavior. Discover Card actually offers better rewards accrual rates, but I want either a Master Card or Visa (which is pretty much accepted everywhere).

    Comment by Gregg — September 2, 2009 @ 6:40 pm
  60. Part4
    Rewards Redemption:
    THIS IS THE TRICKIEST PART OF MY ANALYSIS! BEWARE! The bottom line for any customer is… “what is the value I get based on what I buy/contribute into any program.” If you get 3x MORE points/miles/rewards awarded than other programs, does that really matter when the redemption calculation is 3x LESS than other programs? The answer is that you need to compare both rewards accumulation AND rewards redemption attributes with other programs in order to determine the best value for you. This is what Capital One along with almost all other credit card mileage/points programs are reluctant to disclose which therefore makes comparing seemingly impossible. In addition, at least comparing within the Capital One Product Portfolio, different cards have different redemption calculations.

    Comment by Gregg — September 2, 2009 @ 6:42 pm
  61. Part4(Cont.)
    As discussed by others, many current card holders have a tiered redemption calculation requiring a minimum number of miles depending on the tier your $ value ticket falls into. This means you may be using more miles you would like to and essentially “wasting miles”. This is true for the current and past standard “No Hassle Miles Rewards” cards. For example, if you buy a $400 ticket with these other cards, you will need 60K miles for redemption (see redemption matrix earlier in the thread). Thus you don’t get the one-for-one (or 100 miles to $1 value) you may have initially thought when you bought into a 1 mile per $1 (or 1.25 miles per $1) program as described in the rewards accrual portion of the offer. You must read the disclosures carefully! The “No Hassle Miles Ultra for Professionals” and “”No Hassle Miles” – Excellent Credit have a more straight forward 100 miles for $1 redemption calculation, with apparently NO TIERS. Here a $400 ticket will cost 40K miles, not 60K. This is what I have confirmed through customer service and through the website disclosures.

    Comment by Gregg — September 2, 2009 @ 6:43 pm
  62. Has anyone ordered gift cards through the Capital One rewards and not received them?? I orded 2 $100 cards 29 days ago and I called on them today because I wanted them for when went home at Christmas. They told me they could not tell me anything because it had not been past 30 days yet. So much for using them when I go home to NY… Discover Card is soo much better!

    Comment by Christine — December 16, 2009 @ 3:25 pm
  63. The comments by Gregg on the Capital One No Hassle Ultra Rewards for Professional card are good; I’ve had one of these for 6 months and despite two problems with their Customer Service fraud protection unit turning off the card after purchases that didn’t fit their profile of me, the experience has been otherwise profitable and positive. Somewhat of a surprise because the bank doesn’t have that good of a reputation. With this card, you can go back and ask for a credit for any travel purchases (on=line) for the past 90 days based upon the credits in your account. You earn the travel rewards at 2 cents per dollar for any purchase, but redeem credits at 10,000 points per $100 for anything that is classified as a travel transaction (hotel bills, airline tickets, baggage fees, etc.) It has to be a travel transaction to get that rate, but any trivial amount (e.g. 15 dollars for a baggage fee by an airline) can be credited, and it takes just a few days for the credit to show up after making an online request. So my strategy is just to check my online statement every month or two and ask for an immediate credit for any travel expense for which I have enough credits based upon past purchases to take care of. I think this is better than waiting around to pile up enough miles to take some dream trip. It does cost 39 dollars but that beats most airline cards and you get that money back after you have spent $1950 in a year. The lack of a foreign currency fee is another big plus.

    Comment by Lee — December 19, 2009 @ 10:45 pm
  64. Well I earned 70,000 points and the reason I did was because I have elederly parents and wanted to be able to fly on a moments notice. Well when I needed to do that I found Capital One required (1) 14 days in advance booking (2) MUST stay over a Saturday night (3) MUST book a round trip ticket. what part of “no Hassle” is this?

    Comment by zoe caldwell — February 25, 2011 @ 5:24 pm
  65. Tried to redeem for a gift card…Never got it…Cap One does not put tracking numbers on them. So now I’m Out 25,000 points or a $100 gift card to Toys R us…was going to be Christmas gift for kids. Man, I hate those guys.

    Comment by scammed by cap one — July 24, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

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