I am reconsidering which credit card I want to be using for my business.

I am thinking about the Capital One card with mileage as a reward. Here is an FAQ for the rewards: http://www.capitalone.com/credit-cards/rewards/faq/

Basically, you can book any airline, and you simply multiply the cost of the ticket times 100, and you that is how many miles it costs. (So for example, if the cost of the ticket is $300, then it will cost 30,000 reward miles).

My question is: If I do this, and I book a trip with United, will I get Premier Qualifying Miles (PQM) for that trip? Or since I booked with Capital One, does that not apply?


3 Answers 3


In general if you book the ticket directly with the airline paying with your card and then your credit card company removes that charge from your statement by "redeeming" points, you will earn whatever miles are applicable for the fare class you booked.

If you book your ticket through the credit card company, then you have to inquire what fare class they are using. Some in house bookings are sub-contracted to a travel agency which may use discounted fares that often come with restrictions (no miles, no advance seat choice, etc).

A fair percentage of "travel" cards use the first method, though one I have uses both, requiring less points if I book through their "in house agent".


These kind of reward miles (it could be very well called points) are between the credit card company and you. As far as United sees, your ticket is paid in dollars by some random entity -- much like when a company is buying a ticket for an employee.Theoretically the bank could buy miles from each airline at a bulk rate and use it when you book but then they would have a long list of airlines they hold miles for and also you'd be limited to award tickets. The lack of such limitation clearly tells you the bank is paying cash. But where's that cash coming from? Well, obviously, it's your cash they helpfully set aside. Other cards simply hand it back to you, those are called cashback cards.

There are co-branded credit cards where you earn United / Delta / Alaska etc miles but then you can use those only for that particular airline/alliance. The advantage of these is that you might be able to get more value of it, here's a post on the value of aeroplan miles other miles can be similarly valuable but it really depends, the best deals, at least for aeroplan are business class flights.

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    I think it's clear that Capital One simply pays United for the ticket. The question is, do they do so in a way that allows the traveler to earn United PQM miles on the flight? For instance, it could be that Capital One buys tickets in some deeply discounted fare class, for which the airline does not award mileage. Oct 1, 2015 at 0:21

You can just buy the ticket on United's web site and then use the "purchase eraser" option from C1 to refund the price of the ticket. For United, it's an ordinary paid ticket, so you get PQM.

I have a similar card from HSBC, same deal, as far as the airline's concerned it's a paid ticket.

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