Capital One Travel's 10x rewards for bookings in its soon-to-be-launched luxury hotel collection is a statement as banks dig deeper into travel: We are going to be a player.
At a time when rivals banks such as Chase, Citi, American Express and US Bancorp are trying to improve their travel offerings, Capital One Travel plans to introduce 10x rewards for bookings in a new luxury hotel collection, and partnered with Chef José Andrés Group in a novel airport lounge concept.
Travelers who have a Capital One Venture X card in their wallets will have the ability to earn 10x miles per dollar for bookings of stays at properties in Capital One Travel’s Premier Collection, a new luxury hotel mashup that Capital One Travel said it will launch later in 2022. The credit card company stated that the earn rate is industry leading.
The Premier Collection, which would have hotels bookable through the Capital One Travel portal, powered by Hopper, includes “hundreds” of properties from Small Luxury Hotels, The Leading Hotels of the World, Six Senses, 1 Hotels, and Proper Hotels, as well as individually contracted hotels, Capital One Travel stated.
For example, the hotels include The Ned NoMad in New York City, Euphoria Retreat in Greece, and The Plettenberg in South Africa.
Capital One launched the Venture X card in 2021. Cardholders would be able to earn hotel loyalty points and achieve status when the properties in the Premier Collection have their own loyalty programs in addition to earning the 10x miles.
But even for the hotels in the collection that don’t have loyalty programs, as well as those that do, Venture X cardholders are eligible for a $100 credit (or the equivalent in local currency) on restaurants, spas and other activities; breakfast for two; free Wi-Fi; and upgrades, and early check-in or late checkout when available.
Matt Knise, who heads travel and spend experience and is a Capital One managing vice president, said customers wanted an additional level of hotel curation to supplement the luxury hotels already present in Capital One Travel, as well as perks, and the ability to be treated like a loyalist even at independent properties that don’t have such programs.
“We are building something that is tailored to our customers,” Knise said, adding that the company gets access to properties in the Premier Collection through technology from Hopper, which powers much of Capital One Travel.
Capital One Travel’s 10x miles for Venture X cardholders compare favorably with 5x membership rewards points from American Express Travel for Platinum cardmembers when they book properties in Amex’s Fine Hotels + Resorts and The Hotel Collection.
Chase Ultimate Rewards hands out 5x rewards when Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders purchase trips.
New Airport Lounge Concept
In addition to the new hotel collection, Capital One plans to open what it calls Capital One Landings in an exclusive partnership with the Chef José Andrés Group, with the first lounge slated to be opened at Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Terminal 2 next year, followed by one at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) Terminal B.
The Landing at Reagan National would be 5,483 square feet while the facility at LaGuardia would be 10,700 square feet with tarmac and New York City skyline views.
The credit card company opened a Capital One Lounge catering mostly to business travelers at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport in 2021, but it believes the Landings concept will be different.
Sam Bakhshandehpour, president of the Jose Andres Group, said the Capital One Landing at Reagan National would feature tapas and small, shared plates with Spanish elements, along with global culinary choices.
Customers might be business or leisure travelers, families, couples on a honeymoon, or people taking a day trip across the country who want to be home for dinner, he said.
Unlike the dining experience at a traditional restaurant, people partaking at the Capital One Landing at Reagan National “don’t have the luxury of time,” Bakhshandehpour said.
Capital One is pitching its new lounges as featuring “amazing food and beverages just a short walk from the gate.”
Knise of Capital One said the concept of the traditional lounge felt “stale,” usually geared for business travelers. He added that some customers don’t want to sit for hours in an airport lounge, and these spurred new features in both its Lounges and Landings.
Bakhshandehpour said details about the Landings in Washington, D.C. and New York are still being worked out with Capital One, and that there will be customization in the respective menus. “The ethos will be the same,” he added.
Capital One has two Capital One Lounges on tap to open early next year at Denver International Airport and Dulles International Airport. These new lounges would include grab and go options, as well as designer cocktails, Knise said.
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Photo credit: The Magic Room at The Ned NoMad in New York City. It is part of the Capital One Travel Premier Collection. Capital One Travel