Capital One Travel is an online portal to book hotels or flights like a Priceline or Agoda, for Capital One credit card holders. As it’s fairly new, it has plenty of kinks and should be AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS as it can ruin your itinerary and YOU WILL BE OVERPAYING BY AN ARM AND A LEG!
Over the years I amassed a couple hundred thousand Capital One Venture points. So it was time to use them on a trip to Thailand. Since I left my Capital One Venture credit card at home (by accident), I was thrilled that I could still utilize my reward points and use them directly to pay without the need for my CC number, since you’re logged into your account. What a mistake this turned out to be…
I have never felt so scammed as when using Capital One Travel portal to book hotels. Never again.
Aonang Beach Home, Krabi
On January 1, 2022 I booked a hotel for January 1st to 4th, 2022: Aunang Beach Home (waited until the day of because had to pass a COVID-19 PCR test first). After being dropped off by the airport taxi at the “hotel” around 9:15pm, it quickly became apparent it was closed.
We walked up and down the street looking for it, asking locals, until some said it had been closed for years. One lady called every number they had listed but no one picked up (b/c they are closed of course). According to the last Google review at least for 8 months.
So now, I was fully paid (with points) for about 28,300 ($283), and stranded on the sidewalk in Krabi, Thailand. We walked next door to a bar, used wifi, got on the phone with Capital One credit card because there was no contact for Capital One Travel anywhere listed. They were able to transfer us to Capital One Travel who after a long while issued my refund. Their “booking agency was giving them the runaround.”
Now we needed a hotel last minute nearby this bar (next to the closed ghost hotel), which luckily there was one that wasn’t $300+ per night. I booked another one close with points on Cap One Travel (COT) and gave it 30 minutes while we finished our food and drinks. It was only ten minutes walk, so we hoofed it with our luggage and arrived around 10:30pm.
Well, low and behold, Navinda hotel didn’t have our confirmed reservation from Cap One Travel. We sat for at least an hour until they finally let us in a room. Maybe they got the reservation, maybe they didn’t, maybe they called and confirmed, I don’t know, don’t care. But I am hesitant to ever trust COT again. Everything about their service screamed new, unreliable and low-class.
The next day, upon more research with a clear head, I learned how badly I overpaid with COT. I spent US$430.57 (43,057 Miles) for a room for 3 nights that went for under $100 booked directly. This I confirmed is the case across the board for every hotel listed on COT (at least in Krabi, TH), they are waaaayyyyyyyyyyyy overpriced. Don’t believe the “Expedia comparison”.
About the Navinda Krabi: Don’t stay here either, nobody else was. We saw only a few other guests there the whole time at Navinda.
Their hotel room key machine was down, so they had to walk us to our room every time we returned (we didn’t get a key to our room). At one point, arriving close to midnight, there was nobody at the front desk. Luckily, it was only five minutes or so before the clerk came back on his motorbike.
It was a 2 star hotel at best (though lists as 4-star), shabby rooms, no restaurant and pool only for looks. Oh and the Wi-Fi would connect and disconnect every 1 minute making it nearly useless and at best frustrating.
And it was 3x as expensive as our next 4-star hotel, when booked through the hotel or Priceline/Agoda, and nearly 5x as expensive as our next hotel booked through COT. Remember it was $143.52 per night through Capital One Travel, including fees/taxes, but no breakfast. This is why nobody was there. We would later drive by it all week and never saw anybody coming and going.
About Holiday Ao Nang Beach Resort: Our next hotel, booked through Chase Travel (yes!) was only $33 per night, + $6 for breakfast for two, so $39 per night. We booked 5 nights and used Chase Ultimate Reward Points. Chase uses the Expedia engine, like Hotels.com, which does seem to run more smoothly.
While both the Navinda and Holiday Ao Nang Beach Resort are listed as 4-star, the latter Holiday was worlds better than the Navinda. It was like a paradise full of happy guests, with a delicious spacious breakfast buffet and nature like- ambiance. Plus it was directly across from the beach.
Would definitely stay at Holiday again. The prices on the two aforementioned hotels should be swapped.
Hard Pass on Scammy Capital One Travel
EVERY SINGLE HOTEL ON CAPITAL ONE TRAVEL CAN BE FOUND CHEAPER ON A SLEW OF OTHER WEBSITES LIKE AGODA OR BY RESERVING DIRECTLY WITH THE HOTEL. They compare to Expedia as a scam IMO, which lists higher, but a lot of websites compare to Expedia. It’s to sell more units on the other sites. SHOP AROUND SHOP AROUND SHOP AROUND.
Don’t put your precious travel itinerary in the trust of Capital One Travel. It’s always best to book direct with the hotel, and then just reimburse your credit card statement the funds (if you have Cap One points). It will open up a world more of hotels, and UNBELIEVABLY BETTER discounts direct from the hotel proprietor or with nearly every other travel site.