Whether you want simple cash back or travel miles for your business purchases, Capital One Spark cards have you covered. Every Spark card offers simplicity in its reward program and limited fees, making the cards especially appealing to small business owners with infinite demands on their time and money.
We break down the five Capital One Spark cards, show how they stack up against their competitors, and help you decide if a Spark card is right for you.
What Are the Capital One Spark Cards?
There are five Spark cards, each tailored to a different need. The Spark Cash comes with a $59 annual fee (waived the first year) but earns a high cash back rewards rate. Conversely, the Spark Cash Select has no annual fee but comes with a slightly lower rewards rate. The Spark Miles and Spark Miles Select are equivalent to the Spark Cash and Spark Cash Select, except they earn travel miles instead of cash back. Finally, there’s the Spark Classic for average credit.
We’ll go into each card in more detail, but first, there are some traits all Capital One business credit cards share. They have no foreign transaction fees, which is key if you travel abroad; and they come with extended purchase and warranty protection; rental car insurance; and free employee cards. There’s also no balance transfer fee, but if you want to move your debt to a lower-rate card, you’re better off with something like the Chase Ink Business CashSM, which offers 12 months of 0% interest on purchases and transfers.
Generally, Spark cards are known for their simplicity. They may not have flashy perks or sky-high signup bonuses, but they don’t have rotating bonus categories, rewards are easy to earn and redeem, and they’re light on fees. Now, we’ll talk about each card individually.
Capital One Spark Cash
As we mentioned earlier, there are two versions of the Spark Cash: the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business, which earns 2% cash back on all purchases but has a $59 annual fee (waived the first year), and the Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business, which has no annual fee but only earns 1.5% cash back. Both cards offer signup bonuses: The Spark Cash pays out $500 when you spend $4,500 in the first three months, and the Spark Cash Select gives $200 if you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
Generally speaking, the Spark Cash (the one with the annual fee) is better if:
- You plan to hold the card for less than six years, in which case the higher bonus cancels out the annual fee
- You’ll spend at least $11,800 on the card annually, in which case the extra 0.5% in rewards will make up for the fee
How does it stack up against the other cash back leader, the Chase Ink Business CashSM? The Ink Cash can offer much better rewards with no annual fee—you earn 5% cash back on office supplies and landline, cell phone, Internet, and cable TV services (up to $25,000 spent combined annually); 2% cash back on gas and restaurants (up to $25,000 spent combined annually); and an unlimited 1% cash back elsewhere. It also comes with a $300 signup bonus when you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
If you spend a lot of money in the Ink Cash’s 5% bonus categories, the Chase card will earn you much better rewards. However, if your spending doesn’t match its bonus structure or you just don’t want to deal with the hassle of bonus categories or rewards caps, go with one of the Spark Cash cards.
Capital One Spark Miles
The Capital One Spark Miles cards mirror the Spark Cash offers: The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business earns 2 Capital One miles on every dollar spent and comes with a $59 annual fee that’s waived your first year; the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business earns 1.5 miles to the dollar and has no annual fee. The Spark Miles has a 50,000-mile signup bonus if you spend $4,500 in the first three months; the Spark Miles Select has a 30,000-mile signup bonus if you spend $3,000 in the same timeframe.
As with the Spark Cash cards, you should go with the Spark Miles if you’ll hold the card for fewer than six years or spend under $11,800 annually; otherwise, go with the no-fee Spark Miles Select.
The Spark Miles’ main competitor is another Chase card, the Chase Ink Business PreferredSM. The Ink Preferred has one of the best signup bonuses out there, offering 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $5,000 in the first three months.
Ultimate Rewards Points are worth 1.25 cents each when you redeem for travel booked through Chase’s Orbitz-powered portal, but they can be worth much more if you strategically transfer to one of Chase’s travel partners, like British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Marriott, and Hyatt. Its annual fee is a bit higher than the Spark’s—$95—but it also earns better rewards on many typical business purchases. You’ll earn a base rate of 1 point per $1 spent, and 3 points per $1 spent on the first $150,000 spent annually on:
- Travel, including airfare, hotels, rental cars, train tickets, and taxis
- Shipping purchases
- Internet, cable, and phone services
- Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
Ultimate Rewards Points can be incredibly valuable if you redeem correctly, so the case for the Ink Business Preferred is the same as that for the Ink Cash: If you don’t mind putting in the effort to earn in bonus categories or redeem strategically, the Chase card is a much better choice. However, if you want simplicity and straightforward earning, the Spark Miles has you covered.
Capital One Spark Classic
The final card in Capital One’s small business suite is the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business, which unlike the others is meant for folks with average credit. If you can’t qualify for the Spark Miles or Cash, or their no-fee counterparts, you should definitely consider the Classic.
It has no annual fee and earns a solid 1% cash back on all purchases—rare for an average-credit card. Other options in that same range, like the BBVA Secured Business Credit Card, usually come with annual fees or lack rewards. With the Spark Classic, you can work your way up to good credit while still earning cash back on your purchases.
from Fundera Ledger https://www.fundera.com/blog/capital-one-spark-business-credit-card