Key takeaways

  • If you put more of your budget toward entertaining and travel, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is among your best no-annual-fee options — with a sign-up bonus that’s easy to attain.
  • New cardmembers can earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 in your first three months after opening your account, as well as ongoing cash back rewards on dining, streaming, groceries, purchases through Capital One’s entertainment and travel portals and more.
  • The choice is yours as to how you redeem your bonus — a statement credit or check, to shop online at PayPal and Amazon or for gift cards at eligible retailers.

While some cash back cards require you to spend a large sum to qualify for an introductory offer, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card’s sign-up bonus is relatively easy to score. If you’re eligible for the bonus, you can earn a $200 cash bonus after spending just $500 within three months of opening your account.

That offer — combined with this card’s other benefits, like no annual fee and 3 percent cash back on entertainment, dining, popular streaming services and grocery store purchases (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target); 8 percent cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases; and 5 percent cash back on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel — could make the SavorOne an attractive choice if you’re looking for a card that rewards leisure spending.

Who’s eligible for the Capital One SavorOne sign-up bonus?

The SavorOne sign-up bonus is intended for new cardmembers. As you might expect, to be eligible for the sign-up bonus, you must first be approved for the card. You’ll need excellent credit to qualify, so you’re likely in the running if you have a FICO score of between 800 and 850.

If you had a SavorOne account open in the past and closed it, you may not be offered a bonus for getting this card a second time around. But if you’re eligible, earning the $200 cash bonus is fairly straightforward. You just have to make $500 worth of purchases within three months of opening the account.

Ways to use the Capital One SavorOne sign-up bonus

After you meet the spending threshold, your welcome bonus is credited to your rewards balance within two billing cycles. Then, you get to decide how to use it.

You can redeem your bonus at any time since your rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open.

Cash in your bonus for a statement credit or check

You can access your cash bonus by requesting a statement credit or a check after it posts to your rewards total. If you’re worried about forgetting to claim your cash, set up automatic redemption to get the bonus money without needing to do anything further. Activate this option by logging in to your account, selecting a redemption method and choosing the level of rewards that you want to trigger the automatic redemption. To make sure you get your bonus right away, opt to get your rewards once the total hits $200.

Alternatively, arrange to automatically redeem your rewards on a certain day each year. If you go with this approach, keep in mind that it could take two billing cycles for your bonus to post. So you may want to pick a day that’s a least a couple of months out from when you reach the $500 spending threshold.

Shop with your rewards

You can also use your sign-up bonus to shop online with PayPal and Amazon. For PayPal, you’ll need to link your SavorOne card to your PayPal Wallet, then choose to checkout with PayPal when you’re ready to make a purchase with a participating online retailer. Next, opt to pay with your Capital One rewards balance.

For Amazon, you’ll need to enroll the card in Amazon’s Shop with Points program and choose Capital One rewards as your payment method when you check out. If your bonus doesn’t cover the full amount of your purchase, you can pay for the rest using your SavorOne card or an Amazon gift card, but you won’t be able to use your bonus with rewards earned from another credit card.

With both Amazon and PayPal, your cash back rewards redeem at a 1:1 value. Therefore, $50 worth of rewards in your SavorOne account is worth $50 of purchases through Amazon or PayPal. Note that the ratio is different if you’re using a miles-earning Capital One card; with those accounts, 125 miles equals $1 in purchases.

Redeem your bonus for credits or gift cards

You can exchange your bonus for credits toward items you’ve purchased with the card, or you can use it to get gift cards. Redemption rates can vary for either of these methods, so the value you get for your bonus might be above or below $200 if you go this route.

Combine your rewards with a miles-earning card

The rewards earned with SavorOne and other Capital One cash back cards can be converted into travel rewards if you also hold a Capital One travel card like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card or Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. One cent of cash back rewards equals one mile of travel rewards, so your $200 SavorOne bonus equals 20,000 miles.

Capital One miles have a value of $.02 each, according to Bankrate’s most recent valuations, potentially making this the most valuable redemption option for your SavorOne bonus if you also hold a Capital One travel card.

What’s the best way to maximize the Capital One SavorOne sign-up bonus?

Capital One offers multiple options for accessing your cash rewards, and the best for you depends on what you find most convenient.

The absolute best value comes with having a Capital One travel card and converting your SavorOne bonus into miles under that travel card. In fact, SavorOne is an ideal complement to a Capital One travel rewards earning strategy.

But if travel rewards aren’t your goal, cash back is still a solid option. If you use your card regularly, you might prefer the ease of an automatic statement credit. If you often shop online, you might want to spend your bonus through PayPal or Amazon. And if none of those choices appeals to you, there’s always the option to get a check for $200. An advantage of redeeming your bonus with a check is that you aren’t constrained by how or where you spend it.

It’s hard to beat cash, so you may want to think twice before redeeming your bonus for gift cards. When you get a gift card, you’re locked into spending the money at a particular retailer. You could feel pressured to buy stuff you don’t actually want or need just to use your bonus. Plus, if you exchange your rewards for a gift card and don’t use the entire amount, you aren’t getting the full benefit of your bonus.

The bottom line

The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards card‘s $200 sign-up bonus is a nice reward for spending $500 within three months of opening the card. After this bonus posts to your rewards tally, you can choose from a variety of ways to redeem it, including a statement credit or check, shopping through PayPal or Amazon or turning it into a gift card or a credit for a past purchase. If you have a Capital One travel card, consider using your SavorOne rewards as miles for top value.

There’s no right or wrong way to use your rewards, but depending on your spending habits, some redemption methods might be more useful than others. Overall, it’s important to look over your options before deciding how to cash in your bonus.