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Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit review: Is the upgraded sign-up bonus worth it?

On top of the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit got a great boost to its welcome bonus, the card’s simple rewards structure and list of protections can make it worth it.

 /  12 min
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At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for and how we rate our cards. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

Snapshot

4.1

Bankrate rating
Info
Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5

Bottom line

This card could be an excellent choice if you value simplicity and want to avoid annual fees, but a card that earns more cash back in specific business spending categories may be more rewarding.

Best business card with no annual fee
  • Rewards value
    Rating: 3.3 stars out of 5
    3.3 / 5
    APR
    Rating: 3 stars out of 5
    3 / 5
    Rewards flexibility
    Rating: 4 stars out of 5
    4 / 5
    Features
    Rating: 4 stars out of 5
    4 / 5
Excellent (740 – 850)
Info
Recommended Credit

$750

Intro offer

Info

$750

Offer valuation

Info

1.5% - 5%

Rewards Rate

Info

$0

Annual fee

18.49% - 24.49% (Variable)

Regular APR

Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit Overview

The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit gives you a hassle-free way to earn cash back on every purchase, offering a decent flat rewards rate and sign-up bonus for no annual fee (See Rates & Fees). 

The card is an offshoot of the original Spark Cash Select for Business, which split into two versions: The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit, which comes with a welcome bonus but no intro APR, and the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Good Credit, which carries an intro APR for new purchases, but no welcome bonus. 

As such, which version of the card is right for you will depend on whether you value payment flexibility or a quick influx of rewards.

Overall, although this business card doesn’t earn the highest rewards rate out there, it’s a decent low-interest credit card that comes with no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees and the opportunity to get you started with business rewards without much risk or commitment.

  • Credit Card Cash Back

    Rewards

    • 1.5% cash back on every purchase  
    • 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel 

    Expert Appraisal: Typical 
    See our expert analysis  

  • Rewards

    Welcome offer

    • $750 bonus when you spend $6,000 within the first three months of account opening.

    Expert Appraisal: Good
    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Card Search

    Rates and fees

    • Annual Fee: $0  
    • Late payment: up to $39 
    • Penalty APR: 34.65% (variable)
    • Regular APR: 18.49% to 24.49% (variable)
    • No foreign transaction fee 
    • Balance transfer fee: $0 at the transfer APR

    Expert Appraisal: Good  
    See our expert analysis 

  • Congrats

    Other cardholder perks

    • Free employee cards 
    • $0 fraud liability for unauthorized charges  
    • Travel and emergency assistance 
    • Purchase assurance*  
    • Extended warranty protection(*) 
    • Roadside assistance (fees apply) 

    Expert Appraisal: Good  
    See our expert analysis  

What are the pros and cons?

Pros

  • Checkmark

    It has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, which is a great perk for small business owners and employees who need to travel internationally

  • Checkmark

    It offers an upgraded $750 cash bonus for spending $6,000 within the first three months

  • Checkmark

    It has a simple, flat-rate rewards structure that earns solid cash back on all purchases, even free employee cards

  • Checkmark

    Rewards never expire as long as your account is active, so there is no pressure to redeem rewards by a certain timeframe

Cons

  • There are other business cards that offer more cash back rewards in select categories and could boost your reward earnings from business expenses

  • It doesn’t have an intro APR period, which is a disadvantage for business owners who want time to pay down debt without accruing interest

  • There is no opportunity to transfer rewards to other loyalty programs, resulting in limited redemption flexibility

Why you might want the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit

This Capital One business card carries a number of benefits despite its $0 annual fee (See Rates & Fees). Although it’s not brimming with luxury perks for business travel, there are enough features to add everyday value.  

Unless you have big purchases coming up and need to pay them off over time with an intro APR, the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit should carry more value than the Spark Cash Select for Good Credit thanks to its welcome offer and potentially lower ongoing interest rate. 

Welcome Offer: A worthy upgrade 

New cardholders can earn a $750 bonus after spending $6,000 within the first three months. That’s a huge step up from the bonus offered on the original Spark Cash Select (a $200 bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months). Not only do you earn more cash back with this version of the card, but the spending requirement is only 50 percent higher — meaning you’re getting more bang for your buck than before. 

A $750 bonus is a great deal considering you’d have to spend over $33,000 to earn that much via the card’s 1.5 percent cash back rate.

Perks: Pretty good for purchases, travel and employees

Capital One offers several ways to secure your card and give you peace of mind while shopping and traveling. Along with basic features like account monitoring and alerts, $0 fraud coverage for unauthorized charges and travel and emergency assistance, you’ll receive purchase security*, extended warranty protection (*), roadside assistance (fees apply) and MasterRental® insurance. This card also carries travel and emergency assistance, which can be helpful in a pinch thanks to the lost or damaged luggage reimbursement**. 

You also get to enjoy free employee cards where you’re able to manage their transactions or assign an account manager to track expenses and handle transactions. You can even set custom spending limits on each employee’s card. Combined with the year-end purchase summaries and the auto-pay feature, controlling your business credit card expenses and the incoming cash back across all employees can be a streamlined process. 

Rates and Fees: a low-cost option for business owners 

This card is an excellent option for most business owners because there is no annual fee, no balance transfer fee and no foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees), making it a strong candidate for both day-to-day use and traveling abroad. 

Although this version doesn’t offer an intro purchase or balance transfer APR, it does waive the balance transfer fee (which is a rare perk outside cards from credit unions). Plus, its 18.49 percent to 24.49 percent (variable) ongoing APR is lower than its counterpart with an intro APR (See Rates & Fees). 

Why you might not want the Capital One Spark Cash Select credit card

The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit goes toe-to-toe with the top cards in its no-annual-fee class thanks to its low rates and solid rewards potential, but it’s a bit less competitive overall because it lacks an intro APR period. 

Ultimately, it’s a decent all-around card for most situations, but other issuers offer similar — if not better — welcome bonuses on no-annual-fee business cards. 

Redemption Options: Few and far between 

Considering that excellent credit is needed for this card, the redemption options are quite limiting. Still, Capital One offers a couple of ways to redeem your points for cash back. You can receive your cash rewards as: 

  • A statement credit 
  • A check 
  • A gift card 

You also have the option of automatically redeeming cash back based on either the time of year or by reaching a specific dollar amount ($25, $50, $100, $200, $500 and $1,500). 

Rewards Rate: Nice but could be better 

The rewards structure is straightforward — you’ll earn 1.5 percent cash back for every qualified purchase made with the card. You’ll also earn 5 percent cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. There is no limit to the cash back you can earn, and your cash rewards will never expire as long as your account remains open. 

However, when compared to other cards, the Capital One Spark Cash Select falls behind. There are plenty of cards – including flat-rate cards – that earn more than the cash back rate on this card. Considering that you can redeem cash back until you’ve earned at least $25, it may not be worth the time it takes to do so. 

How the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit compares to other business cards

The Capital One Spack Cash Select card is a great choice for those who prefer a low maintenance card with its straightforward flat-rate rewards and lack of fees. However, while many different types of businesses can take advantage, the credit score requirement might be too high for business owners just starting out. There are other flat-rate cards that have more versatile redemption options, which can come in handy for travel and general cash back.  

Best cards to pair with the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit

The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit is a flat-rate cash back card, so pairing it with another business card that carries a higher rewards rate on your biggest specialized expenses is the best way to maximize its rewards rate.

Who is the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit Card right for?

Bankrate’s Take — Is the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit card worth it?

The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit is a great option for small business owners who want to earn rewards without much hassle and can take advantage of a sizable sign-up bonus more than they could a zero-interest offer. The card offers a flat rewards rate on all purchases, so you don’t have to worry about how much you’ll earn or if you’re using it in the correct categories. Also, since it comes with no annual fee (See Rates & Fees), it works great for businesses that want to keep their expenses low while still earning rewards. However, it may not be the best option if you travel often or spend big in specific categories, like online advertising or office supplies. 

Capital One’s “upgrade” for the original Spark Cash Select did respectively boost the cash bonus and lower intro APR on the two new versions of the card, but other issuers still manage to offer equivalent or better value compared to the cards’ new terms without forcing applicants to choose their trade-off.

*Eligible purchases made with this card are replaced, repaired or reimbursed if you experience a loss in the first 90 days after purchase. 

**You may be eligible for reimbursement due to theft or misdirection when your common carrier tickets are purchased with your card. 

(*) Automatically extends the original manufacturer's warranty on eligible purchases made with this card. 

For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.

How we rated this card

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100+
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400+
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3000
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40+
perks evaluated

Our proprietary card rating system takes into account a mix of factors when scoring balance transfer and low-interest cards, including each card’s introductory APR, intro APR period length, ongoing APR, balance transfer fee, perks and more.

While balance transfer and general low-interest cards share a similar ratings rubric, we weigh features differently based on how a card is categorized. We categorize cards that carry an especially long intro APR offer on balance transfers as dedicated balance transfer cards, while cards that offer an especially low ongoing APR are considered general low-interest cards. 

Based on its features, we assigned this card a primary category of balance transfer and tailored our ratings accordingly. 

We analyzed over 100 of the most popular balance transfer and low-interest cards and scored each based on where its key features stood in relation to others in its category. 

Here’s a breakdown of what gave this card its score:

Frequently asked questions

Written by
Garrett Yarbrough
Writer, Credit Cards

Bankrate expert Garrett Yarbrough strives to make navigating credit cards and credit building smooth sailing for his readers. After regularly featuring his credit card, credit monitoring and identity theft analysis on NextAdvisor.com, he joined the CreditCards.com and Bankrate teams as a staff writer to develop product reviews and comprehensive credit card guides focused on cash back, credit scores and card offers.

Edited by Editor, Credit Cards

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Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.