Is the Capital One Spark Cash Plus worth the $150 annual fee?

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Capital One recently rolled out a new card offering for business owners—the Capital One Spark Cash Plus. This move shook up the card issuer’s roster of previously offered credit cards for business. In fact, the Capital One Spark Cash Plus replaced the older Capital One Spark Cash Card, which offered business owners 2 percent cash back on all purchases.

The Capital One Spark Cash Plus offers the same 2 percent back on all purchases, yet the fact it’s a charge card means there’s no preset spending limit to contend with. And big spenders will benefit from the yearly spending bonus and a two-tiered sign-up bonus that’s worth up to $1,000.

Still, the Capital One Spark Cash Plus does charge a $150 annual fee, which is rather high for a business credit card with hardly any cardholder perks. Is the $150 annual fee worth it? We’ll go over all the details to help you decide.

Capital One Spark Cash Plus details

Welcome bonus: Earn up to $1,000 in the first six months—$500 when you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months, and another $500 once you spend $50,000 within six months of account opening

Rewards rate: Earn unlimited 2 percent cash back on all purchases

Annual bonus: Earn an annual cash bonus of $200 every year you spend $200,000 or more on purchases

Annual fee: $150 annual fee

APR: N/A; It’s a charge card, which requires you to pay your balance in full each month

Is the Capital One Spark Cash Plus worth the annual fee?

Generally speaking, the Capital One Spark Cash Plus is for big business spenders who have more than $50,000 in business purchases to charge each year. This is because it’s a charge card with no preset spending limit and because the sign-up bonus is tailored to business owners who can spend at least $50,000 on purchases within six months.

But is the $150 annual fee worth it? There’s no concrete answer, but you should probably take the time to compare it to a similar business credit card from Capital One—the Capital One Spark Cash Select. This card offers a lower rewards rate of 1.5 percent back on all purchases, but it doesn’t charge an annual fee. New cardholders can also earn an initial bonus of $500 after they sign up and spend $4,500 on purchases within three months of account opening.

Capital One Spark Cash Plus spending example

If you’re trying to decide whether the Capital One Spark Cash Plus is worth the $150 annual fee, consider this spending example:

Imagine your business has a lot of expenses each month for payroll, inventory and normal operation and that you charge $20,000 in purchases per month ($240,000 per year) to your card as a result.

In that case, you would fork over the $150 annual fee to have the Capital One Spark Cash Plus, but your rewards haul would work out to $6,000 your first year. This sum includes $4,800 in cash back for spending, the $1,000 sign-up bonus and the $200 annual spending bonus for surpassing the $200,000 annual spending threshold.

When you deduct the $150 annual fee, you still net $5,850. No matter how you look at it, that’s a generous amount of rewards.

Now imagine you charge the same amount to the Capital One Spark Cash Select with 1.5 percent cash back and no annual fee. With this card, your first-year rewards would work out to $4,100, including $3,600 in cash back on your spending and the $500 sign-up bonus.

In this case, you avoid the $150 annual fee, but you earn $1,900 less in rewards along the way.

A similar scenario plays out for business owners who spend $200,000 on their cards within a year as well as $150,000 per year, $100,000 and even less.

We found that the “sweet spot” for choosing between these two cards is $30,000 in annual spending per year. If you spend that much on the Capital One Spark Cash Plus, you will earn $600 in rewards on your spending and the first half ($500) of the sign-up bonus, netting you $950 in cash back after paying the $150 annual fee.

With $30,000 in annual spending on the Capital One Spark Cash Select, earning 1.5 percent back and the $500 bonus offer, you would earn the same $950 in rewards.

Business owners who spend more than $30,000 per year may be better off with the Plus version of the card, yet everyone else should probably pick up the Capital One Spark Cash Select instead.

Other business credit cards to consider

Forking over $150 per year to earn 2 percent cash back seems like a lot to ask if you don’t spend a ton of money on your card each year, and that’s especially true when you consider the fact other business credit cards offer a similar rate with no annual fee.

For example, the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card offers 2 percent cash back on the first $50,000 you spend each year (then 1 percent back) with no annual fee. Plus, it offers a $250 statement credit when you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening.

If you want to compare card options from yet another issuer, you can also check out Chase’s Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card. This card also offers a flat 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases, and cardholders can earn $750 in bonus cash after spending $7,500 on purchases within three months of account opening. And there’s no annual fee.

Capital One also has a business credit card geared to individuals who travel, and the $95 annual fee is waived the first year. With the Capital One Spark Miles for Business, cardholders earn 2X miles for each dollar they spend, and they can earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $4,500 within three months of account opening. This card also comes with a credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership, and you can redeem miles for travel statement credits or transfers to Capital One airline and hotel partners.

The bottom line

Is the Capital One Spark Cash Plus worth its $150 annual fee? That depends on how much you spend on your card each year. However, business owners who spend less than $30,000 per year would probably be better off with the Capital One Spark Cash Select or another business credit card alternative.

Whatever you do, make sure you compare a few business credit cards before you decide.

Written by
Holly D. Johnson
Author, Award-Winning Writer
Holly Johnson writes expert content on personal finance, credit cards, loyalty and insurance topics. In addition to writing for Bankrate and CreditCards.com, Johnson does ongoing work for clients that include CNN, Forbes Advisor, LendingTree, Time Magazine and more.
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