Capital on Tap Business Credit Card review: A mixed-bag business card
Though it offers a chance at a generous bonus and higher-than-average credit limit, this card otherwise fails to stand out from the crowd
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Capital on Tap Business Credit Card Overview
Boasting a chance at a very high credit limit, a generous sign-up bonus, an impressive low-end APR and a flat 1.5 percent cash back rate, all at no annual fee, the Capital on Tap Business Credit Card stands as a solid low-cost option for small-business owners looking to keep things simple. If you qualify for the low-end APR, this card could give you the wiggle room you need to finance large expenses and earn rewards without tracking spending or enrolling in bonus categories. Plus, applying has no impact on your credit score
Compared to some of the best business credit cards on the market, though, the Capital on Tap Business card falls a bit short when it comes to long-term value and flexibility. While the card is a decent low-maintenance option, its high-end APR is extremely high and it offers few features that set it apart as the best choice for earning rewards, financing business expenses or scoring business-centric perks.
As such, the Capital on Tap Business card sits right in the middle of the pack: It gets the job done, but it isn’t likely to win many awards.
Even so, the card may make sense based on your priorities and spending habits, especially if you’re looking for a chance at a very high credit limit. Read on to learn where this card shines, where it falls short and whether it’s worth applying.
What are the pros and cons?
- The card’s cash back rate is matched or beaten by several competitors.
- A card with a higher rewards rate could prove more valuable, even if that means paying an annual fee.
- The card’s high-end APR is extremely high—far above the rate you’ll find on most competing cards.
- It offers few noteworthy perks, even for a no-annual-fee card.
A deeper look into the current card offer
- Rewards rate: 1.5% rewards on all purchases
- Welcome offer: $750 when you spend $7,500 in your first three months
- Annual fee: $0
- Purchase intro APR: N/A
- Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
- Regular APR: 9.99%-34.99% (variable)
Current welcome offer
One of the more impressive aspects of the Capital on Tap Business card is its current welcome offer, which sits at the high end among business rewards cards in our ratings database: You’ll earn $750 after you spend $7,500 in your first three months.
You typically won’t have a chance at bonus offers in this range without paying an annual fee, as even some of the best no-annual-fee business cards only offer bonuses in the $300 to $500 range. And while a handful of no-annual-fee cards offer over $750 in value via their sign-up bonuses, they typically require a higher spend in the same timeframe.
The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, for example, gives you a chance at 100,000 points (worth $1,250 when redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal), but you’ll need to spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases in your first three months to qualify. That could easily put the card out of reach for some small-business owners.
While a sign-up bonus should never be your main reason for applying for a card, it can sometimes be a key factor when deciding between two otherwise similar cards. This may give the Capital on Tap Business card a slight edge over comparable 1.5 percent flat-rate business cards, at least in the short term. After all, the Bank of America® Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card (which also charges no annual fee and earns a flat 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases) only carries a $300 online bonus cash rewards after spending $3,000 in your first 90 days. If you wanted to make up the $450 difference between these bonuses via the Bank of America card’s 1.5 percent cash back rate, you’d need to charge an additional $30,000 to the card. For some small-business owners, that could be an entire year’s worth of spending.
Note that this is an exclusive bonus offer and you must apply through Bankrate to qualify.
The Capital on Tap Business card features a very simple rewards program. You’ll earn rewards at the same flat rate on all spending, making the card a fit for small-business owners who want to either put all of their spending on a single card or add a card to their wallet that earns more than 1 percent back on general purchases.
And though the card doesn’t boast the highest flat cash back rate available on a no-annual-fee business card, it could still prove quite lucrative if you use it for most of your spending.
How you earn
You’ll earn a flat 1.5 percent cash back rate on all purchases with the Capital on Tap Business card. This is a common flat rate for a business rewards card, but it’s not the highest rate you can get, even if you’re trying to avoid an annual fee.
After all, a few competing business cards offer 2 percent back or 2 points per dollar on all spending while also charging no annual fee. If earning rewards is your focus and you want to stick with a card that earns at the same rate on all purchases, there’s not much reason to opt for the Capital on Tap Business card and its 1.5 percent cash back rate over a no-annual-fee card that offers 2 percent back.
One exception would be if your business had a high annual spend and those 2 percent cash back cards put a cap on your earnings. Take the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, which earns 2 percent cash back on the first $50,000 you spend per year on eligible purchases (1 percent after that). Though the Amex card has a higher cash back rate to start, the more you spend over $50,000, the more of an advantage the Capital on Tap Business card’s higher ongoing rate will give you. Indeed, if your business spent $100,000 or more per year, you’d earn more with the Capital on Tap Business card thanks to its unlimited 1.5 percent cash back rate.
That said, businesses with a high annual spend may also want to give cards with an annual fee a second look. That’s because you could earn more with a card that offers a higher flat rate even if it charges an annual fee. The Capital One Spark Cash Plus, for example, earns an unlimited flat 2 percent cash back rate and charges a $150 annual fee, but if your spending is high, that extra 0.5% can be more than enough to cover the annual fee.
Let’s say you spent just $50,000 per year with both the Spark Cash Plus and the Capital on Tap Business card. You’d earn 1.5 percent back with the Capital on Tap Business card, for a total of $750 in rewards, with no annual fee to worry about. With the Spark Cash Plus, you’d earn 2 percent back for a total of $1,000 in rewards. Subtract the card’s $150 annual fee and you end up $850 in the black—$100 better than the Capital on Tap Business card.
If you’re set on avoiding an annual fee, the Capital on Tap Business card’s unlimited 1.5 percent rewards rate can still offer solid value. It just doesn’t stand out from the crowd.
How to redeem
Redemption with the Capital on Tap Business card is straightforward: You can redeem rewards as a statement credit to offset your balance. This is the most common redemption method among cash back cards and makes it easy to lower your costs a bit on an ongoing basis.
That said, more options are always welcome. Some competing business cards let you redeem rewards not only for cash back as a statement credit, but also for travel, gift cards, online shopping and more. Some travel-centric business cards even let you transfer rewards to airline and hotel loyalty partners, sometimes allowing you to squeeze more value out of each point.
While the Capital on Tap Business card’s terms note that the issuer may sometimes offer alternative methods to redeem points, such as for travel or shopping, it’s hard to predict which of these options would be available or how frequently.
Other cardholder perks
Another area where the Capital on Tap Business card mostly earns a shrug is its perks and benefits. While the card boasts a chance at a very high credit limit—a valuable perk for many small-business owners, to be sure—it otherwise offers few business-centric benefits. Though you wouldn’t expect to find perks like luxury lounge access on a no-annual-fee card, you’d at least hope for a few basics like travel insurance. Still, the card features a few noteworthy extras:
Chance at a high credit limit
One of the Capital on Tap card’s biggest selling points is its credit limit potential. You could qualify for a credit limit of up to $50,000—far higher than many traditional business cards can offer. If you need a lot of purchasing power but would rather not get a pricey business charge card, the Capital on Tap Business card could be a solid alternative. Keep in mind, however, that a $50,000 limit is far from guaranteed.
Apply with no impact to your credit score
Another unique feature of the Capital on Tap Business card is its application process. Typically, any new card application will result in a hard inquiry, which temporarily dings your credit score and stays on your credit report for two years. With the Capital on Tap Business card, however, you won’t have to worry about that: Applying for the card will not impact your credit score.
This isn’t the flashiest perk you could ask for on a business rewards card, but if you’re hoping to keep your score as stable as possible, the Capital on Tap Business card may hold special appeal.
No foreign transaction fees and free employee cards
The Capital on Tap Business card also earns high marks for its limited fees. You’ll pay no foreign transaction fees with this card, so you and your employees are free to travel abroad and earn points without worrying about fees cutting into your rewards (some competing cards charge a fee of 3 percent of each transaction made abroad). Similarly, you get unlimited cards at no extra charge, allowing you to painlessly distribute cards to your employees and earn rewards on all of their business spending.
Visa Corporate Card and other benefits to come
As a Visa Corporate Card, the Capital on Tap Business card also comes with a few basic benefits built in, including an auto rental collision damage waiver and travel and emergency assistance. The issuer’s website also notes forthcoming accounting integrations with tools like Xero, FreeAgent, Quickbooks and more designed to make it easier to pair transactions with your accounting software.
How much are the rewards worth?
As expected with this sort of streamlined cash back card, understanding the value of your rewards is easy: You’ll simply earn back 1.5 percent of every eligible purchase you make. In other words, you get back 1.5 cents for every dollar you spend.
Rates and fees
While the Capital on Tab Business card keeps things simple with its fee structure, charging no annual, cash advance, returned payment or foreign transaction fees and carrying a relatively low late payment fee of $29 (many cards charge up to $40), the same can’t be said for its APRs.
While you could wind up with an APR as low as 9.99 percent variable—one of the lowest rates we’ve seen on a business card and well below the average credit card APR—you could also face a rate as high as 34.99 percent variable. That’s an extremely wide range of potential APRs and the high-end is very high indeed—higher than even some credit-building and store credit cards.
Just as having a low ongoing APR could be a big help should you need to strategically carry a balance, having an ultra-high APR could prove disastrous if you can’t pay off your balance. Plus, the card comes with no introductory APR as part of its welcome offer, so you be able to chip away at existing debt or finance new purchases without paying some interest.
Several no-annual-fee business cards not only match the Capital on Tap Business card’s cash back rate and sign-up bonus offer, but also carry lower high-end APRs and 0 percent intro APR offers, including the Bank of America Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards card (which features a 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 9 billing cycles and a 12.49 percent to 22.49 percent variable APR after that) and the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card (which features a 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 12 months and a 13.49 to 19.49 percent variable APR after that).
How the Capital on Tap Business card compares to other business rewards cards
While the Capital on Tap Business card is a decent option for small-business owners who want to keep earning rewards simple and get a chance at a high credit limit, it’s far from the most lucrative or flexible option. If you’re willing to settle for a potentially lower credit limit or put up an annual fee, you may enjoy better long-term value with one of these alternatives:
Capital on Tap Business card vs. Bank of America Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards card
At a glance, the Bank of America Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards card is yet another 1.5 percent flat-rate business cash back card that charges no annual fee. But thanks to the Preferred Rewards program, this card could offer unmatched value if you have a banking relationship with Bank of America. Depending on how much money you keep in your qualifying Bank of America business deposit accounts and Merrill business investment accounts, you can boost your rewards rate by up to 75 percent to 2.62 percent back on all qualifying purchases. That’s easily the highest flat rate you’ll find on a business card. Plus, the card carries an introductory APR offer, an easier-to-reach sign-up bonus, and a more reasonable APR range of 12.49 percent to 22.49 percent variable.
Capital on Tap Business card vs. Capital One Spark Cash Plus
Don’t let the annual fee scare you off. If your small-business spends heavily, the Capital One Spark Cash Plus should more than earn its keep thanks to its unlimited 2 percent flat cash back rate and annual bonus—a $200 cash bonus every year you charge $200,000 or more to the card. Indeed, if you spend over $50,000 per year, the Capital One Spark Cash Plus should earn you more rewards than the Capital on Tap Business card, even when you account for its $150 annual fee. That said, one potential catch with the Spark Cash Plus is that it’s a charge card. While this could give you increased flexibility via no preset spending limit, it also means you’ll need to pay off your balance in full each month.
Best cards to pair with this card
Since the Capital on Tap Business card will earn 1.5 percent back on all purchases, it could pair especially well with cards that earn a higher rate in spending categories relevant to your business. By combining a flat-rate cash back card like the Capital on Tap Business card and a card that earns bonus cash back in specific categories, you can maximize your earnings on those expenses that eat up the most of your business’ budget while still covering miscellaneous expenses that would otherwise earn only 1 percent back.
The Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card is one solid option. A “choose your own bonus category” card, it earns 3 percent cash back in the category of your choice and 2 percent back on dining purchases (on the first $50,000 in combined choice category and dining purchases each calendar year, then 1 percent). You can choose from several popular business spending categories, including travel, office supply stores, gas stations, computer services, telecom and wireless services, business and consulting services. You can even change your choice category once per calendar month to match your business’ spending habits.
If your expenses are a bit more consistent, the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card may be worth a look. It offers 5 percent cash back on the first $25,000 you spend in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year, as well as 2 percent cash back on the first $25,000 you spend in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.
Bankrate’s Take: Is the Capital on Tap Business card worth it?
Considering it charges no annual fee, carries a lucrative sign-up bonus and offers unlimited cash back, the Capital on Tap Business card may be worth it if having a chance at a high credit limit is one of your top priorities. Otherwise, it’s unlikely to be your most rewarding business card option. Not only is the card’s cash back rate nothing special, but it also carries no introductory APR offer, a potentially gargantuan ongoing APR and few noteworthy perks.