Capital One Spark Cash for Business review
The Capital One Spark Cash for Business is a dream come true for business owners who want to be rewarded for their spending but have no time for bonus categories.
While the card has an annual fee of $95, it is waived in the first year—so you can try it out for free. The 2 percent flat-rate cash back is fantastic for a business card, particularly as it applies to every purchase with no caps. If simplicity is your priority, then this Capital One Spark Business card will not disappoint.
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What are the advantages and disadvantages?
A deeper look into the current card offer
- Rewards rate: Unlimited 2 percent cash back on all purchases
- Welcome offer: $500 bonus cash back if you spend at least $4,500 in the first three months
- Annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $95 per year thereafter
- Purchase intro APR: N/A
- Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
- Regular APR: 20.99 percent variable for purchases and transfers
Current welcome offer
This card’s welcome offer of $500 cash back after spending $4,500 in the first three months isn’t the most generous. While the dollar amount being offered is decent enough, the spending requirement is relatively high compared with other small business credit cards on the market. For those with irregular cash flows, such as new businesses and startups, it’s worth timing your card application with a big purchase to ensure you can qualify.
It’s also worth pointing out that if you do spend $4,500 in the first three months, you will get the regular 2 percent cash back—worth $90—in addition to the $500 bonus.
One of the biggest strengths of the Spark Cash for Business is its simple rewards structure. You won’t have to worry about spending caps or rotating categories, and your rewards won’t expire as long as your account remains open.
Earning cash back
You’ll earn 2 percent cash back on all of your purchases. While this may seem unimpressive at first, it’s in fact a fantastic deal, because this rewards rate applies to all your transactions and not just typical business items like travel, office supply or telecom services.
Whatever your business spends money on—from inventory and utilities to business insurance—you’ll get 2 percent cash back.
Redeeming cash back
Redeeming your cash back rewards is just as easy, as there is no minimum for redemption. You can make a request to receive it in the form of a check or statement credit or even set up an automatic redemption preference, so your rewards are automatically redeemed at a set time each year or when you reach a certain threshold.
Other cardholder perks
Like most cash back credit cards for business, the Spark Cash for Business doesn’t offer fancy perks. However, it does come with handy benefits that will help you build rewards quicker. (Terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Refer to your Guide to Benefits for more details)
Free employee cards
If you have staff, offering them employee cards is a great way to fast track your cash back rewards. These can be provided for free with this card. For security, you can nominate an account manager to take care of things like purchases and payments, review transactions and liaise with Capital One to resolve any account problems. What’s more, you can set individual spending limits on each card.
No foreign transaction fee
Many credit card issuers charge a standard 3 percent on purchases made overseas. However, you will pay zero foreign transaction fee with this card, making it a great companion when you need to travel abroad.
Protection security and auto rental insurance
Like all good credit cards, the Spark Cash for Business offers excellent fraud coverage—$0 liability for unauthorized charges, unusual account activity alerts and card lock when a card has been misplaced or stolen.
When you make eligible purchases with this credit card, you will also receive Purchase Security – purchases are replaced, repaired or reimbursed for the first 90 days of purchase in the event of loss, theft, damage or fire.
You can download itemized reports as well as quarterly and year-end summaries to track expenses and stay organized.
Rates and Fees
The card has an annual fee of $95, but this is waived in the first year. There isn’t a foreign transaction fee or balance transfer fee, but a late payment could result in an up to $39 charge.
There also isn’t a 0 percent intro APR for purchases or balance transfers, which is probably the biggest drawback of this card. The regular APR for both purchases and transfers is 20.99 percent variable.
How the Capital One Spark Cash for Business compares to other small business cards
The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card offers 5 percent cash back on the first $25,000 spent on office supplies and internet, phone and cable services. You’ll also get 2 percent cash back on purchases at restaurants and gas stations, subject to another spending cap on the first $25,000 spent. What’s more, it doesn’t have an annual fee. This might make it a better fit for business owners who spend heavily in these categories instead of across a wider range of purchases.
The Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card also has a $0 annual fee. You’ll get 3 percent cash back on a chosen rewards category (from a list of six) that you can change each month, as well as 2 percent on dining, but there is a spending cap of $50,000 a year on these two categories (unlimited 1 percent cash back on all other purchases). That makes it a perfect choice for businesses with changing budgets, as you can pick a new spend category to earn 3 percent cash back each month.
|Card||Annual fee||Rewards rate||Welcome bonus||Introductory APR|
|Ink Business Cash® Credit Card||$0||5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services per year, 2% on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants per year, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases||$750 after spending $7,500 within three months of account opening||0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months, then 13.24% to 19.24% variable|
|Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card||$0||3% cash back on your chosen rewards category and 2% cash back on dining for the first $50,000 spent in purchases per year, 1% cash back on everything else||$300 online statement credit after spending at least $3,000 within 90 days of account opening||0% intro APR on purchases for first 9 billing cycles, then 12.24% to 22.24% variable|
Best cards to pair the Capital One Spark Cash for Business with
If you spend a lot on typical business categories—like travel, office supplies and telecom services—then you could benefit from using a credit card that offers a higher cash back rate for any of those categories and your Spark Cash for Business for everything else. The Ink Business Cash Credit Card mentioned above would work well with this strategy.
The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card could also be a good pairing to get more from your travel spend, as it awards 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping, telecom services and select advertising, 1X points per dollar after that. There is a $95 annual fee, though, so you’ll have to travel regularly enough to justify the cost.
Bankrate’s Take: Is the Capital One Spark Cash for Business worth it?
This card is ideal for small business owners who value simple rewards and not having to deal with spending caps and rewards categories. It’s also invaluable for businesses that spend heavily on areas that don’t align with typical business rewards categories.
While there isn’t a 0 percent intro APR offer, it comes with a solid welcome bonus and a range of sensible business benefits. You can make the $95 annual fee back as long as you spend more than $4,750 a year—a figure easily achieved for many small businesses.
The information about the Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.