Best for business travel rewards
Capital One Spark Miles for Business
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This business rewards card offers double miles on all purchases.
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The Capital One Spark Miles for Business may suit small business owners seeking simplicity as it earns 2X miles per dollar spent on all purchases. However, if you frequently spend in certain categories, you could easily maximize more reward earnings with other business reward cards, especially if you prefer earning cash back over miles.
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The Capital One Spark Miles for Business credit card brings the streamlined appeal of other flat-rate Capital One rewards cards to small business owners on the hunt for travel rewards. Whether you’re looking for a card that rewards spending in nontraditional bonus categories, a card without quarterly or yearly bonus category spending limits or a second business card to fill in the reward gaps in your budget, the Spark Miles card has you covered.
Unfortunately, this card’s straightforward structure is undermined by a lack of benefits and rewards value. So, is the Capital One Spark Miles the best fit to manage your business expenses? Here’s how it stacks up against the best credit cards for business travel.
Unlimited 2X miles on all purchases without blackouts, seat restrictions or minimum redemptions
Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
$95 annual fee ($0 the first year)
No 0 percent intro APR period (25.24 percent variable APR ongoing)
Possibly fewer perks than other business cards with similar fees
By spending $4,500 in combined purchases within your first three months, you can earn 50,000 miles. This bonus is worth $500 at a 1:1 rate when booking travel through Capital One, but finding a great deal through a Capital One transfer partner could bump your bonus even higher. Bankrate’s latest valuation gives Capital One miles a value of 2 cents apiece, which would make this bonus worth up to $1,000.
Granted, even $700 isn’t close to the highest sign-up bonus we’ve seen for business travel cards. For example, the competing Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card from Chase offers a sign-up bonus of 100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 in purchases within the first three months, worth $1,250 when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. However, flat-rate rewards spending is the Spark Miles card’s main appeal, so this solid welcome offer could be much more accessible to a wider range of cardholders.
The Capital One Spark Miles card earns flat-rate rewards on everyday purchases, which means you’ll earn unlimited 2x miles on all purchases. In addition, you can earn 5x miles on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. Although flat-rate cards typically don’t offer the highest reward rates out there, small business owners can rely on the Spark Miles card to consistently rake in miles on purchases that wouldn’t normally earn rewards without worrying about category spending limits. Plus, Capital One doesn’t impose blackout dates, seat restrictions or minimum redemptions.
Earning rewards on your business expenses with the Capital One Spark Miles card couldn’t be easier. You’ll collect unlimited 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases and 5 miles per dollar spent on hotel and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel.
Capital One miles are best redeemed for travel. You can use them to book new travel or cover travel expenses you made in the past 90 days, including airline, hotel, car rental, ride-share, transit and other purchases.
One of the most valuable options could also be to transfer your miles to one of Capital One’s travel partner programs, including the following (all at a 1:1 transfer rate): Club Premier, Flying Blue, Aeroplan, Avios, Choice Privileges, Ehithad Guest, Infinity MileageLands, Finnair Plus, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Kris Flyer, Miles&Go, Miles&Smiles and Virgin Points.
You can also put your miles toward gift cards, purchases at Amazon.com’s online checkout or cold, hard cash back. However, your mileage may vary with these choices since most non-travel redemption options water down your miles’ value.
Through Capital One, your miles are always worth a flat 1 cent toward most gift cards and travel, as well as the limited-time dining and streaming statement credits. We’d recommend steering clear of non-travel rewards since cash back only nets you 0.5 cents per mile and a slightly better 0.8 cents per mile toward Amazon.com purchases.
With a little work, you can get the best bang for your buck by transferring your miles to partner airlines, which could boost your miles up to a 2-cent value.
The Capital One Spark Miles card offers a decent array of business management features and a few layers of account and purchase security, but depending on which Visa or Mastercard tier you qualify for, the travel perks may be on the slim side for the $95 annual fee.
Free employee cards make it easy to rack up miles on employee purchase while designated spending limits, account management and itemized reports make it easy to manage and track your business’ expenses. Your transactions can also be imported into accounting programs like Excel and Quicken.
Considering the annual fee, the travel benefits Capital One provides with the base Spark Miles card are a little light. The travel assistance services and up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fees can be handy occasionally, but you’ll have to lean on the Visa or Mastercard benefits you qualify for to enjoy beefier perks.
For example, Visa Signature Business cards offer special privileges at over 900 properties in the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection, the Visa Signature Concierge service, lost luggage reimbursement (up to $3,000) and more.
By paying with your credit card, you can receive rental collision coverage with eligible cars, extended warranty coverage and purchase protection. Obtaining a higher level of Visa or Mastercard benefits can also grant you valuable card features like price protection, cellphone protection and prized travel perks like trip cancellation and interruption insurance.
You and your employees’ cards will also be safeguarded with Capital One security measures such as card lock control, $0 fraud liability and virtual credit card numbers — the latter being harder to find with issuers nowadays (Capital One and Citi are the only big issuers currently offering this feature). Capital One also offers the outstandingly comprehensive (and free) CreditWise credit monitoring service, which reports TransUnion credit report changes or social security number leaks on the dark web.
The Capital One Spark Miles card doesn’t offer the lowest rates and fees, but it’s pretty easy to offset any ongoing costs. There are no foreign transaction fees or employee card fees, which would quickly add up otherwise. The balance transfer fee is $0 at the transfer APR.
In case you decide the Spark Miles isn’t the best card for your company, the $95 annual fee is $0 the first year. Even after that, however, you’d only need to spend $413 per month across your card and all of your employees’ cards combined to recoup the yearly fee completely.
Just be sure to avoid carrying a balance since there are no zero-interest APR periods to shield you from the card’s 25.24 percent variable APR. That’s higher than the current average interest rate. Plus, the card’s 33.65 percent penalty variable APR and up to $39 late payment fee will sting, too.
Perhaps the biggest factors for you to weigh when choosing a travel card are how much you travel and how you prefer to travel, but finding a business travel card also requires considering how big and varied your expenses are.
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If you spend up to $150,000 per year on your business and you’re looking for richer travel perks, the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card may be a good choice. The card provides sought-after benefits like trip cancellation, interruption insurance and cellphone protection (up to $600 per claim, up to three claims per 12 months with a $100 deductible per claim) on top of the basic protections Spark Miles card offers for the same price.
Although the Ink Business Preferred isn’t a flat-rate card, its categories cover a variety of business costs, including travel, advertising purchases made with social media and search engines, shipping costs, internet and phone. Chase Ultimate Rewards points also carry the same 2-cent-per-point value, according to Bankrate’s latest valuations.
Overall, the Chase Ink Business Preferred is a solid choice for people who want a generous welcome bonus and tiered rewards structure, whereas the Spark Miles for Business may be the better choice for business owners seeking a modest welcome bonus and flat-rate rewards. Although, it might be better to select the Capital One Spark Miles for Business if you do not regularly spend in the Ink Business Preferred’s rewards categories or you don’t believe you’ll be able to spend $15,000 to earn its welcome bonus. The Spark Miles for Business card has no variable rewards rates and has a more reasonable welcome bonus spending requirement for smaller-scale businesses.
The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express is another flat-rate option with a 12-month 0 percent intro purchase APR (17.74 percent to 25.74 percent variable APR after that) for no annual fee. American Express Membership Rewards® points also carry a slightly higher 2.1-cent valuation than the Capital One miles, giving Amex a leg-up in the competition.
Though its welcome bonus allows you to earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $3,000 in qualifying purchases within the first three months of card membership, the Capital One Spark Miles for Business Card offers a more lucrative incentive — 50,000 miles — by spending only slightly more — $4,500.
The Blue Business Plus Card may be more preferable for business owners seeking high flat-rate cash back rewards, no annual fee and introductory APR period on purchases, since the Spark Miles for Business doesn’t offer an intro APR period and has a $95 annual fee. However, if you don’t want any restrictions when it comes to earning rewards, the Capital One Spark Miles for Business may be the better option, as the Blue Business Plus Card limits earnings from 2X points to 1X points after spending $50,000 in purchases each calendar year.
One of the easiest ways to maximize your flat-rate rewards card is to pair it with another rewards card that offers a higher earning rate on your specialized expenses.
The Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card provides ample bonus category coverage with 3 percent cash back on choice categories including office supply stores, computer services and gas stations (on up to $50,000 in combined choice and dining category purchases per calendar year, then 1 percent). Plus, you can swap for another of the six 3 percent categories once per month to maximize your rewards. For example, while you earn a flat rate on everyday purchases with the Spark Miles for Business card, your business can use the Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards card for office supply runs or at gas stations to elevate your cash back earning.
The Capital One Spark Miles for Business is a solid travel rewards business card focused on delivering a streamlined bonus miles experience over a deep benefit roster.
The opportunity to earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on all purchases could be fantastic for small business owners with expenses that surpass or fall outside the scope of traditional bonus categories, but there are certainly competing cards that offer higher rewards rates and more features to justify a $95 annual fee.
For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, please click here.
The information about the Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.
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