The Capital One Savor Rewards card is best for someone with good or better credit who spends a fair amount on dining and entertainment. In fact, cardholders who spend the national average in those categories can earn significant cash back. Consumers who can meet the minimum spending requirement in the first three months to earn the new-cardholder bonus will get even more value.
Opt for the Capital One Savor Rewards over its sister card, the Capital One SavorOne Rewards, if you spend more than $9,500 a year, or $792 a month, on dining and entertainment. At that point, you’ll earn more cash back thanks to the Savor Rewards’ higher rewards rate, even accounting for its annual fee.
High—and unlimited—rewards on dining and entertainment
No foreign transaction fee
Easy rewards redemption
Low rewards-earning rate on non-bonus spending categories
- High—and unlimited—rewards on dining and entertainment: The Capital One Savor Rewards’ most impressive feature is its 4% rewards rate for dining and entertainment purchases. Only a few competing cards can meet or beat this rate in any category. Plus, earnings are not capped at annual or quarterly spending thresholds.
- No foreign transaction fee: Using your credit card for international purchases won’t incur extra fees, which is a win for frequent travelers.
- Easy rewards redemption: You can redeem cash back in any amount at any time. If you don’t want to think about redeeming your rewards, you can set up automatic redemption and Capital One will do the work for you.
- Annual fee: You’ll need to spend at least $2,375 on dining and entertainment each year to earn enough cash back to make up for the annual fee. If you're someone who spends a lot on such purchases, that should be no problem. If you don't want to worry about that annual cost, the Capital One SavorOne card may be a better option.
- Low rewards-earning rate on non-bonus spending categories: Rewards earnings are good for dining, entertainment, and even grocery shopping. But you should put other charges on a different card that has a rewards rate higher than the 1% this card offers.
Capital One Savor Bonus for New Cardholders
You’ll get a $300 cash bonus when you spend $3,000 within three months of account opening. Once you’ve spent enough to qualify for the bonus, Capital One will apply it to your rewards balance within two billing cycles.
Earning Points & Rewards
The Capital One Savor Rewards card is an excellent choice if you love to hit the town. You’ll earn an unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores, and 1% on all other purchases. Purchases made at restaurants, cafes, bars, lounges, fast-food chains, and bakeries count as dining purchases.
Many rewards card issuers have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by offering cardholders additional ways to earn rewards. For details on this and other rewards card changes, see “Credit Card Deals Help You Earn and Use Travel Benefits During COVID-19.”
Some purchases, however, may not qualify for cash back at the level you’d expect. Cash-back rewards are paid based on the business’s merchant category code, which means restaurants that are part of larger establishments—like restaurants within hotels—may not be categorized as dining. That also means those purchases won’t receive the highest-rate rewards. Some superstores, like Walmart and Target, are not considered grocery stores and won’t qualify for 2% cash back.
You can get an even higher rewards rate of 8% on tickets you buy with your Capital One Savor Rewards card via the online marketplace Vivid Seats through Jan. 31, 2022.
The Capital One Savor Rewards makes it easy to redeem cash back. You can do so for a statement credit or cash at any time and for any amount. You’re not restricted to redeeming in specific increments, like some other cards require. You can also redeem rewards as a statement credit that reimburses you for previous purchases, or use them to pay for gift cards, though you may not get the same value for them if you do.
You can set up automatic redemptions that kick in at certain times of the year or once your rewards hit certain thresholds, like $50 or $100. In some cases, you can even transfer rewards to other Capital One credit card accounts.
Rewards don’t expire for as long as your card is open and in good standing.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Make sure you earn the new cardholder bonus by spending $3,000 in the first three months after account opening. This threshold should be in reach for most new cardholders. Spending at the same monthly level as the average American household in just the three bonus categories (restaurants, entertainment, and grocery stores) would almost add up to $3,000.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2018 the average American household spent $3,459 on dining out, $3,226 on entertainment, and $4,464 on groceries.
After earning the bonus, continue to use the card in the 4% and 2% spending categories. Based on BLS data on Americans’ average annual spending, cardholders can expect to earn $356 in cash back annually just from bonus category spending. And earnings will increase, without limit, if your spending is higher than average.
Note that the 4% rewards rate doesn’t apply to purchases made through digital wallets or at a vendor that isn’t categorized under one of the qualifying dining or entertainment merchandise category codes. Additionally, grocery purchases made at gas stations, convenience stores, warehouse clubs, discount stores, and superstores will only earn 1% cash back.
Finally, consider pairing this card with another card that earns better than 1% cash back, whether in other common spending categories such as gas, or as a flat rate for all spending. (1.5% flat rate cards are common and 2% cards are available, too.)
Capital One Savor Rewards’ Excellent Perks
The Balance's editors have identified these benefits as standouts among rewards credit cards:
- Travel accident insurance: The Capital One Savor comes with automatic travel accident insurance when you use your credit card to purchase your fare.
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance: If you’ve charged the cost of a trip on your card and it’s interrupted or canceled due to circumstances beyond your control, you can be reimbursed for up to $1,500 worth of non-refundable expenses.
- Insurance coverage for lost or delayed baggage: If your luggage is lost or damaged, you could be reimbursed for up to $1,500 of your loss. If your luggage arrives four hours or more later than you do, you’ll receive up to $100 per day for up to three days as reimbursement for the cost of essentials.
- Cellphone coverage: Pay your wireless bill with your card and get up $800 of secondary insurance coverage for a stolen or damaged cellphone.
Capital One Savor Rewards’ Other Features
- Extended warranties
- Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
- Lowest advertised price match
- Refund when merchant won’t accept returned item
- Travel and emergency hotline
- Concierge for booking event tickets, travel, and other services
- Roadside assistance hotline
- Access to special events and dining experiences
Capital One was rated “Better than most” in customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, ranking third of 11 credit card issuers. You can view and monitor your credit score for free through the CreditWise tool from Capital One, which is available to everyone over the age of 18, not just Capital One customers.
Like most card companies, Capital One offers $0 fraud liability for unauthorized charges if your card is stolen or lost. You can also use the mobile app to lock your card with a few taps if it’s been misplaced or stolen.
Additionally, with Capital One’s virtual card numbers, you can shop online more securely. Generate a card number directly on a check-out page and keep the real one to yourself.
Capital One Savor Rewards’ Fees
The Capital One Savor Rewards doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee, which is great considering this isn't a travel rewards card. Just make sure you regularly spend enough to counteract the annual fee after that with cash back.