The Capital One Savor Rewards card is ideal for someone with excellent credit who splurges on dining and entertainment, and who will take advantage of the sign-up bonus by meeting the minimum spending requirement in the first three months.
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
Annual fee in year two and beyond
Low rewards rate on non-dining, entertainment, and grocery purchases
- High—and unlimited—rewards on dining and entertainment: The Capital One Savor Rewards’ most impressive feature is its 4% rewards rate in certain categories. Most other credit cards restrict the amount you can earn in high-rate categories, but this one allows cardholders to earn unlimited rewards at every level.
- No foreign transaction fee: Using your credit card for international purchases won’t incur extra fees, which is a big win for frequent travelers.
- Easy rewards redemption: You can redeem cash back in any amount, 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 in year two and beyond: The $95 annual fee is waived the first year, which provides tremendous value in the first 12 months. After that, 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.
- Low rewards rate on non-dining, entertainment, and grocery purchases: Put other charges on a card with a flat rewards rate higher than 1% or a different set of higher reward categories.
Capital One Savor Rewards Welcome Bonus
You’ll get a $300 bonus when you spend $3,000 within three months of your rewards membership enrollment date. Once you’ve spent enough to qualify for the bonus, Capital One will apply it to your rewards balance within two billing cycles. The bonus may not be available to existing or previous Capital One cardholders.
Earning Points & Rewards
The Capital One Savor Rewards 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.
You can get an even higher rewards rate of 8% on tickets you buy with your Capital One Savor Rewards card on the online marketplace Vivid Seats through May 31, 2020.
Some purchases, however, may not qualify for cash back at the level you’d expect. Cash-back rewards are paid based on the business’ merchant category code, which means those that are part of larger establishments—like restaurants within hotels—may not be categorized as dining. That also means that purchase 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.
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—not in specific increments, like other cards may require. You can also redeem rewards as a credit for previous purchases or for gift cards, though you may not get the same value for them if you do.
You can set up automatic redemption once your rewards hit certain thresholds, like $50 or $100, or at a particular date each year. In some cases, you can even transfer rewards to other Capital One credit card accounts. This is especially helpful if you have multiple Capital One credit cards that you’re using to max out your rewards potential.
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
To maximize your rewards, make sure you use your card for qualifying purchases. The 4% rewards rate doesn’t apply to purchases made through a third-party site 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.
You may not receive the dining or entertainment rewards rate on purchases made through third-party accounts like Venmo or PayPal that a vendor at, say, a music festival might use, or when you use your card on a mobile card reader or through a digital wallet.
This card is best paired with one that earns rewards at a higher rate on travel purchases or a card that earns a flat cash-back rate higher than 1% on all purchases.
Capital One Savor Rewards’ Excellent Perks
The Balance 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.
Capital One Savor Rewards’ Other Features
- Concierge for booking event tickets, travel, and other services
- Extended warranty
- Travel assistance
Applicants who meet certain credit requirements could qualify for these additional World Elite Mastercard benefits:
- Price protection
- Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
- Mastercard Travel Services, which includes complimentary travel planning
Capital One scored just higher than the industry average in customer satisfaction on J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, giving it a ranking of fourth of 11 credit card issuers. You can view and monitor your credit score for free through CreditWise 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 stands out for its lack of foreign transaction fees and the fact that its annual fee is waived for the first year. Make sure you regularly spend enough to counteract the annual fee after that.