Who is This Credit Card Best For?
Is turning their passion into a money-making venture
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need
Hits the road often, whether for work or play
The Capital One Spark Cash Card is a good pick for small business owners with excellent credit who want a decent rate of return but don’t have the time or energy for complicated rewards schemes. If your employees rarely travel or entertain, or you need a companion card to your travel rewards card, you may prefer this card’s simple, hassle-free rewards structure—a steady 2% cash back on everything.
Good cash-back rate
Huge sign-up bonus for big spenders
$95 annual fee after the first year
No bonus rewards for travel or dining
- Good cash-back rate: A cash-back rate of 2% is unusual. Other flat-rate business cards award 1.5% cash back (though they may not have an annual fee).
- Huge sign-up bonus for big spenders: New cardholders will get as much as $2,000 if they spend $50,000 within the first six months ($5,000 of that must be in the first three months.)
- Simple redemption: As with most cash-back credit cards, redeeming your rewards is very straightforward. You don’t have to worry about spending categories or fluctuating point values that can make even the best rewards programs a headache to master.
- $95 annual fee after the first year: Since many competitors don’t charge an annual fee, if your monthly business charges are modest, you may be better off with one of those cards. Let’s say you charge $1,000 a month. You’ll earn $240 in cash back in a year using the Capital One Spark Cash Card, but give $95 of it back in the annual fee, for net earnings of $145. If you charged the same amount to a 1.5% card with no annual fee, you’d earn $180 in cash back—a better deal. The good news is you have some time to assess your spending since this card waives the annual fee the first year.
- No bonus rewards for travel or dining: Choosing a flat-rate card limits your earnings ability on certain types of purchases—some business cards award as much as 3% to 5% back on travel, restaurants, or office supplies—so if your employees take clients out a lot or need to fly regularly, you may be better off using a different card, or using this one as a companion card.
- Few perks: Some business cards geared to travel offer perks such as priority boarding, free checked baggage, airport lounge access, room upgrades, or credits for faster security screening. By choosing the Capital One Spark Cash Card, you’ll be giving up certain comfort and money-saving benefits.
The Capital One Spark Cash Card’s Sign-Up Bonus
You can earn a whopping $2,000 for being a new cardholder, though the spending requirements are steep. There are two one-time sign-up offers: If you charge $5,000 within three months of opening your card, you'll get a $500 bonus. And if you charge a total of $50,000 within six months, you'll get an additional $1,500 bonus.
Earning Points & Rewards
Earning cash with the Capital One Spark Cash Card is easy: every charge you make will earn 2% cash back—more than other flat-rate cards—and there’s no limit on how much you can earn. (Cash advances and balance transfers are excluded.) Your cash won’t expire as long as your account is open.
Redeeming your cash is simple too; your cash is awarded either in a statement credit or check. You can request your cash at any time (even if it’s less than $10), or you can set up automatic redemption when you’ve earned set amounts ($25, $50, $100, $200, $500 or $1,500,) or on specific dates. You can redeem your cash for gift cards too. You may also be allowed to transfer your cash to other Capital One accounts, depending on the account. However, you can’t transfer your earnings to other loyalty programs.
How to Get the Most Out Of This Card
Spend at least $5,000 in the first three months ($1,667 a month) to qualify for the $500 sign-up bonus and maximize earnings at 2% cash back. And if you've got the budget, spend $50,000 in your first six months to earn the additional $1,500. (Cards for your employees are free, so pool expenses as much as possible.) Once you’ve paid $95 to renew your card, spend at least $2,000 a month to make the fee worth choosing this card over others offering 1.5% cash back with no fee.
The Capital One Spark Cash Card’s Excellent Perks
We think these are the more exceptional benefits of this Visa Signature Business card:
- Primary car rental coverage: Unlike many cards that only offer secondary coverage (meaning you have to tap your personal insurance first), the Capital One Spark Cash Card offers primary collision and theft coverage on any car rental you pay for with your card. Just decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver.
- Lost baggage protection: You’ll be reimbursed up to $3,000 if your checked or carry-on luggage is lost or stolen and you’ve paid your airfare with the card.
- Travel accident insurance: You’ll be insured up to $250,000 if you’re injured or killed while traveling with a ticket purchased with the card.
The Capital One Spark Cash Card’s Other Features
These are some of the card’s other noteworthy benefits:
- Extended warranties
- Coverage for stolen or damaged purchases
- Lowest advertised price match
- Concierge for booking event tickets, travel, and other services
- Travel and emergency hotline
- Customized spending limits for individual employees
Capital One tied for third out of 11 U.S. card issuers in J.D. Power’s 2019 credit card satisfaction survey, getting an "about average" score.
You might particularly like being able to text questions to Capital One’s virtual assistant Eno to get real-time information about your account. You can also monitor your personal VantageScore from TransUnion using Capital One’s free CreditWise tool. (This doesn’t apply to business scores, though.)
Capital One has some noteworthy security features. You can protect your credit card details by using disposable credit card numbers when you shop online, and if you sign up for Capital One’s CreditWise service, the company will notify you if it detects your Social Security number is being used by someone else. You’ll also be notified if Capital One finds a change on your TransUnion credit report, like recent inquiries or delinquent accounts.
The Capital One Spark Cash Card’s Fees That Stand Out
The Capital One Spark Cash Card doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee like many cards do. There is also no foreign transaction fee, which is a nice perk for a cash-back card. Be careful of late payments, though. The card’s penalty APR is exceptionally high at 31.65%.