Capital One Spark 1.5% Cash Select Review

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The Spark 1.5% Cash Select card is a big player in Capital One's collection of small-business credit cards. It comes in two versions: one with a 0% intro APR offer aimed at business owners with “good” credit, and one with a welcome offer aimed at those with “excellent” credit. Here’s our take on the no-fuss, no-welcome-bonus version of the card aimed at applicants with “good” credit.

Capital One Spark Cash Select Good Credit

Overall Rating
4.5
Capital One Spark Cash Select Good Credit
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12
Cash Advance APR (%) 26.99%
Cash Advance Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
3.3
for Fees
3.6
for Rewards
4.5
for Credit
2.2

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Entrepreneur Persona
    Is turning their passion into a money-making venture See more cards
    Entrepreneur
  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
    Savvy Saver
  • Avatar for Road Warrior Persona
    Hits the road often, whether for work or play See more cards
    Road Warrior

If your business overhead costs are relatively low but you'd still like to earn something back on that spending, consider the Capital One Spark 1.5% Cash Select card. It's the smaller sibling of the Spark 2% Cash Plus, which offers a higher level of cash back but comes with an annual fee.

By our calculations, $30,000 in annual spending is the cutoff point to decide between these two cards. Below that spending level, it's better to choose the Capital One Spark 1.5% Cash Select card. Above that threshold, you'll come out ahead with the Capital One Spark 2% Cash Plus card, even after accounting for the annual fee.

There are several other small-business cards that offer cash back, too. However, this is the only one in its peer group that's easy to use abroad, making this card a clear winner if you travel a lot for work.

Pros
  • No annual fee

  • No foreign transaction fee

  • Decent 0% intro APR offer

  • Easy reward redemption options

Cons
  • No welcome bonus

  • Confusing variations of this card

Pros Explained

  • No annual fee: You won't pay an annual fee to use this card for your business. 
  • No foreign transaction fee: Visa cards are widely accepted abroad, and this card doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee.
  • Decent 0% intro APR offer: With the "good credit" version, you'll get 12 months with no interest on purchases. It's a good time to finance a big business purchase.
  • Easy reward redemption options: You can redeem your rewards whenever you want as either a check or a statement credit. You can also set up automatic redemption options for certain times of the year or when you reach certain threshold amounts.

Cons Explained

  • No welcome bonus: The "good” credit version of this card doesn't come with a welcome bonus. You can find similar cards that come with this feature, including the "excellent credit" version of this card.
  • Confusing variations of this card: The Spark 1.5% Cash Select card exists in two variations: one aimed at people with “good” credit, and one aimed at business owners with “excellent” credit. The terms for these cards are different yet they have the same name, making it confusing for business owners to know which they have, or which they're applying for.

Earning Points and Rewards

The rewards structure for the Capital One Spark 1.5% Cash Select card is about as vanilla as they come. You'll earn a flat rate of 1.5% cash back on everything you buy, with no limits or restrictions. For a card that doesn't charge an annual fee, that's right in line with many of its competitors.

Redeeming Rewards

It's also easy to redeem your cash-back rewards with this card. Your rewards will accumulate in a rewards bank in your account, so you can easily see how much you've earned. You can redeem your cash back from this rewards bank at any time, as either a statement credit or a check. You can also set up automatic redemption rules, such as redeeming your rewards when you hit certain thresholds or at certain times of the year.

How To Get the Most Out of This Card

If you want to keep things simple and not have to juggle multiple cards or worry about earning a welcome bonus, stick with this card on its own. It's a good baseline card for any business owner to have.

On the other hand, if you'd like to maximize your rewards, consider pairing this card with another one that offers a higher cash-back rate in categories that your business spends on frequently, such as office-supply stores. If your business spends more than $30,000 per year or you'd like to earn a welcome bonus, consider the Capital One Spark 2% Cash Plus card, or even another small-business card that offers a higher welcome bonus.

Excellent Perks

This card does come with some good perks that could help your business, including:

  • Travel accident insurance: Get insurance coverage for common carrier death or dismemberment on trips paid for with the card.
  • Insurance coverage for lost luggage: Get coverage up to $3,000 for luggage lost on a common carrier during a trip paid for with the card.

Capital One Spark 1.5% Cash Select's Other Features

  • Roadside assistance hotline
  • Travel and emergency hotline
  • Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
  • Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
  • Concierge for booking event tickets, travel, and other services

Customer Experience

Capital One finished third out of 11 major credit card issuers in a recent J.D. Power survey of credit card users. Capital One offers 24/7 customer support and a mobile app to easily manage your account. It also offers a free credit score update service, CreditWise, which is available to non-cardholders, too.

Security Features

The Spark 1.5% Cash Select card may be a good choice if you have employees. In addition to free employee cards, you can lock their cards from further spending if they lose the card, or if it's stolen.You can set up spending limits for each card, to prevent an unauthorized spending spree. You'll also get a virtual credit card number to use when shopping online.  

Capital One Spark 1.5% Cash Select's Fees

The Capital One Spark 1.5% Cash Select is light on fees, which is a nice breather for many small-business owners. This could be a good travel card because it has no foreign transaction fees.

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CURRENT CARD
Capital One Spark Cash Select Good Credit
overall rating
4.5
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions.
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

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  1. Capital One. "Spark 1.5% Cash Select." See "Rates & Fees Information." Accessed Nov. 12, 2021.

  2. Capital One. "Your Guide to Card Benefits." Accessed Nov. 12, 2021.

  3. J.D. Power. "While Many U.S. Credit Card Issuers Struggle to Meet Evolving Customer Expectations, Some Bright Spots Exist, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed Nov. 12, 2021.