Capital One Spark Classic Review

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The Capital One Spark Classic card isn’t exactly the snazziest business credit card—far from it. But if your business’s credit isn’t optimal, this card can help you build your score while earning cash-back rewards at the same time.

Capital One Spark® Classic

overall rating
2.5
Capital One Spark® Classic
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
Fair - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn unlimited 1% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions.
Cash Advance APR (%) 24.74%
Cash Advance Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.7
for Fees
4.4
for Rewards
3.7
for Credit
4.2

Who is This Credit Card Best For?

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

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

If your credit isn’t good enough to be considered for other, better business cards and your business really needs a convenient way to make purchases, this is a good card to consider. It’s also handy for those who want to dip their toes into the world of credit card rewards. While the Spark Classic card does earn cash back, it isn’t enough that you’ll be missing out on much if you somehow botch redeeming your rewards. 

Even though this card is good for business owners working their way up in the credit world, it’s not so great for carrying a balance, due to its relatively high interest rate. Make sure you’re able to commit to paying off your balance in full and on time if you opt for this card. Keeping a low balance will also help your credit utilization ratio, which helps your credit score.

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Earns rewards

  • Free business spending tools

Cons

  • High interest rate

Pros Explained

  • No annual fee: If you have limited credit, you don’t have a lot of choices for business credit cards. This is one of the few business cards that doesn’t require a security deposit for those still building their credit, and you won’t need to pay an annual fee for it. 
  • Earns rewards: This card won’t earn you a ton in rewards, but you’ll earn a little bit. Plus, the rewards program is simple and easy to understand. 
  • Free business spending tools: You’ll get free credit cards for your employees, plus customized spending reports and the ability to download your transactions into common accounting software. 

Cons Explained

  • High interest rate: The biggest drawback of this card is its high interest rate. If you carry a high enough balance on this card you’ll be losing a lot of money and potentially harming your credit score in the process. 

Earning Points & Rewards

The Spark Classic rewards program is about as straightforward as they come. You’ll get a flat 1% cash back on all purchases you make, with no limits on how much you can earn. Furthermore, there are no expiration dates on those rewards, so you can let them stack up for as long as you want before redeeming them. 

There aren’t too many other options out there for business owners with limited credit, but there are a few secured business cards that offer a similar rewards program. You’ll need to consider the pros and cons of using a secured versus unsecured card in making that decision, however. The main downside of secured cards is that they require you to put down a security deposit.

Make sure to redeem any rewards before you close your card. The only exception to the “no expiration date” rule is that you’ll lose any unredeemed rewards when it comes time to close the account. 

Redeeming Rewards

The rewards you’ll earn with this card are generally redeemed as cash back in the form of either a check or a statement credit. You can also redeem your rewards for other things, too, such as gift cards or credits for a past purchase, but these options may change and the amount of cash back needed to redeem these choices might differ from the straightforward 1% cash back rate. In general, it’s probably best to plan for just a check or statement credit. 

Unlike many other cash-back programs, you can redeem your rewards for any amount at any time. To do this, you’ll need to log into your account and visit the rewards area. You can also set up handy automatic redemptions, such as on certain dates or when you reach a set value ($25, $50, $100, $200, $500, or $1,500).  

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

Since this card only offers an easy, flat-rate rewards program with no sign-up bonus, there’s not a lot you can do to maximize your rewards. But that’s OK, earning rewards is not what this card’s really designed for. To make the most of this card, use it for business purchases while keeping the balance low, and pay it off monthly. Soon enough those habits will lead to better business credit, and better business credit cards.

There is one way to really lose with the Spark Classic card, and that’s if you carry a balance month-to-month, which means you’ll pay interest at a rate that’s nearly 5 percentage points higher than the average business card APR. Unless you can commit to using this card to build sound financial and credit-building habits, steer clear. 

Excellent Perks

The Spark Classic card only comes with one perk that we think stands out from the standard perks many cards offer:

Primary rental car collision insurance: Pay for a business-related car rental with your card and you may be covered for up to the full loss of the vehicle if something happens. If you rent a car for personal reasons, however, this perk only provides secondary coverage to your other insurance. 

Other Features

  • Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases 
  • Extended Warranties
  • Travel and emergency hotline

Customer Experience

Capital One wins among the highest marks for customer service. It ranked third (out of 11 big banks) in a 2019 survey of credit card satisfaction by J.D. Power.

If you have a question or run into a snag, you can speak to a live person 24/7. Capital One also offers a useful mobile app, integrates with Alexa, provides a text-based virtual account assistant called Eno, and gives you free credit scores through its Creditwise program. 

Security Features

The Spark Classic card, like all Capital One cards, comes with plenty of security features. In addition to the free credit score, Creditwise provides credit alerts and monitors the web for identity theft. You can use the app to lock down your card if it’s stolen or you’ve misplaced it, and if you use Eno, you can get virtual account numbers for shopping online, so you don’t need to give out your real credit card number. And as with most big issuers, there’s zero liability for fraudulent purchases.

Capital One Spark Classic’s Fees

The fees that come with the Capital One Spark Classic card aren’t too egregious. There is no foreign transaction fee if you need to travel out of the country for business, but make sure you pay your bill on time. Otherwise, you’ll face a stiff penalty interest rate north of 30%.

For Capital One Spark® Classic
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CURRENT CARD
Capital One Spark® Classic
overall rating
2.5
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
Fair - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn unlimited 1% 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.