Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
This card is best for business owners who travel, but not just any traveling business owner. We recommend this card to business owners with excellent credit who are looking for an easy, no-fuss travel rewards program. There are no categories to track, and you can redeem your points whenever you want, even for travel purchases you’ve already made with your card.
Good bonus for new cardholders
Annual fee waived the first year
Competitive rewards earning rate
Lots of account management tools
Poor options for transferring miles
No introductory 0% interest offer
- Good bonus for new cardholders: You could earn up to 50,000 bonus miles by spending at least $4,500 within the first three months. That’s redeemable for $500 worth of travel.
- Annual fee waived for the first year: The Capital One Spark Miles card’s annual fee isn’t out of line compared with its competitors. Even so, you won’t have to worry about paying it for the first year.
- Competitive rewards earning rate: You’ll earn 2X points for every dollar spent. You can earn more points with other category-specific cards, but as far as a flat-rate card goes, that’s pretty good.
- Lots of account management tools: You’ll get free employee cards with the Spark Miles card, and you’ll also get handy spend tracking features like year-end summaries, a list of recurring transactions, the ability to sync with popular accounting software, and even the ability to choose your own payment due date.
- Poor options for transferring miles: Capital One only has 14 airline partners you can transfer your miles to. Still, because these partner airlines have such a high point value, this is actually one of the highest-value redemption options for this card—as long as you can use these specific airlines, that is.
- No introductory 0% interest offer: An introductory zero-interest deal is a nice feature for businesses that want a temporary reprieve from financing charges on large purchases. Unlike some other business cards, this one doesn’t have such an offer, so you’ll owe interest on purchases if you carry a balance.
Capital One Spark Mile’s Bonus for New Cardholders
You don’t have to look far to find richer new-cardholder bonuses than this one. Still, the bonus with this card—50,000 miles after spending $4,500 in the first three months—is decent. Since each mile is worth 1 cent when redeemed using the travel purchase eraser, this means you could earn up to $500 towards travel. To make sure you’ll be able to earn this bonus, ask yourself: Can your business spend and pay off at least $1,500 per month for the next three months?
Earning Miles & Rewards
Earning rewards is easy with the Capital One Spark Miles card. You’ll earn a flat 2 miles per $1 spent on all purchases. You also earn 5 miles per $1 spent through Capital One Travel, the issuer’s travel booking portal. The catch is that these extra miles only apply to hotel and rental car bookings paid for through the site, not airline tickets or other purchases you might make while at the hotel.
Your rewards won’t expire (as long as you redeem them before you close the card), and there are no blackout dates.
You have three ways to redeem your miles for travel with the Capital One Spark Miles card: to cover previous travel purchases, to book travel via Capital One, and to transfer to a loyalty program belonging to a travel partner.
Travel Statement Credits
The easiest option is to simply make your travel purchases anywhere you want with the card, and then use Capital One’s “Purchase Eraser” tool in your online account to receive a statement credit for those purchases. Your miles are worth 1 cent each when used this way.
If you opt for the Purchase Eraser tool, make sure you file for a statement credit within 90 days of making the purchase. After you’ve done that, you’ll see a statement credit within two to three business days.
Book Travel Through Capital One’s Rewards Center
You can use your miles to pay for travel purchases this way at a value of 1 cent per mile.
Transfer Miles to Travel Partners
Surprisingly, this is actually the best way to wring the most value from each of your miles. You can transfer your miles to one of 14 airline partners at a rate of 0.5 or 0.75 airline partner points per mile. For example, 1,000 Miles from your Spark card equals 750 points in the Air France loyalty program. And because each of the points in the partner program have their own values, your Spark Miles card miles are actually worth the most when first transferred to Air Canada or Avianca (1.64 cents per mile), or Air France (1.16 cents per mile), specifically.
You can also redeem miles or for cash back through statement credits or a check, but each mile is only worth half a cent that way. Or you can buy gift cards at 0.8 cents per point. We don’t recommend either option.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
You can maximize the value you get from this card by making sure you can meet the $4,500 spending requirement within the first three months in order to get the full 50,000-mile new-cardholder bonus without overspending. You don’t want to spend more than you normally would or go into debt to reach this spending level because that defeats the purpose.
After that, be sure to book hotels and rental cars via Capital One Travel to earn 5 miles per $1 spent. If it makes sense for your business- travel plans, consider transferring your points to either Air France, Avianca, or Air Canada in order to stretch the value of your points even further.
Capital One Spark Miles’s Excellent Perks
If you use your card to pay for these purchases, you could receive the following benefits that the editors of The Balance consider “excellent”:
- Global Entry/TSA Precheck application fee reimbursement: Skip through airport security with government pre-approval. You’ll receive reimbursement in the form of a statement credit within two months. You’re eligible for this credit once every four years.
- Primary rental car collision insurance: If you book a rental for business purposes, this coverage may provide primary insurance against damage up to the full cost of the car. If you’re not on business and it’s a personal rental, however, this insurance is only secondary to other policies you might have.
Capital One Spark Miles’s Other Features
- Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
- Extended warranties
- Travel and emergency hotline
Capital One ranked just below average in the latest J.D. Power survey of credit card customer satisfaction. It was fifth out of 11 issuers rated, scoring 808 of a possible 1,000 points.
You can manage your account through its mobile app, get answers from Eno, a text-based chatbot assistant, or sync your account with Alexa for another way to get help from a ‘bot. If those options fail or you’d really just rather speak to a person, there’s always Capital One’s 24/7 customer service hotline. Its app is high-rated, coming in second on another J.D. Power survey. This could be especially handy for business managers on the go.
Capital One provides free credit scores via its CreditWise credit monitoring service. You don’t have to be a customer of Capital One to sign up.
Capital One provides plenty of options on the security front as well. With Eno, you can instantly get fraud alerts. You can use virtual credit card numbers when shopping online, so you don’t have to give out your real number. If you (or an employee) ever lose your card, you can also lock it down right from the app until you’ve resolved the situation. Capital One monitors account activity for fraud, and there’s zero liability for fraudulent purchases.
Capital One Spark Miles’s Fees
Capital One doesn’t charge any fees that are out of line with industry standards, although the penalty interest rate is steep. We also like this card because it doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee, which no travel rewards credit card should.