|Business Rating:||4.0 / 5|
|Annual Percentage Rate||3.0|
|Issuer Customer Experience||4.0|
In a Nutshell:
This no-annual-fee business credit card carries a generous sign-up bonus and gets you 1.5% cash back for every dollar you spend, making it a good choice for low-maintenance cardholders.
Average Yearly Rewards Value ($4,000 monthly spend)
Capital One Customer Service Ratings
Other Notable Features: Free employee cards, quarterly and year-end summary, downloadable purchase records, fraud coverage, no foreign transaction fees, auto rental insurance, purchase security, travel and emergency assistance, roadside assistance, lost luggage replacement, complimentary concierge service. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply.
As its name implies, the Capital One Spark Cash Select – $500 Cash Bonus is designed for small-business owners on the hunt for rewards. One of two new versions of the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business, the Capital One Spark Cash Select – $500 Cash Bonus carries a sign-up bonus instead of the intro APR offer you’ll find on the Capital One Spark Cash Select – 0% intro APR for 12 months.
While it’s unfortunate that new cardholders can no longer enjoy both of these benefits on a single card (as you could with the legacy Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business), this card’s boosted sign-up bonus should at least make choosing between the two Spark Cash Select cards easy: If you need an intro APR to finance large business expenses or free up cash flow, the Capital One Spark Cash Select – 0% intro APR for 12 months is the obvious choice. If not, this version will earn you solid cash back in both the short and long term.
The Capital One Spark Cash Select – $500 Cash Bonus also stacks up pretty well against competing business cards. While it’s not the most rewarding option and its perks fall flat compared to those you’ll find on luxury business rewards cards, the Capital One Spark Cash Select – $500 Cash Bonus makes for a good all-purpose business rewards card thanks to its simplicity and low cost.
The sign-up bonus spending requirement is reasonable based on the average small-business owner’s expenses, the card features a rewards program that’s easy to use and understand and Capital One even throws free employee cards into the mix to make maximizing your rewards painless. And since the card charges no annual fee, you can keep it indefinitely without worrying about whether its rewards and perks justify the cost.
Read on to learn more about this new take on the Capital One Spark Cash Select and see if it’s a good fit for your wallet.
Solid sign-up bonus
While the Capital One Spark Cash Select lacks an intro APR offer, it makes up for this with a generous sign-up bonus. You can earn a $500 bonus when you spend $4,500 in your first three months. That’s more than double the legacy card’s bonus of just $200 after a $3,500 spend in three months.
While this is not the most generous sign-up bonus you can find on a business card, even a no annual fee business card, it’s very competitive. Many cards offering a bonus this high come with an annual fee or a hefty spending requirement. The Chase Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card, for example, offers a $750 sign-up bonus, but you’ll need to spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening – $3,000 more than is required to reach the Capital One card’s bonus. Meanwhile, the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card earns a $250 statement credit after you make $3,000 in purchases in the first three months.
Decent ongoing rewards rate
While this card’s ongoing rewards rate of 1.5% back isn’t bad, it’s not very impressive either.
In fact, you could wind up with more cash back even while paying a $95 annual fee (after your first year) on the Capital One Spark Cash for Business (no longer available) since it offers a full 2% back on all purchases. For example, if you spend $48,000 per year on business expenses with the Capital One Spark Cash Select – $500 Cash Bonus, you’ll wind up with about $720 in cash back, whereas you’d earn $960 cash back with the Spark Cash for Business. Even when you subtract the $95 annual fee in year two and beyond, you come out on top with the Spark Cash for Business with $865.
You may also be able to earn more by taking advantage of a higher cash back rate in specific categories, such as the 5% cash back you can earn with the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year. If your business spends a ton on expenses such as telephone services or office supply stores, it may be wise to seek out a card that offers a bonus rate on those purchases.
Even so, a flat 1.5% cash back will make it easy to consistently earn unlimited rewards on all your spending, which may be attractive for business owners who don’t want to keep track of rotating categories or cash back limits.
No annual fee is hard to beat
Though other cards may be lucrative if you maximize rewards and spend strategically, the fact that this card carries no annual fee makes it a safer choice, especially if your business spending varies heavily from year to year. Since you won’t ever have to think about offsetting an annual fee with rewards or perks, you can simply use your card for business expenses worry-free and build up a nice balance of cash back over time.
Simple, but limited rewards
When it comes to the rewards you earn with the Spark Cash Select card, there are both pros and cons to consider. A huge benefit is that you can use your rewards however you want with no restrictions.
Once you start racking up rewards with this card, you can redeem them for statement credits at any time for any amount. This means you can save up rewards for a long time to cover a large expense or redeem rewards in small amounts as you please.
The card also lets you redeem rewards for charitable donations. Plus, rewards don’t expire for the life of the account, which means you won’t have to worry about using them on a specific timeline.
On the negative side, the card is not ideal for travel enthusiasts. You can’t transfer points to airline or hotel partners, for example. You can use your rewards for travel if you decide to redeem them for statement credits to cover travel expenses (cardholders can earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel), but you won’t receive any added value for doing so as you would with some travel rewards cards. No matter how you redeem the points you earn, you’ll get a flat redemption value of 1 cent per point.
If you’re someone who likes to travel and wants to glean more value from your points to cover travel expenses, you may want to consider a travel credit card instead of the Spark Cash Select card.
Other card benefits
Despite the fact this card doesn’t have an annual fee, it still comes with a surprising number of benefits, including benefits for business owners, such as free employee cards. Business owners can also benefit from receiving a quarterly and year-end summary of their spending as well as purchase records they can download.
Other card benefits include zero fraud liability, no foreign transaction fees, auto rental insurance, purchase security, warranty manager/extended protection, travel and emergency assistance and roadside assistance. Cardholders will also get access to a complimentary concierge service, lost luggage replacement and travel and emergency assistance. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply.
Why get the Spark Cash Select card?
- You want to earn a flat rate of cash rewards without worrying about bonus categories or earning limits.
- You prefer easy redemptions such as cash back.
- You’re not interested in earning more lucrative rewards for travel right now.
- You don’t need an intro APR to finance purchases or free up cash flow (if you do, consider the Capital One Spark Cash Select – 0% intro APR for 12 months)
How to Use the Spark Cash card:
- Use your card for all your business expenses to earn a flat rate of 1.5% cash back.
- Book travel and hotel stays through Capital One to earn unlimited 5% cash back.
- Spend at least $4,500 on your card within three months of account opening to earn an extra $500 in bonus cash.
- Get free employee cards for all your workers so you can rack up cash back on their purchases.
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