|Cash Back Rating:||3.4 / 5|
In a Nutshell:
The Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus, but cardholders do get an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all spending, unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and a generous intro APR on purchases.
1.5% cash back on all purchases
Average Yearly Rewards Value ($48,000 annual spend):
Introductory purchase APR:
0% for 12 months
16.24% – 24.24% (variable)
Other notable features: Fraud coverage, travel & emergency assistance, extended warranty, auto rental insurance, roadside assistance, lost or damaged luggage reimbursement*, purchase assurance*.
* Terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Refer to your Guide to Benefits for more details
With the Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card, small business owners can earn 1.5% cash back on purchases while skipping interest for a limited time. There’s no annual fee, and cardholders can redeem their rewards in any amount at any time because points never expire.
The Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card is geared to individuals with “good” credit scores, which typically includes FICO credit scores starting at 670. This combination of benefits makes the Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card ideal for business owners in this credit score range who want to earn flat rate rewards with the option to carry a balance interest-free during the first year.
However, because the Spark Cash Select earns rewards at a flat-rate of 1.5%, business owners who spend highly in specific categories may have the opportunity to earn more rewards with a card that lists those categories with higher rewards rates.
Why you might want the Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card
The Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card can be a winner for individuals with good credit who want to borrow money interest-free for up to one year. The fact you earn 1.5% cash back with no foreign transaction fees is also a major plus. Plus, additional cardholder perks like extended warranties and roadside assistance make this offer even more appealing to the average business owner.
0% APR on purchases for 12 months
One of the biggest perks of the Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card is its introductory 0% APR offer on purchases for 12 months. This benefit can help small business owners make needed investments into their company without being punished with exorbitant interest charges. Just keep in mind that this offer won’t last forever, and that any balances you carry beyond 12 months will begin accruing interest at the regular variable rate of 16.24% to 24.24% depending on your creditworthiness.
While some other business cards carry this feature and include some great rewards rates with it, the Spark Cash Select Intro APR card is a no frills option that provides flat-rate rewards on every purchase you make.
Earn a generous rate of 1.5% cash back
The Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card offers a decent flat rate of rewards on everything you buy, making your rewards earning straightforward. This is pretty standard for a card with no annual fee and positions you to earn quite a bit in rewards if you spend across a range of categories. For instance, if you spend $10,000 per year in all categories on the Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card, you’ll rack up $150 in rewards.
You may notice some comparative cards have higher earning rates in select categories. Take, for example, the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card which earns 5% back on internet, cable, phone services, and at office supply stores (up to $25,000 in purchases per year), 2% back on gas and dining (also up to $25,000 in purchases per year) and 1% everywhere else.
A rate of 5% back is great in those specific categories, but your expenditures in them may not make up most of your spending. Additionally, if you spend a large amount of money on goods or services not included in the higher rewards categories, you’ll only earn 1% back (as opposed to the 1.5% cash back you’ll earn with the Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR card). Depending on what you’re spending your money on, the Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR card may earn you more – especially if what you’re buying isn’t in the more rewarding categories on other cards.
No foreign transaction fees
Cardholders who choose the Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card won’t have to pay foreign transaction fees on purchases made abroad. This is a nice perk on a card that seems relatively on the low end of the business cards landscape. There are better options that include this perk, but at this price point and credit level it’s a decent offering that adds to the card’s value.
Receive a handful of cardholder benefits
Finally, consider all the complimentary perks you can get as a cardholder. The Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card comes with free employee cards, extended warranty protection on eligible purchases, roadside assistance and the flexibility to pick your own monthly due date.
Why you might want a different card
While the Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card doesn’t charge an annual fee, there are plenty of areas where it comes up short when compared to other business cards. For example, the rewards you earn can only be redeemed in one way, and there’s no sign-up bonus. Also, although you may have a 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months, the card comes with a relatively high ongoing APR after the introductory period (16.24% to 24.24% variable). If you’re looking to develop a strong rewards strategy and want to take advantage of some high value card benefits, you may want to look elsewhere.
No sign-up bonus
One of the biggest downsides of the Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card is its lack of a sign-up bonus. This becomes especially obvious when you compare this card to the alternative Capital One Spark Cash Select Card – $500 Cash Bonus offer, which lets cardholders earn $500 in bonus cash after spending $4,500 on purchases within three months of account opening. Just keep in mind that the version of the Capital One Select Card with a $500 cash bonus requires excellent credit (typically a FICO score of 740 or higher), whereas the Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card only requires good credit.
Also, be wary that other business credit cards have even higher sign-up bonuses that call for larger minimum spending requirements, but these bonuses are often well worth it – especially if you’re already going to spend the money required to earn it. Additionally, if your business has a lot of expenses every month, these bonuses can be worth more than other benefits you might receive. In this case, a sign-up bonus may appeal more to you if you pay your balance on time each month and won’t benefit from an introductory APR offer.
No bonus rewards categories
If your business spends a lot of money in specific categories every month, like office supplies, cable, and internet and phone services, you could be missing out on some great rewards with another card. Because the Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR only rewards you with 1.5% as a flat rate on all purchases, you’re not readily taking advantage of a higher rewards rate offered on another card in select categories. In fact, some business cards reward highly for expenditures that are frequent in everyday offices and these cards can net you a lot of rewards annually without having to spend large amounts of money.
If your business is operating with high spending specifically in categories that are rewarded highly on other cards, then you should calculate how much you would earn with the Capital One Spark Cash Select and a competing card each year then make a decision informed by which one earns more. But if your spending is highest in categories that aren’t promoted with high earning rates, then a flat-rate of 1.5% may appeal more to you than the 1% rate offered on other cards for purchases not included in high-earning categories.
Rewards can only be redeemed for cash back
Another disappointing aspect of the Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card could be important to you if you travel fairly often. Where other business credit cards let you redeem your rewards for travel through a portal or point transfers to airline and hotel partners, the Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card only lets you redeem rewards for cash back (cardholders can earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel).
This is disappointing on a card that requires good credit, especially when other cards in this range offer a more diverse selection of redemption options like gift cards.
High ongoing APR
Finally, remember that 0% intro APR offers don’t last forever. Once the first 12 months pass after you sign up for this card, you’ll pay a variable APR of 16.24% to 24.24% on balances you carry.
While interest rates on the lower end aren’t that bad for a credit card, paying a variable APR of 24.24% on revolving balances can become costly in a hurry. However, a variable APR also depends on your credit. If you’re in good shape with your credit score then the chances of you being subjected to the high end are low. If, on the other hand, your credit score isn’t as great as you’d like, you may end up having a higher APR.
Keep in mind, it’s a good habit to always pay on time anyway to avoid all interest charges and continue to build your credit to perhaps qualify for better cards down the road.
How does the Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card compare to other business credit cards?
Before signing up for the Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card, it’s smart to compare it to other business credit cards with similar features and rewards. The chart below shows how the Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card stacks up to three other business credit cards.
1.5% cash back on all purchases
2X miles on all purchases, plus 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
1.5% cash back on all purchases
$500 cash bonus after spending $4,500 on purchases within three months of account opening
50,000 bonus miles after spending $4,500 on purchases within three months of account opening
$750 cash bonus after spending $7,500 on purchases within three months of account opening
$0 the first year, then $95
|Other things to know||Other things to know||Other things to know|
Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card vs. Capital One Spark Cash Select – $500 Cash Bonus
The two Capital One Spark Cash Select Card offers are nearly identical since they both offer the same flat rate of 1.5% cash back with no annual fee. Both cards also offer the same set of perks, which include no foreign transaction fees, extended warranties, roadside assistance and free employee cards.
However, the Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card comes with 0% APR on purchases for a limited time, whereas the Capital One Spark Cash Select – $500 Cash Bonus offers a sign-up bonus instead. Also, keep in mind that the Capital One Spark Cash Select – $500 Cash Bonus requires excellent credit instead of good credit, so you’ll likely need a credit score of 740 or higher to qualify.
Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card vs. Capital One Spark Miles for Business
If you want to earn miles for travel instead of cash back, you should consider the Capital One Spark Miles for Business. This card offers a flat 2X miles for each dollar you spend, and you can start off with 50,000 bonus miles after spending $4,500 within three months of account opening. Up to a $100 fee credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership and two free entries into Capital One airport lounges each year sweeten the pot even more.
When it comes time to redeem rewards, you can use them for travel through Capital One or for travel statement credits. You can also transfer miles to Capital One airline and hotel partners. If you’re the type of business owner who travels frequently, this card may be the better option for you if you don’t mind paying a $95 annual fee after the first year.
Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card vs. Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
Another interesting business card option comes from Chase. With the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card, you can earn the same 1.5% cash back on all purchases while securing 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months (followed by a variable APR of 13.49% to 19.49%). This card also comes with a much higher bonus of $750 when you spend $7,500 on purchases within three months of account opening and a more generous selection of cardholder benefits. Rewards can be redeemed for more options as well, including gift cards, cash back, merchandise or travel.
On the downside, it’s worth noting that the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card does charge a 3% foreign transaction fee on purchases made abroad. However, if you’re limiting your spending to domestic transactions only, you won’t have to worry about this.
How to use the Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card
- Use the card for all your business spending and bills in order to rack up 1.5% cash back.
- Carry a balance for the first year if you need to, but have a plan to pay down your balance once 12 months are up.
- Sign up for free employee cards so you can earn rewards on every dollar your business spends.
- Redeem your rewards in any amount you want, whenever you want.
Is the Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card right for you?
If you have good credit but it’s not quite in the excellent range, the Capital One Spark Cash Select Intro APR Card could be a good fit. After all, you’ll get the chance to borrow interest-free for the first year after account opening, and you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on every dollar your business spends while you build up your credit to qualify for cards that include sign-up bonuses or boosted rewards rates. If you’re still relatively new to credit cards or aren’t sure what your business’s most reliably spending categories are, using this card for a year will be a great way to narrow in on your specific credit needs. Ultimately, this will inform your next credit card choice.
If you have very good or excellent credit, on the other hand, you may be able to qualify for a different business credit card with a sign-up bonus, more cash back for your business spending and more perks. If you travel often for business or leisure, you can also look more closely at business cards that offer more points on travel or ways to redeem your points for airfare, hotels or rental cars. All said, not every business or cardholder is the same. Make sure to compare all the best business credit cards out there before you decide what’s right for you.
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