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Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business review

Published: June 29, 2018

Partner Offer: carefully review product terms on Capital One's site before applying

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Published: June 29, 2018

Partner Offer: carefully review product terms on Capital One's site before applying

Apply Now
Ratings Policy
Business Rating:
2.5 rating
2.5 rating
2.5 / 5
Rewards Value 0.1
Annual Percentage Rate 0.5
Rewards Flexibility 4.8
Features 4.0

In a Nutshell:

The Spark Classic card doesn’t offer the lowest APR or juiciest rewards; but it does help cardholders with damaged credit build a better credit score, and earn a modest amount of cash back, so they can qualify for more generous cards over time.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate
1% cash back on every purchase

Sign-up Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($4,000 monthly spend)
$480

APR
24.74% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Cash doesn’t expire
  • No limit on the amount of cash you can earn
  • You can redeem your cash for gift cards, charitable donations or cash back
  • You can redeem as much – or as little – cash back as you want at any time
  • You can set a threshold to deposit your cashback automatically into your account

Cons

  • You can’t transfer your rewards to other loyalty programs

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fee; free employee cards; discounts on business purchases with Visa SavingsEdge; quarterly and year-end summary; downloadable purchase records; mobile app; zero fraud liability; car rental insurance; purchase protection; travel and emergency services; extended warranty

If you’re a small business owner with a blemished credit history, it can be tough to qualify for a new business card. Most business cards cater to cardholders with spotless records, shutting out those who have fallen behind in the past or are just starting out and don’t yet have a robust credit history.

The Spark Classic card from Capital One is different: It gives cardholders who may otherwise be turned down by other lenders a chance to own a moderately priced credit card. The card’s target audience includes cardholders who have defaulted on a loan within the past five years and less experienced cardholders who haven’t yet had a chance to build enough credit history to satisfy picky lenders.

Compared to most business credit cards, the Classic card’s offer isn’t great: Its rewards program is limited and its APR is well above average for a business card. But for cardholders who just need a reliable card to help them build a stronger credit history and occasionally finance larger purchases, the Spark Classic card can be a helpful tool on the road to better credit.

A modest amount of cash back

You won’t make a ton of money from this rewards card: The Spark Classic card offers just 1 percent cash back for every purchase. But if you use it regularly, you should be able to collect a significant amount. For example, if you regularly charge $1,000 a month, you’ll earn $120 by the end of the year.

No sign-up bonus

You won’t earn a sign-up bonus, though, which may be disappointing. Many business cards offer bonuses worth as much as $200 or more. But you’ll have to wait until your credit score is higher to claim that kind of bonus. Sign-up bonuses are typically reserved for consumers with excellent credit.

Substantial APR

You won’t want to borrow a large amount on this card either. The APR on the Spark Classic card is lower than what’s offered on a lot of subprime credit cards. But it’s still well above average for a business card and is pricey for carrying a balance.

All cardholders who qualify for the Spark Classic card will be charged a flat 24.74 percent APR. The average business card, by contrast, charges a minimum APR of 14.43 percent – a more than 10 percentage point difference. A $3,000 balance on this card could cost you as much as $5,000 or more in interest payments if you typically pay just the minimum amount due.

Reasonable cash advance fee and no foreign transaction fee

Despite its relatively high APR, the Spark Classic card does offer some attractive terms that could save you a significant amount of money. For example, it charges just a 3 percent cash advance fee, which is significantly lower than what many cards charge.

Our December 2017 survey found that the typical credit card charges 5 percent to withdraw cash using your credit card. Other business cards charge fees as high as 4 percent. The Spark Classic card also waives the card’s foreign transaction fee, so you or your employees can use this card abroad – or purchase goods from foreign sites – without worrying about an extra charge.

Extra perks for businesses

Like most business cards, the Spark Classic card also offers a number of business-friendly benefits that can help you manage your expenses more easily and keep a watchful eye over your employees.

For example, Capital One allows you to securely download your purchase records into a format you’re already using for accounting purposes, such as Quicken, Quickbooks or Excel. It also provides a customized year-end summary report so you review your annual spending. In addition, it provides free employee cards that you can use to track employee spending and earn additional cash back.

Visa SavingsEdge also gives you access to discounts on select purchases, such as gas, hotel, shipping and restaurant purchases.

Why get the Capital One Spark Classic card?

  • You have average credit, but need a credit card to help facilitate your payments.
  • You need a card to help you build your company’s credit score.
  • You need a payment system for your employees and don’t want to pay for individual cards.

How to use the Capital One Spark Classic card:

  • Use your account as often as possible to maximize your cash back.
  • If you carry a balance, use your cash back to help pay down the balance.
  • If you can’t afford to repay your purchases in full, try to limit how much you charge.

Our reviews and best card recommendations are based on an objective rating process and are not driven by advertising dollars. However, we do receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy

All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.

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Partner Offer: carefully review product terms on Capital One's site before applying

Apply Now