Spark Cash From Capital One Review
Spark® Cash from Capital One® is one of the three cash back rewards business credit cards offered by Capital One. With an unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases, Spark Cash promises the highest rewards value, followed by Spark Cash Select at a rate of 1.5% back, and Spark Classic at 1% back.
Because of its flat rewards rate, Spark Cash is a simple and easy way for businesses to save a little money without dealing with rewards tiers or point values. And, at 2% cash back, you’ll be able to save more money than you could with most flat-rate cash back business cards. However, because Capital One charges a $95 annual fee, some businesses will be able to save more money with a card that doesn’t carry an annual fee, such as Spark Cash Select.
Is Spark Cash from Capital One the business credit card for you? Read on to find out!
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Spark Cash From Capital One At A Glance
Spark® Cash from Capital One®
$95 ($0 the first year)
You must have excellent credit to qualify for Spark Cash. Per its website, Capital One considers those with excellent credit to meet these qualifications:
- Never declared bankruptcy or defaulted on a loan
- Not have been more than 60 days late on any credit card, medical bill, or loan in the past year
- Maintained a loan or credit card for three+ years with a credit limit above $5,000
When it comes to distilling your credit strength into a singular number, those with a score above 740 are generally considered to have excellent credit. Note that Capital One does not market a specific qualifying minimum credit score for the Spark Cash card. Not sure about your credit score? Find out what it is with one of these free websites.
Rewards For Spending
Spark Cash features a minimal rewards scheme that won’t cause headaches when trying to calculate how much cash back you’ll get. Plus, it comes bundled with some solid early spend bonuses too.
An Early Spend Bonus Worth Up To $2,000
Right now, Capital One is offering a limited time offer with the Spark Cash card that’s worth up to $2,000. To start, you can collect $500 if you spend $5,000 within your first three months. On top of that, Capital One is dishing out an extra $1,500 to those that break the $50,000 spending mark within their first six months. Those offers can be combined to snag the full $2,000.
If you spend enough to hit $50,000 in purchases within six months, getting a Spark Cash card is a no-brainer at the moment. $2,000 in cash bonuses is almost unheard in the credit card realm, so you can save plenty with this card over a similar one. Of course, if you’ll struggle to hit the $50K bullseye, you probably won’t want to factor in that early spend bonus when deciding on your next business card. Note that this is a limited time offer, so Capital One may swap it out for a different one at any point in the future.
After you’ve qualified for a bonus, you’ll receive the reward within two billing cycles. Unsurprisingly, Spark Cash’s early spend bonus may not be available to those who are current or previous Spark cardholders.
Unlimited 2% Cash Back On All Purchases
There’s no calculus required when it comes to Spark Cash’s base reward scheme: You get an unlimited 2% cash back for every purchase you make with the card. That’s it — no further math needed.
A flat 2% cash back rate is a very generous proposal, especially considering that it’s for all purchases. Many cards do offer the same (or higher) cash back rates; however, these cards usually require spending within specific categories to earn bonus rates. So if you spend across a wide array of categories, Spark Cash’s reward scheme could be a perfect fit for your business.
Note that Capital One does not consider cash advances, balance transfers, and checks used to access your account purchases and so won’t receive 2% cash back on those options.
With the Spark Cash card, your primary mode of redemption will be cash back. However, Capital One includes a few other ways to get rewarded for your spending.
Earn Rewards As Cash Back
As Spark Cash is a cash back card, you can unsurprisingly redeem your rewards for cash. You can either choose to redeem rewards at your convenience or set your account to automatically redeem rewards on a periodic basis.
Capital One also provides a way to set an automatic redemption trigger, which can be edited through the company’s online portal or by contacting the rewards center. Available options for automatic redemption include a specific time each calendar year or when a spending threshold (such as $25, $100, or $500) has been met.
Multiple Redemption Options
Besides cash back, Capital One enables other redemption methods. Available options include credits for previous purchases, gift cards, and more. Be aware that other kinds of rewards might be worth less (or more) than cash back rewards.
Rewards Don’t Expire
Your rewards will not expire while your account is open, and they can be moved to other Capital One cards. Note that should you close your account, any unredeemed rewards will be trashed.
Cardholders have access to Capital One’s business benefits as well as those offered by Visa Business Benefits. Both of these benefit programs will give you fairly comprehensive coverage. Many included perks cover travel and shopping, even though the card isn’t specifically marketed for those purposes.
Free Employee Cards
A nice bonus for any business credit card, Spark Cash will let you dole out free cards to your employees. Once your employees have their card, you’ll be able to collect all the rewards from their purchases. You’ll also be able to customize spending limits for employee cards and view employee-made transactions as soon as they’re posted.
Fraud Coverage & Alerts
Capital One markets “business-grade protection” when it comes to protecting your account. You’ll be able to receive alerts (via email, text message, or phone call) if Capital One notices any fraudulent or suspicious charges on your account.
This card also includes standard $0 fraud liability coverage. With this protection, you won’t be on the hook for unauthorized charges if your card goes missing.
On top of the above security perks, you’ll also be able to lock an employee’s card should one become lost or stolen.
Account & Business Management
A Capital One card promises an array of tools that can help you manage your account. You’ll be able to pick your own monthly due date, set up automatic payments, and get an itemized year-end report summarizing your annual spending.
Other account management features include a recurring transaction list that shows monthly charges to your business credit card for repeating payments like subscriptions or bills. Capital One also records a plethora of transaction details when available. These details can include tidbits such as addresses, logos, phone numbers, and maps of merchants you’ve made purchases with.
Finally, purchase records can be downloaded into multiple formats, such as Quicken, QuickBooks, and Excel.
Visa Business Benefits
Because the Spark Cash card includes Visa Business Benefits, you’ll receive access to a few perks not included in Capital One’s core benefits package. Most notable is purchase security and extended protection. With this benefit, you may be eligible to have an item replaced, repaired, or reimbursed within 90 days of purchase. You also gain access to an extended warranty program that can double the length of a manufacturer’s warranty (up to one additional year).
Besides protecting your purchases, Visa Business Benefits will provide you with a worldwide 24/7 emergency card replacement service. You’ll also have access to an auto damage waiver, which will cover you against damage due to collision or theft on eligible rental cars.
The Spark Cash card comes with numerous other benefits. These include:
- Rental collision coverage
- Travel assistance
- Roadside assistance
- Online/mobile app account access
- Eno, Capital One’s 24/7 virtual assistant
Rates & Fees
Like with any credit card, you can expect to see a few fees bundled into your agreement with Capital One’s Spark Cash card. You’ll also want to keep in mind that carrying a balance will incur interest — there’s no 0% introductory rate with this card.
With the Spark Cash card you can expect an APR of 18.49% (variable). While APRs are never a fun facet of credit cards, this number is fairly competitive when compared to other cards on the market. Of course, you can avoid paying the APR as long as you stay on top of monthly payments.
Annual Fee Waived The First Year
Spark Cash’s annual fee of $95 will impact the amount you save with this card. However, it is waived the first year, which means that you’ll be collecting cash back for the first 12 months without the card costing you anything.
To recoup the cost of the annual fee, you will have to spend at least $4,750 per year*. With that in mind, business owners will be able to earn more from Capital One’s no annual fee cash back business card, Spark Cash Select, if they spend less than $19,000 per year*. After $19,000 spent, cardholders will be able to earn more from this credit card, despite the fee.
*How we got these numbers: You must spend at least $4,750 per year to recoup the cost of the annual fee: $95 / 2% cash back = $4,750. You must spend at least $19,000 to earn more cash back from Spark Cash than Spark Cash Select: for Spark Cash: $19,001 × 2% cash back rate – $95 annual fee = $285.02 cash back; for Spark Cash Select: $19,001 × 1.5% cash back rate = $285.015 cash back.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Like all Capital One business cards, Spark Cash does not carry foreign transaction fees. Because this means you’ll be able to spend outside the US without an associated fee, business travelers that venture overseas frequently may like the Spark Cash card.
You also won’t need to worry about balance transfer fees, although you will dish out some extra dough when it comes to cash advances: either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater. Late payments will incur a $39 fee, as well as a penalty APR.
Is Spark Cash From Capital One Right For You?
Spark® Cash from Capital One®
$95 ($0 the first year)
You might want to apply if…
- You make purchases in a wide array of categories.
- You’ll spend enough to qualify for the bonus offer.
- You can take advantage of the card’s perks, like free employee cards, no foreign transaction fee, or extended warranty.
You might want to look for a different card if…
- You have one or two specific spending categories that match better with a card that offers higher reward rates.
- You spend enough to offset the $95 annual fee.
- You won’t qualify for the card because you lack excellent credit.
Business Credit Card Rating Criteria.