Spark Cash Select From Capital One Review
With unlimited 1.5% cash back and no annual fee, Spark Cash Select, offered by Capital One, sounds like a great credit card for small businesses. But are there any downsides?
The Spark Cash Select from Capital One offers an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. This is Capital One’s middle-rate cash back business credit card, between Spark Cash Plus at 2% back and Spark Classic at 1%.
Cards with flat rates like Spark 1.5% Cash Select are a simple way to save money and manage your expenses without dealing with tiered rewards systems or point values. However, know that there are actually two versions of this particular card. One is only for borrowers with excellent credit and offers a $500 cash bonus after you spend $4,500 in the first three months. The other is for borrowers with good or excellent credit and instead offers 0% intro APR for 12 months (and, afterward, a slightly higher APR than the excellent credit version).
Is either iteration of Spark Cash Select right for you? Keep reading to find out!
Table of Contents
Spark Cash Select From Capital One At A Glance
Spark Cash Select From Capital One
13.49%-19.49% variable (Excellent Credit version); 16.24-24.24% variable (Good Credit version)
As mentioned, there’s a version of Spark Cash Select that requires excellent credit to qualify and a version that requires good or excellent credit to qualify.
Per its website, Capital One considers you to have excellent credit if you’ve met these standards:
- Never declared bankruptcy or defaulted on a loan
- Have not 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-plus years with a credit limit above $5,000
Likewise, Capital One considers the following to be markers of good credit:
- No bankruptcies or loan defaults in the past 5 years
- Has a credit card or loan and has not been more than 30 days late on a payment in the past year
If we want to base credit strength on a single number, a credit score from 640-739 is typically considered good, while a score of 740+ is generally considered excellent. Note that Capital One does not market a specific qualifying minimum credit score for either version of the Spark Cash Select card.
Not sure what your credit score is? Check out one of these free credit score service websites to find out.
Rewards For Spending
Spark Cash Select promises an easy-to-understand rewards scheme that won’t require a Ph.D. in math to understand. On top of that, it comes with an early spend bonus as icing on the cake.
An Early Spend Bonus Of $500 (Excellent Credit Version Only)
If you have excellent credit, you can get the Spark Cash Select card that offers a $500 cash bonus if you spend $4,500 with the card in your first three months. It’s a fairly generous early spend bonus, so if you were going to spend close to that amount anyway during the three months in question, it’s a compelling offer
Once you’ve hit the requirements for the early spend bonus, you’ll receive the $500 reward within two billing cycles. As is the case with most credit cards, current or previous Spark cardholders aren’t eligible for the bonus.
Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back On All Purchases
With both versions of the Spark Cash Select, you won’t need a mathematics degree to calculate your rewards. Spark Cash Select features an easy 1.5% cash back for every purchase you make on the card.
A flat rate of 1.5% cash back is nothing to write home about, but it’s also nothing to sneeze at. Especially when coupled with the card’s lack of an annual fee (see below), you’ll be earning a tidy sum whenever you make a purchase. Plus, this rate is for all purchases; some cards only hand out rates above 1% when spending within specific categories. This might make the Spark Cash Select appealing if you spend across numerous categories.
Note that cash advances, balance transfers, and checks used to access your account won’t receive cash back, as Capital One does not consider them as purchases.
If you’re using a Spark Cash Select card, you’ll probably want to redeem rewards for cash back. However, there are a few other ways Capital One lets you get rewarded for spending.
Earn Rewards As Cash Back
As Spark Cash Select is a cash back card, rewards can unsurprisingly be redeemed for cash back. You can receive rewards at your convenience as a statement credit, a check, or set your account to redeem rewards automatically on a periodic basis.
Capital One also enables the option for an automatic redemption trigger, which can be set through the company’s online portal or by contacting the rewards center. Automatic redemption options 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, you can choose several other redemption methods. Available options include credits for previous purchases, gift cards, and more. Note that different types of rewards might be worth less than (or possibly more than) straight cash back.
Rewards Don’t Expire
Your rewards will not expire for the duration that your account is active, and you can transfer them between certain Capital One accounts. According to Capital One, not all reward products can be shifted between accounts. Be aware that if you shutter your account, any unredeemed rewards will be lost.
By holding either Spark Cash Select card, you’ll have access to both Capital One’s business benefits and Visa Business Benefits. Both of these benefits programs offer solid coverage. Many available perks include travel and shopping features, even though this card isn’t designed specifically for those purposes.
Free Employee Cards
A feature worthy of every business credit card, free employee cards can be handed out if you have a Spark Cash Select card. You’ll be able to collect rewards when employees make purchases with their cards. You can further set spending limits on these cards as well as view transactions made with employee cards as soon as they’ve posted.
Fraud Coverage & Alerts
Capital One markets that it provides your account with “business-grade protection.” Included in this coverage are email, text message, and phone call alerts if Capital One notices any fraudulent or suspicious charges.
You’ll also be privy to $0 fraud liability coverage. That means you won’t be on the hook for unauthorized charges if your card goes missing.
Finally, employee cards can be locked up if they become lost or stolen.
Account & Business Management
Capital One provides some standard tools that can help with account management. You can pick your monthly due date, set up automatic payments, and get an itemized year-end report summarizing your annual spending.
You can also take advantage of other features, such as a recurring transaction list that displays charges to your card that repeat monthly (e.g., subscriptions or bills). You can also access a range of transaction details when available, such as addresses, logos, phone numbers, and maps of merchants you’ve bought from.
As one last note, you can also download purchase records into multiple formats, including Quicken, QuickBooks, and Excel.
Visa Business Benefits
With a Spark Cash Select card, you’ll receive access to a few perks not included in Capital One’s core benefits package thanks to Visa Business Benefits. The best of these bonuses is Purchase Security/Extended Protection. With this benefit, you might qualify to have an item replaced, repaired, or reimbursed within 90 days of purchase. You might also be eligible for an extended warranty program that can double the length of a manufacturer’s warranty (up to one additional year).
There are a few other perks bundled with Visa Business Benefits too. Other notable ones include a worldwide 24/7 emergency card replacement service and an auto damage waiver that covers damage due to collision or theft on eligible rental cars.
You can also expect the Spark Cash Select card to come 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 (nothing to do with Brian Eno)
Rates & Fees
The fee highlights of this card are its lack of annual or foreign transaction fees. However, keep in mind that Capital One does include a few other charges, plus you will pay interest if you carry a balance. Also, note that the good credit version of the card carries an APR that is currently 2.75% to 4.75% higher than does the excellent credit version.
A 0% Introductory APR For 12 Months (Good Credit Version Only)
For those who need to carry a balance, the good credit version of the Spark Cash Select card features an introductory rate for purchases of 0% for your first 12 months (something that’s lacking in the excellent credit version of the card). Apart from that, with Spark Cash Select, your APR will be within the range of 13.49%-19.49% variable (Excellent Credit version); 16.24-24.24% variable (Good Credit version). This APR ranges from good to slightly above the industry average. As such, double-check the APR included in your account agreement before you start carrying a balance. Of course, by making your monthly payments, you won’t have to worry about APR.
No Annual Fee
One of the big highlights of the Spark Cash Select card (both versions) is that you won’t need to worry about paying an annual fee. That makes Spark Cash Select an appetizing entrée, especially when coupled with its 1.5% cash back rate.
Because this card has no annual fee, you’ll be able to earn more from it than Capital One’s 2% cash back business card, Spark Cash, if you spend less than $19,000 per year*. After breaking the $19,000 spending barrier, the other card will be more profitable.
* How we got this number: for Spark Cash Select: $18,999 × 1.5% cash back rate = $284.985 cash back; for Spark Cash: $18,999 × 2% cash back rate – $95 annual fee = $284.98 cash back.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Similar to the other Capital One business cards, this bit of plastic does not incur foreign transaction fees. That means frequent overseas travelers may like both versions of the Spark Cash Select card.
On top of no annual fee, Capital One bundles both cards with no foreign transaction or balance transfer fees. However, there is a fee for cash advances of $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is higher.
Is Spark Cash Select From Capital One Right For You?
You might want to apply if:
- You make purchases in a wide array of categories
- You want a cash back card without an annual fee
- You can take advantage of the card’s perks, such as free employee cards, no foreign transaction fee, or an 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 an annual fee on a card with a better reward rate
- You want the version of the card with the one-time $500 cash bonus but you lack excellent credit
Featured Free Corporate Card
Ramp offers a free corporate card for virtually any business. Start earning rewards with your corporate spending today. Get your free card.
Want to help shape the future of the Merchant Maverick website? Join our testing and survey community!
By providing feedback on how we can improve, you can earn gift cards and get early access to new features.