Spark Classic From Capital One Review
If you’re a business owner with mediocre credit, you may have difficulty finding a good credit card for your business. That’s where the credit-building card Spark® Classic from Capital One® comes in.
Essentially the littlest sibling in Capital One’s trio of Spark cash back cards (along with Spark Cash and Spark Cash Select), the Classic packs a big punch for those with fair credit. While its base 1% cash back program may seem unimpressive at first, Capital One specifically designed the Spark Classic to help users build credit. Because Capital One reports your activity to multiple credit bureaus — something not all cards do — you’ll be able to improve your credit score by consistently paying off your account.
This card is also bundled with minimal fees while featuring additional Capital One and Visa business benefits. The Spark Classic is truly a great option for those looking at upping that all-important credit score.
Is this card right for you? Find out by reading below.
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Spark Classic From Capital One At A Glance
Spark® Classic from Capital One®
Capital One designed the Spark Classic for those above the age of 18 with fair or average credit. Per its website, Capital One considers you to have average credit if you’ve met these standards:
- Defaulted on a loan in the past five years, OR
- Have limited credit history of three years or less
It also means that you’ll likely want to have a credit score of at least 580 before applying. Note that this number is just a recommendation; Capital One does not require a minimum credit score.
Not sure what your credit score is? Find out by visiting one of our favorite (and free!) credit score sites.
Rewards For Spending
Spark Classic features a very basic rewards scheme that’s easy to understand. No need to pull out your TI-84 calculator here!
Unlimited 1% Cash Back On All Purchases
With this card, you’ll receive 1% cash back on every purchase you make. This rate is nothing special when plenty of other cards on the market promise greater and better rewards. However, because the Spark Classic is geared toward those with fair credit, receiving rewards of any kind is a bonus. Many credit-building cards and secured credit cards don’t offer rewards of any kind.
Once you’ve successfully boosted your credit by using the Spark Classic responsibly, you’ll be able to graduate to credit cards that offer rates above 1% cash back.
If you’ve been whipping the Spark Classic out of your wallet, you probably will want to redeem rewards for cash back. However, there are a few other ways Capital One can reward your spending.
Earn Rewards As Cash Back
Because Capital One markets Spark Classic as a cash back card, you can, of course, redeem rewards for cash back. You’ll be able to redeem rewards at your convenience as a statement credit or check.
You can also select the option for an automatic redemption trigger, which can be set through Capital One’s online port or by contacting the rewards center. Available 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 have a worth that’s less (or more) than straight cash back.
Rewards Don’t Expire
Rewards you earn with the Spark Classic won’t disappear as long as your account is active. Your account may also be eligible to transfer rewards, but not all accounts/reward products are eligible for transfer. Note that should you close your account, any unredeemed rewards will be lost.
All Capital One business cards come with some core benefits plus Visa Business benefits. Both programs offer a solid range of coverage and include perks aimed at travel and shopping — even though this card isn’t specifically designed for those purposes.
Free Employee Cards
Capital One does something for all its bits of plastic that should be standard on every business credit card: Employee cards can be handed out for free. With employee cards, you’ll be able to earn rewards every time an employee uses their card on a purchase. You can additionally set up spending rates and view transactions made with employee cards as soon as they have posted.
Fraud Coverage & Alerts
If your account is used fraudulently or in a suspicious manner, Capital One will notify you via email, text message, or phone alerts.
You are also covered by $0 fraud liability. This covers you when someone places unauthorized charges on your card, and its gone missing or gets stolen.
You can further lock employee cards if one becomes lost or gets stolen.
Account & Business Management
There are a few account management tools that Capital One offers. You can select your monthly due date, set up automatic payments, and get an itemized year-end report summarizing your annual spending.
Other features worth taking advantage of include a recurring transaction list that displays subscriptions, bills, or other repeating payments charged to your card. On top of this is the ability to access a range of transaction details when available, such as merchant addresses, logos, phone numbers, and maps.
Finally, you can download purchase records into multiple formats, including Quicken, QuickBooks, and Excel.
Visa Business Benefits
There are then a few perks filed under the Visa Business benefits program. Topping these benefits is purchase security and extended protection. With this benefit, Visa will repair or reimburse eligible items within 90 days of purchase. Some items may also qualify to have their warranty doubled (up to one additional year).
There are a few more perks included with Visa’s benefits package. Worth noting is a worldwide 24/7 emergency car replacement service and an auto damage waiver that covers against collision- or theft-related damage on eligible rental cars.
Your Spark Classic card will also come with a few 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
With this card, you won’t have to deal with annual or foreign transaction fees. However, keep in mind that there is a relatively high APR — plus, you won’t get a 0% introductory rate either.
A Higher-Than-Average APR
With an APR of 24.74% (variable), the Spark Classic doles out a higher interest rate than many cards on the market. This is likely because Capital One markets the card toward potentially riskier applicants.
Of course, you won’t have to worry about an APR if you pay off your balance every month. That’s especially crucial if you’re working on improving your credit score — carrying a balance could negatively impact your score down the line.
No Annual Fee
Despite the high-ish APR, this card has no annual fee. This is especially handy because your rewards will start making you money right away — you don’t need to offset an annual fee as you might with a different card.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
While the Spark Classic isn’t a travel credit card, it still lacks foreign transaction fees. This feature is a staple on Capital One cards, and it could make this card worth it if you don’t qualify for a travel-specific card.
On top of no annual fee, Capital One bundles this card with no 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 Classic From Capital One Right For You?
You might want to apply if:
- You have fair or average credit and are looking to boost your credit score
- You can pay off your balance every month (avoiding Spark Classic’s high APR)
- You have other employees who might need a credit card
- Your business requires travel outside of the United States regularly
You might want to look for a different card if:
- You have a higher-than-average credit score and are eligible for cards with better rewards
- You will be unable to pay off the card’s monthly balance regularly and won’t avoid the card’s high APR; failing to pay your balance consistently could also drop your credit score
To learn more about how we score our reviews, see our Business Credit Card Rating Criteria.