Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business review: Earn 2% back on every purchase
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within three months from account opening.
- Straightforward rewards program with no sign-ups, caps, rotating categories, or expiration dates for the life of the account.
- Add employee cards for free and reap the rewards from their purchases.
- Those that spend less than $1,000 monthly may be better off with a card without an annual fee.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
If you're looking for a straightforward way to earn cash back on your business spending with no tiered systems to worry about or hoops to jump through, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business credit card is a great option to consider. From stocking up on office supplies, to paying employee phone bills, to booking airline tickets, the Spark® Cash credit card will earn you an unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase you make, meaning every $1 spent with this card puts money back in your pocket. And just to start you off on the right foot, Capital One has a welcome offer for new cardholders: Earn a $500 cash bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first three months of opening an account.
Some of the most notable features of the Capital One® Spark® Cash credit card include:
- Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within three months from account opening.
- Unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, every day, with no limits on the amount you can earn.
- When it comes to the annual fee, it's a $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.
- Free employee cards
- No foreign transaction fees
- Quarterly and year-end summaries featuring an itemized report of your spending to help simplify planning and budgeting
- Travel and emergency assistance services
- Purchase security and extended warranty protection
- Auto rental collision damage coverage
- Limited Time Offer: Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Offer Expires 12/10/2020
- Limited Time Offer: $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95. Offer Expires 12/10/2020
- 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
- 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
- 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
- 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
- Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest.
- Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
- Terms Apply.
The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business credit card is an ideal choice for business owners who don't spend too much money in one particular category. Depending on your spending habits, it is possible that you could earn more cash back by using a credit card that earns a higher rate in select categories; but the thing to keep in mind there is that, with these cards, usually all purchases made outside of these categories only earn 1% cash back. Furthermore, there's often a cap in the category spending – once you reach the spending cap, you'll earn 1% back on those purchases.
With the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business credit card, you'll get double that baseline 1%, on every purchase made regardless of category and without a spending cap. We like that this card keeps things simple and offers its users an easy way to earn cash back at a good rate, no matter the purchase. You'll earn 2% cash back on every $1 you spend; it's as simple as that. It's an easy system for busy business owners who really don't need one more thing to worry about such as which credit card is best to use for which purchase.
Another thing that we like about this card is that there's no fee to add employee cards. When your employees use their cards to make business purchases, you'll benefit from every $1 they spend.
While the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business credit card is great for those looking for a simple and flexible rewards credit card, it might not be the best option for those who truly spend a lot in specific categories. If you only plan to use your business credit card for internet, phone, and cable services, or for travel purchases, for example, you might fare better with a card that offers a high percentage rewards rate in those specific categories instead.
There's also the annual fee to think about. Though it's waived for the first year of card membership, those looking to avoid annual fees might want to consider another option, such as the no-annual-fee Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business credit card.
Since you don't necessarily need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to qualify for a business credit card, your chances of qualifying for the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business could be higher than you might think.
The list of people who can apply for a small business credit card is long, and includes freelancers/self-employed individuals, entrepreneurs, small business owners/officers, owners/officers of established businesses, and owners/officers of startups. Most credit card companies define "business" quite broadly when it comes to considering applicants for small business credit cards. To qualify for a business credit card, you must be an "authorized officer" of a company. Basically, this means that you must have the legal right to enter into borrowing arrangements with financial institutions on behalf of a business. If you are the owner of a sole proprietorship business or the sole owner of a small business, you are already an "authorized officer." You are, after all, the only owner of the company. It can be more complicated determining who ranks for businesses that have multiple owners. In general, though, most owners are also "authorized officers."
Credit card issuers consider each application on its own merits, so don't assume you don't qualify just because your business might not fit that standard business model. Do keep in mind though that your personal credit history will likely be what is used to determine your eligibility and/or credit limit on a business card before you've built up a credit history for your business.
If your business doesn't have a tax ID number (EIN), you can enter your personal social security number instead. In general, try to have the following information handy when you apply:
- Business name
- Business name as you want it to appear on the card
- Business address
- Type of business
- Tax ID number (or your social security number)
- Number of employees
- Annual revenue/sales
- Monthly expenses
- Number of years in business
- Ownership type (publicly traded, privately owned, etc.)
- Business structure (LLC, corporation, non-profit, etc.)
To learn more about who can qualify for a small business credit card, and how to apply for one, be sure to check out our "Small Business Credit Cards 101" guide.
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business vs. Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
If you prefer earning miles on every purchase rather than earning cash back, the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business card is worth your consideration. Similar to the Capital One® Spark® Cash card, the Spark® Miles card has no annual fee the first year of card membership and a $95 annual fee after that. Where the two cards differ is in the rewards earning and bonus offers. The Spark® Miles card earns two miles per $1 spent on all your purchases as well as five miles per $1 on hotel and car rental purchases through the Capital One travel portal. While the Spark® Cash card earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day, with no limits on the amount you can earn.
The Spark® Miles card is currently offering 50,000 bonus miles, which is equal to $500 in travel, when you spend $4,500 in the first three months of account opening.
Miles can be transferred to 10+ leading travel loyalty programs like JetBlue™, Air Canada, and Emirates™, and there's also an opportunity to be reimbursed with one statement credit for either an $85 TSA Pre✔® application fee or a $100 Global Entry application fee.
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business vs. Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card is currently offering new cardmembers $500 cashback after spending $3,000 in the first three months from account opening. This is similar to the $500 cash bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first three months offered by the Capital One® Spark® Cash card, albeit with a lower minimum spend.
The Ink Business Cash℠ card has no annual fee and earns cash back at a rate of 5% back on the first $25,000 spent annually in combined purchases at office supply stores, as well as on cellular, landline, internet and cable television services, 2% back on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year, and unlimited 1% back on all other purchases. The Spark® Cash card’s rewards earning is much more straightforward with 2% cash back earned on every purchase.
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business vs. Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Unlike the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business credit card, which earns users a consistent 2% cash back on all purchases no matter the category, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card earns cardholders points for purchases made in specific categories.
With this Chase credit card, users will earn three Ultimate Rewards® points per $1 spent on travel; shipping; internet, cable and phone purchases; and certain advertising purchases, up to $150,000 annually. After spending $150,000 in a year, and for all purchases made outside of these categories, cardholders will earn an unlimited one point per $1 spent. Another notable thing about the Ink Business Preferred® card is the large welcome bonus. Chase offers 100,000 bonus points to new cardholders who spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months of account membership, which is equal to $1,250 when redeeming points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® (points are worth 25% more when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®), or $800 if redeemed for cash back.
Both cards have a $95 annual fee (though with Chase, this fee is not waived the first year) and both offer free employee cards. When deciding between these two cards, you'll need to consider your spending habits. The welcome bonus with the Chase card is higher than the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business's offer, as well as the rewards rate percentage; but if you're not frequently making purchases within the select categories that offer this higher rate, it might not really matter. On the other hand, if most of your purchases fall within these categories, the Chase card could be a good option for you, despite the annual fee.
One last thing to think about, if you pay your cellular phone bill with your Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you'll be covered with cell phone insurance for the primary phone on the account as well as employee phones on the same account (subject to a deductible and other limitations).
The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business credit card is a practical choice for business owners who don't spend too much money in one particular category, or who are looking for a straightforward way to earn cash back with no tiered systems to worry about or hoops to jump through. It's also a decent choice for business owners who travel internationally from time to time, or whose employees do, as there are no foreign transaction fees associated with the card, and there are a number of travel and emergency assistance services available to cardholders.