Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business review: Earn 2X miles on every purchase
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- The rewards program boasts one of the highest earn rates available at 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 portal.
- Enjoy the flexibility to redeem miles directly for travel or use the "Purchase Eraser" to redeem miles for statement credit to cover a previously made travel purchase or transfer your miles to one of more than 10 travel loyalty partner programs.
- There's a ton of flexibility when it comes to redeeming points in that your points don't expire for the life of the account and there are no blackout dates, airline restrictions or seat restrictions to worry about.
- Those who spend less than $1,000 monthly may be better off with a card without an annual fee.
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As cards targeting small businesses go, Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business may not have all the bells and whistles of some, but its straightforward, simple rewards program is an excellent fit for many.
The welcome offer is an enticing way to start a relationship with a new card: Earn 50,000 bonus miles, worth $500 to spend on travel, after you spend $4,500 in the first three months. A straightforward and unlimited 2X the miles per $1 spent rewards rate on your purchases keeps the momentum rolling, plus, earn 5x the miles per $1 spent on hotel and car rental bookings through Capital One TravelSM. Miles don't expire for the life of the account and you can choose to transfer them to more than 10 travel loyalty programs.
Spark® Miles for Business has an annual fee of $0 intro for first year; $95 after that, giving you the opportunity to try out its perks and features without paying an annual fee for the first year. Given the easy rewards earning and redemption options, we think you'll find it fairly simple to offset the annual fee and then some.
This card also offers a ton of flexibility in its rewards program. You can either log into your account and make your travel purchases (airline tickets, car rentals, etc.) using your accumulated points or you can be reimbursed for previously made travel purchases by using the "Purchase Eraser" feature. Just log into your account, choose the "Purchase Eraser" feature and you can use your points against the amount you spent on your qualifying purchase and be reimbursed the cash value. The best part is you can erase all or even just part of a purchase – it's up to you. You can also transfer those miles to one of several popular travel loyalty programs.
Additional features include free employee cards, quarterly and year-end summaries, downloadable purchase records, a mobile app to manage purchases, no foreign transaction fees and car rental insurance, purchase protection, roadside dispatch, lost luggage reimbursement and up to a $100 credit for one Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee.
- Designed for businesses
- Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
- First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries to reduce travel costs and boost your bottom line
- 25% savings on American Airlines inflight Wi-Fi when you use your card
- Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations
- Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile per $1 spent on other purchases
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
Simplicity and keeping down costs are both beautiful things for small businesses.Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business offers small businesses that do significant traveling a chance to keep costs under control. And the best part, the person in charge of monitoring expenses doesn't need an accounting degree or PhD in economics to figure out the way to take advantage of the flexible miles redemption program.
A welcome offer of 50,000 bonus miles after spending $4,500 in the first three months is generous, and an unlimited two miles for every $1 spent on all purchases as well as five miles per $1 on hotel and car rentals purchases made through Capital One TravelSM keeps the rewards piling up.
The flexibility of Spark® Miles doesn't lock you into a partnered hotel chain or airline either. This allows a small business to shop for the best deals on travel and still reap terrific rewards.
The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business is a great option for those looking for a simple and flexible rewards credit card; however, 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 the annual fee to think about, too. This fee can eat into the card's benefits if you don't travel regularly. 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® Miles Select for Business which is basically just a simplified version of the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business.
Do you qualify for the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business?
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® Miles for Business vs. Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Both the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business card and the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card are good choices for business owners. Each provides rewards points and a host of other perks although there are differences in what they offer.
For instance, both cards charge a $95 annual fee but Spark® Miles will waive it for the first year. Both cards also offer bonus points to new cardholders: Spark® Miles' bonus offers 50,000 bonus miles after spending $4,500 in three months, and Ink Business Preferred® offers a 100,000-point bonus when new cardholders spend $15,000 in purchases within three months of opening an account.
When it comes to earnings for purchases, Spark® Miles offers 2X miles, with no limits, for every $1 spent (plus that 5x the miles for hotel and car rental bookings through Capital One TravelSM. The Ink Business Preferred® earning structure is a little more complex. Cardholders can earn 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards® points for every $1 spent, up to $150,000 annually, on select categories of spending such as travel, shipping purchases, internet service and social media advertising. All other purchases receive one reward point per $1 spent.
Both cards offer free employee cards, no foreign transaction fees and multiple ways to redeem rewards.
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business vs. Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
The primary difference in these two Capital One cards is right there in their names. While Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business offers an attractive rewards program with the chance to use accumulated miles to pay for travel-related expenses, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business offers good old-fashioned cash as its reward.
For example, as an introductory offer Spark® Miles for Business offers 50,000 bonus miles – worth $500 in travel – after you spend $4,500 in the first three months. Spark® Cash for Business, on the other hand, offers the cash-back equivalent: $500 bonus cash back after you spend $4,500 in the first three months.
Both have a very simple rewards program, Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business offers 2% cash back on all purchases. Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business offers two times miles (essentially 2%) for every $1 spent as well as five times the miles on car rental and hotel purchases through the Capital One portal. It comes down to a simple question for small business owners – do you prefer to accumulate travel miles or get cash back?
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business vs. Capital One® Venture®
Both the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business and Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card compete for business professionals, especially those who frequently travel. In that sense, they're pretty similar.
Spark® Miles for Business has a straightforward, simple rewards program with a hearty welcome offer. You'll receive 50,000 bonus miles, worth up to $500 to spend on travel after you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first three months.
The Venture® card, however, offers 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months from account opening and another 50,000 miles if you spend $20,000 in your first 12 months of opening the account, for a total of 100,000 miles.
As for ongoing rewards, Spark® Miles allows you to earn unlimited 2X miles per $1 on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions. Plus, earn 5x the miles on hotel and car rental bookings through Capital One TravelSM.
The Venture® card also gives you unlimited 2X miles for each $1 you spend – on all purchases, travel related or not.
The big difference to note is that the Venture® card isn't a small business card, so it doesn't come with some of the features that could be useful for a small business. That said, if your small business is very small and you don't really need things like a bunch of employee cards, then it could be an option for you.
If you are a small business owner and you or your employees do a fair amount of traveling for business, the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business card can be a very effective tool in your fiscal arsenal.
If you don't have the time or the manpower to wade through a complicated rewards program to figure out the maximum value, the simplicity of the Spark® Miles card is sure to make you smile.
This is also an excellent business miles card for the business owner who doesn't like to be locked into a relationship with one hotel chair or airline but would rather shop for the best deals available, thanks to the ability to easily transfer miles or use the "Purchase Eraser" feature.