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Capital One offers a myriad of business cards for all kinds of credit levels and business-related spending. They all feature unlimited free employee cards, unlimited rewards, and no foreign transaction fees.
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Capital One Spark is Capital One’s line of small business credit cards. For Capital One’s personal cards go to this page.
There are five Spark cards in total. Four are designed for large or small business owners with excellent credit scores, with a fifth designed for people with fair or average credit. Although some of them are made for excellent credit, you may still be approved if your credit falls within the “good” range, depending on other factors.
|Card||Annual Fee||Credit Level||Rewards||Intro APR|
|Capital One Spark Cash for Business (Review)||$95, $0 first year||Excellent||
|Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business (Review)||$0||Excellent||
||0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months (then 13.99% - 23.99% (Variable))|
|Capital One Spark Miles for Business (Review)||$95, $0 first year||Excellent||
|Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business (Review)||$0||Excellent||
||0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months (then 14.49% - 22.49% Variable)|
|Capital One Spark Classic for Business (Review)||$0||Fair or Average||
These cards do not have foreign transaction fees.
Unlimited employee cards are available on all these cards for free. Spending on employee cards earn rewards, and you can set individual credit limits on each card.
These cards all earn an unlimited amount of cash back (or “miles”) at a fixed rate on all your business expenses. Some other business reward cards have an annual cap on certain bonus categories. You may find it beneficial to get more than one business credit card to maximize rewards. You could spend on a different business card that earns more in certain categories, then use one of these Capital One Spark cards for all other purchases when you’d earn less with another card.
Capital One recently introduced a set of airline partners, to which you can transfer the miles you earn with the Spark Miles and Spark Miles Select cards. This could potentially give you more than 1 cent per mile, a better value than the normal redemption methods.
Take note that the Capital One business credit cards do not usually report card activity to the credit bureaus like most other business cards. With most business cards, your positive activity is reported to certain business credit bureaus, and negative activity is reported to the consumer/personal credit bureaus.
But with the Spark business cards, all of your card activity (positive and negative) is reported to both the business and consumer credit bureaus. This means that your card spending will show up on your personal credit reports, where it will affect your credit utilization. If you have a high card balance, this could negatively impact your credit scores.
However, starting 10/20/20 for new cardholders, the Spark Cash for Business will not report any activity to the personal credit bureaus, as long as the account remains in good standing. It will report positive activity to business credit bureaus.
The business credit bureaus that Capital One reports to are Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Small Business Financial Exchange.
The Spark Classic is a cash back card designed for people with fair or average credit. It’s a good offer for that credit level considering it has no annual fee and earns an unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases.
For business owners with excellent credit, there are four different options: two different Spark Cash cards and two different Spark Miles cards. Within each family, there’s a rewards card with no annual fee, and a second card that earns more rewards and has an annual fee.
The Cash cards earn cash back rewards, while the Miles cards earn miles. These “miles” can be redeemed for travel purchases at a rate of 1¢ each, or they can be transferred to a variety of airline loyalty programs where they might be worth more than that.
Based on our research, the only reason to get a Spark Miles card over a Spark Cash card is if you want to transfer your rewards to a partner airline program, or if you like the 5X categories.
The main differences between these cards are the cash back rates and the annual fees:
The Spark Cash cards are a great deal, since you can earn an unlimited amount of cash back no matter how much you spend on the cards. The main difference between these card is the amount of cash back each earns. To help with cash flow, the Spark Cash Select also offers a 9-month 0% introductory APR on purchases before the regular 13.99% - 23.99% (Variable) ARP starts, which the Spark Cash does not have.
Based on the annual fee and cash back potential, we’ve calculated that if your small business spends more than $19,000 per year, you’ll earn more rewards value with the Spark Cash than the Spark Cash Select. This table shows the amount of cash back you’ll earn with each card (after the annual fee) at several levels of spending:
|Amount Spent Annually||Cash Back Earned, Spark Cash||Cash Back Earned, Spark Cash Select|
The main differences between these cards are the annual fee and how many “miles” they earn:
These “miles” can be redeemed for travel purchases at 1¢ each, or transferred to a partner airline loyalty program, which could provide a better value. So, the Spark Miles cards provide the same or greater cash back value than the Spark Cash cards, but with different redemption options. If you travel often and want to turn your rewards into airline miles, you may prefer the Spark Miles or Spark Miles Select over the equivalent Spark Cash card.
The same $19,000 spending threshold that applies to the Spark Miles vs. the Spark Miles Select also applies to the Spark Cash cards, provided you can redeem all your rewards for travel purchases. The Spark Miles Select comes with a 9-month 0% introductory APR on purchases before the regular 14.49% - 22.49% Variable APR kicks in, while the Spark Miles doesn’t.
For mile transfers, most of the transfer rates are 2:1.5 (2 Capital One miles for 1.5 partner miles), although some partners have a lesser rate.
|Airline Partner||Transfer Rate|
|Aeromexico Club Premier||2:1.5|
|Air Canada Aeroplan
|Air France KLM Flying Blue
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
|EVA Infinity MileageLands
|Hainan Fortune Wings Club
|Qantas Frequent Flyer
If you’re a business owner looking for a new card, one of these may be a good fit for your small business. To explore other options, read about our favorite business credit cards.
All Capital One business cards give cardholders a certain set of perks, provided by Capital One. They also come with more benefits and protections provided by either Visa or Mastercard.
The benefits provided by Capital One include:
Capital One will also provide a link to the Guide to Benefits that comes with each of their cards, a very handy resource.
Our highest-rated Capital One credit cards are the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business (Review) and the Capital One Spark Cash for Business (Review). Both Spark Cash cards earn cash back at a flat rate on every purchase with no limits, a compelling feature for businesses that spend a lot of money but don’t want to think too much about redeeming their rewards. The cash back will simply be added to your account as statement credits.
If you’re strictly interested in a travel rewards card, you should instead opt for one of the Spark Miles cards, the Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business (Review) and Capital One Spark Miles for Business (Review). They’re similar to the Spark Cash cards, except they earn miles that can be redeemed through Capital One (or transferred to travel loyalty programs) and include some travel-oriented benefits.
That leaves the Capital One Spark Classic for Business (Review), which is designed for applicants with fair credit. If your personal credit scores aren’t great, but you’re confident you’d benefit from a business credit card anyway, this could be the card for you.
We contacted Capital One support directly to discuss per-person card limits, and here’s what we got: “You may not be approved for additional accounts if you have 5 or more open credit card accounts with Capital One.” This is consistent with what appears in these cards’ terms.
So you can have up to five Capital One business credit cards open at the same time, as long as you don’t have any other open credit card accounts with Capital One.
Brendan has been writing about personal finance for over eight years, and is now taking on the challenge of bringing high quality credit education to the masses. He makes sure that Credit Card Insider is covering the most important credit topics transparently and precisely, and that we have up-to-date reviews of credit cards so you can find cards that are right for you.
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