Updated Mar 20, 2021 | Published Sep 03, 2020 • 10 min read
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The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards really has something for everyone. It earns on a wide variety of activities, from dining to entertainment and grocery shopping, on top of providing an eclectic selection of benefits geared mainly towards travel.
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Our Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars
We give the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card4 out of 5 Stars because it earns cash back at restaurants at a relatively high rate, and it has a good welcome bonus. But it also comes with an annual fee.
Why We Like It
Good cash back rate at restaurants and for entertainment (4%)
Decent cash back rate for grocery store purchases (2%)
Welcome bonus of $300 cash bonus for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
Is the Savor right for you? Depending on your shopping habits, the card with the best rewards won’t always be the most valuable. Keep reading to learn more.
Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card
For food spending: Use this card to pay for meals from restaurants (4% cash back) and at grocery stores (2%).
And for fun: You’ll get 4% back for entertainment purchases, like the movies and sporting events, as well as 8% back on tickets purchased through Vivid Seats.
Get the welcome bonus: Spend $3,000 in the first 3 months to earn a $300 cash bonus.
Use your perks: This card comes with World Elite Mastercard benefits which can potentially be quite valuable, like a Concierge Service and the World Elite Hotels & Resorts Portfolio.
Redeem for statement credits: The easiest redemption method is for statement credits, which will simply reduce your account balance.
Don’t pay extra while traveling: The Savor card has no foreign transaction fees when making purchases in foreign currency, so you won’t be charged extra.
Offset the annual fee: You’ll need to spend a minimum of $2,375 with this card to earn $95 in cash back, which would offset the annual fee.
8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats
4% cash back on:
2% cash back at Grocery Stores
1% cash back on all other purchases
$300 cash bonus for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
You can earn unlimited cash back, and your rewards never expire.
This card is meant to be your go-to option for food spending. Most cards don’t provide cash back categories for both restaurants and grocery stores, and 4% back for dining is pretty rare.
However, you can find some better offers, overall, with certain other cards. The 2% back for grocery store purchases isn’t really anything special, as some cards provide 2% back for every purchase (like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer (Review), which provides 1% back for purchases and an additional 1% back for payments as long as you pay at least the minimum due on time). Check out our other alternatives below for more options.
The introductory offer is decent for a card like this, though the return on spend is pretty standard. In most cases, with cards at this level you’ll only see offers for $100 or $150, maybe $200.
There’s a bit of a story behind the Savor card. It originally offered 3% cash back for dining, and had no annual fee. But then Barclays’ Uber Credit Card (Review) came along, offering 4% back at restaurants with no annual fee (now 3%). After that, Capital One redesigned the Savor card to offer 4% back for restaurants and entertainment, but with a $95 annual fee. It also released the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card (Review), which is more like the original Savor card. Try not to get confused!
Capital One’s reward categories include the following types of merchants. Take note that the entertainment category does not include cable, digital streaming, and subscription services.
Record/Video Rental Stores
Dairy Product Stores
You can redeem your cash back in three different ways:
Statement credits to reduce your account balance
We recommend that you always redeem your cash back as a statement credit because this is the easiest and most direct method. Physical checks will take several weeks to arrive.
Gift card redemption rates will vary, and you won’t always get the full value of your cash back so we recommend that you avoid this method.
You can set up automatic redemption preferences to make the process easier. You can either set it for certain dates throughout the year or when your cash back hits a specific threshold.
The Savor card comes with a surprisingly wide variety of potentially useful benefits, from both Capital One and Mastercard.
Complimentary travel planning: Call your concierge at 1-877-288-6784 any time for access to professional travel advisors.
World Elite Hotels & Resorts Portfolio: You’ll get complimentary discounts and benefits at over 900 hotel properties, including Marriott, Hyatt, InterContinental, and more.
Mastercard airport concierge: A 15% discount on a variety of airport meet & greet services. The basic concierge experience consists of an escort for expedited check-in and security screening, where available, assistance with visas or other documentation, inter-terminal transportation and other needs, and an escort to the curb or the aircraft gate, depending on where you’re going.
World Elite travel services: You’ll get a selection of upgrades and discounts at participating airlines, private jet providers, car rental dealerships, limousine services, chauffeur services, cruise programs, and vacation packages.
24/7 concierge service: Call 1-877-288-6784 any time to talk to a personal assistant, who can help with all sorts of non-emergency tasks.
Capital One Events: The Savor card comes with access to three types of events, provided by Capital One: Premier Culinary Experiences, Big-time Sports Events, and Must-see Music Events.
Capital One CreditWise: Provides free access to your VantageScore 3.0 from your TransUnion credit report. You’ll also get access to aspects of your actual TransUnion report, which most cards don’t offer.
MasterTrip Travel Assistance: Help with travel, like information on regional requirements and medical referrals
Master RoadAssist Service: Call 1-800-MC-ASSIST for help with towing, tire changes, and other road services.
MasterRental Insurance: Coverage for rented vehicles against damage and theft, as long as you decline the rental company’s own insurance
Travel Accident Insurance: Available when traveling by common carrier, which covers you and your family against accidental injury or loss of life
Extended Warranty: Will extend an eligible manufacturer’s warranty
The Terms & Fees
Balance Transfer APR
Cash Advance APR
15.99% - 24.99% Variable
15.99% - 24.99% Variable
Foreign Transaction Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Cash Advance Fee
3% of the amount of the cash advance, but not less than $10
Returned Payment Fee
Up to $39
This card is a bit unusual, because it comes with no fee for balance transfers at the regular APR. However, if you’re offered a promotional APR at some point, like 0% for 6 months, you’ll need to pay a fee for that transfer.
All Capital One cards have no foreign transaction fees, a nice feature to have in case you plan to travel outside the country.
The Savor card’s 8% cash back with Vivid Seats offers a good return on spend, but this highly specific category doesn’t seem likely to be as much of a selling point as its general dining and entertainment rewards.
The Savor has a decent welcome bonus, at $300 cash bonus for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, though the return on spend isn’t exceptional. It does come with some valuable World Elite Mastercard benefits, however, which are typically only found on the better travel cards.
If you had the original Savor card with no annual fee, you’ll be grandfathered in to the new rewards program but you won’t have to pay the new annual fee. So you’ll be earning 4% back at no cost whatsoever, as long as you avoid interest and fees. That would be a pretty good deal, probably worth hanging on to.
How Do I Apply for the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards?
You can apply now securely on Capital One’s website by following the link below. Capital One may check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, and Innovis.
Capital One will often provide an instant decision, but in some cases it may request more information to process the application.
What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify for the Savor Cash Rewards?
It’s recommended you have good credit in order to qualify for the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards card.
For you to have good credit, your credit scores would need to be within the ranges of 670–739 for FICO and 700–749 for VantageScore.
But there are more factors credit card issuers take into account, such as income and monthly mortgage or rent payment. That means even if your scores are a bit lower than what’s recommended there’s a chance you’ll still be approved. However, that could also mean that even if you have high enough scores, you might not be approved.
Qualifications and Requirements
Must be 18 to apply
Personal identifying information: Name, Social Security number
Address and contact information: Email, phone number, address
Financial information: Total annual income, source of income, monthly mortgage/rent payment
Have applied for a Capital One credit card two or more times in the last 30 days
Have five or more open credit card accounts with Capital One
Have a past due Capital One credit card account
Be over the credit line on a Capital One credit card
Have had a Capital One credit card that was charged off within the past year
You’ll get a wide variety of World Elite Mastercard benefits, including discounts and perks with a large swath of hotels and travel services like rental car providers, airlines, chauffeur services, cruise programs, and more.
There’s also a helpful collection of travel protections attached, including travel accident insurance and rental car insurance. Check out all the benefits you might expect with your card.
What’s considered entertainment for the Savor card?
Tickets purchased at movie theaters, sports events, theater shows, amusement parks, tourist attractions, aquariums, zoos, dance halls, record stores, music events, pool halls, and bowling alleys. So you’ll earn on quite a few activities.
This card offers less for the spending rewards and welcome bonus, but also has no annual fee to pay. Other than that these cards are pretty similar. The benefits are identical, but there is a 0% intro APR offer for purchases.
So you’ll have 0% interest 15 months before the regular 15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR kicks in. That could save you some money for a couple large purchases you plan to make, or give you a little more time to pay them off.
You’ll earn 5X Ultimate Rewards (UR) points per dollar on Lyft rides and 2X points for dining and travel purchases, but the value you end up getting will depend on how you redeem those points.
The benefits will be pretty similar to the Savor, though you’ll get more travel protections with this card.
Overall, the main difference between these cards is that the Sapphire Preferred is designed for travelers. If you’re able to plan out redemptions, transferring your points for a high value, you’ll get a good return on both your restaurant and travel spending.
5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Lyft rides
2X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on:
1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar spent everywhere else
Introductory Bonus Offer
80,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months; up to $50 in statement credits toward grocery purchases in the first year
Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed in a number of ways. If you redeem through the Ultimate Rewards portal for travel expenses you’ll get a 25% bonus, which will give you 1.25 cents per point. That comes to a cash back equivalent of 2.5% for dining and travel.
You can also transfer your UR points to a variety of airline and hotel loyalty partners, where you can find a better value. You may find deals that give you 2 cents per point or more, which would provide a cash back equivalent of at least 4%. That would make it equal to the Savor card for dining.
DoorDash membership: You’ll get a free DoorDash membership for at least a year, known as a DashPass. This gives you free delivery and reduced service fees on orders over $12, which could help you save quite a bit if you tend to order out.
The Flex card provides 1% cash back less than the Savor card at restaurants, and it also doesn’t have the entertainment or consistent grocery store categories. But for no annual fee, you’re still earning 5% back on Lyft rides and travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, along with the rotating rewards categories.
You’ll also get an introductory 0% rate for 15 months on purchases, then 14.99% - 23.74% Variable.
One drawback is you’ll have to activate your categories every quarter by a deadline, and there is a foreign transaction fee, so you’ll probably want to pair this card with one without foreign transaction fees if you’re leaving the country.
Three-month DoorDash membership: Subscribe for a free DashPass for three months, which provides free shipping and reduced service fees on orders over $12. You’ll be automatically enrolled in DashPass for 50% off for the next nine months.
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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