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2020 Review: Capital One Spark Classic for Business

Updated Sep 24, 2020 | Published Jul 30, 202011 min read

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Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Min Credit Level Fair
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 24.49% Variable
At a glance

Designed for average credit, the Capital One Spark Classic for Business isn’t flashy, but it’s a good option if you’d like a business credit card and can’t get approved for anything more rewarding. It only earns 1% cash back, which is typical at this credit level.

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The information related to Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business, Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business, and American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.

Our Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

We give the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business 4 out of 5 Stars. Even though it’s not the most rewarding card, it’s balanced pretty well.

Why We Like It

  • Designed for average credit, giving more people a chance to be approved
  • No annual fee
  • Capital One reports your activity to several business credit bureaus
  • As many employee cards as you want, for free
  • A decent set of business benefits

Why It Could Be Better

  • Only 1% cash back on purchases
  • No signup bonus

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR24.49% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The information related to Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Capital One offers five different credit cards in its Spark family of business cards. This is a review of its business card designed for fair or average credit, the Capital One Spark Classic for Business.

This is a pretty basic card, only offering 1% cash back for every purchase. But it has no annual fee, and comes with some standard business benefits.

You won’t be able to earn a ton of rewards with the Spark Classic. But it does report your activity to the business credit bureaus, so you can use it to improve your business credit. Some other “business” cards don’t do this, so it’s a nice feature to have.

Are you a small business owner with average personal credit? This card could present a good way to improve your business credit while getting a bit of cash back in the process.

Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card

  • Know the facts: Business cards are different from regular personal credit cards in a few important ways. Read all about how business cards are different than personal credit cards.
  • Practice good financial habits: Build your business credit with this card by using it responsibly. Your card activity will be reported to three business credit bureaus: Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Small Business Financial Exchange, along with the consumer credit bureaus.
  • Take advantage of the free employee cards: Assign employee cards to your employees to earn more cash back, more quickly. You can get an unlimited number of cards for free, and set individual credit limits.
  • Take your card abroad: There are no foreign transaction fees with this card. That makes it a pretty good choice for traveling abroad, especially because it’s a Visa which will be accepted pretty much everywhere.

The Rewards

While the rewards offered by this card are pretty meager, there’s no annual fee. So as long as you’re not carrying a balance or accruing other fees, you’ll be able to earn cash back practically for free.

Earning

Spending Rewards
  • 1% cash back on all purchases

You can earn an unlimited amount of cash back, and it will not expire as long as your account is open. You may be able to transfer your rewards between Capital One cards. Contact customer support for your card to learn if you can.

This rewards program is very basic because this card is designed for average credit. See some other business cards below, with better rewards and features.

Redeeming

You can redeem the cash back you earn as a statement credit to reduce the balance of your account. Or you can have it mailed to you in the form of a check. The statement credit is usually the easiest way to redeem.

Capital One provides an automatic redemption system you can use if you’d like. This will automatically redeem your cash back rewards at either a set time every year or when it reaches a specified threshold.

There is also the option to redeem your cash back for certain purchases, gift cards, and other expenses. But these methods are subject to change and will not always grant the full value of 1 cent for every 1 cent you’ve earned. So, it’s usually best to just redeem for statement credits.

The Benefits

  • Reports to business credit bureaus: This card reports your activity to the business credit bureaus Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Small Business Financial Exchange, along with the consumer credit bureaus. This is a pretty unique feature because some business credit cards, which have the word “business” in their name, don’t always report your regular activity to either the business credit bureaus or the personal credit bureaus.
  • Quarterly and year-end summaries: You can get custom, itemized reports of your spending to help simplify accounting and taxes. Includes primary and employee cards.
  • Downloadable purchase records: Download your records any time you’d like in a variety of formats, including Quicken, QuickBooks and Excel.
  • Spark Business customer service representatives: Speak with specially trained reps whenever you’d like for help with any questions you have. Call toll-free, 1-800-867-0904.
  • Free employee cards: Get an unlimited number of employee cards to distribute to your employees. You’ll earn cash back every time they use them. And you can set individual credit limits for the cards.
  • Visa SavingsEdge: Get up to 15% off at merchants when you shop through the Visa SavingsEdge shopping portal. You’ll find deals at gas stations, hotel chains, restaurants, office supply merchants, tech websites, and more.
  • Purchase Security: Eligible purchases made with the card are covered against damage and theft for 90 days. Reimbursement is available up to $10,000 per claim, $50,000 per cardholder.
  • Extended Warranty: For eligible purchases, this benefit doubles the time period of the manufacturer’s warranty. It applies to warranties of three years or less, and up to one additional year can be added. Warranties are covered up to $10,000 per claim, $50,000 per cardholder.
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: This benefit covers automobiles rented with your Spark Classic card against damage and theft. You must decline the rental company’s own insurance for this to take effect. If the vehicle is rented for business or commercial purposes, this benefit acts as primary coverage. If the vehicle is rented for personal use, this benefit acts as secondary coverage and will be supplemental to your personal auto insurance.
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance: Cardholders can call the number on the back of their card for emergency assistance in a variety of situations. You’ll be connected with local emergency services, including medical and legal referrals, emergency transportation, lost luggage location, and more.

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
24.49% Variable 24.49% Variable 24.49% Variable
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
$0 None
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
N/A 3% of the amount of the cash advance, but not less than $10
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
30.90% Variable Up to $39 None

The Spark Classic, designed for average credit, doesn’t have an annual fee to worry about. But you will have a pretty high APR. If you pay off your card balance in full every month, however, you’ll be able to avoid having to pay any interest at all. And that will also be best for your credit.

You won’t be charged extra when making foreign transactions. That’s a nice feature to have on a Visa rewards credit card like this, because it will be accepted pretty much everywhere around the world.

The Bottom Line

If you have average credit, the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business may be one of your only options if you want a business credit card (but remember you can also use personal credit cards for business spending, if you so choose).

As a card for average credit, you shouldn’t expect to get great rewards and flashy benefits. It only offers 1% back, but it’s better than nothing. You can hand out as many employee cards as you need to, earning rewards on all the spending. And there are some basic financial and account management features to help keep everything organized.

It’s a simple card, but if you want to improve your business credit while earning a bit of cash back too, this card provides a way. Capital One reports positive business card activity to more business credit bureaus than most other card issuers. So this and other Capital One business cards are good ways to build your business credit.

Check out some different Capital One business cards below, along with some other alternatives to the Spark Classic card.

How Do I Apply for the Spark Classic for Business Credit Card?

You can follow the link below to apply now, securely on Capital One’s website. Capital One will check your personal credit history and perhaps your business’ credit history. The approval process can be instant or it may take a few days, and if approved you should get your card within 10 business days.

What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify for the Spark Classic for Business Credit Card?

For the Capital One Spark Classic for Business, it’s recommended you have fair credit.

You’ll want scores within the ranges of 580–669 for FICO or 650–699 for VantageScore to be considered to have fair credit.

However, even if you don’t fall within those credit scores, you do still have a chance to get the card. Credit card issuers will weigh other factors when deciding, so people with lower scores still have a shot. Although that holds true for the reverse: Even if you have higher scores, you still might not make the cut.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Must be 18 to apply
  • Business identifying information: Business name plus how you want it to appear on card, legal business structure, business tax ID number, business ownership type, industry, category or specialty
  • Answers to business-related questions: Is your business in the U.S., is it legally formed, registered, or incorporated in the U.S., is it primarily based in the U.S.?
  • Business address and contact information: Email, business phone number, business address
  • Business financial information: Total annual revenue, monthly expenditure, type of accounts
  • Personal identifying information: Name, birth date, Social Security number, business role
  • Personal address and contact information: Address, phone number
  • Personal financial information: Total annual income, monthly mortgage/rent payment

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR24.49% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The information related to Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Frequently Asked Question

Does the Capital One Spark Classic for Business report to the business credit bureaus?

Yes, this card reports all of your activity (positive and negative) to three major business bureaus: Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Small Business Financial Exchange. That means it can help establish a positive credit history for your business. All card activity will also be reported to the consumer credit bureaus, a fairly rare feature that means you can also improve your personal credit with this card (or damage it).

Learn more about how different issuers report to the business credit bureaus.

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Alternatives to the Capital One Spark Classic for Business

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

Our rating
Min. credit level Good
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 14.49% - 22.49% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business (Review) is a bit like an upgraded version of the Spark Classic. It’s designed for people with excellent credit, rather than average.

You’ll get 0% APR for 9 months for purchases with this card. That can be a nice way to help fund a business for a bit, letting you pay off large expenses over time at no interest before the 14.49% - 22.49% Variable APR kicks in.

The Spark Cash Select also comes at the Visa Signature level, which has some upgraded benefits. These include potentially cost-savings perks like the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection. When staying at participating properties, this provides room upgrades, complimentary breakfasts and in-room WiFi, and $25 in food and beverage credits.

Other than that, this card is pretty much like the Spark Classic. Capital One provides all the same business-related benefits for each card.

Spending Rewards
  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • $200 cash bonus for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
  • Quarterly and year-end summaries: You can get custom, itemized reports of your spending to help simplify accounting and taxes. Includes primary and employee cards.
  • Downloadable purchase records: Download your records any time you’d like in a variety of formats, including Quicken, QuickBooks and Excel.
  • Spark Business customer service representatives: Speak with specially trained reps whenever you’d like for help with any questions you have. Call toll-free, 1-800-867-0904.
  • Free employee cards: Get an unlimited number of employee cards to distribute to your employees.
  • Visa SavingsEdge: Get up to 15% off at merchants when you shop through the Visa SavingsEdge shopping portal.
  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection: Provides a variety of perks, discounts, and complimentary services at over 1,300 hotels around the world, including most of the top brands
  • Shopping protections: Purchase security, extended warranty, price protection
  • Travel protections: Travel and emergency assistance services, rental car insurance, roadside dispatch, travel accident insurance, lost luggage reimbursement
  • Purchase APR: 0% for 9 months, then 14.49% - 22.49% Variable
  • Balance Transfer APR: 14.49% - 22.49% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0

The information related to Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

Our rating
Min. credit level Excellent
Details
Annual Fee $0.00
Regular APR 13.74% - 23.74% Variable APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card (Review) has no annual fee and features a flexible earning option.

You’ll have more earning potential with this card than the Spark Classic. The bonus categories you choose here will provide quite a bit more cash back on certain purchases. And every other purchase will get the 1% rate just like the Spark Classic.

The Business Advantage card also comes with a 0% introductory APR for 9 billing cycles for purchases, before the regular rate of 13.74% - 23.74% Variable APR. You won’t get anything like that with the Spark Classic, which has an APR on the high side.

There are some basic shopping and travel protections with the Business Advantage card. And there are also some tools to manage spending. But for the most part, the extra benefits are pretty similar between this and the Spark Classic.

Spending Rewards
  • 3% cash back in one category of your choice:
    • Gas
    • Travel
    • Office supply stores
    • TV/telecom and wireless services
    • Computer services
    • Business consulting services
  • 2% cash back on dining
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Spending limit: 3% and 2% rewards only up to $50,000 per year, then 1% back
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $300 statement credit when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening
  • Cash flow management tools: Simplify behind-the-scenes finances with a host of online services, from automatic payments to QuickBooks integration.
  • Travel and emergency services: Protections include $100K in travel insurance and auto rental insurance, emergency ticket replacement, lost luggage assistance, and extended protection.
  • Fraud protection: You’re not liable for any unauthorized charges, and you’ll receive alerts if abnormal spending is detected.
  • Purchase APR: 0% for 9 billing cycles, then 13.74% - 23.74% Variable APR
  • Balance Transfer APR: 13.74% - 23.74% Variable APR
  • Annual fee: $0.00
  • Get a $300 statement credit when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening – with no annual fee and cash rewards don’t expire.
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back on dining and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • You’ll get 3% and 2% cash back on the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year, 1% thereafter.
  • 0% Introductory APR on purchases for your first 9 billing cycles.
  • Redeem your cash rewards as a statement credit, check, or have cash deposited into a Bank of America® checking or savings account.
  • Get 75% more cash back on every purchase when you’re a Preferred Rewards for Business Platinum Honors tier member. That means you will earn 5.25% on your selected choice category, 3.5% on dining and unlimited 1.75% cash back on all other purchases.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Excellent
Details
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 13.24% - 19.24% Variable

The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card (Review) provides solid rewards potential from multiple business-related categories, but requires better credit scores.

The Ink Business Cash presents a great opportunity to reap in the rewards, without costing you anything annually. There are $25,000 earning limits for the 5% and 2% categories, but even with those caps, your earning potential will far outperform what you would see from the Spark Classic. Following that limit, you’ll be reduced to the same 1% you’d earn with the Spark Classic.

There are some small differences in their benefits. You’ll be limited in the number of employee cards you can request, unlike the Spark Classic for Business. There are also the Shop through Chase and Chase Offers perks which provide rewards and discounts at a number of different retailers, and the Luxury Hotel and Resort benefit.

If you spend a lot in this card’s categories and don’t require more than 70 employee cards, this could be a pretty lucrative option.

Spending Rewards
  • 5% cash back on up to $25,000 spent per year at:
    • Office supply stores
    • Internet, cable, and phone services
  • 2% cash back on up to $25,000 spent per year at:
    • Gas stations
    • Restaurants
  • 1% cash back on every other purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $500 cash back for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • Free employee cards: You can get up to 70 employee cards, and set individual spending limits for them. You’ll earn cash back for all spending on employee cards.
  • Shop through Chase: Cardholders can get more cash back at select retailers with the Shop through Chase marketplace.
  • Chase Offers: Find special deals at a selection of retailers.
  • Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection: The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection provides some complimentary services and benefits at participating hotels and resorts.
  • Shopping protections: Purchase protection and extended warranty protection
  • Travel protections: Rental car insurance and travel and emergency assistance services
  • Purchase APR: 0% for 12 months, then 13.24% - 19.24% Variable
  • Balance Transfer APR: 13.24% - 19.24% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0

American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Good
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee No annual fee
Regular APR 13.24% - 19.24% Variable

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card (Review) is a simple business card that offers a moderate reward rate.

Similar to the Spark Classic for Business, you’ll earn a flat rate for all of your purchases. However, it’s double the percentage, for the first $50,000 you spend per year. You’ll need higher credit scores, and you won’t get unlimited employee cards, but you will get 99 to give out.

There are a few finance tracking tools attached to help you monitor your spending, but other than that there’s not much to this card. The benefits are pretty minor and on-par with what the Spark Classic offers. It might be best used as a beginner card, but could lead to more rewards than you’d see with the Spark Classic.

Spending Rewards
  • 2% cash back for every purchase, up to $50,000 spent annually
  • 1% cash back for every purchase after that
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • Earn up to $300 in statement credits: Up to $100 each at Dell Technologies, DocuSign, and FedEx, for purchases made in the first 3 months
  • Expanded buying power: This feature allows you to spend beyond your credit limit without penalty to assist with cash flow. However, the amount you can spend above your credit limit isn’t unlimited, and will change based on your credit history and use of the card. You also have to repay the amount you spent beyond your limit in full as part of your next minimum payment, which could be a significant obstacle.
  • Employee cards: Get up to 99 employee credit cards, all of which earn rewards, for no additional fee.
  • Account manager: Allow other users to manage your credit card account.
  • American Express business app: Add receipts and take notes on transactions to make tax season a bit simpler.
  • Connect to QuickBooks: Track expenses with ease.
  • Amex Offers: Like many credit card companies, American Express often provides cardholders with a variety of special offers associated with various merchants.
  • Shopping protections: Purchase protections and extended warranty
  • Travel protection: Rental car insurance
  • Purchase APR: 0% for 12 months from date of account opening, then 13.24% - 19.24% Variable
  • Annual fee: No annual fee

The information related to American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR24.49% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The information related to Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Do you use the Spark Classic for Business from Capital One? How do you like it, and how do you use it? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear from you!

For rates and fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, please click here.

Brendan Harkness
Written by

Brendan Harkness

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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