Card Review: Capital One Spark Mile Select for Business – Simple, Inexpensive, and Rewarding
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The Capital One Spark Miles Select offers 5X miles per dollar if you can book your hotel or rental car through Capital One, plus a flat 1.5X miles for everything else. There aren’t many fees, and it features a few useful traveling perks.
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The information related to Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, Capital One Spark Miles for Business, The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, and American Express® Business Gold 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 Miles Select for Business 4 out of 5 Stars. Its main draw is the flat rate it earns, coupled with the lack of an annual fee. It has an emphasis on booking travel with Capital One for even greater rewards.
Why We Like It
- Unlimited 1.5X miles for most purchases
- 5X miles for hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One
- 20,000 miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
- Introductory purchase APR
- No annual fee
- No foreign transaction fee
Why It Could Be Better
- Sparse benefits (typical for no annual fee cards)
The Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business is a pretty simple tool for your small business. It could make your business trips less expensive without too much legwork, plus help you avoid interest payments with its introductory APR.
While most travelers like to shop around to find the best rates, if you manage to book your hotel or rental car through Capital One, you’d earn an impressive number of miles for the trouble. But if you don’t want to book any of your travel with Capital One, you’d still earn a decent rate (1.5X miles) for booking elsewhere, and for all your other business expenses.
We’ve found that for certain amounts of spending, the Capital One Spark Miles for Business (Review) could be more rewarding, despite coming with an annual fee. If your annual business spending is more than $19,000, the Spark Miles will be the more rewarding card. It features higher rewards but doesn’t have an intro APR offer, so if you don’t need to finance a large purchase, it’ll be a better pick.
Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card
- Take advantage of the flat rate: The Spark Miles Select earns 1.5X miles per dollar for every purchase, outside of its bonus categories. That makes it pretty easy to rake in the travel rewards.
- Book your hotel and rental car with Capital One: It earns the highest rate (5X miles) for hotels and rental cars booked with Capital One, so if you can, try utilizing the Capital One travel booking service.
- Look for mile transfers: You could find a better value for your miles by transferring them to Capital One’s transfer partners. Most miles will transfer at a 2:1.5 rate, but some partners have different rates.
- Pair it with a categorical rewards card: Because it’s mostly a flat-rate card, pairing the Spark Miles Select with a rewards card that earns across a number of bonus categories would maximize your rewards. Use the other card where it would earn the most, and the Miles Select for everything else. Take a look at the best business reward credit cards.
- Avoid interest charges with the 0% intro APR: If you need to make a sizable purchase for your business, like an important trip or perhaps a new office appliance, you can charge it to the Spark Miles Select and pay it down while the balance accrues no interest, for a reasonable time.
- Mind your credit utilization: The Spark Miles Select will report your positive and negative card activity to both the consumer and business credit bureaus. So 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. This is unlike most business credit cards, which only report negative activity to the consumer bureaus.
- Give your employees cards of their own: Cardholders can issue cards to employees, monitor their spending, and set limits, for no additional charge.
5X miles per dollar is a respectable rewards rate without a doubt, but it’s locked to booking some of your travel with Capital One.
People who travel often know how variable travel rates can be, so having to book with one service could turn out to be a bit frustrating. But if you can book either your rental car or hotel with Capital One, or both, you’ll be rewarded with that higher rate.
Spark Miles vs. Spark Miles Select: Which is better for your business?
The table below compares the Spark Miles’ 2X miles per dollar with the 1.5X miles from the Spark Miles Select, after taking the Spark Miles’ annual fee into account. It assumes you’re earning 1 cent per mile.
For businesses that spend less than $19,000 annually, the Spark Miles Select will be the more lucrative option.
This table doesn’t take into account the 5X miles per dollar earned through booking hotels or rental cars with Capital One, which each card provides. But if you’ll do the same amount of spending with either card, it doesn’t really change the equation.
|Amount Spent Annually||Spark Miles: Cash Back Earned||Spark Miles Select: Cash Back Earned|
Here are the options when it’s time to redeem:
- Travel expenses made within 90 days
- Mile transfers (best value)
- Statement credits
- Gift cards
Redeeming for travel expenses will ensure you get 1 cent per mile. However, transferring your miles to one of Capital One’s travel partners could net you an even greater per-mile value, and thus boost your cash back equivalent. Capital One has an extensive collection of travel partners to choose from. Mile transfers can be pretty lucrative if you find the right deal.
Redeeming for statement credits or gift cards will likely not provide the full 1 cent per mile.
Capital One Travel Partners
Aeromexico Club Premier
Air Canada Aeroplan
Air France KLM Flying Blue
British Airways Executive Club
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
ALL Accor Live Limitless
Because this is a no annual fee travel card, the benefits aren’t overly impressive. There are some that could come in handy to help keep your business neat and tidy, however.
- Transaction details: See merchant information including business locations and logos of the companies you’re purchasing from.
- Purchase records: Quickly access and download your purchase records.
- Free employee cards: Issue employees their own cards with spend monitoring capabilities for no additional cost.
- Capital One digital assistant: Eno, the Capital One digital assistant, will monitor your account and send alerts if anything suspicious occurs. You can also ask questions for instant answers, 24/7.
- Extended Warranty: Extend an eligible manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less.
- Rental Collision Coverage: Decline the rental provider’s insurance offer and charge the full amount to your card to be covered against damage or theft.
- Travel and Roadside Assistance: Gain access to a number of emergency services including ticket replacement, legal or medical referrals, or roadside assistance.
- Virtual card numbers: Make online purchases more safely by using a virtual card number that’s separate from your physical card.
The Terms & Fees
|Purchase APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|0% for 9 months, then 13.99% - 23.99% Variable||13.99% - 23.99% Variable||24.49% Variable|
|Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee|
|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|
|29.40% Variable||Up to $39||None|
If you need to make any large purchases for your business and you can’t pay all at once, the Spark Miles Select can help you save money from interest charges. Charge the purchase to your card and you’ll have some time to pay it down while the balance accrues no interest. However, the window is relatively short, compared to some other 0% credit cards, so be sure you can pay it off in time.
The Bottom Line
The Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business is a good option if you’re looking for an uncomplicated business card. It doesn’t have very many fees to worry about, most notably no annual fee.
The benefits are thin, but that’s to be expected, and it doesn’t mean you wouldn’t get something out of them. Plus there’s the 0% intro APR to help you avoid accruing interest on any large purchases you might have planned.
If you travel frequently, you’d benefit from a more advanced business travel card, like the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (Review), or the upgraded version of this card, the Capital One Spark Miles for Business (Review).
Or, take a look at the best business credit cards for travel. You may see something you like even more.
What’s the difference between the Spark Miles Select and Spark Miles?
The Capital One Spark Miles for Business (Review) asks for an annual fee but earns 2X miles per dollar compared to the 1.5X miles the Spark Miles Select earns. It doesn’t have a 0% APR intro offer and adds an application fee credit for Global Entry/TSA PreCheck.
How Do I Apply for the Spark Miles Select?
Follow the link below to be taken to the credit card issuer’s website. You can fill out an application, securely, and you’ll likely hear back instantly regarding your approval or denial.
What Credit Scores Do I Need To Qualify for the Spark Miles Select?
It’s recommended that you have good credit before applying.
To qualify for good credit, your credit scores will need to be at least 670–739 for FICO scores and/or 700–749 for VantageScores.
Take note, credit card issuers will look at more than just credit scores when deciding creditworthiness. Factors such as income, monthly rent or mortgage payments, and more are considered. This additional information could lead to your approval if your scores aren’t at what’s recommended, but it also means you could be denied even if they are.
Alternatives to the Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business
The information related to Capital One Spark Miles for Business has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.
Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply.
American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.
The information related to The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.
The information related to Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.
Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply.
American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.
The information related to American Express® Business Gold Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.
Do you have the Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business? Have you taken advantage of mile transfers? Let us know in the comments!Not interested in the Spark Miles Select? Take a look at these other great options. Best Business Credit Cards for Travel
Evan graduated from SUNY Oswego with a degree in journalism and creative writing. In his professional writing career, he strives for precision and comprehension in his work. He’s written news articles, blog posts, and copy, working across a slew of different mediums. With in-depth research and great care for accuracy and detail, he now works to bring you the most up-to-date credit information.
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