Review of the Capital One Spark Business Credit Cards

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

Jun 14, 2016 | Updated May 30, 2017

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Capital One offers a variety of business credit cards, and this is a review of 3 of them: the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business, the Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business, and the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business.

The first two are made for business owners with excellent credit, while the third is for average credit. They all provide cash back, but the cards for excellent credit offer higher rewards and more valuable benefits.

These are general cash back cards, which means that they don’t have any spending categories to worry about. Instead, they provide the same reward no matter where you shop or what you buy.

Should you be using one of these cards to help fund your business? Keep reading to find out!

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $59 (waived the first year)
  • Interest Rate: 17.74% Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Earn 2% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Plus, a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months
  • Cash rewards don't expire, and there are no categories to limit where or what you buy
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that
  • Redeem cash rewards anytime, for any amount, even set up automatic redemption
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn unlimited cash rewards that don't expire

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% *Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Plus, a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months
  • Save on interest with 0% intro APR on purchases until May 2016; 12.9%-20.9% variable APR after that
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
  • Get online Quarterly and Year-End Summaries
  • Redeem cash rewards anytime, for any amount, even set up automatic redemption
  • Earn unlimited cash rewards that don't expire

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

For People with
Fair Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 23.24% *Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Enjoy no annual fee
  • Build business credit with responsible use with eligibility for an automatic credit line increase
  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Separate business expenses from personal expenses
  • $0 Fraud Liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • Enjoy business benefits including Year-End Summaries, employee cards at no additional cost, and experienced small business customer service

The Rewards

As you can see, the basic Spark Cash is the most rewarding, providing a nice amount of cash back no matter where you shop and the largest signup bonus.

You’ll get the smallest reward and no signup bonus with the Spark Classic, but this is because it’s designed for people with lower credit scores.

Spark Cash

  • 2% cash back on all purchases
  • $500 cash back for spending $4,500 on purchases in 3 months

Spark Cash Select

  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • $200 cash back for spending $3,000 on purchases in 3 months

Spark Classic

  • 1% cash back on all purchases

The Benefits

Capital One provides a nice set of benefits for each of these cards, though the Cash and Cash Select are definitely better than the Classic.

The following features are available for the Spark Cash and Spark Cash Select. Most of them are also available for the Spark Classic, but some of the best ones are not. You can take a look at the Summary below to see an overview of which benefits come with each card.

Perks

  • 24/7 Concierge Service

    Call for non-emergency help with a variety of tasks, like making travel arrangements and finding hard-to-find gifts.

  • Visa® SavingsEdge

    Save up to 15% at www.visasavingsedge.com.

  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection

    Get discounts and benefits at over 900 hotel properties.

  • Movie Discounts

    Get discounts at fandango.com/visasignature

  • Fine Wine & Food

    Special dining events and wine tasting at Sonoma County wineries.

  • Sports Experiences

    Access to popular sporting events and premiere golf benefits at Pebble Beach Resorts®.

  • Shopping Discounts

    Discounts and special offers at premium retailers, from jewelry to apparel and electronics.

Business

  • Quarterly and Year-End Summary

    Get itemized spending reports to help simplify accounting and taxes.

  • Downloadable Purchase Records

    Easily download your records in a variety of formats, including QuickBooks™ and Excel®.

  • Free Employee Cards

    And earn rewards when your employees spend with their cards.

  • Spark Business Customer Service Representatives

    Speak with specially trained reps whenever you’d like for help with any questions you have.

Account Management

  • Account Alerts

    Get alerts about account information on your phone.

  • Mobile App

    Manage your account from your phone.

  • Financial Tools & Tips

    Educate yourself on credit with Capital One resources.

Security

  • Fraud Protection

    You will not be held responsible for unauthorized use of your card.

Shopping

  • Purchase Protection

    Provides coverage against lost or stolen items within 90 days from the date of purchase.

  • Extended Warranty Protection

    Extends a manufacturer’s warranty at no charge.

  • Price Protection

    If you find an item you purchased at a lower price price, you can be reimbursed the difference.

Travel

  • Travel and Emergency Assistance

    Provides help with travel emergencies, including emergency card replacement or cash advances.

  • Travel Accident Insurance

    Covers you and your family in the case of physical accidents.

  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver

    Provides coverage against theft and collision, as long as the car rental company’s own insurance is declined.

  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement

    If checked or carry-on bags are lost or damaged, provides reimbursement up to $3,000 per passenger.

  • Roadside Assistance Hotline

    Assistance with services such as towing, changing a flat, or boosting a battery in case of emergency.

Summary

These cards come with a wide variety of benefits, which could be pretty valuable if you make use of them often enough.

The Spark Classic has the fewest features, but the most important ones are there, like the account management and business benefits.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of all the benefits offered by each card:

Spark Cash Spark Cash Select Spark Classic

Perks

  • 24/7 Concierge Service
  • Visa SavingsEdge
  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection
  • Movie Discounts
  • Fine Wine & Food
  • Sports Experiences
  • Shopping Discounts
  • 24/7 Concierge Service
  • Visa SavingsEdge
  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection
  • Movie Discounts
  • Fine Wine & Food
  • Sports Experiences
  • Shopping Discounts
  • Visa SavingsEdge
Business
  • Quarterly and Year-End Summary
  • Downloadable Purchase Records
  • Free Employee Cards
  • Spark Business Customer Service Representatives
  • Quarterly and Year-End Summary
  • Downloadable Purchase Records
  • Free Employee Cards
  • Spark Business Customer Service Representatives
  • Quarterly and Year-End Summary
  • Downloadable Purchase Records
  • Free Employee Cards
  • Spark Business Customer Service Representatives
Account
  • Account Alerts
  • Mobile App
  • Financial Tools & Tips
  • Account Alerts
  • Mobile App
  • Financial Tools & Tips
  • Account Alerts
  • Mobile App
  • Financial Tools & Tips
Security
  • Fraud Protection
  • Fraud Protection
  • Fraud Protection
Shopping
  • Purchase Protection
  • Extended Warranty Protection
  • Price Protection
  • Purchase Protection
  • Extended Warranty Protection
  • Price Protection
  • Purchase Protection
  • Extended Warranty Protection
Travel
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement
  • Roadside Assistance Hotline
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement
  • Roadside Assistance Hotline
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver

The Costs & Fees

Card Annual Fee Intro APR for Purchases and Balance Transfers Regular APR for Purchases and Balance Transfers Cash Advance APR Foreign Transaction Fee
Spark Cash $59 (waived the first year) None 17.74% Variable 23.74% Variable 0%
Spark Cash Select $0  0% for 9 months 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% *Variable 23.24% *Variable 0%
Spark Classic $0  None 23.24% *Variable 23.24% *Variable 0%
Card Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
Spark Cash 30.15% Variable Up to $39 See Terms
Spark Cash Select 29.65% *Variable Up to $39 See Terms
Spark Classic 29.65% *Variable Up to $39 See Terms

Here you can see a few differences between the cards.

The Spark Cash is the only one that will have an annual fee, but it’s fairly small and only kicks in after the first year. The Spark Cash Select is the only one with an intro 0% APR offer, which will apply to purchases and balance transfers for 9 months.

The Spark Classic, designed for average credit, doesn’t have an annual fee but you’ll get 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.

None of these cards have a foreign transaction fee, making them good choices to bring with you on business trips outside the country.

The Bottom Line: 5 Out Of 5 Stars

The Spark Cash, Spark Cash Select, and Spark Classic credit cards from Capital One are all options to help you fund your business, but some of them are obviously better than others. So consider your finances – are you eligible for the more valuable cards?

Since the Spark Cash and Spark Cash Select are designed for better credit, they’ll obviously come with better rewards, benefits, and rates. If you’re wondering which one of these to get, consider what makes them different:

  • The Spark Cash offers 2% back, while the Spark Cash Select offers 1.5% back
  • The Spark Cash offers $500 for spending $4,500, while the Spark Cash Select offers $200 for spending $3,000
  • The Spark Cash has an annual fee of $59, waived the first year, while the Spark Cash Select has no fee to use
  • The Spark Cash has no intro APR, but the Spark Cash Select has 9 months at 0% APR

So as you can see, these cards are different in a few ways, and neither one is necessarily better than the other. Would you rather earn 2% back and pay the annual fee, or get 1.5% back and pay no fee? Do you really want a card with an intro APR? The additional benefits are the same, so you don’t need to compare them in that category. Take a look at your finances and your spending habits, and think about which one of these cards would bring you the most value.

If your credit isn’t good enough for the Spark Cash or Spark Cash Select, you may need to settle for the Spark Classic or look for other business credit cards. The Spark Classic is probably best used as a way to improve your credit, so you’ll eventually be able to qualify for a more rewarding card.

We gave the Spark Cash and Spark Cash Select cards 5 out of 5 Stars because they’re good options for business owners to earn cash back on purchases in general, rather than specific categories. They’re very cheap to use (the Spark Cash Select is free if you avoid interest), and they come with a pretty comprehensive set of benefits.

We gave the Spark Classic 4 out of 5 Stars because when it comes to cards designed for average credit, this one has relatively good terms. It’s free to use if you avoid interest, comes with some nice benefits, and provides a way for business owners to improve their credit over time.

Do you use any of the Spark business credit cards from Capital One? How do you like it? Leave your own review of the Spark Cash, the Spark Cash Select, or the Spark Classic credit card, we’d love to hear from you!

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