Review of the Capital One Spark Business Credit Cards

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

Dec 05, 2017 | Updated Jan 07, 2018

Credit Card Insider receives compensation from some credit card issuers as advertisers. Advertiser relationships do not affect card ratings or our Editor's Best Card Picks. Capital One has not endorsed this content in any way.

Learn more about how we rate cards.

Capital One offers five different credit cards in their Spark family of business cards, including three cash back cards which are covered in this review.

Two cash back cards for people with excellent credit:

One cash back card for people with average credit:

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. The Spark Cash is the most rewarding and also the only card with an annual fee, but if you plan to spend more than $19,000 every year with it you’ll be able to offset that fee and it will be the most rewarding choice among these cards. If you won’t be spending that much per year, one of the other cards would be better for you.

These cards all report your activity to the business credit bureaus, which means they can help you build up your business credit. This is unlike many other business credit cards, which don’t report to the business credit bureaus and only report to the personal credit bureaus when you perform a negative activity, like a late payment.

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

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
Apply Now

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $95 (waived the first year)
  • Interest Rate: 17.99% 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; $95 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
Apply Now

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 13.99%, 17.99%, or 21.99% 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
Apply Now

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

For People with
Fair Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 23.99% 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

Our Rating

Spark Cash and Spark Cash Select: 5 out of 5 Stars

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. These cards are very similar, both designed for people with excellent credit, but the Spark Cash has an annual fee of $95 (waived the first year), while the Spark Cash Select has no annual fee.

This means they’re very cheap to use, and the Spark Cash Select is completely free if you avoid interest and penalty fees. For the annual fee on the Spark Cash you’ll get the best version of the Spark card, and if you plan to spend at least $4,750 per year with it you’ll be able to earn enough cash back to offset the annual fee. However, we’ve calculated that you’ll need to spend more than $19,000 per year to make the Spark Cash card more profitable than the Spark Cash Select. If you won’t spend that much per year it would be better to go with the no-annual-fee Spark Cash Select.

The cash back you earn — 2% with the Spark Cash and 1.5% with the Spark Cash Select — can be redeemed directly as statement credits to lower your balance, so you can use it to help with any expenses you pay for with the card. Both of these cards have a signup bonus for spending a certain amount in the first 3 months. The Spark Cash offers $500 cash back for spending $4,500, and the Spark Cash Select offers $200 for spending $3,000.

Capital One and Visa provide a pretty comprehensive set of benefits for these cards, both of which are available at the Visa Signature level if your financial history is good enough. They also come with a set of business benefits to help with basic finances regarding the card, like spending summaries and year end reports. You can get as many employee cards as you’d like, and set individual credit limits on them.

The Visa Signature Business benefits include the Luxury Hotel Collection, providing cardholders with valuable offers and discounts at 900 hotels and resorts around the world. There are more discounts available at many merchants through the Visa SavingsEdge shopping portal, and also through the Visa Signature shopping portal. You’ll also get protection benefits to help guard your purchases when you shop, and your life and belongings when you travel.

These cards report activity to the business credit bureaus, unlike many other “business” credit cards. This means the Spark cards can actually help you improve your business credit. In general, business credit cards will not report your regular activity to either the business or the personal credit reporting agencies; but if you perform a negative action, like making a late payment, that will be reported to the personal credit bureaus.

Spark Classic: 4 out of 5 Stars

We gave the Spark Classic 4 out of 5 Stars because it offers a reduced set of rewards and benefits compared to the other Spark cards. This is because it’s designed for people with average credit. Despite that, it has fairly good terms and provides a way to improve your business credit.

There’s no annual fee on this card, so it’s free to use as long as you avoid interest and penalty fees. You’ll only earn 1% cash back for purchases and there is no signup bonus, so it won’t be a very rewarding card.

You’ll get the same Capital One business benefits as the other cards, which include the spending summaries, employee cards, and access to Visa SavingsEdge. Many of the other basic benefits are the same as well. However, this card is not likely to be available as a Visa Signature, so you’ll miss out on some of the best benefits like the Luxury Hotel Collection. See our Benefits section below for a discussion of which benefits are available for each card.

Overall, this card is a decent option if you want to build your business credit for no annual fee. It’s not very rewarding, but it also only requires average credit to get.

Insider Advice: Using These Cards as Part of Your Credit Card Strategy

  • You should only need one of these cards at a time. The Spark Cash and Spark Cash Select are both designed for people with excellent credit and so they provide the best rewards and benefits. The Spark Classic only requires average credit but it is less rewarding. So, the right card for you will depend in large part on your credit history and financial situation.
  • If your credit history isn’t that great, you can use the Spark Classic card to improve your credit over time. Eventually you’ll be able to qualify for a higher-tier card with better terms, rewards, and benefits.
  • Take note that these are all business credit cards, which means they are different from regular personal credit cards in a few important ways. Read all about how business cards are different than personal credit cards.
  • All three of these cards report to business credit bureaus, specifically Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and Small Business Financial Exchange. This means you can build your business credit with these cards, which is unlike most other “business” credit cards which don’t report to the business credit bureaus and only report to the normal, personal credit reporting agencies when you perform a negative action, like a late payment.
  • The Spark Cash and Spark Cash Select cards are available at the basic Visa Traditional tier as well as the upgraded Visa Signature tier. The tier you get will depend on your credit history and financial situation. Visa Signature offers a wider set of upgraded benefits than the basic tier. The Spark Classic will probably only be available at the Visa Traditional level.
  • These cards offer their cash back rewards no matter where you shop, so you can use them anywhere without worrying about specific categories. Be sure to get the signup bonuses for the Spark Cash and Spark Cash Select, which you can earn by spending a certain amount in the first 3 months. The Spark Cash requires $4,500 spent, which will earn you $500 cash back. The Spark Cash Select requires you to spend $3,000 and will provide $200 cash back.
  •  The Spark Cash is the only one of these three cards to have an annual fee, which is $95, waived the first year. You’ll want to earn enough cash back to offset that fee every year and make some profit on top of that, otherwise this card can end up costing you money. We’ve calculated that you’ll actually need to spend more than $19,000 per year to make the Spark Cash card more profitable than the Spark Cash Select, after accounting for the differences in cash back and annual fees. If you’ll spend more than that every year, the Spark Cash might be a good choice for you; otherwise, consider going with the Spark Cash Select, which has no annual fee to worry about but only provides 1.5% cash back.
  • The Spark Cash Select is the only card to offer a 0% intro APR. It provides 9 months at 0% APR for purchases only, not balance transfers. This is a good way to manage cashflow when getting a business off the ground, because you’re getting a deal similar to a 9-month interest-free loan. Take note that you’ll still need to make a minimum payment every month, and if you make a late payment you can lose that introductory rate and it will replaced by the regular rate or an even higher penalty rate.
  • You can earn more cash back more quickly by assigning employee cards to your employees. You’ll earn cash back whenever the cards are used, and you can set individual credit limits to control spending. Employee cards are free.
  • The Spark Cash and Spark Cash Select may come with Visa Signature Business benefits, can be very rewarding in some cases. You’ll have access to the Luxury Hotel Collection, where you’ll find deep discounts and complimentary services at a very wide variety of hotels and resorts around the world. These will be especially valuable for frequent travelers, because many of the benefits are available every time you stay at a participating location. You’ll also get more shopping discounts and a wider set of protections for your purchases and when traveling. This includes the Price Protection benefit, which will reimburse you if an item you bought is found being advertised for a lesser price.
  • These cards don’t have foreign transaction fees, so they are good options for business trips outside the country. Most cards charge a fee of up to 3% for every purchase made when traveling abroad.

The Rewards

The Spark Cash is the most rewarding, providing 2% cash back no matter where you shop and the largest signup bonus.

The Spark Cash Select is next, offering 1.5% cash back on every purchase and a smaller signup bonus.

The Spark Classic provides the smallest reward of just 1% cash back on all purchases and no signup bonus, but this is because it’s designed for people with fair or average credit.

Earning

Spark Cash

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

Spark Cash Select

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

Spark Classic

  • 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.

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, which will automatically redeem your cash back 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.

How to Offset the Annual Fee

The Capital One Spark Cash card comes with an annual fee of $95, which is waived the first year. It would be best to earn enough cash back every year to offset that fee, and then make some profit on top of that. So how much do you need to spend every year to offset the fee?

This card provides 2% cash back, so if you spend $4,750 you’ll earn exactly $95 in cash back. Any rewards you earn after that will be pure profit.

That means you should expect to spend at least $4,750 with this card every year to make sure it remains profitable for you. However, you’ll need to spend more than that to make the Spark Cash card the right choice — otherwise you should consider the Spark Cash Select, which has no annual fee but only offers 1.5% cash back. We’ll discuss exactly how much you need to spend to make the Spark Cash card the right choice for you in the next section.

Which Card is Better for You?

We saw above that you’ll need to spend $4,750 per year to offset the annual fee of the Spark Cash card, but that will only let you break even. If you spent that much with the Spark Cash Select instead you would earn $71.25 in profit, and that would be a better strategy.

So how much do you need to spend per year to make the Spark Cash card, at 2% cash back, more rewarding than the Spark Cash Select at 1.5% cash back? Here are some example amounts, along with how much cash back you’ll earn after the annual fee is subtracted.

Amount Spent Annually Cash Back Earned (Spark Cash) Cash Back Earned (Spark Cash Select)
$2,500 -$45 $37.50
$4,750 $0 $71.25
$10,000 $105 $150
$15,000 $205 $225
$19,000 $285 $285
$20,000 $305 $300
$25,000 $405 $375
$30,000 $505 $450
$40,000 $705 $600

As you can see, you’ll need to spend $19,000 per year to make the Spark Cash card as profitable as the Spark Cash Select. As you spend more than that, the difference in the cash back you’ll earn grows more and more in favor of the Spark Cash card.

So, if you spend more than $19,000 per year the Spark Cash will provide more cash back and it would be the right choice for you; if you won’t spend that much, the Spark Cash Select will be more rewarding overall even though it offers a lower cash back rate.

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. Take note that some of these benefits feature offers that are only available for a limited time.

The benefits you get will depend on your card service level — Visa Traditional (basic) or Visa Signature (upgraded). This will depend on your credit history and financial situation. The Spark Cash and Spark Cash Select cards will usually come at the Visa Signature level, while the Spark Classic will usually come at the Visa Traditional level.

Most of the benefits are available for the Spark Classic, but some of the best ones are not. In some cases, the Spark Classic will have a reduced version of a benefit that is more rewarding with the other two cards.

You can take a look at the full Summary of Benefits below to see an overview of which benefits come with each card.

Reports to Business Credit Bureaus

These cards report your activity to the business credit bureaus Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and Small Business Financial Exchange. This is a pretty unique feature because most business credit cards, which have the word “business” in their name, don’t actually report your regular activity to either the business credit bureaus or the personal credit bureaus; instead, they only report to the personal credit bureaus when you perform a negative action, like a late or returned payment.

The Spark cards provide a way to build up your business credit, unlike most other business cards which will only affect your personal credit when you do something negative. This feature makes these cards stand out among business credit cards.

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, and earn rewards every time they use them. You can set individual credit limits for the cards.

24/7 Concierge Service

Call the number on the back of your card for non-emergency help with a variety of tasks, like making travel arrangements, getting tickets to events or reservations at restaurants, and finding hard-to-find gifts.

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.

Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection

Frequent travelers should take note of this benefit, because it provides a variety of perks, discounts, and complimentary services at over 900 hotels around the world, including most of the top brands. When staying at these participating resorts and hotels, Visa Signature cardholders will receive the following benefits:

  • Best available rate guarantee
  • Automatic room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • Complimentary in-room Wi-Fi, when available
  • Complimentary continental breakfast daily
  • $25 USD food or beverage credit
  • VIP Guest status
  • 3PM check-out upon request, when available

Fine Wine & Food

Visa Signature cardholders get discounts at over 50 wineries in Sonoma County, California. See the list of participating wineries.

The benefits at wineries include:

  • Purchase 1 standard tasting using a Visa Signature card and receive 1 complimentary tasting of equal or lesser value
  • Preferred pricing on non-wine purchases over $50, where applicable
  • Savings on wine purchased same day in the Tasting Room
  • Savings on Reserve tasting or special wine and food pairings

Sports Experiences

A rotating selection of sports-related discounts and benefits.

One example is an invitation to join Troon Rewards, the reward program of the Troon golf course and merchandise company. This will give you a 10% discount on golf fees and merchandise at Troon courses around the world. Current Troon Rewards members can receive an upgrade in status, either to Gold (15% discount) or Platinum (20% discount).

Shopping Discounts

Visa Signature cardholders have access to a rotating selection of discounts and offers at a wide variety of retailers. There is a nice selection to choose from, with both online and offline offers, and it includes many popular brands so it’s worth checking before you make any major purchase.

Some current examples (at the time this was published) include:

  • Save $10 on purchases of $50 or more at GNC.com
  • Buy a $75.00 Macy’s eGift card & get a $5.00 Macy’s eGift card
  • Save 20% on purchases of $200 or more at Cole Haan (online or in-store)
  • Buy/renew a 3-month Audible Gold Gift Membership for $45 plus applicable taxes and receive a $5 Amazon.com gift card
  • Free Pearl Harbor Tote Bag with purchase of $25 or more at USS Arizona Memorial Museum Store in Hawaii

Shopping Protections

These cards also come with several perks to help out when shopping. You’ll get Purchase Security to cover your items against theft and damage, and an Extended Warranty to protect your purchases longer than usual. Visa Signature-level cards will also get Price Protection, which will reimburse you if you find an item you bought being advertised for a lesser price.

Terms and limitations apply.

Travel Protections

You’ll get some travel protections with these cards, like Travel and Emergency Assistance to help you find emergency services when you need them, and an Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver to lighten the cost of your car rentals.

Visa Signature cardholders will also get the Roadside Dispatch service for on-the-road emergency referrals, like tire changes and towing. Travel Accident Insurance is included as well, which provides coverage on common carriers, and the Lost Luggage Reimbursement service will provide up to $3,000 in reimbursement if your luggage is lost or stolen.

Terms and limitations apply.

Summary of Benefits

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. If you want to enjoy the more luxurious side of credit card benefits, you’ll need to go with either the Spark Cash or the Spark Cash Select.

If you’d like to read through the benefits for each card, you can see:

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

Spark Cash Spark Cash Select Spark Classic
Business
  • Reports to Business Credit Bureaus
  • Quarterly and Year-End Summary
  • Downloadable Purchase Records
  • Free Employee Cards
  • Spark Business Customer Service Representatives
  • Reports to Business Credit Bureaus
  • Quarterly and Year-End Summary
  • Downloadable Purchase Records
  • Free Employee Cards
  • Spark Business Customer Service Representatives
  • Reports to Business Credit Bureaus
  • Quarterly and Year-End Summary
  • Downloadable Purchase Records
  • Free Employee Cards
  • Spark Business Customer Service Representatives

Perks

  • 24/7 Concierge Service
  • Visa SavingsEdge
  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection
  • Fine Wine & Food
  • Sports Experiences
  • Shopping Discounts
  • 24/7 Concierge Service
  • Visa SavingsEdge
  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection
  • Fine Wine & Food
  • Sports Experiences
  • Shopping Discounts
  • Visa SavingsEdge
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 Regular APR for Purchases and Balance Transfers Cash Advance APR Foreign Transaction Fee
Spark Cash $95 (waived the first year) None 17.99% Variable 23.99% Variable 0%
Spark Cash Select $0  0% for 9 months 13.99%, 17.99%, or 21.99% Variable 23.99% Variable 0%
Spark Classic $0  None 23.99% Variable 23.99% Variable 0%
Card Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
Spark Cash 30.4% Variable Up to $39 See Terms
Spark Cash Select 30.4% Variable Up to $39 See Terms
Spark Classic 30.4% 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. As we’ve discussed above, you can offset this fee by spending $4,750 with the card per year to earn $95 in cash back.

The Spark Cash Select is the only card with an intro 0% APR offer, which will apply to purchases for 9 months. If that’s a necessity for you, this will be your only option. This intro rate does not apply to balance transfers, and it may be replaced by the regular rate or the penalty rate if you make a late payment. You may get a regular purchase APR on the lower end or the higher end, depending on your credit and financial history.

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 at all.

None of these cards have a foreign transaction fee, making them good choices to bring with you on business trips outside the country. Most other credit cards will charge a fee, usually of 3%.

The Bottom Line

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 credit and your finances — are you eligible for the more valuable cards?

Since the Spark Cash and Spark Cash Select are designed for excellent credit, they’ll obviously come with better rewards, benefits, and rates. The Spark Classic comes with fewer rewards and benefits, but they all offer ways to build business credit because they report to the business credit reporting bureaus.

If you’re going back and forth between the Spark cards, consider the main ways that they are similar and different:

Feature Spark Cash Spark Cash Select Spark Classic
Cash Back 2% 1.5% 1%
Spending Bonus $500 for spending $4,500 $200 for spending $3,000 None
Benefits Full set, including business Full set, including business Reduced set, some business
Annual Fee $95 (waived the first year) None None
Intro APR None 9-month 0% APR on purchases None

So as you can see, these cards are different in a few ways, and when it comes to the Spark Cash and the Spark Cash Select neither one is necessarily better than the other overall.

Would you rather earn 2% back and pay the annual fee, or get 1.5% back and pay no fee? You can offset the annual fee on the Spark Cash by spending $4,750 per year, but remember that you’ll need to spend more than $19,000 per year before the Spark Cash becomes more profitable than the Spark Cash Select. If you won’t spend that much annually the Spark Cash Select will be the better choice because you’ll end up with more cash back.

Do you want a card with an intro APR for purchases? 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.

How to Apply for the Spark Business Credit Cards

To apply for one of the Spark Business cards just click the appropriate Apply Now button below. You’ll be taken to Capital One to apply, and they’ll check your credit history and your business’s credit history.

The Spark Cash cards are both designed for people with excellent credit, while the Spark Classic is designed for people with average credit. 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.

When you apply, you’ll need to have your basic personal information, along with business information which includes your total annual revenue and your business’s Tax ID Number or Employer ID Number. 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.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
Apply Now

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $95 (waived the first year)
  • Interest Rate: 17.99% 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; $95 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
Apply Now

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 13.99%, 17.99%, or 21.99% 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
Apply Now

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

For People with
Fair Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Interest Rate: 23.99% 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

Alternatives to the Capital One Spark Business Credit Cards

Chase Ink Business Cash Card

The Chase Ink Business Cash Card (Review) has no annual fee and a 0% introductory APR for 12 months on both purchases and balance transfers. The only Spark card to have an intro rate is the Spark Cash Select, and that provides 9 months at 0% APR for purchases only.

The Ink card is quite rewarding for certain types of business owners, offering 5% cash back at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services. You’ll also get 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants. There’s a $300 signup bonus for spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, which is a bit better than the Spark cards overall.

You can get employee copies of the Ink card, just like the Spark cards. It also comes with a basic set of shopping and travel protections.

Overall, it has the potential to be quite a rewarding card if you frequently shop at merchants where you’ll get the 5% cash back. There’s no annual fee, so anything you earn is pure profit as long as you avoid interest and penalty fees.

The major difference between the Ink and the Spark cards is that the Spark cards offer general rewards that you’ll get no matter where you shop, while the Ink card offers its best rewards in specific categories. A good strategy to maximize rewards could be to combine these cards: use the Ink whenever you’re shopping in the 5% and 2% reward categories, and use the Spark card for every other purchase.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express (Review) is more expensive than any of the Spark cards, coming with an annual fee of $175 which is waived the first year. It’s also different in that it’s a charge card, meaning you’ll have to pay your entire balance in full every month.

If you’re willing to pay that price you’ll get to choose a category to earn 3 points per dollar in, which is equivalent of up to 3% cash back. You can choose from airfare, advertising in select media, gas stations, shipping, or computer hardware and software. You’ll earn 2 points per dollar in all the other categories that you don’t choose, the equivalent of up to 2% cash back. So if you want to customize your rewards and tend to make purchases in the categories listed here, this card might be a great choice for you.

You can also transfer your points to participating frequent traveler programs, a great feature that can potentially make those points very valuable. In some cases you can earn the equivalent of up to 4.2% cash back with a transfer, but this amount will vary depending on the program and what the points are used for (flights, hotel rooms, etc.).

This card comes with a nice signup bonus of 50,000 points for spending $5,000, which comes to an equivalent of $500. There are many benefits with this card that could be very valuable, especially for frequent travelers. Cardholders have access to The Hotel Collection by American Express, for example, which provides discounts and credit at hotels when you book eligible stays.

If you’re able to redeem your rewards at a rate of 4% with the point transfer, you’ll need to spend $4,625 with this card to offset the annual fee. If you redeem at the 3% rate, you’ll have to spend $6,167 to offset the fee. If you’re spending less than that per year, the annual fee on this card will end up costing you money.

The Business Gold Rewards card comes with a comprehensive set of shopping and travel protections, which are comparable to the Visa Signature benefits of the Spark cards. American Express also provides a suite of business benefits through their OPEN program, which help you manage your account and connect with other business owners.

You can get additional employee cards, but they will cost you. The first employee card will have an annual fee of $50, waived in the first year of card ownership; additional employee cards will have no fee. Compare this to the Spark cards, where you’ll get an unlimited number of free employee cards.

Overall, the Business Gold Rewards card is more rewarding than the Spark cards as long as you spend in its reward categories, and the benefits are a step up as well. But you’ll also be paying quite a bit more for it, so you’ll need to check your finances to see if you’ll use the Business Gold card enough to make it worth the fee.

SimplyCash Plus Business Card from American Express

The SimplyCash Plus Business Card from American Express (Review) comes with no annual fee, and a nice 0% intro APR for 9 months on purchases. This means it has the same basic fee and interest rate structure as the Spark Cash Select.

The rewards are quite different, however. Instead of offering the same cash back for every purchase, the SimplyCash Plus offers 5% cash back at U.S. office supply stores and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. providers. You’ll also earn 3% cash back on your choice of one category from the following list of 8:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • Hotel rooms purchased directly from hotels
  • Car rentals purchased from select car rental companies
  • U.S. gas stations
  • U.S. restaurants
  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
  • U.S. purchases for shipping
  • U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers

So as you can see the rewards are very versatile, giving business owners 5% cash back on common office purchases and letting them customize the 3% category to fit the kinds of spending they do most of. There is no signup bonus for this card, so in that area the Spark Cash and Spark Cash Select have it beat.

You’ll get a basic set of shopping and travel protections with this card, along with access to valuable OPEN business benefits provided by American Express. These include a Spend Manager, account alerts, discounts at certain merchants, and a forum to converse with other business owners.

Employee cards are available for free for the SimplyCash Plus, just like the Spark business cards.

The main difference between the Spark cards and the SimplyCash Plus are the rewards. Would you rather earn 5% and 3% cash back at the specific categories mentioned above, or a set amount of cash back for every purchase you make? To earn the most rewards possible you could combine the cards, using the SimplyCash Plus whenever you’re spending in the reward categories, and the Spark card for every other purchase.

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card from American Express

The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card from American Express (Review) is a bit different from the other cards mentioned here. Instead of providing rewards for every purchase or business expenses in particular, it’s meant to be used with hotels and resorts within the Starwood Preferred Guest portfolio, which is very broad and includes over 1,300 locations around the world. It’s designed for business owners who are frequent travelers, and who spend at least $1,000 on travel per year.

This card has an annual fee of $95, waived the first year, and there is no introductory rate on purchases. Balance transfers are not allowed with this card. We found that you can offset the annual fee on this card by spending just $750 per year at Starwood properties, as long as you redeem your rewards with a valuable method, so this shouldn’t be much of an obstacle.

You’ll earn up to 5 Starpoints per dollar at SPG properties with this card, but 4 points per dollar will be the usual rate for most members. There is also an option to transfer your points to a variety of frequent traveler programs, and this is a great deal because you’ll be earning points at a very high rate when staying at SPG properties. That means you’ll have a lot of points to transfer, and you’ll even get a 5,000 point bonus whenever you transfer 20,000 points or more. A signup bonus of 25,000 points is available for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months.

The Starwood card provides different values for your points depending on how you redeem them, and we’ve calculated that you can earn the equivalent of at least 13% cash back with this card when you redeem for your 5th night free at hotels and resorts. The value of your point transfers will vary depending on the particular purchase you’re making, but we found that you can easily earn the equivalent of 7% cash back when transferring points. There are many other valuable redemption methods too, like free night stays, SPG Flights to get good prices on airfare, SPG Moments to get access to extraordinary experiences, and more. These are some of the most rewarding offers available with credit cards, and they definitely beat out the reward options with the Spark cards.

There are an incredible number of benefits, perks, and ways to redeem points with this card. They include automatic SPG Preferred status, discounts and special offers, and a wide variety of complimentary services, like free breakfast and internet, whenever you book eligible stays.

The Starwood Preferred Guest Business card can potentially be an extremely valuable credit card, but only for travelers who tend to stay at SPG properties. If that doesn’t sound like you, this card won’t do you much good and you’d be better off with one of the Spark cards.

If you are a business owner who travels often, however, a great strategy could be to pair up the SPG Business card with one of the Spark cards. Just use your SPG card whenever you stay at an SPG property to get your Starpoints, and use your Spark card everywhere else to earn cash back.

Do you use one 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!

Compare Business Credit Cards

Browse business credit cards on our partner’s site below.

Business Credit Cards

  • Bring your Business finances to the next level with a Business rewards card.
  • Bonus offer – new card holders may be eligible for welcome bonuses of up to 100,000 points.
  • Earn rewards points on your everyday business expenses.
  • Rewards can be redeemed for business expenses like airfare, gas, or hotel rooms.
  • Credit cards and charge cards are available.
  • Terms vary by partner offer. Please see each bank’s application for terms and conditions.
  • Clicking Apply Now will take you to CreditCards.com to compare Business cards from participating partners.

Apply Now

Was this helpful?
  • Sunshine Compua

    CAPITAL ONE BUSINESS SPARK : They are the biggest bunch of morons out there. The most incompitent liars out there. First off we want to tell everyone that Capital One got sued in Florida for attempting to charge fees after fees to account holders and settled out of court for $40 million. After that these scumbag scam artists start playing with your payment account. For nearly 8 years, I’d make a payment online via a bank account put in the profile. Under normal means, if you made a payment on Monday, it would be in your pending balance on Tuesday, which gave you until Tuesday 9 PM that night to put the money into the account before assessing over draft fees. These bastards are now purposely overdrafting bank accounts to steal money in fees. If you do a online payment its an EFT (electronic funds transfer) which normally it would follow what we had explained above. What these crooks are doing, is that they are posting the payment as an ACH (basically a check). They will take your routing information and account and make up a fake check without your permission. If the banking institution doesnt have an electronic means of payment, banks would make a draft on your behalf and put it in the mail, what these con artists are doing is doing the same check, and them immediately cashing it in, even after bank hours (which is illegal). We had a capital one business account linked to the card, and what these aholes would do is all of the sudden stop making the payment as an EFT and make it an ACH so they can make up fees and attempt to charge me for check overdrafts. When we called to complain, the credit card side blamed the banking side, the banking side blamed the credit card side and so forth. When we told the credit card side point blank are you doing exactly what we said above, 5 times they were asked that question and 5 times they purposely avoided answering it. The only thing they kept on saying is “make sure you have the money in your account when you make the payment”. That means they will force fees on your account even after the bank is closed. Another thing these bastards are doing, is that we do business with this one company for nearly 2 years, every transaction we do they purposely block our card. We go to complain they unblock it and then 2 weeks later they pull the same bs again. Today the same thing. They give you the runaround, and they dont care about anything. When you go to call, they make up another lie saying they have high call volumes when in actuality they have 1 person maning the phones during a weekend. Capital One is the biggest bunch of scumbags to deal with. We will be closing our accounts with these aholes.