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Review

Review of the Capital One Spark Classic for Business

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Brendan Harkness By Brendan Harkness Feb 15, 2018 | Updated Dec 02, 2019
Our rating
Min. credit level: Fair
Annual Fee: $0
Regular APR: 24.74% Variable

Capital One offers five different credit cards in their Spark family of business cards. This is a review of their 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.

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR24.74% Variable

Our Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Why we like this card

We gave the Spark Classic 4 out of 5 Stars. Even though it’s not the most rewarding card, it’s balanced pretty well.

  • Most business cards require good credit scores. But the Spark Classic is designed for average credit, giving more people a chance to be approved.
  • No annual fee, so this card can be free to use as long as you avoid interest.
  • Capital One reports your activity to several business credit bureaus. This makes the card a good way to improve your business credit.
  • You can get as many employee cards as you want, for free.
  • Capital One provides a decent set of business benefits, mostly related to account and spending management.

Overall, this card is a good option if you want to build your business credit for no annual fee. But there are many other business credit cards out there made for people with better credit. You can read more about them below, including other Capital One cards like the Spark Cash Select.

Why this card could be better

  • Only 1% cash back on purchases.
  • No introductory bonus.
  • It only has basic business benefits, and basic shopping and travel protections.

Insider Advice: Using This Card as Part of Your Credit Card Strategy

  • 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.
  • 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, and Small Business Financial Exchange.
  • This card won’t improve your personal credit, because positive card activity isn’t reported to the consumer credit bureaus. Try using regular consumer credit cards to build your personal credit. Then you’ll be able to qualify for more rewarding 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.
  • 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

Earning

  • 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, 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 Classic, and other Spark cards, provide a way to build up your business credit. This is 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. 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 Costs & Fees

Regular APR Regular Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
24.74% Variable 24.74% Variable 24.74% Variable
Foreign Transaction Fee Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
None N/A 3% of the amount of the cash advance, but not less than $10
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
31.15% 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 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 business’s credit.

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

Customer Support

Phone Support

Small Business Credit Card Phone Line  1-800-867-0904

Capital One has pretty good customer support, compared to other credit card companies. For the past few years they’ve been ranking within the top 5 on J.D. Power’s annual Credit Card Satisfaction Survey. Last year, in 2017, they came in third after American Express and Discover.

We called the small business phone line above to ask them about the Spark Classic. In particular, we wanted to know which credit bureaus it reports activity to. And we also wanted to know if that will change based on the status of the account — whether it’s in positive or negative standing.

After assuring the automated voice that we wanted to speak with a human, we reached with a friendly rep who was eager to help. She found the information we wanted to know pretty quickly. We learned that all Capital One business cards report to the same three credit bureaus:

  • Experian
  • Dun & Bradstreet
  • Small Business Financial Exchange

And we also learned that it doesn’t matter if the account is in positive or negative standing. Either way, it will be reported to those same credit bureaus.

Overall, it was a pretty quick and easy customer support experience. Generally speaking, you can probably expect the same if you need to call them.

Web Support

Capital One makes it very easy to navigate their site and find their card offers. Compared to some other card issuers, finding information about their cards is usually quite straightforward.

When you reach a card page you’ll usually be able to see all the important points pretty quickly. And there are plenty of links to get more information. Unlike many other card issuers, Capital One provides a prominent link to the card’s Guide to Benefits.

This is an excellent move on their part, because it gives you a way to see the specific benefits that will come with your card, spelled out with full details. Most other card issuers don’t provide an easy link like this, making it more difficult to figure out exactly what benefits you’ll get with a particular card.

The Bottom Line

If you have average credit, the Spark Classic for Business from Capital One may be one of your only options if you want a credit card for business spending.

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’s 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 to Apply for the Spark Classic for Business Credit Card

You can apply securely on Capital One’s website, and they’ll check your credit history and your business’s credit history.

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR24.74% Variable

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. They’ll check your credit reports from any of the three major consumer credit bureaus. 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® Classic for Business

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR24.74% Variable

Alternatives to the Spark Classic for Business Credit Card

The Spark Classic is a business card designed for average credit, and there aren’t many other cards like it. So these alternatives are similar, but they aren’t the same exact kind of thing. In most cases you’ll need better credit to have a good chance of being approved for the following cards.

 

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR14.74% - 22.74% Variable

The Spark Cash Select card is a bit like an upgraded version of the Spark Classic. It’s designed for people with excellent credit, rather than average.

But it still has no annual fee, and offers:

  • 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • Introductory bonus: $200 cash bonus for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months after account opening

So it provides 50% more cash back than the Spark Classic. And that welcome bonus is a nice incentive too.

You’ll also get a 9-month 0% introductory APR 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 14.74% - 22.74% Variable APR kicks in.

The Spark Cash Select also comes at the Visa Signature level, which has some upgraded benefits. These include some potentially cost-savings perks like the Luxury Hotel and Resort 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.

 

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

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

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$0.00
Regular APR13.74% - 23.74% Variable APR on purchases
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard is issued by Bank of America, and has no annual fee.

It comes with:

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
  • 3% and 2% rewards only up to $50,000 per year, then 1% back
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $300 statement credit for spending $3,000 in the first 90 days
    • Return on spend: 10%

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. This is just like some of the other cards described above. 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.

Overall, the Business Advantage and Spark Classic are both fairly basic cards. The main differences are in the rewards and the 0% intro rate.

Do you use the Spark Classic for Business from Capital One? How do you like it, and how do you use it? Leave your own review of the Spark Classic Credit Card, we’d love to hear from you!

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR24.74% Variable
Looking for other business credit cards? Check out our picks for the Best Business Credit and Charge Cards.
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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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