Spark® Cash for Business
Rewards credit cards can be just as lucrative for small business owners as they are for everyday consumers. They say cash is king, and if you get the Spark Cash for Business credit card, you might be saying the same thing.
This cashback card from Capital One is a no-hassle, straightforward credit card that earns 2.0 percent back on every purchase. Not only is this a great return, but every purchase is eligible. You don’t have to worry about specific bonus categories or merchants to get the full 2.0 percent cash back.
You are also eligible for a great $500 sign-up bonus, and the first year’s annual fee is waived. The card is only $95 per year after that.
While the rewards you earn are strictly eligible for cashback redemptions, you can use your cash as you see fit. You won’t be able to transfer points to airlines to book fancy first class seats, or book a cheap reward stay at a hotel for business travel, but you can redeem your cash back at any time for any amount. And you can put it toward whatever travel, business or other expenses you want.
Bonuses and Benefits
Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the Spark® Cash for Business offers and the value of the Capital One Capital One® Cash Back Rewards cashback you earn.
Once approved, you’re eligible to earn a nice $500 bonus after spending $4,500 on the card within three months. This is a pretty sweet deal and a great way to jumpstart your rewards balance. In reality, after you meet the minimum spend, you’ll have earned $590 (the bonus plus 2.0 percent of your $4,500 spend), and you don’t have to pay an annual fee until the second year. That’s fantastic!
The only true downside is, unlike other cards, there are no annual spending or anniversary bonuses. However, if you have employees, you can issue them cards linked to your business at no cost, and their business expenses will also earn you 2.0 percent back.
What You Get
- Earn $500 after you spend $4,500 on purchases in the first 3 months
- Unlimited 2.0% back on all purchases
- First year’s annual fee waived
- Free employee cards
- No foreign transaction fees
Another great benefit of Spark cash is that your rewards will never expire. As long as you remain a card member, you can keep your cash and redeem it any time for any amount you choose. If you’d rather build up your cash balance and redeem it all at once, you can do that, too. That’s total flexibility.
What is the value of the Capital One® Cash Back Rewards Cashback?
Regardless of how or when you redeem your rewards, they’re worth one cent each as a statement credit or a check mailed to you. Whether you redeem your cash each time you hit $10 or wait to cash out every January 1st, your rewards have the same solid value. No matter if you take a statement credit or a check, plan a luxurious weekend getaway or just need additional toner for the printer, your cash back is worth the same and can be used for whatever you want.
The Best Ways to Redeem Spark Rewards
Spark Rewards is a straight cashback program where you earn and redeem rewards at a fixed rate. Nothing can change the 2 percent rate at which you earn or the one cent per point value at which you redeem. In essence, you get the same great rewards no matter how you use them. There are no sweet spots or better ways to earn or redeem as it’s all the same. That’s what makes the Spark Cash Business card easy and convenient. Client dinners, office supplies, IT services and everything else all earns 2 percent back, getting you closer to your next big payout.
Other ways you can redeem cashback
Interested in redeeming your rewards for a hotel? Choose any hotel you wish as your cashback can be used at any campground, resort, budget inn, motel, hotel or Airbnb you want.
Maybe you need a rental car and want to redeem some rewards for it? Choose your favorite rental agency because your cash back is good with any company.
You can redeem your rewards for gift cards through Capital One’s website, but the redemption rates may be different than for traditional cash back. This isn’t recommended because you could cash out first and then buy the gift card.
Cash back is the best option for your Spark card. Choose a statement credit or a check in the mail; whatever fits your needs.
The best ongoing benefit of the Spark Cash Business card is the great rate of return. On every purchase, you’ll get 2.0 percent back with no caps. That’s right, 2.0 percent back at the gas station, on the admission fee to your conference, on office chairs, for airfare and everywhere else. Each purchase earns cash back, and there’s no limit to the amount you can earn or redeem. It’s totally up to you.
- Car Rental
- All Other Purchases
Since the Spark business card earns 2.0 percent cash back everywhere, there are no special categories to worry about or contend with. No matter how you spend your money, you can use your Spark card for 2.0 percent back.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Whether at home or abroad, there’s no need to worry about paying extra fees for purchases made in non-U.S. dollars.
Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection
Through the Visa Signature program, book one of the 900 hotels in the Luxury Collection to enjoy premium benefits reserved only for certain cardholders.
Earn Elite Status Fast
While a great card, the Spark Cash Business does not help you earn elite status. Since your rewards aren’t tied to one particular hotel or airline program, spending extra on this card does not get you or fast-track you to any type of elite status.
Fees: the cost of Having the Card
It’s a good idea to consider the cost of the annual fee of a business card compared to the value of the rewards you can earn. The good news is that your first year is covered because the fee is waived!
Starting in the second year, you would need to spend $2,950 over the course of 12 months to offset the annual fee as you earn 2.0 percent back on every purchase. If you spend $2,000 per month, you’ll pay the card off in less than two months. Or, if you spread that cost out over the same 12 months, you’d only need to spend $246 per month to earn back the fee. That’s pretty easy to do.
Another way to think about the fee is in relation to the sign-up bonus. If you meet the minimum spend and earn the $500 reward, that’s worth about 9.5 years worth of annual fees (8.5 years plus the first year is free). That’s an amazing value!
- Annual Fee
- $0 first year, then $95
- Foreign Transaction Fee
- Late Payment Fee
- Up to $39
See What It Takes to Cover an Annual Fee:
We strongly recommend to spend not less than $3,167 per months to cover the annual fee in three months.
We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings you’ll get with the Spark Cash for Business. Is the card worth getting, and should you keep it after you get the sign-up bonus? Let’s find out.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Top 5 Benefits of the Spark Cash for Business
As you can see, the Spark Cash Business card is full of great benefits, including an excellent everyday earning rate and attractive $500 sign-up bonus.
- Great Earning Potential: You’ll get 2.0% back for every purchase you make. Every dollar you spend earns 2.0 cents, which will get you a lot of cash back fast!
- Big Sign-Up Bonus: This card comes with a huge sign-up bonus worth $500. That’s $500 toward a future vacation, $500 of holiday gifts or $500 to repair the copier. It’s up to you!
- Hassle-Free Redemptions: You can redeem your cash back at any time for any amount toward a statement credit or check in the mail. It’s your call.
- Low Annual Fee: Capital One picks up the first year’s annual fee, then it’s only $95 per year after that. That’s a great deal to earn a ton of cash back!
- Free Employee Cards: You can add employees to your account at absolutely no cost to you, and their purchases will also earn you 2.0% back.
Should You Get the Spark Cash for Business?
If you’re looking for a business credit card that earns cash back, the Spark Cash for Business is hard to beat. Getting 2.0 percent back on every purchase is a fantastic rate of return, and knowing you don’t have to juggle multiple cards or keep track of where to use your card is a big plus. And at just $95 per year after the first year, this card has a very reasonable annual fee.
Small business owners that are trying to decide if this card makes sense for them should carefully consider how much they spend on their business cards each year. Although there are some cards (see below) that earn cash back without charging a fee, the additional cash back you can get with this card will likely be well worth the added cost. Don’t forget, the annual fee is waived the first year, so you can try the card out and see if it works for you. Not only that, you’ll get a great sign-up bonus, which is among the highest for a cashback business card.
While this card doesn’t come with a ton of travel benefits, and the rewards can’t be used in conjunction with other travel loyalty programs, you do have the flexibility to use these rewards as you see fit. If this sounds like a good fit for your business needs, you should seriously consider the Spark Cash card.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
- Yes, with limitations. While Spark rewards aren’t a true flexible currency like Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards, they can be combined with other Spark rewards cards. So, if you have more than one Spark credit card, you can pool your points. However, points are worth the same amount regardless, so there’s no real benefit in doing so.
- One great, lesser-known feature of Spark rewards cashback program is that you can automate your redemptions. Online, you can set up your statement credit or mailed check to come every time you hit a certain cash threshold (say $20), or it can be set up to be distributed monthly, quarterly or annually. And, you can change this setting any time. There’s no easier way to redeem rewards then when Capital One does it for you!
- No. When you add an employee or authorized user to a small business credit card, that employee does not earn their own rewards or cash back. Even though the card may have their name on it, all rewards earned by any cardholder roll up to the parent account. Of course, any personal expenses should go on the employee’s own personal cards, and they could earn their own cash back that way.
- Potentially. Ask yourself if you have more than one personal credit card and why. Maybe you like to keep certain expenses on separate cards, or perhaps you earn different rewards with different cards. If your business has enough expenses and you can manage multiple accounts, it absolutely may make sense to have multiple business credit cards. And since this card earns cash back everywhere, it could be a nice companion to another rewards card that may earn a higher rate of cash or points on certain categories. Just as you learn how to manage multiple personal cards, the same is true for small business cards.
- One of the best benefits of a cashback card is that you can use your rewards for anything you like. If travel is what you want to use your rewards for, do it. With the Spark cash card, you’re not limited to one airline or hotel chain, so use your cash on your preferred common carrier.With this flexibility, you can redeem for a statement credit toward a flight this year and maybe a cruise next year. Or offset some tolls, gas any other travel expenses you might incur. While these rewards are worth the same no matter how you use them, having the flexibility to redeem your cash anywhere is a huge perk.
The Spark Cash for Business is one of Capital One’s featured cashback cards for business owners, but there are other similar cards in their lineup. Let’s take a closer look at how they compare.
Other Capital One Spark Business cards
|Spark® Classic for Business|
|Annual Fee||$0||$0 first year, then $95||$0|
|APR On Purchases||13.99% to 21.99% Variable±||17.99% Variable±||23.99% Variable±|
|Second Year Value||$360||$480||$240|
The biggest difference among these cards is the rate at which they earn cash back. The Spark Cash card has the highest earnings rate of 2.0 percent on every purchase, followed by the Cash Select at 0 percent and finally the Classic gets a flat 1.0 percent back.
All three cards do not have an annual fee the first year, and only the Spark Cash charges a fee starting in year two. The Cash Select and Classic versions never incur an annual fee. Also, the Classic is the only card here that doesn’t come with a sign-up bonus.
The core benefits of all three cards are the same. Essentially, the card with the second year annual fee earns more cash back and has a higher sign-up bonus compared to its no annual fee cousin. However, there is no real advantage to the Classic card, so even if you never wanted to pay an annual fee, the Cash Select is the better choice.
In the end, you need to assess your business expenses to see if the annual fee is offset by earning an extra 0.5 percent cash back. If you spend more than a few hundred dollars each month, it probably is.
Compare Spark Cash for Business Credit Card to Other Cards
Most major banks offer their business customers a cashback card, so we need to compare the Capital One Spark Cash to its competitors. All the cards below offer cash back, but the method varies by card.
- Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard®
$200 statement credit bonus
- SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card
5% cash back at U.S. office supply stores and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providersRead Review
- The Plum Card®
1.5% Early Pay Discount with no cap or Extra Days to Pay with no interestRead Review
As we know, the Spark Cash for Business has a $500 sign-up bonus and gets 2.0 percent back on all purchases. Meanwhile, the Cash Rewards for Business from Bank of America offers a $200 sign-up bonus and tiered rewards where you get 3.0 percent back at gas stations and office supply stores on up to $250k of spending each year, 2.0 percent back at restaurants and 1.0 percent back everywhere else.
The Amex SimplyCash Plus card gets a whopping 5 percent back at office supply stores and for cell phone bills, 3 percent back on a category of your choice and 1 percent back for everything else. However, this card’s 3 percent and 5 percent categories are capped at $50k of spending each year.
The Plum card from American Express is totally different in that you have 60 days from purchase to make your payment with no interest, but you get 1.5 percent cash back if you pay early. This is a unique proposition and may make sense if you have a large purchase and need a little more time to pay it off.
Neither Amex card has a sign-up bonus. Also, the Rewards for Business card and SimplyCash card never have an annual fee. The Plum card does charge a fee starting in the second year, and it’s the highest of the group at $250 per year.
The Spark Cash card is the winner when it comes to simplicity, but the best card for you really depends on your business expenses. If you take clients out to restaurants often, the BofA card may be best. But if you spend a good amount at office supply stores, but less than $50k annually, the SimplyCash card may be better. Weigh your expenses, and get the card that’s best for your business.
Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the Spark Cash for Business, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with this Visa Signature card.
- Intro APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Ongoing APR:
- 17.99% Variable±
- Minimum Grace Period:
- 25 days
- Extended Warranty Protection:
- This card doubles the warranty of your big-ticket items to give you extended protection.
- Purchase Protection:
- On eligible purchases, this card has you covered if your product is lost, stolen or damaged within 90 days.
- Price Protection:
- This benefit helps you save money on products you put on your card if the price changes within a limited time after you buy it.
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- 23.99% Variable±
- Cash Advance Fee:
- Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
Security and Protections
Capital One offers several great security features that come with your Spark Cash credit card. Security alerts are automatically sent by text, email and voice whenever something doesn’t appear right with your account. You’re also covered by the standard $0 Fraud Liability for any unauthorized transactions.
- Account alerts:
- Set up personalized alerts in addition to the automatic alerts to stay on top of your account.
- EMV Chip Technology:
- Use your card with confidence with merchants that accept stripe as well as chip technology.
- CreditWise from Capital One:
- Monitor your credit score for free with this unique app from Capital One.
Banking on the go has never been easier thanks to the Capital One mobile app and mobile website. Check your balance, account activity and more whenever you want, and wherever you are. You don’t need to be near a computer to stay on top of this card.
- Paying with Your Smartphone:
- This card is compatible with Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay.
- Capital One App:
- Available for your Android, iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch.
- Capital One Wallet:
- Free tools to monitor and track all your credit card purchases in one place and in real time.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
The Capital One Spark Cash for Business comes with Visa Business Signature benefits. Many of these perks are offered through the Visa Concierge: Luxury Hotel Collection, movie ticket discounts through Fandango, emergency card replacement and more. Here’s the full list of additional benefits.
Visa Signature Travel Benefits
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver:
- Receive primary collision coverage for theft and damage for most rentals in the U.S. and abroad.
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement:
- Your checked and carry-on luggage is covered up to $3,000 if it’s lost or stolen and you pay for your entire trip using your Spark card.
- Travel Accident Insurance:
- Receive coverage for accidental death or dismemberment when your entire fare with a common carrier is charged to your card.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Services:
- Legal and medical referrals, and other travel and emergency assistance is available any time of day. Service charges apply.