Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business Review
Lyle is a writer specializing in credit cards, travel rewards programs, and banking. His work has also appeared on MSN Money, USA Today, and Yahoo! Finance.
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When you have your own business, time management is a huge factor in your success. You may not want to spend too much time thinking about your credit card’s rewards rates or how to use its rewards, and that’s where the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business can help make your life easier. The card earns an unlimited 2% back on all your spending, and since it earns cash back, all you do is redeem your rewards whenever you want. However, it also has an annual fee, so you need to be sure it’s the right card for you before you apply.
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
Great for: Cash back and sign-up bonus Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor.
An easy choice for businesses looking to only carry one card for all general purchases. The limited time sign-up bonus is among the biggest you'll find and the flat 2% cash back rate outpaces the competition as well.
Credit Rating Requirement:
- Limited time offer - Up to $2,000 bonus
- 2% cash back
- No foreign transaction fees
- Annual Fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
- Regular APR: 18.49% Variable
- Intro APR: Purchases: N/A Balance Transfers: N/A
- Limited Time Offer: Earn up to $2,000 in cash bonuses
- Earn a $500 cash bonus when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months and earn $1,500 when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of your account opening
- Earn unlimited 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions
- $0 annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
- Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases
- $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen
- Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
- No foreign transaction fees
What we like
- Unlimited 2% cash back -- You earn 2% back on every purchase without any spending caps. This is the highest flat rate you can get with a credit card, and it adds up quickly if you spend quite a bit for your business.
- Up to a $2,000 bonus -- You’ll receive this sign-up bonus after spending $5,000 within the first three months and a $1,500 bonus when spending at least $50,000w within six months. This is one of the best sign-up bonuses you’ll find with a cash-back card.
- No foreign transaction fees -- Cash-back cards often have foreign transaction fees of 3%, but not the Capital One® Spark Cash for Business. If you or your employees need to travel internationally, having a card with no foreign transaction fees is invaluable.
- Free employee cards -- There’s no extra charge for adding employees to your account and getting them their own credit cards.
- No cash-back redemption minimums -- You can redeem any amount of cash back at any time. Other cards sometimes have redemption minimums, which can be frustrating if you don’t have enough cash back to redeem yet.
What could be improved
- Annual fee -- The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business has a $95 annual fee, although that does get waived for the first year. Considering the rewards rate and sign-up bonus on the card, the annual fee is fair and in line with the competition. However, you’ll need to evaluate your spending to decide if you’ll earn enough to warrant paying an annual fee instead of looking for no-annual-fee cards instead.
- 0% intro APR offer -- This card doesn’t have any 0% intro APR offer, so you’d need to look at other options if you want to finance business expenses or transfer over balances to pay off debt.
When to apply for a business card
Business credit cards are a popular financing option for businesses, especially those just getting started. Before you apply, it’s important you know the pros and cons.
Let’s start with the positives of applying for a business credit card:
- You can earn rewards on all your business purchases.
- You’re much more likely to qualify for a business credit card than for a business loan, as the latter will have stricter requirements.
- Banks typically offer high credit limits on business credit cards, because business owners need to spend more money than other consumers.
- A business credit card can help build your business’s credit score.
It’s not all good news. Here are the notable negatives of business cards:
- Business credit cards almost always require a personal guarantee, which means any problems you have paying off a balance could affect your personal credit.
- The consumer protections regarding fees and rate increases in the CARD Act of 2009 only apply to personal credit cards, not business credit cards.
- If you give any employees business credit cards, it increases the potential for fraud.
Spark® Cash for Business vs. Spark® Cash Select for Business
Another option to consider with business cash-back cards is the Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business. It offers very similar features to the Capital One® Spark Cash for Business, with a few key differences:
- Unlimited 1.5% cash back.
- No annual fee.
- A $200 sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 within three months.
- 0% intro APR on purchases for nine months.
How to apply
Here’s what you can expect when you apply for a Capital One business card:
- The application process will be similar to that of a personal credit card, just with additional questions about your business, including its name and tax ID number.
- You can qualify for a business credit card even if you’re a freelancer or you have a side gig that doesn’t earn you much income.
- If you have a sole proprietorship, then you can use your name for the business name and your Social Security number for the tax ID number.
- Capital One reports all the activity on your business credit card to each credit bureau, including both on-time and missed payments.
Is it right for you?
We’re enthusiastic that Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business offers a generous sign-up bonus and on-going rewards program that fits the needs of cardholders who want a one-size-fits-all solution. We value its flexible redemption options (some of which are no-minimum!) and the ability to automatically redeem cash back rewards without logging in to request redemptions manually. Simply put, time-strapped entrepreneurs may value this simplicity in a credit card.