Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business Review

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business is designed for business owners with average credit. We think it’s a solid card to consider, especially for fee-wary cardholders who are seeking an entry-level business card to better establish their credit histories.

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

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Our Bottom Line

Business owners with average credit and lower have limited card options, many of which skimp on perks and charge high rates. This offer brings more value with 1% cash back for all purchases and no annual fee.

What we Like:
  • Unlimited 1% cash back
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee
Key Scores:
4.0 5 Perks
4.0 5 Fees
4.0 5 APR
Perks 4.0/5
Fees 4.0/5
APR 4.0/5
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 25.24% Variable
  • Intro APR: Purchases: N/A Balance Transfers: N/A
Highlights
  • Enjoy no annual fee
  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase
  • Build business credit with responsible use
  • Fraud coverage if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Enjoy business benefits including Year-End Summaries, employee cards at no extra cost and experienced small business customer service
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Why you can trust me

I’m a Certified Financial Planner® with extensive experience giving personal finance advice. I’ve written more than 4,000 articles on personal finance and investing strategies and have been featured on some of the most prominent news outlets in the world. What’s more, I’m quite familiar with the Capital One business credit cards on a personal level, as I have one in my wallet as I’m writing this.

What I like about the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Before we go on, keep in mind that the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business is Capital One’s business credit card designed for borrowers without excellent credit histories. But as far as cards for business owners with so-so credit go, the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business has some good perks.

  • Accepts fair credit business owners -- Capital One offers five different business credit cards (I’ll discuss the other four later on), and the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business is specifically designed for borrowers with fair credit histories. So, keep this fact in mind as you read the rest of this section -- some of these perks may not seem competitive with the industry’s best business credit cards, but they are rather strong for a card geared toward fair-credit borrowers.
  • Unlimited 1% cash back -- Capital One doesn’t hide any details and its cash-back program is straight forward. Cardholders enjoy a flat 1% cash-back rewards rate on all spending.
  • No foreign transaction fees -- Whether on the road or simply paying a bill from a foreign vendor, cardholders need not worry about costly foreign transaction fees. Some cards charge as much as 3% for payments in foreign currencies, which can tally up to $60 on purchases as small as $2,000.
  • $0 annual fee -- The card doesn’t charge an annual fee, which should be expected for credit cards earning a flat rate of 1% cash back.
  • Flexible redemptions -- Many cards restrict cash-back redemptions, but that’s not the case with this card. There are no-minimum redemption limits and statement credit redemptions can be automated.
  • Free employee cards -- Capital One will give cardholders free cards for their employees, and each of those will earn rewards for the account as well.

What can be improved with the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

I already mentioned that the benefits of the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business aren’t exactly the best in the industry. This makes sense, given that it’s intended for customers establishing or repairing their credit, but it’s still worth mentioning. To be perfectly clear, if you have good credit, you could probably get better benefits from one of the best business credit cards.

With that in mind, here are some other potential drawbacks to the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business:

  • Sign-up bonus -- This card is geared toward business owners with lower spending needs and credit scores, which generally means fewer rewards perks, as is the case here. As of January 2019, the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business card doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus.
  • 0% intro APR offer -- The card doesn’t currently offer an introductory rate on purchases or balance transfers. Given its focus on business owners with average credit, we’d see a 0% intro APR promo as a big perk, even if it was just for a few months. That said, few cards for lower credit score profiles offer 1% cash back and cut fees like Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business.
  • High-interest rate -- The Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business has a higher-than-average APR. Currently, the card’s APR is 25.24% and like most credit cards, it varies based on the prime rate. For context, the average credit card APR in the U.S. is currently about 17.5% (January 2019). Of course, this is to be expected given the fair-credit nature of the card, but it means that carrying a balance can get expensive quickly.

Four other Capital One® Spark® credit cards

As I mentioned, Capital One offers a total of five business credit card. However, the other four are oriented toward customers with strong credit histories. If you are someone with an excellent credit history, you’d likely be better off with one of the others. With that in mind, here’s a brief overview of the other four.

  • Spark® Cash -- This card comes with a $95 annual fee (waived for the first year), but earns unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases. It also typically has a generous sign-up bonus.
  • Spark® Miles -- This is Capital One’s flagship business travel credit card and it earns 2 miles per $1 on purchases (Capital One miles can be redeemed for travel purchases at a $0.01 per mile valuation). Like the Spark® Cash, the Spark® Miles has a $95 annual fee, which is waived for the first year, and there is typically a generous sign-up bonus.
  • Spark® Cash Select -- This is the no-annual-fee version of the Spark® Cash for customers with strong credit. It earns a slightly lower 1.5% cash-back rate.
  • Spark® Miles Select -- The no-annual-fee version of the Spark® Miles card offers 1.5 miles per $1 on all purchases.

How to apply for the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business credit card

You can apply for the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business on Capital One’s website by filling out the application. You’ll need the following information about your business handy:

  • Business name, address, and phone number.
  • The legal structure of your business.
  • Your business’ tax ID number. Generally this is an employer identification number (EIN), but it could be your Social Security number if you’re a sole proprietor or a single-member LLC.
  • Last year’s business revenue, and how much you spend (or plan to spend) per month on business credit cards.

You’ll also need to fill out your personal information, much in the same way that you would when applying for a non-business credit card.

Capital One says that the Spark® Classic for Business is intended for people with “average credit,” which the company defines as people who have limited credit histories or those who have defaulted on one (but not multiple) loan within the past five years. This is consistent with what FICO calls “fair credit” -- scores from about 580 to 660. While there’s no guarantee that anyone will get approved, if your credit falls within this range, you have a good chance.

The bottom line on the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

The Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business doesn’t have quite as many perks and rewards as its Capital One siblings or many of the other leading business credit cards, but it certainly serves a valuable purpose. Not many other business credit cards welcome applicants with fair credit and allow them to earn rewards without an annual fee, so if you have business income and below-average credit, the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business could be worth a look.