Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business Review
Matt is a Certified Financial Planner® and investment advisor based in Columbia, South Carolina. He writes personal finance and investment advice, and in 2017 he received the SABEW Best in Business Award.
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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
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.
For businesses or borrowers with limited or average credit, this card is a winner. All purchases earn unlimited 1% cash back, plus it includes a $0 annual fee. These perks are rare for cards designed for people with lower credit scores.
Credit Rating Requirement:
- Unlimited 1% cash back
- No foreign transaction fees
- No annual fee
- Annual Fee: $0
- Regular APR: 24.49% Variable
- Intro APR: Purchases: N/A Balance Transfers: N/A
- Earn unlimited 1% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions
- No annual fee
- Build and strengthen credit for your business by using this credit card responsibly
- $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen
- Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases
- 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 I like
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
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. 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.
How to apply
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.
Is it right for you?
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.