Full Review of Capital One Savor Rewards Credit Card
Ample cash back rewards on food and entertainment
Solid cash back bonus offer
Exclusive opportunities to earn even more cash back
$95 annual fee after the first year
No 0% introductory APR for purchases or balance transfers
Excellent credit may be required for approval
- Ample Cash-Back Rewards on Food and Entertainment: This card's best rates are reserved for food-related categories. Members earn unlimited 4% cash back on eligible dining and entertainment purchases, including purchases made at restaurants, cafes, bars, lounges, fast-food chains, bakeries, movie theaters, aquariums, zoos, and tourist attractions.You also earn 2%, the card's second-best rate, on grocery spending. No spending cap kicks in to limit the amount of cash back you can earn in these categories.
- Generous Cash Bonus: The Capital One Savor offers a one-time cash bonus offer of $300. That puts it a step above other cash back rewards cards that only offer $150 or $250 in bonus rewards, although some of those have a lower spending requirement. To qualify for the $300, you'll need to spend $3,000 on qualifying purchases within three months of opening your account, where competitors can require as little as $500 or $1,000 in spending to earn their bonuses.
- Exclusive Opportunities to Earn Even More Cash Back: In addition to the regular cash back rewards rate on dining and entertainment, Capital One offers additional ways to earn cash back bonuses. For example, through May 2020, members can earn 8% cash back on tickets purchased at Vivid Seats.
- $95 Annual Fee After the First Year: You'll pay no annual fee the first year you have the Capital One Savor credit card. After that initial year, however, the regular annual fee of $95 applies.
- No 0% Introductory APR for Purchases or Balance Transfers: The Capital One Savor Rewards doesn't offer an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers or purchases, although there’s at least no fee imposed for transfers to the card. The regular variable APR of 15.99% to 24.99% applies, making this card a less than ideal choice for transferring a balance or making a large purchase that you plan to pay off over time.
- Requires Excellent Credit for Approval: Capital One assigns each of its cards a credit level that's required for approval to help applicants gauge how likely they are to be approved. This card requires a credit level of "Excellent," which could make it harder to qualify if you have fair or good credit. It may be worthwhile to check your credit report and score before applying to determine if your score lands in the "Excellent" range.
This Card is Best For
Seeks to maximize cash back earnings across spending categories
Dines out regularly while traveling or in home city
Primarily responsible for household grocery and other major purchases
With generous and unlimited 4% cash back on dining out and entertainment, the Capital One Savor Rewards card is best-suited to someone who regularly enjoys nights on the town. The fairly high minimum spending requirement for the bonus makes this card most appropriate for someone who charges at least $1,000 in purchases each month.
You might also consider the Capital One Savor Rewards even if you mostly cook your meals at home, since you can earn unlimited 2% cash back at grocery stores. If you’re a typical household, spending about $4,500 a year on groceries, food spending alone would yield $90 a year in cash back earned at the 2% rate. That’s almost enough alone to justify the card's $95 annual fee, imposed after the first year. The 4% cash back earnings from dining and entertainment, along with the 1% rewards on all other spending, should then place the cardholder firmly into the black for the year.
Capital One Savor Credit Card Bonus
This card has one of the best bonus offers of any cash back rewards card. The $300 cash bonus is available to eligible cardmembers who meet the minimum spending requirement. Again, this breaks down to spending $1,000 per month during the first three months after opening a new account. This bonus is available on top of the regular cash back rewards you're already earning for the qualifying purchases.
Rewards Earning Details
This card has three tiers for earning rewards. The first is a 4% cash back rate for dining and entertainment purchases. Generally, you can earn 4% cash back rewards on just about anything from fast food to fine dining to concert tickets. There are, however, some disqualifications, including purchases from food trucks, meals bought at hotels, and the food counters at grocery stores (unless the store classifies itself as primarily a dining merchant.)
Indeed, to qualify for the higher reward rate, purchases must be assigned to the proper merchant category. Capital One notes that some vendors, such as food trucks, supermarket food counters, and hotel restaurants, may not qualify for the dining rewards rate if the merchant doesn't code them accordingly.
The 2% cash back rewards rate is good on purchases made at grocery stores. Capital One categorizes supermarkets, meat lockers, freezers, dairy-product stores, and specialty markets as grocery stores. It's worth noting that grocery purchases made at superstores like Walmart or Target don't qualify for the 2% rewards rate. Those purchases qualify only for the 1% cash back rate, along with all other purchases that aren't categorized as dining, entertainment, groceries.
Through Capital One's partnership with Vivid Seats, cardmembers earn 8% cash back on ticket purchases through the site. This offer is good through May 2020. As long as your account remains open and in good standing, any rewards you earn never expire.
Rewards Redemption Details
Cash back rewards can be redeemed for a statement credit, check, or as a gift card. You can set up an automatic redemption to redeem rewards on a recurring date or once your rewards balance reaches a dollar amount you specify. There's no minimum amount of cash back required for a redemption, and you can redeem rewards at any time, as you see fit.
Gift cards are sold on a 1:1 basis—that is, you receive a card with the same value as the rewards you used to buy it. Partners range from Target, Walmart, and Sam's Club through Amazon and Macy’s to Subway, Cracker Barrel, Panera, and Outback Steakhouse. Cards are issued only as physical cards that are mailed to you.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
Maximizing rewards with this card begins with qualifying for its $300 introductory cash back bonus. That might be easy to do if you have a purchase of $3,000 or more to make upon opening the account. If not, be vigilant about charging to the card all purchases until you reach the limit—not, say, only those like dining and entertainment that earn the highest cash back rates. Just be careful not to spend beyond your means.
You can continue to maximize your cash back earnings by using your card widely, and especially for dining, entertainment and grocery store purchases. Let's assume you go out more than most people and spend $750 per month on dining and entertainment (which is 25% above the norm, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) and $400 on groceries (about the average). On an annual basis, you'd earn $366 in cash back on the former and $96 on the latter, for a total of $462.
Then keep track of any current special promotions that might suit your spending. For example, if you’re in the market for resale tickets for sports and entertainment, you can take advantage of 8% cash back on purchases from Vivid Seats until at least May 2020.
Capital One Savor Credit Card's Outstanding Benefits
- Exclusive access to culinary experiences
- Save money instantly with Paribus
- Find the best price on online purchases with Wikibuy
- Complimentary 24/7 concierge service
- Extended warranty protection
- Travel accident insurance
- 24-hour travel assistance services
- Access to exclusive tickets for entertainment and sporting events
Capital One earned a rating of 807 in J.D. Power's 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Study. This rating puts it third, behind Discover and American Express, for overall customer satisfaction with credit cards.
This card comes with a number of fairly standard features that help make managing your account easier, including Autopay, 24/7 customer service access and online and mobile banking access. You can also text Eno, the Capital One Assistant, to get your account balance or pay bills using your card on the go.
CreditWise is Capital One's credit monitoring service, which is free to use. You can get regular credit updates based on information in your TransUnion and Experian credit reports.
If you have questions, you can tweet @AskCapitalOne or call customer service at 1-800-CAPITAL (1-800-227-4825). The company, however, has no chat or email options for customer service, at least as available through its website.
Capital One offers a number of standard security services on its cards, including:
- Credit fraud alerts, via text, email, and phone
- Virtual card numbers for online shopping
- Ability to lock your card if it's lost or stolen
- $0 fraud liability protection in the event that your card is used to make unauthorized purchases
In contrast to cards whose best rates are on everyday essentials such as gas and groceries, the Capital One Savor Rewards credit card emphasizes less-humdrum spending on dining and entertainment. Its 4% cash back on these categories, with no cap on earning it, makes it one of the more lucrative cards for those who often enjoy a night on the town.
Its $95 annual fee, while a potential drawback for casual diners, should be worth it for those who spend more than most on eating out, and on tickets to sports and other events and attractions. Further adding to its appeal is a very solid 2% cash back for groceries, although other cards might be better bets, including some that have no annual fee, if your primary interest is to earn grocery rewards.
The introductory cash back bonus is another nice incentive to open an account, since the bonus is quite a bit higher than what some other cards offer. But so is the required spending—of $3,000 within three months—which further underlines that this is a card for relatively high rollers.
If you're more typical in how often you go out, and how much you spend when you do, you other cards allow you to earn dining and entertainment rewards without the annual fee. An example is the Capital One SavorOne credit card, which lacks an annual fee and offers 3% on the same dining and entertainment purchases as this card—and has an introductory bonus that requires a fraction of the spending.