Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

Capital One Spark Cash Review

overall rating
4.2

We publish unbiased product reviews; our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payment we receive from advertisers. Learn more about our review process and read our advertiser disclosure for how we make money.

With a potentially huge bonus and ongoing 2% cash-back rewards rate, the Capital One Spark Cash has much to offer businesses that spend a lot. It has a $95 annual fee that’s waived for the first year.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

overall rating
4.2
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
On Capital One's Secured Site.

Current Offer:

Earn $500 when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months of account opening.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 20.99% variable
Annual Fee $0 for the first year, then $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere.
Balance Transfer Fee There is no standard balance transfer fee for this card.
Cash Advance APR (%) 26.99%
Cash Advance Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
how this card stacks up
When compared among all business cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

Full Review of Capital One Spark Cash

Pros
  • Decent bonus, albeit for commensurate spending

  • Simple rewards program

Cons
  • Your personal credit history could be affected

Pros Explained

  • Decent Bonus, Albeit for Commensurate Spending: The Capital One Spark Cash card offers a $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 in the first three months of opening your account. While there are bigger bonuses available with similar spending requirements it still equates to roughly an 11% return on your initial spending which is a solid value.
  • Simple, Lucrative Cash-Back Rewards: The card offers a flat 2% cash back on every purchase you make. If you prioritize simplicity, that’s likely music to your ears. You don’t have to worry about which merchants qualify for bonus category spending, and there’s no cap on the amount that qualifies for the 2% rate. In other words, it’s easy to know how much you’re getting back every time you use the card. That's especially helpful as you approach renewal time, and a decision on whether it’s worth paying the card's $95 annual fee (which is waived the first year). At the 2% cash-back rate, spending $4,750 a year would reap sufficient rewards to justify the card's cost. Beyond that, further rewards from additional spending represent pure profit—provided, of course, that you don’t carry a balance and allow interest charges to offset those earnings.

Cons Explained

  • Your Personal Credit History Could be Affected: Like most major business credit card issuers, Capital One reports your activity on its cards to the commercial credit bureaus, which can help you establish a business credit history. But Capital One also reports that information to consumer credit bureaus. This means that racking up a huge balance or missing a payment on the car could potentially drop your personal credit score, especially if the problem occurs repeatedly.

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Cash Back Strategist Persona
    Seeks to maximize cash back earnings across spending categories
    Cash Back Strategist
  • Avatar for Business Owner Persona
    Earning a primary or side income from a small business
    Business Owner
  • Avatar for Driver/Commuter Persona
    Incurs gasoline or other commuting expenses each month
    Driver/Commuter

The Capital One Spark Cash is a solid choice for businesses who plan to charge quite a lot to a card, a minimum of $500 or so a month. It’s especially suited to owners who plan to run up far higher spending at the outset. That’s because charging $4,500 to the card within your first three months earns a $500 bonus.

This card's flat 2% cash-back rewards have an appealing simplicity for businesses that have little time to master the multiple rewards rates of certain cards, and don’t spend enough in any one category to justify the time required for such monitoring. Ideally, it’s also a card for those who don’t have to worry about business cash flow or other issues that could interrupt their ability to make regular on-time payments or otherwise be an excellent customer. That’s because, unlike most other business-card issuers, Capital One provides the credit behavior of their business-card holders to consumer credit reporting agencies.

Multiple missteps with this card, then, could eventually compromise your ability to get additional personal credit with favorable terms. That could be a big negative for business owners who want a clear separation between their business and personal dealings.

Capital One Spark Cash Bonus

Once you’re approved for the card, you’ll earn $500 if you spend $4,500 in the first three months. Keep in mind that the timeframe begins with account opening, which happens when you’re approved, rather than from the date you receive the card in the mail.

Remember, too, that you’ll also earn 2% cash back on the spending required to earn those bonuses. 

Rewards Earning Details

You’ll earn a flat 2% cash back on every purchase you make. You’ll be hard-pressed to beat that base rewards rate, at least on all purchases you make. However, be mindful that the card charges an annual fee after the first year. Consequently, to justify that $95 tab, you’ll essentially forgo a significant amount of the additional rewards you make with this card compared with one that has no annual fee.    

Rewards Redemption Details

The cash back you earn with the card can be redeemed for cash at any amount and at any time, and your rewards will never expire. You can also buy gift cards and more. 

If you elect to receive rewards in cash, you can choose between receiving it as a general statement, a statement against specific purchases, or as a paper check. You can even set up automatic redemptions once your balance reaches $25, $50, $100, $200, $500 or $1,500. Those automated rewards can make it even more appealing for business owners who want as much simplicity as possible.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

This card's cash-back rewards are worth the same regardless of how you redeem them. So other than using your card for every purchase you can, there’s not much you can do to maximize the value of the cash back you receive. You should, of course, try to pay off your balance on time and in full every month to avoid interest charges, which can dramatically offset or even eliminate the benefits of the rewards program. If you plan heavy spending soon after you get the Capital One Spark Cash, the card's bonus makes it worthwhile to plan to meet this perk’s spending requirements, perhaps by moving up major purchases to meet the three-month deadline. But beware the temptation to spend indiscriminately to earn the rewards. Reckless spending you can't repay could mean losing the earned value of the bonus, and more, to interest charges and could even imperil your business with debts you ultimately can’t service. 

Standard Benefits

  • Rental car insurance
  • Travel assistance
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Free employee cards and customized spending limits
  • Year-end summaries
  • Purchase records in multiple formats

Cardholder Experience

Capital One was ranked third in the J.D. Power 2019 Credit Card Customer Satisfaction Study. The bank offers free business credit report access through its Business CreditWise program—no other major business credit card issuer offers this benefit.

The bank's customer service team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which is standard among credit card issuers. You can manage your account online or with the Capital One mobile app, which was ranked second among banks by J.D. Power in its 2019 U.S. Banking Mobile App Satisfaction Study.

Security Features

You can lock your card from the mobile app, which can come in handy if you lose the card or have it stolen. This functionality also applies to employee cards, which readily empowers you to control errant card usage. Beyond that feature, Capital One’s security features are standard for the industry.

Fees to Watch Out For

For the most part, the Capital One Spark Cash’s fees are in line with industry standards, with just one exception. Typically, cash-back credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee, but this one doesn’t. 

Our Verdict

If your business consistently charges more than about $5,000 a year to credit cards, the Capital One Spark Cash’s rewards program allows you, steadily and with simplicity, to rack up enough in cash back rewards to justify its $95 annual fee. 

If such spending is beyond your means, it’s worth comparing the Capital One Spark Cash with other top business credit cards that offer comparable cash-back rates. The Amex Blue Business Cash Plus, for example, provides 2% cash back on the first $50,000 spent annually. The card lacks a bonus offer, but also lacks an annual fee. 

For a relatively big bonus without a huge spending requirement, consider the Chase Ink Business Preferred, which offers 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 in the first three months—that’s worth $1,250 in travel booked through Chase. The card comes with a $95 annual fee, though, and save for special earnings rate for travel and a few other categories, offers less valuable rewards than those of the Capital One Spark Cash.

Apply Now
For Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
on Capital One's Secured Site.
Compare This Card
See how this card compares to similar cards
CURRENT CARD
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
overall rating
4.2
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 20.99% variable
Annual Fee $0 for the first year, then $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.