Full Review of Capital One Spark Cash Select
Introductory 0% APR offer
Light on fees
Modest rewards and introductory cash bonus
- Introductory 0% APR Offer: The card’s 0% APR on purchases for nine months can provide a useful source of short-term funding for your business. You can buy inventory, supplies, or anything the business needs and get most of a year to pay it off without interest. With no limit on using the offer, other than your credit limit, the savings can be substantial when compared to charging purchases to the card and paying a regular APR.
For example, let's say you put $3,000 for a fleet vehicle on the Capital One Spark Cash Select the first month you had the card, and then paid off the purchase in regular installments over nine months. With the 0% APR, you’d pay only one-ninth of the $3,000 principal every month—that is, between $333 and $334 monthly—and pay no interest. Without the offer, and paying a 17% interest rate, you’d have to come up with an additional $26 or so for each of the nine monthly payments, and pay $171 in interest on top of the $3,000 principal.
- Light on Fees: The card doesn't charge an annual fee, a foreign transaction fee, or a fee for additional employee cards. For cost-minded business owners and new startups, this card could provide an excellent way to drive cash back into your business through rewards without incurring any out-of-pocket costs—as long as you pay your bill in full and avoid the card's other standard fees.
- Modest Rewards and Introductory Cash Bonus: The card's flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase are simple and decent enough for a card with no annual fee, but other small-business cards offer better rates, albeit often for an annual fee. Similarly, the Capital One Spark Cash Select’s one-time cash offer of $200 after you spend $3,000 in the first three months is a relatively big outlay for a comparatively small return. Some other cards offer a larger bonus for a smaller "spend."
This Card is Best For
The Capital One Spark Cash Select is best suited to new businesses who need a no-cost card that will earn them decent rewards and the opportunity for nine months of interest-free purchases. Its flat 1.5% 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.
Capital One Spark Cash Select Bonus
As a new cardholder, your business will earn a one-time offer of $200 after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
That's a relatively low return on spending. For example, it's less than half of what you'd get for the same spending requirement with the Chase Ink Business Unlimited, which offers a $750 bonus after you spend $7,500 in the first three months.
Rewards Earning Details
You’ll earn a flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make. While those are fairly solid rewards for a business card with no annual fee, they’re not the best rate out there, even among business cards with no annual fee.
Rewards Redemption Details
Your cash-back rewards will never expire, and you can redeem them for cash at any amount and at any time. You can receive cash in the form of a statement credit or paper check. You can even set up automatic redemptions once your balance reaches a certain threshold, such as $25, $50, $100, $200, $500, or $1,500.
Other redemption options include gift cards and statement credits for specific purchases (as opposed to a general credit).
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.
Using Capital One Spark Cash Select during the first nine months potentially allows you to enjoy unlimited no-interest financing through the card's 0% APR offer. Naturally, you should strive to pay your balance in full by the end of the interest-free period to avoid having high-APR interest charges eat into your savings.
- Secondary rental car insurance
- Travel assistance
- Extended warranty protection
- Free employee cards and customized spending limits
- Year-end summaries
- Purchase records in multiple formats
Capital One was rated fifth in J.D. Power’s 2020 Credit Card Customer Satisfaction Study behind Discover and American Express, ranking about average among national card issuers. Capital One provides 24/7 customer service, which is standard among credit card issuers. You can manage your account online or with the card issuer's mobile app, which was ranked No. 2 by J.D. Power in its 2020 U.S. Banking Mobile App Satisfaction Study.
Capital One gives cardholders the ability to lock their or an employee's card from the mobile app. This can stop someone from using the card if it's lost or stolen, and can also come in handy if you want to restrict employee usage.
Other than that, the bank’s security features are standard for the industry.
Fees to Watch out For
Overall, the Capital One Spark Cash Select's fees are in line with industry standards. One exception is that it doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee, which is uncommon for a cash-back credit card.
The Capital One Spark Cash Select is a passable card for a business that doesn't spend so heavily that it would get substantial additional benefit from a card that offers richer rewards. But in most key areas it falls behind a number of competitors, including some that also charge no annual fee, at least for the first year.
Take, for instance, the Amex Blue Business Cash. It offers 2% cash back on the first $50,000 spent annually. Further, the Amex Blue Business Cash has a better 0% APR offer than the Capital One Spark Cash Select, providing 12 months of 0% APR purchases. Then there's the Chase Ink Business Unlimited, which has no annual fee and offers the same 12-month 0% APR on purchases deal as the Amex Blue Business Cash, while also offering a bonus of $750—more than three times the size of the one with the Capital One Spark Cash Select—for $7,500 in spending within the first three months.
If 0% APR isn’t a priority for you, there’s also this card's sibling, the Capital One Spark Cash. It offers unlimited rewards at a higher rate of 2% cash back. And while it lacks a 0% APR offer it provides higher bonuses, especially for big spenders: $500 cash if you spend $4,500 in the first three months with the card.