Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

Capital One Spark Cash Select Review

overall rating
3.9

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The Capital One Spark Cash Select is a small-business card with no annual fee and 1.5% cash-back rewards. It’s the less expensive, if less rewarding, sibling to the Capital One Spark Cash card. Other features include a 0% APR offer on purchases and a $200 bonus.

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

overall rating
3.9
Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business
On Capital One's Secured Site.

Current Offer:

Earn $200 once you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months from 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
Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 9 Months
Balance Transfer Fee None
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 Select

Pros
  • Introductory 0% APR offer

  • Light on fees

Cons
  • Modest rewards and introductory cash bonus

  • Your personal credit history could be affected

Pros Explained

  • 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, $333 monthly—and pay no interest. Without the offer, and paying a 17% interest rate, you’d have to come up with an additional $27 or so for each of the nine monthly payments, and pay $216 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.

Cons Explained

  • 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."
  • 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 Minimalist Persona
    Prefers uncomplicated rewards with single rate for all spending
    Minimalist
  • Avatar for Annual Fee Averse Persona
    Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
    Annual Fee Averse
  • Avatar for Business Owner Persona
    Earning a primary or side income from a small business
    Business Owner

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. Ideally, it's also a card for those who have few concerns about business cash-flow or other issues that might occasionally compromise their ability to make regular payments or otherwise be an excellent customer. That’s because, unlike most other business-card issuers, Capital One provides the credit records of their business-card holders to the agencies that issue credit scores used for consumer credit cards. 

Multiple missteps with this card, then, could eventually compromise your ability to get additional personal credit at relatively low interest rates. That could be a deal-breaker for business owners who want a clear separation between their business and personal financial dealings.

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 $500 bonus after you spend $3,000 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 solid-enough 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.

Standard Benefits

  • Secondary 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 rated third in J.D. Power’s 2019 Credit Card Customer Satisfaction Study behind Discover and American Express, ranking about average among national card issuers. 

The bank provides free access to your business credit report through its Business CreditWise feature. No other major business credit card issuers provide complimentary access to information about your business credit history.

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 2019 U.S. Banking Mobile App Satisfaction Study.

Security Features

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.

Our Verdict

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, while it has no cash bonus, 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 $500—more than twice the size of the one with the Capital One Spark Cash Select—for the same $3,000 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. 

Finally, keep in mind that Capital One’s reporting of business credit card activity to consumer credit bureaus could be a dealbreaker for those who are skittish of having the credit challenges of their business potentially deal a blow to their consumer credit score. 

Discover also reports activity on its business cards to consumer credit bureaus, but no other major issuers do so. If you’d prefer to keep your personal and business credit histories separate, consider business cards from issuers other than Capital One and Discover.

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For Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business
on Capital One's Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business
overall rating
3.9
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
Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
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.