About Capital One Savor Card

By J.R. Duren
HighYa Staff Published on: Oct 18, 2017

The Capital One Savor is a credit card that foodies can truly savor because it offers you 3% cash back on restaurant purchases, 2% on groceries and 1% on everything else.

The card is marketed as a foodie’s card because it’s the only credit card on the market that offers 3x cash back on restaurant purchases and doesn’t have an annual fee.

Sounds great, right? People who love eating out either by convenience or necessity can reap some pretty significant rewards for their restaurant and fast-food habits.

One thing we’ve learned amid our more than 100 credit card reviews is that the smart consumers look past all the marketing and hype and analyze the real numbers.

On top of that, they’re willing to look at all the card’s features and not just the cool stuff like cash back and cash bonuses (more on that in a minute).

Our goal at HighYa is to create smart consumers, so, in this review, we’re going to offer you the most important information about this card’s rewards, benefits, fees and pros and cons.

We’ll also take a look at what other sites are saying about the card so you can get a comprehensive sense of what HighYa and other experts think about the card.

Also, remember this: HighYa doesn’t receive any compensation from any credit card companies for readers who sign up for the card. Our reviews are transparent and unbiased.

The Capital One Savor’s Rewards

While you’ll probably read that the Capital One Savor is a foodie’s credit card because of the 3% cash rewards, it’s really, by all definitions, a cash rewards card.

What that means is that you’ll earn a certain percentage of cash back on nearly every purchase you make. You can get those cash rewards either by check or by automatic deposits into your credit card account in increments of at least $25.

3% on Restaurants: $94.50 a Year

As we’ve mentioned several times already, the Savor’s biggest cash-back reward is the 3x bonus you get on restaurant purchases. Those purchases include restaurants and fast food.

So, if you spend $100 at the Brazilian steakhouse in your neighborhood, you’ll earn $3 in rewards. That doesn’t sound like a lot, right?

Well, think about it like this. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that, in 2016, the average household spent $3,154 on eating out, an amount that equals about $94.50 in cash rewards per year, just about enough to pay for that Brazilian steakhouse dinner.

But, we realize that not everyone spends the $262 a month on eating out.

For example, if you live in New York City where restaurant prices are higher than normal, you might spend $300 a month with your Capital One Savor. But, if you live somewhere like Tulsa or Jacksonville, meals may be a little cheaper.

So, the best way to understand how the Capital One Savor can benefit you is to look at your bank and/or credit card statements from the past four months and come up with an average spending amount.

Multiply that by 12 then by 3% and you’ve got your yearly rewards for restaurant purchases.

2% on Groceries: $121.47 per Year

The next cash back category on the Capital One Savor is the grocery category. Before we jump in here, we want to remind you that most credit cards – Capital One included – tend not to give rewards for grocery purchases at superstores like Walmart and Target.

That being said, your usual purchases at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and the litany of local and regional chains will most likely qualify for the 2x rewards.

How much can you earn from this category each year? Well, according to the BLS, the average household spends around $4,049, or $121.47 per year.

Again, these numbers are averages and where you live can influence how much you pay for groceries. For example, according to Sperling’s Best Places, your monthly food bill (restaurants and groceries) is 37% higher in San Francisco than it is in Oklahoma City.

1% on Everything Else: $227.79

Most of the purchases you make that aren’t restaurants or groceries will get a 1x cash bonus.

It’s really hard to say exactly how much you’ll get back in this category. If you’ve got a family of four, then we think, based on the BLS numbers, you could spend around $30,000 a year on your Capital One Savor.

Now, keep in mind that $7,203 of that will get the 3% and 2% rewards, which leaves you with $22,797 that’s eligible for 1% cash back, or $222.79.

Some of the purchases and charges that wouldn’t earn cash rewards would be credit card fees like late fees and interest payments, as well as cash-based transactions like deposits to gambling accounts.

Total Yearly Rewards: $443.76

Based on the average spending we’ve calculated in these three sections, we believe that you can earn $443.76 per year with the Capital One Savor.

How does that compare to other cards? Well, if you’re spending $30,000 a year, then you can earn $600 in cash rewards with the Citi Double Cash’s flat rewards rate of 2%.

Both the Capital One Quicksilver and the Chase Freedom Unlimited offer 1.5% cash back, which amounts to $450 in rewards.

These are just the straight cash-back rewards you’ll get based on spending bonuses, but there’s one more twist to these rewards scenarios: up-front cash.

$150 Cash Bonus

Capital One will give you a $150 bonus if you can spend $3,000 in the first three months of owning your card, starting the day you’re approved for the Savor.

This bonus is pretty much the industry standard for cash rewards cards. Both the Freedom Unlimited and Quicksilver offer $150 bonuses. The notable exception to the $150 rule? The Citi Double Cash, which has no up-front cash bonus.

So, let’s revisit the yearly rewards comparison we did earlier:

  • Savor: $443.76 + $150 bonus = $593.76
  • Double Cash: $600 + $0 bonus = $600
  • Freedom Unlimited: $450 + $150 = $600
  • Quicksilver: $450 + $150 = $600

As you can see, the first-year rewards really boost the value of the Savor, Freedom Unlimited and Quicksilver. However, over time, the Double Cash’s 2% cash back rate for all purchases presents the best value for consumers.

0% APR for 9 Months

The final big reward you get with the Capital One Savor is 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for nine months.

What that means is that you won’t be charged interest for any purchases you make within nine months of being approved for the card.

Normally, you’d get hit with interest charges if you didn’t pay off your balance in full every month. However, you can carry a balance for nine months on your card without interest.

Once that nine months is up, however, you’ll be charged interest for any balances you have on your Capital One Savor.

The Capital One Savor MasterCard’s Benefits

The Savor is part of the MasterCard World Elite program, a collection of benefits that provide solid perks on many of the purchases you make on regular stuff and travel.

Extended Warranty

When you use your Capital One Savor to buy an item with a manufacturer’s warranty of two years or less, Capital One will double the warranty. You’ll also get up to two years of a warranty match when you buy an extended warranty, like the ones offered at Best Buy.

Identity Theft Resolution

One of the lesser-known benefits of the World Elite program, this perk means that you’ll get advocates from Capital One who act as a representative for you to resolve any issues involving your credit report as a result of fraudulent purchases made through your account.

Rental Car Insurance

This common benefit provides complimentary collision damage waiver insurance on any rental cars purchased with your Capital One Savor card.

Here’s a quick list of things the insurance covers:

  • Physical damage and theft
  • Fees charged by the rental agency for the car being out of commission
  • Towing the damaged car to a collision center

The World Elite program has several other great benefits you’ll want to check out because we just don’t have the time to review all of them. However, we tracked down a copy of the benefits program included with the Savor, so click here to download a copy directly from the Capital One website.

The Capital One Savor’s Interest Rates and Fees

Every credit card has interest rates and fees you need to know about just in case you don’t pay off your balance every month or you pay late.

Interest Rates

The Savor has the following APRs, one of which Capital One will assign to you based on your credit scores: 15.49%, 20.49% or 24.49%. These interest rates apply to purchases and balance transfers made after the nine-month, 0% intro period.

You’ll only pay APR on purchases if you don’t pay off your entire balance every month.

If you make a cash advance (using your credit card like an ATM card), then your APR will be 24.49%.

Transaction Fees

You’ll pay a 3% fee of the amount of any balances you transfer to your Capital One Savor card and on any cash advances you make. A $3,000 balance transfer will require a $90 fee, for example.

Late Fees

If you make a late payment, you’ll be hit with up to a $35 fee. Usually, the fees are lower for balances under $250, but anything over that amount will require a $35 payment.

Public Opinion About the Capital One Savor Card

We took a look at a few of the prominent articles that were published around the time the Savor launched in October 2017 and many of them were positive.

CreditCards.com knocked the Capital One Savor for its high APR, which is a good point considering that, according to our Best Cash Back Rewards Credit Card of 2017 article, five of the six major cash rewards cards have lower APRs. The Chase Freedom Unlimited is the exception at 15.99%.

Pros of the Capital One Savor

The card’s best strength is the 3% cash rate on restaurant purchases as well as its $150 bonus. We’d also like to point out that the card doesn’t have a penalty APR, something that gives it an advantage over the Bank of America Cash Rewards, the Citi Double Cash and the AmEx Blue Cash Preferred.

Cons of the Capital One Savor

Even with the 3% bonus on restaurant purchases and the 2% rewards on groceries, the Capital One Savor still doesn’t have the rewards power to match the Citi Double Cash.

Also, the card’s 15.49% is second-highest among the most popular cash-rewards credit cards.

Who Is a Good Fit for the Capital One Savor?

As we mentioned earlier, we think the person who is a good fit for this card is someone who spends at least $5,035 a year on restaurant purchases.

Why $5,035? Because spending that much earns you $151.50 rewards that, when added to rewards from average spending on groceries and everything else, will exceed the $600 in rewards you could earn on the same purchases with the Citi Double Cash.

If that’s you, then we believe the Capital One Savor is a good fit not only because you’ll get industry-leading rewards, but because you won’t have to worry about the 29.99% penalty APR that kicks in when you make a late payment on the Citi Double Cash.

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