Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business Review: Ideal Credit Card for Your Company?
The Spark Cash Select for Business from Capital One is a cash-back card for business owners who want a card with no annual fee and substantial cash rewards.
The card is one of two Spark Cash cards that Capital One offers, the other being the Spark Cash for Business. What sets the Cash Select apart from the Cash is that it has a lower rewards rate, smaller sign-up bonus and no annual fee.
Even though the card’s rewards aren’t quite as lucrative as the Spark Cash they’re still pretty good but, when compared to non-Capital one cards, the cash you earn isn’t as robust.
Over the course of this review, we’ll explain to you what this card’s rewards are, how you can earn them, what types of benefits you get and what the card’s rates and fees are.
Once we take you through those sections, we’ll compare the Spark Cash Select to other business rewards cards to give you a sense of where it stands amid the competition.
The Spark Cash Select’s Rewards
Most business card owners focus on this aspect of their credit card and rightly so. Choosing the right rewards card can earn you hundreds of dollars each year in cash that you can redeem as a statement credit or receive via a check.
Exactly how much cash the Spark Cash Select can earn you is easy to figure out. You get $0.015 for every $1 you spend ($100 spend gets $1.50 in rewards).
For every $10,000 your business spends, you’ll earn $150. Here’s a quick chart to show you how much various yearly spending tiers can earn you:
- $15,000 spend: $225 in cash back
- $20,000 spend: $300 in cash back
- $25,000 spend: $375 in cash back
- $30,000 spend: $450 in cash back
- $35,000 spend: $525 in cash back
- $40,000 spend: $600 in cash back
The card’s rewards are straightforward in that nearly every purchase you make will earn the 1.5x cash-back rate. Some of the only “purchases” that won’t earn points are interest payments assessed for carrying a balance on your card as well as any fees related to late payments, cash advances or balance transfers.
In addition to the cash back you can earn through everyday spending, Captial One will give you an additional $200 bonus if you can spend within the first three months of owning the card. It will take up to eight weeks for Capital One to add the bonus to your rewards balance after you hit the spending requirement.
As far as business rewards credit cards go, the Spark Cash Select is about as simple as they come. There are no increased bonuses for various spending categories, nor do you have to choose which types of spending get bigger bonuses as is the case with some business rewards cards.
Based on how simple it is to use this card, we believe the Spark Cash Select is a smart choice for business owners who want an easy-to-use cash rewards business card.
The Spark Cash Select’s Benefits
According to research we’ve reviewed, there are a significant number of credit-card customers who prioritize benefits over rewards. This points to the fact that a card’s benefits have certain advantages that consumers deem valuable.
Based on our research of the Spark Cash Select, we believe there are some critical benefits you should know about:
- Purchase protection
- Extended warranty
- Visa SavingsEdge
- Free car rental insurance
The card hard other benefits, too, but the ones we listed above tend to be the most lucrative. For example, purchase protection covers theft of or accidental damage to items up to 90 days after you buy them with your card. Each claim has a max of $10,000 and you’re allowed up to $50,000 in total claims for the life of the card.
Any purchases you make with the card will also get an extended warranty perk that adds up to an additional year of protection.
Both of these benefits have specific limitations. For example, certain types of items aren’t eligible for purchase protection or extended warranty:
- Computer software
- Boats, cars and motorized vehicles
- Used or pre-owned items
The SavingsEdge program is a shopping portal you log into and then get discounts by using your Spark Cash Select. These discounts are then added to your statement as a credit, rather than as a price reduction at the point of sale.
Some of the online retailers who participate in the SavingsEdge program are:
- Bing Ads
- LaQuinta Inn & Suites
- Panera Bread
- The Wall Street Journal
The final main perk you get is complimentary rental car insurance available on car rentals you make with your card.
You can discover all the exceptions and limitations of these various programs by reading through the Spark Cash Select benefits guide.
Other benefits we didn’t mention would be the ability to download your transactions in accounting-friendly formats, as well as year-end spending summaries and free employee cards.
The Spark Cash Select’s Rates and Fees
The card’s interest rates are 14.74%, 18.74% or 22.74% for purchases and balance transfers, and 24.74% for cash advances. The rates for purchases and balance transfers depend on your credit scores. If your scores are above 700, there’s a good chance you’ll get 14.74%. If they’re in the mid to low 600’s, you may get the 22.74% APR.
As a promotion, Capital One will give you nine months of 0% interest on purchases. At the end of the nine months, your regular APR will apply to your remaining balance.
Be wary of the Spark Cash Select’s 31.15% penalty APR. This is an interest rate that applies to any balances you carry and activates when you make a single late payment.
The card has no annual fee and no balance transfer fees, which makes it the only business card to offer that no-fee duo. Cash advance fees are 3% or $5, whichever is higher.
If you make a late payment, the fee could be as high as $39.
Comparing the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business to Other Business Rewards Cards
Knowing what a business rewards card offers is just part of understanding how beneficial it might be. Putting the Spark Cash Select in the context of other leading business cards gives you another data point to understand how valuable it may or may not.
The following chart compares the Spark Cash Select to other popular business credit cards we’ve reviewed. The yearly rewards category is based on $30,000 of spending:
|Spark Cash Select||Discover it Business||Chase Ink Business Unlimited||Wells Fargo Business Platinum||American Express SimplyCash Plus|
|0% intro APR||9||12||12||9||9|
|APR||14.74% - 22.74%||14.99% - 22.99%||15.24% - 21.24%||13.24% - 23.24%||14.24% - 21.24%|
|Customer Service||3 stars||5 stars||3 stars||3 stars||5 stars|
The Spark Cash Select’s 1.5x rewards rate is equal to what you get with the Discover it Business, Chase Ink Business Unlimited, and the Wells Fargo Business Platinum. The American Express SimplyCash Plus uses multiple rewards rates which depend on what you buy.
Nearly every card that utilizes varying rewards rate, we’ve found that cards with a flat rate are more lucrative, which this chart indicates.
Though the Spark Cash Select provides the same yearly rewards as the cards from Discover, Chase and Wells Fargo, its sign-up bonus is pedestrian compared to the $450-$500 you get with the other cards. The Discover and Chase cards offer longer 0% periods, too.
One positive the card offers is a competitive low APR as compared to the Discover and Chase cards.
As far as customer service goes, J.D. Power’s 2018 Credit Card Satisfaction Study ranks Discover as #1, American Express as #2, Chase as #4 and Capital One close behind at #5.
Based on the data presented in the table above, we believe that the Spark Cash Select doesn’t quite measure up to the combination of yearly rewards, sign-up bonus, 0% APR length and customer service that the Discover it Business card provides.
For these reasons, we believe that you may be better off using the Discover card. Also, the Discover card doesn’t have a penalty APR. If you pay late at least once a year, then you may want to seriously consider the Discover card as opposed to the Spark Cash Plus, which has a 29.99% penalty APR that activates the first time you make a late payment.
How to Use the Spark Cash Select for Business from Capital One to Your Advantage
We see this card being a strong choice for Capital One customers who want to stay loyal to the Capital One brand and want a rewards credit card for the business that doesn’t charge an annual fee.
In our opinion, the best way to use this card is to sign up for it at a time when you need to make a big purchase for your business. Because the card offers 0% interest for nine months, you can spread that big purchase's payments out over eight to nine months.
While you’re paying that back and any other future balances you have, make sure you have your card enrolled in autopay and you choose to pay the minimum payment or the entire balance. Doing so means you can protect yourself from a late payment and avoid the penalty APR.
For example, if you carry a $5,000 balance for one year, it will cost you $737 in interest if your interest rate is 14.74%. That same balance with a 29.99% would cost you $1,499 over the course of one year.
If you aren’t convinced the Spark Cash Select is the right card for you, take a minute to read through our rankings of the best business rewards credit cards. We compare the leading cards across multiple categories like rewards rates, APR and sign-up bonuses.