Capital One® offers several Spark® Cash Business cards, each of which is a great business rewards card. This article reviews and compares each Spark Cash credit card so you can determine which one makes the most sense for your business, whether big or small.
There are actually three Spark Cash Business cards. While all three offer cash back on purchases, they vary in the amount of cash back you can earn. Here’s a detailed look at the differences between the three.
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Overview of the Capital One Spark Cash Credit Cards
Spark Cash Rewards Program
Capital One created a very straight forward rewards program for the Spark cash-back rewards cards. You earn a flat 1%, 1.5%, or 2% unlimited cash back on all spending. You can redeem your cash back for a statement credit, or schedule automatic redemption when your rewards reach a certain threshold.
The Capital One Spark Business cards offer cash back on every purchase and up to $500 in sign-up bonuses (vs. $200 for Spark Select). This is one of the best sign-up bonuses in the industry right now! Other than that, its benefits are common to most other business credit cards. It has a simple, easy-to-understand rewards system, which may be what you are looking for.
Which Spark Cash for Business Card is Right for You?
The main difference between the three Spark Cash business rewards cards come down to the following:
- Cash back percentage
- Signup bonus
- Introductory APR offer
- Annual fee
- Credit required
Card to Maximize Your Rewards
If you are looking to maximize your cash back rewards, you will select either Spark Cash or Spark Cash Select.
It is true that Spark Cash offers 2% cash back and a larger signup bonus – but it comes at the expense of a $95 annual fee and higher spending threshold to reach to cash bonus.
If you will spend at least $11,800 per year on your business credit card (which is $983/month), the Spark Cash card benefits will pay for the annual fee. But keep in mind that to earn the cash sign up bonus, you will need to average $1,500/month in spending over the first three months.
So if you are only spending $1,000/month, Spark Cash Select may be right for you to maximize your cash back. You can always upgrade later. And, this way, you should be able to obtain the cash signup offer.
Finance a Business with an Intro APR Offer
Right now, only the Spark Cash Select is offering an introductory 0% APR offer on new purchases.
If you plan on using your business rewards card to help finance purchases for a few months, then the Spark Cash Select Visa makes sense for you.
You Have Average Credit
The entry level Spark card is designed for business owners with average credit. Note that the other two Spark cards require excellent credit. So, if you have average, fair, or limited credit, the Spark Classic credit card will be the card for you to choose.
Other Perks of Spark Business Cards
In addition to the rewards and benefits already highlighted, all Capital One Spark Business credit cards come with the following benefits, which include Visa® Business Benefits*:
- Quarterly and year-end itemized spending reports.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Unlimited rewards that do not expire and can be redeemed at anytime for any amount.
- Auto rental collision damage coverage.
- Purchase security and extended warranty protection.
- Travel and emergency assistance services.
Building Your Business Credit
If you’re considering the Capital One Spark card, there’s a few more things you should be aware of.
Right now, you must use your personal Social Security number to apply for any of the Spark cards, which means your personal credit history will be used to determine eligibility. This also means that you will be personally responsible for the debt.
A major benefit of the Spark cards is you will be building business credit. This is a huge benefit because not even the American Express business cards currently report to business credit bureaus. If you want to build credit for your business, make sure your company’s tax ID number is on your application.
You can apply for the Spark card even if you are a sole proprietor. The business tax ID field should be left blank if you are a sole proprietor without a corporation or LLC.
How Spark Cash Compares to Other Business Cash Rewards Cards
Not sure if the Spark card is right for you? Here’s how it stacks up against other popular business credit cards.
Spark Cash vs Chase Ink Cash
The Chase Ink Cash Business card is currently one of the most popular business cards on the market. The Ink Cash card currently offers a 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for the first 12 months, as well as a $200 sign-up bonus after you spend $3,000 within the first three months. This is far lower than the $500 sign-up bonus with the Spark Cash, but the Ink Cash has no annual fee; however, the Ink Cash signup bonus is the same as the Spark Select card.
The main difference between the two cards is the rewards program. The Chase Ink Cash card is a bit more confusing. Here’s how you earn cash back with Ink Cash:
- 5% back on the first $25,000 in combined spending at office supply stores and cable TV, landline, internet, and cell phone service.
- 2% back on the first $25,000 in combined spending at gas stations and restaurants.
- 1% back on all other spending.
If you plan to spend a lot at office stores, gas stations, restaurants, and utilities, the Ink Cash card will likely pay off better, especially since it has no annual fee.
Spark Cash vs American Express Plum Card
The American Express Plum card offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases if the bill is paid within 10 days of the closing date. This is as if there were a 1.5 percent cash back rewards program, which is less than the 2 percent cash back that Capital One offers without having to pay within 10 days. Capital One has the better offer in this regard.
The other benefits are better on the Plum card than they are on the Spark Cash card. The Plum card offers roadside assistance, savings of 3 to 10 percent through the OPEN Savings program, baggage insurance and several other perks that are not offered on the Spark Cash card.
As the Plum card is a charge card, there are no APRs to take note of. It has no annual fee in the first year and a fee of $185 thereafter. The other fees are fairly standard.
With an upfront bonus and a lower annual fee, the Capital One Spark Cash Business card is a better bet than the American Express Plum card for most businesses.
Spark Cash vs American Express SimplyCash
The AmEx SimplyCash card has been revamped recently to give it a better rewards program. This card has no annual fee and you can choose one category for an automatic 3% cash back up to the first $25,000 per year. You can choose among many categories such as hotel rooms, car rentals, gas stations, and restaurants. You will also earn 5% back at office supply stores and wireless phone services, and 1% back on everything else.
The SimplyCash rewards program may pay off better for you if you plan to spend a lot at office supply stores and wireless providers, or if you will spend a great deal in one of the available bonus categories you can choose from.
The non-cash rewards are better with the SimplyCash card. It offers access to the OPEN Savings program, which offers discounts on purchases. The other card benefits and perks, however, are equivalent to what Capital One offers.
With a easier-to-manage cash rewards program and an upfront bonus, go with the Capital One Spark Cash Business card if you are deciding among these two cards. However, it may pay to do the math and see which card offers more cash rewards for your specific spending habits.
The Capital One Spark Cash Business card is a great business rewards card to have in your wallet. It features a straightforward rewards program with an unlimited 2% back. If you sign up for the Spark Cash or Spark Cash Select, you can also get a sign-up bonus of $200 or $500.
The Capital One Spark cards are certainly giving American Express and Chase a run for their money. If you value a straightforward business credit card with a competitive interest rate and flat cash back, the Spark card is worth considering. Remember that the Spark cards offer something that most business cards do not: the ability to improve your business credit by reporting to business credit bureaus, not just your own personal credit history.
You won’t be rubbing elbows with your favorite athletes at a luxury airport lounge with this card, but you’ll get some cash back.
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