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Capital One is enhancing one of its popular business credit cards with a cardholder benefit that pays for federal trusted-traveler programs aimed at helping flyers get through airport security lines quicker.
Starting May 21, 2019, the Capital One Spark Miles for Business will reimburse cardholders for the cost of applying to TSA Precheck or Global Entry programs, which offer expedited lines through national security checkpoints, including U.S. airport TSA lines.
Applying for those programs costs $85 and $100, respectively, and must be renewed every five years. The benefit on the Capital One Spark Miles for Business comes in the form of a statement credit when the card is used to pay the application fee. It renews every four years, allowing a buffer time for reapplying.
That provides a prorated additional value of $21.25 to $25 per year, depending on the chosen program. Because the statement credit is automatic when you use the card to pay the application fee, it doesn’t add complexity to the card. Simplicity is part of the appeal of a flat-rate business rewards card like the Capital One Spark Miles for Business.
The Capital One Spark Miles for Business in brief:
Annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $95.
Sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases.
Miles can be redeemed at a rate of 1 cent apiece for statement credit against any travel expense. Book travel your usual way, then use miles to pay for it.
Interest rate: The ongoing APR is 20.99% Variable APR.
Foreign transaction fees: None.
Precheck and Global Entry
The primary benefit of Precheck is the ability to use faster security lines at U.S. airports. In April 2019, 93% of TSA Precheck passengers waited less than five minutes in line, according to the TSA. The program is available at more than 200 airports via 67 airlines.
Global Entry includes the benefit of Precheck plus expedited entry through U.S. customs when you return from a foreign country. The downside is that Global Entry can be a bigger hassle when applying.
Popular new perk
Reimbursing application fees for TSA Precheck and Global Entry is quickly becoming a common benefit on travel credit cards. Once offered only on premium cards with annual fees of hundreds of dollars, the feature has funneled down to less expensive cards.
For example, about a year prior to the current perk release, Capital One added the same benefit to its consumer flat-rate travel card, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
“We often hear that time is often the most precious resource for business owners, which is why we are so excited to introduce the TSA Precheck and Global Entry benefit to help Spark Miles cardholders save time and streamline the travel process,” said Matt Vischulis, managing vice president of Capital One Small Business Card, via email.
Last year, Capital One added the ability to transfer miles to airline loyalty programs.
“Feedback for our new miles transfer feature has been overwhelmingly positive, and adding this TSA Precheck and Global Entry benefit is a great next step as we continue to enhance Spark Miles with benefits for business owners traveling for work or pleasure,” Vischulis said via email.