At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.
If you have $50,000 worth of spending you can complete in 3 to 6 months, Capital One wants your business. The issuer just increased the welcome bonus on the Spark Business credit cards, which may be great news for business owners looking to get rewarded for big spending.
So what’s this new welcome bonus, and is it worth applying for one of these cards? Below is everything you need to know about these new offers:
The new offers
The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business and Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business are both offering bonus rewards for those who can complete $50,000 worth of spending within a certain period. This bonus is in addition to the welcome bonus for completing the initial spending requirement:
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business: Earn a $500 cash bonus when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months and earn $1,500 when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of your account opening.
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business: Earn 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months and earn 150,000 bonus miles when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of your account opening.
This welcome bonus is good news for all new cardholders: If you can complete the $50,000 spending requirement, you get a nice bonus reward. If you can’t, then at least least you still have a shot at a decent initial welcome bonus.
The only downside is that the initial spending requirement for both cards has gone up by $500 — and the bonuses earned from these spending requirements aren’t very competitive when compared to cards with similar welcome bonuses. For example, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card requires a lower spending requirement for the same welcome bonus: Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
What spending $50,000 on another credit card gets you
With the current bonus offer, Capital One is essentially paying out just over 3.6% cash back (or 3.6 miles per $1 spent). While that sounds like a great offer, some business owners may benefit from channeling their expenses toward other credit cards.
For example, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card earns 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services. If you were to max out this category and earn 1% cash back on another $25,000, you’d end up with a total of $2,000 cash back. That’s equal to the bonus from the two Capital One cards.
The difference? The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card has a $0 annual fee, while the annual fee for both the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business and Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business is $0 intro for the first year, then $95. Long-term, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card is a better option.
Why you may want the Capital One Spark Card
But not everyone will be better off with a card like the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. If you’re not going to take advantage of category bonuses and just want to earn more than 3x points/3% cash back on the first $50,000 spent during the first year, then the Capital One cards are the better way to go.
Some business owners are too busy with daily operations to worry about maximizing their rewards. These cards are great options for those people who just want to earn a flat rate. If you’re good with earning just 2 miles per $1 spent/2% cash back after the first year and don’t mind paying an annual fee to do so, then by all means apply for a Spark card.
It’s also worth noting that neither the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business or Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business charge foreign transaction fees, while the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card charges 3%. That could present a significant amount of savings if you’re a business owner who does business abroad.
Ways to maximize this offer
If you’re going to apply for the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business or Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business right now, the best way to maximize these offers is by making sure you complete the initial spending requirement in addition to the $50,000 for the secondary bonus.
That secondary bonus is really the only advantage this card has over the $0-fee Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. (Unless, of course, you’re concerned about saving money on foreign transaction fees and earning rewards at a flat rate rather than maximizing category bonuses.)
The bottom line
If you have some big purchases coming up, then these two offers from Capital One are a great way to maximize rewards earnings. But if you just want a welcome bonus equivalent to $500 cash back, there are other cards out there with lower spending requirements that you might want to opt for.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Find the best travel credit card for you Best Capital One credit cards Earn more points and miles with these 6 strategies