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Business Cash Back Comparison: Capital One Spark Cash vs. Ink Business Cash

July 13, 2018
Business Credit Cards, Credit Cards
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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

Using a cash back credit card for your business can push a few more dollars down to your bottom line, which is always a good thing. The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card and the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business are among the best cash back business cards available. Which one is right for you depends on your business and its expenses. Let’s take a look.

Rewards

The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business’s rewards structure is as simple as it gets. Cardholders earn a flat 2% cash back on every purchase. Your cash rewards never expire, there’s no limit to how much you can earn, and there’s no minimum amount needed to redeem.

With the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, it’s a little more complicated. You earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on phone, Internet and cable services each account anniversary year; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Winner: Depends on your spending

The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card offers an opportunity to earn major rewards, but only if your business expenses align with its bonus categories. On the other hand, you’ll get a flat 2% back with the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business, regardless of the expense. Take a look at your regular transactions to determine which card offers better rewards for you.

Sign-up bonus

Though the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card can be more rewarding over the long term, its sign-up bonus isn’t very exciting: Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. On the other hand, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business’s sign-up bonus is solid: A one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

Winner: Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

If a sign-up bonus is high on your priority list, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business is a no-brainer, with the larger bonus of the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card.

Interest rate

The ongoing APR is 18.74% Variable APR for the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business, a decent rate for a business credit card. The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, on the other hand, offers a 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.99% - 20.99% Variable APR.

Winner: Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

If you need some time to pay off a large business expense or transfer a balance from a high-interest business credit card, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card’s introductory 0% APR period is as good as it gets for business cards. And if you have excellent credit, you may qualify for a better ongoing APR than what you’d get with the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business.

Fees

Let’s start with arguably the most important fee: the annual fee. The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card’s is $0, and the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business’s is $0 for the first year, then $95. If you want to take advantage of the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card’s balance transfer offer, you’ll end up paying a balance transfer fee of 5%. On the other hand, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee, although any balance you transfer will be assessed interest at the card’s purchase APR.

If you’re looking to do cash advances with your card, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card charges a fee of 5% of the transaction, while the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business’s cash advance fee is 3%. Finally, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business, like all Capital One cards, doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee. The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card charges a 3% fee on foreign purchases.

Winner: Depends on how you plan to use the card

If you’re not planning on doing a balance transfer or cash advance, or traveling overseas, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card is the clear winner with its $0 annual fee. If you think you’ll need to do those things, however, you might be better off paying the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business’s annual fee to get lower fees overall.

Making your choice

There’s no clear winner between these two cards because the value you get from each depends on the nature of your business and its expenses. Taking both cards at face value, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business offers more value upfront, and the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card is more rewarding over the long term.

If your business doesn’t spend according to the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card’s bonus categories, however, you’re looking at a mediocre 1% rewards rate on most of your purchases. In that case, you’re better off with the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business.

As usual, the Nerds recommend reviewing your needs and reviewing other business credit cards before applying for one.

Ben Luthi is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: bluthi@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @benluthi.