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Capital One Spark Miles: Earn High-Flying Travel Rewards for Your Business

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Capital One Spark Card review

If you want to rack up travel rewards with a business credit card but don’t spend a lot on travel, the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business is a great option. Rather than reserving its bonus rewards for travel-related purchases, as most travel cards do, this card offers a great ongoing rewards rate regardless of what business expenses you use it for.

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business: Benefits and basics

What makes the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business so special is that it offers a flat 2 miles for every dollar you spend, no matter what you spend it on — with no limits and no long list of bonus categories to remember.

The card also comes with a stellar sign-up bonus: Plus, a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. Click here to check out the full details of the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business.

High rewards rate

Many business credit cards restrict how much you can earn in bonus rewards categories and leave you with a low base rewards rate for all other purchases. This might work if your business spends a lot in those categories and is small enough that you know you won’t reach the spending cap every year. But if you know your business would blow through the spending cap in a few months, or you simply don’t want to be chained to specific categories that may or may not apply to your business, the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business gives you 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase.

Flexible redemption

You have two options when redeeming miles earned with the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business. First, you can use Capital One’s travel platform, which is run by Orbitz, to book travel using your miles at a rate of $0.01 per mile. Or you can book your travel elsewhere using your Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business and use Capital One’s Purchase Eraser® to get a full or partial statement credit for your travel purchase.

What makes the Purchase Eraser® option so unusual is that there is no minimum redemption. Say you purchase a hotel stay for $500; you can redeem as little as $1 worth of points as a partial statement credit for that purchase.

Nerd note: You can also redeem your miles for gift cards, cash and more, but usually at a lower point value.

No foreign transaction fees

Like all Capital One cards, the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. With many cards charging 3% of every overseas purchase, you’ll definitely want this feature if you plan to travel internationally.

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business: Pitfalls and other possibilities

The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business has some great features across the board, but the Nerds have yet to find a perfect card. Here are some drawbacks to consider:

2X rewards isn’t the best you can do

If you think earning double miles for every dollar you spend is about as good as it gets, think again. The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express gives you 2 Starpoints per dollar spent on purchases charged directly with Starwood Preferred Guest hotels and resorts and 1 Starpoint per dollar on everything else.

On the surface, that may seem like a downgrade. What makes it worth your while is the value of a Starpoint. While Capital One miles are worth 1 cent each, Starpoints are worth 2.3 cents apiece on average when redeemed for free stays at Starwood Preferred Guest hotels and resorts. That means you’re getting more bang for your buck when you use the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, even at the base rewards rate. You can also transfer your Starpoints to more than 30 airline partners. (Check out our SPG program review to see the list.)

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express also comes with a sign-up bonus: Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.

Doesn’t offer good cash-back options

If you’re looking for a travel card, you’re in the right place. But if you want the ultimate flexibility of cash, you might want to consider the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express. A straight-up cash-back card, it offers great bonus rewards for regular business expenses:

  • 5% cash back on purchases made at U.S.-based office supply stores and wireless phone service providers.
  • 3% cash back on a category of your choice.
  • 1% cash back on all other spending.
  • Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $5,000 in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn an additional $200 statement credit after you spend an additional $10,000 or more in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first year of Card Membership. Terms apply.

The 5% and 3% bonuses are good on up to $50,000 in combined spending a year; after that, you get 1%.

If you have a large one-time business expense coming up, you can also take advantage of the card’s introductory APR of 0% on Purchases for 9 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.24% - 20.24% Variable APR — and you’ll also get some extra perks designed specifically for business owners from American Express OPEN. The drawbacks are the cap on spending for the bonus categories and a 2.7% foreign transaction fee.

Is the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business right for you?

If your business spends a lot on non-travel-related expenses and you like to travel, the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business is a solid choice (click here to apply). However, if you’re looking for the flexibility of cash or a better redemption value, it may be worth exploring some other business credit card options.

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


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