Editorial Review

Capital One Spark Cash Review: Simple, Generous Rewards

Earn 2% cash back on all purchases, with no limit to how much you can earn and no special categories to keep track of. There's an annual fee, waived the first year.

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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.

Our Take

4.4

NerdWallet rating

The Bottom Line: Don't be scared off by an annual fee. The more you spend for your business, the more attractive this card becomes.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

on Capital One's secure website

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Annual Fee 
$95

Waived first year

Regular APR
18.74% Variable APR
Intro APR
N/A

Quick Facts

Annual Fee 
$95

Waived first year

Regular APR
18.74% Variable APR
Intro APR
N/A

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • High rewards rate
  • No foreign transaction fee
Cons
  • Has annual fee
  • High APR

recommended credit score

Alternate Pick: Rewards you can customize

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

Choose your own 3% category

This card pays 5% cash back on the first $50,000 spent on wireless phone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores; 3% cash back on the first $50,000 spent in the category of your choice from a list of eight; and 1% cash back on other purchases. Terms apply. The annual fee is $0

Read our review

Full Review

One of the most common criticisms of cash-back credit cards for small businesses is that their rewards structures prevent many entrepreneurs from earning much cash back. Getting 5% back at office supply stores, for example, is great if your business relies on paper and ink and whatnot. It’s meaningless if you don’t.

That’s why the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business is so popular with business owners, and why it has long been a fixture among NerdWallet’s best small business credit cards. This card pays an unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase — no bonus categories to deal with, no spending caps to worry about.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business: Basics

  • Annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $95.
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn up to $2,000: Earn a $500 cash bonus when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months and $1,500 when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of opening your account. Limited Time Offer..
  • Ongoing rewards: 2% cash back on all purchases.
  • Interest rate: The ongoing APR is 18.74% Variable APR.
  • Foreign transaction fees: None.

Why you might want the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

simple, generous rewards on everything

Many business cash-back cards pay 1% on most purchases and a higher rate in certain categories. Those categories usually center on operating costs, such as office supplies, travel, telecommunications, advertising, shipping and so on. The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business offers 2% cash back on all purchases. That makes it ideal for businesses whose expenses don’t line up with other cards’ categories, or that aren’t concentrated in any particular categories.

Further, “2% on all purchases” includes inventory purchases — and, as many small business operators can attest, inventory spending can easily dwarf operating expenses. Put $10,000 a month in inventory spending on the card, for example, and you’ve got $2,400 in rewards in a year. There is no limit on the amount of spending eligible for 2% rewards. To further simplify things, you can set up automatic redemption to “cash in” your rewards when the balance reaches a certain amount. Or you can redeem on request.

Big sign-up bonus

The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business starts you off right with a fat sign-up bonus: Earn up to $2,000: Earn a $500 cash bonus when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months and $1,500 when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of opening your account. Limited Time Offer..

No foreign transaction fees

Capital One doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees on any of its credit cards, including business cards like this one. That’s good if you do a lot of foreign travel — and great if you purchase inventory overseas. Credit card foreign transaction fees average about 3%, meaning they can easily wipe out the value of any rewards you earn. Not a concern with the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business.

Business integration benefits

You can get cards for your employees to use for business expenses at no additional cost, while you earn the rewards. Capital One gives you quarterly and annual statements detailing your spending. You can download purchase records in several formats, including Quickbooks  and Excel.

Why you might want a different card

Annual fee

Some people are dead-set against paying an annual fee on a credit card. If that applies you, then the fee of $0 for the first year, then $95 on the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business is going to be a turnoff. Consider these alternatives:

  • The Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business — note the “Select” in the name — is different from the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business in three ways:
    1. The annual fee is $0.
    2. It pays a lower rate: unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
    3. The sign-up bonus is smaller: Plus, a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
  • The Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card also has a $0 annual fee and also pays an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. It has a sign-up bonus comparable to that on the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business: Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.. In addition, it offers an introductory 0% APR period. It charges a foreign transaction fee of 3%

Searching for the break-even point? After the first year:

  • Once you spend $4,750 in a year, the 2% rewards on the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business make up for the annual fee.
  • Once you spend $19,000 in a year, you’ll be getting more value from the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business than you would from a 1.5% card even after paying the annual fee.

One final point to keep in mind is that, unlike the annual fee on a consumer card, the fee on a business credit card is a tax-deductible business expense.

No bonus categories

As mentioned, many small-business operators have no use for bonus categories, since their spending doesn’t match up. But plenty of others could reap a windfall. The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card pays 5% cash back on the first $25,000 per year in combined spending at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 per year in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants; and 1% on everything else. The annual fee is $0, and the card offers both a sign-up bonus and a 0% introductory APR period.

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

The more money you spend in your business, the more attractive the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business becomes, as you make up for its annual fee and leave the lower rates of other flat-rate cards in the dust. If you value simplicity and have expenses high enough to justify the fee, it’s the cream of the crop. If you don’t have much in the way of business expenses, though, a no-fee card is a better option.