Capital One Spark Cash Select Review: 1.5% Cash Back With No Annual Fee

This business credit card offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no bonus categories or rewards caps to worry about, plus a welcome bonus.

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Our Take

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: A fine choice for entrepreneurs who want a no-annual-fee cash-back card that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees. If you don't plan to use the card for international purchases, though, go with a more rewarding option.

Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • High rewards rate

  • No annual fee

  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • No intro APR period

Alternate Pick: Bonus categories

Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
NerdWallet rating 

Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

Rewards you can customize

Earn 3% cash back in a category of your choice from a list of six options; 2% cash back on dining; and 1% back on all other purchases. The 3% and 2% rates are capped at $50,000 a year in combined spending. Annual fee: $0.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual Fee

$0

Annual Fee

$95

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR

Regular APR

15.99% - 20.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

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Full Review

For entrepreneurs who value simplicity, the low-maintenance Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus is a solid choice. For an annual fee of $0, it offers an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and a good sign-up bonus. And unlike most cash-back cards, it charges no foreign transaction fees.

It's not the most rewarding no-annual-fee cash-back card available for small businesses, though. You can find higher rewards rates or larger sign-up bonuses on other cards in this category. (Some good options are included in this review.) And if you're a big spender, consider its sibling card, the Capital One Spark Cash for Business, which offers an unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases for an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95.

If you're keen on finding a no-annual-fee cash-back card without foreign transaction fees, though, the Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus is a winner.

Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus: Basics

  • Card type: Small business.

  • Annual fee: $0.

  • Welcome bonus: Earn a $500 bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months of account opening.

  • Rewards: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

  • Interest rate: The ongoing APR is 13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR.

  • Foreign transaction fees: None.

  • Other benefits: 

    • Itemized year-end spending reports.

    • Option to download purchase records quickly and securely to accounting software, including Quicken, Quickbooks and Excel.

Why you might want the Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus

Simple flat-rate rewards

Many business cash-back cards offer bonus categories that can supercharge your rewards if your business spending fits into them — or limit your rewards if it doesn't. By offering a 1.5% flat rate on all spending, which matches the industry standard for consumer credit cards, the Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus does away with such complications. That makes this card a good choice for a business whose spending is all over the map, or not concentrated in typical bonus categories like office supplies or travel.

Bonus categories also tend to focus on operating expenses rather than inventory. The Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus pays 1.5% on all purchases, even inventory orders. Put $10,000 a month in inventory spending on the card, for example, and you've got $1,800 in rewards in a year. 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.

No foreign transaction fees

Most cash-back cards slap on foreign transaction fees when you make international purchases, but this one doesn't. That's good if you travel internationally — and great if you buy inventory overseas. Credit card foreign transaction fees are typically 3%, meaning they can easily wipe out the value of any rewards you earn. That's not a concern with this card.

How it compares with other Spark cards

Of the five Capital One business credit cards, the Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus is the $0-annual-fee option with the highest rewards rate. Two other Spark cards also offer cash back:

The other cards — the Spark Miles cards — offer rewards in miles, rather than cash back. Miles are worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed for a broad range of travel purchases. None of these cards will charge you foreign transaction fees.

For more analysis, check out NerdWallet's comparison of these cards. Here's how they stack up.

Capital One Spark Cash for Business, annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95.

Sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

Rewards: 2% cash back on all purchases.

Sign-up bonus: Earn a $500 bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months of account opening.

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Sign-up bonus: None.

Rewards: 1% cash back on all purchases.

Capital One Spark Miles for Business, annual fee of $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.

Rewards: 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases; 5 miles per dollar spent on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel.

Sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles - equal to $200 in travel - once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Rewards: 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases; 5 miles per dollar spent on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel.

Why you might want a different card

Higher flat-rate rewards

When you're comparing the Capital One Spark Cash for Business and the Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus, the latter might seem like the best option if you're trying to avoid annual fees. But there's a third option that might be even better: the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card.

This card offers 2% cash back on all eligible purchases up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%, for an annual fee of $0. Terms apply. It also offers a 0% intro APR, which the Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus lacks. However, it charges foreign transaction fees. Terms apply (see rates and fees).

Larger sign-up bonus

The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card checks many of the same boxes as the Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus: a $0 annual fee, unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and a welcome offer. Compared to the Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus, though, it comes with a much larger sign-up bonus — Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. — plus a 0% APR period (0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR). The card does charge a 3% foreign transaction fee, however, so it's not a good choice for international purchases.

You could also consider the Discover it® Business Card. It, too, earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases, has an annual fee of $0 and doesn't charge foreign transaction fees. But it features a unique and potentially lucrative bonus, which Discover phrases this way: "Get an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year, automatically. And no limit to how much we’ll match. So you could turn $350 cash back into $700 with Cashback Match™." Plus, you'll get a 0% intro APR period: 0% on Purchases for 12 Months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.49% - 22.49% Variable APR.

Is the Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus right for you?

The Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus is an easy choice for small-business owners who want simple cash-back rewards, no foreign transaction fees and an annual fee of $0. If foreign transaction fees aren’t a dealbreaker for you, though, you'd be better off with a different, more rewarding card.

To view rates and fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, see this page.