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.
Pros & Cons
No annual fee
High rewards rate
No reward caps
Requires good/excellent credit
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.
Compare to Other Cards
18.49%-24.49% Variable APR
21.24%-26.24% Variable APR
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Capital One's flat-rate rewards approach to business credit cards can make a lot of sense for entrepreneurs who value simplicity — even though the issuer has made things a little complicated with its Spark Cash Select card. You can choose from two offers with that same name, but different sign-up benefits:
The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit comes with a welcome bonus: Earn a $750 bonus when you spend $6,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.
NerdWallet rates the cash-back offer as the better option overall, but the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Good Credit can make sense if your credit isn't excellent (typically a FICO score of at least 720) or you want a 0% APR period. Both versions of the card offer unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and, unlike most cash-back cards, don't charge foreign transaction fees.
If you're in the market for a no-annual-fee cash-back card, 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.) If you're keen on finding a no-annual-fee cash-back card without foreign transaction fees, though, the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit is a winner. (See rates and fees.)
Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit: Basics
Card type: Small business.
Annual fee: $0.
Welcome bonus: Earn a $750 bonus when you spend $6,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.
Rewards: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases; unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
Interest rate: The ongoing APR is 18.49%-24.49% Variable APR.
Foreign transaction fees: None.
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 for Excellent Credit
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 for Excellent Credit 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 for Excellent Credit 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 many Capital One business credit cards, the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit is the $0-annual-fee option with the highest rewards rate. Two other Spark cards also offer cash back:
The Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business, which is an alternative for small-business owners with fair credit, has an annual fee of $0 and earns just 1% on all purchases.
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.
Why you might want a different card
Higher flat-rate rewards
When you're comparing the Capital One Spark Cash Plus and the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit, 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 for Excellent Credit lacks. (See rates and fees.) 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 for Excellent Credit: a $0 annual fee, unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and a welcome offer.
Compared to the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit, though, it comes with a much larger sign-up bonus — Earn $900 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 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 18.49%-24.49% Variable APR), giving it the primary benefits of both Capital One Spark Cash Select cards. 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% intro APR on Purchases for 12 Months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.49%-22.49% Variable APR.
Is the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit right for you?
The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit is an easy choice for small-business owners who want simple cash-back rewards, no foreign transaction fees and an annual fee of $0. (See rates and fees.) If foreign transaction fees aren’t a dealbreaker for you, though, you'd be better off with a different, more rewarding card.