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.

Claire Tsosie, Paul SoucyDecember 4, 2019

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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 Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0 for the first year, then $95

Regular APR

18.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Annual Fee
$0 for the first year, then $95
Annual Fee
$0 for the first year, then $95
Intro APR
N/A

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • High rewards rate

  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons
  • Has annual fee

  • High APR

Alternate Pick: Bonus categories

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

More cash back on select purchases

Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year, then 1%. The annual fee is $0.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

Annual Fee

$0 for the first year, then $95

Annual Fee

$0

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

18.74% Variable APR

Regular APR

14.74% - 20.74% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

14.74% - 20.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 12 months

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

Full Review

The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business makes it easy for entrepreneurs to earn plenty of cash back on all kinds of spending. The card, which has an annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $95, features unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases — no bonus categories to deal with, no spending caps to worry about. Because of this, it's long been a fixture among NerdWallet's best small-business credit cards.

There are no-annual-fee alternatives that earn 2% back on purchases up to an annual spending cap, and those may deliver more value for smaller-spending business owners in the long run. But for big spenders looking for a no-fuss option, this card is a strong pick.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business: Basics

  • Card type: Small business.

  • Annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $95.

  • Sign-up bonus: Earn a $500 cash bonus when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months and earn $1,500 when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of your account opening.

  • Ongoing rewards: 2% cash back on all purchases.

  • Interest rate: The ongoing APR is 18.74% 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 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. 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 with a huge tiered sign-up bonus: Earn a $500 cash bonus when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months and earn $1,500 when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of your account opening. That's one of the most generous sign-up bonuses available among small-business cash-back cards.

No foreign transaction fees

Unlike most cash-back credit cards, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business doesn't charge foreign transaction fees. That's good if you do a lot of foreign travel — and great if you purchase inventory overseas. Credit card foreign transaction fees are typically 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.

How it compares with other Spark cards

The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business is one of five cards in the Capital One Spark family, which are all quite similar in name and appearance.

Of the bunch, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business offers the highest cash-back rewards rate. Two other Spark cards also offer cash back:

The other remaining cards offer rewards in the form of miles, which can be redeemed at 1 cent apiece to cover a broad range of travel purchases, or can be transferred to select airlines. Capital One doesn't charge foreign transaction fees on any of its credit cards, including all of the Spark cards.

For more analysis about how all these options stack up, check out NerdWallet's comparison of these cards. Here's an overview of what they offer.

Why you might want a different card

Annual fee ONLY makes sense for big spenders

The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business is the only major small-business card that offers an unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases, which makes it well worth its annual fee — $0 for the first year, then $95 — for small businesses that spend a lot. But at least one other small-business card — the American Express® Blue Business Cash 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. Setting aside first-year incentives, that makes it a more valuable option than the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business if you plan to spend less than $59,500 a year on your card.

The American Express® Blue Business Cash Card also comes with a generous 0% intro APR period: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.74% - 20.74% Variable APR. The downsides: It charges foreign transaction fees and lacks a welcome offer. Terms apply.

No 0% APR OFFer

Like most small-business cards, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business doesn't come with a 0% APR period. If you're planning to carry a balance in the first few months after opening your account, a 0% APR offer could help you save plenty on interest charges.

The American Express® Blue Business Cash Card, mentioned above, is a good alternative. So is the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card, which also has an annual fee of $0 and offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no spending caps. You'll get 0% on Purchases for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.74% - 20.74% Variable APR. The card's sign-up bonus is also outstanding, especially compared to other cards with an annual fee of $0: Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. However, it charges foreign transaction fees.

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. 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.

To view rates and fees of the American Express® Blue Business Cash Card, please visit this page.