Editorial Review

Capital One Spark Classic Review: Rewards for Entrepreneurs With Fair Credit

Focused on small-business owners with fair or average credit, this card earns unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases. The downside? A high APR.

Sara Rathner, Kimberly PalmerNovember 2, 2019

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Our Take

3.1

NerdWallet rating 

The Bottom Line: A decent choice among the short list of business cards for people with fair or average credit, this card has a straightforward cash-back program and no annual fee.

Capital One Spark Classic Business Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

24.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Annual Fee
$0
Annual Fee
$0
Intro APR
N/A

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Qualify with average credit

  • No annual fee

  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons
  • High APR

Alternate Pick: More rewards

Discover it® Business Card

Requires good or excellent credit

This card offers 1.5% cash back on every dollar spent but you need good to excellent credit to qualify.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

Annual Fee

$0

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

24.74% Variable APR

Regular APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

Full Review

For small-business owners with fair credit, personal scores from 630 to 689, the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business is a good choice — and one of just a few options available. It offers a basic 1% cash back on every purchase, an annual fee of $0 and no foreign transaction fees. But it's not a good card to carry a balance on; like many cards for less-than-good credit, it comes with a high APR.

Key features of the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Card type: Small business.

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: None.

Rewards: Earn an unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases; no minimum to redeem.

APR: 24.74% Variable APR.

Balance transfer fee: None.

Foreign transaction fees: 0%.

Other benefits:

  • Free additional cards for employees; employee spending also earns rewards on the account.

  • Year-end itemized report of spending and easy-to-download purchase records.

Why you might want the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business for business

Solid rewards rate

Earning 1% cash-back rewards on every purchase can add up, especially when you're spending a lot on your business, say, on inventory or office supplies. While higher rewards rate cards are out there, the options are more limited for small-business owners with fair credit.

No annual fee

This card has an annual fee of $0, an appealing feature for small-business owners trying to keep costs down.

No foreign transaction fees

Many credit cards, particularly cash-back cards, charge foreign transaction fees of 3% for purchases made outside of the U.S. This isn't the case for this card. When you use this card internationally — whether you're traveling abroad or placing an order from a vendor in a different country — you won't have to pay anything extra.

Possible to qualify with fair credit

The Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business is one of the very few small-business cards that's marketed to those with fair or average credit. With rewards and an annual fee of $0, it’s a good choice, too.

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business vs. other Spark cards

Of the cards in the Capital One Spark family, the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business is the only one marketed to entrepreneurs with fair credit, with credit scores of 630 to 689. It also offers less generous rewards than the other Spark cards. The other Spark cards require good or excellent credit, with credit scores of 690 or higher. None of the Spark cards charge foreign transaction fees.

The cards are split into two categories: cash back and travel. Among the three cash-back cards, Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business offers the highest cash-back rewards — for an annual fee after the first year — followed by Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business and the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business. Among the two travel cards, Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business offers higher rewards than Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business, but carries an annual fee after one year.

For more analysis, check out NerdWallet's comparison of these cards. Here's a look at what they offer.

Why you might want a different card

High APR

The high APR on the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business will be expensive for small-business owners carrying a balance. And like other cards for fair credit, it doesn’t come with a 0% introductory APR period, so you won't get a break on interest.

Currently, there aren't any small-business cards for people with fair credit that offer 0% introductory APR promotions. But at least one offers some short-term respite from interest charges, provided the small-business owner can meet the qualification criteria.

The Brex Card for Startups is a charge card, not a credit card, so you can't carry a balance for long — but you have 60 days interest-free to pay your bills in full. Instead of considering an applicant's credit history, Brex determines creditworthiness based on business cash flow, spending patterns and financial backing. Generally, companies need to maintain a bank balance of $100,000 to qualify. That makes it an appealing option for startup owners with a promising or thriving business, but fair credit. This card earns 1 point per dollar on all purchases, but you can earn more rewards if you make it your company's only card. Points are worth 1 cent each. The annual fee is $0.

LOW rewards

It's hard to find a small-business card for fair credit that also offers rich rewards. Still, the lack of a sign-up bonus or higher rewards rate on the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business will turn off some small-business owners.

If you want for more rewards for fair credit, the BBVA Compass Visa® Business Rewards Credit Card is a potential alternative. However, it's available in only seven states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas. The card earns 3 points per dollar spent at office supply stores, 2 points per dollar at gas stations and restaurants, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Points can be redeemed for account credits or gift cards. Through Dec. 31, 2019, it also has a good sign-up bonus: Earn 20,000 CompassPoints when you make $3,000 in Qualifying Purchases in the first 90 days. With an annual fee of $0, this card can trump the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business — but only if you're geographically eligible to apply for it.

Should you get the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business?

If you have fair credit and are seeking a business credit card, the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business is a solid option. Beware if you tend to carry a balance, however. The high APR will make that expensive.

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