Capital One Spark Miles Select Review: Solid Travel Rewards With No Fee

This business credit card gives you an unlimited 1.5 miles per dollar on purchases. You can redeem for any travel expense, with no blackout dates or restrictions.
By Kimberly Palmer 

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Our Take

3.7

NerdWallet rating 
The bottom line:

This is a strong option for a small-business owner who wants a simple travel rewards program with no fee and a relatively high rewards rate. Bigger spenders could get a better return with a different card, though.

Jump to: Full Review
Capital One Spark Miles Select Business Credit Card
Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR
Intro APR
0% on Purchases for 9 months
Rec. credit score
690-850 (Good - Excellent)

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • High rewards rate

  • No annual fee

  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • None

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$95

Annual fee

$295

Annual fee

$695

Regular APR

20.24%-25.24% Variable APR

Regular APR

18.74%-26.74% Variable APR

Regular APR

18.74%-26.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
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Full Review

For small-business owners seeking solid, flexible travel rewards without paying an annual fee, there's a lot to like about the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business card.

The card offers a flat 1.5 miles back on purchases, although that rate rises considerably when you book hotels and rental cars via the Capital One Travel portal. You can redeem for things like flights, hotels or vacation packages, or you can transfer them to multiple travel partners. And unlike a lot of other business credit cards, there's an intro APR period, which is ideal if you need to finance purchases upfront.

Bigger-spending business owners, however, can find cards with more lucrative rewards.

Key features of Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business

Card type: Small business.

Annual fee: $0.

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.

Ongoing rewards: Unlimited 1.5 miles per dollar spent on everything.

Redemption options:

Miles are worth a penny apiece when you:

  • Use Capital One's travel portal to book travel.

  • Book travel with your card elsewhere, then use your miles to get reimbursed via a statement credit against your travel purchase. Unlike the points or miles in programs tied to a specific airline or hotel chain, these rewards allow you to book how you want, with no blackout dates or exclusions. You can redeem miles for all or just part of a travel expense within 90 days of it posting to your account.

You can also transfer miles to one of more than a dozen travel transfer partners, but often not at a 1:1 ratio. (More on that below.)

🤓Nerdy Tip

You can redeem miles for gift cards, cash back and more, but usually at a lower value per point, and we don't recommend it. If you expect you'll want cash back, consider a cash-back credit card.

Interest rate: 0% on Purchases for 9 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.

Foreign transaction fees: None.

Balance transfer fee: None.

Other benefits:

  • Employees receive free cards and earn rewards from their purchases; you can customize spending limits on employee cards and see all transactions.

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

Why you might want the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business

Straightforward, no-fee rewards

For a no-fee card, earning 1.5 miles on your purchases — which also applies to inventory — is a solid rewards rate. And you don't have to worry about juggling any other bonus categories.

No-fuss reward redemption

You can redeem your miles on flights, hotel stays, vacation packages and more at a rate of 1 cent per mile, either by booking via Capital One’s travel portal or redeeming miles for travel statement credits. That means you’re not tied to any one airline, hotel chain or travel website, and there are no blackout dates. You can also choose to transfer miles to one of more than a dozen travel partners. Keep in mind, though, that for most partners, the transfer ratio is less than 1:1, so it may not be worth it.

Airlines

  • Aeromexico (1:1 ratio).

  • Air Canada (1:1 ratio).

  • Air France-KLM (1:1 ratio).

  • Avianca (1:1 ratio).

  • British Airways (1:1 ratio).

  • Cathay Pacific (1:1 ratio).

  • Emirates (1:1 ratio).

  • Etihad (1:1 ratio).

  • EVA (2:1.5 ratio).

  • Finnair (1:1 ratio).

  • Qantas (1:1 ratio).

  • Singapore Airlines (1:1 ratio).

  • TAP Air Portugal (1:1 ratio).

  • Turkish Airlines (1:1 ratio).

Hotels

  • Accor (2:1 ratio).

  • Choice Privileges Hotels (1:1 ratio).

  • Wyndham Rewards (1:1 ratio).

Welcome incentives

The sign-up bonus is decent for a no-fee card: 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. And if you’re making a lot of big purchases for your small business, the card's 0% intro APR offer could be a useful way to finance a short-term loan: Cardholders get 0% on Purchases for 9 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.

NO FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEES

Like all Capital One cards, the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business has no foreign transaction fee. That's a definite plus if you travel internationally, and particularly if you buy inventory overseas. Many other cards charge a fee of around 3% on transactions outside the U.S. It's also a Mastercard, which means you likely won't run into problems with overseas acceptance.

Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business vs. other Spark cards

Capital One business credit cards are split into two categories: cash back and travel.

Capital One Spark Cash Plus, annual fee of $150.

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

Rewards: 2% cash back on all purchases; 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

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; 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

Sign-up bonus: N/A.

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases; 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

Sign-up bonus: N/A.

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.

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.

Why you might want a different card

You can get Greater rewards elsewhere

If you’re a big spender looking for bigger rewards, it might be worth it to go with a card that charges an annual fee in exchange for a higher rewards rate. Such cards also tend to offer bigger sign-up bonuses. Consider, for instance, this card’s big brother, the Capital One Spark Miles for Business. It has an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95. But it earns double miles on purchases. Based on that 2X rate, the card would pay for its annual fee with $4,750 a year in spending. And if you spend more than $19,000 a year, the rewards you earn at the 2X rate would exceed a 1.5X rate, even taking into account the annual fee.

Plus, the sign-up bonus on the Capital One Spark Miles for Business is potentially quite rich indeed: 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.

Even if you're not a big spender, you can find no-annual-fee small-business cards with better rewards up to a cap. The $0-annual-fee American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card offers 2% cash back on eligible purchases on up to $50,000 in spending per calendar year (1% back after that). Terms apply (see rates and fees).

Cash-back rewards are more flexible

The cash back you get with the above-mentioned American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card is more flexible than miles would be. But if that card's annual spending cap is a deal-breaker and you still want to avoid an annual fee, check out the Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus. The card offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases, a $0 annual fee and a sign-up bonus: Earn a $500 bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months of account opening.

There are no bonus rewards on actual travel spending

It's nice to not have to deal with bonus categories — but if you travel a lot, it would also be nice to get a little something extra for travel purchases. The Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card has a lot in common with the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business: a $0 annual fee and a 1.5X rewards rate on purchases. But this card also gives you 3 points per dollar on airline, hotel and car rental purchases booked through the Bank of America® Travel Center. As with the Capital One card, points are worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed for travel expenses. The annual fee is $0.

Explore other options on NerdWallet's best credit cards page.

Should you get Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business?

If you’re a small-business owner looking for a no-fee travel rewards card for yourself and your employees, the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business card could be a good fit. But if you're a big spender or you would rather earn cash back than miles, you’d be better off with a different card.

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

Methodology

NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.