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Credit Cards

Capital One Spark Cash Plus review: Business owners earn 2% cash back with no preset spending limit

The Capital One Spark Cash Plus is a simple cash-back credit card for small business owners.

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The Capital One Spark Cash Plus Credit Card is a business credit card that earns 2% cash back on all eligible purchases and has no pre-determined spending limit. This card is excellent for small business owners who consistently make large purchases and don't want the fuss of tracking points and miles.

The card has a modest $150 annual fee — but is the card worth the investment? Select reviews the Capital One Spark Cash Plus Credit Card, analyzing its welcome bonus, cash back from spending and APR to help you decide if it's the best card for you.

Capital One Spark Cash Plus review

Capital One Spark Cash Plus Credit Card

Information about the Capital One Spark Cash Plus Credit Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    Unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn up to $1,000 in the first 6 months; $500 once you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months and $500 once you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months.

  • Annual fee

    $150

  • Promo APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    No APR; pay off your balance in full every month to avoid a 2.99% late fee

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    $0

  • Credit needed

    Excellent

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No present spending limit
  • Free employee cards
  • Roadside assistance benefits
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Balance must be paid in full each month
  • Annual cash bonus of $200 requires $200,000 yearly spending

Welcome bonus

The welcome bonus with the card is straight forward, but requires a large spending budget to maximize it.

You can earn up to $3,000 cash bonus; $500 once you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months, and $2,500 once you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months.

If you were to spend exactly $50,000 in the first six months, including the 2% cash back you earn as you spend — you will have earned $3,000 in total cash back. And the best part is that these credit card rewards are not taxable.

Benefits and perks

While some credit cards offer a seemingly never ending list of benefits, the Capital One Spark Cash Plus is simple, yet effective. The card comes with:

  • 2% cash back on all eligible purchases
  • No preset spending limit
  • $200 annual cash bonus for each year you spend over $200,000
  • Purchase records that integrate with popular accounting software like Quickbooks
  • Free employee cards
  • Extended warranty and protection
  • Roadside assistance
  • No foreign transaction fees

Select calculated how much cash back the average American can earn in a year when using their Capital One Spark Cash Plus. We worked with the location intelligence firm Esri, who provided us with a sample annual spending budget of $22,126.

The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953).

With all spending considered, this would give a cardholder $442 in cash back in the first year, and if you include the $1,000 welcome bonus, $1,442. Over a five year period, cardholders could earn $2768 in cash back, including the welcome offer. Cardholders could earn more (or less) cash back depending on their annual spending habits.

How to redeem cash back

Redeeming Capital One cash back is extremely simple.

In your Capital One customer portal, you will see your accrued cash back, and you will be given two options to redeem it:

  • Credit it directly to your credit card account
  • Have a check mailed directly to you

You can redeem it at any time, and there is no minimum to redeem it.

Rates and fees

The card has a $150 annual fee. It does not have any foreign transaction fees.

In addition, the card does not charge interest. If you are late, you will simply owe 2.99% of the unpaid portion of your statement balance. However, your account will be considered past due until you make your payment in full.

Card comparison

The Capital One Spark Cash Plus is a solid choice for business owners who need spending power for large purchases. However, it isn't the only credit card to consider for your business expenses.

Select analyzed two other credit cards to see how they match up with one another.

Capital One Spark Cash Plus vs. Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

The Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is an excellent choice for a business credit card as it earns up to 5% cash back using a tiered cash-back system. As you spend on the card, you will 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
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • 1% cash back on all other qualifying purchases

In addition, the card comes with a more achievable welcome offer compared to the Capital One Spark Cash Plus: $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first three months after account opening.

If you are deciding between these two cards, there are two factors to consider: the amount you're spending and where you are spending.

If an established credit line is bothersome and you need flexibility to spend as needed, the Capital One Spark Cash Plus is likely the better of the two. If you feel that you can earn more cash back by taking advantage of the cash back categories, consider the Chase Ink Business Cash® card for your wallet.

Capital One Spark Cash Plus vs. Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

The Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is another great business credit card for earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points. So instead of filling your pocket with cash back, you can earn thousands of dollars worth of travel rewards with your business expenses.

As you spend on the card, you will earn:

  • 3X points for every dollar spent on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases in the following categories each account anniversary year — Shipping purchases, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines, Internet, cable and phone services and travel
  • 1X points for every dollar spent on all other qualifying purchases

In addition, the card with a valuable welcome offer: 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months after account opening. That's $1,250 toward travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You'll also be able to transfer Chase points to one of Chase's hotel or airline partners, including United and Hyatt.

Similar to the comparison above, the Capital One Spark Cash Plus is best if you need spending flexibility and want cash back to use for your business. However, if you have travel a lot, you'll likely enjoy the rewards earned from the Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card more than cash back.

Who the Capital One Spark Cash Plus is best for

The Capital One Spark Cash Plus is a great option for a small business owner who is looking for a no-frills credit card to help save money on their expenses.

Earning a simple 2% cash back on all eligible purchases makes using the card quite simple, as there are no spending categories to remember or unique redemptions to keep track of.

However, this card is also great to create a credit card strategy around. For example, you could pair it with the Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card to earn maximum cash back on specific categories, as well as multiple welcome offers.

It is also great for business owners who need spending flexibility for their business as the card does not have a preset spending limit. However, this does not mean that you can spend an unlimited amount on the card.

Bottom line

The Capital One Spark Cash Plus Credit Card is a great business cash-back credit card to have in your wallet if you want a simple rewards-earning structure. However, before you apply for the card, ensure that the $150 annual fee is worth it. If it isn't, you may want to consider a different business credit card.

If you aim to have multiple credit cards and begin maximizing your business purchases, the Capital One Spark Cash Plus card can be a great addition to your strategy. But most importantly, before applying for several cards, ensure that you and your business are financially sound to take on several credit cards. Because paying additional interest to earn credit card rewards is never a good idea.

FAQs

What is a Capital One Spark card?

Capital One Spark cards are not just one card, but multiple business credit cards offered by Capital One.

What credit score do you need for Capital One Spark?

There are six different Capital One Spark credit cards, and each of them require a different credit score for approval.

How do you apply for Capital One Spark?

You are eligible to apply for a Capital One Spark card by having a small business.

Is the Capital One Spark Plus a Visa or Mastercard?

The Capital One Spark Plus card is a Visa card.

Our Methodology

To determine which credit cards offer the best value, Select analyzed 234 of the most popular credit cards available in the U.S. We compared each card on a range of features, including rewards, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR, balance transfer fee and foreign transaction fees, as well as factors such as required credit and customer reviews when available. We also considered additional perks, the application process and how easy it is for the consumer to redeem points.

CNBC Select teamed up with location intelligence firm Esri. The company's data development team provided the most up-to-date and comprehensive consumer spending data based on the 2019 Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can read more about their methodology here.

Esri's data team created a sample annual budget of approximately $22,126 in retail spending. The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953). General purchases include items such as housekeeping supplies, clothing, personal care products, prescription drugs and vitamins, and other vehicle expenses.

Select used this budget to estimate how much the average consumer would save over the course of a year, two years and five years, assuming they would attempt to maximize their rewards potential by earning all welcome bonuses offered and using the card for all applicable purchases. All rewards total estimations are net the annual fee.

While the five-year estimates we've included are derived from a budget similar to the average American's spending, you may earn a higher or lower return depending on your shopping habits.

Information about the Capital One Spark Cash Plus has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer prior to publication.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
Plenty of rewards and benefits including 4X points per dollar for dining at restaurants worldwide