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Credit Cards

Capital One Spark Cash Select review: $500 cash-back welcome offer or 0% intro APR with no annual fee

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

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The Capital One Spark Cash Select is a good choice for small business owners looking for a straightforward cash-back card with no annual fee.

Capital One offers two versions of the card: If you need flexible financing, or if your credit score isn't in the excellent range, consider the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Good Credit. If you have an excellent credit score and want to score a $500 welcome bonus, the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit may be the better choice.

Select reviewed the Capital One Spark Cash Select, analyzing its welcome bonus, return on spend and more to help you decide if it's the best card for you.

Capital One Spark Cash Select review

Capital One Spark Cash Select - Excellent Credit

  • Rewards

    Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. 

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Promo APR

    N/A

  • Regular APR

    13.24% - 19.24% variable APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    $0

  • Credit needed

    Excellent

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Valuable welcome offer bonus
  • Free employee cards
  • Roadside assistance benefits
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • High APR
  • You can earn more cash back with other cards

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

Capital One Spark Cash Select - Good Credit

  • Rewards

    Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase

  • Welcome bonus

    None

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Promo APR

    0% intro APR for 12 months

  • Regular APR

    15.99% - 23.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    $0

  • Credit needed

    Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Generous intro APR period
  • Free employee cards
  • Roadside assistance benefits
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • No welcome bonus
  • You can earn more cash back with other cards

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

Welcome bonus

These two cards are starkly different in their welcome bonus offerings.

The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Good Credit does not have a welcome bonus offer.

The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit offers new cardholders the chance to earn a $500 cash bonus after spending $4,500 in the first three months.

Benefits and perks

Both cards offer nearly identical benefits. With either card, you can earn:

  • 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases

In addition, both of the Capital One Spark Cash Select cards come with:

  • Free employee cards
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Extended warranty
  • Roadside assistance
  • $0 fraud liability

There is one big difference in the perks offered between these two cards. If you sign up for the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Good Credit, you can take advantage of a 0% introductory APR offer for the first 12 months of card membership. After the intro APR is over, it's 15.99% - 23.99% variable APR.

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

Neither card has an annual fee or any foreign transaction fees.

If you plan on carrying a balance month to month, you may want to consider the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Good Credit as it comes with a 0% introductory APR offer.

Card comparison

The Capital One Spark Cash Select is a solid choice for business owners who want further spending power to invest in their business. However, it isn't the only credit card to consider for your business expenses. Below, we look at comparable small business credit cards, so you can decide what's best for your wallet:

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

The Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is an excellent choice for small business owners, as they can earn up to 5% cash back on eligible purchases.

As you use the Ink Business card, you can 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 eligible purchases, with no limit to the amount you can earn.

The card also comes with a lucrative welcome offer: New cardholders can earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first three months after account opening.

Even if you earn just 1% cash back on the $7,500 required to earn the welcome bonus, your cash-back total would be $825. By comparison, with the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit, you would only earn $567.50 from the welcome bonus and the 1.5% cash back on the $4,500 initial spend.

However, the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Good Credit does offer spending flexibility that the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card. New cardholders can get 0% intro APR for 12 months, 15.99% - 23.99% variable APR.

If you're deciding between the two cards, be sure to analyze your business' financial priorities. If spend flexibility is the most important, it may be best to select the Capital One card. If your business can use the additional cash back to reinvest into the business, the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card could be a better fit.

Read the full Select review of the Chase Ink Business cards here.

Capital One Spark Cash Select vs. Capital One Spark Cash Plus Credit Card

The Capital One Spark Cash Plus Credit Card is the step-up from the Spark Cash Select cards.

With the Cash Plus card, you can earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases. However, the card works much differently than the Cash Select cards.

This card doesn't have a credit limit, giving cardholders more spending flexibility without having to worry about exceeding their credit limit. The downside to this feature is that the statement balance is due in full each month.

In addition, the Capital One Spark 2% Cash Plus has a $150 annual fee.

If you're debating between the two options, be sure to closely analyze your spending needs. If you're consistently making large purchases, the flexibility of the Capital One Spark 2% Cash Plus may be the best card. However, if you want to score a $500 welcome bonus or have financing flexibility of a 0% intro APR card, the Capital One Spark Cash Select cards may be a better fit.

Who the Capital One Spark Cash Select is best for

The Capital One Spark Cash Select is best for small business owners looking for simplicity. Regardless of whether you decide you prefer the $500 welcome offer that comes with Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit or the 0% intro APR feature that comes with the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Good Credit, the rewards make the card easy to use since there aren't spending categories to track.

Additionally, the card is great for business owners who regularly travel overseas as the card does not have foreign transaction fees.

Bottom line

The Capital One Spark Cash Select is a great business credit card if you want a card with no annual fee, an easy-to-use flat-rate card so you can earn cash back to reinvest in your business.

However, if you travel regularly for work, consider a travel rewards credit card. While it requires a bit more work, the rewards you earn can be much more valuable than the cash back as it can help small business owners save on hotel or airline costs.

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.

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 cards 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.