Review: Capital One Spark Cash Plus (Brand New Card)

Review: Capital One Spark Cash Plus (Brand New Card)

Capital One Spark Cash Plus Earn up to a $1,000 cash bonus | $150
Apply Now Terms Apply.
Capital One Spark Cash Plus Earn up to a $1,000 cash bonus | $150
Unlimited 2% Cash Back
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Extended Warranty Protection
5
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The new Capital One Spark Cash Plus has just been launched, and it replaces the Capital One Spark Cash, which is no longer open to new applicants. This has the potential to be a very rewarding new business cash back card, so in this post I wanted to take a look at the details.

Long story short, the card offers an industry-leading return on spending and a solid welcome bonus, especially for businesses that spend a lot.

Spark Cash Plus Offers 2% Cash Back & More

The Capital One Spark Cash Plus offers unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, everywhere, with no limits or category restrictions. There are no foreign transaction fees, so this is even great for purchases abroad. This is in line with the best rewards structure you’ll find on any business card.

There’s an even further bonus — if you spend $200,000 or more on the Spark Cash Plus in an anniversary year, you’ll earn an annual $200 cash bonus. To look at it differently, if you spend $200,000 on the card in a year you’d earn $4,200 cash back (not including the welcome bonus), which is a 2.1% return. That’s phenomenal.

Cash will add up quickly with the Spark Cash Plus

Spark Cash Plus $1,000 Cash Welcome Bonus

The Capital One Spark Cash Plus is offering a tiered $1,000 cash bonus to new cardmembers:

  • Earn $500 cash back when you spend $5,000 within the first three months
  • Earn an additional $500 cash back when you spend a total of $50,000 in the first six months

After spending $50,000 within the first six months you’d earn $1,000 cash back, which is an incremental 2% return on spending, on top of the regular rewards structure. In other words, new cardmembers could earn a total of $2,000 cash back on their first $50,000 of spending, which is an incredible 4% return.

See here for general Capital One card application rules. The application states that this one-time bonus “may not be available for existing or previous Spark cardholders,” though the card is too new to know what exactly the rules are for those who have had another Spark card in the past.

Spark Cash Plus $150 Annual Fee

The Capital One Spark Cash Plus has a $150 annual fee, which applies the first year and in subsequent years. You can add employees to the card at no extra cost, so at least that fee covers as many people as you’d like to add.

Spark Cash Plus Is A Charge Card

Here’s an interestingly angle — the Capital One Spark Cash Plus is a charge card, rather than a credit card. What are the practical implications of this?

  • There’s no pre-set spending limit, so this is great for businesses that frequently make larger purchases
  • You’ll have to pay your balance in full each billing cycle (I generally don’t recommend using credit card financing anyway, given how expensive it is)

In general this seems to me like an interesting direction for Capital One to take:

  • Financing charges is a big source of revenue for credit card companies, and Capital One is largely giving that up
  • Amex has been moving away from charge cards and towards credit cards, while Capital One is doing the opposite

Spark Cash Plus Rewards Can Be Converted Into Miles

There’s an interesting twist to the Capital One Spark Cash Plus for those looking to earn travel rewards rather than cash back:

This is a pretty exciting opportunity, since it means that this card gives you some unrivaled flexibility. You can earn 2% cash back, or in conjunction with another card, you could earn 2x Spark or Venture miles per dollar spent. That also means the bonus could get you up to 100,000 miles. I’d say that’s some awesome flexibility.

You can convert Capital One Spark Cash Plus cash rewards into miles

My Take On The New Capital One Spark Cash Plus

The Capital One Spark Cash Plus isn’t for everyone:

All that being said, I think the Spark Cash Plus is absolutely fantastic for many types of businesses, and is one of the all around best business cards. If you have a business that spends $200,000 per year:

  • The $200 annual cash bonus will more than cover the $150 annual fee (you’ll be $50 ahead, actually)
  • You’re left with a business card that offers an industry-leading 2% cash back on all purchases, has no foreign transaction fees, and has no preset spending limit
  • In conjunction with another card, you have the flexibility to convert that cash back into Spark miles or Venture miles at a ratio of one cent per mile

I can’t think of any other business card in the market that offers that kind of value proposition.

Bottom Line

The Capital One Spark Cash Plus is a brand new card that replaces the Capital One Spark Cash. The card offers 2% cash back on all spending with no foreign transaction fees, a $200 bonus when you spend $200,000 on the card in a year, and has no pre-set spending limit.

If you spend a lot on your business credit card and want to earn cash back rewards, then this card is a no-brainer. And even for others, the huge welcome bonus on this card certainly warrants giving it a try. Lastly, the ability to convert the rewards onto these cards into airline miles could also come in handy, if you’re willing to get another card.

What do you make of the new Capital One Spark Cash Plus?

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: American Express® Blue Business Cash Card (Rates & Fees).

Conversations (5)
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  1. UA

    Looking into this further, it looks like the original Spark Cash card has disappeared from Capital One's offerings page (only the Spark Cash Select card remains).

    This is essentially a repackaging of the original Spark Cash card with the following changes:

    * An increased annual fee ($99 -> $150)
    * Shifting from a revolving credit line to a charge account (although the 2.99% late fee could add up to well beyond 30% APR)
    ...

    Looking into this further, it looks like the original Spark Cash card has disappeared from Capital One's offerings page (only the Spark Cash Select card remains).

    This is essentially a repackaging of the original Spark Cash card with the following changes:

    * An increased annual fee ($99 -> $150)
    * Shifting from a revolving credit line to a charge account (although the 2.99% late fee could add up to well beyond 30% APR)
    * A new signup bonus with a really high spend requirement
    * A 0.1% annual cashback bonus when spending $200,000 each year, with that percentage dropping if more is spent as it's a fixed $200 amount.

    So for those spending less than $200,000 a year who pay off their statement balance in full each year, this card is actually inferior to the previous Spark Cash product due to the higher annual fee (signup bonus excluded).

    For those spending over $200,000 a year, this card offers an additional $101 of benefits each year in comparison to the old card.

    Is it really reasonable to call this a "brand new card"?

    1. Ben Schlappig

      @ UA -- Calling it a new card wasn't intended to be a judgment call, just a statement of fact. Yes, the benefits are very similar to the previous Spark Cash, but the fact that it's a charge card is significant, the annual fee did go up quite a bit, etc.

    2. UA

      @ Ben - apologies if my comment came across as criticism of you at all, as that wasn't my intention.

      Has any confirmation regarding transferability to loyalty partners for Venture/Spark Miles cardholders become available as yet?

      Similarly, is the situation with regard to reporting to personal credit files confirmed as yet?

  2. UA

    Quoting from the post:

    "While the Capital One Spark Cash Plus earns cash back, you can potentially convert Spark Cash Plus cash back into Spark miles or Venture miles"

    The heading above this statement states that conversion can be done, as do subsequent points however this particular statement isn't anywhere near as definitive - can conversion definitely be done or is that not yet known?

    Further to Bee's statement, although the Spark Cash does *not*...

    Quoting from the post:

    "While the Capital One Spark Cash Plus earns cash back, you can potentially convert Spark Cash Plus cash back into Spark miles or Venture miles"

    The heading above this statement states that conversion can be done, as do subsequent points however this particular statement isn't anywhere near as definitive - can conversion definitely be done or is that not yet known?

    Further to Bee's statement, although the Spark Cash does *not* show up on personal credit reports and the Spark Miles *does*, knowing where this particular card lands in that regard is important to some. If that currently isn't known, surely the uncertainty in that regard is worth pointing out?

  3. Bee

    U did not address if this card reports to personal monthly as the Sparks do as well as if u can product change from Spark Cash to Spark Cash Plus

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UA

@ Ben - apologies if my comment came across as criticism of you at all, as that wasn't my intention. Has any confirmation regarding transferability to loyalty partners for Venture/Spark Miles cardholders become available as yet? Similarly, is the situation with regard to reporting to personal credit files confirmed as yet?

Ben Schlappig

@ UA -- Calling it a new card wasn't intended to be a judgment call, just a statement of fact. Yes, the benefits are very similar to the previous Spark Cash, but the fact that it's a charge card is significant, the annual fee did go up quite a bit, etc.

UA

Looking into this further, it looks like the original Spark Cash card has disappeared from Capital One's offerings page (only the Spark Cash Select card remains). This is essentially a repackaging of the original Spark Cash card with the following changes: * An increased annual fee ($99 -> $150) * Shifting from a revolving credit line to a charge account (although the 2.99% late fee could add up to well beyond 30% APR) * A new signup bonus with a really high spend requirement * A 0.1% annual cashback bonus when spending $200,000 each year, with that percentage dropping if more is spent as it's a fixed $200 amount. So for those spending less than $200,000 a year who pay off their statement balance in full each year, this card is actually inferior to the previous Spark Cash product due to the higher annual fee (signup bonus excluded). For those spending over $200,000 a year, this card offers an additional $101 of benefits each year in comparison to the old card. Is it really reasonable to call this a "brand new card"?

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