The Capital One Spark Cash Plus is a phenomenal card for any business that spends a lot, regardless of whether you’re trying to earn cash back or travel rewards. The card currently has an excellent bonus for new members, making it an ideal time to apply.
In this post:
Capital One Spark Cash Plus Basics For February 2024
In this post, I wanted to take a close look at the Capital One Spark Cash Plus, which offers an industry-leading return on business spending, a lot of flexibility, and a huge welcome bonus, making it one of the all-around most rewarding business cards.
If you don’t yet have this card, there are lots of reasons to consider it, so let’s go over all the details.
Spark Cash Plus up to $3,000 Cash Back Bonus
- Earn $1,500 cash back after spending $20,000 within the first three months
- Earn an additional $1,500 cash back after spending $100,000 within the first six months
Admittedly this spending requirement is significant, but the reward is big as well. Since the Spark Cash Plus offers a minimum of 2% cash back, this means:
- You’d earn a minimum of $1,900 total cash back after spending $20,000 within the first three months; that’s like earning 9.5% cash back on the first $20,000 spent
- You’d earn a minimum of $5,000 total cash back after spending $100,000 within the first six months; that’s like earning 5% cash back on the first $100,000 spent, or put differently, earning 3.875% cash back on the $80,000 in incremental spending above the initial threshold
Spark Cash Plus Unlimited 2% Cash Back
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 (Rates & 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 without any sort of major restrictions.
Spark Cash Plus Annual $150 Cash Bonus
The Capital One Spark Cash Plus has a further reward beyond offering 2% cash back. If you spend $150,000 or more on the card in an anniversary year you’ll receive an annual $150 cash bonus. Essentially think of it as a refund of your annual fee, which is an innovative feature you don’t see on many cards.
Spark Cash Plus Issued As Charge Card
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)
This seems to me like an interesting direction for Capital One to take:
- Financing charges are 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 toward credit cards, while Capital One is doing the opposite
Convert Cash Back Into Capital One Miles
There’s an interesting twist to the Capital One Spark Cash Plus for those looking to earn travel rewards rather than cash back:
- While the Capital One Spark Cash Plus earns cash back, you can potentially convert Spark Cash Plus cash back into miles
- If you have the Spark Cash Plus in addition to the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (review), Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (review) (Rates & Fees) or Capital One Spark Miles for Business (review) (Rates & Fees), then each cent can be converted into one mile
- This can be done directly through Capital One’s website using the “Move Rewards” feature; you can always do this in the future, if you don’t currently have a Capital One card earning miles, but plan to pick up one in the future
- Capital One miles can be converted to over a dozen airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio; because of this functionality, I value Capital One miles at 1.7 cents each
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 Capital One miles per dollar spent (which I personally value at a 3.4% return). This also applies to the welcome offer, as those rewards can also be converted into Capital One miles.
Is The Capital One Spark Cash Plus Worth It?
The Capital One Spark Cash Plus isn’t for everyone:
- For small businesses that don’t spend a lot of money on cards, the rewards probably won’t justify the annual fee, especially in comparison to a cash back business card like The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card (review), which has no annual fee (Rates & Fees)
- If you’re into maximizing rewards, including getting multiple cards and maximizing bonus categories, a card like the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (review) will probably be a better fit
That being said, I think the Spark Cash Plus is fantastic for many types of businesses, and the current welcome bonus is incredibly generous:
- For those looking to earn cash back, you won’t find another business card offering 2% cash back with no foreign transaction fees (Rates & Fees) or caps on earning
- For those looking to earn travel rewards, you won’t find a business card that does better than offering 2x transferable points with no foreign transaction fees or caps on earning (though you do need to have another card, like the Capital One Venture X, in conjunction with it)
- For businesses that spend a lot, the $150 annual cash bonus will cover the $150 annual fee (Rates & Fees), essentially making this the equivalent of a no annual fee card
I can’t think of any other business card in the market that offers that kind of value proposition and flexibility.
How Does The Capital One Venture X Business Compare?
The Capital One Venture X Business (Rates & Fees) is Capital One’s premium travel rewards card, and I’d say it’s probably the best alternative to the Capital One Spark Cash Plus. Let me share some of the key details:
- The Venture X Business earns Capital One miles, rather than cash back, so you can directly earn travel rewards with the card
- The Venture X Business has an amazing welcome bonus of up to 300,000 Capital One miles, so that’s a great opportunity as well
- The Venture X Business has a $395 annual fee, though that’s nicely offset by the card’s annual $300 Capital One Travel credit, plus 10,000 anniversary bonus miles
- The Venture X Business is also a charge card, so has no pre-set spending limit
- The Venture X Business offers all kinds of valuable perks, including access to Capital One Lounges, a Priority Pass membership, a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit once every four years, and more
If you’re into travel rewards, I think the Venture X Business is an unbeatable card. While the annual fee is higher, I think it’s quite easy to justify, due to the annual travel credit and bonus miles. The only reason not to get this card is if you explicitly want to earn cash back that you can redeem toward anything, rather than rewards that can primarily be redeemed toward travel.
How Does The Capital One Spark Miles Compare?
- The Spark Miles for Business earns Capital One miles, rather than cash back, so you can directly earn travel rewards with the card
- The Spark Miles for Business has a welcome bonus of 50,000 Spark miles after spending $4,500 within the first three months; so the spending requirement is much smaller, but the bonus isn’t as big
- The Spark Miles for Business has a $95 annual fee, which is waived for the first 12 months (Rates & Fees)
- The Spark Miles for Business is a credit card rather than a charge card, so it has a pre-set spending limit
- The Spark Miles for Business offers some unique travel perks, including a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit once every four years
In my opinion the Spark Cash Plus is better if you’re looking to earn cash back, if you often make large purchases, if you spend a lot on business cards annually, and if you could take advantage of the full welcome bonus. Meanwhile I think the Spark Miles is better if you want to directly earn travel rewards and if you value travel perks.
The Capital One Spark Cash Plus is a lucrative business card that offers 2% cash back on all spending with no foreign transaction fees (Rates & Fees), a $150 bonus when you spend $150,000 on the card in a year (essentially a refund of the annual fee), and has no pre-set spending limit.
If you spend a lot on your business card and want to earn cash back rewards, then this card is a no-brainer. Similarly, the ability to convert rewards into Capital One miles in conjunction with a card like the Capital One Venture X is also an interesting angle here.
Alternatively, the Capital One Venture X Business is another great card to consider, especially if you’re looking to earn travel rewards.
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card (Rates & Fees).