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 is still fairly new, as it was only launched in August 2021. It replaces the previous Capital One Spark Cash, which is no longer open to new applicants.
Capital One Spark Cash Plus Basics For October 2022
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. This is a card that I have, and one that I recommend others consider if it meets your spending patterns. I’d also say it’s one of the all-around most rewarding business cards. For me, it’s an important part of my Capital One credit card strategy.
Spark Cash Plus $1,000 Cash Back Bonus
The Capital One Spark Cash Plus is offering a welcome bonus of up to $1,000 for new cardmembers:
- Earn $500 cash back after spending $5,000 within the first three months
- Earn an additional $500 cash back after spending a total of $50,000 within 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. Given that the card offers 2% cash back on spending, you’re earning a total of $2,000 cash back on your first $50,000 of spending, which is a solid 4% return (or 4x miles, as I’ll explain in more detail below).
Spark Cash Plus Eligibility Requirements
- Capital One has very few consistent application rules, and I was able to get approved for the card in spite of only recently having picked up the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
- You are eligible for the bonus on this card even if you have or have had another type of Capital One Spark card; you’re just not eligible if you’ve had this exact card before
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, so this is even great for purchases abroad. This is in line with the best rewards structure you’ll find on any business card.
Spark Cash Plus Annual $200 Cash Bonus
The Capital One Spark Cash Plus has a further reward beyond offering 2% cash back. If you spend $200,000 or more on the card in an anniversary year you’ll receive an annual $200 cash bonus.
In other words, 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. Another way to look at it is that if you spend $200,000 per year on the card, the $200 cash bonus more than recoups the annual fee, giving you access to one of the only 2% cash back business cards with no foreign transaction fees.
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 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 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 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 (like me) 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 Spark miles or Venture 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) or Capital One Spark Miles for Business (review), then each cent can be converted into one Spark mile or one Venture mile (which are the same, the branding is just different)
- 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).
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 Blue Business Cash™ Card from American Express (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 absolutely 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 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 $200 annual cash bonus will more than cover the $150 annual fee (you’ll even be $50 ahead!)
I can’t think of any other business card in the market that offers that kind of value proposition.
How Does The Capital One Spark Miles Card Compare?
- The Spark Miles for Business earns Capital One Spark 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
- The Spark Miles for Business has a $95 annual fee, which is waived for the first 12 months
- 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, as well as two complimentary lounge visits per year, either with Capital One Lounges (currently there’s one at DFW) or with Plaza Premium Lounges
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, 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 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 Spark Miles for 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: American Express® Blue Business Cash Card (Rates & Fees).