Update: These offers for American Express® Gold Card, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business and the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business have expired. Learn more about the current offers here.
I’ve written reviews of what I consider to be three of the four best Capital One cards. These include:
- A review of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
- A review of the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
- A review of the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
In this post I wanted to review the Savor® Rewards from Capital One®, which is a great credit card for anyone who spends a lot on dining and wants cash back rewards.
Here’s what you need to know about this card:
Savor Rewards Card welcome bonus
The Savor Rewards Card offers a welcome bonus of $500 cash back after spending $3,000 within the first three months.
While that’s not the single best welcome bonus out there, a $500 cash bonus is excellent, in my opinion.
Savor Rewards Card annual fee
The Savor Rewards Card has a $95 annual fee, though it’s waived for the first year.
The welcome bonus is worth $500, so if you want to look at it differently, the welcome bonus will get you cash back equivalent to the annual fee for the first six years (and then some), not factoring in the rewards you’re earning from spending money on the card.
Savor Rewards Card rewards structure
The Savor Rewards Card offers 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% cash back at grocery stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. These bonus categories apply globally, so you’re not limited to US dining and entertainment to earn 4% back.
The 4% cash back on dining and entertainment are excellent bonuses for someone who is looking to earn cash back.
In case you’re wondering how these categories are defined, the dining category includes restaurants and other eating places, bars and taverns, fast-food restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and more.
Meanwhile the entertainment category includes movie theaters, plays, concerts, sporting events, tourist attractions and theme parks, aquariums and zoos, dance clubs, and more.
The 2% back on grocery stores and 1% cash back on all other purchases is a lot less compelling.
For example, the no annual fee Citi® Double Cash Card offers 1% cash back on every purchase, and then an additional 1% cash back when you pay for those purchases, so for non-bonused spending that card is a better option.
Earn 4% cash back on dining globally
How cash back works with the Savor Rewards Card
While we know how the bonus categories on the Savor Rewards Card work, what’s the actual process of earning rewards like?
You can earn your cash back in the form of either a statement credit or check. You can also set up automatic redemption preferences, with the following options:
- Earning rewards at a set time each calendar year
- Earning rewards when a specific threshold ($25, $50, $100, or $200) has been reached
- You can just go online to capitalone.com or contact them by phone to request your rewards
Alternatively, you can redeem for credits for previous purchases, gift cards, and more, though none of those will get you more value than just the regular rewards structure.
The Savor Card is a great option for earning cash back
Savor Rewards Card perks
The Savor Rewards Card offers a couple of other potentially valuable perks, including:
- No foreign transaction fees
- Capital One & Resy have a new partnership where you can earn get preferential reservations at top restaurants in New York City, Washington DC, and Austin, as well as early access to Off-Menu Week in various cities
Savor Card application restrictions
The terms of the Savor Rewards Card application state the following:
Existing or previous Accountholders may not be eligible for this one-time bonus.
So if you currently have this card or have had it in the past, don’t expect you’ll be able to earn the bonus again.
In terms of other general things to be aware of:
- Capital One pulls from three credit bureaus; personally I don’t find that to be a huge deal one way or another, but it’s worth being aware of
- You typically can’t apply for two cards the same day; the second card (even if different) will automatically be marked as a duplicate
- You can typically be approved for at most one Capital One card every six months, regardless of whether they’re personal or business cards
Best cash back card alternatives
This is a no annual fee card that offers 4% cash back on dining, 3% back on airfare and hotels, 2% back for online purchases, and 1% back for everything else.
Some people will prefer the 4% return on entertainment, while others will prefer the 3% return on airfare and hotels.
The advantage of the Uber Card is that it has no annual fee and still offers 4% cash back on dining, which is pretty remarkable.
The catch is that the Uber Card doesn’t have nearly as good of a welcome bonus. The card only offers $100 after spending $500 within three months.
So everyone has to decide for themselves if they’d rather get a no annual fee card with a smaller welcome bonus, or an annual fee card (with the first year’s annual fee waived) with a much better welcome bonus. Personally I’d take a card with a bigger upfront welcome bonus, and then long term you can always decide which card works best for you.
Best points card alternatives
The good news is that there are lots of points cards that potentially earn bonuses on dining. These cards include the:
- Citi Prestige Card ($450 annual fee), which offers 5x ThankYou points on dining globally
- American Express® Gold Card ($250 annual fee), which offers 4x Membership Rewards points on U.S. dining
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® ($450 annual fee), which offers 3x Ultimate Rewards points on dining globally
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card ($95 annual fee, waived the first year), which offers 2x Ultimate Rewards points on dining globally
- Citi Premier℠ Card ($95 annual fee, waived the first year), which offers 2x ThankYou points on dining globally and 2x ThankYou points on entertainment globally
There are lots of credit cards offering bonus points on dining
The Savor Rewards Card is a great option for anyone who wants a big welcome bonus that gets you cash back, and also wants a card that rewards dining and entertainment spend globally. If that sounds like something useful to you, this card is worth considering.
The one thing to keep in mind is that there are also lots of points cards out there that offer big bonuses on dining spend, so if you’re good at redeeming points or want travel rewards, that could be a better option.
It’s also worth considering the Uber Card, which offers 4% back on dining globally with no annual fee. The catch is that the card has a significantly smaller welcome bonus, and also doesn’t offer bonuses on entertainment spend. So everyone will have to decide for themselves which of these cards is better.
All things considered I think the Savor Card is a great option, especially given the welcome bonus, since it’s a card many people haven’t had before.