Update: These offers for The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express and the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business have expired. Learn more about the current offers here.
The major credit card issuers have been upping their game when it comes to credit cards lately, and in particular business credit cards, which in the past weren’t generally as lucrative as personal cards.
One of the most compelling business cards out there that I’ve only written about in passing is the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business, so in this post I wanted to take a closer look at the card. The way I view it, this card has an excellent welcome bonus and offers an exceptional return on spend, all for a reasonable annual fee (which is even waived for the first year).
Let’s take a closer look at the card:
Capital One Spark Cash for Business welcome bonus
The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business offers a welcome bonus of $500 cash after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. That’s one of the biggest bonuses out there on a cashback card.
Capital One Spark Cash for Business annual fee
The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business has a $95 annual fee, though it’s waived for the first year. If you want to think of it differently, the $500 introductory bonus more than justifies your annual fee for over six years, not even factoring in the great return on spend this card offers.
Capital One Spark Cash for Business rewards structure
The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business offers unlimited 2% cash back. It’s that simple, there aren’t really any catches. You can get your cash back either in the form of a statement credit or a check. If you want you can set up an automatic redemption preference, with the choice between being paid out at the same time each calendar year, or being paid out when you reach a specific threshold. Or you can just redeem as you go.
Capital One Spark Cash for Business perks
The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business offers some other potentially valuable perks, including:
- No foreign transaction fees
- The ability to add employee cards at no additional cost
- Primary car rental coverage (assuming you’re renting for business reasons), purchase security and extended protection (coverage on items lost or stolen within 90 days), travel and emergency assistance services, and more; the full details of this can be found in the cardmember agreement
Is 2% cash back a good return on spend?
For most businesses this is an excellent, straightforward rewards structure. You can potentially get more value out of other cards if you spend a lot in categories that are eligible for further bonuses, or if you’re really good at redeeming miles. However, a vast majority of people aren’t good at redeeming miles, and are at an information disadvantage.
I do think a vast majority of people are best off using a straightforward cash back card with a lucrative rewards structure, like this card.
Just to give one example, I recently met a contractor who had his own business. We started talking about rewards cards, and he asked which card he should be using. I asked him how much he spends per year, which card he uses, and what he wants to use those points for. The answer? About $5 million per year, he uses an Amex Gold Card, and he redeems the points for gift cards, where you’re typically getting at most one cent of value per point.
OUCH. That pained me to hear, though I think this is more common than you’d expect. The difference between that and the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business would be $50,000 of rewards per year. That’s not even factoring in the difference between him just getting cash however he wants, vs. being tied in to specific gift cards.
I’m sure someone will say “well if someone spends that much on credit cards, $50,000 doesn’t really make a difference.” That really isn’t true. There are plenty of low margin businesses that spend a ton on products, materials, etc., so just because a business spends millions of dollars per year on credit cards doesn’t mean someone is rolling in dough.
What are other business credit cards worth considering?
If you’re looking for an extremely lucrative business card, there are a few other options that are worth considering:
- The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express has no annual fee, and offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent per calendar year; this is the single most lucrative card for the first $50,000 of non-bonused spend annually, in my opinion (more info here)
- The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN has a generous welcome bonus, an annual fee that’s waived for the first year, and offers bonus points on airfare purchased directly from airlines, US purchases of advertising in select media, US purchases at gas stations, US purchases for shipping, and US purchases of computer hardware, software, and cloud computing made directly from select providers (more info here)
- The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, has the best welcome bonus of any credit card at the moment, an amazing cell phone protection plan, and offers triple points on the first $150,000 in combined purchases per anniversary year on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines (more info here)
The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business is arguably the most lucrative cash back business credit card out there. Unlimited 2% cash back is pretty tough to beat, especially if you don’t want to learn the ins-and-outs of redeeming miles. On top of that, the card has a big welcome bonus of $500 after completing minimum spend, and the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.
For a vast majority of businesses, I think a card like this is a great option for earning generous yet straightforward rewards.
Does anyone have the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business, and if so, what has your experience been like?