Update: These offers for The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business and the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business have expired. Learn more about the current offers here.
Yesterday I wrote a review of the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business, which I consider to be one of the best cash back business credit cards out there. Today I wanted to review the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business, which is similar, though has one important distinction.
Let’s take a closer look at the card:
Capital One Spark Miles for Business welcome bonus
The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. That welcome bonus is worth up to $500 worth of travel, which is quite compelling.
Capital One Spark Miles for Business annual fee
The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business has a $95 annual fee, though it’s waived for the first year. The welcome bonus gets you $500 worth of travel, so if you want to look at it differently, the welcome bonus will cover your annual fee for the first six years, not factoring in the rewards you earn for spend on the card.
Capital One Spark Miles for Business rewards structure
The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business offers unlimited 2x miles. In reality each mile can be redeemed for one cent towards the cost of a travel purchase, so I view this as almost being the equivalent of a 2% cash back card.
How does redeeming miles on the Spark Miles for Business work?
As I said above, each mile earned on the card can be redeemed for one cent towards the cost of a travel purchase, but how does that work in practice? There are two ways you can redeem your miles:
- You can redeem them for past travel purchases using Purchase Eraser, where you can simply make an eligible travel booking using your card, and then you can go online after the fact and use your miles to pay for it within 90 days of the date of purchase; your credit will be applied to your account within 2-3 days
- You can book a travel reservation through capitalone.com or book by phone, and each mile can be redeemed for one cent towards the cost of a travel purchase
Eligible travel purchases include purchases made from airlines, hotels, rail lines, car rental agencies, limousine services, bus lines, cruise lines, taxi cabs, travel agents, and time shares.
Capital One Spark Miles for Business perks
The Capital One® Spark® Miles 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 2x miles back a good return on spend?
I’d consider earning the equivalent of a 2% return on spend to be quite compelling. While there are ways to get a bit more value at times if you properly use bonus categories and if you’re really good at using miles, for most consumers that’s not worth the effort, and a return equivalent to 2% is excellent.
What’s the difference between the Spark Miles & Spark Cash card?
The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business and Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business are very similar. The annual fees are the same, the welcome bonuses are worth the same, and for the most part the benefits overlap.
The major distinction is that the Spark Cash offers 2% cash back while the Spark Miles offers the equivalent of 2% back that you can only apply towards travel.
If you’re going to be completely practical, then there’s no reason to get the Spark Miles over the Spark Cash, in my opinion. The Spark Cash gives you more flexibility (since you can use the 2% cash back for anything, including travel).
So why does Capital One bother with the Spark Miles? My guess is because many business owners would be likely to put any cash back they earn back into their business, and would be less likely to actually reward themselves with a vacation. Getting something like the Spark Miles is a good way to reward yourself with “guilt free” travel.
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® Miles for Business offers a generous welcome bonus, has the annual fee waived for the first year, and offers the equivalent of 2% back towards travel, in the form of 2x miles. It’s a compelling card, though personally I think the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business is more compelling.
The card offers a reward that’s also the equivalent of 2% back, except you can use the 2% towards anything, and not just travel. The one advantage to the Spark Miles version of the card is if you’re someone who wouldn’t reward yourself in the same way if you had cash you could apply towards anything, rather than cash you could only apply towards travel.
Does anyone prefer the Spark Miles to the Spark Cash Card?