There’s a lot of value to be had in getting the right business credit cards, as these cards can offer perks and rewards that you can leverage to get huge value, especially for travel. In many cases, the perks will more than justify the annual fee.
In this post I wanted to take a close look at what I consider to be one of the most well-rounded business credit cards out there.
Capital One Spark Miles Business Card Basics For September 2021
The Capital One Spark Miles for Business is one of my favorite business credit cards, and it’s a card I personally have. It offers flexible travel rewards that can either be redeemed as cash towards the cost of a travel purchase, or can be transferred to an airline or hotel partner.
Not only does the card offer flexible rewards, but it offers them at a good rate, as you’re looking at earning two cents towards travel per dollar spent, or up to two airline miles or hotel points.
Welcome Bonus Of 50K Spark Miles
The Spark Miles Business Card currently offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 Spark miles after spending $4,500 on purchases within the first three months. This is a solid bonus for a card with a reasonable spending requirement, though I’d note that in the past we have sometimes seen bigger welcome bonuses on the card, especially in conjunction with spending more.
The terms of the Spark Miles Business Card application state the following:
This one-time bonus is available by clicking the “Apply Now” button on this page, and may not be available if you navigate away from or close this page. You may earn one or both spend bonuses. The bonuses may not be available for existing or previous Spark cardholders.
Anecdotally it seems that you can have both the Spark Miles and Spark Cash Plus, though the terms aren’t explicit about that.
Then there are a few general Capital One restrictions 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
- While I can’t personally vouch for this, I’ve heard that anecdotally Capital One business cards are often easier to be approved for than Capital One personal cards
- If you’re concerned about Chase’s 5/24 rule, note that Capital One business applications do count towards that limitation
The Spark Miles Business Card has a $95 annual fee, though it’s waived for the first year. This is a great way to try the card before you have to “buy it,” so to speak, since you can take advantage of all the perks for 12 months before having to pay your first annual fee.
There is no cost to add additional users to the card.
Spark Miles Business Card 2x Miles
The Capital One Spark Miles for Business offers unlimited 2x Spark miles per dollar spent. One other cool thing is that the miles post almost immediately when your purchase hits the statement, rather than after the statement closes (or even the statement after that). Talk about instant gratification!
In general, you have two major options for redeeming your Spark miles, which means that the card offers the equivalent of a return of two cents on the dollar towards travel, or up to two airline miles or hotel points per dollar spent.
Redeeming Spark Miles Towards Travel Costs
One way to redeem Spark miles is at the rate of one cent per mile towards the cost of a travel purchase. This means you’re earning two cents per dollar spent towards travel, since the card offers unlimited 2x Spark miles.
If you want to redeem your Spark miles towards the cost of a travel purchase, there are two primary ways you can do so:
- 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 two to three 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 those made from airlines, hotels, rail lines, car rental agencies, limousine services, bus lines, cruise lines, taxi cabs, travel agents, and time shares.
Transfer Spark Miles To Loyalty Partners
As far as I’m concerned, this is the best way to redeem your Spark miles. It’s possible to convert Spark miles into airline miles in a variety of programs, at a ratio of up to 1:1 (though the ratio varies, and for some partners it’s 2:1, and for others it’s 2:1.5).
Here are the transfer partners:
Aeromexico Club Premier
ALL Rewards points
Air Canada Aeroplan
British Airways Executive Club
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
EVA Air Infinity Mileagelands
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
It’s worth noting that Capital One also sometimes offers further transfer bonuses, so that you can sometimes get an even better transfer ratio.
How Should You Redeem Spark Miles?
Every dollar spent on the Spark Business Card earns you two miles, and those two miles get you either two cents worth of travel, or up to two airline or hotel points. Which redemption option makes more sense depends on your redemption patterns.
In general I’d say that:
- If you want to redeem your Spark miles for anything other than flights, your best option is redeeming them at one cent each towards a travel purchase
- If you want to redeem your Spark miles towards airfare, you’ll get more value for international first and business class tickets when transferring miles to an airline partner
- If you want to redeem your Spark miles towards economy airfare (especially if it’s reasonably priced), your best option is redeeming them at one cent each to erase the cost of that purchase
Those are very general guidelines, and the best solution very much depends on the specific circumstances.
Combining Spark Miles & Venture Miles
Both the Capital One Spark Miles and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (review) earn miles that can be redeemed for one cent each towards a travel purchase, or can be transferred to an airline or hotel partner.
While these cards are marketed differently — “Venture” miles and “Spark” miles — they’re more or less the same for all practical purposes.
What’s cool is that you can combine the miles on both cards, so you can rack up a lot of miles this way between your personal and business spending. You can even share your Spark and Venture miles with others, making these points really flexible.
Spark Miles Business Card Perks
The Capital One Spark Miles for Business offers a variety of valuable perks that can help to offset the annual fee, ranging from no foreign transaction fees, to a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit, to primary car rental coverage. Also note that soon Capital One will be opening lounges at airports, and perhaps there will be some perks there for cardmembers.
Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check Credit
The Spark Miles Business Card offers a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit once every four years. Just charge the $85-100 membership fee to your Capital One Spark Miles Card, and it will automatically be reimbursed. It doesn’t matter who the fee is being paid for, as long as you charge it to your eligible card.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
The Spark Miles has no foreign transaction fees, so it’s a great card to use for purchases abroad, as you can earn rewards all while not paying additional fees. This is a common benefit nowadays across many cards, but it’s still very valuable.
Primary Car Rental Coverage
The Spark Miles offers primary car rental coverage, assuming you’re renting for business reasons. Just charge the entire rental to your card and decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver coverage, and you’ll be covered for damage due to collision or theft.
Make sure you check out your cardmember agreement for full details, because there are some exclusions.
Other Purchase & Travel Protection
The Spark Miles offers all kinds of other protection, including 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 The Spark Miles Business Card Right For You?
There are lots of great business credit cards out there, so is the Capital One Spark Miles for Business right for you? Let’s look at a few other options out there, including the Spark Cash Plus, which is a similar card that could be worth considering as well.
Quick Comparison: Spark Miles Vs. Spark Cash Plus
- The Spark Miles has a $95 annual fee (waived the first year), whereas the Spark Cash Plus has a $150 annual fee (not waived the first year)
- The Spark Miles is a credit card (meaning you can finance charges and have a credit limit), while the Spark Cash Plus is a charge card (meaning you can’t finance charges and there’s no pre-set spending limit)
- The Spark Cash Plus offers 2% cash back, which you can spend towards anything; in conjunction with the Spark Miles or Venture Card, those rewards can also be converted into miles at a rate of one cent per Spark mile or Venture mile
- The Spark Miles offers the equivalent of 2% back towards travel, or up to two airline miles or hotel points per dollar spent
- The Spark Miles offers a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit, which the Spark Cash Plus doesn’t (that’s because the Spark Miles is intended to be more of a travel rewards card)
There are pros and cons to each card. If you want to earn travel rewards and want the lowest annual fee possible, the Spark Miles is the way to go. Meanwhile if you want the flexibility to earn flexible cash back, the Spark Cash Plus is the way to go.
What About The No Annual Fee Spark Miles Select?
It’s also worth being aware of the no annual fee version of this card, the Spark Miles Select from Capital One. The card:
- Also has no foreign transaction fees
- Earns 1.5x Spark miles per dollar spent rather than 2x Spark miles per dollar spent
Similar Alternatives To The Spark Miles Business Card
If you’re looking for a lucrative business card, there are a few other options that are worth considering:
- The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (review) has no annual fee (Rates & Fees), and offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent per calendar year (1x after that); this is the single most lucrative card for the first $50,000 of non-bonused spending annually, in my opinion
- The American Express® Business Gold Card (review) has a $295 annual fee (Rates & Fees) and offers 4x Membership Rewards points on the two categories of the below where your business spends the most each month (the limit applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases for those two categories every calendar year):
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases at restaurants
- U.S. purchases for shipping
- U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
- The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (review) has a $95 annual fee, has 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
- If you’re willing to get more than one card, there’s huge value in pairing the Ink Preferred with the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card (review) and/or Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card (review), as the cards offer 1.5-5x points per dollar spent
Capital One Spark Miles Business Summary
The Capital One Spark Miles is a solid business credit card if you’re looking to earn travel rewards. The card offers unlimited 2x Spark miles, and those miles can be redeemed for one cent each towards a travel purchase, or can be transferred to an airline or hotel partner at a ratio of up to 1:1.
If you have a business where you spend a lot in categories that otherwise don’t quality for bonus points on other cards, I’d say this is an excellent option, as it’s extremely well rounded.
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: American Express® Business Gold Card (Rates & Fees), and The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (Rates & Fees).