Capital One Spark Miles Business Card Review [2019]

Filed Under: Capital One, Credit Card Reviews
In the interest of full disclosure, OMAAT earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out my advertiser policy for further details about our partners, and thanks for your support!

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 most 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

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 partner.

Not only does it 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 1.5 airline miles (or in some cases even more).

Sign-Up Bonus

The Spark Miles offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 Spark miles after spending $4,500 within three months. Those 50,000 Spark miles can either be redeemed for $500 towards travel purchases, or can be transferred to Capital One partner loyalty programs.

Application Restrictions

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, 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

Annual Fee

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 card offers unlimited 2x Spark miles per dollar spent. In general you can expect that this card will offer you the equivalent of a return of two cents on the dollar towards travel, or up to 1.5 airline miles per dollar spent.

You have two major options for redeeming your Spark miles.

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 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 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.


Redeem Spark miles towards just about any travel purchase

Transfer Spark Miles To Loyalty Partners

This is an exciting new way that you can redeem Spark miles. As of late 2018 it’s possible to convert Spark miles into airline miles in a variety of programs, at a ratio of up to 2:1.5.

Here are the transfer partners and transfer ratios:

Transfer PartnerTransfer Ratio
Aeromexico (Club Premier)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Air Canada (Aeroplan)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Air France KLM (Flying Blue)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Alitalia (MilleMiglia Program)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Avianca (LifeMiles)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Emirates (Emirates Skywards)2 : 1 | 1000 : 500
Etihad Airways (Etihad Guest)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
EVA Air (Infinity MileageLands)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Finnair (Finnair Plus)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Hainan Airlines (Fortune Wings Club)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
JetBlue (JetBlue TrueBlue)2 : 1 | 1000 : 500
Qantas (Qantas Frequent Flyer)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Qatar Airways (Privilege Club)2 : 1.5 | 1000 : 750
Singapore Airlines (KrisFlyer)2 : 1 | 1000 : 500

It’s worth noting that Capital One also often offers further transfer bonuses, so that you can sometimes get an even better transfer ratio.

Transfer Spark miles to Air France-KLM for redemptions in KLM business class

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 1.5 airline miles.

Which redemption option makes more sense depends on your redemption patterns. If you value one of the partner miles at more than 1.33 cents each (2/1.5), then generally I’d say that’s the better redemption value.

To simplify things even further, I’d generally 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.


For economy redemptions you’re often better off redeeming miles for a cent each

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 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 actually combine the miles on both cards, so you can rack up a lot of miles this way between your personal and business spend.

You can even share your Spark and Venture miles with others, making these points really flexible.

Spark Miles Business Card Perks

The Spark Miles Business Card 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.

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.

Why You Should Register For Global Entry Over TSA Pre-Check

If you are going to take advantage of this perk, I’d highly recommend registering for Global Entry over TSA Pre-Check. For those of you not familiar, TSA Pre-Check gets you expedited US security screening, while Global Entry gets you expedited US immigration clearance.

So why should you register for Global Entry and not Pre-Check? Because Global Entry also comes with TSA Pre-Check, while the inverse isn’t true (signing up for TSA Pre-Check doesn’t get you Global Entry).

I registered for Global Entry for the first time in mid-2011, and wrote about my experience at the time. Global Entry is valid for five years, and I renewed my membership in 2016.

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 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 and 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 Spark Miles Business Card right for you? Let’s look at a few other options out there, including the Spark Cash Card, which is a similar card that often causes confusion.

Quick Comparison: Spark Miles Vs. Spark Cash

In addition to the Capital One Spark Miles, there’s also the Capital One Spark Cash (review).

The cards have the same annual fees, and on the surface the two cards seem fairly similar. So what are the differences?

  • The Spark Cash offers 2% cash back; that’s cash that you can spend towards anything, and that’s a solid return
  • The Spark Miles offers the equivalent of 2% back towards travel, or up to 1.5 airline miles per dollar spent
  • The Spark Miles offers a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit, which the Spark Cash doesn’t (that’s because the Spark Miles is intended to be more of a travel rewards card)

So which cards is better depends on whether you want to earn cash for your business spend that you can put towards anything, or if you want to earn travel rewards, with the flexibility to redeem miles as cash towards travel, or to transfer them to airline partners.

Personally I have the Spark Miles and prefer it since it offers more flexibility in terms of travel rewards.

Similar Alternatives To The Spark Miles Business Card

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 (review) has no annual fee (Rates & Fees), 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
  • The American Express® Business Gold Card 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, and you can find more info here):
      • 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 UnlimitedSM 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 more lucrative than ever before. 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 partner at a ratio of up to 2:1.5.

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.

If you want to learn more about the Spark Miles Business Card or apply, follow this link.

Apply Now

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).

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Comments
  1. I lost interest in Capital One cards when it was just 2% toward travel, because other cards got better than 2% cash back and you didn’t have to hassle with crediting toward travel. So IMO the only value in this card is for transfering points to airlines that can get you higher payback. I haven’t had the chance yet though to convert any though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *