Editorial Review

Capital One Spark Miles Review: Travel Rewards Without Hassles

Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on everything, with no bonus categories, no limits on how much you can earn and no blackout dates or restrictions on when or how you travel.

Ben Luthi, Paul SoucyMay 21, 2019

At cheatgame.info, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Our Take

4.4

cheatgame.info rating 

The Bottom Line: A great option for small-business operators who prize simplicity in a travel rewards program, or whose spending doesn't fit neatly into the bonus categories of other travel cards.

Capital One Spark Miles Credit Card

on Capital One's website

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0 for the first year, then $95

Regular APR

19.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Quick Facts

Annual Fee
$0 for the first year, then $95
Regular APR
19.24% Variable APR
Intro APR
N/A

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • High rewards rate

  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons
  • Has annual fee

  • High APR

Alternate Pick: Cash-back rewards

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

A different 2% rewards option

If you'd like the option of redeeeming rewards for cash without losing value, consider this card, which earns an unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases. You can redeem your rewards for statement credit in any amount, so you could use them for travel — but you don't have to. The card starts you with a great sign-up bonus, and the annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95

Read our review

Full Review

If you want to rack up travel rewards with your business spending but don't actually do a lot of business travel, the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business is a great option. Rather than offer a higher rewards rate on travel-related purchases and a pedestrian rate on everything else — the structure of many business travel cards — this card offers a great ongoing rewards rate regardless of what business expenses you use it for.

Even if you do travel a lot for business, though, the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business is still worth a look because of the sheer simplicity of its rewards. There are no bonus categories to fiddle with or reward caps to worry about, and your rewards can be redeemed for any travel expense.

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business: Basics

  • Card type: Small business.

  • Annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $95.

  • Sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

  • Rewards: 

    • 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases.

    • Miles can be redeemed at a rate of 1 cent apiece for statement credit against any travel expense. Book travel your usual way, then use miles to pay for it.

    • Miles don't expire as long as your account is active.

  • Interest rate: The ongoing APR is 19.24% Variable APR.

  • Foreign transaction fees: None.

Why you might want the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Simple, generous rewards

The distinguishing feature of the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business is that it offers an unlimited 2 miles for every dollar you spend, no matter what you spend it on. (This is the same rate as the issuer's popular consumer travel card, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.) The flat rewards rate makes it ideal for a business whose expenses are all over the map or don't easily fit into the typical bonus categories for business credit cards.

Since you get the same high rate on everything, using the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business for working capital can really supercharge your earning. Put $10,000 a month in inventory purchases on the card, for example, and you're looking at 240,000 miles at the end of the year — good for $2,400 worth of travel.

The card also gets you started with a solid sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. At a penny a mile, 50,000 miles is equal to $500.

Flexible redemption

You have two options for redeeming miles earned with the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business. With both options, miles are worth a penny apiece:

  • Use Capital One's travel portal to book travel using your miles.

  • Book travel with your card elsewhere, then use Capital One's Purchase Eraser for statement credit against your travel purchase. Unlike the points or miles in programs tied to a specific airline or hotel chain, these rewards allow you to book however you want, with no blackout dates or exclusions.

There's no minimum redemption amount for the Purchase Eraser option, and you can redeem miles for all or just part of an expense. You can get credit for a travel purchase for up to 90 days after it posts to your account.

NERD NOTE: You can also redeem miles for gift cards, cash back and more, but usually at a lower value per point, and we don't recommend it. If you expect you'll want cash back, just get a cash-back card. See options below.

No foreign transaction fees

Like all Capital One cards, the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee. With many cards adding on a fee of 3% on every overseas purchase, you'll definitely want this feature if you plan to travel internationally — and especially if you buy inventory abroad.

Why you might want a different card

The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business has great features, but no single card is right for everyone.

There's an annual fee

At an effective rewards rate of 2%, this card will pay for its annual fee with $4,750 a year in purchases. If you just can't stomach an annual fee, however, consider the no-fee "Select" version of this card — the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business. This card works the same way as the regular card: You earn a flat rate on all purchases, then redeem miles for travel. The key differences:

  • The annual fee is $0.

  • You earn 1.5 miles per dollar spent.

  • The sign-up bonus is smaller: Plus, a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

  • You get an introductory APR of 0% on Purchases for 9 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.24% - 23.24% Variable APR.

Looking for the break-even point between these two cards? If you spend at least $19,000 a year, you'll earn more rewards with the standard Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business than with the no-fee version, even after taking into account the annual fee.

no bonus rewards for travel spending

Simplicity is key to the value proposition for the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business — spend a dollar, get 2 miles, use those miles however you want. But if you spend a lot on travel and would like an even higher rate than 2% for that spending, consider the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. This card earns 3 points per dollar on up to $150,000 a year in combined spending on travel and three other categories: shipping purchases; internet, cable and phone services; and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines. All other spending earns 1 point per dollar.

Points are worth 1.25 cents apiece when redeemed for travel booked through Chase, giving you an effective rewards rate of 3.75% on travel purchases. With an annual fee of $95, this card can pay for itself with a little over $2,500 a year in travel spending. It also comes with one of the biggest sign-up bonuses on any credit card: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Not a good cash-back option

If you're looking for a travel card, you're in the right place. But if you want the ultimate flexibility of cash, consider the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business. You get an unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases, which you could then use for travel ... or for anything else. It comes with a great sign-up offer: Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. The annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95.

To learn more about business credit card options, see cheatgame.info's list of the best credit cards to have.

Is the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business right for you?

Easy earning and flexible redemption make the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business a solid choice for the small-business operator who likes to travel. However, if you're looking for the flexibility of cash or are willing to accept a lower standard rewards rate in return for a higher rate on travel, consider exploring other options.