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For small business owners looking for a travel rewards business card with a $0 annual fee, the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business earns rewards on every purchase. Plus, there’s no cap on how many miles you can earn and your miles won’t expire.
We break down how this card stands out and where it falls short, and compare it to two annual-fee travel cards that earn a higher rewards rate.
- Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business pros
- Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business cons
- Alternative travel business credit cards
- Is the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business right for you?
Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business pros
Rewards. Cardholders earn 1.5 miles per $1 on every purchase. Miles don’t expire as long as your account is open, and there’s no limit on the number of miles you can earn. There’s also a boosted rate of 5X miles per $1 on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel℠.
The usual redemption options include travel (either for past travel purchases via the Purchase Eraser or to book new travel), checks, account credits, gift cards and more.
And, giving cardholders more options during the COVID-19 pandemic, Capital One is offering restaurant delivery or takeout, streaming services and wireless telephone services as redemption options via the Cover Your Purchase feature through Sept. 30, 2020.
You can also transfer miles to the following 14 travel loyalty programs:
- Accor Live Limitless
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Air France KLM Flying Blue
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Alitalia MilleMiglia Program
- Asia Miles
- Avianca LifeMiles
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Airways Etihad Guest
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
- Finnair Plus
- Jet Blue TrueBlue
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Sign-up bonus. Earn a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
Intro APR. Planning a big purchase for your business that you know will take some time to pay off? Get an intro N/A with this card. After, a 13.99% - 23.99% (variable) APR applies.
No annual fee. If you’re looking for a Capital One business credit card with which to earn miles and manage expenses, but don’t want to pay an annual fee, the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business is a good choice — its annual fee is $0.
No foreign transaction fee. Business owners whose travels frequently take them abroad can carry this card without worrying about a foreign transaction fee, because there is none.
Free employee cards. Issue cards to your employees for no additional cost, and set customized spending limits for them.
Spending summaries and downloadable records. You can get itemized year-end summaries to help with budgeting and taxes, and you can download purchase records in formats such as Quicken, QuickBooks and Excel.
Visa Signature Business Card benefits, including:
- Auto rental collision damage waiver. Primary coverage against auto rental damage or theft.
- Roadside dispatch. You get 24/7 towing and locksmith referral services while in the U.S. and Canada.
- Visa Signature Concierge. This is available 24/7 to help with a wide range of needs, including booking travel, getting tickets to events, arranging dinner or even finding a gift.
- Travel and emergency assistance. Dealing with an unexpected event when traveling? If you need referrals for medical, legal or travel services, this benefit is available 24/7. Be aware that referrals are free, but you’re responsible for the cost of the service.
- Lost luggage reimbursement. Get up to $3,000 in reimbursement if your checked or carry-on luggage is lost or stolen when your ticket is paid for with this card.
- Travel accident insurance. This covers accidental death or dismemberment on a travel fare bought with your card at no extra cost.
- Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection. Enjoy premium benefits during your stay at more than 900 properties with the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection.
- Purchase security and extended protection. With purchase protection, you’re protected against damage or theft for up to $10,000 per claim (for 90 days from purchase date). With extended protection, get double the length of the original manufacturer’s warranty – up to a full year on warranties of three years or less.
- Price protection. When you buy an item using your card, if you see it within 60 days available from another retail store for a cheaper price, you may be refunded the difference (up to $500 per item and $2,500 per year).
- Fine wine and food. This benefit includes access to dinner events, complimentary wine tastings and discounts at Sonoma County wineries.
- Discounts on various purchases. Thanks to your card, enjoy discounts and exclusive offers at retailers, as well as special access to popular sporting events and more.
*Certain restrictions, limitations, and exclusions apply. For questions or assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year: call the toll-free number on the back of your Visa Signature Business card.
Access to the Visa SavingsEdge program. When you shop at participating merchants, you might save up to 15%.
Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business cons
There are cards with higher rewards rates. Earning 1.5 miles per $1 on every purchase is OK. However, there are cards that offer 2X rewards per $1 spent for no annual fee (up to an annual spending cap) and cards that offer even higher rewards rates for specific categories.
Small sign-up bonus. If each mile is worth 1 cent when redeemed, the bonus of 20,000 miles is worth $200. There are competing business credit cards with much more lucrative sign-up bonuses (though some of them may charge an annual fee).
Alternative travel business credit cards
For business owners who frequently find themselves in the air and on the road, two other travel credit cards worth considering are the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business and the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, issued by Chase. Here’s how they compare with the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business:
Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business vs. the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business and the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
|Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business||Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business||Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card|
|Sign-up bonus||Earn a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.||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.||Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.|
|Rewards||1.5 miles per $1 on every purchase.||2 miles per $1 on every purchase, everywhere.||Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn.|
|Annual fee||$0||$0 intro for first year; $95 after that.||$95|
|Foreign transaction fee||None||None||$0|
|Intro purchase APR||N/A.||N/A||N/A|
|Regular purchase APR||13.99% - 23.99% (variable)||20.99% (variable)||15.99%-20.99% variable|
Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn.
Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- New Offer! Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
- Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn
- Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
- No foreign transaction fees
- Employee cards at no additional cost
- $95 Annual Fee
See additional details for Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
So, when is it worth paying an annual fee for a travel card? When comparing the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business with the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business, the tipping point is around a spend of $20,000. With the former card, you’ll net 30,000 miles – or $300, if each point is worth 1 cent. With the latter card, you’ll net 30,500 miles, or $305.
It’s also worth noting the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business offers a fee credit of up to $100 every four years to reimburse you when you apply for Global Entry or TSA Precheck.
The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card offers a robust lineup of benefits, including:
- Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance. This benefit offers up to $5,000 per person and up to $10,000 per trip toward eligible expenses.
- Roadside dispatch. Get help such as towing, gas delivery and lockout service. Note that you may incur fees for these services, which will be billed to your card.
- Auto rental collision damage waiver. Primary coverage when renting for business purposes.
- Cell phone protection. Coverage of up to $600 per claim ($100 deductible per claim).
- Purchase protection. This covers new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft.
- Extended warranty protection. Extend the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty for an additional year (only on eligible warranties of three years or less).
For its sign-up bonus and ongoing rewards, the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card earns valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, which are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards® portal. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 when redeemed that way. You’re also able to transfer points to the following 13 travel partners at a 1:1 value:
- Aer Lingus AerClub
- British Airways Executive Club
- Emirates Skywards
- Flying Blue Air France KLM
- Iberia Plus
- Jet Blue TrueBlue
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Bonvoy
- World of Hyatt
Is the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business right for you?
If your business doesn’t spend enough to make a card with an annual fee worth it, the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business offers a decent flat-rate reward program and useful benefits. However, for heavier spenders, the rewards and benefits on a card such as the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card might be worth shelling out for the annual fee.
Know that most small business credit cards are aimed at applicants with good to excellent credit. For example, the Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business requires excellent/good credit, and the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card requires excellent credit.
For business owners with fair/limited credit, a better choice is the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business. It earns a lower rewards rate (1% cash back on every purchase), but offers an opportunity to demonstrate good behavior and build your credit history.