How a Capital One® Credit Card Can Boost Your Business
Capital One® makes cards more rewarding for small business owners
By: Allie Johnson
Last Updated: 12/27/2018
This article was last updated Dec 27, 2018, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.
Would you love to have the funds to refurbish your office, launch a new marketing campaign or jet off on a CEO retreat? It can be as easy as applying for a new business credit card and watching the rewards hit your account.
One way to get a big bang for your buck is to leverage credit card rewards through a big sign-up bonus, and Capital One® just quadrupled the sign-up bonuses on two business credit cards: Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business and Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business.
Here’s how these two bonuses work, and how you can earn the maximum amount when you apply:
- $2,000 cash bonus – With the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business card, you can Earn a $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
- 200,000 miles bonus – With the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business card, you can Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
These sign-up bonuses are currently the highest offered by any business card on the market, and are only available for a limited time.
While sign-up bonuses are a great way to rack up rewards quickly, the ongoing rewards program may have an even bigger impact on how much you can earn from your business spending. When you’re deciding on a card, it’s important to look at the amount of cash back or the number of miles you can bank on a monthly basis. Also check to see whether there are caps on earning and what types of extra perks the card offers.
Card features at a glance
Both Capital One® business cards offer an array of earning opportunities and perks. Here’s a rundown of the features on each card:
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
2% Cash Back for your business on every purchase, everywhere
Earn a $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Redeem cash back for any amount at any time
- Earn unlimited 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere
- Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
- $0 annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
- $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen
- Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases
- Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
See additional details for Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
- Unlimited earning – Earn 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere with no earnings cap. There are no spending categories to keep track of, which keeps earning simple.
- Easy redemption – Rewards never expire as long as your account stays open, and you can redeem them at any time in any amount. You can even set up automated redemptions.
- Free employee cards – You can get additional authorized user cards for your employees at no cost. You earn cash back on their spending and watch rewards pile up more quickly.
- More perks – No foreign transaction fees, auto rental damage waiver, purchase security and extended protection, quarterly and yearly spending reports.
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
Unlimited 2x miles per dollar
Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Redeem miles with any airline and any hotel
- Earn unlimited 2 miles per $1 on every purchase, everywhere
- Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles â equal to $500 in travel â once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
- Receive up to $100 credit for one Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee
- Fly on any airline, anytime, with no blackout dates or seat restrictions
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
- $0 fraud liability if your card is lost or stolen
- Free employee cards which also earn unlimited 2x miles from their purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
See additional details for Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
- The sky's the limit – You earn 2 miles per $1 on every purchase, everywhere with no limit on earnings. That means you can earn as many miles as you need to travel the globe for business or go on a needed vacation.
- Never lose your miles – Your miles never expire, and you keep them as long as your account stays open.
- Redemption options – You can cash in your rewards for travel, cash back, gift cards and more. When redeeming for travel, you can fly any airline, and there are no blackout dates. You can even transfer your miles to Capital One’s new airline partners.
- More perks – Free employee cards, no foreign transaction fees, quarterly and yearly spending reports, auto rental damage waiver, purchase security and extended protection, and travel and emergency assistance services.
For both cards, the annual fee is waived for the first year, then $95 per year afterwards.
How two business owners offset expenses with cash back
A generous sign-up bonus is great, but ongoing rewards can have a meaningful impact on your bottom line. Here’s a look at how two small business owners have used their unlimited Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business card cash back rewards to offset costly expenses:
Business owner: John Curtin
Company: Mainline Sportswear
Based in: Ardmore, Pa.
Uses rewards to: Pay for an office rental in a Life Time Work co-working space while adopting a new workout regime
Rewards earned last year: $14,000
A former middle school math teacher, John Curtin is about to embark on his fourth year as owner of Mainline Sportswear, a premium imprinted sportswear and promotional products company.
Several years ago when he was getting his company off the ground, he learned about the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business card. “What piqued my interest was the 2% unlimited cash back,” he said. “Nobody else was offering that.”
He knew he could rack up serious rewards since he puts all of his business expenses on his card, including the tens of thousands of dollars worth of clothing, glassware and other promotional products he buys each year. In 2017, he got a check from Capital One for $14,000. “This year, I'm on track to earn the same,” he said.
That check not only transformed his business, but his health. Until April 2018, Curtin was working out of a home office, striving to minimize expenses so he could keep his overhead low. But working 80 to 100 hours a week from a home office was starting to take a toll. “It's never good when you're talking to a client on the phone and the dog starts barking at the mailman,” he recalled. “I said, ‘I’ve got to make a change.’”
Life Time had just started a pilot program in his community outside of Philadelphia, offering shared office space just above a fitness center. He used his 2% unlimited cash back to pay rent for the office space. The move helped him to separate life from work, and improve his health.
He hired a trainer and started using free weights, machines and kettlebells before work. “I lost 20 pounds right away,” he said. “Staying active helps me to start off my day the right way.
The office rent cost about half of the amount Curtin earned in rewards, so he had enough cash left over to hire a marketing company to generate leads, help with his CRM system and handle social media for his business.
In addition to the rewards, Curtin said he appreciates the customer service experience with Capital One®. For example, their willingness to increase his credit line allowed him to put all his monthly business purchases on the card and ultimately maximize his rewards.
“I'm a huge fan of Capital One,” he said.
Business owner: Ken Jacobus
Company: Good Start Packaging
Location: Bedford, N.H.
Uses rewards to: Pay employee health insurance premiums and bonuses
Rewards earned last year: $36,000
Just over 10 years ago, Ken Jacobus quit his job as a sales rep for a high-tech company in Silicon Valley to start a business that would help save the planet.
After learning how much disposable plastic goes from restaurants to landfills, he founded Good Start Packaging, which supplies compostable food service items, such as ice cream containers, juice cups and forks and spoons made of plant starch. Companies big and small signed on as clients.
“The consciousness around the environment has really gone way up throughout the country and world,” Jacobus said. “So that has been fueling a lot of our growth.”
Five years ago, Jacobus knew he could no longer run the business by himself. He hired three part-time employees and, after a year, decided to bring them on full-time. But he faced an issue: the rising cost of health insurance premiums.
“It was definitely a challenge,” he said, adding that he wanted to offer health insurance not only to make his company more competitive as an employer, but also to do the right thing. “We're really a family here, and I’ve heard a lot of personal stories about people struggling with health insurance,” he said. So the company began to offer health insurance even though rising costs caused sticker shock every year.
As business grew and Jacobus continued to make hires, he knew he needed a credit card that would reward that growth. He chose Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business. “I knew that there was really nothing better than 2% unlimited cash back,” he said. “And because we were growing and charging a lot more, I knew that cash back was going to add up and make a big difference to our bottom line.”
In 2017, his 2% unlimited cash back added up to $36,000. That was enough to cover health insurance premiums for all employees. This year, the company is on track to earn over $50,000 in cashback rewards. “That significantly exceeds our healthcare bill,” he said.
What will he do with the extra cash? Fund employee bonuses. “Our bonuses this year will be higher than they’ve ever been,” he said.
Hit the skies with Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
If you would rather use miles for business travel or reward your employees with free trips, another option is the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business, offering miles that can be redeemed for travel, gifts cards and more.
The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business offers 2 miles per $1 on every purchase, everywhere on the card, with no limit on the number of miles you can earn. Here’s how you can earn rewards in your first six months:
- Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
There are several ways Capital One® allows you to redeem your miles for travel - you can either get reimbursed for travel purchases made on your card, or book travel using your miles outright
Alternatively, you can use Capital One’s new Miles Transfer feature, which lets you transfer your miles to 14 airline partners at a 2:1.5 or 2:1 ratio, depending on the airline.
Which business card is right for you?
Making a decision about which credit card to get for your business can be challenging. In fact, some small business owners might not be aware that there are several big advantages to choosing a business credit card over a personal card.
For example, a business card can help you build your business credit score and allows you to separate your business and personal spending, helping you to track expenses to make tax time easy. You can even sync your transaction data to accounting software like QuickBooks and Xero to free up time on bookkeeping, and set individual employee spending limits to stay on top of your team’s spending.
If you’ve decided it’s time to start using a business card, then you should consider whether the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business card or the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business card is right for you.
If you’re a business owner who favors simplicity and wants to put extra cash back into the business, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business is your best choice. Unlimited cashback rewards cards are a good way for a busy business owner to earn cash on autopilot with automatic redemptions.
On the other hand, if you’d prefer to use your earnings to fund travel, the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business card might be best for you.
Small business owners looking for a card should crunch the numbers to calculate the total dollar amount of benefits they'd get from the card each year and compare that to the cost of the card, Jacobus recommends.
“That's how I looked at the Capital One Spark® card, and that's why I believe it's the best card on the market,” he said.
Terms and conditions apply to Capital One credit cards which may have changed or may no longer be available as of the date of publishing.
By: Allie Johnson
Allie Johnson is a freelance writer who covers personal finance, small business and lifestyle. She writes about credit card tips and tricks, maximizing rewards and using miles to jet around the globe. She has a degree in magazine journalism from Ohio University