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Capital One® makes cards more rewarding for small business owners
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 sign-up bonus from one of these Capital One® 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:
- $500 cash bonus – With the Capital One Spark Cash for Business, earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
- 50,000 miles bonus – The Capital One Spark Miles for Business lets cardholders 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.
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 choosing a card, look at the amount of cash back or the number of miles you can bank on a monthly basis.
Card features at a glance
Both Capital One® business cards offer an array of earning opportunities and perks.
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
- 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 airline partners at a 2:1.5 or 2:1 ratio, depending on the airline.
- 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.
- New – Starting October 22, 2019 both existing and new Spark Miles and Spark Miles select cardholders will earn 5x miles on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel℠.
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.
Which 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 may be 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.
Learn more about both cards here.