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Why I applied for the Capital One Savor card

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Why I applied for the Capital One Savor card

Erin LizzoWhy I applied for the Capital One Savor cardMillion Mile Secrets Team

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

INSIDER SECRET: Along with a good welcome offer, the 4% cash back you’ll earn on dining and entertainment purchases with the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card can be a huge win for a lot of people.

Until recently, all of my focus on credit card rewards was directed at accumulating airline miles. A free flight can save you thousands of dollars so there couldn’t be a more valuable reward, it seemed. Plus, my husband and I travel frequently enough that I couldn’t imagine needing any other rewards card outside of an airline or travel card. We had our spending system totally worked out and adding another card to the mix felt like it would only complicate things. But here’s how and why things changed a few weeks ago.

I use the Capital One Savor card almost exclusively, especially on large purchases. (Photo

An offer I couldn’t refuse

Again, I hadn’t considered opening a cash-back card or any other credit card. I was totally content accumulating miles on my Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (which I still use regularly, but my strategy has changed).

Then a friend sent me a note that the Capital One Savor card was offering a $300 cash bonus for all new cardholders who spent $3,000 within the first three months and I jumped at the opportunity. The time was right to expand my rewards benefits and add a cash-back card to the mix.

When opening a new card, it’s important to decide if you’ll be able to make the initial spending requirement. Knowing my current budget and how my husband and I use our other cards, this would have been close, but I had a business trip coming up and knew I’d be charging a lot of reimbursable expenses to a credit card. That meant I could easily meet the requirement of $3,000 in three months on this card. Planning out when to open a new card is an important part of the process.

The #1 reason I love the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

There’s one very specific reason that I love using this credit card: It’s so fun to check my statements and see how much credit I’m accumulating. I’m kind of hooked, actually. I love to check every morning to see what my current credit is, and it’s really easy to cash in the credit whenever you want. Everyone has a different strategy, but I like to save my rewards credit for the end of the statement cycle, so I can reduce my monthly bill by as much as possible and all at once.

How to use this card

Since the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year, I’m giving myself just that long to see if the card is worth it. Essentially, the question is: How much money did I earn in cash-back rewards this year and was it significantly more than the $95 annual fee? If so, I’ll keep it. I imagine that this card will easily pay for itself over the next year, but I want to be sure before committing fully. Since I also use my Chase Sapphire Preferred® card, I’ve had to re-assess my spending strategy to maximize rewards between the two cards.

Here’s how the Capital One Savor card rewards break down:

  • $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 within the first three months of opening the card
  • 4% cashback on dining and entertainment purchases
  • 2% cashback at grocery stores
  • 1% cashback on all other purchases

Because the Chase Sapphire Preferred® offers great rewards on travel purchases, I use this card when booking flights, rental cars, hotels, and anything else travel-related. If I want to ramp up my miles, I’ll also use the Chase card for restaurant purchases. Otherwise, I’m using my Capital One Savor card for everything else, especially entertainment like concert tickets, which currently earn 8% cashback when booked through Vivid Seats.

Do you have a cash-back rewards card that you can’t live without? What made you choose this card over all the other options? Or are you considering opening a cash-back card and weighing the pros and cons? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020.
  • Receive a monthly statement credit for a Postmates Unlimited monthly membership through Dec. 2019 with the Capital One Savor Card
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Capital One cardholders get access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 after that

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Not a fan of the annual fee on this card. The 2nd year of this card is really weak because you need a lot of spend to make up for the high annual fee which has no dining or entertainment credits to make it worth the fee. I think the best path to take is the 1st year get the Savor for the bonus, and downgrade it to the Savor One in year two, since the One card has no annual fee, but still has 3x cashback.

I hope in the future they score a deal with Postmates or something to get monthly credits for food, that would make it more enticing. Since it is an entertainment card, it would also be beat if you got special discounts on amusement park season passes.

Author

One thing I love about this card is that if you take 5 Lyft rides within a month you’ll get a $10 credit the next month. That’s $120/year (more than the annual fee). That makes it totally worth it for me!

What I haven’t seen in articles about the Savor card is how it’s any better than the Amex Gold. Gold earns 4x on dining (same as Savor), and 4x on grocery stores (double Savor), plus has other perks and credits to up its value and offset the annual fee. Then you can either treat it as a cash back card like Savor and use points for statement credits, or transfer to travel partners. It’s a win-win in both flexibility and earning potential.

The Amex gold’s annual fee is $250 vs Savor’s $95. The sign up bonus stated in the article is $300 cash back to statement. I just looked at Amex gold, the sign up bonus is 50,000 points after spending $2,000. I’m not sure what you get for 50,000 points.