Is the Capital One Savor Credit Card worth the annual fee?

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Welcome bonuses are just not enough to convince customers to focus on one credit card and ignore the others for long. They’re more the icing on the cake, the extra boost that causes you to break down and apply. If you can’t decide between two cards with similar benefits, choose the one with the better welcome bonus.

The true substance of a card, though, is its ongoing benefits. Does the card have valuable perks that offset its annual fee? Can you earn rewards quickly and easily? Are the rewards even useful?

I’ll help you decide if it’s worth paying the Capital One Savor Credit Card annual fee. You can read our full Capital One Savor Card review to understand why it’s one of the best cashback credit cards available.

The information for the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
The Capital One Savor Credit Card annual fee is worth it for sports fans like me. You earn 4% cash back for sporting events, and 4% cash back when you buy food inside the stadium!

Big return on dining and entertainment

With the Capital One Savor, you earn 4% cash back on dining (basically anywhere that serves food, including bakeries or bars). And even while many restaurants and bars are closed or operating at limited capacity during the current pandemic, you can still order takeout/delivery and receive 4% back on your spending.

In addition, one of the best Capital One Savor card benefits is that you’ll also earn 4% cash back on the broad category of entertainment (anything from zoos to bowling alleys to movie theaters to athletic fields). You even earn 2% cash back at grocery stores (just about any grocery store or supermarket except Walmart and Target).

Oh yeah, it also comes with a $300 welcome bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Chase doesn’t have a card with earning rates like this. Citi doesn’t have a card with earning rates like this. They’d better retaliate with similar cards of their own or they’re going to lose a lot of swipes to Capital One. Including mine.

This is going to sound ridiculous, but I love it that the card doesn’t have a bonus on travel. Every card and its mother earns bonus rewards on travel, and they — in turn — water down the rest of their bonus categories. The Capital One Savor skips the travel category and focuses the cash back in other areas.

There are plenty of heartthrob credit cards for travel to choose from. And you should definitely have one of them to protect you from things like flight cancellations, delayed baggage and rental-car crashes. But those cards are rarely the best choice for the lion’s share of your everyday expenses, like groceries.

Bonus cash back when booking with Vivid Seats

You’ll earn 8% cashback with Vivid Seats (similar to StubHub) through May 2020. This is an easy way to buy cheap tickets to concerts or sporting events. If you find yourself making ticket purchases like this with any frequency, you’ll rack up the cashback with the Capital One Savor card.

Lyft credits

If you take five or more rides with Lyft during a month, you’ll earn $10 in Lyft ride credit. You can earn up to $120 in Lyft credits each year with this perk, meaning it can single-handedly offset the card’s $95 annual fee.

Easy to earn, easy to redeem

This card is one of the least complicated on the market. No rotating categories you have to remember and opt into. No confusing transfer partners.

True, it doesn’t earn points that you can use for a free-award night at an amazing hotel. It earns something far more versatile: Straight-up cash. You can use that cash for a night at an amazing hotel if you like. Or you can use it to pay utilities. Or for an oil change. Or a new TV. Or a flight to Australia.

The MMS team brings this card up often. A lot of us intend to open it because its earnings are so great. It comes with a $95, but because this card possesses the bonus categories of a few different cards, this could be a good way to consolidate your wallet by getting rid of some of those other cards and saving money on those annual fees.

Bottom line

I wasn’t too hot on the Capital One Savor in the beginning, but I’m realizing that this may be the best Capital One credit card for the vast majority of us. It takes in the bulk of the spending most of us do every day. You’ll earn 4% cash back for dining (two cheers for takeout!) and entertainment, 2% cash back at grocery stores, and 1% cash back on everything else.

I’ll definitely open it for a year and test it out. It comes with a $300 welcome bonus after meeting minimum spending requirements! And I spend an unbelievable amount of money in those bonus categories.

Hopefully other banks are having the same epiphany, and will scramble to answer with a card of their own. I’ll gladly give them all a test drive if they come with an equally generous welcome bonus.

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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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Michael
7 months ago

I’m looking at signing up for this one but I’d kind of like to avoid the annual fee for the second year. So, I may sign up, get the intro bonus and then cancel. Do you know when they bill you for the annual fee the second year?

Brandon
2 years ago

With American debt such a huge issue right now I find it borderline unethical that you leave it to readers to figure that that in order to begin making a net BONUS from the card , assuming they use it for nothing other than dining and entertainment for the 4%, they need to spend a MINIMUM of ~2450$ a year… Anything after the first 2450$ then becomes cash back….. That’s roughly 204$ a month. Just to break even…. you should have included a suggested minimum salary range necessary for people who are interested in this card…. And encouraging people to sign up for credit cards just to check it out? … Oh I see it now, This is a paid advertisement (as plainly stated at top) but it’s disgustingly misleading and unethical.

Ryan
Reply to  Brandon
1 year ago

Brandon,

This is hardly unethical. People can do the math, as you did. Any cash back card (or any card) with an annual fee requires doing math.

Keith
Reply to  Brandon
2 years ago

Hi Brandon – thanks for commenting. Our #1 rule with rewards credit cards is to pay off the balance in full each month. Paying interest & fees offsets the value of any rewards.

I’m not certain I understand your analysis on the monthly spending. This card offers a $500 sign-up bonus and no annual fee the first year. The value of the sign-up bonus alone offsets the annual fee for several years. And this doesn’t take into consideration the cash back you’ll earn the first year with the card while paying no annual fee.

Also, you can get significant value from the card beyond just the cash back categories. For example, the card comes with extended warranty protection. On a different card with similar coverage, my friend got $2,000 back from the bank after his flat screen television stopped working after the manufacturer’s warranty coverage. He was glad he continued to pay the card’s annual fee over the years.

Kathy
Reply to  Keith
1 year ago

Keith, why does your comment state a $500 bonus but the article states “Oh yeah, it also comes with a $300 welcome bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.” ??

MB
2 years ago

Love the way you write, and very helpful info! 🙂

Mike
2 years ago

Definitely makes me me wish I had gotten the card earlier, to get grandfathered with no fee.

Entertainment is definitely a category that could use more love, I think Citi thankyou cards are the only other option there.

I wonder if gyms and races count as entertainment, I know plenty of people who pay for a 5k every other week.

Ryan
Reply to  Mike
1 year ago

I think, think being the key word, that the Hyatt Chase card offers 2X points or something like that at gyms.

Great question about 5K’s.

Keith
Reply to  Mike
2 years ago

Good question…we’ll look into data points on those purchases.

Bill
2 years ago

i am SOOOO glad i was an early adopter to this card – i did a product change when this card was first introduced. Now, they upgraded me to the top version and waived the annual fee permanently.

Keith
Reply to  Bill
2 years ago

That’s terrific! Thank you for commenting!

Keith
2 years ago

4% cash back on dining AND entertainment is a sweet deal. Nice review, Joseph! I love the headline.