A $200 Cash Bonus & No Annual Fee! Is This Capital One Business Card a Good Fit for You?

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A $200 Cash Bonus & No Annual Fee! Is This Capital One Business Card a Good Fit for You?

JasonA $200 Cash Bonus & No Annual Fee! Is This Capital One Business Card a Good Fit for You?Million Mile Secrets Team

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Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business Review

When it comes to starting a business, side hustle, or freelance gig, you’ll likely be juggling a bunch of different tasks at once.  So it can make sense to get a small business credit card to help keep track of expenses and keep them separate from your personal purchases.

If you want to get rewarded for your business expenses, the Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business could be a great choice.  It has NO annual fee and earns 1.5% cash back on every purchase.  And it comes with a $200 cash bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of accounts opening!

It doesn’t get much simpler than that!

Capital One Spark Cash Select Review
For a Small Business Owner, Earning 1.5% Cash Back Everywhere Without Having to Worry About an Annual Fee Is a Win-Win!

But if you’re looking to earn miles and points for travel, this is NOT the best card to start with.  Here are my thoughts on what type of freelancer or small business owner the Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business card is a good fit for!

Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business Review

Link:   Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

Link:   Which Capital One Card Is Best for Folks Looking to Earn Easy Rewards? 

With the Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business card, you’ll earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

And the card has no annual fee!  So it’s a great card to keep year after year.

You’ll also get:

  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • NO foreign transaction fees
  • Free employee cards
Capital One Spark Cash Select Review
You Can Stop Thinking About What Category Your Purchases Fall Into Because You’ll Be Earning 1.5% on All of Them!

If you’re new to the miles & points hobby, I wouldn’t suggest starting with this card.  Because other business credit cards might be more rewarding for you.

For example, the Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card also has no annual fee.  But it currently comes with a larger sign-up bonus of $500 cash back after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

This is a better card to begin with because you won’t be approved for most Chase cards if you’ve opened 5 or more credit cards from any bank (NOT counting Chase business cards and these other business cards) within the past 24 months.

Note:   Small business cards from some banks do not appear on your personal credit report, so they won’t count toward your Chase “5/24” limit.  However, Capital One small business credit cards WILL show up on your credit report.  So they DO count toward the Chase “5/24” rule!

So if you open the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business card, you could be limiting your options for Chase cards like this down the road.

I recommend folks sign up for the Chase cards they want first and then get travel rewards credit cards from other banks, like Capital One, as it makes sense for your situation.

Is This the Right Cash Back Card for Your Business?

The main advantage the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business card is how simple it is to earn rewards.  And you don’t have to worry about paying an annual fee every year.

There are also NO foreign transaction fees, so it can be a good card to use if you’re out of the country.  And you don’t have to pay more to add employee cards to your account.

At the end of the day, you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on all of the business expenses you pay with the card.  If you want free money with no hassle, it’s a good option.

But depending on your business, you might be able to earn more cash back with very little extra effort.  So here are 4 things to ponder before you say “yay” or “nay” to the card.

1.   How Much Do You Spend per Year?

Link:   Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business Card

Link:   Our Review of the Capital One Spark Cash for Business Card

While the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business card does earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases, there is a similarly named Capital One small business card that has an even better cash back rate.

The Capital One Spark Cash for Business card earns 2% cash back on all purchases.  And it comes with a larger sign-up bonus of $500 after spending $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.  But it does have a $95 annual fee (waived the first year).

After the first year, here’s how much you would have to spend on each card to earn the same amount of cash back:

 Capital One Spark Cash Select Business CardCapital One Spark Cash Business Card
Annual Spending$19,000$19,000
Cash Back Rate1.5%2%
Total Cash Back Earned$285$380
Annual Fee$0$95
Total Value of Rewards (Minus the Annual Fee)$285$285

So if you anticipate your business expenses to be $19,000+ annually, the Capital One Spark Cash for Business card will be more lucrative for you to keep and use year after year.

But if you won’t be spending that much, the smaller cash back rate of the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business card will still be more profitable, because you’re not paying an annual fee.

2.   Could Category Spending Bonuses Be Valuable to You?

You might be in love with the idea of earning a solid 1.5% cash back on every purchase because it gives you less to think about.  But could you earn more by having a card that had a bonus of 5% cash back for certain purchases?  How much more would you need to earn to make it worth your while?

Here’s an example:   The Ink Business Cash earns 5% cash back on the first $25,000 of combined purchases (1% after that) from office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services.

If your business spends a lot on those kinds of purchases, you’d do VERY well with this card.  From the extra 3.5% back you’d earn in these category bonuses (5% back with Ink Business Cash – 1.5% back with the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business), you’d be banking up to a whopping $875 ($25,000 X 3.5%) more per year if you spent a full $25,000!

Capital One Spark Cash Select Review
Some Business Cards Have Lucrative Bonus Categories, Like Office Supply Store Purchases

The SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express also earns 5% cash back on purchases from US office supply stores and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from US service providers and US office supply stores up to $50,000, then 1% thereafter.  It doesn’t currently have a welcome bonus (although it has in the past).

But with this card, you’ll get the bonus on up to $50,000 of purchases (double the limit of the Ink Business Cash) annually, and then 1% thereafter.  If you spent the full $50,000 on those bonus categories, you’d earn $2,500 cash back ($50,000 X 5% back).  If you had used the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business! for $50,000 in purchases, you’d only earn $750 cash back ($50,000 X 1.5% back).  That’s a difference of $1,750!

However, if you’re not going to spend a LOT on office supplies or internet service, you’re probably better skipping the bonus categories and earning a higher rate for all your spending.

For example, my parents own a cabinet shop, and very few of their vendors fall into a category that typically earns a spending bonus (still waiting for the card with 5% cash back on plywood purchases).  So getting a cash back card with a flat rewards rate on all purchases makes more sense for their business.

Watch Out for the Capital One Credit Pulls!

When you apply for a credit card, most of the major banks will pull from 1 credit reporting agency to check your credit score.  But Capital One will pull from all 3 main credit bureaus!  This will have a bigger negative (albeit temporary) effect on your credit score.

Capital One Spark Cash Select Review
Your Credit Score Is Always Affected When Banks Hard Pull Your Credit. But It’s Very Temporary

But if you’re consistently paying off your balance on time and in full each month, your credit score will bounce back.  However, if you’re looking to get a personal travel rewards card (in addition to your business card), this could limit your approval chances with other banks.  For example, Barclays has been known to deny folks for certain cards if they have too many new credit card accounts.  And the same goes for Chase and their “5/24” rule.

And just to be clear, having a pull on 3 different credit reports will not count as 3 new accounts – it’s still just a single new credit card.  So it’s not a huge deal, especially if you’ve only opened 1 or 2 cards in the past 24 months.

It’s Easier to Qualify for a Small Business Card Than You Realize!

Link:   How to Qualify for a Small Business Card

You don’t need to own a large retail store or be the founder of a popular iPhone app to qualify for a business card.  Lots of side hustles, freelance gigs, and independent contractor jobs will qualify you, as well!

You don’t even need to be making a full-time income.  It could be something you do to earn a little cash on the side, like reselling sewing machines online or selling your arts and crafts on Etsy.  You just need to be doing (legal) activity for a profit.

If you are a sole proprietor (own and operate the business by yourself), you aren’t required to have a business EIN (Employer Identification Number) to apply for a business card.  You can just use your social security number on the application.  And in most circumstances, sole proprietors can use their own name as their legal business name on the application!

Capital One Spark Cash Select Review
Earning Cash on the Side for Something You’re Passionate About, Like Photography, Is a Great Way to Qualify for a Small Business Card!

And don’t forget, you are not required to have a pre-existing business banking relationship to qualify for a small business card.  In the past, I was told by a banker I couldn’t apply for a business card without a business account with them.  But I eventually was approved for the card after talking with a different (better informed) employee of the bank.

Bottom Line

The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business card comes with a $200 cash bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.  And it earns a healthy 1.5% cash back on every purchase!  The card also has NO annual fee.

The Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business card is a good fit for you if:

Otherwise, I recommend you apply for the Chase Ink Business Cash card, which also has no annual fee and a higher sign-up bonus.  Or, you could get the Capital One Spark Cash for Business card, which earns cash back at a rate 0.5% higher, and has a bigger sign-up bonus.

The Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business is a small business card, so you’ll need to have some sort of for-profit venture to qualify.  But qualifying and applying for a small business card is easier than you might realize.  You don’t need a full-time business.  If you’re a sole proprietor, you’ll most likely be able to use your social security number as your business tax ID.

Do you have this card?  Let me know how you like it in the comments.

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Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

  • Earning unlimited 1.5% cash back could mean thousands of dollars each year going back into your business
  • Plus, a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Save on interest with 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 14.74% - 22.74% variable APR after that
  • No annual fee
  • Use Spark Cash Select across all your business spend, with no categories to limit your purchasing
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
  • Get employee cards at no additional cost, and earn rewards from their business spend

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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