Review: Capital One Spark Miles Vs. Capital One Spark Miles Select

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Review: Capital One Spark Miles Vs. Capital One Spark Miles Select

Million Mile SecretsReview: Capital One Spark Miles Vs. Capital One Spark Miles SelectMillion Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.

If you’re a fan of Capital One Venture cards, you’ll probably like Capital One Spark Miles cards, too!

Capital One Spark Miles cards earn flexible miles that you can use on nearly any travel purchase, like flights, hotels, rental cars, and Lyft.

The Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business comes with 20,000 Spark miles (worth $200 in travel) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.  And the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business card offers 50,000 Spark miles (worth $500 in travel) after spending $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months.

Capital One Spark Miles Card Review
Use Capital One Spark Miles for a Free Tour of the Eiffel Tower

Here’s what you need to know about these cards!

Review of Capital One Spark Cards

The Capital One Spark Miles and Capital One Spark Miles Select are very similar to the Capital One Venture cards.  They earn flexible miles you can redeem for a wide variety of travel, like flights, hotels, cruises, Uber, and much more!

As long as your purchase is travel related, you can likely use Capital One Spark Miles towards the expense!

The big difference between Capital One’s Spark and Venture cards is that Spark is for small businesses.  So to be eligible for these cards, you’ll need a for-profit venture, such as tutoring, coaching, or selling items on eBay.  If you’re making money, you have a small business!

Capital One Spark Miles Card Review
You May Have a Small Business Without Realizing It! If You Provide a For-Profit Service Like Coaching, Writing, or Selling Items on Etsy, You May Qualify for a Small Business Credit Card

Note:   Capital One small business cards DO show up on your personal credit report.  So they will count against the Chase “5/24 Rule.”

Both cards require “excellent credit” to be approved  According to Capital One, excellent credit means:

  • You’ve never declared bankruptcy or defaulted on a loan
  • You’ve not been more than 60 days late on a loan in the past year
  • You’ve had a loan or credit card for 3+ years with a credit limit of $5,000+

Here’s what you’ll get with these cards!

1.   Capital One Spark Miles

Link:   Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

The Capital One Spark Miles comes with 50,000 Spark miles (worth $500 in travel) after spending $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months.

You’ll get:

  • 2X Spark miles per $1 you spend on all purchases
  • NO foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee, waived the first year
Capital One Spark Miles Card Review
50,000 Spark MIles Is Enough for a September Stay at the New Park Hyatt Mallorca in Spain!

2.   Capital One Spark Miles Select

Link:   Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business

The Capital One Spark Miles Select comes with 20,000 Spark miles (worth $200 in travel) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.

You’ll get:

  • 1.5 Spark miles per $1 you spend on all purchases
  • NO foreign transaction fees
  • NO annual fee

This bonus is the same as the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, but with a $2,000 higher minimum spending requirement.  There aren’t many cards with no annual fee that offer a bonus this big!

These cards also come with Visa Business Card benefits, like:

  • Rental car insurance – Primary protection if the car is being used for business purposes; secondary protection if for personal use.  Covers collision, theft, and towing cost
  • Purchase security and extended protection – Covers eligible purchases from theft or damage for 90 days after purchase (up to $10,000 per claim).  Extends qualifying manufacturer’s warranties by up to 1 year
  • Visa Savings Edge – Enroll your card and automatically save up to 15% when you shop at participating merchants
Capital One Spark Miles Card Review
These Are Good Cards for Travel Abroad Because They Don’t Add Foreign Transaction Fees

How to Redeem Spark Miles

Spark miles are worth 1 cent each.  You can use your miles as a credit towards nearly any travel purchase you make on your card, such as airfare, Airbnb, seat upgrades, baggage fees, and much more!

To redeem your Spark miles for travel, just buy travel like you normally would with your card.  Then, you have 90 days to sign-in to your online account, find the travel purchase, and “erase” it with your miles!

These cards have NO minimum redemption increment.  So if you want to redeem for a $24 ticket to the 9/11 Museum, you can!

The only exception is if you’re using miles to partially pay for a travel purchase.  In that case, the minimum is 2,500 miles ($25).

Capital One also has an online portal similar to the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal called No Hassle Rewards.  Through this site, you can book travel with your miles instead of purchasing your travel and erasing it later.  If you use the portal, there is no minimum miles requirement to book.

Whether you choose to redeem your Spark miles through the No Hassle Rewards portal or by erasing your purchase later, you’ll still get a value of 1 cent per point.

Are These Cards Right for You?

If you’re just beginning in miles & points, these are NOT good cards for you.  There are other credit cards with higher sign-up bonuses that earn more valuable points and have MUCH better travel benefits.

Capital One Spark Miles Card Review
Some Chase Cards Come With Amazing Travel Benefits You Will NOT Find With the Capital One Spark Cards – Like Airport Lounge Access!

Opening these cards could decrease your chances of being approved for Chase cards later on.  That’s because if you’ve opened 5+ cards in the past 24 months (with the exception of certain small business cards), Chase will NOT approve you for many of their cards (though there are some exceptions).

But if you already have all the Chase cards you want, these could be a fit for you!

Just remember, Capital One pulls your credit score from all 3 main credit bureaus.  So applying will give you hard inquiries on your report!

Hard inquiries cause your credit score to temporarily dip.  And too many hard inquiries can make it harder to be approved for future credit cards and other loans.

Note:    While these cards have nice sign-up bonuses, their earning rates aren’t great.  Compare the Capital One Spark Miles cards to these no-annual-fee cash back cards with similar earning rates before you apply.

Bottom Line

The Capital One Spark Miles and Capital One Spark Miles Select are great for small business owners who like flexibility in redeeming for travel.  You can redeem your points for nearly anything travel related!

The Capital One Spark Miles Select comes with 20,000 Spark miles (worth $200 in travel) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.  And the Capital One Spark Miles card offers 50,000 Spark miles (worth $500 in travel) after spending $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months.  Both cards have NO foreign transaction fees, so they’re good cards to use overseas.

These cards earn effectively 1.5% to 2% back on all purchases.  So compare them to these cash back cards with similar earning rates before you apply!

Remember, these are NOT good cards to apply for if you’re just beginning your miles & points career.  Because there are other better travel rewards cards you should apply for first.

What are your thoughts on the Capital One Spark cards?

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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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Wow, reading this post makes me sad. This is a terrible card. Essentially 2% cash-back … but it has an annual fee for that?

Fine to get this card just for the opening bonus, but clearly one that anyone who knows anything at all about travel rewards cards should dump after a year.

Well, actually, you even have to be careful getting this card just for the opening bonus, since Capital One annoyingly puts business cards on your personal credit report, so it impacts 5/24 :/

Another way of evaluating the Capital One Spark cards:

green = cash; blue = miles (can also redeem for gift cards; statement credits are .5 cpp.)

If opened online, the cards earn 1.5% for no annual fee, or 2 point per $ charged for a $59 annual fee (first year fee is waived)

If opened in a branch, the 2% card has no annual fee. YMMV on the bonus points.

Hi, I really like your site. Thanks for all the info. I have been wanted to ask this for a while….why do I hardly hear mention of the Cap One Venture/Spark cards? I always thought they must not commission you guys much for signups (seriously, no offense!) because I haven’t really found a better card. A small fee per year, $59? No international fees as we travel often. 2% on EVERYTHING, and maybe best of all, you do not have to go through their portal to book travel! I can not find a better card, but let me also quickly explain my situation…maybe there is something I am missing. I use the card for business purchases and put about $90k per month on it. So the 2% is awesome and I average $1800 per month. I really don’t care about 3% or 5% back on gas….my wife and I spend maybe a couple of hundred on gas. A higher percent for restaurants or any other little charges just don’t compare to 2% on everything. So I suppose I am unique. But again I stress how nice it is to not use a travel portal. I have the AMX Platinum card (don’t get me started on how I can’t get my family of four into the Centurion Lounge anymore!) but I have been in their travel portal and I can ALWAYS beat the prices on a site of my own choosing, whether it is discount site, a coupon code or whatever. In fact, we just tried to book some airfare to take advantage of the 50% points back before it ended and the AMX rep said she could not even book Spirit Air….Huh? I suppose the only negative to the Cap One cards are that the points really are only for travel, but I actually like that. Our family cherishes travel and it almost forces us to use it for that…not that we need the push, but it becomes our automatic travel savings plan. And in my case builds quickly! I LOVE my Spark card. I don’t play the “points game”, by signing us for tons of cards, we have a Cap One for personal and one for business. Am I missing anything here?

I could not agree more. I spend a lot on my cards for biz (although not as much as you) and I am about to cancel my Amex Starwood card and replace it with this card. I am reluctant only because these sites do not seem to feature the card and they all seem to love the Chase Ultimate rewards cards. Why would I want to get 2.25% through a “portal” when this card will reimburse me for CASH spend on travel at 2%?