bank rates

Business Credit Card Earns 2% Cash Back

The Spark line of cards from Capital One charges a $59 annual fee.Capital One recently launched a series of rewards credit cards called Spark that are aimed at small-business owners.

The cards come in two main rewards varieties, cash back or airline miles. Both carry a $59 annual fee, although it’s waived the first year.

Here’s a look at the credit card details:

APR 13.9% variable (prime rate of 3.25% plus 10.65%)
National Average APR 13.13% for business credit cards (source: CreditCards.com)
Annual Fee Free the first year, then $59.
Rewards Spark Cash: 2% cash back on all spending, plus opportunity to earn $150 in bonuses. Spark Miles: 2 miles per dollar, with ability to earn 15,000 bonus miles.
Verdict These cards carry better rewards and bonuses than comparable Capital One consumer cards and have lower APRs. However, that means you’ll have to have excellent credit to quality. Also, there are no balance transfer or foreign transaction fees.

Spark Cash gives you 2% cash back on every purchase. In addition, there’s a one-time $100 bonus once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months.

You can earn another $50 bonus for signing up one or more employees (or a spouse) within 60 days of opening an account.

Rewards don’t expire, there’s no limit on the amount of cash you can earn, no redemption tiers, no enrollment programs required to earn rewards and no alternating special earnings categories.

Spark Miles lets you earn double miles on every dollar you spend. You also get 10,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 on the card within the first three months and another 5,000 miles if you add another employee (or family member) to your account within the first 60 days.

You can redeem your miles for free flights on any airline with no blackout dates. There are no limits on the amount of miles you can earn, and your miles never expire.

Both cards have a low 13.9% variable APR. Capital One says you’ll need “excellent” credit to qualify.

If you have a small business, these cards have some attractive features, in addition to the rewards:

  • You can give your employees free cards and set spending limits and track their spending.
  • Online quarterly and year-end statements let you categorize expenses for budgeting and tax purposes.
  • You can personalize your cards with your business name and company logo or photo.
  • There are no foreign transaction or balance transfer fees.

One thing to remember: The rules that apply to consumer credit cards — specifically the Credit CARD Act of 2009 and the Truth in Lending Act — don’t apply to business cards.

That means the issuer doesn’t have to warn you when rates are changing, and it can change the rates on existing balances, among other things.

If you don’t want to pay an annual fee, there are several other varieties of Spark cards that are free. However, their rewards aren’t as generous.

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Comments (2)
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  1. boobear said:
    on November 30th at 09:06 am

    Wonder how long before the rates start going up without warning?

  2. Jason said:
    on December 1st at 10:35 am

    That part about tracking your employees’ spending is a little creepy.