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The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business credit card is one of CNN Underscored’s best credit cards of 2020, and the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business isn’t far behind. Both cards are great choices for large businesses who want to earn uncapped rewards by paying their everyday business expenses with a credit card.
While we’ve seen massive sign-up offers on these cards in the past, both cards currently come with smaller but still decent bonuses. They break down like this:
Capital One Spark Miles: Earn 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,500 in the first three months.
Capital One Spark Cash: Earn a $500 cash bonus when you spend $4,500 in the first three months.
What if you want one of these cards but don’t have a business? We’ll get to that in a moment. But first —
Which Spark card should you choose?
Either of these cards is a good fit for many businesses — choosing one or the other just depends on your needs. If you don’t travel often or aren’t interested in earning travel rewards, you’ll probably want to go with the Capital One Spark Cash. It earns 2% cash back on all purchases, which matches the earning rate on CNN Underscored’s benchmark credit card, the Citi® Double Cash Card. The Spark Cash comes with a $95 annual fee, but it’s waived for the first year, so you can get the card and try it out for 12 months to decide if it makes sense for your business.
On the other hand, if you do have travel expenses or want to earn miles toward a great vacation, you should choose the Capital One Spark Miles card. It earns 2 miles for every dollar you spend, plus an extra 3 miles for every dollar you spend on hotels or car rentals booked with the card through Capital One Travel, for a total of 5 miles per dollar on those purchases.
All those miles can be used to wipe away the cost of any travel purchases you make with the card by using the “Purchase Eraser” feature. You’ll get 1 cent in value for each mile when you redeem them that way.
That redemption rate means you’re basically earning at least 2 cents in rewards for every dollar you spend on the card, effectively the same as the Spark Cash. It also means that the 50,000-mile bonus is worth at least $500 in travel. However, where the Spark Miles card really differs from the Spark Cash is that the miles it earns can be transferred to 17 different airline partners, including airlines such as JetBlue, Air France and Singapore Airlines and hotels like Wyndham and Accor.
It takes some research and flexibility to really maximize mileage transfers, but if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you can end up with redemptions worth much more than the 1 cent per mile you’ll get when using the Purchase Eraser, which could make the 50,000-mile bonus worth even more than $500.
What if I don’t have a business?
The Spark cards are business credit cards and designed specifically for businesses, but that doesn’t mean you’re not eligible to get them just because you’re not a huge corporation. In fact, you might already have a business and not even know it. If you’re a rideshare driver, or you sell products online, or even if you just have a side hustle that you do in your spare time — basically, if you participate in the “gig economy” at all, you may very well have a business as a sole proprietor.
If so, you can legitimately apply for either of the Capital One Spark credit cards using your Social Security number instead of a company Employer Identification Number. And if your business is new, don’t let that dissuade you either — just be honest about your business and personal income on the application, and the fact that you’ve only been in business a short time.
Rewards on everyday spending, plus the bonus
Keep in mind that with either card, when you spend $4,500 to earn the sign-up bonus, you’ll also be earning either 2% cash back with the Spark Cash or at least 2 miles per dollar with the Spark Miles on that entire $4,500 in spending, meaning you’ll get an additional $90 in cash or 9,000 miles just from the regular earning rates on the cards. So when all is said and done, you’ll end up with $590 in cash back from the Spark Cash, or at least 59,000 miles from the Spark Miles.
So if you’ve been considering a business credit card and think either the Capital One Spark Miles or the Capital One Spark Cash might be right for you, make sure to grab one and start earning rewards for your everyday business expenses.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.