REVIEW: This could be our favorite card yet from Capital One
Capital One’s new Spark business credit card series replaces its previous business credit cards. There are six different Spark cards with various level of rewards and incentives. If your employees do a lot of spending on your behalf, you can have up to 25 employee credit cards linked to your Spark credit card account, and you receive an annual statement outlining all activity associated with your business card. Capital One also monitors Spark card transactions for fraudulent activity, and they will notify you if anything suspicious activity occurs. Another unique feature of the Spark business credit card is that you can custom design the cards with your company name or logo.
Spark Select has a 0 percent APR through August of 2012, and a 9.9 to 14.9 percent variable APR after that. Spark Select cardholders also earn one mile per dollar all purchases. Spark Cash Select and Spark Miles Select both require an excellent personal and business credit history. If you qualify, Spark Cash Select has a 0 percent APR through May 2012, 1 percent cash back on all purchases, a 50 percent bonus on the cash back you earn each year, and an APR of 14.9 percent to 19.9 percent. Spark Miles Select is essentially the same as Spark Cash Select, except that rather than 1 percent cash back, you earn 1 mile per dollar in charges. You even get the 50 percent bonus on miles.
Spark Cash provides the highest cash-back reward of all the Spark cards: 2 percent on all purchases. The trade-off for the higher cash reward is a higher interest rate (13.9 percent). Similarly, Spark Miles provides 2 miles per dollar for all purchases at a higher interest rate (13.9 percent). Both Spark Cash and Spark Miles have a $59 annual fee which is waived for the first year.
All of the Spark business credit cards are Visa business cards. Visa business cards include $0 fraud liability, which protects you from having to pay for any unauthorized or fraudulent charges. Visa business cards also include insurance for any rental cars charged to the card. Visa business also provides emergency services, such as card replacements, and 90 days of purchase protection.
The Spark credit card line, like many business credit cards, is designed to award you for purchases you already make. Rather than paying cash, you can charge your business purchases to your Spark card and receive cash back or miles. You also have the annual itemized summary, which can save time when preparing your business taxes each year.
Many business cards have rewards programs. Ink, Chase’s business credit card line, offers a card with cash back, a card that accumulates points, and a card that offers points and travel rewards. Unlike Spark’s cash rewards, which are the same no matter what you purchase, Chase’s cash rewards vary depending on what’s purchased. Chase Ink Cash offers 5 percent cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually on telecommunications, cable services, and office supplies, 2 percent on the first $25,000 spent annually on dining and gas, and 1 percent on all other purchases.
Another popular business credit card isn’t really a credit card at all. The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express works via a points system. As with many American Express cards, the balance must be paid in full each statement cycle. There is no annual fee the first year, but the annual fee is $175 each year after that. The Gold Rewards card offers triple points for airfare, double points for gas, shipping, and advertising and single points on all other purchases. The requirement to pay your balance in full each month may be difficult for some small business owners, making the Spark business card’s revolving credit a more appealing option.