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ByLorraine Roberte Contributing Writer

Lorraine Roberte is a South Florida-based personal finance writer. Her work has been published on sites such as Thrive Global, Elephant Journal, Red Tricycle and Tweak Your Biz.

Capital One Spark Miles for Business Review

Capital One’s Spark Miles for Business card offers a range of perks for frequent travelers, like 5X miles on hotel and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel, up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and no foreign transaction fees. It also gives business owners more chances to earn miles and saves them money by offering free employee cards. These benefits help balance out Capital One’s $95 annual fee — although the first year is free.

Applicants meeting Spark Miles for Business’ recommended “Excellent” credit level might be able to score better interest rates than the card’s 18.49% variable APR if they look elsewhere. But this is only an important consideration if your business tends to carry a balance from month to month. Otherwise, Capital One’s Spark Miles for Business is a stellar business card for those looking to earn miles.

Capital One Spark Miles for Business Overview

  • Rewards Rate: 5X miles on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel; unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Sign-Up Bonus: 50,000 miles after spending $4,500 in the first three months of account opening for a limited time
  • Annual Fee: $0 intro for the first year; $95 afterward
  • APR: 18.49% variable APR; no intro APR
  • Recommended Credit Level: Excellent
  • Additional Fees: N/A

Who Should Get Capital One Spark Miles for Business?

Best for: Travel-loving business owners who want to be highly rewarded for everyday purchases and travel bookings. And with free employee cards, it’s even easier to earn and then redeem miles with one of Capital One’s 15 travel partners or with Capital One Travel’s hotel, flight, and vacation offerings.

Not for: Interested users who wouldn’t be able to meet Capital One’s recommended “Excellent” credit level, such as those with little to no credit history or those who have declared bankruptcy or defaulted on a loan in the past. Consumers with an "exceptional score" are in the 800 to 850 range, according to Experian, a credit reporting company.

The Competition

  Capital One Spark Miles for Business Ink Business Preferred Credit Card Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card United Business Card
Rewards rate
5X miles on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel
2X miles on all other purchases
3X points for the first combined $150,000 spent in select categories
1X points for all other purchases
2X miles on Delta purchases
1X miles on everyday purchases
2X miles on purchases at United, gas stations, office supply stores, and restaurants
1X miles on all other purchases
Sign-up bonus
50,000 miles after spending $4,500 in the first three months of account opening 80,000 bonus points (equivalent to $1,000 in travel rewards on Chase Ultimate Rewards) after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases in the first three months of account opening, plus 10,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of card membership 100,000 bonus miles
after spending $10,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening
Annual fee
$0 intro for the first year, $95 after $95 $0 into for the first year, $99 after $99
APR
Variable 18.49% Variable 17.49%-22.49% Variable 17.24%-26.24% Variable 17.99%-24.99%
Other
No foreign transaction fees
Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
25% redemption bonus through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Free employee cards
20% in-flight savings on eligible Delta purchases in the form of statement credit
First checked bag free on Delta flights
Two United Club one-time passes per year ($100 value)
Priority boarding on United flights
View details View details View details View details

All information accurate as of February 7, 2020.

Main Benefits

High rewards rate

Capital One's 5X miles on hotel and rental car bookings through the Capital One Travel portal and 2X unlimited miles on all other purchases make the Spark Miles for Business card one of the best business credit cards to earn miles. Cards like the Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express only give 2X miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and 1X miles per eligible dollar spent on everyday purchases.

Variety of travel redemption options

Whether you want to use your miles on flights, hotels, and vacation packages booked through Capital One Travel or transfer them to one of Capital One's 15 travel partners, the choice is yours. Capital One's partners include airlines from around the world like Air France - KLM, Asia Miles, Emirates Skywards, and Alitalia.

Possible Drawbacks

Excellent credit required

Capital One recommends that applicants interested in obtaining a Spark Miles for Business credit card have an "Excellent" credit level. According to part of its guidelines, users should never have declared bankruptcy or have a loan default. They should also have at least a three-year history with another credit card or loan with a credit limit of $5,000 or more. But Capital One does consider additional factors from your application and credit history to determine approval.

High variable APR

At a variable 18.49%, Spark Miles for Business' APR is higher than the lowest variable APR offered by most business cards. It also doesn't allow those with above-average credit scores to get better APRs. Consumers looking for the best variable APR rates can look to Spark Miles for Business' sister card, Spark Miles Select for Business, which has variable APRs as low as 14.49% for those with "Excellent" credit profiles and as high as 22.49%.

Capital One Spark Miles for Business Compared to Chase Ink Business Preferred

One of the best features of Capital One's Spark Miles for Business card is its straightforward rewards system. Cardholders get five miles per dollar spent on hotel and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel and two miles per dollar spent on daily purchases. Each mile is worth one penny when redeemed for travel. However, those on the hunt to maximize their point earnings might find the Chase Ink Business Preferred card more rewarding.

With the Chase Ink Business Preferred card, cardholders earn 3X points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on shipping and travel purchases, phone, cable, and internet services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines. All other eligible purchases earn 1X points. Your points are also worth 25% more when you use Chase Ultimate Rewards to redeem them for travel.

Beyond the rewards differences, both cards are similar in that there are no foreign transaction fees and no additional costs for employee cards. Both cards also charge a $95 annual fee, although Capital One waives the fee the first year.

How to Earn Miles

Some of the best ways to earn miles with your Capital One Spark Miles for Business card include:

  • Fulfilling the welcome bonus offer: Many reward credit cards have welcome offers to get cardholders in the habit of using their credit card. Capital One is no exception. You can earn up to 50,000 miles when spending $4,500 in the first three months of opening your account.
  • Booking specific travel through Capital One: Capital One offers 5X miles per dollar spent on car rental and hotel bookings made with Capital One Travel.
  • Taking advantage of the free employee cards: Not only are employee cards free, but you keep all the rewards from purchases they make.

How to Redeem Miles

According to the Spark Miles for Business rate and fee information, there are three main ways to redeem your miles:

  1. Apply miles to past travel purchases using Purchase Eraser: Capital One gives you the option of booking travel on your Spark Miles for Business card using your favorite travel website, travel agent, or other travel resources. Then you can sign in to your account and use the Purchase Eraser feature in the Rewards Center page to redeem your miles and receive an account credit equal to the cost of your travel purchase.
  2. Book a new travel reservation through Capital One Travel: You can use your miles to pay directly for your travel purchase by using Capital One Travel. Each mile is worth one penny, so a $300 travel purchase is the equivalent of 30,000 miles. Cardholders can also transfer their miles to one of the 15 airline loyalty programs partnered with Capital One. It’s important to know that miles typically transfer at a lower rate than 1-to-1 to loyalty programs, so you may need more miles to complete your reservation. You can check Capital One Travel for current loyalty program transfer rates.
  3. Redeem for cash: Another way you can redeem your miles is as a check, account credit, gift card, and more. Check your rewards center for current redemption rates and offers.
Airline travel partners include:
  • Aeromexico
  • Air France – KLM
  • Air Canada
  • Alitalia
  • Asia Miles
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Airways
  • Eva Air
  • Finnair
  • Hainan Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Singapore Airlines

The Bottom Line

We recommend Capital One's Spark Miles for Business card if you have a strong credit profile and are looking to earn top miles on daily and Capital One Travel purchases. And because there aren't any foreign transaction fees and employee cards are free, you receive more from your business spending. Even with the card's $95 annual fee ($0 the first year) and 18.49% variable APR, it's still a great business credit card to have in your wallet.

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