Capital One offer several good cards designed for small business use. The Spark Miles Select for Business card is one of our favorites. It’s a free card with good reward rates and spending options. This article looks at the card benefits and how you can benefit as a business user.
Card basics – no annual fee and 0% APR offer
The Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business Credit Card is free to use – there is no annual fee. As you will see, this is an excellent deal for a card with great benefits. It is therefore free to try out and make sure it works for your business!
Standard APR for the card is between 15.24 per cent and 23.24 per cent. There is also an excellent introductory offer of zero per cent on purchases for the first ninth months of card ownership. This can be a great deal for a business planning initial large purchases, to then pay off over the nine months.
As this is a business focused card, it is free to add additional company cardholders, with individually set limits. All spending by additional cardholders will earn the same rewards and benefits.
Great rewards earning rate – 1.5 Venture Miles for all spending
One of the highlights of the Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business is its reward rate. All spending on the card will earn 1.5 Venture Miles per dollar spent. This is a great rate for a fee-free card!
The rate is the same for all types of spending – there are no different rates for certain categories. We like this simple approach. Whilst other cards offer higher rates for some areas, they will then typically offer a lower rate for other general spending. And you need to make sure you will continue to spend in these bonus categories when assessing the value of the card. Flat, high rate earning makes a lot of sense for businesses.
Sign up bonus worth at least $200
As with many cards, the Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business offers a sign up bonus for eligible new cardholders. This is 20,000 Venture Miles for spending $3,000 within the first three months. 20,000 Venture Miles are worth $200 if spent on travel with the card, and potentially more if transferred to airline partners.
This is a good offer for a free card, obviously not as high as some of the bonus offered for paid cards, but an easy to reach target for combined business spending.
No fees for using the card overseas
The Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business makes a good card for business travel expenses. Critical for this, in our opinion, is the offer of no foreign exchange transaction fees. This applies to all purchases overseas, or online and billed in a foreign currency. It does not though (in line with most other cards) apply to ATM cash withdrawals.
Note as well that the earnings rate of 1.5 Venture Miles per dollar applies to all spending in the US and overseas. And with no fees, you can easily build up miles when you travel!
Redeeming Venture Miles – flexible options
We really like that the Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business rewards spending with Venture Miles and not just with cashback. Whilst cashback, of course, is much simpler to use, miles earning brings more flexibility and potentially more value.
The main options for spending your business earned Venture Miles are:
- Converting to cashback. This option offers the lowest miles value, at 0.5 cents per mile. In general, we advise to avoid this and get double value by using miles for travel. However, it remains a useful option to have if you can’t use your miles for travel or want to use the cash rebate for the business.
- Booking travel at a rate of one cent per mile. This can either be booked through Capital One travel portal or by ‘erasing’ any previous (within the past 90 days) travel purchase made with the card. The option to erase is more flexible – allowing you to offset any travel purchase however made.
- Transferring miles to an airline partner. There are currently 15 partners available for transfer, and transferred miles can then be used for flight awards through their own loyalty program. The value here varies depending on flights choices but can work out very well if used right.
Get the best value when using Venture Miles for airline tickets
Often the best way to get the most value from Venture Miles is to opt for airline mileage program transfers and then book flight awards with those airlines or their partners. These could be of course for use within the business or for personal travel.
The current list of possible programs to transfer to is as follows:
- Aeromexico Club Premier
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Air France / KLM Flying Blue
- Alitalia MileMiglia
- Avianca LifeMiles
- Emirates Skywards
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Finnair Plus
- Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Etihad Guest
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
- Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club
- Qantas Club
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club
Most transfers are at a rate of 2:1.5 (so 10,000 Venture Miles would transfer to 7,500 airline miles). Exceptions to this include Emirates Skywards and Singapore KrisFlyer (both transfer at 2:1). This is one of the few drawbacks of the Venture Miles scheme – transferring at a lower rate than 1:1. Anyone used to cards earning Chase Ultimate Rewards knows they transfer to all partners at a 1:1 rate.
There are plenty of options however to get great value from such transfers See our guide for plenty of ideas of some of the best options and the most value you can get.
Some of our favorite options include using for premium cabins tickets, for international flights in expensive locations (such as Asia and South America), or for usually expensive last minute short domestic flights.
Card protection and management – useful for multiple company cards
The Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business Credit Card offers zero fraud liability for card misuse- you won’t be responsible for any spending on any of the account cards which are lost or stolen. You will also receive fraud alerts if suspicious activity or unexpected charges are detected on any card.
In addition, there are simple and effective card management tools. Many card providers offer these, but they are especially useful when managing multiple cards and users. The Capital One Mobile app allows management of all cards and spending, and an easy way to instantly lock any card that has been lost or misplaced.
Free Collision Damage Waiver when you rent cars
All cardholders will receive free Collision Damage Waiver cover when paying for car rental with the card. This applies to rentals both in the US and overseas and will cover theft and damage to most vehicles.
Having this cover allows you to decline any such additional cover from the rental company – a great money-saving benefit. In addition, if the rental is for business purposes then the cover offered is primary cover – applying before any other insurance in place (for personal rentals it is secondary cover).
Travel cover for all cardholders
The Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business provides some level of travel protection for all travel booked by cardholders with their card. This is not as extensive as personal cover offered by some other cards, but is still a useful business benefit that can offer some financial protection when traveling.
- Travel accident insurance is included which offers cover for injury with your main transport carrier.
- Luggage insurance will cover loss or damage to luggage when traveling, up to a limit of $3,000.
Included protection for purchases
Further automatic benefits provided by the Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business relate to purchases made by all cardholders. This can be extremely valuable if using the card for expensive business related purchases.
The following are covered:
- Purchase security. All purchases with the card are covered for theft or damage for 90 days from date of purchase. This is up to a limit of $10,000 per item – a high value good for business expenses.
- Extended warranty. Any purchases with the card that come with a US manufacturer warranty of three years of less are eligible for free warranty extension. This will double the original warranty, providing up to an extra year of cover.
Don’t forget the Capital One Spark Miles card
Capital One offers several cards for the small business. Whilst the Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business Credit Card is a great card with its high earning for no annual fee, it might not suit you so well if your business has higher spending.
The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business is a very similar card, with mostly equivalent benefits. However, it has an annual fee of $95 but offers a higher earnings rate of two Venture Miles per dollar. If you are spending upwards of around $20,000 on the card per year this would certainly make a sensible switch.
For a card with no annual fee, the Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business has a lot to offer. It’s a great choice for the small to medium sized business, with a simple but high earnings rate for all purchases. We like too that rewards are with the Venture Miles program, giving much more choice and redemption value than a pure cashback earning card.
It works well for business travel as well. There are no foreign exchange fees, and good business focused travel and car insurance inclusions. The option to use rewards for high-value airline tickets is a real benefit too.
The Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business would be a great first choice for a business credit card. If you have much higher spending though you may do better with the higher reward rates offered by the annual fee based Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business.
And if you want a more personal (rather than business) focused card, with excellent individual travel benefits, take a look at the Capital One Venture Rewards or VentureOne cards.