Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business Review

The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business credit card, also known as the Spark 2X Miles card, is great if you travel internationally for business.

You can take advantage of Capital One’s attractive transfer policy with international air carriers like Emirates, Cathay Pacific, and British Airways.

It’s also an appealing card if you frequently fly through Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, and the Washington metro area, where Capital One has airport lounges.

But there may be better options out there if your business travel is mostly domestic.

Quick Facts: Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

  • Rewards rate: 5x miles for hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; unlimited 2x miles on everything else
  • Welcome offer: 50,000 bonus miles when you spend at least $4,500 in the first three months
  • Annual fee: $0 for the first year; $95 after that

. . .

Overview of the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business card is a relatively low-risk credit card to try out, given that it doesn’t charge an annual fee in its first year. Plus, it has an attainable welcome offer that only requires you to spend $4,500 in three months. 

The card also has an easy points-earning structure of unlimited 2x points on everything, with a bonus rate of 5x miles on hotels and rental cars when you book them through Capital One Travel. If you don’t want to keep track of specific bonus categories, this might be appealing.

Pros

  • High base earn rate on every purchase
  • Potentially high redemption values when you transfer miles to partner loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Annual fee after the first year
  • No extra miles for common business purchases, like shipping, advertising, or gas
  • Geographically limited lounge access
  • Limited travel insurance for a card with an annual fee

Welcome Offer

If you use your card to make at least $4,500 in purchases in the first three months after opening your account, you’ll be rewarded with 50,000 Capital One miles. 

Those miles are worth $500 — more than five times the card’s annual fee — when redeemed for a travel purchase. Or they can potentially be worth far more than $500 if you transfer the miles to a partner loyalty program and use the converted points to buy, for instance, a roundtrip, long-haul flight.

Learn more about the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business.

Earning Capital One Miles With the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

You’ll earn 2 Capital One miles for every $1 in purchases you make with the Capital One Spark Miles for Business. That’s a good base earning rate if your business has diverse expenses.

Hotel and rental car purchases made through Capital One Travel earn 5 miles per $1 spent. 

However, the card has no other purchase categories that earn miles at an accelerated rate, which isn’t ideal if your business has heavy expenses in categories like advertising or shipping.

Redeeming Capital One Miles

Capital One miles can be redeemed in a variety of ways, and some redemption paths give you greater value for your miles than others.

Independently booked travel

If you make a purchase directly from a travel or transit company and then apply your miles for a statement credit within 90 days of the purchase, you’ll get $1 back for 100 miles, which works out to $0.01 per mile. 

Qualifying travel purchases include flights, hotels, train and bus tickets, rental cars, cruises, taxis, and timeshares. 

Capital One Travel 

Capital One’s travel platform allows you to book travel from 200+ airlines, over two million hotels, and almost 200 rental car companies. 

The value per mile that you get when booking with Capital One Travel is the same that you get when booking independently and using miles for a statement credit later, at $0.01 per mile. 

But booking with Capital One Travel does have some advantages. For instance, you can request a price match from Capital One if you find your travel itinerary listed at a lower price on another website within 24 hours after you book. 

You can also hold a ticket price (“Price Freeze”) while you decide if you’d like to buy it, and you can get up to $50 in travel credit if a flight’s price drops within 10 days after you book it. 

Capital One Entertainment

Miles can be used for tickets to sports events, concerts, culinary experiences, and more. Per-mile redemption values may vary significantly from one event to the next.

Cash and gift card redemptions

Every 1,000 miles redeemed for a non-travel purchase made with your card will give you a statement credit of only $5, which works out to a low redemption value of $0.005 per mile. 

You can also redeem miles for gift cards to retailers, restaurants, gas stations, and grocery stores, but these usually result in low value for your miles as well.

Learn more about the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business.

Capital One miles transfer partners

Capital One miles transfer to the below travel loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio, unless otherwise noted. All programs require a minimum of 1,000 Capital One miles to transfer. 

  • Aeromexico Rewards
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue
  • ALL Accor Live Limitless (2:1 transfer ratio)
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • British Airways Executive Club (Avios)
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Choice Hotels Choice Privileges
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands (2:1.5 transfer ratio)
  • Finnair Plus
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • TAP Air Portugal TAP Miles&Go
  • Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
  • Virgin Red
  • Wyndham Rewards

If you mostly travel within the United States for business, note that most of the above loyalty programs are based overseas and offer more opportunities for international rather than domestic travel. 

But if you do use one or more of the above companies, in some circumstances you can get better value for your miles by transferring them and redeeming for a good flight or hotel deal.

For instance, if you need to fly from San Francisco to Hong Kong, you can convert 54,000 Capital One miles into Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles at a 1:1 ratio. You could then use those Asia Miles to book a roundtrip economy flight in January that would normally cost about $1,600 in cash or 160,000 Capital One miles. 

That means you’re getting about $0.03 per mile, which indisputably makes you a travel points boss.

But not all conversions will be as lucrative. For example, a roundtrip Emirates flight from New York to Dubai in February normally costs a reasonable $940 in cash. But booking it as a rewards flight with Emirates costs an astronomical 125,000 Emirates Skyward Miles plus $451, which yields a paltry value of about $0.004 per mile. 

In that circumstance, you’re better off leaving your miles with Capital One and instead using them to book the trip through Capital One Travel for a value of $0.01 each. 

READ MORE: How To Maximize Credit Card Rewards

Spark Business Card Benefits

The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business has a decent collection of benefits beyond its welcome bonus and rewards for purchases.

Capital One Lounge access

You’ll get two annual passes to Capital One airport lounges, which is a $130 value. 

Passes can be used by cardholders, their authorized users, or their travel buddies, and additional annual visits beyond the first two can be purchased at a discounted rate of $45 each.

Lounge amenities include high-speed wifi, relaxation rooms, and dine-in or to-go grub. But keep in mind that Capital One only has three lounges so far, located in Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport, Denver International Airport, and Washington D.C.’s Dulles International Airport.

Rental car insurance

If you pay for a rental car with your Capital One Spark Miles for Business, you’ll get up to 31 consecutive days of rental car insurance. 

The insurance covers:

  • Damage to a car from a collision (up to the actual cost of repair)
  • Towing fees
  • Loss of use fees charged by the agency (up to $500 per incident)
  • Damage to personal effects held in the car (up to $1,000 per covered person and $2,000 total)

Coverage only applies if the rental is primarily for business purposes and you decline the rental company’s collision/damage waiver. 

READ MORE: Credit Card Rental Car Insurance: What You Need to Know

Purchase protection

If a new item is stolen or damaged within 90 days after you purchased it with your card, you can be reimbursed for up to $10,000 per loss and $50,000 per account annually. 

The $10K limit per claim is very high as credit card purchase protection goes. 

READ MORE: Credit Card Purchase Protection: What You Need to Know

Extended warranty

If an item you purchased with the card has a U.S. manufacturer’s warranty of 12 months or less, its warranty period will be doubled. This extended warranty protection is limited to $10,000 per claim.

Although not all business credit cards include an extended warranty feature, and any extended warranty protection is better than none, this card’s 12-month cap on applicable warranties is rather limiting.

READ MORE: Credit Card Extended Warranty Benefit: Everything You Need to Know

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit

Membership with Global Entry or TSA PreCheck can speed up your time at border control and security checkpoints at U.S. airports. 

You’ll get up to a $100 statement credit if you use your Spark Miles card to pay the $100 Global Entry application fee or the TSA PreCheck fee, which costs up to $85. That credit is renewable once every four years. 

Business-friendly perks

Running a business and reporting its expenses is made easier with some of the Capital One Spark Miles for Business card’s features, including:

  • Autopay to ensure you don’t miss a bill and damage your business’s credit
  • Itemized year-end spending summaries to make tax time easier
  • Purchase records that download into Quicken, QuickBooks, and Excel files 
  • Free employee cards with customizable spending limits

Learn more about the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business.

What We Like About the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Our favorite thing about the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business is how flexible it is. Since you can transfer your miles to over a dozen different travel loyalty programs, you’re not tied to one particular program, like with most airline-branded business cards.

Plus, the benefits that come with booking through Capital One Travel, like price matching and price freezing, are pretty fantastic and let you shop around to get the best deal.

We also really like that this card has a low annual fee (waived in the first year), especially since some of the perks it offers, like a credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry and lounge access, tend to only be offered on credit cards with high fees.

READ MORE: TSA PreCheck® vs. Global Entry: Which Is Better?

What We Dislike About the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Since the Spark Miles business credit card is primarily a travel rewards card, we’d prefer it to have a few more travel benefits, like baggage delay and trip cancellation insurance

Also, your lounge access is limited to Capital One Lounges, which are only located in three U.S. airports — which doesn’t quite match up with the loyalty transfer partners mostly being international.

Who Should Get the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business?

The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business is best suited to businesses with a wide range of expenses, rather than one primary category (since it’s just a flat earning rate on everything, so you can’t earn extra points on, say, shipping or construction services).

Also, if you frequently fly through Dallas, Denver, or Washington D.C., you can take advantage of the Capital One Lounge access that comes with this card.

Finally, since the annual fee is reasonable (and waived in the first year) and the welcome bonus is easier to reach than with more premium business cards, the Spark Miles may suit you if your business has a lower revenue. 

Who Shouldn’t Get the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business?

If most of your travel is domestic, the Spark Miles business credit card probably isn’t the best card for you, since you can’t take full advantage of all its international travel partners. (However, if you frequently use the lounge access in Dallas, Denver, or Washington D.C., that perk may make up for it.)

You also might not want this card if you have high revenue and can justify the higher fee or higher welcome offer requirements of a more premium business card.

Similarly, if your business tends to spend in one category more than another, you may want to find a credit card that specifically rewards you for that category with a points boost.

Alternatives to the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

The Spark Miles business credit card might be a great fit if you travel internationally for your small business and your expense sheet runs the gamut of purchase categories. 

But there are other cards to consider applying for if most of your business travel is within the U.S. and/or your business has unevenly distributed expenses.

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business vs. Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

  • Rewards rate: 3x points on every dollar spent on shipping, advertising with social media and search engines, internet, cable, phone, and travel — up to the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases in these categories; 1x per dollar spent everywhere else
  • Welcome offer: Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • Annual fee: $95
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

. . .

The Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card has a lower base earn rate than the Spark Miles business credit card, at one point per $1 spent. 

But it earns three points per $1 for spending in special business-oriented categories: travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone, and social media and search engine advertising. If your business’s expenditures are weighted in these categories, it makes sense to go with the Ink Business Preferred.

Like Capital One miles, points earned from the Ink Business Preferred card can be transferred to partner loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio. But unlike with Capital One, these partners include the programs of major U.S. air carriers, like United and Southwest. 

And it comes with some travel benefits that the Spark Miles for Business card doesn’t offer, like trip cancellation/interruption insurance. 

Learn more about the Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business vs. IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

  • Rewards rate: 10x points at IHG properties; 5x points on travel, non-IHG hotels, gas stations, dining, social media and search engine advertising, and office supply stores; 3x points on everything else
  • Welcome offer: Earn up to 140,000 points if you spend $4,000 within the first 3 months
  • Annual fee: $99

. . .

If a lot of your business travel budget is allocated toward hotel stays, the IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card is worth looking into. 

It earns a jaw-dropping 26 points per $1 spent at participating IHG properties (like Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza) and an impressive 5 points per $1 spent on dining, social media and search engine advertising, office supplies, gas, and non-IHG property travel purchases. 

The card also comes with some valuable perks like a free annual hotel night.

That said, while IHG points usually have decent value when redeemed for hotel stays, they can’t be redeemed for card statement credits of any kind. And they convert at a disappointing 5:1 ratio when transferred to other loyalty programs.

Learn more about the IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card or read our full review.

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business vs. Bank of America Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard®

  • Rewards rate: 1.5 points per $1 spent
  • Welcome offer: Earn 30,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days
  • Annual fee: $0

. . .

Trying to keep your business expenses to an absolute minimum? There are business credit cards out there that offer a respectable amount of rewards for no annual fee. 

Bank of America’s Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard earns 1.5 points for every dollar spent, and it offers an impressive travel insurance package for a no-annual-fee card.

The card is particularly beneficial if you’re interested in getting a Bank of America business checking account. An average daily balance of $20,000 or more in that checking account gives you a slew of extra privileges, including the chance to earn 25% to 75% more points on each purchase. The number of extra points you earn scales with your balance level.

FAQs

Do Capital One miles expire?

Capital One miles don’t expire if you keep your card open and in good standing. But your miles will be forfeited if you close your account prior to redeeming them or if you violate the terms of your cardholder agreement.

What is the value of Capital One miles?

The value of Capital One miles ranges anywhere from $0.005 per mile to $0.01 or more, depending on how you redeem them. 

For example, travel generally comes in around 1 cent per mile, although you can use Capital One’s transfer partners to maximize your points and get even more value — even as much as 3 cents per mile. 

Generally, non-travel redemptions (like cash or gift cards) works out to about 0.5 cents per mile.

The Bottom Line

The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business is a solid card option for businesses that don’t spend in any particular category, that travel internationally (or pass through domestic hubs that have Capital One Lounge access), and that have modest revenue and/or want to keep expenses like annual fees down.

Otherwise, if most of your travel is domestic or if you have a high-earning business, you may be able to justify the cost of a more premium card instead.


Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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I'm an award-winning lawyer and personal finance expert featured in Inc. Magazine, CNBC, the Today Show, Business Insider and more. My mission is to make personal finance accessible for everyone. As the largest financial influencer in the world, I'm connected to a community of over 20 million followers across TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. I'm also the host of the podcast Erika Taught Me. You might recognize me from my viral tagline, "I read the fine print so you don't have to!"

I'm a graduate of Georgetown Law, where I founded the Georgetown Law Entrepreneurship Club, and the University of Notre Dame. I discovered my passion for personal finance after realizing I was drowning in over $200,000 of student debt and needed to take action-ultimately paying off my student loans in under 2 years. I then spent years as a corporate lawyer representing Fortune 500 companies, but I quit because I realized I wanted to have an impact; I wanted to help real people and teach them that you can create a financial future for yourself.

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Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.