Advertiser Disclosure

Credit Cards, Reviews, Small Business

Capital One Spark Classic for Business Review: Unlimited Cash Back for Small Business Owners

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

The Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business is a good card for small business owners with average credit. This card has unlimited 1% Cash Back on every purchase and a $0 annual fee, making it a great way to earn rewards from everyday business purchases. If you’re a business owner who frequently travels abroad, there are also no foreign transaction fees, which can save you money compared to other cards.

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

APPLY NOW Secured

on Capital One’s website

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1% Cash Back on every purchase
Regular Purchase APR
24.49% (Variable)
Credit required
fair-credit
Average/Fair/Limited

How the card works

The Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business offers unlimited 1% Cash Back on every purchase; there are no changing categories to keep track of each quarter. To redeem cash back, you can request a statement credit or a check. You can also set up automatic redemption either at a set time each calendar year or when a specific threshold ($25, $50, $100, or $200) has been reached. This can be done online at capitalone.com or by contacting the Rewards Center. Cash back can also be redeemed for credits on previous purchases, gift cards, and more.

This card also offers credit-building tools that help you monitor your credit score. Frequently monitoring your credit score will allow you to build and strengthen credit for your business as long as you practice responsible credit behavior.

Capital One offers quarterly and year-end summaries of your spending that break down what you purchased. This simplifies planning, budgeting, and taxes. Your purchase records are also easily downloadable to multiple formats such as Quicken®, QuickBooks™ and Excel®, making accounting easier for your small business.

How to qualify

This is a small business credit card. But to qualify, Capital One will consider both you and your business. That means your personal credit score matters — and you need to have average credit to qualify. Capital One defines average credit as someone who has defaulted on a loan in the past five years or has limited credit history (having a credit card or other credit for less than three years). Your business will need to have an average credit score and an EIN. You will also need to provide details regarding your business’s revenue. Remember — even though this is a business credit card, you will be personally liable for any charges on the card — even if your business goes bankrupt.

What we like about the card

$0 annual fee

You won’t pay an annual fee with this card. Many small business rewards cards charge a fee, making this card unique.

No foreign transaction fees

There are no fees when you travel abroad and use this card. This is beneficial if you travel for business frequently or only on occasion, as you will avoid foreign transaction fees that most other cards have.

Unlimited cash back

This card offers unlimited 1% Cash Back on every purchase. There is no minimum amount to redeem cash back. This is a great way to earn rewards on your business purchases.

Free employee cards

Employee cards come at no additional cost. No longer do you have the hassle of reimbursing employees when they use personal cards. You will also earn rewards points from their purchases. Just remember — any spending by an employee on a small business card will be your personal liability.

You don’t need perfect credit

Capital One is willing to work with people and companies that have less than perfect credit.

What we don’t like about the card

High APR

There is a high APR for this card, 24.49% (Variable). Make sure that you pay all of your bills on time and in full in order to ensure you will not rack up debt. Keeping a balance on your card will defeat any cash back you earn.

Who the card is best for

The Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business is best for small business owners with average credit who want to earn rewards with minimal additional fees. We recommend this card for business owners who travel abroad and plan on having multiple employee cards, as you will not be charged any fees. With unlimited 1% Cash Back on every purchase and a $0 annual fee, this card is a great option for business owners.

Alternatives

If you frequently spend on gas

The Sam's Club® Business Mastercard® offers 5% worldwide, including gas at Sam’s Club (on first $6,000 per year, then 1% after), 3% on dining and travel, 1% on other purchases at Sam’s Club® and wherever Mastercard®  is accepted This is a great added bonus for business owners who frequently spend on gas. Keep in mind that there is a $5,000 cap on cash back rewards you can earn each calendar year. Once you hit this cap, you will not earn any more rewards that year.

The information related to Sam's Club® Business Mastercard® has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

If you need to finance a purchase

Owning a small business can be overwhelming, and at times, though not ideal, you may have to carry a balance on your credit card. If this is the case, The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express offers competitive interest rates and an introductory 0% for 12 Months offer on purchases and balance transfers, then 14.74% - 20.74% Variable APR. This can help you save money while you pay off your purchase. In addition, there are rewards points you can earn on purchases. Terms Apply. Keep in mind you need excellent credit to apply for this card.

The information related to The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

FAQ

No, cash back does not expire as long as your account remains open.

No, you can redeem your cash back for any amount, anytime.

You can get your cash back upon request in the form of a statement credit or a check. You can also set up automatic redemption either at a set time each calendar year or when a specific threshold ($25, $50, $100, or $200) has been reached. Just go online to capitalone.com or contact the Rewards Center. You can also redeem for credits for previous purchases, gift cards, and more.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Alexandria White
Alexandria White |

Alexandria White is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Alexandria at [email protected]

Advertiser Disclosure

Credit Cards

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card Woos Premium Customers

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Southwest Airlines has unveiled a new card it hopes will appeal to loyal flyers who want more oomph to the carrier’s current offerings. But overall, it’s a mixed bag when it comes to the new Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card.

The new card starts by offering new cardmembers a tempting new sign-up bonus: Earn up to 75,000 points. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn 35,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open. But it has the highest annual fee — $149 — of Southwest’s two other personal cards. Fortunately, the potential to earn a $75 statement credit will take the edge off that fee.

If you were hoping this card would come with an upgrade on points per $1 spent than existing ones, you’re going to be disappointed. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card has the same 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases It’s surprising that there was no change, especially since competitors like American Airlines and United Airlines have upped points per $1 spent and expanded the categories that offer it.

Not only will we take a look at what the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is offering, but we’ll also compare it to two other Southwest-branded credit cards and see how it stacks up.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card Benefits

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

The information related to Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Regular Purchase APR
17.49% - 24.49% Variable
Annual fee
$149
Rewards Rate
2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases
Credit required
excellent-credit
Excellent

Redeeming rewards

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card allows you to earn Rapid Rewards® at the rate of 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases

There are no blackout dates or seat restrictions, you earn unlimited points that don’t expire as long as your card account is open and there are no limits on how many points you can earn. You can redeem your rewards for flights, gift cards, merchandise, hotel stays, rental cars and exclusive experiences.

What we like

The annual fee isn’t insurmountable. Cardmembers are eligible for an annual $75 statement credit, plus you get two free checked bags, making it the only major U.S. carrier to offer this benefit. The card’s $149 annual fee is nearly covered after only one roundtrip flight, based on the baggage price of $25 for the first one and $35 for the second.

Perks upgrade*. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card now gives you an automatic $75 statement credit when you spend on the card every anniversary year. That credit can help you offset the card’s $149 annual fee. And you now get a 20% statement credit when you use the card for in-flight drinks, messaging, movies and Wi-Fi.

More bonus points*. Cardmembers can Earn up to 75,000 points. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn 35,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open. The additional points is something Southwest’s other two cards don’t offer. Southwest also boosted the number of bonus anniversary points you can earn up to 7,500.

Points for elite status*. The chance to earn 1,500 tier qualifying points (TQPs) for every $10,000 you spend on the card is the same as the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. These are important, because they help you reach and maintain your Rapid Rewards A-List or A-List Preferred status on Southwest Airlines.

A-List status comes after you fly 25 one-way trips or 35,000 TQPs or A-List Preferred after 50 one-way trips or 70,000 TQPs in a calendar year. You want A-List for perks like priority check-in and dedicated security lanes (where available), along with priority boarding, a 25% points bonus, a dedicated customer service line and free same-day standby on flights. A-List Preferred status is even better, with all the perks of A-List plus a 100% points bonus and free in-flight Wi-Fi.

Good route network*. Your points are good on 100 Southwest Airlines destinations in the U.S., Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. But if you want to go beyond that network, Southwest Airlines’ More Rewards website lets you use your points to fly to destinations around the world.

All a-boarding*. Because Southwest Airlines has open seating on its flights, regular travelers value any chance to get higher boarding numbers to avoid the dreaded middle seat or risk being forced to check a carry-on bag. This card helps by reimbursing you when you buy up to four coveted A1-A15 boarding passes a year at the departure gate or ticket counter. That credit is worth between $30 and $50 for each flight depending on your itinerary, making this a perk worth between $120 and $200 a year.

Companion pass*. The chance to earn this popular perk — which requires you to fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 125,000 qualifying points in a calendar year — remains. Once you hit the numbers, you can bring a companion along for free, minus fees and government taxes, on flights you buy or redeem with Rapid Rewards during a calendar year.

Travel and purchase protection*. This card comes with benefits like delayed/lost luggage insurance, travel accident insurance, travel and emergency assistance services, auto rental collision damage waiver, roadside dispatch, purchase protection and extended warranty, all under the Visa Signature banner.

*Terms and conditions apply.

What we don’t like

Lower points per $1 spent. Southwest Airlines had a chance to boost this in popular categories like dining, gas, groceries and a broader definition of travel — like its airline competitors have done — but it punted. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card’s rate still remains at 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases

Higher cost for international flights. While you can book international flights on Southwest’s More Rewards website, you’re only going to get a redemption rate around 1 cent per point. Booking travel on Southwest’s route network is a better value. Let’s say you wanted to fly from New York to London. It will cost you 83,275 miles on British Airways or up to 302,541 miles on United Airlines — in coach class.

Spending for points. There’s a heavy spend — $15,000 a year — to get extra bonus points. This goes along with the minimum $10,000 a year spend to get the TQPs.

Premium boarding. You can only use the four A1-A15 boarding passes on the day of travel, and there’s no guarantee that space will be available.

Check that score. You’ll need to have excellent credit to apply for this card.

Card alternatives

 Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit CardSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit CardSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
Annual fee$149$99$69
Sign-up bonusEarn up to 75,000 points. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn 35,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.Earn up to 75,000 points. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn 35,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.Earn up to 75,000 points. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn 35,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.
Rewards2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases
Foreign transaction fee$0$03% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

Both the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card have benefits similar to what’s offered by the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card. They include the same points per $1 spent, companion pass, access to A-List and A-List Plus elite status, Transfarency and flexible domestic and international reward travel. But there are differences.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

The information related to Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Regular Purchase APR
17.49% - 24.49% Variable
Annual fee
$99
Rewards Rate
2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Credit required
excellent-credit

Excellent

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card starts with a similar sign-up bonus — Earn up to 75,000 points. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn 35,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open. But it doesn’t come with the chance to earn 25,000 bonus miles by spending $15,000 in a calendar year like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card. You’ll pay $99 annual fee, but it’s higher once you factor in the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card’s $75 statement credit, which isn’t offered with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card comes with 6,000 bonus points on an anniversary year, 1,500 fewer than what’s offered by the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

The information related to Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Regular Purchase APR
17.49% - 24.49% Variable
Annual fee
$69
Rewards Rate
2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases
Credit required
excellent-credit

Excellent

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card also has the same sign-up bonus as the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card, also with no chance to earn the latter’s 25,000 bonus miles. The card comes with only 3,000 bonus points on an anniversary year. This card only comes with lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, extended U.S. manufacturer’s warranty and purchase protection.

The bottom line

While the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card does come with a better sign-up bonus than Southwest’s two other cards, you also have to spend more to snag it. But thanks to the new card’s yearly $75 statement credit, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is cheaper to have in your wallet than the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card.

If you combine the lower annual fee with enhanced perks on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card — the $75 statement credit, the four high boarding passes and the 20% inflight discount — it may be a good alternative to the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card.

But make sure you are a die-hard Southwest flyer, because you can only use them on the carrier’s Rapid Rewards website. That means you don’t get the flexibility to use your points that come with non-airline, travel-related credit cards.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Benét J. Wilson
Benét J. Wilson |

Benét J. Wilson is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Benét J. at [email protected]

Advertiser Disclosure

Credit Cards

Discover it Cash Back Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

The Discover it® Cash Back is a great $0 annual fee card that provides a quarterly rotating cashback program where you can benefit from various 5% bonus categories. You may not benefit from all the categories, but there’s a good chance at least one quarter’s categories will suit your spending. This card also has many of the perks Discover is known for, including no foreign transaction fees and no penalty APR, which add value beyond the cashback program.

Discover it® Cash Back

APPLY NOW Secured

on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

Discover it® Cash Back

Annual fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 14 months
Regular APR
13.49% - 24.49% Variable
Rewards Rate
5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Breaking down the rewards

This card offers a cashback program where you can earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter — like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs — up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. You earn 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases.

The quarterly maximum is $1,500, allowing you to earn up to $75 cash back in the 5% cashback categories each quarter. Purchases exceeding $1,500 in the bonus categories earn an unlimited 1% cash back. Activation is required.

This card also comes with a new cardmember offer where Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched. So, if you earn a total of $200 cash back during your first 12 consecutive billing periods, Discover will match it and apply your cash back within the next one to two billing periods.

What are the 5% cashback categories?

  • January – March 2020 – Grocery stores, Walgreens, CVS
  • April – June 2020 – Gas Stations, Uber and Lyft, wholesale clubs
  • July – September 2020 – Restaurants and PayPal
  • October – December 2020 – Amazon.com, Target.com, and Walmart.com

What can cash back be redeemed for?

  • Statement credits
  • Direct deposits
  • Gift cards starting at $20 (with at least $5 free added to each card)
  • Purchases at Amazon.com when you pay with rewards
  • Donations to charity

How do I activate the 5% cashback categories?

There is no automatic activation — you’ll have to either manually log in to your account and activate or call 1-800-DISCOVER (1-800-347-2683). And while you may worry about forgetting to activate the 5% cashback categories, Discover makes the process a bit less stressful by providing plenty of time for you to activate. You typically can activate two months before the new 5% cashback categories start. For example, if you want to utilize the 5% cashback categories for October-December, you can activate starting August 1st. Plus, you can sign up for email alerts and push notifications via the Discover app.

Does cash back expire?

No, cash back doesn’t expire. If your account is closed or if you haven’t used it within 18 months, Discover will credit your account with any cash back remaining.

What we like about this card

The chance to pay for new purchases over time or get out of debt. If you plan on making new purchases that you can’t pay by your due date, or if you have a balance on a non-Discover card, this card provides you the opportunity to avoid interest charges. There is an intro 0% for 14 months on purchases and an intro 0% for 14 months on balance transfers. After the intro periods end, a 13.49% - 24.49% Variable APR applies. Take note: there is a 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*, which is typical; however, there are also cards with intro $0 balance transfer fees.

No fee on your first late payment. If you miss a payment, don’t fret about incurring a late fee —  Discover waives your first late payment fee. Use this as a reminder to set up autopay or payment reminders.

No penalty APR: If you pay late, your interest rate won’t increase, unlike other cards that may charge penalty APRs near 30%. 

No foreign transaction fee. This card doesn’t charge the typical 3% fee some other cards charge on purchases made outside the U.S.

What to watch out for

13.49% - 24.49% Variable APR. While this APR range is typical of credit cards, it’s not ideal if you’re someone who carries a balance month-to-month. You can find other low interest credit cards that provide lower APR ranges and are better suited for people who carry balances.

What other cards should I consider?

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

LEARN MORE 

The information related to Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Annual fee
$0
Intro BT APR
0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers
Balance Transfer Fee
3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Regular Purchase APR
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
Rewards Rate
Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is a great flat-rate cashback card. Compared to the Discover it® Cash Back, which has quarterly rotating categories, you earn the same cashback rate on all purchases — Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay. This is a straightforward way to earn cash back, and you don’t have to worry about activating bonus categories. Additional perks of this card include Citi® Private Pass®, where you can get exclusive access to various entertainment events, and Citi® Price Rewind, which conducts a 60-day search for a lower price on eligible items you register, potentially giving you the difference if a lower price is found (up to $200 back per item, and up to $1,000 per year).

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

LEARN MORE 

The information related to Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Annual fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 12 months on Purchases
Intro BT APR
0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers
Regular Purchase APR
16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee
5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Everis a good alternative to the Discover it® Cash Back if you’re looking to finance new purchases. There is an intro 0% for 12 months on Purchases, which can help you pay off purchases over time without accruing interest. After the intro period ends, a 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable) APR applies. While there are no rewards, this card has less fees than typical credit cards — there are no late fees and no penalty APR. Although this can be helpful if you forget to pay a bill, we encourage you to always make on time payments so you don’t rack up interest charges.

Bottom line

If you don’t mind activating quarterly bonus categories, the Discover it® Cash Back is a great choice for a $0 annual fee cashback card. Plus, you can benefit from the unique new cardmember intro offer in which Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Alexandria White
Alexandria White |

Alexandria White is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Alexandria at [email protected]