With a flexible credit score requirement (580 or above) and an ongoing cash back rewards program, the Capital One Spark Classic for Business is a great option for business owners with average credit. In fact, the Spark Classic is one of the only unsecured business credit cards for average credit on the market.
Unlike many business credit cards, the Spark Classic won’t come with a signing bonus. As a card designed to accommodate business owners with less-than-ideal credit, the Capital One Spark Classic for Business instead provides an opportunity to build and improve credit with use over time.
This way, once you’ve improved your credit history, you’ll be able to access business credit cards with higher credit score minimums that do offer welcome bonuses.
This Capital One Spark Business Credit Card has no annual fee—meaning you don’t have to worry about paying for access to a credit card that allows you to build credit and earn rewards.
Additionally, although the Spark Classic for Business will incur a late payment fee (up to $39), it does not have a balance transfer fee or foreign transaction fees.
The Capital One Spark Classic for Business offers an ongoing rewards program.
With the Spark Classic, you’ll earn 1% cash back for every dollar you spend with no cap on how much cash back you can earn. Additionally, Capital One has no minimum on the amount of cash back you can redeem and your rewards never expire.
You can redeem your cash back rewards on this card in the form of a statement credit or a check. You can also set up automatic redemption—either at a set time or when you’ve met a dollar threshold.
This being said, although this 1% cash back rate may seem low in comparison to other Spark cards (as well as other rewards business credit cards in general), it’s impressive that the Spark Classic offers rewards at all.
Typically, business credit cards for fair credit do not include an ongoing rewards program. With the Capital One Spark Classic for Business, however, you can improve your credit and earn rewards at the same time.
What else does the Capital One Spark Classic for Business have to offer?
In addition to the features we’ve discussed thus far, this card includes:
- “Zero fraud” liability with automatic fraud alerts
- Free employee cards that also earn 1% cash back on all purchases
- Year-end summaries
- Payment flexibility to choose your monthly due date
- Free account management tools
- Benefits of the Visa business credit card suite, such as travel and emergency assistance services, car rental damage waiver, purchase security and extended protection, and more
Pros of the Spark Classic:
- Accommodates business owners with less-than-ideal credit (credit scores as low as 580)
- Earns unlimited cash back rewards with flexible redemption options
- No annual fee or foreign transaction fees
- Allows you to simultaneously improve personal credit and build business credit as Capital One reports to both personal and business credit bureaus
Cons of the Spark Classic:
- No 0% intro APR period
- No welcome bonus
- Low cash back rate compared to other flat-rate rewards business credit cards
- Because Capital One reports to both business and personal credit bureaus, you can damage both your personal and business credit scores if you spend irresponsibly
Is the Capital One Spark Classic for Business Right for You?
Based on everything the Capital One Spark Classic for Business has to offer—and the pros and cons we’ve listed above—you may still be wondering if this business credit card is right for you.
When it comes down to it, if you have average personal credit and can’t qualify for other business cards, it’s very likely the Spark Classic will be the best option for you. Accommodating business owners with credit scores as low as 580, the Capital One Spark Classic for Business requirements are flexible—plus, this card allows you to earn rewards on every dollar you spend. In comparison, most other credit cards with lower credit score requirements are secured business credit cards—meaning you have to put down a deposit for access to credit. Therefore, finding an unsecured business credit card with an ongoing rewards program isn’t something you’re likely to find outside the Spark Classic.
Additionally, as we mentioned above, this card allows you to improve and build your credit, as Capital One reports to both the personal and business credit bureaus. Therefore, if you spend wisely and pay on time, you’ll be able to build up your credit to a place where you can qualify for a more competitive rewards card.
This being said, however, the Capital One Spark Classic Business Card may not be right for you for one of two reasons. First, if you can qualify for a more competitive rewards card, like any other card within the Spark suite, for example, you’ll find that one of these options will likely be better for your business—you’ll be able to earn more rewards for your spending. On the other hand, if you have significantly lower personal credit and you can’t qualify for the Spark Classic, you’ll want to turn to a secured business card (or even personal card) to improve your credit and increase your chances of qualifying in the future.
How to Get the Capital One Spark Classic Business Card
If you do think this business credit card is right for you, you may be wondering about the Capital One Spark Classic for Business requirements and how to apply.
As we’ve mentioned, this card is designed for businesses with average or fair credit, so if you can meet the credit score requirement, 580 or above, you should be able to qualify for the Spark Classic.
Generally, your personal credit score will be the most influential business credit card requirement you have to meet when submitting an application. This being said then, if you think you can qualify, you can apply for the Spark Classic for Business quickly and easily online. You’ll have to provide basic information about your business—name, address, legal structure, EIN, etc.—as well as personal information about you, the business owner. You’ll also need to supply some financial information, like your annual business revenue, business spend per month, total personal annual income, and your monthly rent or mortgage.
Finally, you’ll need to agree to the terms and conditions, which include a personal guarantee, and you’ll submit your application. Once you’ve submitted your application, Capital One will pull your personal credit score and you should receive a decision almost instantly. If you’re denied for the Spark Classic, Capital One will provide a reason as to why your application was rejected. If you are approved, you’ll be ready to start using your card as soon as you receive it.
Top Alternatives to the Capital One Spark Classic for Business
On the other hand, if the Capital One Spark Classic for Business isn’t right for you, you’re probably interested in some top alternatives. As mentioned above, these alternatives will largely fall into two categories:
- More competitive rewards cards
- Secured business credit cards
With this in mind, let’s take a look at some top options in each of these categories.
Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business
First, if you can qualify for a better rewards card, you might start out with the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Business. This card is actually fairly similar to the Spark Classic, but with some noteworthy additional benefits.
With the Spark Cash Select, you’ll earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases (0.5% more than the Spark Classic offers). Additionally, you’ll have access to a $200 cash back welcome bonus if you spend $3,000 in the first three months with the card. Plus, the Spark Cash Select offers a 0% intro APR period on purchases for the first nine months—meaning you can carry a balance during this time, interest-free. After this period expires, however, a variable APR will set in based on the market and your creditworthiness.
Therefore, with a higher rewards rate and opportunity to earn a welcome bonus (and still no annual fee), the Spark Cash Select offers a step up from the Spark Classic for those who can qualify. This being said, if you can qualify for the Cash Select, you might also consider some of the other options within the Spark suite—including the Spark Cash for greater cash back or the Miles or Miles Select for travel-specific rewards.
Discover it Secured Credit Card
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
- Personal secured card that can be used to improve your personal credit history
- No annual fee
- Refundable security deposit
- Earn 2% or 1% cash back depending on where you spend
- Discover automatically matches all cash back you earn at the end of your first year
Cash back match
2%, 1% cash back
If you can’t qualify for the Capital One Spark Classic for Business, you’ll likely need to turn to a secured business card—meaning a card that gives you access to credit through a security deposit. Truth be told, there aren’t many secured cards specific to businesses; instead, you’ll likely need to use a personal secured card to boost your personal credit so that you can later qualify for a business-specific credit card.
In this case, one of your top options will be the Discover it Secured Credit Card. The Discover it Secured Card has no annual fee and earns rewards—an extremely unusual feature with a secured card. With this Discover card, you’ll earn 2% or 1% cash back, depending on where you spend. Of course, as a secured card, you’ll have to put up a deposit that’s equal to the credit line you want—so if you want a $1,000 credit line, you’ll need to deposit $1,000. The deposit, however, is refundable and Discover will perform monthly reviews after you’ve had the card for eight months to determine if you’re eligible for an unsecured card, like the Discover it Business Card.
Ultimately, as a rewards-earning secured credit card, the Discover it is a great option for building your personal credit so that you can qualify for the Spark Classic, or another business credit card, in the future.