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Capital One Spark Cash Plus vs. Ink Business Cash 2024

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Updated April 4, 2024

You might be operating a small business without even knowing it. Any action that makes you money—even a for-profit side gig like driving with Uber or DoorDash, selling items on eBay, or dog sitting through Rover—qualifies you as a small-business operator, and the perks that come with it. As a freelance writer, for example, I’ve gotten several small business cards that I use regularly.

The card_name and the card_name are industry leaders among small business cards. They both come with impressive welcome bonuses. They have substantial earning rates on common business spending. And with a little work, the rewards you rack up can be transferred to popular airline and hotel partners to fund your next trip—whether it’s for business or pleasure.

Let’s take a look at these cards to help you decide which one is for you.

How the cards stack up

For all the commonalities these cards have, they’ve got just as many differences, especially the earning rates of each card—how quickly you’ll accrue rewards. There’s also a core difference if you might need to carry a balance rather than paying in full each month. You can’t do that with the card_name (we’ll explain more).

While the card_name is terrifically valuable for spending at office supply stores, most small businesses may not have much need for this category. It’s worth noting that many office supply stores sell gift cards to other merchants (including Visa gift cards, which you can use just about anywhere), a method of converting your rewards to a potentially more useful currency.

FeatureCapital One Spark Cash PlusInk Business Cash® Credit Card
Welcome bonus
bonus_miles_full
bonus_miles_full
Rewards*
5% cash back for rental cars and hotels booked through Capital One Travel

2% cash back for all other eligible purchases
5% cash back (5 Chase points per dollar) on the first $25,000 spentat office supply stores and with internet/cable/phone providers

2% back (2 Chase points per dollar) on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants

1% back (1 Chase point per dollar) on all other eligible purchases

*You’ll only earn bonus cash on up to $25,000 in spending per year — then 1% (1 Chase point per dollar)
Annual fee
annual_fees
annual_fees
APR (or regular APR)
reg_apr,reg_apr_type
intro_apr_rate,intro_apr_duration, and then reg_apr,reg_apr_type
Foreign transaction fee
foreign_transaction_fee
foreign_transaction_fee
Other benefits
$200 cash bonus for spending $200,000 or more per year

Free employee cards (2% cash back on purchases)

Secondary rental car insurance

Purchase/extended warranty protection
Primary rental car insurance when renting for business

Purchase/extended warranty protection

Free employee cards

Welcome bonus

The card_name has one of the highest welcome bonuses of any no annual fee credit card on the market. You’ll bonus_miles_fullץ

The card_name welcome bonus is significantly higher. You’ll earn up to $1,000 in bonus cash after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements:

  • $500 bonus after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months from opening your account
  • An additional $500 bonus after spending a total of $50,000 on purchases within the first six months of opening your account

However, with this higher payout comes a much more difficult spending requirement. You’ll have to spend a whopping $50,000 to unlock the full card_name bonus. But you’ll only need to spend $6,000 to unlock the card_name.

The accessibility of the card_name bonus makes it the clear winner.

Welcome bonus winner: card_name

Rewards

On the surface, both of these cards seem to be cash-back–earning products. But the rewards they earn are so much more.

The cash back you earn with the card_name miles can be converted into Capital One miles if you have a different miles-earning credit card with Capital One, such as the card_name. Doubling up this way allows you to transfer your rewards to Capital One airline and hotel partners.

The rewards you earn with the card_name actually take the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. You can redeem them for 1 cent per point if your goal is cash back. But by also holding an annual-fee–incurring Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card, such as the card_name, you’ve got the ability to transfer your rewards to Chase airline and hotel partners.

Here are the transfer partners of each program.

Capital One milesChase Ultimate Rewards
Air Canada Aeroplan
Emirates
Accor (2:1 transfer ratio)
Flying Blue (KLM and Air France)
Avianca
Hyatt
British Airways
Iberia
Cathay Pacific
IHG Hotels
Choice Hotels
JetBlue
Emirates
Marriott
Etihad
Singapore Airlines
EVA Air (2:1.5 transfer ratio)
Finnair
United Airlines
Flying Blue (KLM and Air France)
Virgin Atlantic
Qantas
Singapore Airlines
TAP Portugal
Turkish Airlines
Virgin Red
Wyndham

While Chase has fewer partners than Capital One, the names on it are likely more familiar to the average U.S. traveler. But both currencies are incredibly valuable to just about any traveler. That’s because airlines allow you to use their miles to book flights on their partner airlines, as well.

For example, if you transfer your miles to Avianca, you can book flights on:

  • Avianca
  • United Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • SWISS
  • Singapore Airlines
  • …and many more

Rewards winner: Personal travel style plays too big a role in the winner of this category, so we’re leaving it as a tie.

Annual fee

The card_name charges a annual_fees annual fee. That means you’ll have to make $7,500 in purchases at a rate of 2% cash back before you even begin making a profit. The card_name charges annual_fees annual fee, so it’s the obvious winner.

Annual fee winner: card_name

APR

The card_name offers intro_apr_rate,intro_apr_duration. You’ll then pay a variable APR based on your creditworthiness—between reg_apr,reg_apr_type at the time of writing.

The card_name does not charge APR for one reason: It’s a charge card.

Charge cards demand that you pay your entire balance each month. If you don’t, your card will stop working, with all the trouble that flows from turning off your business spending. Plus, you’ll be charged a late fee of late_payment_fee.

Whether you’re using a charge card or a regular credit card, you should always endeavor to pay off your card in full each month. If you don’t, you’ll incur extremely high interest fees that can more than offset the rewards you’re earning. However, the card_name wins this category simply because you’ve got the option to carry a balance (if you must) interest-free for 12 months.

APR winner: card_name

Foreign transaction fee

The card_name charges foreign_transaction_fee when using your card outside the U.S. (including at international online merchants which may process your card in their country). The card_name waives these fees, making it the winner.

Foreign transaction fee winner: card_name

Additional perks

Neither of these cards deliver much in ongoing benefits.

The highlights of the card_name are:

  • A $200 cash bonus each year you spend at least $200,000 on the card. This amounts to a paltry $50 net bonus after subtracting the card’s $150 annual fee.
  • Secondary rental car insurance (primary when outside the U.S.)
  • Purchase protection, which provides up to $10,000 per incident ($50,000 per cardholder) for theft or damage to an eligible item for up to 90 days.
  • Up to one additional year on manufacturer’s warranties of three years or less

The card_name comes with:

  • Primary rental car insurance (when renting for business purposes)
  • Purchase protection, giving you up to $10,000 per claim (max $50,000 per account) for theft or damage to eligible purchases up to 120 days after your purchase date.
  • Up to one additional year on U.S. manufacturer’s warranties lasting three years or less.

To activate these benefits, you must make your payment with your respective card.

Because the card_name has improved purchase protection and rental car insurance, it wins this category.

Additional perks winner: card_name

Which business card earns the most

The answer as to which card will earn you the most rewards will depend on your spending habits. Let’s conjure up two scenarios: One for a high-spending business, and the other for a more frugal firm. Both of these exclude welcome bonuses.

Here are our annual expenses for the high-spending business, one with with a few employees who travel for work:

  • $3,000 on internet, cable and phone services
  • $6,000 rental cars and hotels booked through the card issuer’s travel portal
  • $30,000 on other travel
  • $10,000 on dining
  • $8,000 on gas
  • $143,000 on everything else (storefront, supplies, maintenance, utilities, etc.)

Given the above $200,000 budget, the card_name would earn $2,300 per year. The card_name would earn $4,180. For non-bonus spending, the card_name dominates.

Let’s look at the annual expenses of a smaller business (say, a freelance writer or similar):

  • $2,500 on internet, cable and phone services
  • $4,000 at office supply stores
  • $5,000 on travel
  • $4,000 on dining
  • $2,000 on gas
  • $10,000 on everything else

From the above budget of $27,500, the card_name would earn $435 per year. The card_name would earn $670 per year.

For most types of businesses, the card_name will likely work better. There are fewer bonus categories to worry about—though, again, you’ve got to account for the card’s annual_fees annual fee. Plus, if you’re a really big spender, card_name will really break for you, because there are no limits on earning reward points. The card_name only earns the higher rewards rates on up to $25,000 in spending per year—it then drops to 1%.

Our recommendations

Why we recommend the card_name

card_name

The card_name is likely better for more situations for myriad reasons.

For starters, it’s a traditional credit card, meaning you have the ability to carry a balance month-to-month (though, remember, you shouldn’t). The card also doesn’t charge an annual fee, meaning it’s free to keep as long as you don’t incur interest fees.

Its ability to give you primary rental car insurance can also be a huge money-saver, as rental agencies routinely charge $15 a day or more for their in-house car insurance.

Finally, the card’s bonus is massive for a no-annual-fee product—and its minimum spending requirement is relatively small.

Why you might still opt for the card_name

card_name

If you’re a big spender, the card_name is the no-brainer option for you. A flat 2% earning rate for nearly all purchases will be a boon for anyone funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars through the card—and the fact that this is a charge card with no preset spending limit can also serve those frequently making huge transactions.

The card_name is also the better option to have when traveling abroad, as it waives foreign transaction fees.

Bottom line

The card_name and card_name are both high-performing small business cards. To decide which is the right card for you, the most important factor will be your spending habits. That’s because the cards have wildly different earning rates.

There’s no harm in giving both cards a try to see which better suits your lifestyle—and earning two welcome bonuses while you’re at it.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Which other business credit cards have a $0 annual fee?

There is a wide selection of small business credit cards with no annual fee.

card_name

Our top alternative to the Ink Business Cash is the card_name. It’s very similar to Business Cash (same welcome bonus, same rewards currency, etc.), but with a flat 1.5% earning rate. And if you’d prefer to earn flexible Amex Membership Rewards, consider The card_name, which earns 2 Amex points on all purchases (on up to $50,000 in spending per year, then 1 point per dollar).

Is the card_name hard to get?

Data points show that you can be approved for this card with a credit score as low as 670. However, keep in mind that this is a small business credit card—so you may conceivably have to provide proof of business income before you’re approved.

What credit score do you need to get the card_name?

Similar to the card_name, you’ll have the best chance of approval if your credit score is at least 670. However, we recommend not applying for rewards credit cards unless your credit score is at least 700—just to be safe.


For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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