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A fixed rate for cash back and points earning was once the norm for credit cards — now, category bonuses are all the rage. And the new kid on the block, Capital One’s Savor card is an appealing option for foodies who want to score a bigger return on dining out and grocery purchases without the hassle of dealing with travel portals and transfer partners.
Back in March of this year, Capital One launched a nearly identical product, called Premier Dining Rewards. That card was intended to test the waters, allowing the issuer to evaluate interest without a full-fledged launch. It turns out that customers do have an appetite for a card that earns bonus cash back on dining and grocery purchases.
Now that the card’s officially ready to launch — you can sign up beginning today — Capital One has landed on the name Savor. The plastic card’s finish also falls within the dining theme — it’s intended to resemble copper cookware, according to Katya Andresen, the company’s SVP of Customer Card Experience. “We liked the idea of coming up with a motif that’s inspired by eating and dining,” Andresen said. “Really what this card is all about is what people love, which is food and the times they have together at the table.”
Capital One has tapped actress-turned-foodie Sarah Michelle Gellar to help out with the Savor launch. Gellar made an interesting point about the card’s color that hadn’t occurred to me, explaining “You know when you go into your wallet and you have all the cards and they all start to look alike? I like that I can actually see what color I’m pulling out; it actually would affect what card I pick up.”
Capital One Savor offers unlimited 3% cash back on dining, 2% back on groceries and 1% on all other purchases. If you dine out often and aren’t interested in earning transferrable points, 3% back could definitely make sense. The 2% back at grocery stores is a bit less appealing given that the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers 3% back on the first $6,000 spent at US supermarkets each year (then 1%) — neither card charges an annual fee, and while the Savor waives foreign transaction fees as well, the Amex card adds a 2.7% fee to all foreign purchases.
As for what will earn you 3% back with Savor, “It includes food trucks, it includes Starbucks, bakeries, dining out at a fine dining establishment,” Andresen said. As with all cards that offer a category bonus, Savor’s elevated offering is dependent on merchant codes — assuming a restaurant is actually coded as a restaurant, as almost all are, you’ll get 3% back.
Currently, the Savor card is offering another incentive — $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months. Additionally, there’s a welcome offer of 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for the first fifteen months, though this option does carry a 3% fee for balance transfers. The interest rate after the first nine months will range from 16.24% to 24.99%.
Do you prefer to earn cash back or points and miles?
Know before you go.
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