A no-annual-fee card for foodies and entertainment: Capital One SavorOne credit card review
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Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card overview
The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a solid card with no annual fee that is great for those who regularly spend on dining and entertainment. It offers unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on all other purchases. While the sign-up bonus won’t turn any heads, and it isn’t ideal for spending beyond its bonus categories, the SavorOne is a good starter product for foodies and regular concertgoers. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐½
*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is the no-annual-fee version of the higher-end Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card. The latter charges a $95 annual fee and earns 4% cash back on dining, entertainment, and select streaming services, 3% back on groceries, and 1% everywhere else. That’s a mere 1% improvement over the Capital One SavorOne in select categories. So if you don’t want to pay an annual fee but still enjoy an excellent cash-back return on meals, groceries and entertainment, the SavorOne is a great choice.
The information for the Capital One Savor card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Now, let’s dig in and see if this is the card for you.
Who is this card for?
If you’re a fan of getting your dinner delivered and streaming content — but aren’t a fan of annual fees — then the Capital One SavorOne is a solid card to consider. You’ll earn 3% cash back on dining and entertainment. Capital One also recently added 3% cash back on popular streaming services and increased the cash back at grocery stores to 3%. These are four generous and wide-ranging bonus categories for a no-annual-fee cash-back card. What makes it even more appealing is the card’s broad definition of dining and entertainment, in particular.
- Fast-food chains
- Food deliveries, and more
Meanwhile, “entertainment” includes:
- Sporting events
- Tourist attractions
- Theme parks
- Dance clubs
- Pool halls
- Bowling alleys
For those who prefer old-school entertainment, you’ll be happy to hear that purchases at record stores and video rental locations (if you can find any) are also covered under “entertainment,” giving you plenty of opportunities to earn cash back.
The “grocery” category comprises:
- Meat lockers
- Dairy product stores
- Specialty markets
It specifically excludes superstores like Walmart® and Target®.
As for “streaming,” the following services count:
- Apple.com, iTunes and Apple Music
- HBO Now
- Sirius XM
- Sling TV
- Starz Entertainment
- YouTube TV
You’ll notice some big names like Amazon Prime are missing.
Typically, cash-back cards with no annual fee only earn a low, flat rate of 1-1.5% back on dining and entertainment purchases. So the SavorOne’s bonus categories truly set this card apart.
It’s only natural that you might also consider SavorOne’s more premium sibling, the Capital One Savor, which comes with a $95 annual fee. For that price, the Savor does earn an additional 1% cash back on dining, entertainment and eligible streaming services, bringing the cash back earned to a total of 4% in those categories. Like the SavorOne, the more expensive Savor also earns 3% at grocery stores and 1% on everything else.
All that might make the Savor look a bit more appealing. But keep in mind, you’d need to spend $9,500 just on dining, entertainment, and streaming each year to make up for the Savor’s $95 annual fee compared to the SavorOne. So if your spending’s not in that range, skip the Savor for the SavorOne instead.
Capital One is currently offering a sign-up bonus of $200 cash back on the SavorOne after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening, which is typical for no-annual-fee cash-back cards.
While not mind-blowing, it does represent a 40% return on your initial layout, and the low minimum spend should be achievable for most people.
Main benefits and perks
For a card with no annual fee, the SavorOne comes with some nice perks. For starters, this is a card you can bring abroad, as there are no foreign transaction fees. Essentially, this means that you should continue to earn 3% cash back on international dining, so long as the merchant codes as dining. There’s also travel accident insurance, roadside assistance, secondary car rental insurance and extended warranty protection.
If you need help making a restaurant reservation, buying concert tickets or planning travel, you can call the card’s concierge service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It’s certainly not the norm for a no-annual-fee card to have a concierge service, so this is a nice little perk if you’re able to take advantage of it.
Related: The best cards for entertainment
The SavorOne also features some useful security features, including virtual card numbers, which allows you to generate one-time-use card numbers for online purchases, so you don’t need to provide your actual card number. It also gives you the ability to lock your card in the Capital One mobile app rather than canceling it right away if it’s temporarily misplaced or lost.
The Capital One SavorOne offers generous bonus categories when compared to other no-annual-fee cash-back cards and even some cards that do have annual fees. The real highlight is the higher cash back in the dining and entertainment categories, though you can also get some value with extra cash back at grocery stores.
- 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and grocery stores
- 1% on all other purchases
Although the definition of dining and entertainment is broad, as previously noted, don’t forget to read the card’s fine print. The SavorOne excludes Target and Walmart purchases, even if you’re just buying groceries from these stores. Likewise, certain streaming services are excluded.
It’s simple to redeem cash back with this card by requesting a statement credit, check or gift card, as long as you’ve reached a $25 threshold. All you have to do is initiate the redemption through the Capital One app or your online account. Since there are no points or miles to deal with, you’ll be able to redeem as much cash back as you want, up to the amount you’ve earned. You can also redeem your cash back at Amazon.com.
If you just carry the Capital One SavorOne, the rewards you earn are simple cash back. However, as we reported back in April 2021, it seems that Capital One has made it possible to share rewards between your various accounts. So if you also have either the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card or the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, you should be able to convert the cash back you earn at a 1:1 rate (one cash-back point to one mile) into Capital One Miles and transfer them to the program’s various airline and hotel partners from there. That represents a huge potential value if travel’s the reward you’re after.
Just log into your Capital One account, click the Rewards tab and navigate to the “Share My Rewards” feature. From there, you can convert your cash back into miles that transfer to Capital One’s airline and hotel partners.
Those now include:
- Aeromexico Club Premier (1:1)
- Air Canada Aeroplan (1:1)
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue (1:1)
- Avianca Lifemiles (1:1)
- British Airways Executive Club (1:1)
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (1:1)
- Emirates Skywards (2:1)
- Etihad Guest (1:1)
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands (2:1.5)
- Finnair Plus (1:1)
- Qantas Frequent Flyer (1:1)
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (2:1)
- TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go (1:1)
- Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles (1:1)
- ALL Accor Live Limitless (2:1)
- Choice Hotels (1:1)
- Wyndham Rewards (1:1)
As you can see, Capital One Miles don’t convert on a 1:1 basis with all partners. However, given the SavorOne’s bonus earning rates, this can still be a good rewards route to take, especially if you can leverage any of Capital One’s transfer sweet spots.
Which cards compete?
The Quicksilver has no annual fee and offers a $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months. You’ll earn 1.5% unlimited cash-back on all purchases, which is great if you have unpredictable expenses outside of the Savor’s bonus categories.
The Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited offer $200 cash back after $500 in the first three months from account opening.
However, the Freedom Flex offers 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and 3% at drugstores. The Flex also has rotating bonus categories, where you can earn up to 5% each quarter you activate (up to $1,500).
For its part, the Chase Freedom Unlimited earns 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and 3% at drugstores, then 1.5% back on all other purchases.
What makes the SavorOne different is its grocery, entertainment and streaming bonus categories. If you tend to spend more in those areas versus drugstores or travel, then the SavorOne is a stronger choice.
If dining and entertainment aren’t major spending categories for you, or if you’d rather have a flat earning rate on all spending without having to keep track of bonus opportunities, then other cash-back cards might be better suited for you. Likewise, if you’re trying to earn points and miles to put toward travel, then you might want to look into premium cards that offer more lucrative redemption options.
However, if dining, groceries and entertainment are your major expense categories, and you prefer simple cash back without worrying about an annual fee, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is definitely one to consider.
Application link: Capital One SavorOne with a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 in three months of account opening.
Additional reporting by Stella Shon and Eric Rosen.
Featured photo by The Points Guy.
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