Capital One SavorOne review: It comes down to 1%
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest credit card information.
At TPG, our top priority is providing our readers with the information you need to make educated decisions about travel and your rewards-earnings strategy. This is not the best time to travel, domestically or internationally, as airlines have cut major parts of their route network. But we are sharing this card offer because it could provide value to cardholders for future travel once coronavirus concerns have subsided.
Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card Overview
The Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a decent no-annual-fee card if you spend regularly on dining or entertainment. It offers unlimited 3% cash back on those two categories, plus 2% at grocery stores and 1% on everything else. The card features just an average sign-up bonus and isn’t ideal for spending outside of its bonus categories, but it’s not a bad choice for foodies or 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 was introduced in August 2018 as the no-annual-fee version of its older sibling, the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card. There’s a $95 annual difference between the two cards, and shockingly, the earning difference comes down to a mere 1%. With that being said, you can still savor your meals and entertainment with the SavorOne knowing that you’re earning a decent amount of cash back at an unlimited rate.
Now, let’s dig in and see if this is the card for you.
The information for the Capital One SavorOne and Capital One Savor has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
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Who is this card for?
If you’re a fan of dinner and a movie but not a fan of annual fees, then the Capital One SavorOne is a solid card to consider, since it earns 3% cash back on both dining and entertainment purchases. This is relatively generous for a no-annual-fee cash-back card, but what’s even more generous is the card’s broad definition of dining and entertainment. “Dining” covers restaurants, cafes, bars, lounges, fast-food chains and bakeries, while “entertainment” includes movies, plays, concerts, sporting events, tourist attractions, theme parks, dance clubs, pool halls, bowling alleys and visits to aquariums and zoos. 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 top cash back.
Related reading: The best credit cards for dining out, taking out and ordering in
Typically, a majority of the expenses covered under dining and entertainment on the SavorOne would be subject to the flat-rate earnings most cash-back cards feature, such as 1.5% cash back with the Chase Freedom Unlimited. So this bonus category is by far one of the most generous among its competitors.
It’s only natural that you might also consider the SavorOne’s older sibling, the Capital One Savor, which comes with a $95 annual fee (waived the first year). The $95 Savor comes with an additional 1% cash back on dining and entertainment, bringing the cash back earned to a total of 4% in those categories, along with the same 2% at grocery stores and 1% on everything else. So you’d need to spend an extra $9,500 on dining and entertainment each year to make the annual fee of the Savor card worth it based purely on spending alone.
Related reading: Credit card showdown: Capital One Venture vs. Capital One Savor
Capital One is currently offering a bonus of $150 cash back on the Capital One SavorOne after you spend $500 within the first three months of account opening, which is typical for no-annual-fee cash-back cards. It’s nothing special — just some extra cash in your pocket — but the low minimum spend should be achievable for most people. There’s nothing more flexible than pure cash back, and that’s exactly what this card is — simply a cash-back card. You can’t transfer the cash back earned into Capital One Miles. (If miles are what you’re after, then you should be looking at the best travel rewards cards instead.)
Main benefits and perks
For a card with no annual fee, the Capital One SavorOne comes with some nice perks. For starters, this is a card you can bring abroad as there’s no foreign transaction fees. Essentially, this means that you should be able 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. Also, 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.
Related reading: 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 that you don’t need to provide your actual card number. It also gives you the ability to lock your card in the CapitalOne mobile app rather than cancelling it right away if it’s temporarily misplaced or lost.
How to earn points
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 and entertainment
- 2% cash back at 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 as well as “non-industry entertainment merchant codes like cable, digital streaming and subscription services,” so you should use a different card to maximize your subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.
Related reading: How credit card issuers classify travel and dining purchases
How to redeem
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 through 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’re earned.
Which cards Compete?
When it comes to sign-up bonuses, the Chase Freedom and the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card both have no annual fee and offer $150 cash-back bonuses after you spend $500 in the first three months. However, the Chase Freedom offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in quarterly rotating categories (activation required), while the Quicksilver earns a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no bonus categories at all. The Chase Freedom Unlimited also earns 1.5% on all purchases, but cash back from the Freedom Unlimited can be converted to Ultimate Rewards travel points if you also have a premium Chase card, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
Clearly, what makes the SavorOne different is its bonus earning categories, which are more generous than the other three. In fact, the only credit card with no annual fee that beats the SavorOne on dining is the Uber Visa Card, which offers 4% cash back on dining but doesn’t feature bonus points for entertainment.
The information for the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Capital One Quicksilver, and Uber Visa has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Related reading: The best cash-back credit cards for 2020
If dining and entertainment aren’t major spending categories for you, or if you’d rather have a flat earning rate on all spending, then there are other cash-back cards that might be better suited for you. If you’re trying to earn points and miles to put toward travel, then you should look into premium cards that offer more lucrative redemption options. But if you find yourself spending a lot on dining and entertainment and prefer cash back, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is definitely one to consider, especially when it comes to credit cards with no annual fee.
Featured photo by The Points Guy
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.