A no-annual-fee card for foodies and entertainment: Capital One SavorOne credit card review
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest credit card information.
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card Overview
The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a solid no-annual-fee card if you’re spend regularly on dining or entertainment, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. It offers unlimited 3% cash back on those two categories, plus 2% at grocery stores and 1% on everything else. The card comes with an average sign-up bonus and isn’t ideal for spending outside of its bonus categories, but it’s not a bad starter card 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.
Who is this card for?
If you’re a fan of dinner delivered and a streaming 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. Meanwhile, “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.
Typically, the majority 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. 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.
Capital One is currently offering a bonus of $200 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 convert 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. 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 not the norm for a no-annual-fee card to have a concierge service, so this is a nice little perk.
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.
How to earn Cash Back
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.
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 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.
Which cards Compete?
When it comes to sign-up bonuses, the Chase Freedom Flex and the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card are currently offering the same bonus. The Quicksilver has no annual fee and offers a $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months. The Chase Freedom Flex offers $200 cash back after $500 in the first three months from account opening. Additionally, Flex will offer the same permanent bonus categories, including 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and 3% at drugstores.
Clearly, what makes the SavorOne different is its bonus earning categories, which are more generous than the other three.
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 other cash-back cards 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
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TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,040
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X miles on United® purchases
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- Earn 80K bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 20K bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months
- $250 Annual Fee
- Earn 3X miles on United® purchases, 2X miles at restaurants, on select streaming services & all other travel, 1X on all other purchases
- Earn 3X miles on United Airlines purchases
- Earn 2X miles at restaurants and on select streaming services
- Earn 2X miles on all other travel
- Earn 1X mile on all other purchases
- Each year, receive a $125 credit on United® purchases and two 5k-mile anniversary award flight credits. Terms apply.