Capital One brings back lucrative bonus of up to 200,000 miles on Spark Miles, $2,000 on Spark Cash
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The biggest sign-up bonuses of last year are back! Capital One is once again offering incredible elevated sign-up bonuses for two of its Spark business cards — the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business and Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business. If you’ve been on the fence about getting either of these cards, this sign-up bonus just might sway you toward hitting the apply button.
The Spark Miles is offering an initial 50,000 miles after you spend $5,000 in the first three months and an insane 150,000 additional miles after you spend $50,000 total on purchases in the first six months. The Spark Cash is offering a similar bonus, except in cash back. You’ll earn a $500 cash bonus after spending $5,000 in the first three months, plus another $1,500 cash bonus after you spend $50,000 total on purchases in the first six months.
While $50,000 may seem like a high threshold to hit for the full bonus, a lot of small businesses can easily put $50,000 in spend on a card over the course of six months. This may not be a feasible bonus for your average freelancer to hit, but it’s worth looking at if you know you’ll spend that much during the rest of 2019 and into 2020. And keep in mind, since the cards earn an unlimited 2 miles per dollar (Spark Miles) or 2% cash back (Spark Cash), you’re also earning miles or cash back on that $50,000 in spending, meaning you’ll end up with a crazy 300,000 miles or $3,000 when all is said and done.
New perk added to Spark Miles card
In addition to the ability to earn a total of 300,000 miles on Spark Miles, the card also has added a new feature — the ability to earn 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked via Capital One travel. While people chasing elite status may not want to book through a portal, businesses who don’t care about hotel status can book through the Capital One portal and maximize their earnings at the same time they’re making the $50,000 minimum spend requirement.
Since TPG values Capital One miles at 1.4 cents apiece, earning 5x on hotel spend means you’ll effectively be earning 7 cents per dollar on your hotel spend, which is a terrific return.
Comparing the Spark Miles and Spark Cash cards
Aside from the new hotels and car rentals benefit which is only available on the Spark Miles, the Spark Miles and Spark Cash are similar in terms of rewards structure and fees — the main differentiating factor is that the Spark Miles is geared towards business travelers while the Spark Cash is geared towards those who want cash back rewards. Here’s a quick snapshot of the two cards:
|Spark Miles||Spark Cash|
|Sign-up bonus:||50,000 miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months
150,000 additional miles after spending $50,000 in the first six months
|$500 bonus after spending $5,000 in the first three months
$1,500 bonus after spending $50,000 in the first six months
|Rewards rate:||5x miles on hotels, rental cars booked via Capital One Travel; 2x miles on everything else||2% cash back on every purchase|
|Redemption options:||Redeem as a statement credit for travel purchases, or transfer to one of Capital One’s transfer partners||Redeem as a statement credit or a check|
|Annual fee:||$95, waived the first year||$95, waived the first year|
With these cards offering such similar benefits, which one is better for you? While cash back is a little more flexible in what you can spend it on, Capital One miles are worth more according to TPG’s valuations because of your ability to transfer miles to popular frequent flyer programs. This means you’re getting a slightly elevated 2.8% return when you use the Spark Miles (compared to the flat 2% on the Spark Cash). The Spark Miles also offers a TSA PreCheck/Global Entry application fee credit (up to $100) that isn’t available on the Spark Cash.
Transfer miles to 15 airline partners
Last year Capital One added transfer partners to its Venture and Spark card lineups, so not only are the miles earned with the Spark Miles card redeemable for any travel purchase at a rate of 1 cent per mile, they’re also transferable to 15 different airline programs, making them potentially even more valuable. Here’s the list of transfer partners currently available with the Spark Miles card — points transfer at a 2-to-1.5 ratio unless otherwise noted:
Aeromexico Club Premier
Air Canada Aeroplan
Air France-KLM Flying Blue
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
Emirates Skywards (2:1)
EVA Infinity MileageLands
Hainan Fortune Wings Club
JetBlue TrueBlue (2:1)
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Qatar Airways Privilege Club
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (2:1)
The ability to transfer miles opens up the world of premium cabin redemptions — you can redeem miles earned with the Spark Miles card for fantastic experiences like flying in Emirates First Class or Singapore Suites. TPG UK’s own Jean Arnas recently flew in the new Singapore Suites between London and Singapore, which you can redeem for by transferring 250,000 Capital One miles to Singapore’s KrisFlyer program and pay minimal taxes and fees for the experience of a lifetime.
While JetBlue is the only domestic carrier on Capital One’s list of transfer partners, you can also redeem miles for domestic routes through partnerships. For example, American Airlines flyers can use Etihad Guest to book first-class flights on American Airlines for 33,333 Capital One Miles each way. If you’re willing to put in the time to get to know the Capital One transfer partners and their award charts, you can get quite a bit of value out of the Capital One Spark miles. Of course, you can also always redeem your miles for 1 cent each for eligible travel expenses without worrying with the transfer process.
You really can’t go wrong with either of these offers. If you’re planning to use your rewards for travel, it’s worth looking at the Spark Miles over the Spark Cash because of the added benefits of transfer partners and a TSA PreCheck/Global Entry application fee credit. However, business owners just looking for a way to save money on everyday expenses will still get plenty of value out of the Spark Cash.
These elevated bonus offers won’t be around forever, so you should take advantage sooner rather than later. You’re getting at least $2,000 in value no matter which card you apply for, which makes these offers some of the most valuable bonuses on the market today.
LIMITED TIME OFFER: Earn up to 200,000 bonus miles with this business card, plus 5x miles on hotels and car rental booking through Capital One Travel, and 2x miles on all other purchases.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 200,000 bonus miles worth up to $2,000 to spend on travel—flights, hotels and more
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months and earn 150,000 bonus miles when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of your account opening
- Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions, and miles won't expire for the life of the account
- Earn 5X miles on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel℠ using a Spark Miles card
- Transfer your miles to 10+ leading travel loyalty programs like JetBlue™, Air Canada, and Emirates™
- Redeem your miles instantly for any travel-related purchases, from flights and hotels to ride-sharing services
- Fly through security with one statement credit for either the $85 TSA Pre✓® application fee or the $100 Global Entry application fee
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that