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3 ways Capital One makes it easy to earn great rewards

Dec. 14, 2020
8 min read
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Sometimes, simple is best.

Most of us spend untold hours making decisions every day: deciding where to go, who to pick for a big project at work, even something as simple as choosing what to make for dinner (and lunch, and breakfast). Decisions surround, and sometimes confound, us. The last thing we need is complexity in something that should be fun – credit card rewards.

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Fortunately, Capital One offers simplified but still very rewarding options with a number of its credit cards. Whether you’re after versatile cash back or want to earn easy-to-understand miles that can be used to book travel ranging from a vacation home rental to first class airline awards, Capital One gives you easy paths towards maximizing your spending, while also earning valuable rewards.

These are some of the best ways to earn rewards with Capital One credit cards, as well as the best ways to earn rewards on everything you buy. We'll even discuss how to leverage straightforward rewards with flexibility, and how your small business can make the most of everyday work expenses.

Earn bonus cash back on dining

One way or another, we all need to eat. Whether it's a quick snack on the go or a warm, home-cooked meal, we're constantly pulling out a credit card to cover the cost of food.

With Capital One, it’s easy to earn rewards while satisfying your stomach. The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has you covered at both restaurants and grocery stores. Earn 4% cash back on dining purchases, including takeout from your favorite restaurant. Plus, 4% cash back on popular streaming services. And, this card will also earn 3% back at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target). The information for the 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.

Image courtesy of shutterstock.

And while it may not be a priority now, once theaters and sports arenas are safely back at it, the Capital One Savor card rewards 4% cash back on a wide variety of entertainment purchases. And you'll still earn 1% back on all other purchases.

The current welcome offer will also keep your wallet full despite all those holiday expenses. New card members can earn a one-time bonus of $300 cash back when they spend $3,000 within three months of account opening.

Get cash back on all your purchases

If you’re not spending a lot in any one particular category, your best bet might be to focus on a cash-back card that earns more than 1% on all your purchases. That way, you know you're earning the same amount of cash back no matter where you use your card.

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card earns unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.

Because it earns 1.5% cash back everywhere you shop, you don't have to keep track of multiple credit cards with different bonus point structures. You’ll earn 1.5% cash back on all of your purchases regardless of the merchant, so you can quickly turn all your holiday shopping into rewards. And new Quicksilver card members will earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 on the card within three months of opening a new account.

Small business owners can get an even better deal. The Capital One Spark Cash for Business earns 2% cash back on all purchases. It's hard to beat unlimited 2% cash back with a small business credit card, especially with a $0 introductory annual fee the first year (and just $95 after that). Additional cards are free for your employees, so you can easily maximize all of your business expenses.

Image courtesy of shutterstock.

As a small business owner, you might be surprised to learn how many vendors accept a credit card for payment without charging a fee. In the past year, I've used my small business credit cards to purchase light bulbs, crayons, paper towels and a whole lot more. And we pay our company cell phone bill on our small business credit card as well, along with countless subscriptions we need to keep our business running. Considering all the extra expenses associated with running a business during a pandemic, earning 2% on face masks, gloves and other protective equipment for your team adds up.

Take a minute and scan all the expense categories on your profit and loss statement. Then, think about being able to earn 2% cash back on most of them. It’s a no-brainer, right?

Earn miles for travel

If you enjoy travel, earning flexible travel rewards from your credit cards is a great strategy.

You’ve likely already seen the commercials and have this memorized, but it’s true that the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card earns unlimited 2X miles per dollar on all purchases.

Best of all, the card currently offers 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Redeeming those miles are just as easy as earning them. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card allows you to redeem miles for any recent travel expense (not just flights and hotel rooms, but also vacation rentals, car rentals and more. You can redeem miles for any travel purchase made within the past 90 days, by simply logging in to your Capital One account and redeeming miles against the charge.

If you're looking to book a dream, aspirational vacation, and want to get a bit more creative, you can also transfer your Venture and Spark Miles to one of Capital One's 15+ partner loyalty programs to book first and business class award flights (upon availability), hotel nights, upgrade existing bookings and more.

The small business advantage

Small business owners and leaders are some of the hardest working Americans. Unfortunately, far too often, they’re leaving money on the table by not earning or using credit card rewards. However, thanks to the great combination of simple rewards and redemption flexibility with Capital One, that can easily change.

The Capital One Spark Miles for Business earned a place in my wallet a little over a year ago. I'd be lying if I said the welcome bonus at that time didn't catch my attention. But, what made the card a game-changer was that Capital One added really enticing transfer partners for both Spark Miles and Venture cardholders.

Similar to the Capital One Spark Cash Card, Spark Miles earns unlimited 2X miles per dollar spent. Just like the Spark Cash Card, free employee cards make it easy to increase the number of Spark Miles you're earning every month.

And, just like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, Spark Miles can be transferred to the full list of travel partners. Qantas, Air Canada (with the new Aeroplan program) and Emirates are just an example of some of the great airlines you can transfer Spark Miles to for an incredible trip. On the hotel side, Wyndham and Accor can provide great value as Capital One transfer partners.

The welcome offer for the Capital One Spark Miles for Business credit card is currently 50,000 miles when you spend $4,500 on purchases within three months of opening your account. While I was initially attracted to this card because of the transfer partners and the welcome bonus, there’s another standout benefit for small businesses with traveling employees.

The Spark Miles card is one of just a few credit cards that includes primary car rental coverage when it’s used to pay for a car rental. That can save a ton of money on car rentals without leaving your business exposed to unnecessary risk.

Bottom line

Capital One makes it incredibly easy to earn and redeem rewards with its credit cards. The Savor card is great for people who dine out frequently or spend a lot on groceries, while the Quicksilver and the Spark Cash cards are perfect for people who want to earn cash back without any fuss.

And both the Venture and Spark Miles cards offer straightforward travel rewards earning with the option to transfer your miles to top-tier travel loyalty programs.

So, if you’re new to the world of rewards credit cards, you can’t go wrong when you put a Capital One card in your wallet.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more