Capital One Spark Cash vs. Chase Ink Cash

spark cash vs ink cash

If you’re going to be charging business expenses to a credit card, you may as well be rewarded for that spending. Cash back business credit cards give your business the chance to recoup a portion of your business costs in the form of cash and other rewards.

Chase’s Ink Business Cash card and Capital One’s Spark Cash card are two of the leading business credit cards in the cash back space. So, which one is superior? That all depends on the kind of outfit you run and the sort of expenses you incur. First, we’ll show you our comparison table highlighting the similarities and differences between the two cards. Then, we’ll go through the ways in which these cards differ and what those differences mean to businesses with different spending profiles.

Capital One Spark Cash Chase Ink Business Cash

capital one spark cash select

$95 (waived the first year)

Annual Fee

$0

18.74%, Variable

Purchase APR

15.24% – 21.24%, Variable

  • $500 cash back if you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months of opening your account
  • Earn an additional $1,500 cash back if you spend $50,000 within 6 months of opening your account
Bonus Offer

$500 cash back if you spend at least $3,000 within the first 3 months of opening your account

N/A

Purchase Intro APR

0% APR for the first 12 months

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

0% APR for the first 12 months

None

Foreign Transaction Fee

3%

  • Unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases
Rewards
  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone purchases each account anniversary year
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

Compare

Apply Now

For a more complete look at the cash back business credit card scene, read our article on the current best cash back business credit cards.

Eligibility Requirements

Both the Spark Cash and the Ink Business Cash require a personal credit score of at least 690 in order to qualify.

Fees & Interest Rates

Capital One Spark Cash for Business offers a variable APR of 18.74% — a pretty good rate for a business credit card — but there is no introductory 0% APR period. By contrast, the Chase Ink Business Cash offers 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months, and a variable APR of between 15.24% and 21.24% thereafter.

If you’re going to be making sizable business purchases soon after obtaining your card and/or plan to transfer a balance from another card to this one, the 0% APR period makes Ink Business Cash an ideal choice for a cash back business card. Likewise, if you have excellent credit, you may qualify for a lower ongoing APR with Ink Cash than with the Spark Cash card. On the other hand, if you don’t anticipate putting significant charges on your card within a year and your credit score is on the low end of what qualifies you for either card, the Spark Cash’s ongoing variable APR of 18.74% may beat the ongoing APR you’ll get with the Ink Cash.

Another factor to consider: The Spark Cash carries a $95 annual fee after the first year. The Ink Cash carries no annual fee. Advantage: Ink Cash.

Bonus Offer

The Captial One Spark Cash card currently carries a more impressive bonus offer than Chase Ink Business Cash, but you’ll have to spend more in order to earn it.

With the Spark Cash card, you can earn $500 in cash back by spending at least $5,000 within 3 months of opening your account and an additional $1,500 in cash back if you spend at least $50,000 within 6 months. As the math prodigies among you have already figured out, that’s $2,000 in cash back you stand to earn with the Spark Cash with the right spending profile. This is a limited-time offer, however.

The Ink Cash card’s bonus offer is less exciting but easier to get: earn $500 by spending at least $3,000 within the first 3 months of opening your account.

If you’re certain you’ll be spending more than $3,000 but less than $5,000 within 3 months, Ink Cash’s bonus offer may be more appealing to you, but otherwise, the choice is clear: the Capital One Spark Cash has the superior bonus offer.

Earning Rewards

Earning cash back with the Spark Cash card is as simple as can be. You’ll earn 2% cash back on all your purchases. There are no spending categories to be mindful of and there’s no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn. Nice and straightforward.

Earning cash back is more complex with the Ink Cash, but potentially more lucrative. You earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services. You’ll also earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent per year at gas stations and restaurants, and then unlimited 1% cash back on everything else.

Which card offers superior rewards? Obviously, that’s going to depend on your business spending profile. If your spending jibes with Chase Ink Cash’s bonus categories, you stand to earn more cash back with the Ink Cash card. If it doesn’t, the flat unlimited 2% cash back of the Spark Cash will earn you more cash back.

Furthermore, the fact that there is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn at the 2% rate with the Spark Cash is significant. If you spend more than $100,000 per year on combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet/cable/phone services, you’ll actually earn more cash back with the Spark Cash card due to Ink Cash’s $25,000 limit on the spending that will earn you 5% cash back in those categories.

Redeeming Rewards

Reward redemption works similarly with both cards. You can redeem your cash back in the form of a statement credit or check or you can redeem your cash back for other rewards, like gift cards or travel. Just keep in mind that when you redeem your cash back points for other rewards, it might not be as valuable as it would have been if you had just redeemed it for cash.

With both the Capital One Spark Cash and the Chase Ink Cash cards, your cash back will never expire and can be transferred to other Capital One or Chase cards (depending on which you have).

Benefits & Other Perks

Both cards offer a range of travel and shopping benefits, including extended warranty protection, an auto rental collision damage waiver, and travel/emergency assistance. Both cards also offer access to Visa SavingsEdge, a program that lets you save up to 15% off on some purchases from participating merchants.

One pertinent difference here: the Capital One Spark Cash card has no foreign transaction fees, whereas with the Ink Cash card, you’ll be paying a 3% foreign transaction fee on all transactions processed outside of the US. For the international business traveler, that’s a point in favor of the Spark Cash.

Which Is Best For Your Business?

The Spark Cash and the Ink Cash cards have their differences, but the most significant differences lie in the following:

  • The divergent cash back policies of the two cards
  • The fact that the Ink Cash offers an intro 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months while the Spark Cash offers no 0% APR period
  • The fact that you can potentially earn a $2,000 cash back bonus with the Spark Cash (though this is a limited-time offer) while the Ink Cash’s bonus offer is for $500 in cash back

Choose Chase Ink Business Cash If…

  • You spend a lot (but less than $100,000/year) at office supply stores and/or on internet/cable/phone purchases
  • You plan to spend a lot within the first 12 months and don’t want to pay interest on those charges
  • You have excellent credit and plan to carry a balance from month to month, as the Ink Cash offers a lower potential APR even after the first 12 months
  • You really hate annual fees

Chase Ink Business Cash



Apply Now

Annual Fee:


$0

 

Purchase APR:


15.24% – 21.24%, Variable

Choose Capital One Spark Cash If…

  • Your business spending isn’t concentrated on office supplies, internet/phone/cable purchases, gas stations or restaurants
  • You do a good amount of international business travel
  • You plan to spend significantly more than $100,000 per year, as the Spark Cash has no limit on the amount of 2% cash back you can earn

Capital One Spark Cash For Business


capital one spark cash select
Compare

Annual Fee:


$95 ($0 the first year)

 

Purchase APR:


18.74%, Variable

Final Thoughts

Depending on the nature of your company and your business spending profile, either the Chase Ink Business Cash card or the Capital One Spark Cash card can be a valuable tool. Get rewarded for the business spending you were going to need to do anyway!

Not sure if you’ll qualify for either business card? Here are some helpful links!

  • Best Free Credit Score Sites
  • How To Improve Your Personal Credit Score

The post Capital One Spark Cash vs. Chase Ink Cash appeared first on Merchant Maverick.

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