The Capital One® VentureSM Rewards Card has been a big hit ever since it hit the market a few years ago with its "100,000 Match Your Miles" promotion. While the promo didn't last as long as we would have all liked, the offer continues to be quite popular among travel rewards junkies searching for cards that will allow them to rack up serious miles.
There was a popular business version of the Venture Rewards Card too; however, it was eventually pulled from the market. In its place, Capital One launched the new Spark Miles for Business Card, which is actually quite similar to its predecessor. If you're a small business owner and you're a fan of the Capital One Venture Rewards Card, there's no reason you shouldn't love the Capital One Spark Miles for Business Card too.
It's essentially the same card, rebranded with a catchy name and a few added benefits for small business owners.
Since the new consumer protections that were part of the CARD Act of 2009 don't extend to business credit cards, the main concern that came to my mind when I first heard about this card was why should small business owners choose the Spark Miles card over the Capital One Venture personal card? The rewards programs are very similar, yet personal cards offer much greater consumer protections now than most business credit cards. And in a small business, there's nothing that really requires the use of a "business" card over a "personal" card for business expenses.
An executive from Capital One, Derek Mohar, provided the following in response to my inquiry: “We voluntarily adopted many of the provisions of the CARD Act for our Small Business customers in 2010 when the law was implemented. What's more, Spark cards provide tools and benefits designed to help manage a business and save time, such as free employee cards and specialized reporting.” So, what are some examples of CARD Act provisions that Capital One adopted? Here are some of the big ones:
- Payment amounts above the minimum payment due will be applied to balances carrying the highest interest rate first
- Statement timing/due date: You'll have 21 days to pay your bill after the statement has been delivered
- New statement design includes minimum payment disclosures
In addition, I was reminded by Mr. Mohar that Capital One never practiced universal default or double-cycle billing, so they're already in compliance with the CARD Act in this regard. So that leads us to what makes the Capital One Spark Miles Card an attractive offer for small business owners?
Top 5 Things to Love About the Capital One Spark Miles for Business Card
- You'll receive 2 miles for every dollar spent, every day. There's no limit on the amount of points you can earn and the miles never expire. (Same as the Venture Card)
- 10,000 bonus miles for spending just $1,000 during the first 3 months of use (Same as the Venture Card)
- 5,000 bonus miles for signing up one or more employees for a card. (It's free to add up to 25 employees, and this isn't offered by the Venture Card)
- $59 annual fee is waived for the first year, allowing you to at least give the card a try and earn the bonus miles. (Same as the Venture Card)
- No foreign exchange fees, which is really nice to have if your employees travel overseas (Same as the Venture Card)
As you can see, there are a lot of similarities with the Venture Card here. The key difference is that you can get an extra 5,000 bonus points for adding at least one employee as an authorized user, and then you'll also have the ability to set individual spending limits for employees and track their purchases on your monthly statement. If you've got employees, or expect to have some soon, you'll want to have this functionality. It's very important. Lastly, Capital One will even allow you to print your company logo on the card for some free advertising, which never hurts. To read more details about this card offer, check out our Capital One Spark Miles for Business Card product review page and consider applying for yours today. Updated June 20, 2012