Capital One launches Spark Travel Elite with 250,000 miles welcome offer

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Recently, it may have seemed like Capital One has been sitting on the sidelines. After the splash it made with the launch of the Venture X card last year, it’s been quietly improving transfer partners and opening sensational airport lounges, while Amex has been stealing the points thunder with its non-stop points parade.

Well, someone better hold Cap’s beer, because Amex isn’t the only issuer that can throw down a 250,000 point welcome offer.

This week, Capital One launched a brand new business credit card: the Spark Travel Elite. While the benefits and spending perks of this new card are almost identical to the Venture X, the starting welcome offer is in the stratosphere…250,000 Capital One Miles.

But there’s a catch: there’s no public link for this card. The only way to apply for it is through a Capital One Relationship Manager (which sounds like couples therapy but isn’t)…and the minimum spend for the entire welcome offer is $50,000.

The only way to apply for the new Capital One Spark Travel Elite is through a relationship manager

The Deal

  • New cardholders can earn up to 250,000 miles after being approved for the Spark Travel Elite card. The bonus has a tiered structure:
    • Earn 50,000 miles after spending $10,000 within the first 3 months of card membership.
    • Earn an additional 200,000 miles after spending $50,000 within the first six months of card membership.
  • You must apply via a Capital One Relationship Manager

Key Card Details

  • Annual Fee: $395
  • Earning rates: 2X everywhere. 10X hotels and rental cars/5x on flights when booked through the Capital One travel portal.
  • $300 annual credit for travel that’s booked through Capital One Travel.
  • Unlimited access to Capital One airport lounges and Plaza Premium Lounges. Also comes with Priority Pass Select membership.
  • 10,000 mile annual anniversary bonus.
  • Primary Rental Car Insurance
  • TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit
  • Offers the ability to pay vendors that don’t accept credit cards via C1’s new partnership with Melio.

Quick Thoughts

The new Spark Travel Elite is effectively the small business version of the Venture X card and is almost identical in terms of benefits and earnings, making it a compelling keeper card. While you have to pay a $395 annual fee, in my opinion the anniversary bonus and $300 travel credit more than offset the annual fee, and you also get access to the excellent lounge benefits and 2x everywhere earning. My assumption would be that the generous authorized user (AU) benefits of the Venture X will apply here as well (where AU’s get the same lounge benefits and primary rental car insurance with no additional annual fee).

The spend will be a non-starter for some. I don’t really think that it’s worth getting the card unless you can do the whole $50K, and that’s a big number. However, for those who can, remember that this bonus is on top of the normal 2x earnings on the card, effectively meaning that you’ll get 7x on the first $50K in spend, for a total of 350,000 C1 miles when all is said and done. Our Reasonable Redemption Values list Capital One miles at 1.45 cents per point, so that 350,000 points is worth just over $5,000. 10% back on $50,000 spend should be tempting for those who can swing it.

What about the application via Capital One Relationship Manager? If you don’t have one, you can call Capital One and ask to be assigned one. If you’re not currently a Capital One customer, you can still do the same thing. That said, you will have to actually answer questions from a living person, so if you do decide to apply now, just make sure that you’re comfortable with the dialogue surrounding your business. Also, just because you’re able to talk to a relationship manager, it doesn’t mean you’ll be allowed to apply or be approved. We have no info on what the qualifications that Capitol One is using for invitations or approvals (if there are any). You can see Nick’s primer here. It’s being reported that eventually there will be a public application link, but who knows what the welcome offer will be at that point.

View from the Wing reports that the card will not appear on your personal credit report, so this won’t affect your 5/24 status and the spend won’t be reported on your credit utilization. If you are comfortable with your eligibility for a business card, can get an application through a relationship manager and can swing the spend, this new Spark Travel Elite offer is definitely worth considering.

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Mendel

Thank you for all the comments, I tried the LinkedIn thing and it worked great!
Never had a CO card and I was approved instantly (after a lengthy and intelligent conversation about my business with the Relationship Manager).

farmboy

Was a breeze, called the number on back of my Spark, got the name for my relationship manager. Called him and application email received in abiot 7 minutes after I hung up with him.

BonvoyedAgain

What’s the thought of putting personal expenses on Cap1 biz cards? Have some large home repair and travel expenses that I wouldn’t mind putting on this. And does the primary car rental have to be on business trips only?

pepperjackdragon

Anybody have a number to call. 50k in six months is no problem at all, may well do it in a couple of days depending on the week. However, I can’t seem to get past a rep telling me its invitation only, and nobody has ever even heard of relationship managers…

pepperjackdragon

Thanks. THe number I have gotten so far is 18009039177 but 3 people and a transfer to another line, which had someone located in America, and so far haven’t found anyone that even knows was a Relationship manager is. Have never tried locating anyone via Linkedin but will google it and see what I can figure out.

pepperjackdragon

well i sent a couple of messages out. I am curious though-as I have a sole proprietorship so have never had a reason to use linkedin, how can one be sure that this is the persons actual role? Seems a bit risky to be reaching out to people myself and then giving them such personal information as would be needed for an application

Mike Chicago

Nice job CapOne marketing, you’ve created a disincentive to apply for the X, so don’t sit on making this card publicly available for too long.

Kristin

So is this card attainable or not?

Was the author of the article incorrect?

I am a business owner and would like the card… But when I called got the same nonsense answer

Maybe before the article is published there should be some verification

Mike Chicago

It sounds like it’s attainable if you want to spend the time tracking down a RM who still has invites available. Personally, I don’t want to spend hours on it so I will wait until it’s publicly available or we hear some success stories from people who were able to get the card in a reasonable amount of time. But the application for the Venture X that I was planning for August 1 will no longer be made, as there is no sense blowing a 5/24 slot knowing this business version of the X exists and presumably will be publicly available soon.

Last edited 19 days ago by Mike Chicago
Al Whitfield

Hurray !! I got my Card. I have been assigned a wonderful Relationship manager, and she sent me the link. And I got approved.

It took over 3 days to find a CS who connected me with the right person. Apparently if you have a Business card already there is a field in your profile, that they can only see, that has the name of your Relationship Manager. Now for the hard part 50K in 6 months !!

Thanks for the great article !

David

I went to Capital One branch today and they never heard of this card

J Edwards

I was told you will need an invitation code to apply.

Al Whitfield

Has any one had success calling and applying with Capitol One Elite card?
I called and they said they don’t have Relationship Managers, and that the Elite Card is only available if you get a “Private” invitation. And there are no more invitations left

DaveS

This isn’t a welcome offer; it’s a big spend in a limited time offer. I think the points and miles blogging community should establish some standard for a multiplier that qualifies as a “welcome” offer. If it is 10x, then a 50k points for $5k spend qualifies. The 5x then 4x multipliers here may appeal to some but they’re not real welcome bonuses

Steve L

is it a $50k spend or a $60k spend? I presume it’s spend $10k and then spend an additional $40k, but the article has me wondering which it is.

From the article:

  • Earn 50,000 miles after spending $10,000 within the first 3 months of card membership.
  • Earn an additional 200,000 miles after spending $50,000 within the first six months of card membership.
Last edited 22 days ago by Steve L
slaven

any issues with cap 1 of ppl buying large gc amounts from simon mall? would be the only way for me to spend $50k/6 months

slaven

very similar SUB offer to the Spark Miles for Business card.

travelsplash

I got a Spark Business card less than 6 months ago and still working on the 50k spend for 300k points. Do you think they will approve me for another business card? I also have the old Venture card (not X).

LarryInNYC

I have read elsewhere that only the Spark Cash Plus card will prevent you from getting this new card. If that’s the Spark card you have, no luck. If it’s not then you fall back onto Capitol One’s approval logic which is opaque and understood by no one.

Gubmintmole

I simply don’t have that much to spend!

joremero

 the card will not appear on your personal credit report,”

do they still do the triple-pull for this card though?

Raylan

You can (and should) freeze your most pulled bureau. They still approve even if they can only pull two.

Reno Joe

Is Greg applying?

Sorry to open old wounds but I just had to ask.

Frank

Well, so comparing that to AMEX where just 2 Business Platinum cards could get you 300,000 for spending $30K in 3 months, it’s maybe not so great. I have a few of those and perhaps can get one more still.

The Cap One card is a VISA, I assume, so that makes it a bit easier for spending. I think I will still give it a miss. If it were for Chase points that would be different.

Points Adventure

If I spend $50k on multiple SUBs/cards, I’d land the equivalent of 750k+ CapOne pts and more time to complete the spend. Yeah, that sounds better.

Mike

Question is whether one can get approved for that many cards from Cap1 and over what time frame. The key is if you have a high spending capacity in a shorter window, this will give a sizable bonus with just 1 card.

Cavedweller

Cap 1 is tough they never gave me a card but Chase always Go figure..

Cavedweller

Yes of Course , x Landlord, Foreman and lots of stuff laying around and people can get hurt quickly. More like the TPG always LOOKING..
Take Care Vine Owner..