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10 Best Ways To Earn Lots of Capital One Cash-back Rewards [2024]

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Christine Krzyszton
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Christine Krzyszton

Senior Finance Contributor

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Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, deta...
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Before Capital One unveiled its new transferable rewards program called Capital One Miles, its cash-back rewards offerings were off the charts.

It wasn’t unusual to be able to earn 4% cash-back or more on everyday purchase categories like dining, groceries, and entertainment.

A bit of attention has been drawn away from cash-back since the explosion in popularity of Capital One Miles, but in this article, we’ll cover which Capital One credit cards earn cash-back and how to earn lots of cash-back with Capital One’s cash-back cards.

The Value of Capital One Cash-back

Flexibility

It’s hard to deny there’s a more flexible rewards currency than cash-back!

With Capital One, cash-back is accumulated in your account so you can save for a large statement credit or significant purchase.

Additional redemption options include gift cards, making a charitable donation, or receiving a check (at a reduced value).

Ease of Earning Cash-back

Capital One also makes it easy to earn cash-back. With multiple bonus spending categories on Capital One personal cards, your cash-back earnings will add up fast.

On the business side, you won’t have to keep track of special earning categories at all with flat rate earnings across the board.

Earn Lots of Cash-back on Personal Capital One Credit Cards

Capital One Personal Cards That Earn Cash-back

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

An excellent cash-back card that offers rewards for categories like dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and grocery stores. (Information collected independently. Not reviewed by Capital One.)

An excellent cash-back card that offers rewards for categories like dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and grocery stores. (Information collected independently. Not reviewed by Capital One.)
Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
$300
$95
20.74%-28.74% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-850)

 

When it comes to rewards credit cards, you can break up most savvy consumers into 2 camps: those who prefer travel rewards and those who prefer cash-back.

Both options can be very lucrative to you and your wallet, especially if you’re using the right card. For those who fall in the “cash is king” camp, you’ll likely find the Capital One Savor card quite compelling.

Pros
  • 10% cash-back on Uber and Uber Eats
  • 8% cash-back on Capital One Entertainment
  • 5% cash-back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
Cons
  • $95 annual fee
  • This is strictly a cash-back card, so it features no travel rewards like other cards offer
  • Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services, 3% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases.
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
  • Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment.
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how much you can earn.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 20.74%-28.74% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A flexible, no-frills card that earns 1.5% cash-back on all purchases. Redeem rewards for any amount anytime you choose with no annual fee.

Learn More(at Capital One's secure site)
A flexible, no-frills card that earns 1.5% cash-back on all purchases. Redeem rewards for any amount anytime you choose with no annual fee.
One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
$200
$0
19.99% - 29.99% (Variable),0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

Low maintenance, that’s your motto. When it comes to your credit cards, you don’t have the time or inclination to figure out which spending categories earn you the most cash-back.

A card that earns 1.5% cash-back for everything is more your speed.

That’s why you should consider the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. You’ll never waste your time with changing categories, and there’s no limit to the cash-back you can earn.

Pros
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash-back on all purchases
  • No annual fee (rates & fees)
  • Up to 6 months of complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
Cons
    • Doesn’t offer bonus categories for those looking to maximize certain purchases
  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Enjoy up to 6 months of complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR after that; balance transfer fee applies
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable),0% intro on purchases for 15 months
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

This card’s rewards will accrue on the card and be available under capitalone.com.

1. Earn Big With Welcome Offers

Meet your minimum spending requirement within the first 90 days after card approval and earn a welcome offer.

2. Purchase Travel

The best Capital One cash-back cards for travel purchases are the Quicksilver card or the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, which both earn 1.5% cash-back per dollar spent on all purchases.

3. Dine Out

You won’t hesitate to pick up the tab at that next group dinner with these Capital One credit cards. Earning 3% to 4% cash-back makes figuring out who owes how much worth it!

4. Buy Groceries

With 3% cash-back, the Capital One Savor card and Capital One SavorOne card both earn rewards on every purchase you make at the grocery store, excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®.

Hot Tip: Grocery stores sell more than just groceries! It’s possible to utilize your Capital One Savor card or Capital One SavorOne card to purchase gift cards (earning 3% cash-back) to use for non-bonus category purchases, such as gas and department stores.

5. Get Entertained

In addition to earning rewards on dining, your entertainment purchases can earn cash-back.

Capital One defines entertainment quite broadly:

  • Bowling/billiard establishments
  • Concerts and sports
  • Movies and live theater
  • Record stores
  • Ticketed events
  • Tourist attractions
  • Video rental/digital streaming services
  • Zoos, amusement parks, aquariums

6. Pay Household Expenses

Rewards earned on everyday household purchases add up quickly when every purchase you make earns cash-back. The Quicksilver card and QuicksilverOne card both earn 1.5% cash-back per dollar spent on these purchases.

7. Use Uber or Uber Eats

You’ll earn 10% cash-back on Uber and Uber Eats purchases with these Capital One cards.

  • Capital One Savor card
  • Capital One SavorOne card
  • Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
  • Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

These cards also come with a complimentary Uber One monthly membership credit through November 14, 2024.

Bottom Line: Welcome bonuses are the fastest way to earn a cash bonus.

Earn Lots of Cash-back on Business Capital One Credit Cards

We think we’ve established the fact that Capital One has a simple rewards earnings structure — but nothing gets quite as simple as earning rewards on Capital One’s cash-back business credit cards.

First, there are no bonus categories whatsoever.

Additionally, you’ll earn 1.5% to 2% cash-back per dollar spent, depending on the card. That’s it.

With this easy formula as a foundation, we’ll take a look at how Capital One credit cards fare when it comes to earning cash-back.

Capital One Business Cards That Earn Cash-back

Capital One Spark Cash Plus CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Capital One Spark Cash Plus card offers an unlimited 2% cash-back on all purchases and helpful features for business owners.

The Capital One Spark Cash Plus card offers an unlimited 2% cash-back on all purchases and helpful features for business owners.
Earn $1,200 cash back once you spend $30,000 in the first 3 months
$1,200
$150
N/A
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-850)

The information regarding the Capital One Spark Cash Plus Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.


The Capital One Spark Cash Plus Card is great for business owners looking to improve their bottom line by earning 2% cash-back on all purchases without a high annual fee. Further, with no preset spending limit, the ability to get your $150 annual fee refunded every year you spend at least $150,000, and no-additional-fee employee cards, there is something that every business owner will love (rates & fees).

Pros
  • Unlimited 2% cash-back on all purchases
  • 5% cash-back on hotels and rental cars purchased through Capital One Travel
  • No preset spending limit
Cons
  • Earn a one-time cash bonus of $1,200 once you spend $30,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, everywhere—with no limits or category restrictions
  • Comes with no preset spending limit, so it can adapt to your needs based on your spending behavior, payment history and credit profile
  • Get your $150 annual fee refunded every year you spend at least $150,000
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • Add employee cards for free, and earn unlimited 2% cash back from their purchases
  • $150 annual fee
  • Spark Cash Plus has no APR because your balance is due in full every month
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: N/A
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent CreditTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Capital One Spark Cash Select card is a great no-annual-fee business credit card that earns 1.5% cash-back on all purchases.

The Capital One Spark Cash Select card is a great no-annual-fee business credit card that earns 1.5% cash-back on all purchases.
Earn a $750 bonus when you spend $6,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.
$750
$0
18.49% - 24.49% Variable

If you’re looking for a cash-back business card with no annual fee, Capital One Spark Cash Select card offers 1.5% cash back on every purchase.

Pros
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • 5% cash-back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • No annual fee
Cons
    • Lack of bonus categories
  • Earn a $750 bonus when you spend $6,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere – with no limits or category restrictions
  • No annual fee
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • Rewards won’t expire for the life of the account
  • Redeem your cash back rewards for any amount
  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • $0 Fraud Liability for unauthorized charges
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 18.49% - 24.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 

8. Earn With Welcome Offers

Capital One business credit cards earn generous welcome offers after completing initial spending requirements in the first 90 days after card approval.

9. Earn Bigger With Tiered Spending Bonuses

In addition to the initial welcome offer, there are sometimes tiered spending bonuses that allow you to earn more. Check the current offers for tiered spending bonuses.

10. Pay for Business Expenses

Because of the simple earning structure, all purchases receive the same level of rewards: the Capital One Spark Cash Plus card earns 2% cash-back and the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit earns 1.5% cash-back.

Whether you purchase travel, office supplies, or shipping, you’ll earn the same level of cash-back rewards on every purchase with your Capital One business credit card.

Bottom Line: Capital One business cash-back credit cards offer simple earnings of either 1.5% or 2% cash-back (depending on the card), with no bonus spending categories. 

Everything Else You Need To Know

Cash-back rewards that you earn on your Capital One card never expire as long as you have a Capital One account open and in good standing. If you close your account, unused cash-back will be forfeited.

Capital One credit cards do not charge foreign transaction fees.

Occasionally, Capital One runs Refer a Friend promotions that reward you with statement credits for referring a friend who is subsequently approved for the credit card. These promotions are usually targeted to specific cardholders who receive an invitation email with the terms of the referral program, but cardholders of the Quicksilver card, Capital One Savor card, or Capital One SavorOne card in good standing may qualify for the referral program. To find your referral link, sign in to your account or look in the app for the Refer a Friend tile on the account details page.

There’s no need to feel left out if you have bad credit or no credit — Capital One issues several credit cards for building or rebuilding credit. The issuer also offers the opportunity to find out if you’re pre-qualified or pre-approved for one of their credit cards.

Hot Tip: While earning cash-back is nice, we recommend accumulating Capital One miles over cash-back because of the valuable transfer partnerships that help you book luxury travel for maximum value.

Final Thoughts

Capital One’s cash-back cards have a lot going for them, especially if you focus on a handful of unique credit cards offering outsized cash-back. For example, the Capital One Savor card earns an awesome 4% cash-back on dining and entertainment.

But because these cash-back rewards are always fixed in value, earning 1% to 4% cash-back via Capital One’s cash-back credit cards might not be the best you can get. It’s probably better to use a card that earns Membership Rewards or Ultimate Rewards points.

The American Express® Gold Card, for instance, earns 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on dining — and Membership Rewards have the potential to deliver value far greater than 1 cent per point.

The information regarding the Capital One SavorOne Card Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One Spark Cash Plus Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One Spark Cash Select for Excellent Credit was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Capital One cash-back work?

When you make a purchase on your Capital One cash-back credit card, the amount of the purchase will earn the applicable percentage of cash-back.

For instance, if you use the Capital One Savor card for dining and spend $50, you will earn 4% cash-back and receive $2 cash-back deposited into your Capital One account.

To redeem your cash-back, simply log in to your Capital One online account, view your rewards balance, and choose the redemption option you prefer.

You can request a statement credit that will be applied to your credit card balance.

Cash-back rewards can also be redeemed for gift cards, a charitable donation, or as cash sent to you in the form of a check (at a reduced value).

Which is the best Capital One cash-back credit card?

The best Capital One credit card for you will depend on your spending habits and whether you want to pay an annual fee.

This is because some personal Capital One credit cards have bonus categories that offer higher rewards for spending in those categories. For example, the Capital One Savor card and Capital One SavorOne card are best for dining and entertainment purchases. All other spending earns between 1% to 2% cash-back, depending on the card.

You’ll also want to make sure that the redemption options on the card you choose deliver value for you or your business.

Does Capital One have a 2% cash-back card?

Yes, Capital One offers the Capital One Spark Cash Plus card, which is a business credit card offering unlimited 2% cash-back.

Does Capital One have a 3% cash-back card?

Capital One has cards that offer 3% cash-back in certain categories like dining, entertainment, streaming, and grocery stores, but it doesn’t offer a card that offers a blanket 3% cash-back on all purchases.

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About Christine Krzyszton

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, detailed content for UP.

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