Note: the offers mentioned below are subject to change at any time and some may no longer be available.
Capital One has a pair of buzzy cashback credit cards competing for your attention, and they’re very similar (and similarly named), which can make it tricky to find the one that’s right for you.
- $95 annual fee (waived in your first year)
- $300 welcome bonus after spending $3,000 in your first three months
- 4% back on dining and entertainment purchases, 2% back at grocery stores, 1% back on all other purchases
- No annual fee
- $150 welcome bonus after spending $500 in your first three months
- 3% back on dining and entertainment purchases, 2% back at grocery stores, 1% back on all other purchases
While our position is that travel rewards cards are generally more rewarding than cash back cards, cash back cards are much simpler to understand, and the Savor card is a very strong offering in the space. Its $300 bonus is a strong welcome offer, especially since the annual fee is waived in your first year.
The Savor’s bonus categories are also really strong. Getting 4% back on dining alone would be pretty great, but adding entertainment to the mix (think movie theaters, sports tickets, and the like) is a really potent combo. That, plus the 2% back at grocery stores, means that you’ll basically earn bonus cash back on any food purchase, anywhere. Just note that some cards, like the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (6% back up to $6,000; then 1%), offer better cash back rates on groceries.
The card also has a handful of one-off bonus partnerships, like a statement credit for Postmates Unlimited through December 2019, and 8% back at Vivid Seats through May 2020.
But still, with a $95 annual fee, it’s not a slam dunk. Since you won’t be able to transfer your rewards to airline or hotel programs for more valuable redemptions, your value is capped at $.01 per “point,” meaning you’ll have to put quite a bit of spend on the card to make up for the fee.
The SavorOne card is basically the Diet Savor Card: slightly watered down benefits, but without the caloric guilt of that annual fee. The $150 welcome bonus is par for the course for a no-annual-fee card (though it’s only half what Wells Fargo offers for its Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card), but you’ll only have to spend $500 in three months to get it, rather than $3,000 like the Savor Card requires.
Other than the absence of those random—and not particularly exciting—fringe benefits, the only important thing you’re giving up with the SavorOne card is one percentage point of cash back on dining and entertainment: you’ll get 3% back instead of 4%, while still collecting the same 2% back on groceries, and 1% on other purchases.
You’d need to spend nearly $800 per month on dining and entertainment for that 1% cash back difference to cover the Savor Card’s $95 annual fee. If you think you’ll generally hit that threshold, then the Savor Card is probably the better card for you (also, I’d like your life). If you spend less, then you’re probably better off sticking with the no-annual-fee SavorOne card. Sure, the Savor’s waived annual fee in the first year and the higher welcome offer complicate this equation a bit, but the longer you plan on having the card, the less those things ultimately matter.
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