2019 Capital One Savor Review
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The Verdict: Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is the best credit card for dining and entertainment rewards. It offers 4% cash back in those purchase categories, to go along with 2% cash back at grocery stores and 1% back on everything else. The Savor Card also gives an initial bonus of $300 to new cardholders who spend at least $3,000 within three months of opening an account. That’s enough to cover the cost of the card’s annual fee ($95, waived the first year) for several years.
The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card was built for rewards, as its name suggests, so it’s best when cardholders pay their bill in full by every due date. The card’s regular APR is pretty high, ranging from 16.24% to 25.24% (V), and there isn’t a low introductory rate to save you money initially.
The Savor Card also is best for relatively high spenders. You need to charge an average of $1,000 per month for three months to earn the initial bonus, for starters. If you don’t, you’ll need to spend at least $2,375 annually in order to break even from the second year on. People who don’t expect to spend enough to take full advantage of the Capital One Savor Card may instead want to consider its sister card, Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card, which has slightly lower rewards rates but is more accessible. Both cards require at least good credit for approval.
Below, you can learn more about the Capital One Savor Card to see whether the savings it offers should be on your menu.
What We Love About the Capital One Savor Card
$300 Sign-up Bonus: Spending $3,000 in the first three months you have the Capital One Savor Card will earn you its $300 initial bonus (provided that you haven’t earned it before). The bonus will be credited to your account within two billing cycles of when you meet the initial spending requirement.
This is a good deal to go after if you’re planning to spend enough to qualify, anyway. The Savor Card’s initial bonus is about twice the average among cash rewards credit cards and one of the biggest cash bonuses available from any credit card right now.
4% Cash Back on Dining & Entertainment: Capital One Savor is the best credit card for dining and entertainment because it offers unlimited 4% cash back on qualifying purchases. The list is not limiting, either.
Places known primarily as dining establishments qualify for the Savor Card’s 4% rewards rate. Other qualifying purchases include tickets to plays, concerts, professional sporting events, and movies at the theater. Paying to enter tourist attractions, amusement parks, zoos and aquariums counts, too. Same goes for bowling alleys, dance halls and pool halls. Also eligible are purchases made at record stores and video rental stores (wherever you can find them!).
- Solid Secondary Rewards: In addition to bonus rewards on dining and entertainment purchases, the Savor Card gives 2% cash back at grocery stores (not including super stores or warehouse clubs). All other purchases – those in non-bonus spending categories – produce 1% cash back. For context, the average cash rewards card offers about 1% back on all purchases.
No Foreign Transaction Fees: If life takes you abroad, whether for an international culinary adventure or any other reason, the Capital One Savor Card won’t penalize you with a foreign surcharge for spending money along the way. The average credit card, on the other hand, charges a fee equal to roughly 1.5% of each purchase processed outside the U.S.
The fact that Savor is a Mastercard also means you’ll be able to use it anywhere in the world that accepts credit cards.
- Easy Rewards Redemption: You can redeem the cash back rewards that you accrue with this card via statement credit or check. Plus, you’re able to redeem on demand or automatically once your earnings reach a certain threshold or a certain date rolls around. Gift cards are another redemption option for Savor cardholders, but cash is a lot more valuable.
- $95 Annual Fee, Starting the Second Year: After a free first year, the Capital One Savor Card will cost about five times more per year than the average credit card just to own for 12 months. That alone could scare away some prospective applicants, but you have to consider the value of all the rewards and benefits that fee unlocks. And in terms of total net return, Capital One Savor definitely is in the top tier.
- High Regular APR: The Capital One Savor Card’s APR ranges from 16.24% to 25.24% (V). That doesn’t compare too favorably to applicable market averages. The average credit card for good credit has a 21% APR, according to WalletHub’s research, while the average card for excellent credit charges 14%. So, plan to pay your bill in full every month.
Average Base Rewards Rate: Purchases that don’t qualify for Capital One Savor’s bonus rewards rates yield just 1% cash back. That’s everything except dining and entertainment purchases and purchases made at grocery stores. And that’s important for a few reasons:
The average cash rewards card offers 1.03% back on all purchases; several credit cards for people with good credit offer 1.5% cash back on all purchases; and others give higher returns in popular purchase categories besides dining, entertainment and grocery stores. So if you want to be really strategic, consider using Capital One Savor as part of a multi-card approach.
What Else Should You Know Before Applying for Capital One Savor?
- Limited-Time Perks: Cardholders will earn 8% cash back on ticket purchases made via Vivid Seats through May 2020.
- Tap to Pay: The Savor Card’s contactless feature allows cardholders to complete some purchases by hovering the card near a payment terminal. The terminal has to be properly equipped, though.
- Good Credit or Better Required: You need a credit score of 700 or higher, along with enough income to afford monthly bill payments, to have good odds of being approved for the Capital One Savor Card. You can check your latest credit score for free on WalletHub.
- Bonus Rewards Depend on Merchant Categorization: Whether or not a particular purchase qualifies for one of the Capital One Savor Card’s bonus rewards rates ultimately depends on its merchant category code. That’s standard, and it shouldn’t lead to purchases that deserve to be eligible not getting credit. There isn’t really anything you can do about it, either. But it’s good to know that Capital One doesn’t have some long list of specific stores and other retailers that do and don’t make the cut for customers to consult.
Compared to the Competition
Capital One Savor isn’t the only credit card with great rewards. There are lots of attractive options right now. To help you make the right decision for your wallet, we’ll compare Capital One Savor to three of the most popular alternatives.
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
|Annual Fee||$0 for 1st yr, $95 after||$0||$0||$95|
|Rewards Bonus||$300||$150||$150||60,000 points|
|Rewards Rate||1 - 4% Cash Back||1 - 3% Cash Back||1.5% Cash Back||1 - 2 points / $1|
|Purchase Intro APR||Not Offered||0% for 15 months||0% for 15 months||Not Offered|
|Transfer Intro APR||Not Offered||0% for 15 months|
Transfer Fee: 3%
|0% for 15 months|
Transfer Fee: 3%
|Regular APR||16.24% - 25.24% (V)||15.74% - 25.74% (V)||15.74% - 25.74% (V)||17.74% - 24.74% (V)|
|Editors’ Rating||4.9 / 5||4.8 / 5||4.4 / 5||4.5 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More|
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