By Adam Jusko, ProudMoney.com, adam@proudmoney.com

Capital One has expanded and improved upon its existing Savor credit card, now boasting a lineup of two different Savor cash back credit cards. What’s new, and how do these cards compare to each other and to other cards on the market? Let’s dive in and see…

Capital One SavorOne Rewards Review

The Capital One SavorOne Rewards credit card is essentially an upgraded version of the Savor card of the past. It has no annual fee and hands out cash back using the following formula:

  • 3% cash back on dining and entertainment
  • 2% cash back on grocery store purchases
  • 1% cash back everywhere else

There are no caps on how much cash back you can earn.

The difference between this new SavorOne credit card and the previous Savor card is the addition of the 3% cash back on entertainment purchases. What qualifies as entertainment? In general, it means out-of-the-house entertainment vs. in-home entertainment. So you’ll get that 3% on things like movie theater tickets, plays, concerts, sporting events, amusement parks, zoos, dance clubs, even record stores and video rentals from a physical store. But you won’t get that 3% on cable TV, streaming services and subscriptions, so no Netflix, Spotify, Hulu, etc.

Bonus Opportunity

You’ll get a $150 bonus if you spend at least $500 with this card in the first three months of having it.

Zeros

You’ll get a 0% interest rate on new purchases with this card as well as on balances you transfer from other cards. (There is a 3% fee if you transfer a balance, however.)

Is It Good?

Overall, the Capital One SavorOne card is an obvious upgrade over the previous Savor card offering, thanks to the addition of the 3% cash back on entertainment purchases. While it still doesn’t rise to the heights of the best cash back cards that have bonus categories (the Uber Visa being our favorite), it does enter into the conversation with cards like the Blue Cash Everyday card from American Express, the Wells Fargo Propel card, the Bank of America Cash Rewards Visa, etc. The higher cash back percentage on entertainment is actually somewhat unique, allowing the Savor card to offer something different that should be noticeable to potential cardholders.



And Now… The Capital One Savor Rewards Card Review

The completely new card in the Savor lineup has a name much like the past Savor card that is now the SavorOne card, so that’s a little confusing. Anyway, the new Savor Rewards card offers you cash back using the following formula:

  • 4% cash back on dining and entertainment
  • 2% cash back on grocery store purchases
  • 1% cash back everywhere else

Big Bonus

You can earn a $500 bonus if you use this card for at least $3000 in purchases within the first three months of having it.

No Zeros

You do NOT get the 0% interest rate on purchases and balance transfers with this card that is offered by the SavorOne card described above.

Great in the First Year, But Then…

Getting 4% on dining and entertainment in the first year, plus a potential $500 bonus, all with no annual fee — sign me up! Unfortunately, once that $95 annual fee kicks in (and there’s no more bonus to pursue), it’s a much more difficult case to make. The difference between this card and the no annual fee SavorOne card in terms of everyday rewards is an extra 1% on dining and entertainment. In order to make up for that $95 annual fee and make this card more rewarding than the SavorOne card after the first year, you’d need to spend at least $9500 in the dining/entertainment categories, or close to $200 per week. Do you spend that much on dining and entertainment on a weekly/yearly basis? Maybe. But most people probably do not, so this card doesn’t look so enticing after Year 1.

The Overall Verdict

The Savor cards put Capital One back in the conversation when it comes to good cash-back cards, even if they are still not the best on the market by most standards. Capital One has not been very competitive recently with excellent-credit customers who can pick and choose among the many great cards available, though Cap One is popular with those whose credit history might not qualify them for other top-tier cards. (Capital One has a reputation for serving a broader range of credit scores than most other major card issuers.)

Overall, these new Savor cards are a welcome addition to the market, giving reward seekers another potential avenue to maximize rebates on their unique spending patterns.