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Is the Capital One Savor card the best cash back credit card? With a popular 4% cash back category it’s definitely worth looking into. We’ll go through all the details of the card and dissect whether it competes for the King of cash back credit cards or not.
Capital One Savor Features & Benefits
$500 Cash Bonus after spending $3000 in the first 3 monthsLearn More >>
- Introductory Offer: You’ll earn $500 cash bonus after you spend $3000 in the first 3 months.
- Earning: You’ll earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases.
- No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards.
- No Points Expiration: Cashback won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how much you can earn.
- Fees: No foreign transaction fees
- Benefits: Capital One cardholders get access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
- Annual Fee: $95 (waived in year 1)
Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.
The Capital One Savor Introductory Offer: Cashback vs Travel Points
$500 is a very good introductory offer, especially from a cashback credit card. You will not get as much value as you would with travel points, but travel is not always for everyone. With cash back, every point is essentially worth one cent. It makes redemption a brainless process. It doesn’t matter how you use the points, they’ll still be worth one cent.
The other good part about this introductory offer is the fact that the annual fee is waived in year one. That means that you get at least $500 of value without having to pay any sort of fee in year one. I personally think that the introductory offer is the only part of this credit card offer that is good. I’ll explain more about why below when we discuss the annual fee.
Earning with the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Card
The Capital One Savor has a couple very good bonus earning categories. Savor means to taste food or drinks and enjoy them completely, so it makes sense that the Capital One Savor earns 4% on dining (an industry leader). The card also earns 4% on entertainment and 2% on groceries.
For this reason and this reason only, the Capital One Savor is a good option only if you are someone who spends a lot on dining and entertainment. Your food might even taste better, knowing that you’ll be earning 4% back on your meal. If you spend hundreds of dollars dining out each month this is a great credit card for you. If you never eat out, it’s not such a great option.
SAVOR – To taste and enjoy completely.
Here is what Capital One considers to be included in the three bonus earning categories:
Dining: (4X Rewards)
- Fast Food
Entertainment: (4X Rewards)
- Sporting Events
- Tourist Attractions
- Theme Parks
- Aquariums & Zoos
- Pool Halls
- Dance Clubs
- Bowling Alleys
- Record/Video Rental Stores (ummm, do these still exist?!?)
Grocery Stores: (2X Rewards)
- Dairy Product Stores
- Specialty Markets
- Meat Lockers
Benefits of the Capital One Savor
Obviously, the dining and entertainment category bonus of 4% is the biggest benefit of the card. Other than the spending bonuses, this card doesn’t offer much in terms of valuable benefits. Especially when compared to other credit cards that come with an annual fee of around $100.
The biggest other benefits are no foreign transaction fees, secondary car rental insurance, roadside assistance, purchase protection and extended warranty, and concierge services. Honestly, I wouldn’t use any of these. When I purchase something, I’m typically OK with the price I paid. I don’t shop much outside of the United States. As far as rental car insurance, I have other Chase credit cards that give me primary car rental coverage.
Capital One Savor Rewards Card does not bring much to the table (besides dinner). Outside of the introductory offer and the earning bonuses on dining and entertainment, there are no benefits that fit having an annual fee.
Competitors to the Capital One Savor
There are a few competitors to the Capital One Savor card that I want to bring up. They compete in two different ways. First, if you are interested in travel you should look into the Chase Sapphire Preferred. It touts the same annual fee (also waived in year 1) and comes with much more value if used towards travel. If it’s cashback that you’re truly interested in, there are no fee cards that are very similar and will save you nearly $100 per year.
50,000 Points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.
- Points can be transferred to partner airlines and redeemed for variable rates (sometimes over 2 cents per point).
- Earn 2X Points on travel and dining.
- Annual Fee: $95 (waived in year 1)
If redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards partner airlines, this introductory offer can be worth more than $1000!
This is the best travel credit card for beginning points travelers. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.
$150 Cash Back after spending $500 in the first 3 months.
- Rotating quarterly categories earn 5X on purchases (categories like dining, travel, gas, groceries, warehouse stores, using Chase Pay).
- Points can also be used for travel at a higher rate by transferring points to a premium Chase card (Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, Ink Preferred).
- No Annual Fee
You can earn a ton of points (up to 7500 or $75 cashback per quarter) with the rotating category spending bonuses.
This rewards card pairs well with any of the premium Chase travel credit cards. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.
As I mentioned above, the benefits of the Capital One Savor card don’t seem to fit the annual fee, but it may still be worth applying for. That’s because it is possible to convert the Capital One Savor into a Capital One SavorOne card before your annual fee is due in the second year.
Is it Worth Paying the Annual Fee?
No. Paying the annual fee for the Capital One Savor is not worth it. I’ll tell you why, and I’ll also tell you why it’s still worth applying for the card. Get the $500 introductory offer and then enjoy almost as good spending bonuses, but without an annual fee. How? Convert your card over to the Capital One SavorOne card before your annual fee is due.
The only major difference between the Savor and the SavorOne is 1%. The Capital One SavorOne card earns all the same cash back except it earns 3% on dining and entertainment instead of 4%. Does that 1% make the Capital One Savor worth the extra $95 expense each year? Well, unless you spend $9500 on dining and entertainment on the card, NO!
That’s how much spending it would take on dining and entertainment to make up the difference of the $95 annual fee. I doubt you spend that much on dining and entertainment, so it might make sense to consider converting your Capital One Savor into the no-fee version.