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The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great card for earning cash back on dining and entertainment purchases. But what exactly counts as dining and entertainment and how does it stack up to other similar cards? In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about this card and also show you how it stacks up to some of the other top cards out there.
Capital One Savor Intro
The Capitol One Savor is a good card for someone looking to maximize cash back on dining and entertainment purchases. The value of the early spend bonus varies but at times it can be one of the most valuable cash back offers.
The Capitol One Savor has some decent travel protections but there are certainly better options and I’ll discuss them below. I would generally choose a different card if you are interested in earning travel rewards.
Tip: Use WalletFlo to help show you which credit cards to use to maximize your points and help you track and manage annual fees, credits, etc. It’s free and very user-friendly so you should definitely check it out.
Early spend bonus
The Capitol One Savor comes with an early spend bonus of $300 cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening up your card.
This is a fairly decent early spend bonus. One thing to note is that in the past we have seen this bonus as high as $500. It is not clear if and when that larger bonus will return but I have a feeling that we will end up seeing it again at some point. Click here to learn how to apply.
However it is also worth noting that you can find much more valuable spend bonuses with other cards. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. Those 80,000 points could be worth around $1,600 if you value Ultimate Rewards around two cents per point!
Capital One has its own eligibility rules. The first is the 1/6 rule which means that you can only apply for one credit card every six months.
There is also a max two card rule that applies to Capital One branded cards. Basically you would typically be limited to only two cards at a time out of the following:
- Journey® Student Credit Card
- Savor® Rewards
- SavorOne® Rewards
- Venture® Rewards
- VentureOne® Rewards
If you find it confusing and time-consuming to keep up with all of these credit card application roast don’t worry there is a product on the way to automate all of these calculations for you. It’s called WalletFlo and it is getting very close to being launched.
WalletFlo will automatically calculate all of the terms and conditions and show you which rules may apply to you based on your specific credit card portfolio. It is going to be a huge timesaver and also have a lot of features that help you maximize your cards, deal with annual fees, etc.
- 4% back on dining
- 4% back on entertainment
- 2% back at grocery stores
4% back on dining
Getting 4% back on dining purchases is extremely competitive. It compares nicely with premium cards like the American Express Gold Card that earns 4X on dining. The difference is that the Gold Card earns Membership Rewards which can be transferred out to various travel partners for much more value than 4% cash back. For that reason, the Savor card is not the best dining card for travel rewards.
What counts as dining?
Here is what Capital One states counts for dining:
Purchases at restaurants, cafes, bars, lounges, fast-food chains and bakeries.
As you can tell, the dining category is fairly broad and it compares nicely to other dining cards.
4% back on entertainment
Getting 4% back on entertainment is also very competitive.
I don’t know of any other cards offering 4% back on entertainment purchases in the form of straight cash back so this is a fantastic bonus category. The Marvel credit card could be a logical competitor for entertainment purchases but that card only earns 3% cash back.
What counts as entertainment?
Here is what Capital One states counts for entertainment:
Ticket purchases made at movie theaters, sports promoters (professional and semi-professional live events), theatrical promoters, amusement parks, tourist attractions, aquariums, zoos, dance halls, record stores, pool halls or bowling alleys. This excludes golf courses, collegiate sporting events and non-industry entertainment merchant codes like cable, digital streaming and membership services.
It is a little odd to me that collegiate sporting events are excluded but this is still a pretty broad category that should allow you to earn bonus points on most of your entertainment purchases. It’s also nice to have theme parks like Disney World covered since some folks drop a lot of cash there.
2% back at grocery stores
The 2% back on grocery stores is okay but you can do much better than that. Personally, I use my American Express Gold Card to earn 4X on my grocery spend and that amount to much more than 2% back.
What counts as a grocery store?
Here is what Capital One states counts for grocery stores:
A supermarket, meat locker, freezer, dairy product store and specialty market. Excludes superstores like Walmart® and Target®.
It is pretty standard for cards that are in bonus points on the grocery stores to exclude super stores like Walmart so this is pretty standard.
The Capitol One Savor really shines when it comes to its bonus categories. It is one of the best cash back cards for dining and entertainment earning a whopping 4% back. There are not many cards that can compete with 4% back on these two categories so the Savor really has a distinguishing feature.
Overall, I think this is a great card for someone who wants to capitalize on bonus category earning for dining and entertainment and is interested in cash back rewards.
Vivid Seats 8% back
Up until May 2020 you can earn an additional 8% cash back on your tickets when you use your saver card at Vivid seats. Vivid Seats is an online ticket marketplace where fans can buy and sell tickets to sports, concerts, and theater events.
Getting 8% back on your tickets (in addition to the 4% back you already are getting) is pretty fantastic and this is a very nice promotion. I’m not sure about how big their inventory is or how their prices compare to other places like StubHub or Ticketmaster so it would definitely be in your best interest to always compare prices.
No foreign transaction fees
Like all Capital One cards this card does not have any foreign transaction fees.
The Capital One Savor Card will offer you MasterCard World Elite protections if you are approved for the World Elite version. Below is a list of some of the key benefits and then I’ll share some of the details below and give you a comparison to a similar card.
- Extended warranty
- Personal Identity Theft Resolution Services
- Capital One® Concierge Service
- Secondary rental car coverage
- Travel accident insurance
- Baggage delay
- Trip cancellation
- Price protection
The extended warranty doubles the original manufacturer warranty up to 24 months. If the original manufacturer’s warranty or the service contract covers more than 24 months, this benefit will not apply. The maximum benefit cannot exceed the amount charged on your covered card or $10,000, whichever is less.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred extends the time period of the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year on eligible warranties of three years or less, so it’s possible to get two times the coverage with the Sapphire Preferred.
You can get reimbursed for up to $100 per day for three days if your bags don’t show up on time. The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a similar protection but it will cover you for up to five days.
The policy will pay up to a maximum benefit of $1,500 per trip. Compare that amount to the Chase Sapphire Preferred which reimburses up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses. That’s a huge difference.
Rental car insurance
The Capital One Savor will offer you secondary rental car insurance. Meanwhile, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Offers primary rental car coverage which means that you won’t have to file a claim with your car rental insurance company. It also means that you can turn down the collision damage waiver when renting a car and save money.
Coverage is limited to the difference between the actual cost of the item (excluding taxes, storage, shipping, and handling costs) and the advertised lower price, up to $250 per claim. There is a maximum of four claims per 12 months.
Capital One cards will come with a new benefit which is access to premium reservations with OpenTable (the restaurant reservations app).
All you need to do is download the OpenTable app and then verify that you have the Capital One Savor Card by visiting this website right here (on mobile). Once you have the app downloaded you will see a purple button at the bottom that says “Verify Capital One card.”
The annual fee is $0 the first year and then $95 after that. If you spend $2,375 on dining and entertainment, then you can offset the annual fee based on your bonus spend alone.
However, there is also a no annual fee version of this card known as the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card. That card earns only 3% back on dining and entertainment though which is not quite as impressive.
The Capital One Savor Card is perfect for people who spend a lot on dining and/or entertainment and want to earn cash back rewards. But, if you are interested in travel rewards, I would really look into a card like the American Express Gold Card which earns 4X on dining and groceries.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.