Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card Review – $500 Bonus + 4% Back on Restaurants

Capital One has refreshed their Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card with a new $500 sign-up bonus, waived first year annual fee, and improved rewards structure. Here are the highlights:

  • $500 cash bonus after $3,000 in purchases within first 3 months of account opening
  • 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee, waived for the first year
  • Complimentary Concierge Service and “Access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more”.

Capital One says that existing Savor cardholders will be upgraded to the 4% back on dining and other features of the Savor, but will have their annual fee waived indefinitely. No sign-up bonus, though!

Purchase rewards details. The only thing notable about this card is the 4% back on dining and entertainment. 4% is high, but there are many other rewards cards that offer some sort of boost on restaurant purchases, such as the Costco Anywhere Visa (my review) with 3% on restaurants (amongst other rewards categories) and no annual fee. Often one of the rotating 5% cash back cards has restaurants as a category. Even the lower level of this card, the SavorOne card, offers 3% on dining with no annual fee.

Basically, you’d have to spend a lot on dining out to justify paying that $95 annual fee after the first year. I would try to max out the value in my first year, but after that this card is very niche. If you do spend $10,000 a year on dining out, you might actually take advantage of their free Concierge service to help you get reservations at high-demand spots.

In case you were curious, the application page provides some direct clarifications on the rewards structure.

What counts as dining?
Purchases at restaurants, cafes, bars, lounges, fast-food chains and bakeries.

What counts as entertainment?
Buying tickets to a movie, play, concert, sporting event, tourist attraction, theme park, aquarium, zoo, dance club, pool hall or bowling alley. Also, making purchases at record store and video rental locations. This excludes non-industry entertainment merchant codes like cable, digital streaming, and subscription services.

What counts as a grocery store?
A supermarket, meat locker, freezer, dairy product store and specialty market. Excludes superstores like Walmart® and Target®.

Statement credits. The rewards on this card are nice and simple. You earn cash, which can be redeemed as a statement credit or a mailed check. There are other options, but none are especially interesting or more valuable than cash.

Credit approval details. This card says it requires “Excellent credit”. Capital One is known to limit you to two consumer Capital One credit cards per person. They are also a bit unusual in that they pull your credit reports from all three major bureaus, instead of just one.

Bottom line. The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has a new $500 sign-up bonus, waived first year annual fee, and 4% cash back on dining and entertainment. The total first-year value of this card is over $500, which is the main reason it’s worth mentioning. Note the $3,000 spending within 3 months requirement – maybe it’s your turn to put group dinner on your card and have everyone else pay you back…

Everyone Worries About Money, Even The Wealthy

Here’s a refreshingly blunt quote from Scott Galloway’s article Yay Capitalism via It Is Always About The Money via Abnormal Returns:

Wealthy people claim they don’t think much about money. That’s bullshit; they are obsessed with money. The notion that rich people don’t think about money is an attempt to dampen resentment (e.g., revolution) from the 3.5B people who have fewer assets than the wealthiest 12 individuals. What, like, rich people got there because they are just so benign and talented, it just happened (oops, I’m rich)? People who tell you to follow your passion are already rich. They have doggedly pursued a path and have been obsessed with success for a long time. They want to sound inspirational and give you a sound bite, because the truth that success requires 60–80-hr weeks for several decades doesn’t get applause in graduation speeches.

Every wealthy person I’ve known measures their net worth in frightening detail, and often. You have to stay nimble, or you stand to lose a lot. We live in a capitalist society, and the amount of money you have is a forward-looking indicator of the effectiveness your healthcare, the comfort of your home, the harmony of your marriage, and the quality of your children’s education.

Regarding that last sentence, I might agree up to a certain level of wealth, but after that I don’t think better healthcare or a more comfortable home is the reason that the wealthy still keep worrying about money.

I think it’s just another weird artifact of human psychology. If we can keep making money, it’s really hard to stop. Most wealthy people still work. They may say that they just like work (“passion” again), and that may be true, but another major reason is they want to keep making money. Earning money provides a measure of self-worth. Earning money provides a sense of security. Certain jobs may come with respect and power. (They might say they would it for free, but they wouldn’t for long. Every job has annoying parts that you accept because of the money.) If the hardest part of retirement is building up the pile, the second hardest might be saying no to adding more to the pile.

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