Capital One Savor card: What are the top features and fees in 2021?

Panna Kemenes
04.06.21
7 minute read

There are many credit cards on the market – all with different benefits. The Capital One Savor card is a popular choice for people who like to eat out and go out. It has cash back rewards for dining and entertainment and a great sign-up bonus.

This article will show you the main costs and benefits of the Capital One Savor Rewards card. You can also compare it with some other cards that might match your spending better.

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📝 Table of contents
  • Capital One Savor key features
  • Capital One Savor card pros and cons
  • Capital One Savor vs SavorOne
  • Capital One Savor alternatives
  • How do I avoid foreign transaction fees?
  • Get a better deal when sending and spending abroad with Wise
  • Capital One Savor key features

    The Capital One Savor card is a paid card with cash back rewards for dining and entertainment worldwide.

    It offers unlimited cash back of 4% for all dining and entertainment spend, making it rewarding for high spenders in these areas. There is also 2% cash back for grocery spend, and 1% for everything else.

    There is no Capital One Savor foreign transaction fee.

    There is an annual fee, however, of $95. This can be more than offset in the first year, with a one-off bonus of $300 for $3000 spent in the first three months.

    The card offers an APR of 15.99% to 24.99%, and there is no introductory 0% APR offer¹.

    Can you use Capital One internationally?

    The card is only available for US residents but can be used internationally. It has no foreign transaction fees.

    Cash back applies to all spend overseas – including the higher rates for specific categories. Note though that the exchange rate will be the Mastercard rate, not the real mid-market rate.

    💡 If you want to be sure you’re getting the real exchange rate (the one you see on Google), then try the Wise Account. The Wise card is perfect for use abroad, and there are no markup fees on the exchange rate.

    Capital One Savor card pros and cons

    ProsCons
    • 4% cash back for dining and entertainment
    • 2% cash back for grocery
    • 1% cash back on all other spending
    • No limit to cash back earning
    • Good sign-up bonus for new customers
    • Wide definition of entertainment categories
    • No foreign exchange fees
    • Annual fee of $95
    • No 0% APR offer
    • Spend requirement for the sign-up bonus

    Reasons to choose the Capital One Savor Card

    The main benefit of the Capital One Savor card is the cash back rate for dining and entertainment. If you regularly eat out and visit entertainment venues, then the card can make a lot of sense.

    Entertainment covers many areas, such as cinemas, theaters, nightclubs, sports events, and tourist attractions.

    The sign-up bonus of $300 is a great deal – as long as you spend over $3000 in the first three months to qualify. This would effectively cover the annual fee for the first three years!

    It works well for travel too. It has no foreign transaction fees, and you are also likely to spend more on dining and entertainment when traveling – so you can earn plenty of rewards.

    Reasons to look at alternative options

    The annual fee of $95 is higher than some other cash back cards. You need to ensure that the additional cash back you earn from the Capital One Savor is enough to justify this fee.

    Other cards may offer different benefits – such as 0% APR periods, enhanced travel rewards, or other travel perks.

    Capital One Savor vs SavorOne

    The Capital One Savor card’s closest competitor is the SavorOne card, also from Capital One. This has no annual fee but offers a lower cash back rate.

    FeaturesCapital One Savor²Capital One SavorOne³
    Annual fee$95No fee
    APR15.99% to 24.99%0% APR for 15 months, then 15.49% to 25.49%
    Sign-up reward$300 for a spend of $3000 in the first three months$200 for a spend of $500 in the first three months
    Cash back reward4% for dining and entertainment, 2% for grocery, 1% for everything else, Plus 8% initial offer for ticket purchases at Vivid Seats3% for dining and entertainment, 2% for grocery, 1% for everything else
    Foreign transaction fee0%0%

    Is it worth paying the annual fee for the Savor card?

    This comes down to how much you will benefit from the extra 1% on dining and entertainment spend. And whether you will spend enough to receive the sign-up bonus.

    Bear in mind that the additional bonus over the SavorOne card effectively covers the first years’ annual fee.

    If you won’t make the spend for the annual bonus – or if the 0% APR is particularly attractive for you – then the SavorOne may be more appealing for you.

    Do all Capital One cards have no foreign transaction fee?

    Both the Capital One Savor and the SavorOne cards have no fees for transactions in a foreign currency. In fact, none of Capital One’s US-issued credit cards have foreign transaction fees.

    Capital One Savor alternatives

    As well as these Capital One cards, there are several other cards with similar offers. The best one will depend on your needs and where you spend your money.

    American Express Gold card

    The American Express Gold card⁴ offers great rewards, but at a higher annual fee of $250.

    Rewards come in the form of Membership Rewards Points. These can be used to cover card transactions at a rate of 10,000 points for $60, or up to $100 with some merchants or American Express Travel bookings.

    It offers 4 points per dollar on dining and groceries, 3 points per dollar on flights, and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

    It has a massive 60,000 point sign-up bonus - but for a spend of $4,000 in the first three months.

    The annual fee is partially offset by a monthly credit of $10 of Uber Cash, and a further $10 monthly credit with certain dining partners. So $240 in total if you can use all of this.

    Like the Savor card, there are no additional foreign transaction fees.

    Chase Sapphire Reserve

    The Chase Sapphire Reserve⁵ is targeted at those who travel more. It offers cash back for dining and travel, plus other included travel benefits. There are no foreign transaction fees.

    Like the American Express Gold Card, it offers rewards as points rather than direct cash back. 10,000 points can be used for a $100 credit. But points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel through Chase, or for credits in rotating categories.

    The card awards 3 points per dollar on all dining and travel spend – worldwide. And 1 point per dollar for all other spending.

    It also includes Priority Pass Select membership, giving complimentary airport lounge access globally. And there is a $100 credit every four years for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollment.

    There is an annual fee of $550, but this is partially offset by $300 travel credit each year.

    US Bank Altitude Go Visa Signature

    This card offers an equivalent cash back rate to the Savor card of 4% for dining - but the rate does not include entertainment.

    It has a 2% rate for grocery stores plus gas stations and streaming services, and 1% elsewhere. You also get a $15 annual credit for certain streaming providers.

    Rewards are offered as points – but these are convertible to cash back at a rate of 100 points per $1.

    Importantly though it has no annual fee. And a $200 bonus for $1,000 spend within the first 90 days⁶.

    Like the other cards featured here, there are no foreign transaction fees.

    Bank of America Premium Rewards

    The Bank of American Premium Rewards⁷ card is another that is particularly good for frequent travelers. Its highest reward rates are for travel and dining. Like other cards featured here, there are no foreign transaction fees.

    Rewards are earned as points – 10,000 points are equivalent to $100 as either a statement credit or transferred to a Bank of America account.

    You earn 2 points per dollar for all travel and dining spend, and 1 point per dollar elsewhere.

    There is an annual fee of $95, but also up to a $100 credit for incidental spending with airlines (such as seat upgrades, lounge access, and baggage fees). The card also offers a $100 credit every four years for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollment.

    How do I avoid foreign transaction fees?

    There are three main ways that you can incur charges when paying in a foreign currency. You can avoid these fees, but you must take care and plan your spending well to eliminate them all!

    • Direct transaction fees. Some cards add a fee of up to 3% for all transactions not processed in US Dollars. Not all cards have foreign transaction fees – avoid the ones that do when traveling overseas.

    • Costs due to the exchange rate. Transaction fees are not the only way you can lose money on a purchase – the exchange rate used matters too. The exchange rate used for transactions is set by the card issuer. This will differ slightly from the real exchange rate (the one that Google shows). It may also not be processed the same day, leading to a further change. You can use a provider like Wise to get the real exchange rate.

    • Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) fees. These are additional charges added by a foreign payment merchant. DCC converts the rate into US dollars at the point of sale, but at an additional cost that can be as high as 7%⁸. The best advice is to stay vigilant whenever making a payment - and check the currency quoted.

    Get a better deal when sending and spending abroad with Wise

    You can save money when sending international transfers by using a Wise multi-currency account. You can make payments and transfers overseas using the real exchange rate and hold funds in different currencies.

    A Wise Account is simple to set up and use. You won’t receive rewards or cash back as you will with some credit cards, but you also won’t pay any annual fees. There are also never any minimum balances to worry about.

    You can also obtain a Wise debit card for a small fee. This allows you to make direct payments from your account anywhere that VISA or Mastercard is accepted.

    Get a Wise account in minutes

    Sources

    1. Capital One
    2. Capital One Savor card details
    3. Capital One SavorOne card details
    4. American Express Gold card
    5. Chase Sapphire Reserve
    6. US Bank Altitude Go Visa Signature
    7. Bank of American Premium Rewards
    8. Dynamic Currency Conversion

    All sources checked April 6, 2021


    This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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