Capital One Savor Credit Card: Earn 3% Cash Back on Dining, 2% on Groceries, and No Annual Fee

Capital One just launched the new Savor card targeted towards foodies who like to occasionally travel. 

The basics

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Sign up bonus: $150 after you spend $500 within the first three months
  • 3% cash back on dining
  • 2% on groceries
  • 1% everywhere else
  • No foreign transaction fees

I think this card is good if you're early in your credit journey or you travel once/twice per year and don't want to pay foreign transaction fees.

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World Elite Mastercard Benefits

The Savor card is a World Elite Mastercard, so it comes with a handful of purchase and travel benefits. View the complete benefits guide here

  • Luxury hotel portfolio (same as the Amex FHR/Visa LHC)
  • Car rental elite status
  • Shop Runner
  • Price protection
  • Extended warranty
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Travel assistance services
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Bag delay insurance
  • Identify theft resolution services
  • Complimentary concierge service

If you're someone who already has premium credit cards or you like playing the 5x quarterly game, then this card is not the best for you.

Let's run through some situations.

Savor vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve

On the surface, it might seem like the Savor and the Chase Sapphire Reserve are similar because they earn 3% and 3x back on dining, respectively, along with no foreign transaction fees. When we dive deeper, Ultimate Reward points are worth significantly more than cash back when you redeem for travel. 

  • Savor = 3% back on dining
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve = 3x UR back on dining

Chase Travel Portal

  • UR points = 1.5 cents per point
  • 3x UR * value of points (1.5 CPP) = 4.5% return on spend 

Transfer Partners

  • UR points = 2 CPP
  • 3x UR * 2 CPP = 6% Return on spend

Yes, the Chase Sapphire Reserve does have a $450 annual fee. Watch our video here to see if it's worth it for you. 

A few assumptions:

  • UR points = 1.5 CPP
  • x = $ spend on dining
  • Full $300 travel credit is used

Breakeven:

  • Savor = CSR
  • $0 + 0.03x = $300 - $450 + 0.03(1.5)(x)
  • 0.03x = -$150 + 0.045x
  • 0.015x = $150
  • x = $10,000

This also assumes that, for some reason, you have $0 in travel expenses. The Chase Sapphire Reserve makes sense if you spend more than $10,000 on dining/year.

5x Optimizer category cards

I like 5x cash back cards. Whenever I can optimize and maximize a category, I'm earning $150 cash back for each quarter, with each card ( I have two Discover It cards). 

For example, let's say Q1 of the Discover It card is grocery stores. The big problem is that groceries are only eligible for 5x cash back for three months. I'll buy $1,500 worth of grocery gift cards to maximize the category and use the gift cards throughout the year. 

Specialized cards

There are a few specialized cards to consider as options:

  • 3% Gas = NRA, Sam's Club, Fort Knox, Amex OBC, USAA Amex, FNBO Ducks
  • 3%/6% Groceries = Amex BCE/BCP
  • 3% Dining = Chase AARP

It's up to you to crunch the numbers to see if it's worth adding the Savor card to your wallet if you have a specialized card. 

The main factor to consider is if the Savor card is worth getting to avoid foreign transaction fees. 

Bottomline

Overall, the Capital One Savor card is a solid option, especially if you're someone who doesn't travel much, and is looking for cash back without the annual fee.