Edited by: Juan Ruiz
& Keri Stooksbury
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According to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics, the average family spends more on eating out than on groceries. This statistic translates to the average family spending around 11% of their household income on eating away from home. Add in the expense of weekly groceries and food becomes a major household expense.
We’re all about ensuring that significant household expenses earn the most rewards possible. It’s a primary reason to secure a card that will earn well on everyday purchases that include dining out and groceries.
Earning rewards on dining and at the grocery store is the foundation for selecting the cards in today’s comparison. The American Express® Gold Card and the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card earn well in each category, offer flexible redemption options, and come with benefits you can use.
(Information was collected independently. Not reviewed by Capital One.)
Join us as we look closely at these 2 popular cards, each a worthy option for foodies and families.
|Feature or Benefit||American Express® Gold Card||Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card|
|Welcome Offer||Earn 60,000 points when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.||Earn $300 after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.|
|Top Redemption Options||
Redeem for flights via Amex Travel or transfer to airline or hotel partners
|Top Travel Protections and Benefits||Car rental insurance, trip delay insurance, baggage insurance||Car rental insurance, trip cancellation or interruption, roadside assistance|
|Top Shopping Protections and Benefits||Purchase protection, extended warranty, and Amex Offers||Purchase security, warranty manager service, price protection, Capital One Offers|
|Annual Fees and Authorized Users|
As soon as you’re approved for either the Amex Gold card or Capital One Savor card, you’ll have the opportunity to earn a welcome bonus.
Welcome bonuses can be earned immediately after card approval by meeting the minimum spending requirements.
The Amex Gold card offers a generous welcome bonus of Membership Rewards points, and with the Capital One Savor card, you can earn bonus cash-back.
Welcome offers do vary, so we’re providing these card snapshots that include information on the most recent offers available:
This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.
With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.
There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.
An excellent cash-back card that offers rewards for categories like dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and grocery stores. (Information collected independently. Not reviewed by Capital One.)
When it comes to rewards credit cards, you can break up most savvy consumers into 2 camps: those who prefer travel rewards and those who prefer cash-back.
Both options can be very lucrative to you and your wallet, especially if you’re using the right card. For those who fall in the “cash is king” camp, you’ll likely find the Capital One Savor card quite compelling.
While most of the rewards you’ll earn on the Amex Gold card or Capital One Savor card may come from spending on the card, you can also earn rewards by referring family and friends.
Here are the details for earning rewards via referral bonuses and when spending on your card.
As soon as you’re approved for the Amex Gold card or the Capital One Savor card, you can begin referring family or friends and earn bonus rewards.
You can refer family or friends from your Amex Gold card by logging in to your online card account and scrolling down the page until you see the Refer a Friend link. Once you click on the link, you can enter your referral’s information or copy a link to send to them directly.
If your family member or friend selects any available American Express card and is approved, you’ll receive a referral bonus. American Express Gold Card Referral bonuses can vary but are generally up to 30,000 points for each approved referral, up to 55,000 per year.
The Capital One Savor card also has a referral bonus of $100 for each approved referral, up to $500 each year. With Capital One, you will only receive the bonus if your referral is approved for the same card. Just like the Amex Gold card, you can find the Refer a Friend link by logging in to your Capital One Savor card online account.
The Amex Gold card earns rewards in the form of Membership Rewards points, while the Capital One Savor card earns cash-back.
Every purchase you make on either card will earn rewards, but many purchases will receive bonus earnings.
Here is a breakdown of the bonus-earning categories and how you’ll earn rewards on each of our featured cards:
|Spending Category||Amex Gold Card||Capital One Savor Card|
|Dining and Supermarkets||
|Entertainment and Select Streaming Services||1x points||
|All Other Purchases||1x points||1% cash-back|
Matching your actual spending patterns to the card that rewards those categories is the key to maximizing a card’s earning potential.
For example, if you spend a lot on streaming services and Uber, you’ll notice the Capital One Savor card earns 4% cash-back on streaming services versus the Amex Gold card’s 1x points. The Capital One Savor card earns a generous 10% cash-back on Uber and Uber Eats.
If you spent $25,000 at the grocery store each year, you would earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points with the Amex Gold card. The Capital One Savor card would earn $750 in cash-back on those same purchases.
While we value Membership Rewards points at 2.2 cents each and cash-back at a fixed face value, the actual value you’ll receive will depend on how you redeem your rewards.
Next, we look at the redemption options you’ll have with the Amex Gold card and Capital One Savor card.
Once you’ve accumulated a stash of Membership Rewards points or cash-back, it’s time to redeem. Redemption time is when you discover the real value of your rewards.
Here are the options you’ll have to redeem your rewards:
|Redemption Option||Amex Gold Card||Capital One Savor Card|
|Statement Credits||Redeem each point for 0.6 cents each toward a statement credit||Redeem cash-back for a general statement credit (1:1)|
|Additional Redemption Options||Gift cards, shopping with select retailers, Amazon, or charitable donations||Redeem cash-back when shopping at Amazon, via PayPal, for entertainment, or for gift cards|
Membership Rewards points earned on the Amex Gold card can have a variable value based on your redemption choice.
The best potential value for your Membership Rewards points may be realized by transferring points to Amex airline (or hotel) partners. JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, and ANA are just a few of Amex’s airline transfer partners offering value, but you’ll find several valuable redemption ideas for premium flights in our article on the topic.
Cash-back earned on the Capital One Savor card has a fixed value of 1 cent at redemption time. If you have a card that earns Capital One miles, such as the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, you can transfer cash-back rewards to that card. This will allow you to utilize Capital One’s airline or hotel partners available and receive potentially greater value for your rewards.
We could all use the peace of mind and economic relief travel protections can provide if something goes wrong during a trip. Travel benefits can save you money or make your trip more comfortable.
Here are the travel protections and benefits the Amex Gold card and Capital One Savor card have in common and a list of protections and benefits unique to each card:
|Travel Protection or Benefit||Amex Gold Card||Capital One Savor Card|
|Car Rental Insurance||Secondary coverage with the option to purchase Premium Protection that covers the entire rental period, up to 42 days, for as low as $12.25||Secondary coverage within your country of residence, primary outside your country of residence, limits and terms apply|
|Foreign Transaction Fees||None|
Many benefits of the Capital One Savor card are not marketed by Capital One but are provided by Mastercard. Because the Capital One Savor card can be issued as a World Mastercard or World Elite Mastercard, protections and benefits will also vary by card. Consult your card’s Guide to Benefits for full benefit descriptions, limits, and terms/conditions.
Shopping protections can help if something goes wrong with an eligible purchase you make with your card. Purchases including computers, cell phones, watches, household appliances, and outdoor equipment are just some examples of items that may be covered.
Shopping benefits can save you money on your purchase or allow you to earn bonus rewards.
Here are the shopping benefits and protections both the Amex Gold card and Capital One Savor card have in common. We’ve also listed the additional benefits that come with each card:
|Shopping Protection or Benefit||Amex Gold Card||Capital One Savor Card|
|Purchase Protection||Receive up to $1,000 per item, up to $50,000 per calendar year for eligible damaged or stolen items, for up to 90 days from purchase date||Purchase Security provides replacement, repair, or reimbursement for eligible items, within the first 90 days from the purchase date, for damage or theft|
|Shopping Discounts and Bonus Earnings||Amex Offers give statement credits or bonus earnings when adding the offers to your card and making the associated purchase|
It’s worth noting that we have not listed every protection or benefit on the Amex Gold card and the Capital One Savor card, only key ones for comparison purposes. We’ve also abbreviated the descriptions and not included applicable terms and conditions. You’ll want to access each card’s Guide to Benefits for complete information.
A card’s annual fee should be considered to ensure you’ll receive enough benefits from a card to offset that fee. The Amex Gold card has an annual fee of $250, and the Capital One Savor card has a fee of $95 (rates & fees).
Authorized users can help you earn rewards faster. When adding authorized users to the Amex Gold card, there is no charge for up to 5 additional users. For additional authorized users beyond 5, there is a fee of $35 for each user. There is no fee to add authorized users to the Capital One Savor card (rates & fees).
If cash-back is a priority for you, consider the Capital One Savor card. It earns well on several everyday purchases, including dining, supermarkets, select streaming, entertainment, and Uber. Plus, it has a low annual fee.
If you prefer to redeem your rewards for travel, the Amex Gold card is the stronger card and could prove to be a better fit. You’ll earn comparable rates as the Capital One Savor card on dining and at supermarkets, but you’ll also be able to earn on select travel purchases and redeem your points for travel. Membership Rewards points can also provide more potential value at redemption time than fixed-rate cash-back.
There is the issue of a higher annual fee with the Amex Gold card. This should be fine if you can use the monthly dining and Uber Cash credits.
For the car rental collision damage coverage benefit of the American Express® Gold Card, car rental loss and damage insurance can provide coverage up to $50,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the commercial car rental company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
For the baggage insurance plan benefit of the American Express® Gold Card, baggage insurance plan coverage can be in effect for eligible persons for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen baggage during their travel on a common carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus) when the entire fare for a common carrier vehicle ticket for the trip (one-way or round-trip) is charged to an eligible account. Coverage can be provided for up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage, in excess of coverage provided by the common carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus). For New York state residents, there is a $10,000 aggregate maximum limit for all covered persons per covered Trip. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
For the purchase protection benefit of the American Express® Gold Card, purchase protection is an embedded benefit of your card membership and requires no enrollment. It can help protect covered purchases made on your eligible card when they’re accidentally damaged, stolen, or lost, for up to 90 days from the covered purchase date. The coverage is limited up to $10,000 per occurrence, up to $50,000 per card member account per calendar year. Coverage limits apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
For the trip delay insurance coverage benefit of the American Express® Gold Card, up to $300 per covered trip that is delayed for more than 12 hours; and 2 claims per eligible card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
For the extended warranty benefit of the American Express® Gold Card, when an American Express® card member charges a covered purchase to an eligible card, extended warranty can provide up to one extra year added to the original manufacturer’s warranty. Applies to warranties of five (5) years or less. Coverage is up to the actual amount charged to your card for the item up to a maximum of $10,000; not to exceed $50,000 per card member account per calendar year. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
The information regarding the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
If you prefer cash-back and your highest expenses are entertainment, streaming services, Uber, plus dining and groceries, you’ll probably fare well with the Capital One Savor card. If you’re a traveler, the Amex Gold card may be the better card for you. You will earn well on select travel purchases, on dining, and at the grocery store. Plus, Membership Rewards points earned on the card are valuable and flexible for travel redemptions. The better card will be the one that matches your spending, has redemption choices you prefer, and benefits you can use.
If you’re a traveler, Membership Rewards points have the edge at redemption time as you can transfer them to airline or hotel partners and receive potentially greater value than other redemption options. Cash-back, however, can be more liquid.
The Amex Gold card does not come with a lounge access benefit.
Yes, you can redeem cash-back earned on the Capital One Savor card for flights via Capital One Travel. You can also redeem cash-back for a statement credit for previous travel purchases. If you have a miles-earning Capital One card, you can transfer cash-back earned on the Capital One Savor card to the miles-earning card to utilize airline and hotel partners.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.