Capital One Venture Card vs. Amex Gold Card [Detailed Comparison]

businessman paying with credit card

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There’s no doubt that Capital One and American Express have become key leaders when we look at credit card issuers. Capital One focuses on simplicity but has a card for every type of consumer, from those who have no credit or poor credit to those who have excellent credit. American Express comes through with creative earning structures, redemption options perfect for the traveler, and adds to that a collection of valuable benefits.

You won’t go wrong selecting a card from either issuer, but today we want to zero in on just 2 popular cards that have similar redemption options but have earning structures suited for different types of consumers.

While both of our featured cards earn rewards that result in good-value travel redemptions, how you’ll get to that result varies for each card, based on your spending mix.

If you have even a slight interest in learning about either card, you’ll find value in our comparison of the Capital One Venture Rewards Card and the American Express® Gold Card.

Minimum Qualification Requirements

For the CapOne Venture card, Capital One recommends an excellent credit score, generally 740 or above, for qualification. However, Capital One adds the caveat that a successful applicant should “never have declared bankruptcy or defaulted on a loan, not been 60 days late on a credit card, loan, or medical bill, and has had a loan or credit card for $5,000 or more in the past 3 years.” If you meet these criteria, it is possible you could qualify with a credit score of 700 or above.

American Express recommends a good to excellent credit score for the Amex Gold card, meaning you may be able to qualify with a score of 670 or above.

These are just guidelines — of course, the higher your score, the better the odds are for approval.

You’ll want to be sure to check your credit report for accuracy before applying for any card and check for preapproved offers that may be already waiting for you. It’s best to utilize a risk-free option such as the CardMatch tool to find these offers as the tool does not affect your credit score with a hard inquiry and minimal information is required.

Both Capital One and Amex card offers, if available to you, can be found using the CardMatch tool.

Preapproved or prequalified offers do not guarantee card approval, only that your chances for approval are better for the selected offers shown.

Bottom Line: You should aim to have an excellent score to qualify for the CapOne Venture card and a good to excellent score for the Amex Gold card. Check your credit report to see where you stand before applying and use the CardMatch tool to see if you have any preapproved offers waiting for you.

The Value of a Welcome Bonus

CapOne Venture Card

Amex Gold Card

There is a unique opportunity to earn a welcome bonus immediately after you’re approved for either of our featured cards. Welcome bonuses help jumpstart your earnings and in the case of these 2 popular cards, the initial rewards bonus can be very generous.

A welcome bonus is earned after meeting minimum spending requirements within a specified period of time, either within the 3 months, 6 months, or even 12 months after card approval.

Our estimated value of Capital One miles is approximately 1.4 cents each and Membership Rewards points are worth 2.2 cents each. These values translate to the CapOne Venture card’s bonus being worth as much as $840 and the Amex Gold card’s bonus worth up to $1,320.

The actual value you receive will depend on how you redeem your miles or points. We’ll cover more on redemption options shortly.

Bottom Line: Welcome offers, as well as the value of a welcome offer, can change periodically, so be sure to check for the most current bonus prior to applying for any card. We’ve included snapshot tables of our featured cards above that reflect current bonuses.

Earning Rewards

Restaurant meal served
Earn rewards on every purchase you make with either of our featured cards. Image Credit: Pixabay via Pexels

One of the greatest benefits of holding a rewards credit card is earning valuable rewards currencies you can redeem for something of value. Both of our featured cards offer very different reward earning structures but in the end, accomplish that exact objective.

Here’s how you’ll earn rewards on the CapOne Venture card and the Amex Gold card:

CapOne Venture CardAmex Gold Card
  • 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase
  • 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in purchases each calendar year) and restaurants
  • 3x points on flights purchased directly with the airlines or via Amex Travel
  • 1x points on all other purchases
  • Terms Apply

If your spending centers on everyday purchases at grocery stores, dining out, and on flights directly purchased with the airline (or Amex Travel), you’ll earn well on the Amex Gold card. However, you may have ongoing expenses that do not fall into those categories. If so, you may do better with the CapOne Venture card.

Additionally, you’ll want to consider annual fees. However, when you spend enough on either card to earn the initial welcome bonus, the value received in the first year more than offsets either annual fee.

Bottom Line: While each card has its own rewards earning structure, both offer flexible (and therefore valuable) rewards currencies that can be redeemed for travel and additional redemption options. The better card for you from an earnings standpoint will be the one that closely matches your spending mix. 

Redeeming Rewards

American Airlines 787-9 Flagship Business Class seat 4L rear view
You may receive the best potential value for your rewards when transferring to airline partners. Image Credit: Stephen Au

Both of our featured cards have similar redemption options, particularly when redeeming miles or points for travel. Let’s look closer at your options at redemption time in the order of the greatest potential value.

CapOne Venture CardAmex Gold Card
  • Transfer Capital One miles to airline and hotel partners to redeem for award flights and hotel nights
  • Redeem miles for 1 cent each for travel via Capital One Travel
  • Redeem for a statement credit to wipe out prior travel purchases with Purchase Eraser
  • Use miles to purchase gift cards, redeem for a statement credit against regular purchases, shop at Amazon, or redeem via PayPal (value will vary)
  • Transfer Membership Rewards points to airline and hotel partners to redeem for award flights and hotel nights
  • Redeem points for qualifying travel via Amex Travel
  • Use points to upgrade your flight, purchase gift cards, shop at Amazon, for Uber, and make purchases with other shopping partners (value will vary)
  • Redeem for statement credits at the rate of 0.6 cents per point

Receiving the best value at redemption time is one of the joys of earning rewards. We’ll get you started with how to redeem your miles and points with transfer partners in our guides on Capital One Miles transfer partners and Amex Membership Rewards transfer partners.

We’ve also put together some creative suggestions for getting the most value from your Capital One miles and for your Membership Rewards points.

Bottom Line: While it’s easy to receive 1 cent in value when redeeming rewards with either of our featured cards, the best potential value may be realized by transferring rewards to travel partners to redeem for award flights or hotel nights. 

Travel Benefits and Protections

The Hotel Collection Italy
With The Hotel Collection benefits, you could receive an upgraded room and on-site property credits. Image Credit: The Hotel Collection

Travel benefits and protections can save you money, deliver peace of mind, and provide protection during your travels. Both of our featured cards travel well as there are no foreign transaction fees charged on either card (see rates and fees).

Here’s how our cards compare when we look at additional travel benefits and protections:

CapOne Venture Card

  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Fee Reimbursement — Charge the applicable fee to your card and receive up to $100 as a statement credit.
  • Car Rental Insurance— Pay for the entire rental with your card, decline the agency’s collision damage waiver coverage, and receive secondary coverage within your country of residence, meaning you will first have to file a claim with any other applicable insurance. Outside of your residence country, you will have primary coverage if you do not have insurance or if your coverage does not cover you outside of your residence country.
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement — Use your card to purchase your ticket and receive up to $3,000 for lost or stolen luggage.
  • Roadside Dispatch — Pay 1 flat service fee for roadside assistance that includes basic towing, jump-start, emergency fuel, lockout service, and tire changing. Additional terms and conditions apply.
  • Travel Assistance Services — Receive 24/7 assistance with translation service referrals, medical and legal referrals, emergency cash, and more.
  • Travel Accident Insurance — Up to $1,000,000 in coverage for death or dismemberment as listed in the card’s Guide to Benefits.

Amex Gold Card

  • Car Rental Insurance — Pay for the entire rental with your card, decline the agency’s collision damage waiver coverage, and receive secondary coverage. The card also comes with the option to purchase Premium Protection for 1 low price that covers the entire rental period up to 42 days. Coverage prices range from $12.95 to $24.95 for the entire rental period.
  • Trip Delay Coverage — Receive up to $300 if your trip is delayed more than 12 hours.
  • Luggage Insurance — Up to $1,250 for damaged, lost, or stolen carry-ons and up to $500 for checked baggage.
  • Global Assist Hotline — Receive help 24/7 when traveling more than 100 miles from home.
  • Travel Accident Insurance — Receive up to $250,000 for accidental death or dismemberment.
  • The Hotel Collection Benefits — On stays of 2 nights or longer booked with your card, you’ll receive a $100 on-site property credit, an upgraded room (when available), and 2x earnings.

Shopping Benefits and Protections

Shopping benefits and protections can save you money on eligible purchases and provide protection should damage or theft occur to qualifying items purchased with your card.

Benefit or ProtectionCapOne Venture CardAmex Gold Card
Purchase ProtectionReceive coverage for damage or theft for 120 days from the purchase date. Coverage limits are $250 per claim, up to 4 claims per 12-month periodReceive up to $1,000 per item, up to $50,000 per card, in a calendar year for eligible damaged or stolen items for up to 90 days from the purchase date
Extended WarrantyOn manufacturer’s warranties of 3 years or less, the warranty will be extended 1 additional year, up to $10,000 per claim, $50,000 per cardholderOn manufacturer’s warranties of a year or less, the warranty will be extended by an equal amount of time; for manufacturer’s warranties of 1 to 5 years, the warranty will be extended for 1 additional year, up to $10,000 per covered purchase, $50,000 per eligible card
Shopping Discounts/Statement CreditsCapital One Shopping tool finds coupons for saving on your online purchases
  • Amex Offers provide statement credits or additional earnings on specific purchases when offers are added to your card
  • Up to $10 per month dining credit for participating restaurants/food delivery purchases
  • Up to $10 per month in Uber Cash credits (up to a total of $120 per year); Uber Cash is a credit applicable to U.S. Uber Eats orders or ride purchases after adding the Amex Gold card to your Uber app and making an eligible purchase with your card
  • ShopRunner membership — free 2-day shipping and special offers at dozens of retailers
Note that terms apply and enrollment may be required for some Amex Gold benefits, so be sure to explore your American Express account to get the most out of the card.

Bottom Line: The CapOne Venture card and Amex Gold card come with similar travel and shopping benefits and protections. However, the Amex Gold card may have the edge with monthly dining statement credits and Uber Cash credits, if you can utilize these benefits.

CapOne Venture Card vs. Amex Gold Card — Summary

We’ve gone into some detail about how our featured cards stack up in each of the key categories but it’s now time to reflect on the overall comparison and look at the attributes of both cards side by side.

Here’s how the cards compare overall.

Feature or BenefitCapOne Venture CardAmex Gold Card
Annual Fee and Authorized Users
  • $95 annual fee
  • No fee to add authorized users
Earning Rewards
  • 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase
  • 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in purchases each calendar year) and restaurants worldwide
  • 3x points on flights purchased directly with the airlines or via Amex Travel
  • 1x points on all other purchases
Redeeming Rewards
  • Transfer Capital One miles to airline and hotel partners to redeem for flights/hotel nights
  • Redeem miles with Capital One Travel
  • Use miles for a statement credit to wipe out previous travel purchases with the Purchase Eraser benefit
  • Redeem for gift cards, a statement credit, shop at Amazon, or redeem via PayPal (value will vary)
  • Transfer Amex Membership Points points to airline and hotel partners to redeem for flights/hotel nights
  • Redeem points via Amex Travel for 1 cent each in value
  • Upgrade your flight, gift cards, Amazon, Uber, and other shopping partners
Travel Benefits and Protections
  • Car rental insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Roadside assistance
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee reimbursement up to $100
  • Car rental insurance
  • Trip delay
  • Baggage insurance
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Global assist hotline
  • The Hotel Collection benefits
Shopping Benefits and Protections
  • Extended warranty
  • Purchase protection
  • Capital One Shopping tool
  • Up to $10 per month dining credit at specific restaurants/food delivery
  • Up to $10 per month Uber Cash
  • Extended warranty
  • Purchase protection
  • Amex Offers
  • ShopRunner membership

Alternative Cards To Consider

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card

If you’re looking to earn rewards on every purchase you make but don’t want to pay an annual fee, the CapOne VentureOne card is a nice alternative.

Additionally, if you have a large purchase coming up, you’ll save on interest charges with an introductory 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months after card approval. Regular APR, as indicated in the table above, applies after the introductory period.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

If earning on everyday purchases such as those at supermarkets, streaming service subscriptions, on transit, and at gas stations is important to you, you’ll find the card will work well for earning rewards on those purchases.

You’ll also find an introductory 0% APR on purchases offered with the card (regular APR, as shown above, will apply after the introductory period), plus the annual fee is waived the first year.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card

Another option for earning on every purchase you make without having to pay an annual fee is the Freedom Unlimited card.

The card pairs nicely with Chase premium cards, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card. Transfer Ultimate Rewards points earned on your Freedom Unlimited card and receive up to 50% more in value when redeeming points for travel purchase via the Chase travel portal.

Final Thoughts

While the CapOne Venture card and Amex Gold card offer nice redemption values when redeeming rewards for travel, the better card for you will be the 1 that matches your spending mix and your preference of how much you want to spend on an annual fee.

The Amex Gold card could be a match if you spend a lot at the grocery store, on dining, or on flights via the airline or Amex Travel. The CapOne Venture card with its flat-rate earnings makes it a match for earning on all of your purchases, not just those in select bonus categories.

Regardless of the card you select, you will want the value received to offset the annual fee. In the first year, earning the welcome bonus on either of our featured cards should accomplish that objective.

Any ongoing card value will be determined by how your spending mix is rewarded each year, the value you receive at redemption time, and how many of the benefits you utilize.


The information regarding the Capital One Venture Rewards Card, Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, and Chase Freedom Unlimited® 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.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, click here.


Frequently asked questions

Which is better, the CapOne Venture card or the Amex Gold card?

The better card for you will be the one that matches your spending mix, redemption preferences, benefits you’ll use, and if the value you will receive overall will offset the annual fee.

If you spend a lot at grocery stores, dining out, and on flights with the airlines (or Amex Travel), you could fare well with the Amex Gold card.

However, if your expenses are heavy in other categories, receiving 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase you make could prove to deliver more value.

Both cards have similar redemption options that allow you to receive potentially higher value when transferring rewards to travel partners.

How much are Capital One miles worth?

Capital One miles, in our estimation, are worth 1.4 cents per mile. The actual value you receive at redemption time, however, will vary based on your redemption choice.

For example, if you choose to redeem your miles for travel via Captial One Travel, you will receive 1 cent in value per mile.

If you transfer your miles to airline or hotel frequent flyer programs, you could receive greater potential value.

How much are Membership Rewards points worth?

Membership Rewards points are generally worth around 1 cent each. However, because the greatest value may be realized by transferring points to airline (or hotel) partners, for this type of redemption you could receive a much higher value per point.

For this reason, and more, we estimate the points to be worth about 2.2. cents each.

Does the Amex Gold card come with lounge access?

No, the Amex Gold card does not offer a lounge access benefit. If this benefit is important to you, The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve card would be good choices as all of these cards come with various levels of worldwide airport lounge access.

Is the Capital One Venture Rewards card a Visa or Mastercard?

While Capital One issues both Visa and Mastercard credit cards, the CapOne Venture card is issued as a Visa Signature card.

Christine Krzyszton

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine, who lives in Northern Michigan, travels about 300,000 miles a year despite her remote location. Her expertise is traveling the world on a weekend with no pre-determined destination in mind, letting the cost of the airfare determine where she will go. She has over four million flown miles and elite status on all three major domestic carriers.

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