Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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If you’re a frequent traveler, you may benefit from a travel rewards credit card, both by earning rewards on your travel purchases and then redeeming those rewards for travel. This scenario can be the perfect outcome of being a travel rewards cardholder, but what if your greatest expenses are more of the everyday type, such as purchases at the supermarket or on dining?
Fortunately, regardless of your spending mix, the 2 popular cards we’ve chosen today live up to the challenge of rewarding every purchase you make. Plus, at redemption time, you’ll have valuable options to ensure you reach your travel objectives.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and the American Express® Gold Card function quite differently, but what the 2 cards have in common is that both deliver significant value for the frequent traveler.
We’re prepared to show you exactly how our 2 featured cards do just that in the detailed comparison that follows.
Join us as we walk through the details.
Before we dive into the details comparing each card, let’s summarize the key benefits of the Capital One Venture X card and the Amex Gold card.
Keep in mind that not all card benefits are listed, plus, we’ve abbreviated descriptions. You’ll want to access the card’s Guide to Benefits for a full breakdown of each benefit plus terms and conditions.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the key benefits of our 2 featured cards:
|Benefit||Capital One Venture X Card||Amex Gold Card|
|Top Redemption Options||
|Travel Benefits and Protections|
|Additional Travel Benefits and Protections||
|Shopping Benefits and Protections||
|Additional Shopping Benefits and Protections||
|Annual Fees and Authorized Users|
The best rewards-earning cards feature a unique window of opportunity to earn a large number of rewards in a short period of time. Just meet the appropriate minimum spending requirements during that window to earn the bonus.
Welcome bonuses fluctuate, as do reward valuations, so you’ll want to check the most current information prior to applying.
Here’s a snapshot of each card’s current welcome bonus and spending requirements:
The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is the premium Capital One travel rewards card on the block.
Points and miles fans will be surprised to see that the Capital One Venture X card packs quite the punch when it comes to bookings made through Capital One, all while offering the lowest annual fee among premium credit cards.
Depending on your travel goals and preferences, the Capital One Venture X card could very well end up being your go-to card in your wallet.
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!
If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.
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.
Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome bonus offer of up to 90,000 points with the Amex Gold card. The current public offer is 60,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)
While both of our featured cards earn rewards on every purchase you make, the Capital One Venture X card earns Capital One miles and the Amex Gold card earns Membership Rewards points — 2 different types of rewards currencies.
And while the ease of earning these rewards will be important to you, so will the options at redemption time, when you’ll want to receive the best possible value.
Let’s look at the earning potential for each of our featured cards and how you can turn those rewards into something you value.
The Capital One Venture X card and Amex Gold card both have great earning potential. The better card for you will match your spending mix and ensure you’re earning elevated rewards on the purchases you make most. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that every purchase you make earns rewards.
Here’s how our featured cards earn rewards on everyday purchases and the associated bonus categories that can help you earn rewards faster:
|Earning Category||Capital One Venture X Card||Amex Gold Card|
|U.S. Grocery Stores and Restaurants||
|All Other Purchases||
If you spend a lot at the grocery store and on dining, those expenses will earn a higher 4x rewards on the Amex Gold card compared to 2x on the Capital One Venture X card. However, at the gas station, department store, drugstore, and other everyday purchases, you’ll earn just 1x rewards on the Amex Gold card and 2x with the Capital One Venture X card.
When we look at travel purchases, if you’re buying a lot of flights directly from the airline, you’ll do better with the Amex Gold card. If you don’t mind using a travel portal, you can score up to 10x earnings with the Capital One Venture X card.
As you can see, the mix of your spending will determine which card offers the better overall earnings scenario for your situation.
Earnings, however, are just a key aspect of selecting a rewards-earning card. Next, we’ll look at the options you’ll have when it’s time to redeem your rewards.
We mentioned previously that we estimate the value of Capital One miles at 1.8 cents each and Membership Rewards points at 2.2 cents each. These valuations represent the potential value you can receive at redemption time.
Here are all of the options you’ll have for redeeming your rewards that are earned on the Capital One Venture X card and the Amex Gold card:
|Redemption Option||Capital One Venture X Card||Amex Gold Card|
|Additional Redemption Options||
Different redemption selections result in receiving various values for your rewards. For example, transferring rewards to airline partners can result in some of the highest potential value as you’ll be redeeming for frequent flyer miles that can purchase (normally expensive) award tickets.
Additional redemption options can result in a value of 1 cent, or much less, for each mile/point.
The primary benefits of holding a rewards-earning credit card are to earn rewards on every purchase you make and redeem those rewards for something of value. However, the best rewards-earning cards also come with several useful benefits.
These additional benefits, and also protections, provide money-saving options on your travel purchases or deliver protection during your travels.
We’ll start with a list of benefits you’ll find on both the Capital One Venture X card and the Amex Gold card:
In addition to these travel benefits and protections, each of our featured cards offers a list of valuable perks.
You know you’ll be using your card for shopping, so it’s fortunate that both the Capital One Venture X card and Amex Gold card offer benefits that can save you money and protection should you have a problem with your eligible purchase.
Let’s start with the shopping benefits you’ll find on each of our featured cards.
Both the Capital One Venture X card and Amex Gold card offer these shopping protections for eligible items purchased with your card:
In addition to the above, the Capital One Venture X card offers return protection:
Annual fees play a role in whether you’ll receive bottom-line value when holding a rewards-earning credit card. Any fees incurred when adding authorized users would also contribute to the cost of card ownership.
Here’s how the Capital One Venture X card and Amex Gold card compare regarding annual fees and adding authorized users.
There is no additional cost to add up to 4 authorized users to your Capital One Venture X card (rates & fees). There is also no authorized user fee for 5 users to the Amex Gold card (see rates & fees).
Both the Capital One Venture X card and the Amex Gold card have the potential to be the right card for a traveler. The better card for you will depend on your spending mix, how you prefer to redeem your rewards, and which benefits deliver personal value.
If you’re spending a lot on everyday purchases, such as at supermarkets and on dining, but still want to earn on airline flights, you may find a match with the Amex Gold card. If you would utilize Capital One Travel to make your travel purchases, and you have a lot of travel expenses, the Capital One Venture X card could be a better fit.
There are also several benefits to consider, such as cell phone protection, access to worldwide airport lounges, primary car rental insurance, and statement credits for travel purchases. If these benefits offer you economic value, the Capital One Venture X card might be a good choice.
Another option you’ll want to consider, if you’re going to transfer rewards to airline or hotel partners, is the list of each card’s transfer partners and if your preferred travel provider is on the list. We’ve provided links to articles on how to transfer to travel partners in the redemption section above.
For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.
Enrollment required through Capital One website or mobile app. Upon enrollment, eligible cardholders will remain at upgraded status level through December 31, 2024. Please note, enrolling through the normal Hertz Gold Plus Rewards enrollment process (e.g. at Hertz.com) will not automatically detect a cardholder as being eligible for the program and cardholders will not be automatically upgraded to the applicable status tier. Additional terms apply.
For the American Express® Gold Card’s Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance, coverage up to $75,000 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 caries by Card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.
For the American Express® Gold Card’s Trip Delay Insurance, eligibility and benefit level varies by Card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
For the American Express® Gold Card’s Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty, eligibility and benefit level varies by Card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
Either card can be a good choice for a traveler, however, you’ll want to select the card that rewards your greatest purchases. This can vary by card.
If you spend a lot at the grocery store and on dining, the Amex Gold may earn greater rewards. If you spend a lot on travel and don’t mind using a travel portal such as Capital One Travel, you will earn more on the Capital One Venture X card.
How you want to redeem your rewards and how useful the additional benefits are to you will also help determine which is the better card for you personally.
The Amex Gold card does not offer cell phone protection. However, you may have a limited level of coverage via the card’s purchase protection or extended warranty coverage.
Yes, the Capital One Venture X card comes with complimentary Priority Pass Select membership for the cardholder and authorized users. The card also offers access to Capital One Lounges and Plaza Premium Lounges.
The Priority Pass network offers over 1,300 properties worldwide, including airport lounges, participating restaurants, and Minute Suites. Plaza Premium Lounges has 110+ locations available to cardmembers. There is only 1 Capital One Lounge currently, with 2 more in progress and more openings to follow.
The value of any rewards currency will depend on how those rewards are redeemed. For example, if you redeem your Capital One miles by transferring to airline or hotel partners, you will receive much better potential value than redeeming for a general statement credit at 0.5 cents per mile.
To learn more about how much points and miles can be worth, this article will provide all the information you need.
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