Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card vs. American Express® Gold Card [2024]: Simple Earning vs. Bonus Categories

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We like how simple it is to earn rewards with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and think that’s the way to go for most people. But the American Express® Gold Card makes sense for maximizing your earning potential.
Updated June 14, 2024
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We like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card over the American Express® Gold Card because it has simple rewards rates and a lower $95 annual fee. Having straightforward rewards rates means you typically don’t need to carry more than one credit card in your wallet.

In some cases, we recommend the Amex Gold card over the Capital One Venture card. The Amex Gold bonus categories are likely better if you want to maximize your earning potential, but that depends on your spending habits.

Let’s dig into the details of our Capital One Venture versus Amex Gold comparison to see which card makes the most sense for you.

In this Capital One Venture versus Amex Gold comparison

Key takeaways

  • We recommend the Capital One Venture card over the American Express Gold card because it has a relatively low annual fee and simple earning rates of 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5 miles per dollar on Capital One Entertainment purchases through 12/31/25. Terms apply.
  • We recommend the Amex Gold over the Capital One Venture if you’re able to take advantage of its 4X rewards rate at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, after that 1X) and restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S..
  • The Capital One Venture Rewards has a $95 annual fee, while the Amex Gold has a $250 annual fee.
  • The Capital One Venture card provides up to $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. The Amex Gold card provides up to $120 in annual dining credit and up to $120 in annual Uber Cash (enrollment required).
  • Both Capital One and American Express have over a dozen travel partners where you can transfer points or miles.

Capital One Venture vs. Amex Gold card comparison

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card

Annual fee $95 $250 (terms apply)
Welcome offer Earn a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months of card membership
Earning rate 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5 miles per dollar on Capital One Entertainment purchases through 12/31/25 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, after that 1X) and at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., 3X on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com, and 1X on all other eligible purchases
Redemption methods
  • Travel
  • Transfers to travel partners
  • Cover past travel purchases
  • Gift cards
  • PayPal
  • Amazon
  • Cash back, such as statement credits or mailed checks
  • Travel
  • Transfers to travel partners
  • Gift cards
  • Online shopping
  • Pay with points
  • Cover card charges
Other benefits
  • Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees
  • Two free visits per year to Capital One or Plaza Premium Lounges
  • Up to $120 in dining credits each year (enrollment required)
  • Up to $120 in Uber Cash each year (enrollment required)
Foreign transaction fee None None
Credit needed Excellent, Good Excellent, Good
Read our Capital One Venture review Read our Amex Gold review

Our verdict

We recommend the Capital One Venture card over the American Express Gold card because we think its relatively low $95 annual fee and its simple earning rates are two factors that make sense for more people. It’s an easy card to use for earning and redeeming valuable rewards, and it comes with up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

Capital One Venture benefits and drawbacks

Pros Cons
  • Simple rewards rates
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Two complimentary visits per year to Capital One or Plaza Premium Lounges
  • Up to $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
  • $95 annual fee
  • No intro APR offers

The Capital One Venture card is a simple and straightforward travel credit card. It has a relatively low $95 annual fee and no-stress rewards rates of 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5 miles per dollar on Capital One Entertainment purchases through 12/31/25.

With these earning rates, you don’t need to carry multiple credit cards in your wallet. Since you’ll earn at least 2 miles per dollar miles on every purchase, every day, it’s easy to use the Capital One Venture card for all your eligible purchases.

The Venture card doesn’t have any introductory APR offers, but you can take advantage of two complimentary visits per year to Capital One or Plaza Premium Lounges and up to $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry every four years.

Find out more in our Capital One Venture review.

American Express Gold benefits and drawbacks

Pros Cons
  • Elevated rewards rates in common categories
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Up to $120 in annual dining credit and up to $120 in annual Uber Cash (enrollment required)
  • $250 annual fee (terms apply)
  • No intro APR offers

The American Express Gold has a high $250 annual fee, but you can help offset this cost in two ways.

  1. Use your monthly allotments of dining credits and Uber Cash (enrollment required).
  2. Take advantage of the card’s elevated rewards rates.

You receive up to $120 in annual dining credits and up to $120 in Uber Cash (enrollment required), essentially providing up to $240 in annual benefit value that can help offset your $250 annual fee.

You can also earn 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, after that 1X) and at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., 3X on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com, and 1X on all other eligible purchases.

The main benefit here is earning 4X bonus points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, after that 1X) and restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.. Not many other rewards cards can match the earning rate for these everyday bonus categories.

Find out more in our Amex Gold card review.

What both cards excel at

The Capital One Venture card and Amex Gold card share a few overlapping benefits.

  • Welcome offers: Take advantage of a welcome offer on either card.
  • Travel coverage: Receive car rental coverage1 and baggage insurance2 with both cards3.
  • Purchase protections: Receive purchase protection4 on eligible items.
  • Redemption options: Use your points or miles via many similar redemption options, including travel, transfers to travel partners, gift cards, online shopping, and more.

Keep in mind that the exact details of each card’s terms with purchase and travel benefits, such as travel insurance and purchase protections, likely vary between both cards.

4 important differences between Capital One Venture cards and Amex Gold cards

1. Annual fees

The Capital One Venture Rewards has a $95 annual fee, while the American Express Gold has a $250 annual fee. In terms of how much you have to pay to be a cardholder for either card, the Venture clearly comes out on top with a much lower cost.

Winner: Capital One Venture is better because it has a lower $95 annual fee.

2. Earning rates

The Capital One Venture helps you earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5 miles per dollar on Capital One Entertainment purchases through 12/31/25.

The American Express Gold helps you earn 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, after that 1X) and at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., 3X on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com, and 1X on all other eligible purchases.

The Venture card is the better card for simplicity; you can earn an elevated 2 miles per dollar rate on every purchase, every day. But the Amex Gold card likely has a higher earning potential because its rewards rate aligns with common spending categories.

Winner: It’s a tie because it depends on whether you prefer earning at a simple rewards rate or potentially earning more rewards with bonus categories.

3. Credits and benefits

The Capital One Venture card provides these credits and benefits.

  • Up to $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry every four years
  • Two complimentary visits per year to Capital One or Plaza Premium Lounges

The American Express Gold provides these credits and benefits.

  • Up to $120 annual dining credit at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar, and select Shake Shack locations (enrollment required)
  • Up to $120 annual Uber Cash for Uber rides and/or Uber Eats purchases in the U.S. (enrollment required)

The Venture benefits are likely better if you have travel plans because you could take advantage of the lounge access and airport security perks. But the Amex Gold benefits might make more sense if you don’t plan to travel.

Still, the better benefits come down to which ones you prefer.

Winner: Again it’s a tie because it comes down to your travel habits and personal preferences.

4. Transfer partners

Capital One transfer partners and American Express transfer partners include:

Capital One American Express
  • Accor
  • AeroMexico
  • Air Canada
  • Air France KLM
  • Avianca
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Choice Hotels
  • Emirates
  • Etihad
  • EVA Air
  • Finnair
  • Qantas
  • Singapore Airlines
  • TAP Air Portugal
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Virgin Red
  • Wyndham
  • Aer Lingus
  • AeroMexico
  • Air Canada
  • Air France KLM
  • ANA
  • Avianca
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Choice Hotels
  • Delta
  • Emirates
  • Etihad
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Hilton
  • Iberia
  • JetBlue
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • Qantas
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic

There’s some overlap between the transfer partners of both credit card issuers. But you can also find some unique partnerships with Capital One or American Express.

Overall, American Express has more transfer partners, but that doesn’t automatically make it better. The only way to decide which credit card company has the better transfer partners is to see which ones align with your travel plans.

For example, you might prefer Amex transfer partners because of ANA, Delta, and JetBlue. Or you might like Capital One transfer partners because of Turkish Airlines and Wyndham.

Winner: It’s a tie because the better transfer partners depend on which loyalty rewards programs offer you the most value for your travel plans.

Which card should you choose?

When you should choose the Capital One Venture card

  • You want a simple rewards rate.
  • You can take advantage of up to $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry and two complimentary visits per year to Capital One or Plaza Premium Lounges.
  • You want a relatively low $95 annual fee.
  • You prefer Capital One transfer partners.

When you should choose the Amex Gold card

  • Your spending habits align with its bonus categories.
  • You can take advantage of up to $120 annual dining credit and up to $120 annual Uber Cash perks (requires enrollment).
  • You can find enough value to help offset the $250 annual fee.
  • You prefer Amex transfer partners.

What factors to consider before choosing

We recommend the Capital One Venture over the American Express Gold for two reasons.

  1. The Capital One Venture card has a $95 annual fee, while the Amex Gold card has a $250 annual fee.
  2. There’s little to no worrying about bonus categories with the Venture, meaning you don’t have to juggle multiple credit cards if you don’t want to. You can earn 2 miles per dollar miles on every purchase, every day, which is a super simple rewards rate.

For these reasons, the Capital One Venture card makes sense if you want a simple credit card that can help you earn travel rewards on all types of purchases.

The Amex Gold card makes sense if you can benefit more from earning 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, after that 1X) and restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S..

FAQ

What card competes with Amex Gold?

Is Amex Gold a bad card?

The Amex Gold is an excellent card for earning travel rewards on everyday purchases. This includes earning 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, after that 1X) and restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.. If you compare credit cards, most other rewards cards can’t match this earning rate.

Is Capital One Venture a rewards card?

Yes, the Capital One Venture is a rewards card that helps you earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5 miles per dollar on Capital One Entertainment purchases through 12/31/25. You can redeem your Capital One miles for travel, transfers to travel partners, gift cards, and more.

Capital One Venture vs. Amex Gold: bottom line

We recommend the Capital One Venture card over the American Express Gold card because we think it makes sense for more people. The Venture has a lower $95 annual fee compared to a $250 annual fee for the Amex Gold, and its earning rates are much easier to track and use.

However, we don’t think everyone should count out the American Express Gold. Depending on your spending habits, you could greatly benefit from the 4X earning rate at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, after that 1X) and restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S..

For more of our top recommendations, check out our list of the best travel credit cards.

Lucrative, Flat-Rate Cash Rewards

5.0

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Current Offer

$200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is credit cards specialist. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.