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Both the American Express® Gold and Capital One Savor are designed for those with excellent or good credit. However, while the Amex card carries an annual fee, the Capital One Savor does not. These cards are well suited to those who enjoy dining out and shopping, as you can earn the most rewards in these categories, making them a great option for everyday spending.
However, there are some crucial differences between the cards. We’ll explore them in more detail to help you decide which would be the best card for you.
Compare Rewards: Which Card Gives More?
We’ve looked at various aspects of the two cards, but in order to see which card is best for you, a direct scenario comparison can be helpful. Since both these cards are aimed at everyday spending, we will look at what could be typical monthly spending on the cards to see what rewards you could anticipate if you have similar spending.
As you can see, you will earn more rewards with the Amex Gold card compared to the Capital One Savor, if you maximize your redemption rewards with Amex. You do need to consider that you will also need to cover the $250 annual fee, which will account for almost $21 per month.
However, if you have a similar spending pattern to the above scenario, you’ll still be better off each month if you use the Amex Gold card. This is even more impressive considering that you only need a good credit rating for the Amex, while Capital One requires an excellent credit rating.
Spend Per Category
American Express® Gold Card
Capital One Savor
$15,000 – U.S Supermarkets
$5,000 – Restaurants
$4,000 – Hotels
$3,000 – Airline
$4,000 – Gas
1 point ~ 0.6 – 1.6 cents
Estimated Annual Value
$582 – $1,552
Editorial Note: Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollments may be required for select benefits. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more
Compare Welcome Bonus And Fees
Both cards have one of the best welcome bonus available. The Amex Gold has an introductory offer of 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. In real terms, these points could carry a value of approximately $1,000 depending on how you redeem them.
The sign up bonus for the Capital One Savor is far more straightforward. You’ll receive a $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
So, while you’ll receive more with the Amex card, you will also need to spend more. So, unless you’re planning a major purchase or will use the card for lots of your everyday transactions, the Capital One introductory bonus will be more appealing.
However, there are some crucial fee differences. While the Amex card has a $250 annual fee, the Capital One Savor has no annual fee, which is an immediate saving. Another important difference is that while Capital One charges a 3% balance transfer fee, Amex does not allow balance transfers with its Gold card.
Compare The Perks
American Express Gold Card
- Up to $120 per year in Uber Credit, if you link your Gold Card to your Uber account. Terms Apply.
- Up to $10 of dining credit to each monthly statement when you order from participating partners.
- Preferred Seating at sporting or cultural events
- Signature perks at upscale hotels, which are part of the Amex Hotel Collection and you book through American Express Travel.
- Baggage insurance if it is lost, stolen, or damaged. You’ll need to purchase fares with the card, but you can obtain up to $500 for checked bags and $1,250 for carry on*.
- $100 experience credit – receive a $100 experience credit when you reserve The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel for at least two nights. The specific value of the experience credit may vary depending on the property you choose.
- Flexible payment options: You can pay your bill in full, Plan it to split your larger purchases into monthly payments with a fixed fee or Pay Over Time to carry your balance with interest.
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers.
Capital One Savor
- Redeem rewards via PayPal or Amazon.com
- Extended warranty on eligible items purchased with your card.
- Automatic travel accident insurance when you purchase fares with the card
- 24 hour travel assistance services. You can obtain an emergency replacement and cash advance if your card is lost or stolen.
- Capital One Shopping tool to automatically apply coupon codes to your orders.
- Complimentary Concierge Services in travel, entertainment, and dining 24/7, 365 days a year.
Compare The Drawbacks
Of course, no credit card is perfect, so it is important to be aware of the potential drawbacks before you make your final card decision.
American Express Gold Card
There are no balance transfers permitted on the American Express Gold Card. So, if you do want to consolidate your entire credit card debt on one card, this is not possible.
While the Gold Card does have some excellent travel benefits, it is important to note that American Express is not a popular card in many areas of the world. Outside of the U.K and Italy, most European countries tend to rely on Visa or Mastercard networks.
Capital One Savor
Although you can earn higher cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and grocery store bills, the only other redemption tier is 1% for all other purchases.
This is unusual as many cash back reward cards offer multiple tiers, with some other cards offering rotating categories, so you can maximize your rewards.
Compare Redemption Options
American Express has an aim to make card rewards redemption as easy as possible. You can log into your account at any time to check your points balance. There is a membership rewards site, where you can explore all the current reward options. The points are worth up to $0.02 each depending on your redemption method. There are usually gift card options, entertainment rewards, merchandise and premium travel.
As we touched on above, Capital One has fewer redemption options. You can redeem your cash back as statement credit or request a check. Your cash back will not expire unless you close your account, so you can accumulate a larger sum or redeem at any point. To activate a redemption, you can also set up an automatic redemption threshold or an annual redemption date. Once this user set criteria is reached, the amount will be released or credited.
You can also redeem your cash back in the form of gift cards and purchases. Capital One allows its members to redeem rewards via PayPal or Amazon.com, but the exchange rates vary. So, the cash back does provide higher returns.
Once you have decided which reward you would like, there are two redemption options:
- Website: This is the most straightforward, since you are already likely to be on the rewards site looking at the options. All you need to do is click on the appropriate rewards and then follow the instructions so you can complete your redemption.
- Phone: There is a toll free phone number where a human agent can guide you through the entire redemption process.
How to Maximize Cards Benefits?
If you want to make the best use of your Amex Gold Card, there are some tips to help you:
- Hit the intro spending requirement: You’ll only earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. So, make sure you hit this spending figure within this timeframe.
- Link to your Uber account: You’ll receive up to $10 a month in Uber Credits if you link your Gold card to your Uber account.
- Book Travel with the Card: Amex offers some nice incentives for travelers when they book fares with their card. This includes free baggage insurance for up to $1,250 and signature perks if you stay at venues that are part of the Amex Hotel Collection.
- Use the Dining Partners list: Amex has a list of dining partners and if you dine at these participating restaurants you can qualify for statement credit of up to $10 per month.
Consider the following when it comes to maximizing your Capital one Savor card:
- Pay fares with your card: You’ll qualify for travel accident insurance automatically when you purchase your fares using your card.
- Check the Capital One Shopping tool: This innovative tool automatically applies any available coupon codes to your orders. So, you could save money on your purchases.
- Buy larger purchases with your card: You can receive an extended warranty on eligible items when you purchase them with your card, so you can enjoy additional warranty coverage for free.
Customer Reviews: Which Card Wins?
American Express® Gold Card
Capital One Savor
App Rating (iOS)
App Rating (Android)
BBB Rating (A-F)
Satisfied customers report the Amex Gold card has high reward earning possibilities. In addition to the 60,000 points introductory offer, you can earn up to 4 points per dollar. Additionally, there are three tiers of rewards, with 3 points per dollar on flights and 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases. As we demonstrated in our scenario comparison, this can add up to far more rewards than you would get with other Amex cards.
Negative reviews report some frustration that there are minimal traveler benefits. While the card does offer higher points rate on flights and baggage insurance, you will not access things like airport lounge benefits. Other complaints are centered around the high Over Time penalties and costs. This is billed as a benefit of the card, but the high APR makes this an impractical payment option.
Satisfied customers report the Capital One Savor offers great rewards considering there is no annual fee. The card benefits are tailored to everyday spending, so you don’t need to worry about unusual spending categories or meeting high spend limits to earn your introductory bonus.
Additionally, many reviews praise the simplicity of the rewards system. While there are other redemption options, you can simply automate your cash back so you receive a statement credit or check when your rewards balance hits an amount you specify.
Negative reviews report communication issues. Some reviews detail receiving stock responses to queries such as a request to review a credit limit, which is highly frustrating.
Other reviews highlight communication issues when the cardholder wants to report a dispute situation. There are comments about dealing with foreign call centers where there is a language barrier and agents who cannot fully understand English.
When You Might Want the Amex Gold Card?
The American Express Gold Card is a flexible option that could be good if:
- You will qualify for the introductory bonus. You’ll get 60,000 points and depending on your redemption choices could be worth $1,000 to $1,500.
- You enjoy dining out. Amex has a list of participating partners and if you dine in these restaurants, you could earn $10 statement credit each month. Additionally, you’ll earn 4x points when you pay with your card for any restaurant visits.
- You like luxury perks. With the Amex Gold card you can enjoy preferred seating at cultural and sporting events, signature perks at upscale hotels and other nice touches for those who delight in the finer things in life.
When the Capital One Savor Card Wins?
The Capital One Savor also has some great benefits. It could be a good fit for you if:
- You tend to spend a large percentage of your disposable income on entertainment, groceries, dining out and streaming services, as these categories offer the highest cash back potential.
- You’ll make use of the additional protections offered by the Capital One Savor. There is extended warranty protection if you buy your item with your card. You’ll also automatically receive free travel accident insurance when you book fares with your card.
Both these cards offer impressive rewards and you can strategically plan purchases to maximize your rewards. However, there are crucial differences that will determine which is the best one for you.
Compare The Alternatives
Both cards are definitely considered as one of the best in the niche. However, there are always recommended alternatives to check out before applying:
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Capital One Venture X Rewards
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
1X – 10X 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels, car rentals when you purchase through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit. Also, earn 3x points on dining at restaurants and travel (after meeting the $300 travel credit), then 1x points per dollar spent on all other purchases
1X – 10X 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars when booking via Capital One Travel, 5 miles per dollar on flights and 2 miles per dollar on all eligible purchases
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership
60,000 points 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
75,000 miles 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
Foreign Transaction Fee
21.24% – 29.24% APR Variable
22.24%–29.24% variable APR
19.99% – 29.99% (Variable)