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INSIDER SECRET: The American Express® Gold Card earns flexible Membership Rewards points which can be transferred to different travel partners for incredible value. However, if you’re looking for simplicity, the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card earns cash back with straightforward redemption options.
As reader David pointed out, these cards have a lot of similarities but there are a few notable differences you should be aware of if you’re trying to decide which one is best for you.
For instance, the Amex Gold earns flexible Membership Rewards points, whereas the Capital One Savor earns straight cash back. Each card also offers different welcome bonuses and perks.
Here is how the Amex Gold and Capital One Savor stack up against one another.
Amex Gold vs Capital One Savor: Deciding which is best for you
American Express Gold Card
Apply Here: American Express® Gold Card
Read our review of the Amex Gold Card
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
Apply Here: Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Read our review of the Capital One Savor
1. Welcome bonus and redemption options
If you value simplicity and transparency in your credit card rewards, the Capital One Savor will likely be more attractive. You can earn a welcome bonus of $300 after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Redeeming rewards is easy — you simply request a check or statement credit any time with no minimum redemption amount, or you can set up an automatic monthly redemption.
On the other hand, if you’re the type of person who likes flexibility and the opportunity to get more value out of your rewards, there’s the Amex Gold. You can earn 35,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
Amex’s Membership Rewards points are flexible points that can be redeemed for travel or transferred to any of Amex’s travel partners.
As one example of the value of Amex points, you could transfer 85,000 Amex points to ANA for a business-class flight worth over $6,300. That’s nearly 7.5 cents per point in value.
2. Best card for daily purchases
You’ll want to look at your spending habits to determine which card will allow you to maximize your rewards.
With the Amex Gold, you’ll earn:
- 4 Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar at restaurants worldwide
- 4 Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases (then 1x)
- 3 Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com
- Terms apply
The Capital One Savor earns:
- 4% cash back on dining
- 4% cash back on entertainment
- 2% cash back at grocery stores
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
As you can see, the biggest differences are in the areas of entertainment, grocery stores, and flights:
- Capital One Savor wins if you anticipate spending more on entertainment
- Amex Gold is the winner if you spend more on flights (booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com)
- Amex Gold is the winner if you anticipate spending more at supermarkets
3. Annual fee
The Capital One Savor carries an annual fee of just $95 (waived the first year), compared to the Amex Gold which carries an annual fee of $250 (see rates & fees).
One thing to note, however, is that the Amex Gold also includes up to $120 in dining credits (broken into $10 monthly to spend at certain restaurants) as well as an up to $100 airline incidental credit on your selected airline for things like seat selection, upgrades, and checked bags.
If you anticipate making use of those credits of up to $220, the annual fee on the Amex Gold is effectively reduced to just $30, making it the winner in this category.
On the other hand, if you’re not sure if you’ll use those credits and don’t want to be obligated to a higher annual fee, the Capital One Savor might be a better fit for you in this area.
4. Miscellaneous perks
The Amex Gold and Capital One Savor each carries unique perks. Generally speaking, if you travel a bit more frequently or like having discounts at select stores, you’ll probably find the Amex Gold to be more useful. On the other hand, if you use services like Lyft and Postmates frequently, the Capital One Savor might be the better fit for you.
Here are some of the unique perks that stand out for the Amex Gold:
- $100 credit toward airline incidentals
- Access to Amex Offers
- Ability to get Primary rental car insurance(when you enroll in the American Express Premium Car Rental Protection program)
And here are some benefits unique to the Capital One Savor:
- Monthly Lyft credits
- 8% cash back with Vivid Seats through May 2020
- Free Postmates Unlimited subscription through Dec. 2019
- Capital One Premium Access
Foodies everywhere can do very well with either the Amex Gold or Capital One Savor.
Amex Membership Rewards are flexible and can be worth quite a bit if you redeem them for travel by transferring them to Amex’s travel partners. On the other hand, if you value simplicity and ease of redemption, it can’t get much simpler than what the Capital One Savor has to offer.
You can learn more about Amex points below:
- Amex points value
- Best way to use Amex points
- Amex transfer partners
- How to earn Amex points
- How to set up an American Express Membership Rewards account
- How to use American Express points
- Do American Express points expire?
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For rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, click here.