Credit Card Showdown – Forbes Advisor

Welcome Bonus

The recently launched Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers a generous welcome bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Currently, the welcome bonus for the American Express® Gold Card is less generous: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 6 months of card membership.

Annual Travel Credit and Point Bonus

The Venture X offers up to a $300 travel credit toward bookings made with Capital One Travel, plus an annual anniversary bonus of 10,000 miles on your cardmember anniversary. Even if you travel primarily for work and must book most of your travel through your corporate travel portal, if you take just one personal trip per year, you will likely be able to book $300 worth of hotels, fees or car rentals through Capital One to take advantage of this credit. Just keep in mind that hotel stays where you want to earn points with the hotel’s loyalty program or use status benefits are best booked directly with the hotel chain.

Travel Booked through Capital One’s Portal

The Venture X offers 2 miles per dollar on all eligible purchases and 5 miles per dollar on flights and 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars when booking via Capital One Travel. The Capital One Travel portal’s hotel rates may vary, so you may get a better pricing if you book through the hotel directly, but most flights should be similarly priced through the portal. If you are able to book your travel through Capital One’s portal, this can be an incredible return on a large amount of spending if you travel frequently.

If you are not able to book your travel through Capital One Travel, but must book your flights directly, the American Express® Gold Card might be more rewarding as it offers 4 Membership Rewards® points per dollar at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the US, 4 Membership Rewards® points per dollar at US supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1 point per dollar), 3 Membership Rewards® points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express travel and 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases.

Points on General Purchases

One of the most exciting aspects of the Venture X is that it is a card that combines premium travel benefits and transferable points with strong earnings of 2 points per dollar on purchases that are not included in a bonus category, meaning that you can carry and use a single card for all of your purchases without worrying that you are missing out on rewards.

The American Express® Gold Card earns 1 Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on eligible general purchases.

Airport Lounge Access

The Venture X offers cardmembers lounge access through Priority Pass, a network of over 1,300 global airport lounges. Access to Priority Pass lounges is provided to the primary cardmember and up to two additional guests. In addition to Priority Pass lounges, cardholders receive access to Capital One’s small but growing network of airline lounges.

How useful the lounge access benefits are will depend heavily on your travel patterns. The Priority Pass lounge network is internationally strong, but is less robust than the Delta Sky Club, Admirals Club and United Club networks within the US Capital One’s lounge network only includes Dallas (DFW) as of February 2022, but is planned to include Denver ( DEN) and Washington-Dulles (IAD) later in 2022.

The American Express® Gold Card offers no lounge access benefit; for lounge access in an American Express card, consider The Platinum Card® from American Express. (Terms apply.)

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