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For years, The Platinum Card® from American Express was the apex premium travel card. It came with a high price tag, but it brought a certain air of status, along with credits, benefits, and rewards that were hard to beat.
However, as the premium travel card market has expanded, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is quickly becoming a worthy rival, offering many similar luxury travel perks without nearly the cost or complication of the AmEx Platinum. Both cards offer wide-ranging airport lounge benefits and premium travel credits, including offsetting the cost of Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. However, for most cardholders, the simplicity and the cost of the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card will make it a more accessible entry point to the premium travel card market.
Here's how to decide which card is right for you.
At a glance
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
Foreign transaction fee
Why Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is better for most people
Lower annual fee
If you’re new to the world of luxury travel cards, the steep annual fees can be discouraging. Compared to the AmEx Platinum’s eye-popping $695 annual fee, though, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card’s $395 annual price tag may seem a lot more accessible. Plus, as we’ll see below, a few easy-to-redeem travel credits quickly offset that price, making the Venture X the more affordable luxury travel credit card for most users.
While The Platinum Card® from American Express advertises more than $1,500 per year in potential statement credits, many of those apply to specific vendors and require jumping through hoops or timing purchases in ways that could prove frustrating to the average cardholder.
If you prefer simplified value with far less tracking required, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card's nearly effortless travel credits will prove more user-friendly. In fact, you can fully offset the Venture X’s $395 annual fee by using the card’s two travel credits:
$300 annual statement credit on travel bookings made through Capital One Travel.
10,000 anniversary miles (equal to $100 toward travel) every year on your card anniversary.
This means even if you never make use of the card’s airport lounge access, primary rental car insurance, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit or any other benefit, you can still essentially break even on cost for this card.
Higher rewards on everyday spending
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card earns 2 miles per $1 spent on all everyday spending (outside of the bonuses on travel booked through Capital One). This makes it a competitive card for everyday use, especially if you don’t love tracking categories to maximize your rewards on spending. By comparison, the The Platinum Card® from American Express earns only 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent on all purchases, except for select travel. Terms apply.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers primary rental car insurance, covering up to $75,000 of damage to your rental car in the event of a collision or theft when you decline the rental car company's collision damage waiver (CDW). The Platinum Card® from American Express offers only secondary rental car coverage.
Why you might prefer the The Platinum Card® from American Express
You value domestic transfer partners
Cardholders who travel primarily within the United States will find more value from The Platinum Card® from American Express' list of available travel partners, which includes domestic options Delta and JetBlue. By contrast, Capital One’s available travel partners notably excludes any major domestic airlines. Here’s a look at each card’s full list of transfer partners:
You prefer booking flights directly through the airline
Seasoned travelers know that when you need to change or cancel a flight, the way you booked your original ticket makes all the difference. So while the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express both reward cardholders with 5 points per dollar spent on flights, the AmEx Platinum has a leg up in offering that same rewards rate when flights are booked directly through the airline. To earn that 5x rate with the Venture X, you have to book your flights through Capital One Travel — which could add headaches if you have any problems with your trip, since it introduces a third-party go-between to deal with.
You enjoy squeezing value out of travel credits and benefits
Much of The Platinum Card® from American Express’ value comes in the form of over $1,500 per year in potential statement credits on specific purchases. If you can reap the full value of many of those statement credits, you’ll easily offset the card’s hefty $695 annual fee. But doing so requires jumping through some hoops, and some benefits simply won’t be useful to many consumers. For example, the card’s $300-a-year statement credit for Equinox gym memberships is a great benefit if you live in a major city with multiple Equinox locations. However, if you don’t have easy access to a gym location, you’re limited to the on-demand fitness app Equinox+. Terms apply.
Another valuable benefit is the $200 credit per year for Uber and Uber Eats in the U.S., which includes Uber VIP status. But don’t expect to save that Uber Cash for a few longer rides per year. It’s doled out on a monthly basis — $15 in credits each month and $35 in December — and credits don’t roll over month to month. Terms apply.
Some optimizing cardholders enjoy the challenge of squeezing as much value as they can out of a credit card’s benefits. If that’s you, there’s huge value to be gained from The Platinum Card® from American Express. For most cardholders, though, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card’s simpler benefit structure will provide more net value with less effort.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card allows authorized users to be added to your account for free, and they can use benefits like airport lounge access, cell phone protection, and Hertz President’s Circle* elite status. AmEx charges $175 for up to three authorized Platinum users.
You enjoy the red carpet treatment
The Platinum Card® from American Express grants automatic Gold elite status with both Marriott and Hilton hotels, a perk usually reserved for road warriors who spend many weeks a year in hotel beds. Elite status offers benefits like late checkout, space-available room upgrades, bonus points, food and beverage credits, and more. Enrollment required.
When it comes to rental cars, the The Platinum Card® from American Express gives cardholders elite status with three rental companies: Avis Preferred Plus, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and National Emerald Club. Benefits include perks like rental car upgrades and the ability to skip the check-in counter. The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card grants elite status, too, but only with Hertz.
Cardholders also enjoy access to a special American Express concierge service that can help you book travel, secure hard-to-get dinner reservations or even send flowers to your favorite aunt on your behalf.
» GUIDE: Hotel elite status for beginners
Which card should you get?
For frequent and serious travelers who enjoy juicing every possible ounce of value out of their credit card rewards, it’s hard to compete with the The Platinum Card® from American Express. For most cardholders, though, many benefits of the AmEx Platinum may go unused, making it hard to justify the card’s hefty $695 annual fee.
That’s why for most consumers, we recommend the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. With it, you’ll have the lounge access and rewards earning rates of a premium traveler while benefiting from simplified travel credits that easily offset the card’s annual fee. Plus, with 2x miles earned on all purchases, this card adds value to your wallet even when you’re not on the go.
*Disclosure regarding Hertz Presidents Circle benefit: Upon enrollment, accessible through the Capital One website or mobile app, 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.