Capital One vs American Express (Amex)

Jenna Vasquez
Jenna Vasquez | Contributor

Capital One and American Express both primarily have positive reviews — approximately 82 percent of reviews for both companies are 4 or 5 stars. While both companies have high ratings based on BestCompany.com’s customer sentiment criteria, American Express performs better in quality, customer service, and trustworthiness.

But, in reviews, customers of both companies are quick to mention good experiences with customer services, with concerns and fraudulent activity being resolved quickly.

Capital One and American Express are equally good credit card issuer options based on reviews. In the end, deciding between the two credit card companies will come down to your credit background and credit needs.

Overview

Capital One

Late Payment Grace Period

N/A

Late Payment Fee

N/A

Reward Programs

Cashback

Time in Business

Undisclosed

American Express (Amex)

N/A

N/A

Cashback

Undisclosed

Ratings

Capital One

Overall Score
7.5 of 10
Review Score
4.4
star star star star star_half
Value for Money
4.3
star star star star star_half
Quality of Product or Service
4.4
star star star star star_half
Company Trustworthiness
4.4
star star star star star_half
Likely to Recommend
8.3 of 10

American Express (Amex)

7.2 of 10
4.4
star star star star star_half
4.3
star star star star star_half
4.4
star star star star star_half
4.5
star star star star star_half
8.4 of 10

Reviews

Capital One

Number of Reviews
761
Review Breakdown
4.4
star star star star star_half
5 star
65%
4 star
20%
3 star
7%
2 star
3%
1 star
5%

American Express (Amex)

630
4.4
star star star star star_half
5 star
61%
4 star
23%
3 star
8%
2 star
3%
1 star
5%

Reviews for Capital One

Helpful Favorable Review

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Review Source

star star star star star_border

Pacific Austin San Francisco, CA

I have really enjoyed banking with Capital One. I feel like they are great at marketing to their target audience of young adults and millennials, and I like that their online banking is sophisticated. I can do almost everything online. I did have some difficulty getting proof of a deposit for my mortgage lender, they could only provide me with a hard copy not a fax or an email. I also wish that they would allow you to have multiple debit cards (you can have multiple debit accounts, but not multiple cards).

3 days ago

Helpful Critical Review

check_circle

Review Source

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Chelsea Pleasant Grove, UT

Am so annoyed by the amount of time they soft pull my credit and send me firm offers. Wish it would come to and end since I’m not looking but could be beneficial if you are looking for a credit card!

4 months ago

Reviews for American Express (Amex)

Helpful Favorable Review

check_circle

Review Source

star star star star star_border

Charles Hughes Southport, NC

We don't use this product very much because of its higher interest rate even though we pay off monthly. However, we recently started using for the reward points for lodging and it's been a very positive experience.

1 week ago

Helpful Critical Review

star star star_border star_border star_border

Fair and unfair loyalty program

Amex out sources a lot of its customer service. Hard to understand the personnel speaking to you with broken english. They rewards program use to be better. They don't offer reduced interest rates during difficult times like today.

2 years ago

The Final Word

While Capital One and American Express both have high customer ratings and customer satisfaction, it will be more important to address your financial situation and credit needs when deciding between the two companies. 

Credit score

Capital One has credit card options for borrowers of all credit levels, while American Express generally requires good, if not excellent credit (700+) for approval on many of its credit cards.

Based on credit factors alone, we would recommend Capital One because there is a higher likelihood of approval, no matter your credit score. However, if you have excellent credit and are looking for generous and prestigious rewards programs, we would be quick to recommend American Express.

Rewards

American Express is well-known for its rewards options, including cash back, travel, and business rewards. If you have excellent credit and will be able to maximize on rewards through your spending and use of a card, American Express would likely be the best choice for you.

However, it is important to note that American Express cards generally carry a higher annual fee than you might see with other card issuers.

Capital One offers a range of rewards credit cards with options to earn cash back, points, or miles. You can filter your credit card search by your credit level (rebuilding, fair, good, or excellent) to see which rewards cards are available to you; many cards have a low annual fee or no fee at all.

Fees

In general, Capital One will have lower fees than American Express. Here is a breakdown of fees you can expect with either company:

  Capital One American Express
Annual fee $0–$95 $0–$550
Late payment fee $25 ($38 for second late payment within following six billing cycles) Up to $40
Foreign transaction fee n/a 2.7% (not on all cards)

Of the Capital One cards that carry an annual fee, this fee is low in comparison to American Express. However, American Express offers much more generous rewards.

Both companies charge a similar late payment fee, but American Express does charge up to $40 for late payments.

Capital One credit cards do not have a foreign transaction fee, and there are many American Express cards that don’t charge this fee either.

Credit cards vs. charge cards

One important distinction between Capital One and American Express is that some cards offered by American Express aren’t credit cards, but are charge cards.

A charge card is similar to a credit card in function, but a charge card doesn’t have a spending limit and cardholders are generally expected to pay their bill in full each month. Although charge cards don’t have a set spending limit, that doesn’t mean that they offer unlimited spending.

Thus, if you are looking at American Express card options, make sure you read rates and terms carefully to know which type of card you are applying for.

Capital One doesn’t offer charge cards.

Top-rated credit cards

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards card and American Express® Gold card are top-ranked rewards cards in the credit card industry. Here’s how they compare:

  Capital One® Venture® Rewards American Express® Gold
Credit level Excellent Excellent
Annual fee $95 $250
Variable APR* 17.24%–24.49% 15.99%–22.99%
Intro APR n/a n/a
Foreign transaction fee none none
Rewards Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on all purchases Earn 4X points on dining and groceries, 3X points on flights, and 1X points on all other eligible purchases; Enjoy up to $120 in Uber Cash annually and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points for each Uber Eats purchase; $120 dining credit at select restaurants

*Note: Variable APR ranges are subject to change frequently.

Based on annual fees alone, Capital One might seem like the better choice since $250 might seem like a steep fee. But, the rewards and benefits you get with the American Express Gold card can make the steep annual fee worth it.

However, if you anticipate that you won’t take full advantage of the benefits, by spending upwards of $10,000 on the card annually, it might be more advantageous for you to choose the Capital One Venture Rewards card and save more on the annual fee.

Top Choice

Capital One Logo
Capital One

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