American Express® Green Card
The American Express Green Card review was last updated on October 29, 2019.
American Express® Green Card: Details and benefits
The American Express® Green Card is back with a revamped rewards structure, a slightly increased welcome bonus and added perks. Most notably, the $95 annual fee (waived the first year) has been increased to $150 per year. (See rates and fees)
You’ll earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on an expanded travel category (meaning you’ll now earn points for taking buses, taxis, subways, ride-shares and paying tolls), 3X points at restaurants worldwide and 1X points on all other purchases. The expanded travel category also includes points for campsites, travel agencies and tours.
The card, which once required you to pay off your balance every month, now boasts payment and purchase flexibility that allows you to pay in full each month or carry a balance with interest on eligible purchases.
New members can earn 30,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 within the first three months. The original bonus was 25,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 with three months, meaning the new offer isn’t much of a difference in value considering you’ll need to meet a higher qualifying spend for a slightly higher bonus.
What’s most impressive about the updated Green from Amex is its three statement credit-earning opportunities for spending with particular brands.
Up to $100 CLEAR credit
When you use Green from Amex to purchase a CLEAR membership — an identity verification system that uses fingerprints and eye scanning to get you through security faster — you can receive up to $100 in statement credits each year.
Up to $100 LoungeBuddy credit
LoungeBuddy gets you access to premium lounge experiences without a membership or specific credit card perks. You can earn up to $100 in statement credit each year when you use the Green from Amex to purchase lounge access through the LoungeBuddy website or mobile app.
Up to $100 Away credit
Until January 15, 2020, you can earn up to $100 in statement credits when you purchase a suitcase or other travel items from Away. This offer is specifically for new Card Members.
Is the American Express Green Card worth it for you?
The Green from Amex is first and foremost a travel card. The original version charged foreign transaction fees, but with the update, you won’t be charged for purchases made outside of the United States — this makes the card a good option for those who travel abroad often. (See rates and fees)
The expanded travel category, which now earns you points on tour operators and campsites, may be a good fit for traveling families who enjoy group activities.
Get the most value from the American Express Green Card
This card offers access to the American Express Membership Rewards® program, which includes a suite of benefits like car rental insurance, baggage insurance and Pay with Points (which allows you to pay for a portion or all of an upcoming trip when you book through the Amex travel portal).
How much are the American Express Green Card rewards worth?
Let’s say you spend $500 a month on travel, $250 a month on restaurants and $100 on everything else. In doing so, you’ll earn around 28,000 points and also meet the welcome bonus spending requirement, bringing you to 58,000 points earned by the end of your first year.
If you were to use these points for flights booked through the Amex Travel portal, your points would be worth around $580, but transferring your points to a frequent traveler program partner has the potential to maximize your points’ value. According to TPG’s October 2019 Amex points valuations, transferring your 58,000 points heightens their value to $1,160.
To learn more about the Membership Rewards program and the potential of the American Express Green Card, read our 2019 guide to American Express Rewards.
How to redeem rewards
One of the main benefits of this card is the flexibility around how you can redeem points. You can use them for everything from statement credits and travel to consumer goods and charitable donations.
Travel redemptions, in particular, must be done through the American Express Travel portal for flights, hotels booked and paid for in advance, cruises and more.