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American Express® Green Card review: A fair option for infrequent flyers

A solid first rewards card for occasional travelers.

 /  14 min
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Bankrate rating
Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5

Bottom line

The Amex Green is a good choice if you travel occasionally but not enough to warrant paying a high annual fee for a luxury travel card. However, another travel card will likely be a better fit if you’re after premium perks like unlimited airport lounge access.

Best for Everyday Travel + Transit
Image of American Express® Green Card

American Express® Green Card

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Bankrate score
Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Recommended Credit

Earn 40,000 points

Intro offer



Offer valuation


3X - 3X

Rewards rate



Annual fee

See Pay Over Time APR


All information about the American Express® Green Card and Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express has been collected independently by and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.

American Express® Green Card Overview

The American Express® Green Card offers a terrific rewards structure for anyone who wants to earn elevated points on dining, transit and travel. Its annual credits can also offset the card’s $150 annual fee if you travel enough to take advantage of them. But the best part is that the Amex Green Card lets you rack up valuable points in the American Express Membership Rewards program, which is known for its flexibility and valuable transfer partners. However, you might benefit from more luxury perks and higher reward rates with another travel card if you’re a frequent flyer. 

  • Credit Card Cash Back


    • 3X Membership Rewards points in expanded travel categories (including airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, vacation rentals, travel purchases on third-party travel websites and travel purchases on
    • 3X points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S.
    • 3X on transit (includes trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways)
    • 1X points on all other purchases

    Expert Appraisal: Good
    See our expert analysis

  • Rewards

    Welcome offer

    •  40,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $3,000 in your first six months

    Expert Appraisal: Good
    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Card Search

    Rates and fees

    • Annual fee: $150
    • Foreign transaction fee: None
    • Regular APR for Pay Over Time: 21.24 percent to 29.24 percent variable
    • Pay Over Time Penalty APR: 29.99 percent
    • Cash advance fee: Either $10 or 5 percent of the amount of each cash advance (whichever is greater)
    • Late payment fee: Up to $40
    • Returned payment fee: Up to $40

    Expert Appraisal: Typical
    See our expert analysis

  • Congrats

    Other cardholder perks

    • Annual statement credit for CLEAR membership 
    • Annual LoungeBuddy statement credit
    • Travel and purchase protections

    Expert Appraisal: Typical
    See our expert analysis

Amex Green pros and cons


  • Checkmark

    This card offers a great rewards rate for travel that includes more than flights and hotels, such as transit and vacation rentals.

  • Checkmark

    Credits for CLEAR Plus membership and LoungeBuddy are attractive perks that can help offset the annual fee.

  • Checkmark

    The welcome bonus has great value and is attainable for many cardholders.

  • Checkmark

    If you travel abroad a lot, you won't have to worry about foreign transaction fees when making purchases with this card.


  • The annual fee isn’t waived the first year, so you'll need to make sure you can offset the fee through rewards or perks.

  • Unless you use the Pay Over Time feature, this card requires you to pay off your balance in full each month.

  • The Pay Over Time ongoing APR is high and the card lacks intro APR offers to help you save on interest.

Why you might want the Amex Green

The Amex Green stands out thanks to its redemption flexibility and potentially high reward value, which could make the welcome offer quite lucrative. The card also has plenty value to offer if you don’t fly often but prefer more unique travel options like camping or cruises. 

Rewards: Earn on expanded travel categories

Cardmembers can earn unlimited 3X Membership Rewards points in expanded travel categories. You also earn 3X points at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery limited to U.S. restaurants), 3X points on transit and 1X points on all other purchases. So even if you don't travel often, you can earn bonus rates in non-travel categories. 

The travel category for the Amex Green is especially notable compared to other mid-tier travel cards since many eligible purchases go beyond basic airfare and hotels. You earn on travel purchases on both third-party websites and through the American Express Travel portal, and eligible purchases include options like car rentals, cruises, campgrounds and even vacation rentals. Whether you prefer to take a road trip, catch a flight or set sail, the Amex Green card’s broad travel category has you covered. 

The transit category is also surprisingly robust and isn’t a category you often find on competing travel rewards cards. This adds flexibility to the card that can elude even some premium cards, making it easier to earn rewards and offset the annual fee.  Whether you prefer to take a road trip, catch a flight or set sail, the Amex Green card’s broad travel category has you covered. 

Redemption: Flexible options and potentially high redemption value

You can redeem American Express Membership Rewards points for cash back, merchandise, gift cards and eligible travel through the Amex Travel portal, as well as at checkout with select merchants. You can also transfer points to airline and hotel Amex transfer partners like Hilton Honors, Delta SkyMiles, Air France / Flying Blue and more.

Thanks to this variety of options and travel partners, American Express Membership Rewards points are some of the most valuable you can earn, holding a 2.0 cents redemption value, on average, according to Bankrate's valuations. You’ll typically want to redeem points on options that give you a point value of at least 1 cent apiece. Booking flights with American Express Travel, selecting gift cards or transferring to certain partnering hotels and airlines might be your best choices.

Welcome offer: Solid short-term value

New cardholders can earn 40,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases on the card in the first six months. The value of 40,000 Membership Rewards points will vary based on how you redeem them, but if you take advantage of Amex’s travel partners, you could squeeze about 2.0 cents out of each point according to Bankrate's latest valuations, making this offer worth around $800. 

This is a great value especially when you compare it to other premium travel card offers. For example, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. While the values of the welcome offers are close, with the Venture X’s being worth around $750 when redeemed for travel, the Venture X’s annual fee is much higher at $395 (See Rates & Fees).

Why you might want a different travel card

While you might enjoy reward flexibility with this card, if you prefer more premium perks to justify the annual fee, you might look elsewhere.

Rates and fees: High fees if you carry a balance 

The Amex Green Card comes with a $150 annual fee which is reasonable for a mid-tier travel card. However, you'll need to either take advantage of this card's two annual statement credits — which are most beneficial for frequent travelers — or earn enough rewards every year to help offset the cost. And if you are looking for premium perks like an annual companion pass, a dedicated airline card might better suit you. 

Its other fees are on the higher end too. You'll pay a fee of 5 percent (minimum $10) on cash advances, plus a 29.99 percent cash advance APR if you use your card to take out cash, a late payment fee up to $40 and a returned payment fee up to $40. Using the Pay Over Time payment option carries a high Pay Over Time variable APR as well. So if you tend to carry a balance, it may cut into your rewards. 

Perks: Few luxury benefits

The Amex Green Card has some key travel benefits and protection plans, such as trip delay insurance, lost baggage insurance and secondary auto rental coverage. This card also offers several statement credit opportunities that can help offset the cost of the card’s annual fee: up to $189 in credit toward a CLEAR Plus membership each year, which can help you get through security lines faster at participating airports and other venues. venues, and a LoungeBuddy credit up to $100, which you can use to purchase lounge access in hundreds of airports worldwide. 

But occasional flyers may not find these credits worthwhile. If you don't fly a lot, then you might consider a travel awards card with a lower annual fee that has more practical perks. 

We tried it: Here’s what our experts say

The American Express Green Card can be a strategic option that complements your lifestyle and travel capabilities. Here's how Stephanie Zito, Bankrate’s Travel Rewards Expert Contributor, puts it:

“The traditional American Express Green Card may not be the most exciting card in the Amex portfolio, but it definitely has its place. During the pandemic, I downgraded my American Express Platinum because I wasn’t using the travel benefits, and keeping the Green Card open gave me a good place to park my Membership Rewards points — while paying a much lower annual fee and still taking advantage of a good 3X earning rate at restaurants, travel and transit.”

— Stephanie Zito, Bankrate contributor

And check out why expert contributor Holly D. Johnson also loves the Amex Green card

First-year value vs. ongoing value

Your first year with the Amex Green card is where you’ll find the most value because of its awesome welcome offer. There’s also the annual CLEAR and LoungeBuddy credit that will more than offset the card’s $150 annual fee. 

If you don’t travel enough to use the credits, the card’s ongoing rewards can also make up for the annual fee, depending on your spending. The average spender will earn about $247 in yearly rewards value, with most of that spending in the card’s 3X-point categories. Either way, the Amex Green doesn’t make it tedious to justify its annual fee, even without the focus on airline travel and hotels.

To make your research easier, we’ve calculated the Amex Green card’s first-year and ongoing value based on our card scoring formula, a $22,500 annual spend and the baseline 1-cent value through Amex.

Benefits and Costs

First-year value

Ongoing value (no welcome offers)

Yearly rewards



Welcome offers

+$400 value (40,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership)

Perks (of monetary value)

  • +$189 (CLEAR Plus credits per year on eligible purchases)

  • +$100 (LoungeBuddy credits per year on eligible purchases)

  • +$189 (CLEAR Plus credits per year on eligible purchases)

  • +$100 (LoungeBuddy credits per year on eligible purchases)

Annual fee



Total value



How the American Express Green Card compares to other travel rewards cards

While the Amex Green card is a solid mid-tier card, it may not be the best fit depending on your spending or travel habits. Whether you’re looking for an American Express credit card that earns American Express Membership Rewards points or a general travel rewards card, you might consider these alternatives. 

Best cards to pair with the Amex Green Card

The Amex Green card pairs well with a no-annual-fee cash back card that earns in bonus categories the Green card doesn’t cover. Or if you have a business, an Amex business card could supplement your travel spending. Here are a few options that can make a solid pairing, depending on your needs.

Who is the Amex Green right for?

This card could benefit occasional travelers, especially those who prefer non-flight vacation options like taking a cruise. Commuters can also take advantage of this card's elevated rewards rate.

Bankrate’s Take — Is the Amex Green worth it?

Although the Amex Green Card has a $150 annual fee, the welcome offer and annual statement credits can more than make up for it. Paired with the ability to transfer your earned points to travel partners, you have a solid mid-level travel rewards card that can reward your everyday travel. However, make sure you will use the cardholder benefits available to you. If the card benefits aren’t a great fit, you may want to consider another travel card with different benefits or no annual fee.

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

All information about the American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.

How we rated this card

cards rated
rewards programs valued
data points analyzed
Credit Card Reviews
perks evaluated

We rate credit cards using a proprietary card scoring system that ranks each card’s estimated average rewards rate, estimated annual earnings, welcome bonus value, APR, fees, perks and more against those of other cards in its primary category.

Each card feature is assigned a weighting based on how important it is to people looking for a card in a given category. These features are then scored based on how they rank relative to the features on other cards in the category. Based on these calculations, each card receives an overall rating of 1-5 stars (with 5 being the highest possible score and 1 being the lowest). 

We analyzed over 150 of the most popular rewards and cash back cards to determine where each stacked up based on their value, cost, benefits and more. Here are some of the key factors that influenced this card’s overall score and how the score influenced our review:

Frequently asked questions

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.