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American Express Green Card vs. Amex Gold

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While American Express has quite a few rewards cards to choose from, you have to be careful when it comes to the type of rewards you want to earn. For example, some Amex cards offer simple cash back that can be redeemed for statement credits, yet others offer points in the valuable and versatile Amex Membership Rewards program.

If you’re looking for cards in the latter category, the American Express® Green Card and American Express® Gold Card have probably been on your radar. But, how do these cards stack up in terms of their rewards and perks? Read on to find out.

Main details

Feature American Express Green Card American Express Gold Card
Welcome bonus 30,000 points when you spend $2,000 on purchases within 3 months of account opening 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in purchases within first 6 months
Rewards rate 3X points in an expanded travel category (flights, hotels, transit, taxis, rideshare and tours); 3X points at restaurants worldwide; 2X points on rental cars booked through American Express Travel; 1X points on all other purchases 4X points on restaurants, including takeout and delivery; 4X points for Uber Eats purchases; 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases per year, then 1X points); 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or via American Express Travel; 2X points on rental cars through American Express Travel; 1X points on all other purchases
Intro APR N/A N/A
Annual fee $150 $250
Included benefits
  • $100 Clear credit
  • $100 LoungeBuddy credit
  • Trip delay insurance
  • Baggage insurance plan
  • Secondary auto rental coverage
  • Global Assist hotline
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranties
  • $120 Uber Cash
  • $120 Dining Credit
  • Secondary auto rental coverage
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranties

American Express Green Card vs. Amex Gold highlights

When comparing these two rewards credit cards, it helps to look at how they stack up in several important categories. With that in mind, we compared them based on their welcome offers, ongoing rewards, annual fees and more.

Welcome bonus winner: Amex Gold Card

The Amex Gold Card offers a much more lucrative welcome offer that is 30 percent higher than the offer from the American Express Green Card. With just $4,000 in spending within six months of account opening, customers can earn 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points, worth up to $1,200.

Rewards rate winner: Amex Gold Card

The Amex Gold Card also offers a slightly better rewards rate in several everyday categories. Where Amex Green Card rewards cap out at 3X points, the Amex Gold Card offers 4X points on up to $25,000 in spending at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1X points), 4X points at restaurants and on Uber Eats orders, 3X points on flights booked with airlines or through the Amex travel portal, 2X points on rental cars through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases.

The Amex Gold Card rewards rate makes it a great option for foodies, whether they dine out often, make a lot of meals at home or both.

Annual Fee winner: American Express Green Card

The Amex Green Card wins in this category due to its $150 annual fee. That makes it a more affordable option than the Amex Gold Card, which sets users back $250 per year.

Cardholder perks: American Express Green Card

Finally, the American Express Green Card comes with more benefits overall. Not only do cardholders receive a $100 credit toward Clear membership and a $100 LoungeBuddy credit, but they get trip delay insurance, a baggage insurance plan, secondary auto rental coverage and access to a Global Assist hotline. Other perks include purchase protection and extended warranties on eligible items that come with a manufacturer’s warranty.

The Amex Gold Card comes with up to $120 in Uber Cash and up to $120 in dining credits, but both of these credits are given out in monthly increments of $10. Credits do not roll over, either, so it’s easy to let them expire.

When it comes to other perks, the Amex Gold Card only offers secondary auto rental coverage, purchase protection and extended warranty coverage.

Which card earns the most?

The amount you’ll earn in rewards depends on which categories you spend the most in, but it also depends on which credit card you pick. The spending example below shows how much you could earn with either of these cards.

American Express Green Card vs. Amex Gold spending example

For the sake of an example, let’s say you have a family of four with two adults under the age of 50 and two kids (a boy and a girl) ages 12 and 13. In that case, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates your average food spending would work out to $1,224.70 per month (or $14,696.40 per year) on a moderate plan.

From there, let’s imagine you spend $300 per month ($3,600 per year) dining out, $5,000 per year on airfare and $2,400 per year on hotels and other travel. You also spend $2,000 per month ($24,000 per year) on miscellaneous purchases made with your card.

With the Amex Green Card, you would earn a total of 71,696 Amex Membership Rewards points per year:

  • 14,696 points on groceries at U.S. supermarkets
  • 10,800 points at restaurants
  • 15,000 points on flights
  • 7,200 points on hotels and other travel
  • 24,000 points on other purchases

With the Amex Gold Card, you would earn a total of 114,584 Amex Membership Rewards points per year:

  • 58,784 points on groceries at U.S. supermarkets
  • 14,400 points at restaurants
  • 15,000 points on flights
  • 2,400 points on hotels and other travel
  • 24,000 points on other purchases

Why should you get the Amex Green Card?

When does it make sense to get the Amex Green Card? In some cases, it can make sense to pay the lower $150 annual fee. Or, maybe you prefer the card’s bonus categories over the Amex Gold bonus categories.

Additional benefits

The American Express Green Card also comes with more benefits in general. Perks you get as a cardholder include a $100 Clear credit, a $100 LoungeBuddy credit, trip delay insurance, a baggage insurance plan, secondary auto rental coverage and access to a Global Assist hotline.

Purchase-related benefits include purchase protection against damage or theft and extended warranties on eligible items that come with a manufacturer’s warranty.

Redemption options

The Amex Green Card earns points in the American Express Membership Rewards program. These points can be used for gift cards, merchandise or travel through AmexTravel.com. You can also transfer your points to a broad range of airline and hotel partners including the Delta SkyMiles program, Hilton Honors and more.

Recommended credit score

Consumers need good or excellent credit to qualify for the American Express Green Card. While Amex considers their approval process to be proprietary information, your approval odds will increase if your credit score is 700 or higher.

Why should you get the Amex Gold Card?

When should you get the Amex Gold Card? If you spend a lot of money on dining and groceries at U.S. supermarkets, this card is definitely worth it.

Additional benefits

The Amex Gold Card comes with up to $120 in Uber Cash and up to $120 in dining credits at select eateries. These credits are given on a monthly basis, but you can maximize them if you’re mindful and deliberate about using them each month.

Other Amex Gold benefits you’ll receive include secondary auto rental coverage, purchase protection and extended warranty coverage.

Redemption options

The Amex Gold Card also earns American Express Membership Rewards points. These points are worth an average of two cents each when redeemed with travel partners, so they’re more valuable than many other types of rewards.

Recommended credit score

Similar to the Amex Green Card, consumers need good or excellent credit to qualify for the Amex Gold.

The bottom line

Which of these American Express credit cards will leave you ahead? That really depends on the annual fee you’re comfortable with, which perks you want and the categories you spend the most in.

We hope our in-depth analysis helped you decide which card to sign up for. If not, the American Express once-per-lifetime rule says you can choose both cards and earn the welcome offer on each one.

Written by
Holly D. Johnson
Author, Award-Winning Writer
Holly Johnson writes expert content on personal finance, credit cards, loyalty and insurance topics. In addition to writing for Bankrate and CreditCards.com, Johnson does ongoing work for clients that include CNN, Forbes Advisor, LendingTree, Time Magazine and more.
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