Earning points for travel is a great way to save money on airfare and hotels, and points in the American Express Membership Rewards program are more flexible than most.
But, how can you earn Amex Membership Rewards points? There are quite a few American Express credit cards that can help you get there, and the American Express® Green Card is considered one of the mid-tier options due to its $150 annual fee.
If you’re curious about this card’s perks and rewards, read on to learn more.
Amex Green Card highlights
The Amex Green Card stands out due to the fact you earn 3X points in so many popular spending categories. If you choose to sign up for this card, here are the main card details to be aware of:
- Welcome offer: 30,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $2,000 on purchases within three months of account opening
- Rewards: 3X points in an expanded travel category (flights, hotels, transit, taxis, rideshare services and tours); 3X points at restaurants worldwide; 2X points on rental cars booked through amextravel.com; 1X points on everything else
- Annual fee: $150
The American Express Green Card stands out due to the fact you earn 3X points in so many categories, and that the categories are fairly broad themselves. For example, this card gives you 3X points on all travel purchases—and not just on travel booked through amextravel.com. Specifically, Amex says in their fine print that you earn this rate on “eligible travel purchases, including airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, travel purchases on third party travel websites and travel purchases on amextravel.com.”
The transit category is also broad, including trains, taxis, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses and subways. Earning 3X points on all purchases at restaurants worldwide is also nice, and don’t forget you’ll earn 1X points on all other purchases.
American Express Membership Rewards points can be redeemed in all kinds of ways, including for nearly any type of travel through amextravel.com. You can also redeem your rewards for merchandise or shopping options that let you “pay with points” directly.
The Amex Membership Rewards program also has an excellent selection of airline and hotel partners, including Delta SkyMiles, Air France/Flying Blue, Hilton Honors and more. You can read about the current transfer partners in Bankrate’s American Express transfer partner guide.
This travel credit card comes with a handful of travel perks that can help you get your money’s worth. American Express Green Card travel benefits include the following:
$100 Clear credit
This card gives you up to $100 in credits toward Clear membership, which allows for expedited airport security in participating airports. Note that this credit is good every calendar year, but that Clear Plus membership actually costs $179 per year.
$100 LoungeBuddy credit
Cardholders also get up to $100 in statement credits for LoungeBuddy purchases each year. Since lounge access at participating airports starts at $25, this credit can be good for up to four lounge visits annually.
Trip delay insurance
Customers also get trip delay insurance worth up to $300 per trip when a covered trip is delayed by more than 12 hours. A maximum of two claims is allowed every 12 consecutive months.
Secondary auto rental coverage
Also, qualify for car rental loss and damage insurance, which is good for damage or theft of a rental vehicle on eligible bookings. Coverage is secondary to other auto rental coverage you have.
Baggage insurance plan
The American Express Green Card baggage insurance plan is good for up to $1,250 for carry-on luggage and up to $500 for checked baggage when your luggage is lost, stolen or damaged while in the care of a common carrier.
Global Assist Hotline
Cardholders also get access to Amex’s Global Assist Hotline, which can help with medical and legal referrals and other emergencies when traveling more than 100 miles from home.
Security and protection benefits
In addition to all the travel perks cardholders receive, there are a few security and protection benefits. These perks apply when you use your Amex Green Card to make a purchase.
Qualify for up to $1,000 in purchase protection per occurrence and up to $50,000 per calendar year. This coverage is good for damage or theft that occurs within 90 days of the purchase date.
Items purchased with the Amex Green Card are also eligible for an extra year of warranty protection. This additional coverage applies to eligible purchases that come with a manufacturer’s warranty of five years or less.
Finally, American Express will help resolve disputes on your behalf. If there is a fraudulent or incorrect charge on your credit card statement, the issuer says it will “work with you to help resolve the issue.”
How to maximize the benefits offered by the Amex Green Card
To maximize the benefits offered by the Amex Green Card, you need to use it to pay for as many purchases as you can. After all, American Express Green Card benefits—like travel insurance, purchase protection and extended warranty— only apply when you use your Amex credit card to pay in the first place.
Fortunately, the Amex Green Card can easily be used for all your regular spending and bills. You’ll earn rewards on everything you buy with your card, and the Amex Green Card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees when you use it for purchases abroad.
The bottom line
Amex Green Card benefits are pretty generous when you consider this card’s rewards rate and annual fee, but make sure to compare other American Express credit cards to see where they fall. You can pay a higher annual fee if you want more Amex perks, but you can also earn Membership Rewards points with no annual fee, if you prefer.
Our take? The earning rate and welcome offer on the Amex Green Card are well worth pursuing, and the American Express Green Card benefits are just icing on the cake.
All information about the American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.