Skip to Main Content

Why the American Express Green Card is great for flexible spending

two men eating together at outdoor cafe
NoSystem images/Getty Images
two men eating together at outdoor cafe
NoSystem images/Getty Images
Bankrate Logo

Why you can trust Bankrate

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for . The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

ON THIS PAGE Jump to Open page navigation

The American Express® Green Card may not be as popular as some other American Express credit cards, but that’s likely to change in the future. Not only does this card offer very generous rewards in a broad range of spending categories, but points earned fall within the American Express Membership Rewards program.

The American Express Green Card is also a hybrid card with both credit card and charge card features, so there are other potential advantages as a result. Either way, this card can be a winner if you’re someone who wants to earn flexible rewards without a lot of rules. If you’re curious why this card is great for flexible spending, read on to learn more.

Details of the American Express Green Card

The Amex Green Card offers a generous welcome bonus and up to 3X points per dollar on select purchases. The main highlights of this card, including its interest rate and annual fee, are listed below:

  • Welcome bonus: 30,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $2,000 on purchases within three months of account opening
  • Rewards: 3X Membership Rewards points on travel (flights, hotels, transit, taxis, ride-share services and tours), 3X points at restaurants worldwide, 2X points on rental cars booked through American Express Travel and 1X points on everything else
  • Annual fee: $150

The fact this card earns Amex Membership Rewards points is a major bonus, mostly because rewards in this program offer more flexibility than cash back. In fact, Membership Rewards points can be used for flexible redemptions such as for gift cards, merchandise, travel through the Amex travel portal or even transfers to American Express airline and hotel partners. When transferred to airlines for high-value redemptions, these points can even be worth up to 2 cents each.

What is the American Express Green Card credit limit?

The Amex Green card comes with no preset spending limit, meaning you won’t be assigned a specific credit limit when you apply for this card. Instead, the amount you can charge will vary based on your income, your regular card use and your payment history.

Consumers who choose the American Express Green Card have the option to pay their credit card in balance in full at the end of the billing period, but they can also carry a balance with interest on eligible charges if they opt to take advantage of the card’s Pay Over Time promotion. Cardholders can also set up their balance on a payment plan with a fixed monthly plan fee.

However, American Express notes that there is a limit on the total amount you can carry as a balance or move into a payment plan. Any purchases beyond this limit “need to be paid in full when your bill is due,” they write.

3 reasons the Amex Green Card is great for flexible spending

With no preset spending limit, the American Express Green Card can be a valuable tool for your wallet. Here’s an explanation of the main reasons to consider this card as your everyday card for regular spending and bills.

Pay Over Time

The Amex Green Card comes with a feature called Pay with Time that allows cardholders to carry a balance when they need to. While a limit will be set for how much cardholders can carry in revolving balances, and while interest accrues on balances carried from one month to the next, this option lets cardholders pay less than their full balance in billing periods when cash flow is tight (or they want more wiggle room in their monthly budget).

Pay It Plan It

With the Amex Pay It Plan It feature, the card issuer lets users split up the cost of large purchases of $100 or more over time with a fixed monthly fee instead of interest charges. When this option is selected, cardholders see the fixed monthly plan fee upfront so they can make an informed decision. Amex customers can also access a Plan It Calculator that lets them see potential plan fees for large purchases in any price range.

With the Pay It component of this feature, on the other hand, cardholders can lower their credit card balance by making unlimited payments under $100 throughout the month via the American Express mobile app.

Generous rewards in everyday spending categories

Finally, don’t forget that the American Express Green Card comes with flexible and versatile rewards categories that offer bonus points on all kinds of purchases. Specifically, cardholders earn 3X points at restaurants worldwide and on transit and travel, 2x points on rental cars booked through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases.

It’s worth noting, however, that the travel category is broader than some other American Express credit cards offer. While some Amex cards only offer bonus points on travel booked directly with airlines or hotels or via amextravel.com, the Amex Green Card offers bonus points on a lot more purchases.

Within the card’s fine print, you can see that the 3X travel category applies to ” airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, travel purchases on third party travel websites and travel purchases on amextravel.com.”

In the meantime, transit purchases that earn 3X points include “trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses and subways.”

The bottom line

The Amex Green Card has a lot to offer, and that’s true whether you want to carry a balance, or you’re someone who always pays their bill in full each month. The fact you earn 3X Membership Rewards points on so many purchases is another major plus, and we love the fact there’s no preset spending limit.

With that being said, you should look at several credit cards in the same niche before you choose just one. Our advice: Take the time to compare the American Express Green Card to other Amex credit cards and travel credit cards before you make your pick.

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.
Edited by
Editor, Product
up next
Part of  Introduction to the American Express Green Credit Card