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Is the American Express Green Card worth the $150 annual fee?

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The *American Express® Green Card is a great travel card, with solid travel and transit-related rewards, a decent welcome bonus and plenty of other benefits. However, the card does come with a $150 annual fee.

As with any card that comes with an annual fee, it’s a good idea to consider whether you’ll be able to earn back or exceed the fee through a combination of rewards, bonuses and other perks.

While the American Express Green Card is a good choice for some, whether it’s right for you depends on your budget, expenses and how you plan to use the card.

Details of Amex Green Card

  • Welcome bonus: 30,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $2,000 on purchases within three months
  • Rewards: 3X points in an expanded travel category (flights, hotels, taxis, transit, rideshare 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 Amex Green Card may not have the swankiest perks that come with some other luxury American Express cards, but there’s still plenty to like about this card. It offers a welcome bonus of 30,000 points when you spend $2,000 on purchases within three months, which works out to a value of $300 or more, depending on how you choose to redeem the points. The Amex Green Card also earns 3X points on restaurants, transit and travel (as well as 2X points on rental cars booked through American Express Travel), making it a great all-around travel card.

Reasons why the Amex Green Card is worth the annual fee

When it comes to cards that charge an annual fee, it’s important to make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth by taking advantage of all of the benefits that the card has to offer. Some of the perks of the Amex Green Card that more than make up for the annual fee include the welcome bonus, Clear membership credit, LoungeBuddy credit and more.

Welcome bonus

The card comes with a welcome bonus of 30,000 points after spending $2,000 in your first three months (or approximately $667 in spending per month). While the exact value of the points varies depending on how you choose to redeem them, each point is typically worth at least 1 cent, which means that the welcome bonus alone is worth at least $300 (or enough to cover two years’ worth of annual fees for the card).

According to monthly valuations from The Points Guy, though, Membership Rewards points can be worth up to 2 cents apiece when transferred to American Express airline and hotel partners—effectively making the bonus worth up to $600.

Clear membership credit

The Amex Green Card also comes with statement credits toward Clear membership. This membership allows you to quickly and easily get through security at airports and stadiums. If you’ve been considering purchasing a Clear membership, the Amex Green Card will issue up to $100 in statement credits when you purchase the membership with your card.

LoungeBuddy credit

The card also comes with a $100 LoungeBuddy credit, which can be a tempting perk for frequent travelers. Access to airport lounges can make the experience of flying a little more pleasant and can give you space to relax and unwind while waiting for your flight.

Rewards

One of the most lucrative features of the Amex Green Card is the rewards structure. The card earns 3X points on restaurants worldwide, travel (including flights, hotels and tours) and transit (including taxis and rideshare services).

The card also earns 2X points on rental cars booked through American Express Travel and a flat rate of 1X points on all other purchases. While your earnings will depend on how much you spend in these categories, if you spend at least $5,000 on travel, transit and dining per year, you’ll more than cover the cost of the annual fee.

Travel insurance

The Amex Green Card also comes with several different types of travel insurance, including trip delay insurance, car rental loss and damage insurance and baggage insurance. These perks can help to ensure that you’re covered in case something goes wrong while you’re traveling.

Reasons why the Amex Green Card might not be worth it for you

While the Amex Green Card is a great travel card with some attractive perks, it’s not the best fit for everyone.

You don’t travel frequently

The perks and benefits of this card are definitely geared toward the frequent traveler. Especially with the pandemic having changed many people’s travel plans, it’s worth considering whether you need a travel card like the Amex Green Card. If travel isn’t a big part of your budget, you may be better off with a rewards credit card, like a flat-rate cash back card, or a card that rewards spending in other areas, like grocery stores and gas stations.

You’re looking for an even more premium card

There’s a lot to like about the Amex Green Card, but consumers who aren’t afraid of high annual fees should also consider other luxury travel cards.

For instance, The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with a hefty annual fee of $695, but it also features perks like a 100,000-point welcome bonus (after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months), up to $200 in hotel credits, up to $200 in airline fee credits, up to $100 in credits toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year) and much, much more.

If you’re confident you can take advantage of enough of the benefits to justify a higher fee, then you may want to consider the Amex Platinum and other premium travel cards, like the American Express® Gold Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

The bottom line

The Amex Green Card is a solid travel card with some attractive features, including solid rewards on a wide variety of travel and transit purchases and travel-related statement credits. While the card does come with a $150 annual fee, it’s relatively easy to get much more than $150 worth of value out of this card.

Though the Amex Green Card isn’t the best fit for those who don’t travel often or are looking for an even more premium card, it’s a great fit for those who travel regularly and are in the market for a lucrative and dependable travel card.

*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.

Written by
Margaret Wack
Personal Finance Expert Contributor
Margaret has written for Money Under 30, MoneyGeek, The Simple Dollar, CreditCards.com, Interest.com and Fiscal Tiger, among other publications. She writes about subjects including saving, credit, insurance, investing and other financial topics.
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