American Express® Green Card review
American Express® Green Card Overview
The American Express® Green Card offers an interesting rewards structure for applicants who want to earn more points on dining and travel, as well as some important credits that can make the $150 annual fee easier to justify. As a cardholder, you’ll receive a $100 credit toward CLEAR membership, which can help you get through select airports faster. You’ll also get a $100 LoungeBuddy credit you can use toward airport lounge visits worldwide, and you’ll temporarily earn $10 per month in statement credits when you use your card to pay your wireless telephone service bill from a U.S. provider.
This card, which once required you to pay off your balance every month, boasts payment and purchase flexibility that allows you to pay in full each month or carry a balance with interest on eligible purchases. The Amex Green Card also comes with a surprising number of consumer protections and benefits that can protect cardholders when they travel or pay for large ticket items with their card.
The best part is, 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.
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What are the advantages and disadvantages?
A deeper look into the current card offer
- Rewards rate: Earn 3X Membership Rewards points in an expanded travel category (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 all other purchases
- Welcome offer: 30,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $2,000 on purchases within three months of account opening
- Annual fee: $150
- Purchase intro APR: None
- Balance transfer intro APR: None
- Regular APR: See Rates & Fees
Current welcome offer
Signing up for the Amex Green Card gives you the chance to earn a lucrative welcome bonus on top of the rewards you earn on your regular spending. As a cardmember, you can earn 30,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $2,000 on your card within three months of account opening.
We mentioned how this card lets you rack up American Express Membership Rewards points, and that you’ll earn bonus points in an expanded travel category and on dining worldwide. However, there’s a lot to understand about this card’s earning structure and potential redemption options, including those for travel.
Cardmembers can use this card to earn 3X Membership Rewards points in an expanded travel category, 3X points at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery), 2X points on prepaid rental cars booked through the American Express Travel portal and 1X points on all other purchases. The rewards you can earn in each category are unlimited, as well.
American Express Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for merchandise, gift cards and travel through the Amex Travel portal. Points can be used at checkout with select merchants like Amazon.com and prepaid rental cars booked through Amex Travel. You can also transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to airline and hotel transfer partners like Hilton Honors, Delta SkyMiles, Air France / Flying Blue and more.
How much are points worth?
American Express Membership Rewards points are worth approximately 2 cents each when you transfer them to airline and hotel partners and redeem them for travel. However, you’ll get less bang for your buck with other options. For example, you’ll get 0.7 cents per point if you redeem for purchases made with Amazon.com or Best Buy and 0.6 cents per point if you redeem your rewards for statement credits on your account.
However, a new special offer allows select cardholders will be able to redeem reward points at a boosted 1 cent-per-point rate to cover card charges — a 40 percent increase from the standard 0.6 cent redemption value for statement credits. Travel might still be the most valuable use of your rewards, but it’s an offer worth considering if you’re holding off on travel for now.
The Amex Green Card does have quite a few important benefits consumers can utilize whether they travel or not. The key perks this card offers can help protect new purchases you make with your card or even save you money if something goes wrong with your travel plans.
The Amex Green Card gives you a $100 credit toward CLEAR membership, which can help you get through airport lines faster at participating airports. You will also get a $100 credit to use toward LoungeBuddy, which you can use toward lounge visits in hundreds of airports around the globe.
This card also comes with travel protections you can benefit from, including secondary auto rental coverage and access to a Global Assist hotline. You’ll also get a baggage insurance plan that can reimburse you for up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and $500 for checked baggage lost by a common carrier. Finally, you’ll get trip delay insurance worth up to $300 per trip, which can be useful if your trip is delayed by more than 12 hours for a covered reason.
Cardmembers also receive purchase protection against damage or theft, which is good for up to $1,000 per occurrence and up to $50,000 per cardmember each calendar year. Finally, cardholders can receive extended warranties for eligible items that come with a manufacturer’s warranty.
Rates and Fees
The Amex Green Card comes with a $150 annual fee that is not waived the first year. Other fees to be aware of include a cash advance fee of 5 percent (minimum $10) if you choose to use your card to get cash out, a late payment fee up to $40 and a returned payment fee up to $40.
This card does not have foreign transaction fees.
How the American Express Green Card compares to other Amex cards
|Features||American Express Green® Card||American Express® Gold Card||The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express|
|Welcome bonus||30,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $2,000 on purchases within three months of account opening||60,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 on purchases within six months of account opening||10,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $1,000 on purchases within three months of account opening|
If you’re looking for an American Express card that earns American Express Membership Rewards points, then there are several options to consider, including the cards we included in the table above. As you can see, you can pay a higher annual fee for the American Express® Gold Card, which comes with a more lucrative rewards rate, a higher welcome bonus and a different set of credits and benefits. However, there are also Membership Rewards cards that don’t charge an annual fee at all, which include the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card. Not only does this card let you earn valuable Amex Membership Rewards points, but you may also qualify for zero interest on purchases for 15 months (then 12.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable).
Before you sign up for an Amex credit card, it can help to compare all the options in terms of their fees, rewards rates, welcome bonus and cardholder perks. The ultimate goal should be winding up with a card that suits your needs and spending style with some of the benefits you want the most.
Best cards to pair with the Amex Green Card
If you’re considering the Amex Green Card but might want more than one card, it could be smart to pair it with another Membership Rewards card. The Amex EveryDay would be a good option since you could earn double rewards on up to $6,000 in U.S. supermarket spending each year, but you don’t have to pay an annual fee.
If you have a business, you could also pair this card with The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, which lets you earn Membership Rewards points on business purchases without an annual fee. At the end of the day, you should take the time to compare all American Express Membership Rewards cards to see which one might work best.
Bankrate’s Take—Is the Amex Green Card worth it?
The Amex Green Card does have a $150 annual fee, but the welcome bonus could easily be worth $600 if you use your rewards for transfers to airline partners and book premium flights. You’ll also qualify for $200 in credits across CLEAR membership and LoungeBuddy, which can more than make up for the fee the first year.
Considering you can earn 3X Membership Rewards points in popular categories on top of that, this card could easily be worth it. Just make sure you can use the cardholder benefits available to you, and if not, you may want to consider an American Express credit card with different benefits or no annual fee.
All information about the American Express® Green Card and Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express has been collected independently by Bankrate.com and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.