When it comes to rewards points, it’s hard to beat the value offered by the American Express Membership Rewards program. However, some cards that earn these points come with extremely high annual fees (up to $695) or with earning rates that don’t apply to everyday spending.
The American Express® Green Card is considered a mid-tier Amex Membership Rewards card due to its reasonable $150 annual fee, yet users get to earn a decent welcome offer and more rewards points on everyday purchases.
If you’re on the hunt for a card that earns American Express Membership Rewards points, the American Express Green Card should be on your list. Read on to learn why one business owner fell in love with this card and how he uses it to maximize his rewards.
American Express Green Card highlights
Before we dive into the reasons to love the American Express Green Card, here’s a reminder of the welcome offer, earning rate and other card details:
- 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 all other purchases
- Annual fee: $150
4 reasons to love the Amex Green Card
James Pollard, marketing expert and founder of The Advisor Coach, uses the American Express Green Card as his main card for everyday purchases. We asked Pollard why he chose the Amex Green Card over other American Express credit cards, as well as how he uses it to improve his everyday life.
Here’s what the 29-year-old Claymont, Delaware resident had to say.
Stellar rewards on dining out and travel
Pollard says he uses the Amex Green Card for some of his regular spending as well as restaurant purchases and travel. This makes sense, considering he earns 3X points on dining at restaurants worldwide and on travel purchases like airfare, hotels and cruises.
Also, note that, unlike other Amex cards, the American Express Green Card offers 3X points on travel wherever you book it—not just on travel booked through the Amex travel portal.
On the dining out front, Pollard says he eats at restaurants three or four times per week, so his rewards add up.
Generous cardholder perks
Pollard also points out that, while he doesn’t fly that often, it’s nice to spend some time in an airport lounge. Fortunately, the American Express Green Card extends up to $100 in LoungeBuddy credits, which can be used to enter more than 2,000 airport lounges in more than 800 airports around the world.
Pollard says he also occasionally uses the Clear statement credit, even though he mainly flies out of Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).
“[Baltimore/Washington International Airport] has Clear, and I use it when I’m there,” he says.
Other notable Amex Green Card benefits include trip delay insurance, a baggage insurance plan, secondary auto rental coverage, access to Amex’s Global Assist Hotline, purchase protection against damage or theft and extended warranties.
Another major upside of the American Express Green Card is how flexible the rewards are. The fact is, points in the American Express Membership Rewards program are some of the most flexible and valuable out there.
Pollard says he recently booked a trip to Las Vegas, and he used Amex points to cover 100 percent of his hotel and airfare costs. This was made possible as Amex lets you use Membership Rewards points for airfare, hotels and more through amextravel.com, yet you can also transfer points to American Express airline and hotel partners.
However, Pollard says he doesn’t always redeem his rewards for travel, and that he likes having multiple options.
“In the past, I’ve redeemed them for Home Depot gift cards to purchase patio furniture,” he says. “I’ve also used them to purchase gift cards for people as holiday gifts.”
Pairs well with other Amex cards
A final selling point of American Express cards is the fact you can pool all your Membership Rewards points in one account. This makes sense if you want to juggle multiple Amex cards for your personal spending, or if you want to pick up a business credit card from the issuer.
Pollard says he spends a lot of money on ads for his business, so he pairs the American Express Green Card with the American Express® Business Gold Card. He does this so he can keep business spending separate from personal purchases, but also because he earns 4X Membership Rewards points on ads, which is one of the two categories he chose for this higher earning rate.
The bottom line
The American Express Green Card may not be as popular as some other American Express credit cards, but it offers a ton of value thanks to its welcome offer and ongoing rewards. With 3X points in several popular categories, generous benefits for travel, and the ability to pair with other cards, what’s not to love?
That said, it never hurts to compare other travel credit cards, including the best card options from American Express, Chase, Citi and Capital One. The Amex Green Card may be exactly what you need, but you should explore all the top rewards credit cards before you decide.
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.