How Does ValuePenguin Get Paid?

American Express® Green Card Review: Premium Benefits and Features for Frequent Travelers

American Express® Green Card Review: Premium Benefits and Features for Frequent Travelers

The American Express® Green Card is a good travel credit card with valuable benefits for both travel and everyday spending, for a $150 annual fee.

Editor's Rating

?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more. Citi is an advertising partner.

Quick facts

More details

Rates & fees

  • Credit needed: 660 - 850
  • Welcome offer: 45,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.
  • Earning rate: Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery. Additionally, earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
  • Annual fee: $150
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Other benefits: CLEAR credit and LoungeBuddy credit

Quick facts

  • Credit needed: 660 - 850
  • Welcome offer: 45,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.
  • Earning rate: Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery. Additionally, earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
  • Annual fee: $150
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Other benefits: CLEAR credit and LoungeBuddy credit

More details

  • Earn 45,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
  • Earn up to $100 in annual statement credits to help you get through security faster with CLEAR®.
  • Earn up to $100 in annual statement credits to access 750+ airport lounges globally through LoungeBuddy.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $150 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Rates & fees

  • Intro Purchase APR: N/A
  • Regular Purchase APR: Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for Pay Over Time Feature - 18.24% to 25.24%
  • Intro BT APR: N/A
  • Regular BT APR: N/A
  • Annual Fee: $150
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • See rates and fees

Pros

  • Top earning rate on travel and everyday purchases
  • Attainable welcome offer
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Excellent travel and purchase protections
  • Valuable travel credits
  • Earns valuable Membership Rewards points
  • Flexible redemption options

Cons

  • $150 annual fee
  • Less expensive cards offer higher welcome offers
\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Excellent travel and purchase protections\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Valuable travel credits\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Earns valuable Membership Rewards points\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Flexible redemption options\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"half pad align-left clearfix\"\u003E\n\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n \u003Ch3 class=\"ShortcodeList--title\"\u003ECons\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--icon-times-circle\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n $150 annual fee\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Less expensive cards offer higher welcome offers\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n","padding":"none"}

Is the American Express® Green Card worth it?

First Year Savings

$1,288 ?

The American Express® Green Card comes with great benefits and features for consumers who travel frequently. It can be worth it for those who are willing to pay a $150 annual fee in return for some exceptional rewards on travel and everyday spending. We estimate that the average cardholder can get around $1,288 in value in their first year.

The card comes with benefits like travel and purchase protections, broad spending categories and annual fee credits for CLEAR and LoungeBuddy memberships. However, if you don't travel regularly, you might not find this card worth the $150 annual fee. For irregular travelers, consider a cash back credit card or no annual fee rewards card instead.

Welcome offer

New American Express® Green Card cardholders can earn 45,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.

This is a lucrative and easily attainable welcome offer to entice new cardmembers to start spending on their card. We typically value American Express Membership Rewards points about 2.2 cents a piece, when transferred to an Amex travel partner.

However, it's worth noting that other travel rewards cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card for example, charge lower annual fees and offer higher welcome offers.

money icon

How much is it worth? About $880 when transferred to an Amex travel partner.

Who is eligible to earn it? New cardholders that are enrolled in the Membership Rewards program when their eligible purchases are made and whose card accounts are not canceled or past due at the time of fulfillment are eligible to earn this offer. If Amex determines that you’ve engaged in abuse, misuses or gaming of your welcome offer, or if you downgrade your account within 12 months of opening it, you may no longer be eligible for this offer and your account may be frozen or canceled.

Earning rate

The American Express® Green Card offers broad earning categories that are applicable for both travel and everyday purchases.

Cardmembers Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery. Additionally, earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.

These are lucrative categories that give the American Express® Green Card similar earning power to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. However, the American Express® Green Card's annual fee of $150 is nearly 75% less than the Chase Sapphire Reserve®’s annual fee of $550.

For people on the go, these spending categories could earn you large amounts of valuable Membership Rewards points in no time, without an exorbitant annual fee.

Average rewards earned per $1 spent

We estimate an earning rate for the average consumer based on U.S. Bureau of Labor data and multiply that by the value of each card’s points or miles.

Redeeming rewards

The Membership Rewards points you earn with the American Express® Green Card can be redeemed for a tremendous variety of rewards. These options make Membership Rewards some of the most valuable points to earn in the credit card space.

Redemption option
Estimated value
Transfer points to airline and hotel loyalty programsDepends on program (around 2.2 cents on average)
Book flights through the Amex Travel portal1 cent
Book hotels through the Amex Travel portal0.7 cents
Redeem for gift cards0.5 to 1.1 cents
Shop with points0.5 cents
Pay with your points at checkout0.7 to 1 cents
Cover your card charges and receive a statement credit0.6 cents

Each of these purchasing opportunities will net you different values for your Amex points. To net the greatest value, though, it would be best to save your points for Amex travel partners.

Amex transfer partners

Besides the list of redemption options above, the points you earn with the American Express® Green Card can be transferred to a long list of travel partners — mostly at a 1:1 ratio, to be used for free flights or hotel rooms.

Points transfers are generally the most valuable way to redeem your points. By transferring your points and redeeming them for flights with partnering airlines, you can get an average value of around 2.2 cents per point or more.

For example, if you transfer 50,000 Amex Membership Rewards to Delta and redeem them for a flight that costs $1,300, the value of those points is 2.6 cents per point — which is even more impressive than the 2.2 cent average.

Amex transfer partners include Delta Air Lines and many other valuable loyalty programs. As you can see, Amex points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to most partners:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub: 1,000:1,000
  • Aeromexico Premier: 1,000:1,600
  • Air Canada Aeroplan: 1,000:1,000
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue: 1,000:1,000
  • ANA Mileage Club: 1,000:1,000
  • Avianca LifeMiles: 1,000:1,000
  • British Airways Executive Club (Avios): 1,000:1,000
  • Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles: 1,000:1,000
  • Delta SkyMiles: 1,000:1,000
  • Emirates Skywards: 1,000:1,000
  • Etihad Guest: 1,000:1,000
  • Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles: 1,000:1,000
  • Iberia Avios: 1,000:1,000
  • JetBlue TrueBlue: 250:200
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer: 500:500
  • Singapore KrisFlyer: 1,000:1,000
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club: 1,000:1,000
  • Choice Privileges: 1,000:1,000
  • Hilton Honors: 1,000:2,000
  • Marriott Bonvoy: 1,000:1,000

Other American Express® Green Card benefits

When traveling through airports, sitting at the boarding area before your flight can be an unpleasant experience. The American Express® Green Card offers a solution to this issue, offering up to a $100 statement credit to LoungeBuddy. LoungeBuddy is an app that offers one-time passes into airport lounges around the world. Typically, airport lounge access is earned through memberships like Priority Pass or by flying premium class on an airline.

To use LoungeBuddy, simply download the app and type in the airport you plan on visiting. It will then list off the applicable lounges that you can enter. Select a lounge, use the American Express® Green Card to complete the purchase and you’re done. You’ll receive a QR code on your phone to scan at the check-in desk of the lounge.

Lounge access starts at $25 per person per entry, so the credit won't stretch far. Still, it is a great feature to make a few airport visits more enjoyable.

To avoid the long lines and waits at airport security, you can enroll in an expedited security program like CLEAR. The American Express® Green Card offers a $100 statement credit per year to enroll in CLEAR, which knocks the price of CLEAR down to $89/year. If you travel with family members, you can add up to three adult family members for $50 each per year. Children under 18 can join you for free.

To bring the price of CLEAR membership down even further, you can stack on the following discounts:

Members of Delta SkyMiles receive the following reduced rates:

  • General members pay $119/year
  • Platinum/Gold/Silver Medallion members pay $109/year
  • Delta credit cardholders pay $109/year
  • Delta Diamond Medallion members receive CLEAR membership for free

Members of United MileagePlus receive the following discounts:

  • General members pay $119/year
  • Premier Platinum/Gold/Silver members pay $109/year
  • United credit cardholders pay $109/year
  • United Premier 1K members receive CLEAR membership for free

By simply joining the Delta SkyMiles or United MileagePlus programs to get a discount on CLEAR membership and using the $100 statement credit from the American Express® Green Card, you could reduce your annual fee for CLEAR to $19/year.

During your travels, you may run into unfortunate situations, like a flat tire or lost baggage. The American Express® Green Card offers an array of travel coverages to help you with any hiccups that happen when you are away from home. By using the American Express® Green Card on your travels, you’ll have the following travel insurance policies:

Travel coverages
Trip delay insuranceYou can get up to $300 per trip, maximum 2 claims per account per 12 consecutive month period. Terms apply.
Car rental loss and damage insuranceSecondary auto rental coverage in covered territories. Terms and limitations apply.
Baggage insuranceYou can get up to $1,250 for carry-on luggage and up to $500 for checked baggage. For New York State residents, there is a $10,000 max limit for all covered people per covered trip. Exclusions and restrictions apply.
Trip delay insuranceYou can get up to $300 per trip, max two claims per account per 12 consecutive month period. Terms apply.

In addition to the travel protections that come with this card, cardholders can also enjoy these purchase protections:

Purchase protections
Purchase protectionYour purchases can be protected up to 90 days from the purchase date, for up to $1,000 per occurrence, $50,000 per calendar year.
Extended warrantyYou can get up to one extra year added to the original manufacturer's warranty for covered purchases. This applies to warranties of 5 years or less. Terms apply.

The American Express® Green Card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, which can save you countless amounts of money on transactions made while traveling abroad. Credit cards with no foreign transaction fees are an essential feature for any travel card, so the American Express® Green Card offers cardholders peace of mind when traveling.

The American Express® Green Card offers users the option to send money and split purchases with consumers using Venmo or PayPal. You can make these transactions directly through the American Express App. Enrollment required.

Drawbacks

  • $150 annual fee: This card charges a $150 annual fee, which is about mid-range compared to other travel cards and premium cards. While its additional perks and benefits can easily make up for this fee, if you'd prefer to not to pay an annual fee at all, there are lots of great no annual fee cards to choose from instead.
  • Less expensive cards offer higher welcome offers: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a great example. It has a $95 annual fee and offers Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. While the American Express® Green Card has a decent welcome offer, it may not be the best offer available.

Alternatives to the American Express® Green Card

The American Express® Green Card has strong competitors in the travel card market. Here’s how it matches up against three other cards.

0
Editor's Rating?
Annual Fee
More card details
Not available on ValuePenguin
Apply Now
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website
Apply Now
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website
Apply Now
On Chase's Secure Website

American Express® Green Card vs. American Express® Gold Card

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

Verdict: Similar rewards with more premium benefits and a higher annual fee

The American Express® Gold Card is another great card for travelers. The card comes with a $250 annual fee, but makes up for it with its annual dining credit of up to $120 ($10 monthly, enrollment required) and up to $120 in Uber Cash (up to $10 in Uber Cash per month). Your American Express® Gold Card will need to be added to your Uber app in order to receive this monthly Uber Cash benefit, which can be applied toward U.S. Uber rides and U.S. Uber Eats purchases.

As you spend on the American Express® Gold Card, you’ll Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), and 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. Terms apply.

The American Express® Gold Card is the better option for those who spend a significant amount at U.S. supermarkets, and can utilize the annual credits for dining and airline purchases. So if you travel and eat out regularly, the American Express® Gold Card will likely suit your needs more.

For rates and fees of American Express® Gold Card, please click here

American Express® Green Card vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

Verdict: Luxury benefits with a luxury price tag

The Platinum Card® from American Express offers luxurious benefits to travelers looking to step up their level of travel. While it has a steep $695 annual fee, by maximizing its annual credits and the benefits, you could nullify nearly the entire annual fee. Its benefits, which are arguably the best of any travel rewards card, include:

  • Credits for airline purchases and enrolling in TSA PreCheck/Global Entry (enrollment required)
  • Airport lounge access including Priority Pass (enrollment required) and Centurion Lounges
  • Benefits at The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts programs
  • Complimentary hotel loyalty program status at Hilton and Marriott (enrollment required)
  • Comprehensive travel insurance

The largest downside of the card is the limited spending categories. You will earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply.

Because the American Express® Green Card offers broader spending categories, it may make sense to use the two cards simultaneously to maximize your point earning potential.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here

American Express® Green Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase's Secure Website

Verdict: Higher sign-up bonus and similar rewards for a lower annual fee

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is widely regarded as the one of the best travel credit cards on the market — and for good reason.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers comprehensive travel insurance, outstanding earning categories, airport lounge access and a low annual fee. As you use the card, you’ll earn 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases.

There is plenty of debate about which credit card rewards program is best, but it really comes down to which rewards partners you value the most. Chase has a smaller, yet still powerful list of transfer partners — including United, Southwest and Hyatt.

In most cases, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card would be a better card than the American Express® Green Card. The only exception is if you personally see more value in Amex's travel partners.

Should you get the American Express® Green Card?

The American Express® Green Card is a good, but not great, option for those who travel constantly. It offers great benefits for those on the road — including fee credits for CLEAR and LoungeBuddy — but those who aren’t regular travelers may find it difficult to maximize the card.

If you aren’t able to visit airport lounges or take advantage of the CLEAR membership, the $150 annual fee may be difficult to justify. However, the wide spending categories like transit and travel can be beneficial enough for some spenders to see value in the card.

Compared with other travel cards like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Citi Premier® Card, the American Express® Green Card stands as one of the best travel cards with a moderate annual fee. If you're still not convinced, however, consider a premium credit card or another travel rewards card instead.

Frequently asked questions

How does the American Express® Green Card work?

The American Express® Green Card earns travel rewards based on how much you spend on the card. These rewards can be transferred to Amex travel partners like Delta Air Lines or Marriott Hotels.

What credit score do you need for the American Express® Green Card?

The American Express® Green Card requires an 660 - 850 credit score. It's important to check your credit score before applying to improve your chances of acceptance and avoid damaging your score.

Is American Express® Green Card hard to get?

The American Express® Green Card requires an 660 - 850 credit score. If your credit score is below this, it may be hard for you to get approved for the card.

Does the American Express® Green Card still exist?

Yes, the American Express® Green Card remains open for new applications and can be a welcome addition to your wallet.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here

For rates and fees of American Express® Gold Card, please click here

The information related to American Express® Green Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).

Editor's Rating

?