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Amex Gold Card vs. Amex Green Card [Detailed Comparison]

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American Express has one of the best portfolios of travel rewards cards that constantly deliver great value to cardholders, and 2 of those cards are the American Express® Gold Card and American Express® Green Card.

Both cards have a lot to offer cardholders, but which one is a better fit for you? In this post, we provide a detailed comparison of what each card can offer you, including its rewards, redemption options, benefits, protections, fees, and more.

Amex Gold Card vs. Amex Green Card — Summary

Let’s preview what each card offers before we more thoroughly compare each card by benefit or feature.

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Benefit of FeatureAmex Gold CardAmex Green Card
Welcome BonusEarn 60,000 points when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.Earn 40,000 points after spending $3,000 within the first 6 months.
Earning Potential
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in purchases each calendar year)
  • 3x points on flights purchased directly from the airline and via AmexTravel.com
  • 1x points on all other purchases
  • 3x points at restaurants (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.); transit; and travel
  • 1x point on all other purchases
Redemption Options
  • Transfer Membership Rewards points to airline and hotel partners
  • Redeem points via AmexTravel.com for 1 cent in value per point
  • Airline upgrades, merchandise, gift cards, statement credits, Pay With Points, statement credits, shop with Amazon
Statement Credits
  • Up to $10 in dining credits each month, up to $120 each year for select dining purchases (enrollment required)
  • Up to $10 each month in Uber Cash, up to $120 each year, when you add the Gold card to your Uber app
  • Up to $189 annual CLEAR Plus credit
  • Up to $100 annual LoungeBuddy credit
Top Travel Protections
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates & fees)
  • Secondary rental car insurance; baggage and trip delay insurance
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Secondary rental car insurance
  • Baggage and trip delay insurance
Annual Fee$250 (rates & fees)$150
Authorized User FeeNo authorized user fee to add authorized users for the first 5 cardholders, and any additional cards after that each have a $35 annual fee (rates & fees)No authorized user fee

Bottom Line: There is a decent bit of overlap when it comes to both the Amex Gold card and Amex Green card, but those looking for a more food-focused rewards card would benefit from the Amex Gold card thanks to its 4x categories and statement credits, while the Amex Green card would suit those looking for a more general travel rewards card.

The Value of a Welcome Offer

One of the most exciting features of a new card is the large welcome bonus it may offer that quickly boosts you towards your next vacation. American Express is known for offering great welcome bonuses on its cards.

Welcome bonuses change often, but here is a look at the number of points you can currently earn with both the Amex Gold card and Amex Green card. As a note, we value Amex Membership Rewards points at 2.2 cents per point thanks to the flexible redemption options they provide.

Amex Gold Card

BEST FOR DINING
American Express® Gold CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

American Express® Gold Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

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American Express® Gold Card

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
60,000 points
$1,320
$250
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.

With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.

There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.

Pros

  • 4x points per dollar at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 4x points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases; and 1x thereafter
  • 3x points per dollar on flights purchased directly from airlines or at Amex Travel
  • Up to $120 annual dining credit: up to $10 monthly statement credit when you pay with the Amex Gold card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations
  • Up to $120 in annual Uber Cash: get $10 monthly in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S. when you add your Gold Card to your Uber account
  • No foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees)
  • Access to Amex’s The Hotel Collection
  • Access to American Express transfer partners

Cons

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • 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).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome bonus offer of up to 90,000 points with the Amex Gold card. The current public offer is 60,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)

Amex Green Card

American Express® Green Card

American Express® Green Card

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The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This card can provide a great way to accumulate Membership Rewards points on eligible travel, transit, and at restaurants.

All information about American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points.

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

American Express® Green Card

This card can provide a great way to accumulate Membership Rewards points on eligible travel, transit, and at restaurants.
Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on your American Express® Green Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
40,000 points
$880
$150
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The American Express® Green Card is an excellent all-around travel rewards card thanks to earning 3x Membership Rewards® points on eligible travel and transit purchases and at restaurants, access to American Express transfer partners, and a reasonable annual fee.

Pros

  • 3x points per $1 spent at restaurants worldwide, on all eligible travel purchases, and transit purchases
  • Up to $189 per calendar year in statement credits after you pay for a CLEAR® Plus membership with the Card.
  • Up to $100 in statement credits annually when you purchase airport lounge access through LoungeBuddy with the Card.
  • Access to American Express transfer partners
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • $150 annual fee
  • No elite benefits like airport lounge access or hotel elite status
  • Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on your American Express® Green Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on travel including airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, and vacation rentals.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on transit purchases including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the US.
  • $189 CLEAR Plus Credit: Receive up to $189 per calendar year in statement credits when you pay for your CLEAR Plus membership (subject to auto-renewal) with the American Express® Green Card.
  • $100 LoungeBuddy: No airport lounge membership? No problem! Purchase lounge access through the LoungeBuddy app using the American Express® Green Card and receive up to $100 in statement credits annually.
  • Payment Flexibility: When it comes to paying your bill, you have options. You can always pay in full. You also have the flexibility to carry a balance with interest or use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly payments with a fixed fee, up to your Pay Over Time Limit. You may be able to keep spending beyond your limit – you’ll just need to pay for any new purchases in full when your bill is due.
  • Trip Delay Insurance: If a round-trip is paid for entirely with your Eligible Card and a covered reason delays your trip more than 12 hours, Trip Delay Insurance can help reimburse certain additional expenses purchased on the same Eligible Card, up to $300 per trip, maximum 2 claims per eligible account per 12 consecutive month period. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: No matter where you’re traveling, when you use your American Express® Green Card there are no foreign transaction fees.
  • $150 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

Earning Potential

It’s important to try and maximize the number of points you earn on each purchase, as each purchase gets you one step closer to your next award redemption.

With that, here is a look at how each card will reward you for the purchases you make with it.

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Bonus CategoryAmex Gold CardAmex Green Card
Restaurants4x points3x points
U.S. Supermarkets4x points (on up to $25,000 in spending each year)1x point
Airfare3x points when booked directly with airlines or with AmexTravel.com3x points
General Travel1x point3x points
Transit1x point3x points 
All Other Purchases1x point1x point

The Amex Gold card is a bit more food-focused and earns a rather large 4x points per dollar spent at restaurants and U.S. supermarket purchases (on up to $25,000 per year), making it a fantastic option for those who spend a lot on these 2 categories. While the Amex Green card still earns 3x at restaurants, it falls well short in the supermarket category, offering just 1x point per dollar spent.

Where the Amex Green card shines is as more of an everyday purchase and general travel card. In addition to earning 3x points on dining, its general travel and transit purchase categories are broad. For general travel, this allows you to earn 3x points on expenses including hotels, rental cars, tours, cruises, and more, while the transit category will enable you to earn 3x on taxis, rideshares, parking, tolls, trains, buses, subways, and more.

Deciding which card is better for you will primarily come down to which items you spend the most on each month. That said, you might have also noticed that the cards can complement each other if you want to cover as many bonus categories as possible.

Hot Tip: American Express Membership Rewards points are some of our favorite points to earn thanks to the redemption options they offer. Here is a look at the best ways to earn lots of Amex Membership Rewards points.

Redemption Options

This is an easy comparison, as both cards offer exactly the same redemption options for your Amex Membership Rewards points.

In our view, the best option is redeeming your points through one of the American Express transfer partners, as this allows you to book luxurious business and first class flights for a fraction of what they would ordinarily cost you.

Another option is to simply redeem your points through the AmexTravel.com portal at a fixed rate of 1 cent per point. These redemptions likely won’t be as valuable as using transfer partners, but what you lose in value, you make up in flexibility, as you can redeem for any travel purchase you’d like with no blackout dates.

American Express also allows your Membership Rewards to be redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, airline upgrades, and shopping with partners such as Amazon and Uber.

Statement Credits

Both the Amex Gold card and Amex Green card charge an annual fee to cardholders, and one of the easiest ways to offset that is through the statement credits each card provides.

Amex Gold Card

Amex Gold Card Uber Eats
Image Credit: American Express

The Amex Gold card offers 2 statement credits to cardholders. First is up to $120 annually in dining credits, offered in $10 increments each month, which can be applied to Grubhub orders, or through The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar, and select Shake Shack locations.

Next is the card’s up to $120 annually in Uber Cash, also offered in $10 monthly increments, that can be applied to any Uber rides or Uber Eats orders in the U.S.

In total, that is up to $240 worth of annual credits to help offset the card’s $250 annual fee, and they should be fairly useable as many people find themselves needing an Uber or ordering Grubhub/Uber Eats at least once or twice a month.

Amex Green Card

CLEAR customer at kiosk
Image Credit: CLEAR

With the Amex Green card, the statement credits are much more travel-focused, with the first being an up to $189 annual CLEAR Plus credit. For those unfamiliar, CLEAR Plus provides a faster security experience at select airports and stadiums nationwide.

You’ll also receive a $100 annual LoungeBuddy credit, allowing you to pay to enter any of the lounges in the LoungeBuddy network without needing to fly a certain class or hold any elite status. Depending on which lounges you visit, this credit could get you 2 to 3 free lounge visits each year.

Hotel Benefits

Amex Gold Card

With your Amex Gold card, you’ll be able to make hotel bookings through The Hotel Collection from American Express, and when you make a booking of at least 2 nights or more you’ll receive a room upgrade at check-in (if available) and a $100 credit to spend on qualifying dining, spa, and resort activities (varies by property).

Amex Green Card

The Amex Green card, on the other hand, despite being more travel-focused on its bonus categories and statement credits, does not offer any sort of hotel benefits.

Travel Protections

When it comes to travel protection, the Amex Green card and Amex Gold card offer the exact same benefits.

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BenefitAmex Gold CardAmex Green Card
Trip Delay Insurance

Up to $300 per trip when the delay is 12 or more hours

Baggage Insurance

Up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage

Rental Car Insurance

Secondary coverage

Foreign Transaction FeesNone (rates & fees)None

We love that both cards offer trip delay insurance, as this can really come in handy when your flight is significantly delayed and reimburses expenses including lodging, meals, toiletries, and more.

Shopping Benefits

Shopping benefits and protections can be easy to overlook, but can actually provide quite a bit of value to cardholders and help keep you covered when something goes wrong with an item you’ve purchased.

Both cards offer the following benefits:

  • Amex Offers — Discounts and opportunities to earn more points with 100 merchants each month
  • American Express Experiences — Exclusive access to ticket presales

Amex Gold Card — Additional Benefits

  • American Express Preferred Access — Access to preferred seating for select cultural and sporting events, based on availability
  • ShopRunner Membership — Upon enrollment, enjoy complimentary 2-day delivery at 100+ participating merchants, including Neiman Marcus, Under Armour, and Brooks Brothers

Annual Fees and Adding Authorized Users

Annual Fees and Authorized Users

The annual fee of the Amex Gold card is $250. There is no authorized user fee to add authorized users for the first 5 cardholders, and any additional cards after that each have a $35 annual fee.

As for the Amex Green card, the annual fee is $150. However, there is no authorized user fee.

Whether or not each card is worth that cost will come down to what you’re looking for in a travel rewards card, and how you value the benefits each card provides. Fortunately, each card offers solid statement credits to help you offset the annual fee expense. Authorized users will earn points at the same rate as the primary cardholder and have access to most of the card benefits with the exception of receiving additional statement credits.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, both cards are very solid in their own right and can offer quite a bit of value to those who add them to their wallet. Deciding which is a better option for you will come down to what you are trying to optimize for out of your next card.

Those looking for a dining and food-focused card should opt for the Amex Gold card thanks to its 4x rewards, dining credits, and Uber Cash credit. Those who prefer an all-around everyday and travel-related card should opt for the Amex Green card thanks to its 3x earnings, plus its annual CLEAR Plus and LoungeBuddy credits.

Depending on your goals, it could make sense to consider adding both cards to your wallet, as doing so would allow you to earn 3x to 4x points per dollar on 5 separate bonus categories while benefiting from the statement credits, benefits, and protections of each card.

For the baggage insurance benefit of the American Express® Gold Card, coverage can be in effect for Eligible Persons for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen Baggage during their travel on a Common Carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus) when the entire fare for a Common Carrier Vehicle ticket for the trip (one-way or round-trip) is charged to an eligible Account. Coverage can be provided for up to $1,250 for carry-on Baggage and up to $500 for checked Baggage, in excess of coverage provided by the Common Carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus). For New York State residents, there is a $10,000 aggregate maximum limit for all Covered Persons per Covered Trip. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

For the car rental loss and damage insurance benefit of the American Express® Green Card, the car rental loss and damage insurance can provide coverage up to $50,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible Card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the Commercial Car Rental Company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

For the Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance benefit of the American Express® Gold Card, coverage up to $50,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible Card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the Commercial Car Rental Company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

The information regarding the American Express® Green Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better, the Amex Gold card or the Amex Green card?

That depends on what you are looking for out of your next rewards credit card. Those that are looking for a powerful point-earner on their food purchases at restaurants and supermarkets, along with monthly dining and Uber credits, should opt for the Amex Gold card.

If you prefer a card that rewards you for general travel and transit purchases and still offers dining as a bonus category, along with statement credits for expedited airport security with CLEAR Plus and lounge access through LoungeBuddy, then the Amex Green card would be better suited for you.

What are the benefits of the Amex Gold card?

Some of the top benefits of the Amex Gold card are that the card earns 4x points on dining and U.S. supermarket purchases and 3x points on airfare purchases, a $120 annual dining statement credit, a $120 annual Uber Cash credit, access to Amex transfer partners, and more.

What are the benefits of the Amex Green card?

Some of the top benefits of the Amex Green card are that the card earns 3x points on travel, transit, and restaurants purchases. It offers an up to $189 annual CLEAR Plus statement credit and $100 annual LoungeBuddy statement credit and offers solid travel protections.

Does the Amex Gold card have an annual fee?

Yes, the Amex Gold card has a $250 annual fee, but this can be nearly offset by the card’s $120 annual dining credit and $120 annual Uber Cash credit.

Does the Amex Green card have an annual fee?

Yes, the Amex Green card has an annual fee of $150, but this can be offset but the card’s up to $189 annual CLEAR Plus credit and $100 annual LoungeBuddy credit.

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About Jarrod West

Boasting a portfolio of over 20 cards, Jarrod has been an expert in the points and miles space for over 6 years. He earns and redeems over 1 million points per year and his work has been featured in outlets like The New York Times.

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