Edited by: Jessica Merritt
& Stella Shon
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The American Express® Green Card and the Citi Premier® Card are excellent starter travel cards with access to transfer partners and great bonus categories, all at a relatively reasonable annual fee.
If you’ve had your eyes on both of these cards and you’re trying to decide which is the better fit for you, this detailed comparison is the post for you. Read on for our complete head-to-head comparison to learn how these cards stack up.
Before we dissect each card, category by category, here is a quick overview of their highlights:
|Benefit or Feature
|American Express® Green Card
|Citi Premier® Card
|Welcome Bonus Offer
|Earn 40,000 points after spending $3,000 within the first 6 months.
|Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel portal through June 30, 2024.
3x points on dining (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.), transit, and travel
3x points on air travel, at hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets
Up to $100 annual hotel savings benefit
|Shopping Benefits and Protections
|Amex Offers, purchase protection, extended warranty coverage
|Citi Merchant Offers, DoorDash benefits, purchase protection, extended warranty
|Authorized User Fee
|$0 for the first 5 cardholders, then $35
|No additional annual fees for authorized users
As you can see, the Amex Green card and the Citi Premier card have many similar benefits, so let’s explore a bit deeper to narrow in on which card might be better suited for you.
This card can provide a great way to accumulate Membership Rewards points on eligible travel, transit, and at restaurants.
If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.
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.
Frequent flyers will enjoy 3x ThankYou Points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels.
The Citi Premier® Card is an excellent option for anyone looking for an all-around travel rewards credit card. The card helps you earn points fast with great 3x bonus categories such as restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotels. Plus, it offers access to airline and hotel transfer partners, doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, and has a reasonable annual fee!
If you want to earn as many points as possible, you should ensure your new card’s bonus categories match your spending habits. Here is a comparison of the points you’ll earn with each card for their bonus categories:
|Amex Green Card
|Citi Premier Card
|Other Travel Purchases
|Transit (Trains, Ferries, Buses, Subways, Rideshares, etc.)
The Citi Premier card lags a bit behind when it comes to overall travel by offering 3x points on airfare and hotels, while the Amex Green card’s travel category extends to far more purchases like Airbnbs, rental cars, cruises, and more. Further, the Amex Green card comes out ahead on transit purchases like rideshares, trains, and subways.
While both cards offer 3x rewards on dining, the Citi Premier card takes it a step further by offering 3x points at gas stations and supermarkets.
That said, the bonus categories for the Citi Premier card are a bit more well-rounded. But deciding which is best for you depends on what items you spend the most on.
For instance, you can transfer your points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club to book a one-way business class ticket in Delta One (a SkyTeam partner) between the U.S. and various European cities for just 50,000 points and less than $6 in taxes and fees.
Beyond that, you can redeem your Amex points through the AmexTravel.com portal for cash-back via statement credit, gift cards, or shopping with select merchants.
Fortunately, the Citi ThankYou Rewards program comes with its own collection of solid Citi transfer partners. This includes some of our favorite programs, such as Air France-KLM Flying Blue, Avianca LifeMiles, and Turkish Miles&Smiles.
Aside from using transfer partners, you can use your points through the Citi Travel with Booking.com portal, cash-back via statement credit, gift cards, and online shopping.
Cardholders of the Amex Green card receive an annual CLEAR Plus credit of up to $189, fully covering the membership cost each year.
CLEAR provides an expedited security experience nationwide at select airports and stadiums using biometrics such as your fingerprint or eye. For airport travelers, this allows you to move right to the front of the ID check line and is a huge time saver for those with and without TSA PreCheck.
Additionally, Amex Green cardholders receive an annual LoungeBuddy credit of up to $100. LoungeBuddy has approximately 300+ airport lounges in its network, and the entry price can vary based on the quality of the lounge. The credit should get you at least 2 to 3 visits annually.
Meanwhile, the Citi Premier card has an annual hotel savings benefit of up to $100. However, getting the credit requires a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) for reservations booked through thankyou.com once per calendar year.
|Benefit or Protection
|Amex Green Card
|Citi Premier Card
|Rental Car Insurance
|Baggage Insurance Plan
|Up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage
|Trip Delay Insurance
|Up to $300 in coverage for flights delayed by 12 hours or more
While the Amex Green card is far from one of the best credit cards for travel protections, it offers far more coverage than the Citi Premier card. This is an essential factor to remember if you’ll regularly make travel purchases with either card.
The Amex Green card annual fee is $150, while the Citi Premier card’s annual fee is $95. Given that the fees are pretty close, deciding which is the better fit for you should consider which bonus categories, perks, and protections suit you best.
Amex Green cardholders can add up to 5 cards for no additional cost; any additional cards beyond that are $35 each. The Citi Premier card has no additional annual fees for authorized users.
Whatever way you slice it, both the Amex Green card and the Citi Premier card can be great credit card options.
Most cardholders of the Citi Premier card are likely to earn more points thanks to including supermarkets as a 3x category. However, we believe Amex offers a better collection of transfer partners and statement credits.
Ultimately, deciding which is better for you will come down to your own preferences, wants, and needs in your new card.
For the car rental loss and damage insurance benefit of the Amex Green card, 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. 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.
Neither card is better than the other, but one might be better suited for you based on what you are looking for in a new card. The Citi Premier card offers more bonus categories than the Amex Green card at a lower annual fee. However, the Amex Green card offers more transfer partners, statement credits, and travel protections than the Citi Premier card.
The top benefits of the Amex Green card include the ability to earn 3x points on travel, transit, and dining (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.), an annual LoungeBuddy statement credit, an annual CLEAR Plus statement credit, and more.
The top benefits of the Citi Premier card include the ability to earn 3x points on air travel, hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and supermarket purchases, plus an annual up to $100 hotel credit, and more.
Yes, the Amex Green card has a $150 annual fee.
Yes, the Citi Premier card has a $95 annual fee.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.