American Express® Green Card Review

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American Express® Green Card Review

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"Travel and Taste with 3X Points"

This card can provide a great way to accumulate points, especially if you book airfare, hotel stays, and more via the American Express Travel site.

Apply Now (at Amex's secure site)

The American Express® Green card has recently undergone a huge makeover that has dramatically increased its point-earning, perks, and card design.

The Amex Green card was the very first card ever launched by American Express back in the 1950s. Now it’s “going green” by being made primarily from plastic reclaimed from beaches, islands, and coastal communities.

But is this new addition enough for you to consider adding the Amex Green card to your wallet?

Pro's

Con's

Card Snapshot

  • Welcome Bonus & Info (Partner Content)
    • Receive up to $100 in statement credits towards any eligible purchase made directly with Away in your first 3 months. Offer ends 1/15/2020.
    • Plus, earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
    • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
    • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide.
    • Receive up to $100 per year in statement credits when you use the American Express® Green Card to pay for your CLEAR® membership.
    • Receive up to $100 in statement credits per year on your LoungeBuddy purchases. Use the American Express® Green Card to purchase lounge access through LoungeBuddy to any of the lounges in the LoungeBuddy network — no memberships, elite statuses, or first class tickets required.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
    • $150 Annual Fee.
    • Terms Apply.
    • See Rates & Fees
  • Card Type:
    Charge Card
  • Card Categories:
  • Rewards Center
  • Customer Service Number
    1-800-528-4800
  • Login Link
  • Card Focus:
    • Airlines
    • Dining
    • Travel (General)
  • Typical Users
    Frequent Travelers, The Average Spender

The Ideal Cardholder

Points on Dining and Restaurants
Earn more while sharing drinks with friends. Image Credit: Pexels

The Amex Green card is tailored towards frequent travelers who enjoy dining out and can regularly take advantage of the card’s perks and benefits.

For example, the card helps to elevate your travel experiences by providing you with an annual discounted CLEAR membership, $100 in LoungeBuddy credits, and discounted Away luggage.

When you combine those travel benefits with 3x Membership Reward points per $1 on all eligible travel purchases, it makes for a very compelling option for consumers.

Especially when pairing it alongside another Membership Reward earning card like the American Express® Gold Card or The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Great Card If

  • You love to travel and dining out at restaurants
  • You can make good use of the $100 annual credits for CLEAR and LoungeBuddy
  • You want a card with flexible redemption options
  • You already have other Membership Rewards cards to pair it with
  • You want a card with no foreign transaction fees

Don't Get If

Card Fees

  • Annual Fee
    • $150
  • Foreign Transaction Fees
    None
  • Interest Rates
    • Pay Over Time Feature: 16.99% - 23.99% Variable
  • Late fees
    • 29.99% Variable
    • Fee: Up to $39
  • Cash Advance APR
    • 26.99% Variable
    • Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
  • Additional Info

How to Earn More Points

Destinations on Points
Where will your points take you? Image Credit: Pexels

Travel Purchases

Cardholders of the Amex Green card will earn 3x Membership Reward points per $1 on all eligible travel purchases.

This is certainly a welcome change as other cards like the Amex Platinum card and Amex Gold card only award on travel purchases towards airfare or purchases made directly through amextravel.com.

So what exactly does American Express consider to be an “eligible travel” purchase? You’ll be happy to know that their definition of travel is quite broad — so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to earn 3x points.

Travel purchases that will earn 3x with the Amex Green card include:

  • Airfare
  • Buses and subways
  • Campgrounds
  • Car rentals
  • Cruises
  • Ferries
  • Hotels
  • Taxicabs and rideshare services
  • Third-party travel websites and on amextravel.com
  • Tolls and parking charges
  • Tours
  • Trains

Dining Purchases

With the Amex Green card, you earn 3x Membership Reward points per $1 on all dining purchases worldwide. These points can certainly add up quite quickly if you’re someone who dines out semi-regularly.

Amex Offers

American Express cardholders receive dozens of Amex offers each month that you can attach to your Amex Green card to help earn more Membership Reward points.

These offers can provide you with excellent value by allowing you to earn additional points or cash-back for shopping with select merchants. Simply add your offers of choice from the bottom of your card’s home screen and you’re ready to start earning.

Refer-a-Friend

American Express allows you to earn points for referring your friends to their credit cards. Just send your friend your unique link; if they are approved, you’ll receive a point bonus added to your account.

Hot Tip: Know a friend who wants to apply for a different American Express card than the Amex Green card? No problem! You can receive a bonus even if your friend doesn’t apply for the card you hold. 

Adding More Membership Rewards Cards

If you’re a fan of the American Express Membership Rewards ecosystem, then you should highly consider adding more Membership Rewards cards to your wallet.

Take the Amex Platinum card for instance, which earns 5x Membership Reward points per $1 on airfare purchased directly with airlines and travel purchases at amextravel.com and offers a plethora of elite travel benefits. With this 2-card combo, you can earn 5x points for all your airfare and 3x for all other travel and dining purchases.

There are plenty of American Express cards with varying bonus categories; here are some of our favorites:

Recommended Personal American Express Cards:

The Platinum Card® from American Express - There's currently a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months. This is our favorite card for getting into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass) and we get about $2,700+ in value from the card every year.

Plus, get up to $200 in Uber credits annually ($15 per month and a $20 bonus in December) — and up to $200 in annual credit for airline incidental charges (e.g. baggage fees). For rates and fees of the Platinum Card, click here.
American Express® Gold Card - We love using this card as it earns 4x points at restaurants worldwide and 4x points at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x). There's no better card in our opinion if you eat out and/or shop at supermarkets regularly.

With a welcome bonus of 35,000 points after you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months and a $100 airfare credit per year, for many this is an easy addition to your wallet. For rates and fees of the Gold Card, click here.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for even more ways to earn more Membership Rewards points for your next redemption, check out our comprehensive guide on the best ways to earn Membership Rewards points!

How to Use These Points for Max Value

When it comes to using your Membership Rewards points, there is certainly no shortage of redemption options, and they all can vary greatly in value.

Travel Partners

American Express Membership Rewards points are, without question, one of the most valuable travel point currencies. This is due to flexibility thanks to their ability to be transferred to one of many Amex transfer partners.

Using transfer partners is the best option to get the maximum value out of your hard-earned points, as you could use them to purchase business and first-class flights that would otherwise cost you thousands of dollars!

Hot Tip: Think trying to use transfer partners is too complicated? Think again! Check out our detailed guide to Amex transfer partners and how to use them

Amex Travel

Cardholders have the option of using points to offset airfare and hotel purchases made through the Amex Travel portal (but we do not recommend this).

When using your points toward an airline ticket you’ll receive just 1 cent per point — and an abysmal 0.7 cents per point when redeeming toward a hotel stay.

Statement Credit

American Express gives you the option to use your points to cover eligible charges you’ve made with your card.

However, when doing so your points will only be valued at 0.6 cents each. This a terrible value for your points and should only be considered if you desperately need the extra cash.

Gift Cards

American Express will allow you to cash in your points for gift cards with dozens of different retailers. But in doing so, you’ll receive anywhere from 0.7 cents to 1 cent per point toward the gift card.

We do not advise using your points for gift cards, as you’ll be losing massive value in the form of travel rewards.

Shop With Points

Lastly, you can use your Membership Rewards points to offset the cost of your purchases with retailers like Apple, Amazon, or Nike.

There are dozens of merchants to choose from, but we don’t recommend it as using this method will only earn you 1 cent or less per point in value.

Bottom Line: It probably makes sense that the best value to be had on a travel rewards card is using your points towards travel. We highly recommend using your points with American Express transfer partners. 

American Express Airline Transfer Partners

Amex Airline Transfer PartnerMin TransferTransfer Ratio
(Amex > Partner)
Transfer Time
AeroMexico
1,0001:1.62-12 days
Air Canada1,0001:1Almost Instant
Alitalia1,0001:1Almost Instant
Aer Lingus1,0001:1Almost Instant
ANA1,0001:13 days
Avianca LifeMiles1,0001:1Almost instant
British Airways
1,0001:1Almost Instant
Cathay Pacific1,0001:1Up to 1 Week
Delta Air Lines1,0001:1Almost Instant
EL AL1,00050:1Almost Instant
Emirates1,0001:1Almost Instant
Etihad Airways1,0001:1Almost Instant
FlyingBlue AirFrance/KLM1,0001:1Almost Instant
Hawaiian1,0001:1Almost Instant
Iberia1,0001:11-3 days
JetBlue2501:0.8Almost Instant
Qantas5001:1Almost Instant
Singapore Airlines1,0001:11-2 days
Virgin Atlantic1,0001:11-2 days

American Express Hotel Transfer Partners

Amex Hotel Transfer PartnerMin TransferTransfer Ratio
(Amex > Partner)
Transfer Time
Choice Privileges1,0001:1Almost Instant
Hilton Honors1,0001:2Almost Instant
Marriott Bonvoy1,0001:1Almost Instant

Competitor Cards

Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card also offers 3x points per $1 spent on all travel and dining purchases, and the Chase definition of travel is just as broad as it is with the Amex Green card.

However, the card does include a $300 annual travel credit, offers better lounge benefits via a Priority Pass membership, and has better travel protection.

If this all sounds compelling then the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is definitely worthy of considering.

Citi Premier℠ Card

The Citi Premier card offers 3x points per $1 on travel purchases but also includes gas stations, making it one of the few travel credit cards on the market to offer a high return on gas purchases.

This makes the card an excellent choice for those who drive often for work or love taking road trips. Citi Premier cardholders will also earn 2x points per $1 on restaurants and entertainment purchases.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card

There’s a lot to love about the Venture card. Newly introduced airline transfer partners, $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and 2x on all other purchases.

If the majority of your daily spending comes from purchases outside of dining and travel categories, then the Venture card might be a great option for you.


FAQ

Is the Amex Green Card worth it?

This Amex Green card is a fantastic option for those who travel often and frequently dine out at restaurants, all while offering a variety of high-value redemption options to cardholders.

Cardholders also benefit from perks like the $100 annual CLEAR credit and $100 LoungeBuddy credit.

Since the Amex Green includes a $150 annual fee (see rates and fees), if you’re able to maximize the bonus categories and card perks then it may be worth adding to your wallet.

Is the Amex Green card a credit card?

The Amex Green card is a charge card, not a credit card.

The 2 main differences between a charge card and a credit card are that charge cards have no preset spending limit and balances must be paid in full each month.

Many people think charge cards have no credit limit, but this is not true. American Express does not give cardholders a set spending limit for their charge cards, but they will start declining purchases if they believe your balance is becoming higher than you can afford to pay each month.

Similarly, with a charge card, your balance must be paid in full each month. This is not the case with most credit cards, as they allow you to make a minimum or partial payment and carry the rest of the balance over while being charged interest. However, if your charge card is not paid in full, you won’t be able to use your card for any other purchases until it is.

Does the Amex Green card earn Membership Reward points?

Yes, the Amex Green card earns Membership Reward points that you can use for huge value via Amex transfer partners!

Do Membership Reward points expire?

No, as long as your account stays open and in good standing, you will never lose your Membership Reward points.

What is the annual fee on the Amex Green card?

The annual fee on the Amex Green card is $150 (see rates and fees).

Does the Amex Green card charge foreign transaction fees?

No, there are no foreign transaction fees when using the Amex Green card.

What is the Amex Green card made of?

The Amex Green card is the first of its kind to be made primarily (70%) of ocean plastics reclaimed from beaches, islands, and coastal communities.

Jarrod West

About Jarrod West

Born and raised just outside of Cincinnati, Jarrod became fascinated with using points and miles as the perfect way to visit dream destinations without breaking the bank. Thanks to points and miles, Jarrod was able to spend 3 months traveling Europe financed nearly entirely with points and miles; while flying in premium cabins and staying in 5-star hotels along the way. To date, Jarrod has traveled to 16 countries and 22 US states.

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