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Is the Amex Green a Good Card for People Who Frequently Travel?

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James Larounis
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James Larounis

Senior Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 30U.S. States Visited: 35

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in...
Edited by: Chris Dong
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Chris Dong

Editor & Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 54U.S. States Visited: 36

Chris is a freelance writer and editor with a focus on timely travel trends, points and miles, hot new hotels, and all things that go (he’s a proud aviation geek and transit nerd). Formerly full time ...
& Stella Shon
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Stella Shon

News Managing Editor

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With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in ...

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Let’s get right to the point: the American Express® Green Card can be a very valuable card to have in your wallet if you’re a frequent traveler.

With a relatively low $150 annual fee (rates & fees) and several key perks that benefit travelers, you’ll find this card a go-to option if you’re on the road (or in the sky) at least semi-frequently.

Here’s why.

Amex Green Card Overview and Welcome Offer

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.

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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

Top Uses of the Amex Green Card for Travelers

While there are many benefits of the Amex Green card, these are the ones that particularly stand out as valuable to travelers:

  • 3x Membership Rewards points earned on travel and transit, something no other Amex card offers on such a broad category
  • Annual CLEAR Plus credit of up to $189, which covers a full CLEAR Plus membership for yourself (or you can choose to use it on someone else’s membership)
  • Baggage insurance plan, which covers your lost, damaged, or stolen bag while traveling, but only if the entire common carrier fare is purchased on your card

While the annual fee is certainly not the lowest of any credit card, it can be easily offset by the several valuable perks available.

Earning 3x Points on Travel

Woman takes picture of 2 men while on boat tour
Earn 3x points on travel, transit, and dining. Image Credit: Faces of Travel via Adobe Stock

Here’s where this card really shines for semi-frequent travelers who want to earn lots of Amex points: you can earn 3x Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on several categories. This includes:

  • Travel, including airfare, trains, hotels, and car rentals
  • Transit, including bus tickets, taxis, public transit, and even tolls when you drive
  • Dining at restaurants, including takeout and delivery in the U.S., or restaurants worldwide

As you can see, these are pretty broad categories and cover a wide variety of things you’d normally spend on while traveling — from the travel itself to dining out to getting around. It’s a wide swath of everyday needs. One of the nice things about this card is that you earn 3x points no matter what travel brand you use the card at. For example, some hotel-specific credit cards may only earn at a particular hotel chain, but the Amex Green card earns points no matter the property. It’s also great for hotels that may not be affiliated with a particular chain, such as boutique properties.

While some cards only offer bonus points for airfare purchases, it’s nice to see the Amex Green card recognizes that not all travel occurs by air. For instance, this is a great perk for travelers in bigger Northeast metropolitan cities where Amtrak is a staple. In addition, there are lots of other services that can be used on a trip, such as rideshares and tolls, and this card rewards you for those purchases.

Once you accumulate enough Membership Rewards points, you can transfer those points to a variety of Amex’s airline and hotel partners or use them on the AmexTravel.com portal.

CLEAR Plus Membership Credit

If you don’t have a CLEAR Plus membership, you’re missing out. CLEAR allows you to bypass the traditional TSA lines at major airports in the U.S. and head to the front of the line. With biometric verification, your identity is screened at a kiosk, and then you’re escorted to the front of the line to begin your security check. It can be especially valuable during peak travel times.

The Amex Green card comes with an annual CLEAR Plus statement credit of up to $189, and, fortunately, CLEAR Plus costs exactly $189. This means that your annual membership to CLEAR is complimentary when charged to the Amex Green card. The $150 annual fee alone would pay for the CLEAR Plus membership, even if you decided to not use any other benefit.

Hot Tip:

If you already have CLEAR, either through another credit card or through elite status on select airlines, you can use your credit on family or friends who also may want a membership. Be sure to use the statement credit either way so it doesn’t go to waste!

LoungeBuddy Credit

The Amex Green card does not come with any Priority Pass membership or any formal lounge entry program. The good news is that it does come with up to $100 in annual LoungeBuddy statement credits that you can use to book individual lounge day passes using LoungeBuddy, an integrated Amex partner allowing access to lounges worldwide.

Simply book your lounge visit through the LoungeBuddy.com website or LoungeBuddy iOS mobile app and you’ll receive up to $100 in statement credits annually. Bookings start at $25, so assuming you can find visits for that cheap, you’d be able to visit 4 lounges over the course of a year.

Hot Tip:

If you fly a lot and are in airports often, you may exhaust this allotment. There are other credit cards that offer lounge access.

Baggage Insurance Plan

The Amex Green card comes with a baggage insurance plan, so when you purchase your entire common carrier ticket (like airfare) with your Amex Green card, you’re covered if your bag becomes lost, damaged, or stolen during your travels. There are various nuances to what is covered, when, and for how much, and American Express has a detailed guide for the baggage insurance plan’s coverages on this card.

In general, you’re covered for the actual bag itself and the property that’s in that bag, with various exceptions. In addition, coverage amounts change depending on whether your bag is a carry-on bag or a checked bag.

Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance

The Amex Green card comes with secondary car rental loss and damage insurance, which is different than primary rental car insurance. In essence, if your rental car is damaged and you charged the entire rental to your Amex Green card, the insurance will cover any difference that your primary rental car insurance doesn’t pay, but you must first submit through them.

This isn’t as useful as primary insurance that is available on some other credit cards, which will cover the damage without you ever having to involve your personal insurance company. However, this is still a decent perk for those looking to supplement their coverage.

Note that Amex Green cardholders are able to purchase Premium Protection, primary rental car coverage, at a fixed price of between $12.25 and $24.95 for the entire rental duration (eligible rentals can be up to 42 total days in length). The policy includes rental car damage, theft, loss of use coverage, and accidental death/dismemberment coverage.

Final Thoughts

The Amex Green card is a great everyday card for frequent (or semi-frequent) travelers, thanks to the amount of points you can earn on travel purchases, and several key benefits such as an annual CLEAR Plus membership statement credit and baggage insurance plan.

Even if you’re not a frequent traveler, you can likely get great use out of this card if you use public transit often or pay for tolls on your commute to work. Either way, you’re sure to find great value with the Amex Green 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Amex Green card best for?

The Amex Green card is known for the 3x points earning it provides on travel, transit, and dining purchases, as well as its annual CLEAR Plus credit of up to $189.

Is the Amex Green card metal?

The Amex Green card is made from 70% recycled plastic. The card is not made of metal.

How much is the Amex Green card?

The Amex Green card carries an annual fee of $150.

Does the Amex Green have lounge access?

This card doesn’t have a specific lounge membership included, but it does provide up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year to use at daily passes purchased via the LoungeBuddy app or website.

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About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.

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