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One of the first American Express rewards credit cards was its American Express® Green Card. Maybe you owned one once upon a time before upgrading to the American Express® Gold Card or The Platinum Card® from American Express. Like the recent Platinum Card and Gold Card upgrades, this American Express Green Card review covers all the new changes to this card.

american express green card review
In this American Express Green Card review, you can learn how you use the card to see the Northern Lights. Photo by stein egil liland from Pexels

If you’re looking for an entry-level travel rewards credit card, the American Express® Green Card is an attractive option once again. This can even be a good alternative to the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Citi Premier and even the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (learn more in our in-depth Capital One Venture Card Review).

For instance, you can earn up to 3x Membership Rewards on purchases. You also get an annual CLEAR and LoungeBuddy credit.

Also, as one of the first applicants for the American Express Green Card relaunch, you can enjoy the extra limited time offers. Apply by January 15, 2020, to get up to $100 in statement credits for purchases made directly with Away in the first 3 months of account opening plus 30,000 Membership Rewards points worth up to $300 in award travel after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

Learn more: Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Let’s see what else cardholders can benefit from in this American Express Green Card review.

In-Depth American Express Green Card Review

Let’s take a look under the hood to see if the new and improved Green Card is worth it. In addition to the new card design and benefits, the Green Card is also made of up to 70% recycled plastic. It’s green in multiple ways.

30,000 Membership Rewards Welcome Bonus

You earn 30,000 bonus Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months. This bonus is worth $300 in award travel booked on AmexTravel.

For a limited time, you can also get up to $100 statement credit for Away Luggage purchases. To get this bonus, you must apply for the Green Card by January 15, 2020. Then, you must spend at least $100 at select Away stores in the U.S. or at AwayTravel.com in the first 3 months of account opening.

Both bonus offers are only open to new cardmembers.

Learn more: Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Earn Up to 3x Membership Rewards on Purchases

You will earn unlimited 3x Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on these purchases:

  • Travel
  • Rideshare transit
  • Restaurants

Even your international purchases for these three categories earn 3x points. This seems to be a growing trend for American Express rewards cards which usually only award bonus points on U.S. purchases.

All remaining purchases earn 1x Membership Rewards point per $1 spent.

American Express Green Card Review
New card design and new rewards come with the American Express Green Card.
Credit: American Express

Redeeming Membership Rewards Points

Your Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for award travel, cash rewards, and gift cards. Your rewards points are most valuable when redeemed for award flights on AmexTravel.com and gift cards. Each point is worth 1 cent each.

Another redemption option is transferring your points to the Membership Rewards airline and hotel partners. Most partners let you transfer points at a 1:1 ratio. Some of the best airline transfer partners include Delta, Emirate, British Airways, and Singapore Airlines.

Some of these benefits are comparable to some of the best Chase business credit cards.

Additional Card Benefits

There are a few new benefit credits (worth up to $200 per year). If you currently pay for CLEAR or LoungeBuddy access, these two credits alone are worth more than the $150 annual fee (See Rates & Fees).

Learn more: Travel Rewards Credit Cards

$100 CLEAR Credit

A growing number of travel credit cards offer a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit. The next big benefit trend might be CLEAR application credits. If you’re unfamiliar with CLEAR, it’s an expedited security line you can pass through before you reach the TSA airport security area.

Without this $100 credit, you pay $179 per year for CLEAR. Delta and United Airlines both offer discount CLEAR membership ($119/year or less depending on your loyalty status). This credit applies to primary and authorized users. So if you don’t use the entire credit yourself, another cardholder can use the remaining credit balance.

You will still need to purchase TSA PreCheck or Global Entry if you want to use these specific services and avoid security lines.

Learn more: Is TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or CLEAR best?

$100 LoungeBuddy Credit

Another unique air travel benefit is an annual $100 LoungeBuddy credit for one-time visits. LoungeBuddy passes start at $25 per visit, making this credit worth up to 4 free visits each year.

If you only visit airport lounges a handful of times each year, this benefit is nice to have. But you should consider the Platinum Card from American Express if you plan on visiting lounges more often. The Platinum Card gives you free access to The Centurion, Priority Pass, Delta Sky Club, Air Space, Escape, and Plaza Premium lounge networks.

There are lounge locations in most major international airports across the world. Note that the selection is far smaller than Priority Pass, which is the standard credit card lounge network benefit.

Learn more: Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Secondary Rental Car Insurance

You get secondary collision and theft damage waiver coverage on most car rentals. This coverage can cover expenses your primary insurance policy won’t. One example is the insurance deductible before your primary insurance benefits apply.

Having some of the best credit cards with roadside assistance is always nice to have in your wallet.

Baggage Insurance

On common carrier travel (i.e., plane, train, ship, bus, etc.), your carry-on baggage is insured up to $1,250 and checked bagged up to $500. New York State residents have a total coverage limit of $10,000 for all covered persons per trip.

ShopRunner

Free 2-day ShopRunner shipping at more than 100 online stores. This is a common benefit for most American Express credit cards.

No Preset Spending Limit

As the American Express Green Card is a “charge card” and not a “credit card,” you don’t have a preset spending limit. Your maximum spending limit depends on your monthly spending habits and other factors. You will need to pay your balance in full each month to avoid interest charges.

Until April 20, 2020, you can use the Pay Over Time benefit to negotiate a lower interest rate on select purchases.

Learn more: Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Fees

Your annual fee is $150 (even during the first year). There is no foreign transaction fee (See Rates & Fees).

Pros

  • Earn 3x Membership Rewards on all travel, rideshare, and dining purchases
  • Annual $100 CLEAR credit
  • Annual $100 LoungeBuddy credit
  • 30,000 bonus Membership Rewards after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • Not all travelers will benefit from CLEAR or LoungeBuddy credits
  • $150 annual fee is higher than other travel credit cards

Summary of American Express Green Card Review

The American Express Green Card is a competitive option for occasional travelers wanting to earn American Express Membership Rewards. However, you will need to use the CLEAR and LoungeBuddy credits to make the $150 annual fee worth it. Even so, this card can easily be one of the best American Express Credit Cards.

Learn more: Travel Rewards Credit Cards

FAQs

What is the American Express Green Card annual fee?

The annual fee is $150 for the American Express Green Card. The fee is not waived for the first year.

What are the American Express Green Card travel benefits?

After the late-2019 relaunch, the American Express Green Card provides these travel benefits:

  • Annual $100 CLEAR credit
  • Annual $100 LoungeBuddy credit
  • Secondary rental car collision and theft damage waiver coverage
  • Carry-on and checked baggage insurance
  • No foreign transaction fees

What credit score is needed to get the American Express Green Card?

You can most likely get the American Express Green Card with a 670+ credit score. This is the start of “good credit.” But having a score near or above 740 gives you the best approval odds as you will have “excellent credit.”

Premium cards like the Platinum Card from American Express and Gold Card from American Express require a 740 credit score or higher to have the best approval odds.

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

Josh Patoka

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

American Express Green Card Review (With Exciting New Travel Benefits)
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