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The American Express® Green Card is a top travel rewards credit, but in recent years the old school icon has been overshadowed by its sparkling big sisters: American Express® Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express. However, during its time away from the spotlight, the classic green idol has remained quietly busy, adding more and more benefits to its lineup. Now, the American Express Green Card is once again ready for its time in the spotlight.
Today’s American Express Green Card is most in tune with the needs of the modern credit card consumer: big rewards on purchases, credits that far offset an annual fee, and a generous welcome bonus to sweeten the initial sign-up deal. Despite a low annual fee of $150 (see rates and fees), the card promises three times more points than the Platinum in categories like travel (excluding airfare) and restaurants worldwide. Meanwhile, its benefits include a degree of airport lounge access—a perk missing from popular comparable cards Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi Premier—with $100 in statement credits for one-off entry fees through partner Lounge Buddy.
Best of all, a card that rarely—if ever—pushes a big sign-up bonus now has one. To mark its relaunch and reclaim the spotlight it once held, the Green card has gone all in with the modern welcome bonus craze, offering a best-ever 60,000 bonus points (after $3,000 in purchases during initial six months) plus 20 percent back on eligible transit and travel, up to $200.
Here, all you need to know about the American Express Green Card redux.
A best-ever introductory bonus
Currently, the American Express Green Card is courting new cardholders with a two-part record breaker. First, earn 60,000 AmEx Membership Rewards points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership. Second, earn 20 percent back on eligible travel and transit purchases made during the first six months of card membership, up to $200 back in the form of a statement credit. Put in perspective, previous offers for the card had maxed out at 45,000 points and no statement credits.
Once accrued, AmEx points are transferable to 17 airline partners—3 domestic and 14 international—and 3 hotel partners. A total of 20 transfer partners makes Membership Rewards the best loyalty program overall for transferable points (compared to Capital One Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou points). Partners include Delta SkyMiles, Air France/KLM’s Flying Blue, and Marriott Bonvoy, transferable at a 1:1 ratio and Hilton Honors transferable at a ratio of two Hilton Honors points for every Membership Reward point. This means that cardholders can rack up points on everyday spending then convert them into points or miles with the partner program they choose when they need them for a specific redemption. Amex points can also be redeemed for travel, gift cards, and even cash back.
If you’re already an Amex cardholder and are wondering about bonus eligibility, the short answer is yes—you can get Amex Green’s big bonus. You are allowed to have multiple, different Amex cards, just not two of the same. So, as long as you don’t already have (or have previously had) the Green card, you’re in the clear.
Rack up points quickly with the Green Card thanks to triple points awarded across multiple spending categories. Earn three Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on:
- All other travel (including cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, and vacation rentals)
- Transit purchases (including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways)
- Restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery in the United States)
For comparison, the Platinum Card from American Express grants five points per dollar on airfare but one point per dollar on all other purchases. The Chase Sapphire Preferred gives three points per dollar on dining but only two points per dollar on any travel and most transit purchased outside of the Chase portal.
As part of the current welcome offer, earn up to $200 back in the form of statement credits with a 20 percent refund on eligible travel and transit purchases made in the first six months. In addition, expect two credits every year: one for a Clear membership and the other for LoungeBuddy, an app that allows you to purchase one-off entry into select airport lounges at 80 airports worldwide. For Clear, receive up to $189 per calendar year in statement credits when you pay for your Clear Plus membership. For LoungeBuddy, download the app and link your Amex Green to LoungeBuddy to receive up to $100 in statement credits annually for entrance payments. (Entrance is often somewhere around $50, so this is basically good for two lounge entries.) These two annual credits alone more than offset the $150 annual fee. Furthermore, like all American Express cards, the Green Card opens up the world of Amex Offers, an ever-changing roster of discounts and offers depending on your location and spending patterns. You can view your personalized offers in the American Express app or online after login.
When analyzing these annual credits, the Green’s allotment may seem small compared to the Platinum Card, which presents opportunities of annual credits in excess of $2,000 (spread over categories like airline fees, entertainment, Uber Cash, and more). However, the Platinum also comes with a price tag of $695 annually (see rates and fees). Plus, the Platinum card is better suited to the credit card super savvy, those willing and able to maximize the card’s power (and credits) and who travel frequently enough to require regular lounge access.
When compared to other popular low-fee travel rewards credit cards, the Green’s credits seem more impressive. The Chase Sapphire Preferred, for example, offers just a $50 hotel credit annually for hotel stays purchased through Ultimate Rewards. The Citi Premier gifts an annual $100 credit on a single-stay prepaid hotel booking of $500 or more purchased through Citi ThankYou Travel.
If it’s travel insurance you seek in a credit card, the Green card comes with a number of implicit insurances when charging travel to the card. These include trip delay, lost baggage, and rental car insurance. Note that this portfolio of insurances isn’t as strong as those available from the Platinum Amex and Chase Sapphire Preferred.
The revamped American Express Green Card is making a triumphant return with a best-ever welcome bonus of 60,000 points plus $200 in statement credits. For those wanting an excellent travel credit card with great points earning potential and are hesitant to pay the Platinum Card’s hefty annual fee, go Green!
While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time, and may have changed or may no longer be available.