Amex Gold Vs. Amex Green: Which Card Is Better?

Amex Gold Vs. Amex Green: Which Card Is Better?

16
In the interest of full disclosure, OMAAT earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. The information and associated card details on this page for the American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by OMAAT and has not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. These are the best publicly available offers (terms apply) that we have found for each product or service. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, hotel chain, or product manufacturer/service provider, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about our partners, and thanks for your support!

For those looking to earn Amex Membership Rewards points, there are arguably two best personal cards for doing so — the American Express® Gold Card (review) and the American Express® Green Card (review).

These are both fantastic cards, though I’d argue that they’re substitutes for one another, so for a vast majority of people, it only makes sense to have one card or the other. Which card makes the most sense for you? Well, I’m going to address that in this post.

Comparing the Amex Gold Card & Amex Green Card

Below let’s take a look at various aspects of the Amex Gold Card and Amex Green Card. Let’s discuss the approval odds, annual fees, return on spending, general card perks, and more.

For the purposes of this comparison, I’ll be leaving out the welcome offers, since those can change over time. However, in general you’ll find that the Amex Gold Card has a better welcome offer than the Amex Green Card. With that out of the way, let’s get right into it.

Comparing approval odds

The Amex Gold Card and Amex Green Card should be comparable in terms of approval odds:

  • Both cards are considered hybrid cards for approval purposes, rather than credit cards
  • The cards don’t count toward Amex’s five credit card limit, as hybrid cards are excluded from that
  • Anecdotally I find Amex hybrid cards to be pretty easy to get approved for
Rack up valuable travel rewards with either card

Comparing annual fees

Annual fees are one of the biggest considerations that people have when deciding on a credit card. There is a significant difference between the fees on these two cards:

Obviously the Amex Green Card wins in this category, as the card will cost you significantly less every year. However, that largely reflects the difference in value that the cards will offer for many consumers.

Comparing points earning structures

Both the Amex Gold Card and Amex Green Card earn Membership Rewards points, which can be transfered to airline & hotel partners to maximize value. The main reason you’ll want to pick up either of these cards is because of the return on spending that they offer. Note that both cards have no foreign transaction fees, so are potentially good for purchases abroad.

The Amex Gold Card offers:

  • 4x points on dining globally
  • 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year)
  • 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com
  • 1x points on all other purchases
The Amex Gold Card is awesome for supermarket spending

The Amex Green Card offers:

  • 3x points on dining globally
  • 3x points on travel and transit
  • 1x points on all other purchases
The Amex Gold Card is valuable for travel spending

Which card wins here?

  • The Amex Gold Card is one of the very best cards out there for both dining and supermarket spending, and is also great for airfare; if you spend a lot on eating (whether at restaurants or grocery stores), this is the card for you
  • The Amex Green Card is extremely well rounded in offering bonus points on both dining and travel, so in that sense it’s almost comparable to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card (review)

Comparing benefits & perks

Both the Amex Gold Card and Amex Green Card offer some perks that can go a long way to offsetting the annual fees on the cards. Which perks are more valuable to you could help decide which card is better, in terms of justifying the annual fee.

The Amex Gold Card offers:

  • Up to $120 in Uber Cash annually, by adding your Amex Gold Card to your Uber account; receive $10 in Uber Cash every calendar month directly to your Uber account, to be used toward U.S. Uber rides or U.S. Uber Eats orders, across one or more multiple transactions
  • Up to $120 toward dining annually (enrollment required); receive up to $10 in statement credits each calendar month for purchases in the U.S. with Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar, and select Shake Shack locations
The Amex Gold Card offers an Uber Cash benefit
  • Up to $189 in CLEAR credits every calendar year; charge an eligible CLEAR purchase to your card, and you’ll receive a statement credit up to $189
  • Up to a $100 in LoungeBuddy credits every calendar year; charge an eligible lounge access purchase through LoungeBuddy to the card, and you’ll receive a statement credit of up to $100

The Amex Green Card offers:

The Amex Green Card offers a CLEAR credit

Which card wins here?

  • With the Amex Gold Card, I tend to think that most people can get close to full value out of the Uber Cash benefit, since Uber and Uber Eats are widely used by Americans; the dining credit is a bit trickier, and entirely depends on how much you’d otherwise spend with those brands
  • With the Amex Green Card, the CLEAR credit could be valuable, though a similar perk is offered with The Platinum Card® from American Express (review), so that will be redundant for many; furthermore, the LoungeBuddy credit could also be largely redundant for those who have a Priority Pass membership through a premium credit card

As you can see, in both cases the annual credits alone can largely justify the annual fees, assuming you can use them. Personally I tend to think the Amex Gold Card credits are a bit more widely useful, especially for those who have other premium credit cards, though it’s a case of “your mileage may vary.”

Bottom line

The Amex Gold Card and Amex Green Card are two of American Express’ best personal cards for earning points. Generally speaking, I think it only makes sense to have one card or the other, since there is quite a bit of overlap.

As far as picking the right card goes, here’s how I’d think about it:

  • If you spend a lot on dining and supermarkets, then the Amex Gold Card is an absolute must-have, as earning 4x points in those categories is awesome; the Uber Cash benefit and dining credits should help with offsetting the annual fee
  • If you are committed to the Amex ecosystem and spend a lot on dining out and travel, then the Amex Green Card is Amex’s best competitor to the Chase Sapphire Reserve in terms of rewards structure

While I don’t think you can go wrong with either card, I think the Amex Gold Card is an especially good Amex card based on many peoples’ spending profiles.

Where do you stand — do you prefer the Amex Gold Card or Amex Green Card?

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: American Express® Gold Card (Rates & Fees), and American Express® Green Card (Rates & Fees).

Conversations (16)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. justlanded Guest

    We get our groceries from Walmart & Sam's due to price & location, so any "Supermarket" bonus is of no value (true for all issuers, not just AMEX.)

    If I ate at Cheesecake Factory each month, how many bonus points would I get for a gym membership?

    1. Eskimo Guest

      You can always buy prepaid cards to use at Walmart & Sam's.

  2. Earl B. Guest

    I love my Amex Green paired with my Platinum card. Platinum is for 5x on airfare and for travel perks (lounges, CLEAR). Green card dining and travel categories are huge. I would never buy daily groceries on a credit card, and am very willing to give up 1x dining to the Gold in exchange for 3x for all travel on the Green. That's 3x on hotel stays (including AirBnb) WITHOUT booking through Amex travel -...

    I love my Amex Green paired with my Platinum card. Platinum is for 5x on airfare and for travel perks (lounges, CLEAR). Green card dining and travel categories are huge. I would never buy daily groceries on a credit card, and am very willing to give up 1x dining to the Gold in exchange for 3x for all travel on the Green. That's 3x on hotel stays (including AirBnb) WITHOUT booking through Amex travel - which means you also get all your hotel loyalty points (at Hilton or Marriott Gold levels thanks to my Platinum) without any fuss. Add in 3x on taxis, trains, buses, Uber/Lyft, ferries, etc... and someone who actually uses their card for TRAVEL racks up MR rewards points in a hurry.

    1. shza Member

      Why wouldn’t you use a credit card for groceries? What do you do—write a check? Carry around a bunch of cash? Why?

  3. Fenspinbi Guest

    Amex Green FTW. I have a full deck with the Platinum/Gold/Green/Everyday Preferred/Blue Business Plus, and am getting rid of the former two after the annual fees hit at the end of the year. I gave the Gold a go for a year, and value the dining credits at near zero. I would not otherwise dine out except for the credit, and Uber is useless on a daily basis where I live. The Platinum I got...

    Amex Green FTW. I have a full deck with the Platinum/Gold/Green/Everyday Preferred/Blue Business Plus, and am getting rid of the former two after the annual fees hit at the end of the year. I gave the Gold a go for a year, and value the dining credits at near zero. I would not otherwise dine out except for the credit, and Uber is useless on a daily basis where I live. The Platinum I got for the huge bonus and squeezed for the credits, but after two years, the perks weren't all that valuable. Yes, I said it - points heresy be darned.

    The TL;DR is that the Amex Green, Everyday Preferred, Hilton Surpass, and Delta Gold are the perfect Amex combo in terms of bonus categories and perks for my spending patterns and travel style. I get all of the useful perks of the Platinum and then some at a much more reasonable price.

  4. Never In Doubt Guest

    The only thing Green has over Gold is that the Green card gets you 3x on hotels/ AirBnBs/ trains/ transit.

    Otherwise ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ .

  5. MikeyInOregon Guest

    I switched from the Green to Gold and I love it. As you mentioned in your review, between Uber and the dining credit the card basically pays for itself not to mention so many other money-saving offers that target the Gold card but not the Green.

  6. Dror Guest

    I think that the Green does count towards the five card limit.

    1. Lee Guest

      It depends on whether or not pay over time is activated.

    2. Dror Guest

      So if I want it to not count, I should disable pay over time?

    3. Bgriff Guest

      Personally I would put a pretty steep discount on the value of the Green’s credits. The Clear credit requires some “copay” for most situations so it may not be worthwhile even if you don’t already have free Clear through another channel.

      And not only is LoungeBuddy largely redundant with PP, but also it is a credit against “retail prices” of lounges, and most people probably wouldn’t consider the participating lounges to be worth the...

      Personally I would put a pretty steep discount on the value of the Green’s credits. The Clear credit requires some “copay” for most situations so it may not be worthwhile even if you don’t already have free Clear through another channel.

      And not only is LoungeBuddy largely redundant with PP, but also it is a credit against “retail prices” of lounges, and most people probably wouldn’t consider the participating lounges to be worth the $30-50 entry prices if they were paying out of pocket to get in, which means the credit isn’t really worth $100 for most.

  7. Lee Guest

    I think one has to ask the question not in isolation but in the context of one's other cards.
    We'll note the 3X tie for airfare. We'll note the Gold's 1X advantage on dining.
    With which card and how much is one paying for hotel bookings and hotel incidentals? Green might be a must.
    If someone is spending the typical $6k per year on groceries and has the Everyday Preferred, the Gold...

    I think one has to ask the question not in isolation but in the context of one's other cards.
    We'll note the 3X tie for airfare. We'll note the Gold's 1X advantage on dining.
    With which card and how much is one paying for hotel bookings and hotel incidentals? Green might be a must.
    If someone is spending the typical $6k per year on groceries and has the Everyday Preferred, the Gold becomes irrelevant.
    It might not even be an either/or choice. It might be both or none.

  8. Anthony Diamond

    To me, this is pretty simple...

    When Amex Platinum introduced its Clear credit, it made Amex Green a bit redundant. Amex Green became a true $150 fee card with no real way to offset the fee. Earnings are good, but dining is outstripped by Amex Gold. 3x travel is fine, but it's not hat much better than 2x offered elsewhere (Capital One Venture, Chase Sapphire Preferred, etc) with a lower fee.

    On the other...

    To me, this is pretty simple...

    When Amex Platinum introduced its Clear credit, it made Amex Green a bit redundant. Amex Green became a true $150 fee card with no real way to offset the fee. Earnings are good, but dining is outstripped by Amex Gold. 3x travel is fine, but it's not hat much better than 2x offered elsewhere (Capital One Venture, Chase Sapphire Preferred, etc) with a lower fee.

    On the other hand, Amex Gold is a true net $10 fee (Uber, dining credits easy to use) for better earnings on dining and grocery.

    The edge case where Amex Green I think makes a lot of sense is when you really want to rack up MR points, and you have a lot of transit expense (mainly Uber and rail). Amex Green is a valuable tool then.

    1. Lee Guest

      We all need to get past the statement credit coupon book mentality and factor in actual usage.

      Green
      $10k in travel spend = 30k Amex points, 30k * $0.018 per point = $540, $540 - $150 annual fee = $390 net

      Sapphire Preferred
      $10k in travel spend = 20k Chase points, 20k * $0.018 per point = $360, $360 - $95 annual fee = $265 net

    2. eponymous coward Guest

      I would also point out that if you’re getting a Venture that you can pair it with a $0 AF SavorOne and get 3x dining/groceries (note that this will cover MORE than US supermarkets on AMEX and is uncapped)/entertainment/streaming without having to commit to buying Shake Shack or Cheesecake Factory every month to get a “$10 annual fee”.

      FWIW, a VentureX/SavorOne/AMEX Green combo covers most major household spend categories and travel at 3x, baseline 2x,...

      I would also point out that if you’re getting a Venture that you can pair it with a $0 AF SavorOne and get 3x dining/groceries (note that this will cover MORE than US supermarkets on AMEX and is uncapped)/entertainment/streaming without having to commit to buying Shake Shack or Cheesecake Factory every month to get a “$10 annual fee”.

      FWIW, a VentureX/SavorOne/AMEX Green combo covers most major household spend categories and travel at 3x, baseline 2x, has lounge access, discounted CLEAR, a $300 travel portal credit, a 10,000 point anniversary bonus, and is a lower annual fee than a Chase Sapphire Reserve or AMEX Platinum.

    3. Eskimo Guest

      We all need to get past the actual usage of one card mentality and factor in holding multiple cards.

      Platinum
      $10k in air travel = 50k in Amex points, 50k * $0.018 per point = $900, $900 - $695 annual fee = $205 net
      Green
      Already charge on other cards = $0 - $150 = -$150 net loss
      Sapphire Preferred
      Already charge on other cards = $0 - $95 =...

      We all need to get past the actual usage of one card mentality and factor in holding multiple cards.

      Platinum
      $10k in air travel = 50k in Amex points, 50k * $0.018 per point = $900, $900 - $695 annual fee = $205 net
      Green
      Already charge on other cards = $0 - $150 = -$150 net loss
      Sapphire Preferred
      Already charge on other cards = $0 - $95 = -$95 net loss

      Hence I don't have these 2 cards yet.

      You need to compare your whole wallet.
      This is just for little spenders or first timers.
      Blogs just need to pump out articles to make money. There is probably 40 cards from major banks out there. Match them up you get 1560 comparison combinations to write about. If OMAAT compares 1 pair per day that's enough content to write for 4 years assuming nothing changes along the way.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

eponymous coward Guest

I would also point out that if you’re getting a Venture that you can pair it with a $0 AF SavorOne and get 3x dining/groceries (note that this will cover MORE than US supermarkets on AMEX and is uncapped)/entertainment/streaming without having to commit to buying Shake Shack or Cheesecake Factory every month to get a “$10 annual fee”. FWIW, a VentureX/SavorOne/AMEX Green combo covers most major household spend categories and travel at 3x, baseline 2x, has lounge access, discounted CLEAR, a $300 travel portal credit, a 10,000 point anniversary bonus, and is a lower annual fee than a Chase Sapphire Reserve or AMEX Platinum.

1
Lee Guest

We all need to get past the statement credit coupon book mentality and factor in actual usage. Green $10k in travel spend = 30k Amex points, 30k * $0.018 per point = $540, $540 - $150 annual fee = $390 net Sapphire Preferred $10k in travel spend = 20k Chase points, 20k * $0.018 per point = $360, $360 - $95 annual fee = $265 net

1
shza Member

Why wouldn’t you use a credit card for groceries? What do you do—write a check? Carry around a bunch of cash? Why?

0
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,788,713 Miles Traveled

27,627,500 Words Written

32,315 Posts Published