9 Reasons To Get The Amex Green Card

9 Reasons To Get The Amex Green Card

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There are several excellent cards that earn Amex Membership Rewards points. One of the frequently overlooked cards is the $150 annual fee American Express® Green Card (review). Along with the American Express® Gold Card (review), I’d consider this to be one of the two best personal cards for earning Amex points (read a comparison of the two cards).

In this post I wanted to share nine reasons you should consider applying for the Amex Green Card. In no particular order…

Welcome offer of 45-50K points

The Amex Green Card currently has a welcome offer of 45,000 or 50,000 Amex points after spending $2,000 within the first six months. Different people seem to be different offers depending on where and how they open the application link.

That’s a reasonable amount to have to spend, and a long time to complete the spending requirement. Based on my valuation of 1.7 cents per Amex point, that bonus is worth up to $850.

Redeem Amex points for travel in Emirates first class

3x points on dining

The Amex Green Card offers 3x points on dining at restaurants globally. I value Amex points at 1.7 cents each, so to me that’s like a 5.1% return in that category.

This doesn’t just include sit-down restaurants, but typically also includes fast food establishments, cafes, etc. This makes the Amex Green one of the best cards for dining.

Earn 3x Amex points on dining

3x points on travel & transit

The Amex Green Card offers 3x points on all travel and transit purchases, ranging from airfare to hotels to car rentals to Ubers to trains to package holidays. This is a huge category, and makes the Amex Green Card the single most well rounded Amex card for travel purchases.

Earn 3x Amex points on hotel stays

No authorized user fee

I think this point is really underrated. The Amex Green Card doesn’t have authorized user fees, so you can add an authorized user to the card without paying extra (beyond the regular annual fee).

This is significant because it means that it’s not just you earning 3x points on your own dining, travel, and transit, but you can earn points for spending from your family members in those categories as well.

For example, the Amex Green Card has a comparable rewards structure to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card (review), as both cards offer 3x points on dining and travel, but on that card you’ll pay $75 per authorized user.

No foreign transaction fees

The Amex Green Card has no foreign transaction fees. This is pretty significant, because several other Amex cards that have good rewards structures do have foreign transaction fees. What makes this even more useful is that you can earn 3x points on dining and travel all while not paying foreign transaction fees. Those are big spending categories when abroad.

Use the Amex Green globally with no foreign transaction fees

$100 annual CLEAR credit

While many people have TSA PreCheck, CLEAR is a separate program that can add a lot of value. By being a CLEAR member you can bypass the ID check at the TSA lines, and be brought right into the actual queue for the security checkpoint.

The Amex Green Card offers a $100 annual CLEAR credit. As long as you’re a member of Delta SkyMiles or United MileagePlus (which everyone should be — no status is required), CLEAR costs just $119 per year.

With the $100 credit, you’d be paying $19 out of pocket per year for CLEAR. Then if you want to add family or friends, you can add them at a discounted cost.

Save on a CLEAR membership with this credit

$100 annual LoungeBuddy credit

While it’s not a Priority Pass membership, having the Amex Green Card gives you a $100 annual LoungeBuddy credit, which you can use to buy access to lounges. This will easily get you a couple of lounge visits per year.

Buy lounge access with a LoungeBuddy credit

Access to Amex Offers

One of the reasons to hold onto Amex cards long term is because of the amazing value of Amex Offers. With this program, you can receive statement credits or earn bonus points with all kinds of retailers.

The more Amex cards you have, the more offers you’ll potentially be eligible for. In many cases, Amex Offers alone more than justifies the annual fees on some of my cards.

Anecdotally easy approval

Many people are understandably worried if they’ll get approved for a new card when they apply. For those with excellent credit, I find that Amex cards (including the Amex Green) are among the easiest to be approved for, much more so than with Chase and Citi. Just keep in mind Amex’s general application rules, which shouldn’t be too restrictive.

Bottom line

The Amex Green Card is one of my favorite personal Amex cards for earning Membership Rewards points, given that it offers 3x points on dining, travel, and transit. While the card has a $150 annual fee, it offers up to $200 in annual credits, which can help offset that. This is a card that I have, and it’s one that I get quite a bit of value out of.

If you value Amex points and spend a lot on dining and travel, it’s tough to beat the value proposition of the Amex Green Card.

Conversations (5)
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  1. Alison Guest

    It also earns 3x points on cruises.

  2. Chris_ Member

    I'm struggling deciding which of my American Express cards to cancel. Now that the Platinum has the better Clear benefit It's harder to justify the annual fee for the green. I used to use the Loungebuddy pretty easily at IAD for the TK lounge, but now that there is access to the VS lounge with Amex Platinum, I haven't bothered with the TK lounge.

  3. Andrew Diamond

    Ben Leroy's comment was helpful - I'll need to weigh this.

    My issue with this card is that downgrading the Platinum to Green is very challenging. They fight tooth and nail to ensure you won't downgrade - they accidentally have called it cancelling on more than one occasion. I'm sure not going to pay AmEx for two cards - there's not enough marginal utility of this card since the only reliable credit (Clear) is already...

    Ben Leroy's comment was helpful - I'll need to weigh this.

    My issue with this card is that downgrading the Platinum to Green is very challenging. They fight tooth and nail to ensure you won't downgrade - they accidentally have called it cancelling on more than one occasion. I'm sure not going to pay AmEx for two cards - there's not enough marginal utility of this card since the only reliable credit (Clear) is already fully covered with Platinum.

    I wish CapitalOne had a good travel card for general travel categories not captive on their portal. If they had that, then Savor Rewards, Venture X and [nonexistent travel card] would be the ultimate trio.

  4. eponymous coward Guest

    I haven’t had issues with travel expenses being correctly 3xed. Hotel, car, rideshare, train, plane tickets, it all works like it says on the tin.

    I agree that the Loungebuddy credit is of marginal utility- I’ve used it once in three years (PHX Escape Lounge, as an arrival lounge). If it was more like the 10 visit Priority Pass you get with the Hilton Surpass I think it would be better.

    I am transitioning to...

    I haven’t had issues with travel expenses being correctly 3xed. Hotel, car, rideshare, train, plane tickets, it all works like it says on the tin.

    I agree that the Loungebuddy credit is of marginal utility- I’ve used it once in three years (PHX Escape Lounge, as an arrival lounge). If it was more like the 10 visit Priority Pass you get with the Hilton Surpass I think it would be better.

    I am transitioning to a less AMEX AF intensive model and this is likely the AMEX MR card I keep…

  5. Ben LeRoy Guest

    I’m sorry, this is a useless card. I picked it up when it was revamped and had the intro Away luggage credit. I am heading into my 3rd year with the card and I have not been able to use the lounge buddy credit once, too few lounges that sell access through lounge buddy combined with lounges still closed due to covid. The clear credit was fine until it was superseded by a better credit...

    I’m sorry, this is a useless card. I picked it up when it was revamped and had the intro Away luggage credit. I am heading into my 3rd year with the card and I have not been able to use the lounge buddy credit once, too few lounges that sell access through lounge buddy combined with lounges still closed due to covid. The clear credit was fine until it was superseded by a better credit on the Platinum card. Finally there is the spend bonus, read the T&Cs very carefully because it says 3x on travel but unlike the CSP travel credit which is very widely targeted this seems to be very narrow. I book a helicopter tour in Alaska, a van rental vehicle in Seattle amongst others - even though the T&Cs stipulate tours and vehicle rentals should count for 3x it took 4 calls and 2 escalation for a “concession” of MR points to be awarded and a warning that such “concessions” would not be awarded in the future. I agree this card looks good on paper, the reality is that its leaving my wallet next month after a retention offer expires and I’m free to cancel it.

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Alison Guest

It also earns 3x points on cruises.

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Chris_ Member

I'm struggling deciding which of my American Express cards to cancel. Now that the Platinum has the better Clear benefit It's harder to justify the annual fee for the green. I used to use the Loungebuddy pretty easily at IAD for the TK lounge, but now that there is access to the VS lounge with Amex Platinum, I haven't bothered with the TK lounge.

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Andrew Diamond

Ben Leroy's comment was helpful - I'll need to weigh this. My issue with this card is that downgrading the Platinum to Green is very challenging. They fight tooth and nail to ensure you won't downgrade - they accidentally have called it cancelling on more than one occasion. I'm sure not going to pay AmEx for two cards - there's not enough marginal utility of this card since the only reliable credit (Clear) is already fully covered with Platinum. I wish CapitalOne had a good travel card for general travel categories not captive on their portal. If they had that, then Savor Rewards, Venture X and [nonexistent travel card] would be the ultimate trio.

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