Link: Apply now for the American Express® Green Card
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 40-45K points
The Amex Green Card currently has a welcome offer of 40,000 or 45,000 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 $765.
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.
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.
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.
$189 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 an up to $189 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. You can even add someone else to your account for $50 per year, so this credit will potentially cover two people.
$100 annual LoungeBuddy credit
While it’s not a Priority Pass membership, having the Amex Green Card gives you an up to $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.
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.
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 almost $300 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.
A lot of comparisons between Chase and Amex here. Ultimately they aren't the same currencies. Chase lets you transfer to Hyatt, which is a must have. Amex has more international airline partners, and can be useful for Hilton top offs (especially with transfer bonuses). Chase has United, American Express has Delta. At the end of the day you need both ecosystems (I find Citi to be a bit superfluous).
Restaurant bonus with amex just aren't worth it. They have such an oddly narrow and broken definition of them. Took the 10x bonus with us on a two month trip across US and Europe and lost out on nearly 10,000 points just on miscategorized restaurants that amex wouldn't honor. Pur favorite restaurant in town doesn't code as restaurant with amex, even though it lists it as one in the transactions. No problem with visa. Not...
Restaurant bonus with amex just aren't worth it. They have such an oddly narrow and broken definition of them. Took the 10x bonus with us on a two month trip across US and Europe and lost out on nearly 10,000 points just on miscategorized restaurants that amex wouldn't honor. Pur favorite restaurant in town doesn't code as restaurant with amex, even though it lists it as one in the transactions. No problem with visa. Not to mention the 30% or so of establishments that simply refused to take amex.
Exactly. You always have to have a VISA/MC alternate to Amex when traveling outside the US. That alone caused me to drop it.
I got this card in March 2022 using the Resy offer, which is probably the best route to get this card: 50,000 points + 20% statement credit on up to $750 in dining in the first year ($150 if maxed, effectively making the card free the first year). That is a no-brainer, got it in preparation to cancel the Amex Platinum and Gold this month. I later paired it with the EveryDay Preferred for the...
I got this card in March 2022 using the Resy offer, which is probably the best route to get this card: 50,000 points + 20% statement credit on up to $750 in dining in the first year ($150 if maxed, effectively making the card free the first year). That is a no-brainer, got it in preparation to cancel the Amex Platinum and Gold this month. I later paired it with the EveryDay Preferred for the best Amex card duo from a points earning perspective. I have the BBP as well, but use that for actual business expenses, and the difference is negligible. Loungebuddy credit provides limited access to Centurion Studio lounges (post-Platinum), and combined with the refreshed CLEAR credit, makes the card a keeper.
The Amex Platinum and Gold are way overrated, despite all the hyperbole from much of the community. I've had both, and they're not worth it long-term. Most normies would do better with the Green and the EDP or BBP, even more if you've a diverse suite of cards.
For $340 in annual fees, I'm able to cover every possible base across three transferable currencies which heavily overlap:
Amex Green - 3x on travel & transit (global)
Amex EveryDay Preferred - 4.5x on groceries, 3x on fuel, 1.5x everywhere Amex is accepted (U.S.)
Chase Freedom Unlimited - 3x on drugstores, 1.5x everywhere Amex isn't accepted (U.S.) [i.e. Costco, etc.]
Chase Sapphire Preferred - 5.1x on airfare through Chase, 3.1x on dining, 3.1x on streaming services & online groceries, 1.1x everywhere else (global)
Chase Freedom - 5x on rotating categories (U.S.)
Bilt Mastercard - 6x on dining, 4x on airfare/hotels/cars, 2x everywhere else on the 1st of the month (global), 1x on rent (good for 20,000+ points)
@Ben, adding someone to your CLEAR membership costs $60 instead of $50. Obviously, it's still covered by Amex Green's credit.
I love the CSR+CFU combo, but essentially you can do the Green+Blue Biz Plus and earn even more for a much lower price point.
The Amex Green and Blue Biz Plus are highly overlooked for the Platinum and Gold, but if you add them all together, you can truly optimize every dollar for MR earning.
I've enjoying 3X on travel for sometime. That's 3X on anything travel. If you have a cruise in your plans, then 3X. What's not to like? 3x Uber, 3X anything period. Beats Sapphire cards hands down. FYI, Gold is for eating 4X. Platinum regardless of version is for flying 5X. Everything else travel is Green.
I opened this card just under a year ago - mainly for the sign up bonus - but will likely downgrade when the fee is due. I carry the gold which earns more on dining and I cannot find a way to use the lounge buddy credit. My joke airport nor any I’ve traveled to in the US have eligible lounges.
You can’t downgrade this card
Yep, I also have not been able to find a way to use the LoungeBuddy credit. If it could be used to cover an Centurion guest fee after the change to Platinum guest rules in February, now that would be interesting. Otherwise, it basically only seems to cover paid access to lounges that my Priority Pass membership already covers, which are hardly worth much anyway.
Wondering if others have found a way to use it?