8 Reasons To Get The Amex Green Card

Filed Under: American Express, Credit Cards
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In late 2019 we saw a major refresh of the American Express® Green Card, and with these changes, I now consider this to be one of the most compelling rewards cards out there. The card has been getting some attention, but not nearly as much as it deserves, in my opinion.

What makes this card so interesting is that in many ways it’s a direct competitor to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card in terms of the rewards structure, despite the cards having very different annual fees.

In light of the changes that have just been announced to the Sapphire Reserve, I figured it made sense to take another look at the Amex Green Card, and what makes it so lucrative, for anyone who is looking for a new rewards card.

Why You Should Get The Amex Green Card

American Express Membership Rewards is one of my favorite points currencies, and there are already quite a few good cards for earning Membership Rewards points.

The annual fee (Rates & Fees) Amex Green Card might just be the all-around best personal card for earning Amex points, though (previously I would have said it’s the American Express® Gold Card — you can read a comparison of the two cards here).

While I’ve written a detailed review of the Amex Green Card, in this post I wanted to share eight reasons you should consider picking up this card, if you haven’t done so already:

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 it one of the best cards for dining.

Earn 3x points on dining

3x Points On Travel & Transit

This is a huge category. 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 the single most well rounded Amex card for travel purchases.

Earn 3x 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 Chase Sapphire Reserve also offers 3x points on dining and travel, but the card has a $75 authorized user fee.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

The Amex Green Card has no foreign transaction fees. Before the refresh, the card had a 2.7% foreign transaction fee. Not only is it great that you can earn 3x points on dining, travel, and transit globally, but you can make those purchases around the world without paying foreign transaction fees.

Use this card globally with no foreign transaction fees

Benefit Of Charge Card

The Amex Green Card is a hybrid charge card and credit card. That’s a bit confusing, but the important reason I mention this is because applying for the Amex Green Card won’t count towards the typical Amex five card limit.

Generally, Amex will only let you have five of their credit cards, so if you’re like me and are at that limit, you’re still eligible to get this card, because it qualifies as a charge card when it comes to getting approved. That’s awesome.

$100 Annual CLEAR Credit

While many people have TSA Pre-Check, 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.

So 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’ll pay just $50 per additional CLEAR user.

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 access to the Plaza Premium First Lounge Hong Kong with this 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.

Bottom Line

The Amex Green Card is my new favorite personal card from Amex, thanks to the 3x points on dining, travel, and transit, along with the reasonable annual fee and $200 in annual credits. This is a card that I recently picked up, and that I’m already getting value out of.

To me the CLEAR credit is more or less worth face value, while I’d say the LoungeBuddy credit is maybe worth half of face value to me, which means this is a “breakeven” card before considering any of the other benefits.

While this card was lucrative before, I think this will also be a useful alternative for anyone who would have otherwise considered the Sapphire Reserve, given the similar points earning structures.

If you value Amex points and are looking for a great new card, you absolutely should apply for the Amex Green Card!

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

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Comments
  1. For me, this card would be mostly if I wanted to ditch the Chase ecosystem. I already use my Amex Plat for airfare, Gold for dining/groceries, hotel-branded card (Hyatt) for those purchases, but continue to use my CSR for transit and other travel. At this point, it mostly equates to the massive amount of rideshare I use for work. If I moved that spend to the Green, I would still have the Freedom Unlimited and Freedom, but it’s not as compelling as the 1.5cpp with the CSR (when transfer options don’t meet my needs). For now, I’m holding off because the 10x on Lyft will be really solid for me. If that does end up expiring in 2022, then maybe I’ll look elsewhere. For now, I like having diversity in points.

  2. Amex seems to do a really good job of offering non-practicle “benefits” lounge buddy, “airline credits” on other cards. If they charged $200 for the card and offered clear and an airport restaurant dining credit. I think that would be more practicle for almost every customer.

  3. Not clear in this article but with the Green Card do you have to transfer points to another card (like Freedom to Chase Reserve for UR) to redeem the points? If this card has a AF of $150 and I have to add another $200+ card to make use of my points I’m not sure I would go this route.

  4. Has anyone found a use of Loungebuddy when you already have priority pass? What’s in Loungebuddy but not PP?

  5. @Jerry Amex seems to do a really good job of offering non-practicle “benefits”

    True, and with the upcoming changes to the Sapphire it seems that AMEX is vindicated in their low-cost-to-the-bank system of offering benefits of limited practical value.

    @Steve L. with the Green Card do you have to transfer points to another card

    No, AMEX cards earn Membership Rewards directly, they all earn into one MR account per user, and there are not different “tiers” of MR points.

    @Jack G Has anyone found a use of Loungebuddy when you already have priority pass?

    If you follow the link to Ben’s other Loungebuddy post he has a section on exactly that question.

  6. @Jack G
    All the Escape Lounges, and some PP lounges won’t let you in due to “high capacity” but will allow you to buy access via LoungeBuddy, something I think PP should crack down on.

  7. I applied through a referral link for 45,000 membership rewards and $150 Away luggage credit plus all the other benefits mentioned in the article.

  8. @JayBird0711

    Right it really should be mentioned that there is a public offer of 45k + $150 Away credit!

  9. @ Steve L. — Nope, this card earns “real” Membership Rewards points, which transfer directly to partners.

  10. @ JayBird0711 @ Cohagan — Are those still available? We do always try to include the best offers, but I don’t get that when I look at referral links.

  11. Well…I wasn’t at all intrigued by the Green card UNTIL CSR announced badness…I think I’ll move my credit to another Chase card, outright close CSR (to potentially apply for CSP and its bonus), and then pick up the Green card…AMEX will be back in play in my wallet.

  12. @ Cohagan — Yeah, I didn’t get that even in incognito (I think I’ve opened all Amex links in incognito since 2007), but updating the post regardless. Thank you!

  13. Hopefully people don’t follow bloggers when it comes to getting credit cards. With the rising AFs you need to consider what you already have before getting another card.

    For example if you already have the CSR or other cards that already gives you 3X on travel and dining, then except for a sign up bonus this card may be pointless. Same with the various Clear, Global Entry, etc. credits, you usually can only use one of them so that makes the others useless.

    With the fees on CSR, AmexPlat, Hilton Aspire, and many other cards, combined with the difficulty of using many of the Amex airline credits, most should do a careful calculation before paying AFs.

  14. @Robert – if this is the card you choose to replace your chase reserve with in your wallet then you’re doing something wrong.

    If I need to explain that then you need to read more travel blogs.

  15. “The Amex Green Card is a hybrid charge card and credit card. That’s a bit confusing, but the important reason I mention this is because applying for the Amex Green Card won’t count towards the typical Amex five card limit.” – this is useful to know I thought it would count towards the amex card limit.

  16. Damn it. I did got offered 45k, but only $100 away credit. And I am not gonna curse! The do not have the away mini on their sites anymore!
    That was the only thing the $100 can get. Argh!

  17. ” Same with the various Clear, Global Entry, etc. credits, you usually can only use one of them so that makes the others useless.” I have GE from other cards but I don’t have clear so I guess this would be good for that. The lounge buddy benefit sounds like it could be viewed almost as an insurance policy if a PP becomes too crowded. I was a big fan of my gold card but now with the airline credit being harder to use I’m wondering if I should ditch that card for the green card at the lower AF price point. Could maybe get a surpass for my grocery spend and just put that grocery money towards earning a free night cert.

  18. Cool I was searching for the 45K offer yesterday through various links and incognito stuff but didn’t see any so here today I click on your link and bingo 45K success – planned transition as my AmEx Plat AF posted today – Cancel!

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