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.
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).