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American Express launches revamped Green card

With bonuses on travel, transit and dining, the card is targeted at young travelers

Summary

American Express has revamped one of its classics – the American Express® Green Card. The new rewards rate focuses on travel and dining, with some luxury perks tailored to young travelers.

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American Express has revamped one of its classics – the American Express® Green Card. Now, cardholders can enjoy an all-new rewards rate and suite of benefits, with plenty of potential value.

The Green card’s previous offer was falling out of style, with a mediocre rewards rate coupled with a high annual fee. Luckily, the new earning rate suits a much wider range of spender – making it easy to rack up plenty of flexible Membership Rewards points.

Amex Green Card rewards rate

Previous offer:Current offer:
  • 2 points per dollar on travel booked through amextravel.com
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases
  • 3 points per dollar on travel and transit purchases
  • 3 points per dollar on restaurant purchases worldwide
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases

This refresh is sure to be a welcome one for cardholders who spend a significant amount on dining and travel, but the new Green card has plenty of other great perks to offer:

30,000-point welcome bonus

For cardholders who spend $2,000 in the first three months, the American Express Green Card is offering a 30,000-point introductory bonus. With an extensive list of high-value transfer partners, we value Membership Rewards points at 1.19 cents on average, making the welcome offer worth around $357.

Up to $100 Away credit

For cardholders who apply for the new card by Jan. 15, 2020, the Green card is offering an up to $100 credit toward the purchase of Away luggage in your first three months of card ownership. The brand is a favorite among frequent travelers, thanks to its sturdy design, built in charging capabilities and lifetime warranty. Unfortunately, even a carry-on bag from the retailer runs upwards of $225 – so the credit won’t cover a full bag.

Up to $100 annual CLEAR credit

Moving away from the recent travel card trend of credits for a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application, the American Express Green Card will come with up to a $100 credit every year toward the cost of a CLEAR membership. An annual CLEAR membership typically runs $179 per year, so this isn’t quite enough to cover the whole cost.

See related: The ultimate guide to airport security options

Luckily, some frequent flyer programs offer a discounted CLEAR membership. United MileagePlus members, for one, can get a CLEAR membership for as low as $109 per year depending on your status.

Up to $100 LoungeBuddy credit

Another common feature of the most popular travel credit cards is lounge access – which can add a level of luxury to any trip. Many of the most popular premium cards come with Priority Pass – a worldwide network of more than 1,200 lounges.

The new Green card, on the other hand, will offer an up to $100 credit every year for LoungeBuddy, a platform that lets users book lounge access through a credit system. With a $100 credit, American Express estimates Green card members can book around three visits per year.

Affordable annual fee

Though the Green card’s $150 annual fee is not waived the first year – and might seem like it’s on the high side – the cost is actually incredibly affordable if you factor in the card’s plentiful benefits. The credits for LoungeBuddy and CLEAR go beyond what some other introductory travel cards offer. If you are the kind of traveler who enjoys expedited airport security and a getaway to a lounge a few times per year, these credits can more than cover the cost of the fee.

Eco-friendly design

An interesting feature on the new Green card – it might help reduce your carbon footprint. The new card will be made primarily with recycled plastic collected from beach cleanups, in partnership with Parley.

One important thing to note: The American Express Green Card is a card with no preset spending limit. You will be able to carry a balance over month-to-month using the Pay Over Time feature, but only if you opt in.

So before you jump at the Green card’s competitive rewards and benefits, you should first consider your spending habits. If you prefer to carry a balance, this might not be the card for you.

Should you sign up for the American Express Green Card now?

Since the American Express Green Card just debuted its new offer, now is a great time to sign up. Cards typically boast their best introductory bonus and limited-time perks upon launch, so take advantage of the high offers while they last. Just be sure the rewards rate aligns with your spending and that you are prepared to pay your balance every month.

For more information about the card and tips for maximizing new bonus categories, check out our in-depth guide to the American Express Green Card.

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Published: October 24, 2019

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