|Rewards Rating:||4.5 / 5|
|Annual Percentage Rate:||1.0|
|Issuer Customer Experience:||5.0|
In a Nutshell:
While it can’t compete with the luxury travel perks of other American Express cards, the American Express® Green Card is a solid choice for travel-minded cardholders who want to earn points while sticking to a budget.
All information about the American Express Green Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
American Express Customer Service Ratings
Other Notable Features: Baggage insurance, auto rental insurance, travel assistance, ticket presale for entertainment events, extended warranty, purchase protection, trip delay insurance, dispute resolution, travel discounts, car purchase discount, Shoprunner membership, instant card number, mobile assistant, split the bill with Venmo or PayPal users and still earn rewards
The American Express Green Card is a solid entry-level travel card that offers a generous rewards scheme and welcome bonus, as well as a decent set of perks for occasional travelers.
Practical rewards categories
The American Express Green Card offers 3 points per dollar on eligible travel and transit, 3 points per dollar on restaurants worldwide and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
Notably, the card’s travel bonus category includes not only airfare booked directly through an airline and rooms booked directly through a hotel, but also tour operators, travel agencies, campsites and more. Additionally, the transit bonus category offers extra rewards on ride-share services like Uber and Lyft, taxis, buses, Metros, subways and even tolls.
If you travel or eat out regularly, you should earn points quickly thanks to the card’s triple-point bonus categories. Keep in mind, though, that the card’s annual fee has increased to $150, so if you don’t spend much on travel, transit or dining, it may be difficult to make up.
If you spend $2,000 a year on air travel and transit and $3,000 a year on dining, you’ll earn 15,000 Membership Rewards points, worth about $150 in airfare booked through American Express or $90 as a statement credit. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics lists the average domestic airline itinerary fare as around $400, so $2,000 would come to about five round-trip flights.
You can also redeem points for gift cards, pay with points at checkout or transfer your points to a number of airline and hotel loyalty programs, including those from Delta, British Airways, JetBlue, Hilton and Marriott.
Solid welcome bonus
The American Express Green Card, which has traditionally included welcome bonuses only rarely, is currently offering new cardholders 60,000 points when they spend $3,000 in the first six months. Given the incentive of a triple-point bonus on eligible travel, restaurants worldwide and transit, it shouldn’t be too hard to reach this threshold if you travel and eat out regularly.
The card’s 60,000-point bonus is worth about $600 in travel booked through American Express or $360 as a statement credit to cover your charges. You could get even more value out of this bonus with the right transfer partner, as average point values with certain airlines can run over 2 cents per point.
What are American Express Green Card points worth?
Depending on how you redeem them, the Membership Rewards points you earn with your American Express Green Card can be very valuable. While many redemptions are worth less than 1 cent per point, American Express boasts a wide variety of transfer options that can boost the average point value. In fact, Bankrate’s latest airline point valuations give Membership Rewards an average value of around 2.1 cents each when transferred to a top airline or hotel partner. This is one of the highest point values you can find on a rewards card, making the Amex Green a smart choice for both frequent and occasional travelers.
However, it’s worth noting that cardholders who are not interested in transferring their points to a travel partner probably won’t get quite as much value out of the American Express Green Card. Read on to see how much you can get out of your rewards with each of the card’s redemption options.
Redeeming points earned on your American Express Green Card is simple, and you have a wide variety of redemption options. Your points don’t expire, and there is no limit to how much you can earn. However, the value of your points can vary drastically depending on how you use them.
American Express Green Card redemption options
|Redemption option||Point value (cents)|
|Airfare through American Express travel||1|
|Charity donation||1 (up to 500,000 points, 0.5 cent thereafter)|
|Gift cards||Up to 1|
|Other travel purchases on American Express travel||0.7|
|Pay with points via PayPal||0.7|
|Shopping partner (Amazon, Best Buy, Grubhub, Newegg, Rite Aid, Staples)||0.7|
|Excise tax offset fee (for transfer to travel partner)||0.5|
Unlike many travel cards, the American Express Green Card doesn’t offer a good point value on outside travel purchases, so if you must book on a third-party site, consider paying with points online via PayPal or booking travel through Expedia to minimize your point devaluation. To preserve the value of your Membership Rewards, we recommend saving points for airfare purchases.
See Related: Best ways to spend American Express points
Transferring American Express Green Card points
American Express offers an extensive list of travel partners for American Express Green cardholders, with points transferring to many partners at a 1:1 rate. Though you’ll be charged an excise fee of 0.06 cents for each point you transfer (up to $99), transferring can often get you a higher point value.
American Express transfer partners
Here’s a look at what sort of value you can expect on average when transferring Amex points to different airline and hotel partners, based on Bankrate’s valuations and the transfer ratio.
|Partner||Transfer ratio||Estimated point value (cents, including transfer ratio)|
As you can see, transferring your points can significantly boost their value. And with a wide variety of major airline and hotel partners, it should be easy to apply rewards toward travel to any destination.
Decent perks for novice travelers and foodies
While its perks pale in comparison to those offered by the The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card, the American Express Green Card does come with a number of useful benefits that could be especially compelling for occasional travelers.
American Express Green Card perks include:
- Up to $189 annual CLEAR Plus credit – CLEAR Plus is a private security program available at over 60 airports, arenas, stadiums and Hertz rental car locations that uses biometrics to confirm your identity, allowing you to skip the line to show your ID and boarding pass to a TSA agent. CLEAR Plus will certainly help you get through security a bit faster, and costs $189 a year. Some frequent flyer programs, like United MileagePlus offer members a CLEAR membership for as low as $109, depending on their status (subject to auto renewal).
- Up to $100 annual LoungeBuddy credit – LoungeBuddy allows you to purchase day passes to participating lounges at over 80 airports worldwide, even if you’re not a loyalty club member. Passes vary in cost, averaging about $50 each; so while this credit is welcome, it may only cover the cost of a couple of lounge passes a year.
- No foreign transaction fees – When traveling abroad, you won’t be charged a fee on foreign transactions. Keep in mind, however, that American Express cards are not accepted as widely abroad as they are in the U.S. (see rates and fees)
These perks are intriguing, but if you opted for the Gold Card (with a $250 annual fee) instead, you’d get many more benefits, like an up to $120 dining credit, $120 per year in Uber Cash and more.
See related: American Express card benefits
Not only does the American Express Green Card come with some compelling perks and bonuses on common purchases, it offers more payment flexibility than the average travel card. The American Express Green Card has no preset spending limit and cardholders can choose to pay in full, use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly payments with a fixed fee (up to the Pay Over Time limit) or or carry a balance with interest on eligible charges.
Excellent customer experience
You can expect great service with the American Express Green Card, as American Express has one of the best customer experience reputations among credit card issuers. Offering a highly-rated mobile app and 24/7 customer service, the issuer received a score of 848 on J.D. Power’s 2022 customer satisfaction survey (coming in first place among major issuers).
How to qualify for the American Express Green Card
The American Express Green Card is designed for cardholders with good to excellent credit (above 670), so you’ll want to ensure you meet those qualifications before you apply. If you are worried about your eligibility and want to avoid a hard pull on your credit, American Express allows you to see if you pre-qualify for any card offers.
How does the American Express Green Card compare to other rewards cards?
While the American Express Green Card offers a good earning rate on travel, transit and dining, it carries a high annual fee and doesn’t come with many luxury perks. If you’re eager to earn rewards on travel and dining, there are a few other options that offer better perks or a lower annual fee. Here’s a quick look at a few of our favorites:
|Rewards rate||Rewards rate||Rewards rate|
|Introductory bonus||Introductory bonus||Introductory bonus|
75,000 miles if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
|Annual fee||Annual fee||Annual fee|
|Other things to know||Other things to know||Other things to know|
Though it carries a higher annual fee than the American Express Green Card, the American Express Gold Card offers a bevy of luxury travel and dining perks. Its annual fee is also fairly affordable compared to other luxury cards. Even better, the Gold Card gives cardholders a generous rewards rate not only on travel and dining, but also on U.S. supermarket purchases, making it a good choice for everyday spending.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, like the American Express Green Card, is a good entry-level travel card, offering a great sign-up bonus, solid rewards rate on travel and restaurants and flexible redemption options.
Though it carries a higher annual fee, the Venture X could be a better deal overall thanks to its practical perks, which easily offer enough value to offset the annual fee before you’ve even earned any rewards from spending. This includes an annual travel credit and anniversary bonus points. That’s not to mention the card’s impressive flat rewards rate and comprehensive Priority Pass lounge and Capital One Lounge access privileges.
Why get the American Express Green card?
- You travel regularly, but not with enough frequency to justify the cost of a higher-end luxury travel card.
- You frequently dine out and use ride-shares, taxis, buses or other forms of transit.
- You’re likely to use the CLEAR Plus and LoungeBuddy credits.
- You don’t want to worry about the higher fee that comes with a premium card, such as the American Express Gold or Platinum card.
How to use the American Express Green card:
- Book airfare and rooms directly from airlines and hotels to get the card’s full 3 point per dollar bonus rate on travel.
- Use the card for all of your dining purchases to take advantage of the triple-point bonus.
- Use the card for all of your transit purchases, including ride-shares.
- Book travel through amextravel.com to get the most value out of your points.
- Pay your CLEAR Plus membership fee with the card to get $189 back as a credit.
- Consider combining the American Express Green Card with another cash back card to maximize your rewards on everyday purchases like groceries.
- If you can’t afford to pay a purchase in full but want to use your American Express Green Card, ask your customer service representative about enrolling in a Pay Over Time program.
Is the American Express Green Card worth it?
While its travel perks leave a bit to be desired, the American Express Green Card is a good choice if you travel regularly, but not enough to justify the cost of a higher-end luxury travel card. If you do a lot of traveling, however, and don’t mind paying more for luxury benefits, a higher-end travel card may be a better fit.
For Rates and Fees of the American Express Green Card, please click here.
Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.
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