Editors Note: All information about the American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by 10xTravel. The American Express Green Card is no longer available through 10xTravel.

The American Express® Green Card is one of the lesser-known cards in the American Express credit card stable. The Platinum Card® from American Express (see rates & fees) seems to get all the air time, but is the American Express Green Card passed over with reason or is it the best-kept secret of the credit card industry?

Let’s unpack the American Express Green Card. Has the best travel card been under your nose the whole time?

The American Express Green Card Overview

The American Express Green Card’s annual fee is $150. This cost is offset by statement credits for LoungeBuddy (up to $100 in statement credits per year when you pay for lounge access through LoungeBuddy with your American Express Green Card) and CLEAR Plus (receive up to $189 per calendar year in statement credits when you pay for your CLEAR Plus membership (subject to auto-renewal) with the American Express® Green Card). The Amex Green Card is also a cost-effective way to access some of American Express travel insurance, like baggage insurance and rental car damage waiver*.

The American Express Green Card is best for people who travel often. You’ll earn 3X points on travel purchases, including bookings made through American Express Travel, on transit and at restaurants.

With American Express’ transfer partners and one of the most user-friendly travel portals in the industry, you won’t have a shortage of ways to use your hard-earned points.

Chase Ink Business Preferred Lowers Spending Requirement for 100,000-Point Bonus

American Express Green Card Quick Facts

Annual Fee

  • $150

Benefits

  • Travel insurance and protections
  • No foreign transaction fees

Statement Credits

  • $100 LoungeBuddy credit (up to $100 in statement credits per year when you pay for lounge access through LoungeBuddy with your American Express Green Card)
  • $189 Clear Plus credit (receive up to $189 per calendar year in statement credits when you pay for your CLEAR Plus membership (subject to auto-renewal) with the American Express® Green Card)

Bonus Categories

  • 3X on travel (including American Express Travel)
  • 3X at restaurants (including delivery services and takeout in the U.S.)
  • 3X on transit
  • 1X on everything else
Earn 4X on highest spend categories including restaurants

American Express Green Card Benefits

Although American Express is known as a luxury brand, the list of “extras” on the American Express Green Card is quite short. While you can offset the cost of the card with these credits alone, if another card in your wallet already provides these benefits or you simply can’t use them, it may be hard to get value out of the card.

$100 LoungeBuddy credit: Use your American Express Green Card to pay for entry into lounges at more than 150 airports available on LoungeBuddy. American Express will automatically reimburse the charge with a statement credit totaling up to $100 per year.

$189 Clear Plus credit: Clear is a program that helps you expedite going through the security line at airports or stadiums. American Express will reimburse you up to $189 annual enrollment fee when you pay with your Amex Green Card.

air travel

American Express Green Card Travel Protections

While the list of statement credits is short, the American Express Green Card offers a relatively low-cost way to benefit from travel protections that can significantly enhance your travel.

Lost your luggage? Damaged a car rental? Using any of these trip protection benefits can easily pay for the cost of card membership. Let’s take a look at each travel protection in detail.

Trip delay insurance: If you experience a flight delay of more than 12 hours and you paid for the airfare with your American Express Green Card or used Membership Reward points through American Express Travel (or a combination of the two), you’re eligible for up to $300 of reimbursement for reasonable additional expenses, including meals, lodging and personal use items. This reimbursement is in addition to any food or travel vouchers offered by the airline or other common carrier.

trip delay insurance

Auto rental collision damage waiver*: Decline the additional coverage at the rental desk and you’ll be covered for damage or theft to a rental vehicle that you rent with your American Express Green Card or Membership Reward points through American Express Travel. This is secondary coverage, so it will cover only the difference between your auto policy coverage and the total loss.

Baggage insurance plan: This benefit covers lost, damaged or stolen baggage on airlines. Carry-on bags are covered for up to $1,250, and checked bags are covered for up to $500. You must have purchased your entire fare with the American Express Green Card or Membership Rewards points through American Express Travel. Note that using airline loyalty points to book your travel negates this benefit.

Purchase protection: Purchases up to $1,000 are covered for 90 days in case of damage or theft. Protection is good for up to $50,000 per year.

Extended warranty: This feature adds an extra year to any warranty under five years. Just pay for the item with the American Express Green Card, and you’ll be covered up to $10,000 per item and up to $50,000 per card member.

The downside of travel insurance is the requirement to pay for the full cost of your reservation with the card or use Membership Rewards through American Express Travel. While other cards simply require you to purchase the ticket with your card, allowing you to use hotel or airline points for the bulk of the cost, you may use Membership Rewards only through American Express Travel. This limits your coverage opportunities if you tend to transfer points to airlines rather than use the travel portal.

Bonus Categories

The American Express Green Card is a starter travel card. While it lacks some of the typical bells and whistles of other credit cards like Priority Pass membership or TSA PreCheck enrollment fee credit, its earning rate is on par with other cards in its category. You’ll earn 3X points on travel including airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds and travel purchases on third party sites as well as amextravel.com.

You’ll also earn 3X points for getting around the cities you visit. American Express calls this category “transit.” It includes ride-hailing charges, such as Lyft and Uber, toll fees, parking, ferries, buses and subways. While this is a unique rewards category, these charges tend to be rather small. Those who live in major cities where mass transit is common may benefit, but the average traveler won’t rack up many points in this category.

One of the thrills of traveling is tasting your way through the local fare, that’s why the American Express Green Card offers 3X at restaurants. This includes dining in,  and carryout and delivery services in the U.S.

You’ll earn 1X Membership Rewards point for every purchase that doesn’t fit into one of the above categories.

Redeeming Membership Rewards.

Membership Rewards are one of the highest prized points in the credit card industry. With 17 transfer partners, American Express Travel and the ability to use your points for statement credits or to pay retailers, your newly acquired Membership Rewards will burn a hole in your pocket.

Let’s explore all the ways to spend your recently acquired Membership Reward points.

Using American Express Travel

Redeeming your points through American Express Travel is the simplest way to use your Membership Rewards points. Membership Rewards points have a value of 1 cent each when booking airfare and Fine Hotels & Resorts through the portal. Values drop down to 0.7 cent per point when you book prepaid hotels, cruises, rental cars or vacation packages.

Related: American Express Membership Rewards Points: How Much Are They Worth?

While American Express Travel allows you to book flights on virtually any airline, you’ll often get a better value by transferring your Membership Rewards to a travel partner. Consider this flight on Delta Air Lines that you could book with 20,390 points on American Express Travel or 11,500 points and $5.60 by transferring to Delta.

Always check the cash rate and any eligible transfer partner before deciding on a fare.

Remember, to utilize American Express Green Card’s travel benefits, like trip delay and baggage insurance plan, you’ll need to book the trip through the portal or pay the full cost with your Amex Green Card.

Transferring Membership Rewards

American Express has 20 transfer partners. Three of these are hotel brands and 17 are airlines, the most of any credit card program.

Most transfers occur at a 1:1 ratio except for those noted below.

Air Canada Aeroplan 1:1
Emirates Skywards 1:1
Aer Lingus AerClub 1:1Etihad Guest 1:1
Aeroméxico Club Premier 1:1.6Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles 1:1
Air France-KLM Flying Blue 1:1Hilton Honors 1:2
ANA Mileage Club 1:1Iberia Plus 1:1
Avianca LifeMiles 1:1JetBlue TrueBlue 2.5:2
British Airways Executive Club 1:1Marriott Bonvoy 1:1
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 1:1Qantas Frequent Flyer 1:1
Choice Privileges 1:1Singapore KrisFlyer 3:2
Delta SkyMiles 1:1Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 1:1

Transferring Membership Rewards to a partner program is easy.

  • Log in to your American Express account.
  • Click “Explore Rewards.”
  • Select “Transfer Points.”
  • Choose your program.
  • Decide how many points you’d like to transfer.

For instance, you can transfer 12,500 Membership Rewards to Air Canada Aeroplan and book this one-way ticket to San Jose, Costa Rica, for $98 Canadian dollars ($74) to cover taxes and fees.

Or you can transfer 40,000 Membership Rewards (at a rate of 1:2) to Hilton and pay for one night at the Hilton Tokyo.

A few times per year, American Express offers bonuses on transfers to specific programs, stretching your points even further. If you’re in the planning stages of a trip, be sure to pay attention to the current transfer bonuses for Membership Rewards.

Statement Credit

You can redeem Membership Rewards points for a statement credit to offset credit card purchases. When redeeming points for a statement credit, each point is worth 0.6 cent.

While this isn’t an ideal way to use points, it provides a way to turn your points into cash if you don’t need to use them for travel.

Pay with Points

Several retailers allow you to pay for purchases with Membership Reward points upon checkout. Each Membership Reward point is worth 0.5 cent. Because American Express allows you to redeem rewards for a statement credit valued at 0.6 cent each, there’s no reason to do this. In any case, you should avoid this redemption option.

What Cards Compete with the American Express Green Card?

While the American Express Green card offers a few statement credits and reasonable travel protections, it’s an entry-level travel card in a jam-packed market.

There are plenty of cards that compete with it. Before pressing “submit” on your application, consider these other comparative cards.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has a lower annual fee of $95. It also offers a $50 statement credit for hotel bookings made through Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns rewards at the following rates:

  • 5X on travel booked through Ultimate Rewards
  • 5X on Lyft rides through March 31, 2025
  • 3X at restaurants
  • 3X on online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 3X for select streaming services
  • 2X on travel
  • 1X on all other purchases

It also offers comparable travel protections, such as auto collision damage waiver (primary coverage), baggage insurance and trip delay insurance.

What you’ll miss with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is lounge access or any help expediting your experience through airport security. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card doesn’t offer a credit for Clear Plus, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card also has a $95 fee. It offers statement credits for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry up to $100 every four years. However, it doesn’t offer any travel protections, except for rental collision damage (secondary coverage).

You’ll earn 5X miles on hotels and cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2X on all other purchases.

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card cardholders receive two complimentary visits to Capital One Lounges, but with only the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) lounge open and two others planned to be opened by the end of 2023, this perk doesn’t add much value at the moment.

Citi Premier® Card

(Note from the editor: Citi Premier® Card is no longer available to new applicants )

Keeping with the trend, the Citi Premier® Card also has a $95 fee. This consistent pricing makes the Green Card feel a bit overpriced.

The Citi Premier® Card offers a $100 hotel credit through Citi Travel, but it comes with a catch. It’s only redeemable for a single hotel stay of $500 or more before considering taxes and fees. Since most points and miles enthusiasts do their very best to avoid $500 hotel stays, this credit is hard to use.

You’ll earn 1X on all purchases and more on the following categories:

  • 10X on hotel and car rental bookings on Citi Travel (through June 30, 2024)
  • 3X at supermarkets
  • 3X on air travel and hotels
  • 3X at restaurants
  • 3X at gas stations

While the Citi Premier® Card has significant point-earning potential and 17 transfer partners, the American Express Green Card has it beat on travel benefits and protections, since the Citi Premier® Card offers none.

Final Thoughts

While the American Express Green Card checks all the boxes for a travel card, it does so at a bare minimum. You’ll receive adequate travel protections when using American Express Travel and limited lounge access. Additionally, the Clear Plus credit alone offsets the annual fee.

The Amex Green Card offers some solid earning potential. However, if you plan to transfer Membership Rewards to one of American Express’s travel partners, you’ll forgo the benefit of travel protections or insurances for those trips.

If you’re loyal to American Express or you already pay for (or want) Clear Plus, this card is a no-brainer. But if you’re a frequent traveler who is bank agnostic, there’s likely a better long-term card for you.

*Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance can provide coverage up to $50,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible Card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the Commercial Car Rental Company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply. 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. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.