The American Express Green Card isn’t one of the most talked about Amex cards available, but it does offer decent perks and charges a relatively reasonable $150 annual fee. If you’re not ready for an ultra-premium travel credit card, the Amex Green card may be a good choice. Here’s what you need to know about the benefits and perks of this card.
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The Amex Green Card currently has a welcome offer of 30,000 Membership Rewards points after spending at least $2,000 within the first three months of account opening. As with most Amex products, the welcome bonus and minimum spend requirement may change over time, and different offers may be available through referrals.
The Amex Green Card has an annual fee of $150. While this is higher than similar cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Citi Premier, the Green Card’s credits for LoungeBuddy and CLEAR as well as its bonus earning categories go a long way toward making that fee worth it.
The Green Card offers up to $100 per year toward enrollment in CLEAR, which allows you to access expedited security screening at 65+ airports and sports venues across the country. A standard CLEAR membership costs $179 per year, but Delta SkyMiles members can sign up for just $99 per year (or less for those with elite status), so if you sign up through Delta you can get your membership for free as long as you have the Green Card.
Most people know LoungeBuddy as the app that helps you discover what airport lounges you have access to during your trip, and share reviews, ratings, and photos with other users. However, you can also use Loungebuddy to purchase one-time passes for dozens of lounges around the world, at the moment you want to access it or up to two months in advance.
Amex Green cardholders will automatically receive up to $100 in credits every year toward lounge passes purchased through LoungeBuddy. Most lounge passes cost between $25-$50, so depending on your travel patterns, you can expect to get 2-4 lounge passes per year from this credit.
While many of its partner lounges participate in lounge access programs like Priority Pass or the American Express Global Lounge Collection, the Loungebuddy credit can be helpful if you don’t have access to those programs, encounter a lounge that you can’t otherwise access, or want to bring in more guests than your membership allows.
As part of its efforts to help customers weather the COVID-19 crisis, American Express is offering a temporary $10 monthly credit toward charges for wireless phone service on the Green Card. Simply charge all or a portion of your wireless phone bill to your Green Card and you’ll automatically receive a statement credit for $10 or the actual amount charged, whichever is less. This credit is available once per month through December 31, 2020.
Where the AmexGreen Card really shines is its strong bonus points offerings for popular spending categories. You’ll earn 3X Membership Rewards points on travel, transit, and restaurants worldwide, with no limit on the number of points you can earn. All other purchases will earn 1 point per dollar spent.
The card has no foreign transaction fee, so you can make purchases anywhere in the world that accepts American Express cards without having to pay extra.
The American Express Membership Rewards program boasts an impressive 18 airline partners and 3 hotel partners. Some of our favorite airline partners for redeeming Membership Rewards points include:
- Avianca LifeMiles and Singapore Airlines Krisflyer, which are great for booking flights on Star Alliance airlines like United and Lufthansa.
- British Airways and Iberia Plus, which are useful for flights on American and Alaska as well as other Oneworld partners like Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and Royal Air Maroc – especially short nonstop flights.
- Air France–KLM Flying Blue and Delta SkyMiles, which work well for booking flights on Delta
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, which is also great for Delta flights, and has interesting opportunities with its eclectic group of partners including Air France, Air New Zealand, ANA, and KLM.
- Jetblue TrueBlue, for JetBlue and Hawaiian Airlines flights.
The wide array of partner airlines that you can transfer your Membership Rewards points to gives you a ton of flexibility when planning your travels. American Express also tends to run limited-time transfer bonuses for various partners which can stretch the value of your points even further.
You can also redeem points directly for travel through American Express Travel, but since you’ll get a fixed rate of just 1 cent per point (unless you also have a Business Platinum Card), this usually isn’t the most valuable way to redeem your points.
When you purchase something with your Amex Green Card, you’ll automatically receive some serious protection benefits. If the item is stolen or damaged within 90 days of your purchase, Amex will cover the cost of repairing or replacing it, up to $1,000 per covered purchase and $50,000 per year.
For anything you buy that has a manufacturer’s warranty of five years or less, Amex will add an extra year of warranty coverage under the same terms (or double the manufacturer’s warranty if it’s less than one year).
As with all insurance, there are some important exclusions; while you don’t need to do anything in advance to qualify for coverage, always check the card’s benefits guide before making a major purchase to make sure that it’s eligible.
When you book a trip with your Amex Green Card, you’ll automatically qualify for trip delay coverage – reimbursement of up to $300 for out-of-pocket expenses if your trip is delayed for 12 hours or more – as well as baggage insurance of up to $500 for you and certain family members (though “high risk” items like electronics and jewelry have a maximum coverage of $250).
The Green Card also comes with auto rental coverage – if you use your card to pay for a rental car and decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver, you can be covered if the car is lost or stolen. This coverage is secondary, meaning if you have auto insurance, you’ll have to file a claim with them first, and then Amex will cover any remaining out-of-pocket cost.
If you’re particularly interested in travel protections, though, there are better options: other travel-focused cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, and The Platinum Card from American Express all offer more comprehensive benefits, including trip cancellation coverage.
American Express cardmembers are eligible for complimentary ShopRunner membership, which offers free two-day shipping at over 90 online shopping websites.
American Express partners with various companies and brands to offer exclusive targeted deals for Amex cardholders. These offers allow you to get a statement credit or bonus Membership Rewards points when you make a purchase at a particular store.
For example, you can recieve 1,000 Membership Rewards bonus points when you spend $50 or more at Rover.com, or $25 off a $250 purchase at Best Buy.
You’ll also often see offers for extra points per dollar spent at a particular store. While it’s hard to predict the offers you’ll receive, it’s a nice perk that can sometimes add significant value.
You won’t be able to receive a welcome offer for this card if you have ever had an Amex Green card, including previous versions. In addition, American Express says they “may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.”
This tends to be an issue for people who have closed an account less than a year after opening it, or who have spent very little on cards after receiving a welcome offer. If Amex decides that you aren’t eligible for a welcome offer, you will receive a pop-up message before your application is processed or your credit report is checked. You can read more about Amex’s eligibility rules here.
The American Express Green Card is worth considering for occasional travelers who want to earn flexible rewards points and enjoy extra perks at the airport. Frequent travelers would likely be better served by a premium card that offers unlimited lounge access and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollment like The Platinum Card from American Express or the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
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Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.