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American Express Green Card Review

American Express Green Card Review

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Nov 19, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

If you’re in the market for an American Express card, but are new to the travel rewards game, you should consider an entry-level card, like the American Express® Green Card. In addition to offering several travel perks, the card provides a generous rewards rate on travel, transit and dining.

Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours. Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for travel, gift cards and merchandise.

Note, though, that this welcome offer is not available to applicants who currently have an American Express® Green Card or who have had previous versions of the card.

In this review, we’ll break down the pros and cons of the American Express® Green Card, and show how it compares to the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card.

In this post:

  • Receive up to $100 in statement credits towards any eligible purchase made directly with Away in your first 3 months. Offer ends 1/15/2020.

  • Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.

Highlights
  • Receive up to $100 in statement credits towards any eligible purchase made directly with Away in your first 3 months. Offer ends 1/15/2020.
  • Plus, earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide.
  • Receive up to $100 per year in statement credits when you use the American Express® Green Card to pay for your CLEAR® membership.
  • Receive up to $100 in statement credits per year on your LoungeBuddy purchases. Use the American Express® Green Card to purchase lounge access through LoungeBuddy to any of the lounges in the LoungeBuddy network — no memberships, elite statuses, or first class tickets required.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $150 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for American Express® Green Card

More Info

Where the American Express® Green Card stands out

Rewards rate. Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.

Eligible travel purchases include airfare, hotels, cruises, car rentals, campgrounds, trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, tolls, parking and more.

The restaurant category includes restaurants across the globe; however, cardholders may not earn additional points at a restaurant located within another establishment (for example, a restaurant located inside of a hotel). Also, purchases made at bars, nightclubs, cafeterias and convenience stores are not included in this category.

Welcome bonus. Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. The value of the welcome bonus varies depending on how you use your points. For example, 30,000 points will be worth $300 if redeemed for airfare through American Express Travel. Or, if you use your welcome bonus to shop at Amazon.com, Best Buy or Grubhub, it will be worth $210.

$100 luggage credit. New account holders can get up to $100 in statement credits for new luggage purchased at Away during your first three months of card membership. This offer ends Jan. 15, 2020.

$100 CLEAR credit. Receive up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year when you pay for your CLEAR membership using your American Express® Green Card.

$100 LoungeBuddy credit. Get up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year when you use your American Express® Green Card to purchase lounge access through LoungeBuddy.

Additional benefits:

  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • 24/7 Global Assist Hotline
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership
  • Dispute resolution

Where the American Express® Green Card falls short

Annual fee. With the American Express® Green Card, you will be charged an annual fee of $150 each year.

Rewards categories. The American Express® Green Card offers a solid rewards rate on travel, transit and restaurant purchases. However, unlike many other rewards credit cards, it does not offer points on every purchase.

By contrast, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card offers 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases, 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases. (More on that below.)

Cannot carry a balance. The American Express® Green Card is considered a hybrid of a charge card and a credit card. While the card has traditionally required cardholders to pay their balance in full each month, American Express does offer a Pay Over Time feature. This gives eligible cardholders the option to pay for certain purchases over time with interest. Note, enrollment is required, and you will accrue interest charges on all eligible purchases if you choose to carry a balance.

Compare it to the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

  • 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

  • 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases, 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases

  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits

Highlights
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points - a $500 value - after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee

See additional details for Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

More Info

Similar to the American Express® Green Card, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card offers additional points on travel and dining purchases. However, unlike the American Express® Green Card, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card also offers rewards on all other purchases: Cardholders earn 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases, 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card points can be redeemed for cash back as a deposit into Bank of America checking or savings accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, statement credits, gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America® Travel Center.

See how the cards compare side by side in the table below.

American Express® Green Card vs. Capital One Savor card

American Express® Green Card Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card
Annual fee $150 $95
Welcome Offer Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
Rewards rate Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours. 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases, 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
Intro APR on purchases N/A N/A
Regular purchase APR See Rates & Fees 17.49% - 24.49% Variable APR
Foreign transaction fees None None

Although the rewards rate on travel, transit and restaurant purchases is lower than that of the American Express® Green Card, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card offers a considerably higher introductory bonus — plus, the card’s annual fee is $55 less than the American Express® Green Card’s $150 annual fee.

The bottom line

If you’re interested in an American Express card that can help you dip your toe in the travel rewards game, the American Express® Green Card could be a good fit. In addition to a generous rewards rate on travel, transit and dining, the card offers a solid welcome bonus that can be redeemed for up to $300 in travel through American Express Travel. But if you’d prefer to pay a slightly lower annual fee, while earning rewards on every purchase, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card may be the better choice.


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Highlights
  • Earn 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
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See additional details for Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

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