American Express<sup>®</sup> Green Card Review: Big Earn for a Low Fee American Express<sup>®</sup> Green Card Review: Big Earn for a Low Fee

American Express® Green Card Review: Big Earn for a Low Fee

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All information about American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by AwardWallet

The American Express® Green Card earns 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, plus 3X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide. In addition, cardholders receive annual statement credits for LoungeBuddy purchases and CLEAR Plus memberships — all for a $150 annual fee .

For folks locked out of Chase cards because of the 5/24 policy, the Amex Green Card is an opportunity to earn the same 3x points on travel and dining purchases as the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. With the Amex Green Card, you can access equal points-earning opportunities without having to navigate Chase's draconian application rules.

Let's take a closer look at the ins and outs of the Amex Green Card if it's more than just a substitute.

American Express® Green Card
American Express® Green Card
American Express® Green Card
Annual Fee$150
Welcome Offer Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • 3x Membership Rewards® on travel
  • 3x Membership Rewards® at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 3x Membership Rewards® on transit including trains, buses, ferries, subway, and more
  • 1x Membership Rewards® on other purchases

Amex Green Card Pros

Amex Green Card Cons

  • Charges $150 annual fee.
  • Only earns 1 point per $1 spent on non-bonused spending.
  • High APR interest rates on Pay Over Time purchases if you carry a balance.

Amex Green Card Welcome Offer

New cardmembers can earn 40,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Membership Rewards are one of our favorite flexible rewards currencies. You can transfer points to an extensive list of American Express travel partners. These partners include 18 airlines, such as Delta, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, and ANA, as well as three hotel partners, including Hilton and Marriott Bonvoy. Plus, you can take advantage of multiple transfer bonuses on offer from Amex each year.

In recent AwardWallet user redemptions, the average value of an American Express point is 2.14¢ cents. At that rate, this welcome offer is worth around $800.

Amex Green Card Benefits

The Amex Green Card provides a handful of standout benefits with tangible value for cardholders.

$189 annual CLEAR credit

A unique benefit for a mid-level card, holders of the Amex Green Card receive an annual $189 statement credit toward the cost of a CLEAR Plus membership. Unlike Global Entry or TSA PreCheck memberships — which renew every five years — CLEAR memberships renew every year. This credit has the potential to return the full face value of $189 every year.

Credit: CLEAR

If you’re not familiar with CLEAR, it’s a biometric ID program that replaces traditional ID documentation. In addition, CLEAR provides an expedited path through security screening lines at 60+ airports, stadiums, and other venues nationwide. A CLEAR membership will typically set you back $189 per year, so this credit can cover the entire expense each year.

Numerous credit cards can cover your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee, but the Amex Green Card is one of few cards covering the cost of CLEAR — which is a nice point of differentiation. For folks who already have Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, the value of adding CLEAR will depend on your home airport. In some locations, PreCheck lines can be as long as the regular security line. Having CLEAR as an option can still save significant time.

Related: I Just Registered for CLEAR, Should You?

If you're wanting to stretch your CLEAR Plus credit, members of either Delta SkyMiles or United MileagePlus are entitled to discounts on the CLEAR membership fee. This can help you add a second person (which typically costs $60) to your membership for very little out-of-pocket cost.

$100 annual LoungeBuddy credit

Initially, this perk didn't jump out at us as holding a lot of value if you already receive lounge access thanks to other cards. But, on further thought, the LoungeBuddy credit could be a genuine get-out-of-jail-free card for a lot of folks. This is particularly true when you are flying domestically in the U.S.

If you currently hold a Priority Pass membership from a premium travel card, you can access hundreds of lounges all over the world. However, there are some significant gaps in Priority Pass coverage domestically. Plus, some lounges are time and/or capacity restricted, leaving you out in the terminal to fend for yourself. The LoungeBuddy app provides access to many of these lounges for ~$40. Plus, you can gain access to multiple airline lounges like United Club, Delta Sky Club, and Lufthansa Business Lounge locations for ~$60.

screenshot of cost to use LoungeBuddy for a pass to a Lufthansa lounge
Credit: LoungeBuddy

If you’re caught at an airport without a convenient Priority Pass option, you'll have two to three annual lounge entry credits for accessing other lounges without an out-of-pocket expense.

If you can maximize both the CLEAR and LoungeBuddy credits — or even come close to getting face value — you easily offset the $150 annual cost of holding the Amex Green Card over the long term. Enrollment is required for select Amex benefits.

Trip insurance

Trip insurance is a great benefit to have, even if you're only traveling once or twice per year. The Amex Green Card, despite being a less-expensive travel card, features a variety of trip insurance products for customers. This includes:

  • Trip delay insurance: Receive up to $300 per trip in reimbursement for eligible expenses when delayed more than 12 hours. You must use your card to pay for your round-trip flight and have a covered reason.
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance: Use your card to pay for your rental and decline the insurance at the counter to receive secondary coverage for damage or theft — up to $50,000. Note that this insurance isn't applicable in Australia, Italy, or New Zealand.
  • Baggage insurance plan: Charge the fare to your ticket and be reimbursed up to $1,250 (for carry-on) or $500 (for checked) luggage in the event that it's lost, damaged, or stolen.
  • Global Assist® Hotline: When you're more than 100 miles from home, have access to 24/7 emergency assistance and coordination services. Note that the aid is free, but the services charged by providers typically are not.

Purchase and shopping protections

  • Purchase protection: Receive up to $1,000 per occurrence (and up to $50,000 per year) when an item you've purchased with your card in the last 90 days is lost or stolen.
  • Extended warranty: Get an extra year added to the original manufacturer's warranty for items you've purchased with your card. Warranty must be five years or less and the purchase must have been made in the United States.

ShopRunner membership

ShopRunner is a membership that'll provide you with free two-day shipping at over 100 different stores. The Amex Green Card comes with a complimentary membership, but you'll need to enroll to take advantage.

Amex Green Card Earning Rates

One of the best features of the Amex Green Card is the bonus categories, which we see as a clear shot across the bow at the Sapphire Reserve. The Amex Green Card earns as follows:

  • 3x Membership Rewards® on travel
  • 3x Membership Rewards® at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 3x Membership Rewards® on transit including trains, buses, ferries, subway, and more
  • 1x Membership Rewards® on other purchases

Many Amex cards only earn bonus points on airfare purchased directly with the airline or at In comparison, the travel category on the Amex Green Card covers airfare, hotels, cruises, car rentals, campgrounds, trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, tours, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, subways, third-party travel websites, and purchases — basically anything that codes as travel or transit.

Likewise, the restaurant category is not restricted to U.S. purchases (with the exception of takeout and delivery). Instead, it also covers dining abroad. However, you won’t receive bonus points on purchases from bars, nightclubs, cafeterias, and convenience stores.

Redeeming Points With the Amex Green Card

Transfer to partners

United Polaris business class seat
ANA's partnership with United means you can fly Polaris to Europe for cheap. Credit: Max Prosperi/AwardWallet

American Express points are some of the most valuable around, especially if you take advantage of its hotel and airline partners. With 18 different airline partners and three hotel partners from which to choose, it's easy to make high-end redemptions a reality. For example, transferring just 88,000 Amex points to ANA will snag you a round-trip business class ticket to Europe.

Beware, however, that not all transfer partners are created equal. Options such as transfers to Marriott Bonvoy can represent a poor use of your points and should be avoided unless necessary — such as topping off a balance for a redemption.

Amex Travel

It's also possible to redeem your points within the Amex Travel portal.  You can use your points for flights, hotels, rental cars, or cruises. However, you should be wary of redeeming in this way. Amex tends to undervalue its own points within the portal and will usually give you a value of less than one cent per point for your bookings. The only exception to this is for flights, where you'll receive 1¢ per point in value or even a little more if you're able to find one of Amex's “Insider Fares.”

Upgrade flights

screenshot of option to upgrade a flight with Amex points, which you can do with the Amex Green card featured in this review
Credit: American Express

Amex partners with over 20 different airlines for business class upgrades using your Amex points. These include the likes of Air Tahiti Nui, Fiji Airways, Etihad, and Air Canada. These partners can be a nice way to bid on a business-class flight if you aren't able to find award availability. However, it can be incredibly expensive to use your points for these upgrades, and you'll receive a value of just one cent per point. That said, if the airline isn't available as a transfer partner or lacks award availability, this is an option for using your points.

Gift cards

If shopping is more your speed, you're able to redeem Amex points for gift cards. However, these tend to represent a pretty poor use of points — often 1¢ apiece or less.

Statement credits

Like with gift cards, Amex also allows you to redeem Amex points against any purchases that you've made but will give you poor value on these redemptions. Your points are worth 0.6¢ apiece for statement credits.

Pay With Points

If you have an Amazon account (or any other site where Pay With Points is enabled), you can opt to redeem your Amex points for any purchases that you make. Redeeming a single point will get you one cent in value. However, the proposition declines from there, making this another bad use of your points. The only time this is a good use of points is when you can redeem a handful of points (or even just one) for big discounts.


Finally, Amex has its own shopping portal where you can redeem your points for a variety of items. These items include things like headphones, computers, cellphones, and other gifts. Don't use your points here. A recent example required 139,800 points for a $699 iPhone 13 mini, which means you'll get a dismal 0.5 cents per point in value.

Application Restrictions and Strategy

For folks that have held this card in the past, whether you received a welcome offer or not, you won’t be eligible for the introductory offer on the Amex Green Card. The terms say this:

Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card or previous versions of the American Express® Green Card. We 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.

In addition to the card-specific rules, it's important to understand the general American Express application rules for each type of card.

We see massive value in pairing the Amex Green Card with other Amex cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express, matching the premium benefits and lounge access with the complimentary bonus categories and perks of the Amex Green Card.

Interestingly, the Amex Green Card isn't a typical credit card, though it also doesn't include a preset spending limit. Instead, the card allows you to carry a balance for certain charges, but not all. Ultimately, the card bridges the gap between charge and credit card as a new kind of hybrid card. When queried about the setup, Amex responded:

“Green from Amex is a credit card on which Card Members have no preset spending limit and can pay in full or carry a balance with interest on eligible charges, up to the Pay Over Time limit. The amount the Card Member spends above their Pay Over Time limit is included in full in their minimum due each month.”

As a result, assume that the Amex Green Card is treated as a credit card. In short, this means that folks with four or more Amex credit cards will need to close one of their other accounts in order to be approved for a new account.

Related: Understanding Rewards Credit Card Application Rules and Restrictions

Cards That Compete With the Amex Green Card

Related: Best Rewards Cards for Travel Purchases

Final Thoughts

Amex has done a great job with the American Express® Green Card. This card is full of quality features while still charging a moderate annual fee. If you're looking to earn 3x points on travel and dining expenses, this could be a great option for your wallet.

4.2 / 5 - (64 votes)
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  • Amex is taking a very different approach than Chase. Chase wants you to have a Sapphire and two Freedoms. Amex on the other hand is largely only beneficial to have only one charge card but with slightly different options to meet your situation. 99% of people should not have a Gold AND green card and let’s not even bring up the Platinum card.

  • This looks like quite a good entry level card with some good benefits. The trouble is you soon get addicted and want better and better cards!

  • Thanks for sharing this! I wanted to make sure the link you shared on our other post for the free sports membership was also in the comments here.

  • Dexter Ohama says:

    Amex has always been my go- to card in my wallet & I do have this green card so I am SO taking advantage of this as the holidays are quickly rolling around. Jump on this, don’t wait.

  • That annual fee is a turn-off

  • I have this card (had downgraded a Platinum to this earlier in the year so looking forward to utilizing the clear credit. I’m wondering how to utilize the loungebuddy credit though.

  • Never had an amex card before, but the 3x on travel and restaurants might change my mind.

  • The CLEAR credit is a nice benefit for this card. I wish Canadians had some of the same benefits available on our cards.

  • Not too bad. I’ll have to give the Green card a try.

  • is this downgradable to, from other cards?

  • Is the 30,000 Membership Rewards bonus worthwhile when I already have the CSR with Global Entry and Prioriy Pass Membership?

  • I wonder why the conversion from the classic travel charge card to the “hybrid” card occurs.

  • I think the refresh is still a bit disappointing.
    The credits for lounge buddy, clear, and luggage are virtually useless to many people realistically.
    If only the green card had airline fee credits like the gold/plat card…I just can’t understand why on earth they had to go with lounge buddy and clear…

  • Refreshed benefits are much more compelling.

  • A good card with no annual fee.

  • lounge buddy credits and CLEAR credits! this is a nice option!

  • The 3X on travel and dining definitely enhances the card.

  • Michael Skelly says:

    Thanks for sharing this review. I will definitely keep this card in mind for when the 5/24 rule prompts me to switch to a non-Chase card.

  • There are some nice perks here for sure. A nice refresh worth consideration. I think I’ll hop on.

  • It appears that I could use my United Silver status to purchase Clear for $109. So by using Amex Green to purchase it, in the end Clear would cost $9?

  • I have been amazed at how many domestic US airports are without a Priority Pass available lounge. Lounge Buddy will be a welcome addition to our travel benefits.

  • Yes the 3x the points does make this more attractive. The AF isn’t that bad considering that most of their cards are going up. Still it’s going up. Even with the 3x on so many restaurants I don’t know if that AF would make it worth it to me. It does make it something I would look at and I think that definitely something they want. Too bad they don’t have the Away credit as a perk.

  • Why you do not mention the existence of a better offer on this card?

    In particular 45K bonus if you apply in incognito mode? Either you are not making commissions in that case, or you did not do your home work before you wrote this post. Either way you are loosing your credibility big time by doing so.

    This 45K offer has been know for a quite some time, and well covered on DoC (doctor of credit). As a matter of fact I just opened the incognito window, went to Amex site, and here you go.. 45K offer is there.

    There are also targeted offers around with no lifetime language, but you did not mention it either. No mention of a possibility of a referral from a family member if they hold any Amex card…

    Please do not go “TPG” way, please be honest to people who actually read your posts.

    The fact that you are sending out mysterious emails “another great offer is about to expire” without specifying which one you are talking about in the emails, is already a grey area for my taste. But I get that, you need users to click on the link to get your page to load. You are being paid based on the number of times you show the ads. I get that and happy to help and I am clicking your links to bring you some traffic, but if you will be hiding the better offers just because you are not making money on them it is a totally different ball game. This will make me reconsider my membership with you.

    So far, I was thinking that you are doing outstanding job with your AwardWallet application and I was happy to pay you $30 per year for the premium account although I do not really need the extra features. I am doing it just because I think you deserve it… but more posts like this and I will be forced to reconsider my opinion.

    Sorry.. You made me sad.

    • Hey VL, thanks for sharing your frustration. It’s our policy to share a better offer when one is available. In this case, it looks like we made a mistake; we were simply not aware of the 45k offer.

      I take your point that we should do a better job of verifying that we have the best offer, and I’ll make sure we take some additional steps with future offers. It’s our responsibility to get the best information, and I’m sorry we missed the mark this time around. Going forward, if you know of a better offer, please write a comment or send an email to to let us know, and we’ll update the post.

      With respect to your comment about sending mysterious (i.e. generic) emails that don’t mention a specific card, please know that we don’t do this to tease you or waste your time. Generally, we are not allowed to include any specific information that identifies a card, bank, or loyalty program in an email. This is a firm requirement from many of our advertising partners and not a strategy to increase traffic to the blog. We do our best to provide all the relevant info in the summary at the top of the post to help you quickly decide if the post is relevant to you.

      Thanks for being an AwardWallet member.

  • I heard about this card but I hadn’t realized that the three points for travel category is so broad. This, combined with the CLEAR credit might convince me want to add this card to my collection. Thanks for the comprehensive review.

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    I find the possibility of earning 3X points on travel and restaurants and annual statement credits for LoungeBuddy purchases rather attractive. The CLEAR is also a plus.

  • Andrea Kalli says:

    I’m still waiting for my new green card to arrive, but I was quickly approved and I currently already hold 5 credit cards and 2 charge cards from amex.

  • adam wolkoff says:

    Any chance that airline seat upgrades will code as 3x travel?

  • Juan Francisco says:

    Do they give benefits in this program for car rental?

  • FYI – Recent reports and my own experience indicate that you can get a bonus of 45,000 points if you use incognito mode on Chrome.

  • I wouldn’t call Chase’s application rules “draconian.” More like “anti-abuse.”

  • I was instantly approved with 5 existing AMEX credit cards. I intend to pair this with the Sapphire for similar earnings with a different currency at a reduced AF (after considering CLEAR membership). I can now easily build both currency banks.

    3x (broad) travel & dining is not available on the other AMEX cards & is where I spend most. This will be a very useful card, but I intend to still put some small portion of most travel purchases on the Sapphire for the protections offered.