The American Express Green Card
American Express Charge Cards are highly valued by many consumers. With this said, The Green Card does not live up to expectations. This card does provide some decent travel rewards if you book with AMEX Travel but this is one of the few valuable benefits. Cardholders will have access to AMEX Membership Rewards but other American Express options offer access to this program as well. Overall, American Express offers several other cards that exceed The Green Card reward rates and should be considered in place of The Green Card.
The main AMEX alternative is going to the the American Express Gold Card. It is worth pointing out that the Green Card has a lower annual fee than the Gold Card. With this said, it has significantly fewer perks and the reward rates are not in the same echelon. Consumers opting for the Green Card will enjoy the waived annual fee for the first year and 2x points with AMEX Travel. Other perks are lackluster and do not necessarily justify the $95 annual fee.
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American Express Green Card – Features We Like
As mentioned above, The Green Card has a $95 annual fee. This fee is waived for the first year. The AMEX Gold Card has a much higher annual fee at $250 which means this lower fee will appeal to some consumers. Other highlights of this card include:
- 2x Points with all AMEX Travel Purchases
- 1x Points on all other purchases with your card
- Pay for travel with Membership Reward Points
- Payment flexibility on eligible purchases (at least $100)
- Points do not expire and no limits on total points earned
The only category for additional rewards with this card is AMEX Travel Purchases. This dramatically limits the ability for cardholders to earn extra rewards points. Bonus points will be mostly limited to 1x for customers who do not regularly book with AMEX Travel.
It should be noted that one of the biggest draws of AMEX Charge Cards is the status symbol that comes with it. American Express Cards are widely seen as exclusive cards. Consumers will need great credit to be approved for this credit card. While consumers will get the benefit of owning a premium card, better options are available for many AMEX customers.
American Express Green Card – Features We Do Not Like
The biggest detractor for this credit card is the lack of reward categories for spending. Unlike the Gold Card, there are very few ways earn extra points. Furthermore, cardholders are still subject to many of the normal charge card requirements. Your balance will need to be paid in full each month with the exception of certain eligible purchases. While I always recommend paying your card in full, this is just one more area where some consumers will not benefit with The Green Card.
Additionally, cardholders will suffer a late payment fee of $38 when you fail to pay your required statement balance. Another big downside of this card is that it includes a 2.7% foreign transaction fee. This is somewhat surprising for a charge card that includes a 2x Travel Rewards Category.
Other Options From American Express
American Express offers some incredible credit cards but we would not include The Green Card in this class. Here are three other options from American Express that earn better rewards and may cost consumers less in fee charges.
1) The American Express Gold Card – A premium charge card with some big time reward rates including a new customers sign up bonus.
- 4x Points on dining and supermarkets
- 3x Points on travel purcahses (airline bookings and AMEX Travel)
- $10 monthly statement credit for dining
- $100 annual airline fee credit
- No foreign transaction fee
- $250 annual fee
2) The American Express Everyday Card – This is a zero annual fee credit card from American Express with great cash back rates.
- 2x Points for supermarket purchases
- 1x Points for all other purchases with your card
- Ability to carry a monthly balance on your card
- New customers sign up bonuses when spending requirements are met
- Zero annual fee
3) AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card – High cash back rate credit card with a $95 annual fee.
- 6% back at US Supermarket for the first $6,000 spent annually
- 3% back for all eligible gas purchases with your card
- 1% back for all other purchases with your card
- New cardholder sign up bonus when spending requirements are met
- Balance transfer offers for new cardholders
Final Thoughts – The American Express Green Card
The Green Card will appeal to some consumers who are are primarily interested in the status that comes with an AMEX Charge Card. Overall, we believe there are better options from American Express both in terms of value and rewards. Many consumers who meet the requirements for the Green Card will also be eligible for the Gold Card. While the annual fee is quite a bit higher for the Gold Card, it provides substantially better rewards.
Customers who are interested in a lower fee card will find the AMEX Everyday Card as a comparable option. With zero annual fee and good reward earnings The Everyday Card easily competes with the Green Card.
To conclude, if you are interested in an AMEX charge card with a lower annual fee than the Gold Card, The Green card is a reasonable option. Customers who book travel with AMEX Travel will find some decent rewards with this card. There are other American Express Credit Cards that provide even better benefits but customers should consider which card makes the most sense for them.