American Express Green Card Review: Underrated 3x Points Card

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Link: Apply now for the Amex Green Card

In this post I wanted to take an in-depth look at the Amex Green Card, which is underrated and often overlooked. In my opinion this is a great card for anyone looking to earn travel rewards in the long run.

American Express Green Card Basics For January 2023

The Amex Green Card has a reasonable annual fee, offers statements credits that can potentially more than offset the annual fee, and offers 3x points in categories that many consumers will spend a lot in.

Combine that with the value of Membership Rewards points, and the other great cards out there you can complement that with, and this is a card that should interest many. So let’s take a closer look at the details.

Amex Green Card $150 Annual Fee

Let’s start off with what most people would consider to be the negative of the card. The Amex Green Card has a $150 annual fee. That might sound a bit on the steep side, but I think the benefits more than outweigh it.

Amex Green Card Welcome Bonus

The Amex Green Card is currently offering a welcome bonus of 40,000-45,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 within the first six months (the offer depends on the link you open). Personally I value Amex points at 1.7 cents each, so to me that bonus is worth a solid $680-765.

You’re eligible for this bonus even if you’ve received the welcome bonuses on other Amex cards. Just keep in mind Amex’s general credit card restrictions.

Redeem Amex points for some great travel experiences

Earning Points With The Amex Green Card

This is where the Amex Green Card gets really awesome, as it’s one of the best cards for earning Amex points. The Amex Green Card offers 3x Membership Rewards points in some lucrative categories. I value Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so to me 3x points categories equate to a 5.1% return on spending, which is excellent.

Earn 3x Points On Dining

The Amex Green Card offers 3x points at restaurants globally with no limits. Generally speaking, the restaurants category doesn’t just include sit-down dining establishments, but you’ll often find that fast food establishments, cafes, and even takeout and delivery, code as restaurants as well.

It all comes down to how the merchant categorizes themselves. For example, a restaurant located inside another establishment (like inside a hotel) often won’t code as dining, so that’s something to be aware of. Furthermore, expect that bars, nightclubs, cafeterias, and convenience stores, won’t code as restaurants.

The Amex Green Card is one of the better cards out there for dining purchases.

Earn 3x Amex points on dining purchases globally

Earn 3x Points On Travel (Including Transit)

The Amex Green Card offers 3x points on travel purchases (including transit) globally with no limits.

You can expect this to include all kinds of travel purchases, including airfare, hotels, cruises, car rentals, campgrounds, trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, tours, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, subways, and third-party travel sites.

As you can see, this includes many purchases you might make in your day-to-day life without actually “traveling,” like ridesharing, as well as bus, train, and subway tickets. This is one of the better cards out there for travel purchases, ranging from airline tickets, to hotel purchases, to rideshare spending.

Earn 3x Amex points on travel purchases globally

No Foreign Transaction Fees

The Amex Green Card has no foreign transaction fees, so this is a great card to use for purchases abroad. That’s especially true when you consider how many foreign purchases are often in the travel and dining category. I’d say that’s a majority of what I spend money on when traveling.

Earn 3x Amex points on dining and travel with the Amex Green Card

Redeeming Points With The Amex Green Card

The best way to redeem your Amex Green Card points is to transfer them to one of the Membership Rewards airline or hotel partners. Points can be transferred to the following 20 partners, including 17 airline partners and three hotel partners:

Airline Partners

Hotel Partners

Aer Lingus AerClub

Choice Privileges

Aeromexico Club Premier

Hilton Honors

Air Canada Aeroplan

Marriott Bonvoy

Air France-KLM Flying Blue

ANA Mileage Club

Avianca LifeMiles

British Airways Executive Club

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

Delta SkyMiles

Emirates Skywards

Etihad Guest

Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles

Iberia Plus

JetBlue TrueBlue

Qantas Frequent Flyer

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

American Express Membership Rewards transfer partners

The reason this represents such a good deal is because you can get outsized value toward international first and business class travel. These tickets are often extremely expensive if paying cash, while they can be a good deal on points. On top of that Amex often has transfer bonuses, which can stretch your points even further.

Redeem Amex points for Lufthansa first class

American Express Green Card Benefits

The Amex Green Card has some benefits that potentially more than offset the annual fee on the card. This includes two annual credits that many may find useful.

Amex Green Card Annual $189 CLEAR Credit

Historically so many credit cards have offered fee credits with TSA PreCheck and Global Entry, though it’s great to see some cards increasingly offering CLEAR credits instead.

The Amex Green Card offers up to $189 per calendar year in CLEAR statement credits. What’s also awesome is that this is annual (based on calendar year), and not once every four to five years, like the TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit would usually be.

Just use your card when you pay for your CLEAR membership, and you’ll automatically receive statement credits within two to four weeks of when your card is charged. This $189 credit will cover an annual CLEAR membership, which is an awesome deal, and could save you time at the airport.

Save on a CLEAR membership with the Amex Green Card

Amex Green Card Annual $100 LoungeBuddy Credits

In 2019 Amex acquired LoungeBuddy, and this is the first card to add a LoungeBuddy credit as a benefit. The Green from Amex offers up to $100 per calendar year in LoungeBuddy statement credits when you buy lounge access and charge it to your card.

LoungeBuddy lets you instantly buy access to hundreds of lounges around the world. Now, in fairness, there is quite some overlap between LoungeBuddy’s lounges and those belonging to Priority Pass, so this may not be all that useful to everyone. However, LoungeBuddy does also have some unique partner lounges that don’t belong to Priority Pass.

Statement credits with this should post within two to four weeks.

Buy access to all kinds of lounges with LoungeBuddy

Amex Offers

One of the great features of Amex cards is access to Amex Offers, which offers savings or bonus points on purchases with all kinds of retailers. There’s huge value to be had in getting as many Amex cards as possible, so that you can get access to the best offers.

Amex Offers could save you hundreds of dollars per year. You can access these offers by logging into your account and scrolling down to the bottom of your account summary page.

Is The Amex Green Card Worth It?

The Amex Green Card has a unique place in Amex’s card portfolio, thanks to the very broad bonus categories. The card offers 3x points on dining and travel, has a fairly reasonable $150 annual fee to begin with, and that gets even better when you consider the up to $289 in credits you can take advantage of annually.

If you’re someone who finds Amex points to be valuable and you spend a lot on dining and travel (which are major categories), then I think this card is a no brainer. Let’s just look at a few other things to consider when deciding if this card makes sense.

Quick Card Comparison: Amex Green Vs. Amex Gold

There’s also the American Express® Gold Card (review), so how do the two cards compare? The Amex Gold Card:

  • Has a $250 annual fee (Rates & Fees)
  • Earns 4x points at restaurants, 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 of spending per calendar year), and 3x points on airfare
  • The card offers significant credits, including up to a $120 annual dining credit and up to a $120 annual Uber credit

Personally I think the Amex Green Card is better for those who don’t shop a lot at supermarkets, while the Amex Gold Card is better for those who spend a lot at supermarkets.

See this post for a more in-depth comparison between the Amex Gold Card and Amex Green Card.

Quick Card Comparison: Amex Green Vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review) is another incredibly popular card that earns bonus points on dining and travel. How do the two cards compare? The Sapphire Preferred:

  • Has a $95 annual fee
  • Has a welcome bonus of 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points upon completing minimum spending
  • Earns 3x points on dining, online groceries, and streaming services, and 2x points on travel
  • Offers super travel protection, including rental car coverage (which the Amex Green doesn’t)
  • Offers a $50 annual hotel credit valid through Chase Travel, compared to the Amex Green’s up to $189 CLEAR credit and the up to $100 LoungeBuddy credit

Individually I think the Amex Green might be superior to the Chase Sapphire Preferred in terms of maximizing points. The catch is that I think the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a better “hub” card, given the value you can create by having Chase Ultimate Rewards cards.

Quick Card Comparison: Amex Green Vs. Citi Premier

The Citi Premier® Card (review) is another comparable mid-range card that is a competitor to this card. How do the cards compare? The Citi Premier:

  • Has a $95 annual fee
  • Has a superior welcome bonus of 60,000 Citi ThankYou points upon completing minimum spending
  • Earns 3x points on dining, groceries, gas, air travel, and hotels, making this the mid-range card with the best bonus categories
  • Offers a $100 annual hotel credit valid through the Citi ThankYou portal

Personally, I think the Citi Premier has the best bonus categories of any mid-range card, and the overall portfolio of Citi ThankYou cards has also been improving considerably.

Complement: Amex Blue Business Plus

If I were to get the Amex Green Card and complement it with one other Amex card, I’d recommend The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (review), which offers 2x points on the first $50,000 spent every calendar year (1x points after that). That makes this one of the best cards for everyday spending.

It’s a pretty unbeatable combination to earn 2x points on everyday business spending and 3x points on personal dining and travel spending.

Bottom Line

The Amex Green Card is one of my favorite mid-range American Express cards. The $150 annual fee card offers 3x points on dining and travel, and offers nearly $300 in annual credits ($189 with CLEAR and $100 with LoungeBuddy).

This is a fantastic card that’s often overlooked, and I’d say it’s Amex’s closest true competitor to the likes of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Citi Premier® Card.

If you want to learn more about the Amex Green Card or apply, follow this link.

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: American Express® Gold Card (Rates & Fees).

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Written by jepayneiv

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