AmEx Green, Gold and Platinum: Which One Should I Get?
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For travelers, the flagship American Express cards — the American Express® Green Card, the American Express® Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express — all stand out as valuable, versatile choices. And they have certain features in common: All three come with rich side perks, Membership Rewards points and three-digit annual fees.
So, which one is right for you? When reviewing the three cards, we found the American Express® Green Card offered the most compelling combination of perks. Although it doesn't offer the most luxurious benefits, it comes with robust rewards, potentially valuable credits and the lowest annual fee of the bunch.
There are good reasons you might choose to go with one of the other cards, though. Ultimately, the right choice for you depends on what you're looking for:
For travel and dining rewards for a relatively low cost: The American Express® Green Card, which carries an annual fee of $150, is the ideal choice (see rates and fees).
For rich dining perks: The American Express® Gold Card, which has an annual fee of $250, outshines the others (see rates and fees).
For luxury travel perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express, which has an annual fee of $695, is the superior option (see rates and fees).
How they stack up
Winner: The American Express® Green Card
All three of these AmEx cards carry annual fees north of $100. But the American Express® Green Card is the least expensive of the bunch, which might make it more compelling for some. The Platinum Card® from American Express is the priciest, with an annual fee north of $500, and the American Express® Gold Card lands in the middle.
Winner: The Platinum Card® from American Express
When it comes to side perks, The Platinum Card® from American Express totally dominates — not just among these three AmEx cards, but among consumer cards more generally: It offers a dizzyingly long list of statement credits and perks, including access to American Express Global Lounge Collection's extensive network of airport lounges, up to $200 in Uber Cash each year, a $200 airline fee credit for purchases like checked bags and in-flight refreshments and an application fee credit for TSA Precheck or Global Entry. Terms apply. The American Express® Gold Card and American Express® Green Card also offer impressive benefits, just not as many.
The American Express® Gold Card, for instance, is the only card of the bunch that offers the $120 in annual dining credits at select locations. Plus, it offers up to $120 a year in Uber Cash ($10 a month), good toward U.S. Uber Eats orders and Uber rides, when you add your card to the Uber app. Terms apply. The American Express® Green Card also packs a few travel perks not offered on the other cards: a $100 annual credit for LoungeBuddy, an app that allows you to book single visits to airport lounges, and a $100 annual credit for Clear membership, which can help you skip the prescreening line at certain airports and stadiums. Terms apply.
Before settling on a final choice, here's something to note: While both the American Express® Green Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express offer some form of lounge access and fee credits that could help you save time at airport security, these perks differ in key ways:
Winner: The American Express® Green Card and the American Express® Gold Card (tie)
When it comes to raking in the Membership Rewards points, two of these three cards really shine: the American Express® Green Card and the American Express® Gold Card. The American Express® Green Card stands out as the card with the highest rewards on most travel purchases. The American Express® Gold Card is superior for foodie rewards: It offers generous bonus points on both restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets.
The Platinum Card® from American Express, strangely, is relatively lackluster when it comes to ongoing rewards, even though it earns an impressive 5 points per dollar spent in some categories. Of all the cards, its ongoing bonus categories are the most narrowly defined. That makes it considerably harder to actually take advantage of the high earn rates. (New cardholders can earn eye-popping rewards on gas and groceries, but that's only for six months.)
Here’s what the cards offer:
American Express® Green Card: Earn 3 points per dollar spent on travel including flights, hotels, transit, taxis, and ridesharing services; and at restaurants worldwide. Terms apply.
American Express® Gold Card: Earn 4 points per dollar spent at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases for U.S. supermarket purchases) and 3 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or on with American Express travel. Terms apply.
The Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 5 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com. Terms apply.
Top pick: The American Express® Green Card
Among these three AmEx cards, the American Express® Green Card offers the top value on the basics with rich ongoing rewards and a relatively reasonable annual fee. For many, that makes it the strongest choice — even if its side perks aren't as generous. But its sibling cards, the American Express® Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express, may have more appeal for those looking for either richer dining perks or more luxurious travel perks, respectively.
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