At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.
American Express has unveiled a refreshed version of their American Express Green Card, which is now called American Express® Green Card. Who does this new card make sense for? Here are the reasons you should consider getting the new American Express® Green Card and when you shouldn’t:
The new American Express® Green Card has some notable benefits including:
3x Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on transit, travel and dining.
$100 in annual statement credit toward Clear membership.
$100 annual LoungeBuddy credit.
$150 annual fee.
Additionally, American Express® Green Card is currently offering a welcome bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of membership. New cardholders who apply for American Express® Green Card by Jan. 15, 2020, will also receive a $100 statement credit toward purchases with Away. Terms apply.
Who is it right for?
The American Express® Green Card is a great option for almost anyone who has a Clear membership or spends more than the annual fee per year on lounge access through LoungeBuddy. That’s because, even if you use just one of these two benefits, you will be close to breaking even on the annual fee ($150 ). And even more so if you have a Clear membership and make occasional lounge access purchases through LoungeBuddy. Terms apply.
For those who are unfamiliar with Clear, it’s a security program that uses biometrics like your fingerprints instead of traditional identification to help you speed through airport security extra fast. Clear expedited screening is also available at some stadiums.
LoungeBuddy is an app that can help you compare airport lounges and even purchase day passes at participating lounges directly through the app.
As far as earning rewards go, 3x Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on transit, travel and restaurants worldwide is pretty enticing, even if you don’t plan to take advantage of the other two card benefits. Terms apply.
Who should stay away?
The American Express® Green Card isn’t a good choice for anyone who already has a card that offers lounge access and has similar spending categories. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers Priority Pass Select membership and 3 points per $1 spent on travel and dining worldwide. It also has a higher $550 annual fee, so you wouldn’t benefit much from also getting the American Express® Green Card. Terms apply. Even if you take advantage of the $100 annual CLEAR credit offered by American Express® Green Card, you’ll be paying $50 out of pocket, which likely isn’t worth the additional hassle of another credit card.
Overall, before you apply for American Express® Green Card (or any other credit card) it’s always a good idea to check the benefits and spending categories offered by your current credit cards and make sure that the new card you are considering is going to add value.
The bottom line
American Express has refreshed its American Express® Green Card and the new card offers some unique benefits, including annual $100 CLEAR and LoungeBuddy credits. Terms apply. Since these benefits are unique and the card doesn’t have a very high annual fee, it’s a good opportunity for some people to add a valuable card to their wallets. As always, before you apply for a new card, make sure that the benefits are going to outweigh the cost.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card