Does the Refreshed American Express Green Card Make Sense for You?

Josh GarberJuly 28, 2020

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If you are looking into getting a new credit card, you should give serious consideration to the newly refreshed American Express® Green Card and whether it will serve your needs.

Details of the American Express® Green Card

ANNUAL FEE: $150. Terms apply.

Rewards

  • Earn 3 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible travel (including transit) and at restaurants worldwide.

  • Earn 1 point per $1 on other purchases.

Terms apply.

Welcome offer

Currently, this card is offering the following welcome bonus: Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Terms Apply.

When you use your Membership Rewards points to book travel directly through AmEx, they have a value of 1 cent per point, which makes the value of that welcome offer easy to understand. Keep in mind that you can use your Membership Rewards points in a number of other ways, including transferring those points to airline or hotel partners, which can have a substantially better value. Some of our favorite AmEx transfer partners for maximizing value include Avianca, Air Canada, Air France/KLM, Singapore Airlines and British Airways.

Travel credits

The American Express® Green Card comes with two useful annual travel credits which help to offset the card’s annual fee:

  • $100 Clear credit per year. Clear is a prescreening program at certain airports and other venues that uses biometrics to verify your identity.

  • $100 LoungeBuddy credit per year. LoungeBuddy is an aggregator of available airport lounges that allows you to buy single-use day passes.

Terms apply.

Although Clear has an annual fee of $179, if you are a Delta SkyMiles member or United MileagePlus member that annual fee drops to $119 (or lower for higher status holders) — meaning the American Express® Green Card’s credit will cover almost the entire cost of an annual Clear membership. Terms apply.

Before relying on this benefit, you should check the Clear website to see if it’s available at your preferred airport (at the time of this writing, it’s active at many major airports in the U.S., including Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York-JFK, Miami and Houston-IAH).

Travel benefits

The American Express® Green Card also offers several benefits that can be useful for frequent travelers, including:

  • Baggage insurance plan.

  • Car rental loss and damage insurance.

  • Global Assist Hotline.

Credit cards that offer car rental loss and damage insurance can greatly reduce the cost of renting a car. For this benefit to apply, you need to pay for your car rental using the eligible card and decline the collision damage waiver at the rental counter. Other terms apply, including what countries you can use this benefit in, so be sure to check with AmEx before using this benefit.

Other Benefits

Beyond travel, there are a few factors that may make this card beneficial:

  • Purchase protection: Can help protect a covered purchase for up to 90 days, including if the item is stolen or accidentally damaged. Maximum of $1,000 per occurrence and up to $50,000 per cardmember account. Terms apply.

  • Extended warranty: Can extend a warranty on an eligible purchase for up to an extra year. Terms apply.

  • Entertainment Access: Provides access to exclusive AmEx ticket pre-sales for events like concerts.

Who is it right for?

The American Express® Green Card is a great option for frequent travelers who can use the annual Clear and LoungeBuddy credits, along with the car rental and baggage insurance plans. This card may also be a good option for those who currently do not have an American Express card, since you can use the American Express® Green Card to access exclusive American Express presale tickets in addition to the travel perks.

Who should stay away?

If you do not travel frequently, you will probably not be able to take advantage of many of the card’s benefits, which will make it hard to justify the annual fee.

The bottom line

Overall, the American Express® Green Card is a great option for frequent travelers, and the current welcome offer makes the card particularly enticing. Although the annual fee isn’t the cheapest, the Clear and LoungeBuddy travel credits help offset the annual fee and could make this card worth holding onto.

All information about American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. American Express® Green Card is no longer available through NerdWallet.

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:

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