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With a strong welcome offer and a variety of useful benefits, the American Express® Green Card is a travel card worth considering. In addition to other perks, the card offers a $100 LoungeBuddy credit, which can be used to offset the cost of lounge access when purchased on the LoungeBuddy app or website. Terms apply.
To help you decide if this perk is a good fit for you, here's a look at how to get the most out of the $100 LoungeBuddy credit, how useful the credit is for those with (and without) Priority Pass and which lounges are worth a visit.
American Express® Green Card summary
The American Express® Green Card has an annual fee of $150 and offers a lot of perks that can fully offset that cost. Benefits include 3 points per $1 on travel and dining, a $100 LoungeBuddy credit and a $100 Clear credit. The card has no foreign transaction fees, making it an excellent travel partner, especially with bonus points on dining and travel expenses. Terms apply.
Annual $100 LoungeBuddy credit
You can earn up to $100 worth of statement credits per year when you use your American Express® Green Card to pay for visits at LoungeBuddy locations. Terms apply. Here's a review of the fine print about what the credit does and doesn't cover:
Lounge visits can be purchased through the LoungeBuddy website or app.
Statement credit is based on a calendar year, which means the $100 of statement credits must be fully consumed from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31. This is a “use it or lose it” perk.
Only the American Express® Green Card offers this credit; the traditional Green Cards and Senior Green Cards aren't eligible.
Statement credit appears two to four weeks after the lounge visit is charged.
You can visit as many lounges as you want, and the credit will apply until the full $100 has been used up. You don't need to use the entire $100 at once.
In a nutshell, you could use this credit as much as you want until it is used up. Whether it's one lounge visit or three, the first $100 of lounge charges through LoungeBuddy will be reimbursed as statement credits. Terms apply.
We think a $100 statement credit for visiting airport lounges is a great perk, but will you actually benefit from it? The answer to this question may depend on whether you have Priority Pass or not. Terms apply.
Priority Pass vs. LoungeBuddy
Priority Pass is a membership to a large network of airport lounges. These lounges usually offer several amenities for free, such as Wi-Fi, food, alcoholic beverages and various seating options. Some lounges have additional options like premium food, private rooms and shower facilities, which sometimes require payment.
Many premium travel cards offer a free Priority Pass membership. However, American Express credit cards that offer access to Priority Pass have reduced some perks. For example, in August 2019, the Priority Pass restaurant credit disappeared for AmEx cardholders from the following cards: The Platinum Card® from American Express, the American Express Centurion, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card. Enrollment required for Priority Pass. Terms apply.
If you’re a holder of one of those cards, you may find the American Express® Green Card’s $100 LoungeBuddy credit even more appealing. Terms apply.
» Learn more: Is AmEx getting ready to break up with Priority Pass?
If you don’t have Priority Pass
If you don’t already have a Priority Pass membership, then using the $100 LoungeBuddy credit will be easy; next time you fly, check if the airport you’re flying out of has a lounge that sells passes on LoungeBuddy. If it does, all you need to do is go on the LoungeBuddy website or app, purchase a lounge pass and use it to access the lounge you’d like.
Even if you’re not a frequent traveler, lounge amenities are easy to get used to. So for those who don’t have a credit card that offers Priority Pass, the LoungeBuddy credit can really come in handy.
If you have Priority Pass
If you already have Priority Pass, getting maximum value out of the credit will be a little trickier because there is a lot of overlap between lounges included in the Priority Pass membership and those selling passes on LoungeBuddy.
So when would a Priority Pass member want to use the LoungeBuddy credit to purchase lounge access? This credit would come in handy when:
The lounge is only on LoungeBuddy and not on Priority Pass.
You want to use the credit to pay for a private room or a shower.
There is a Priority Pass option, but the lounge is closed to members or at capacity.
Given how crowded lounges can be due to so many credit cards offering access, the LoungeBuddy credit could be useful when Priority Pass memberships get temporarily rejected at these crowded lounges.
Below, we include a list of lounges that aren't on Priority Pass and could be worthwhile to visit using the American Express® Green Card LoungeBuddy credit. Terms apply. The prices quoted below are current as of this writing, but may change due to promotions and other factors. Input your expected travel dates in the LoungeBuddy app to see the most up-to-date pricing.
Note that in addition to perks like complimentary food, alcoholic beverages and Wi-Fi, all Lufthansa lounges below offer premium food and showers for free.
» Learn more: How to maximize your Priority Pass Select membership
LoungeBuddy lounges not on Priority Pass
Lufthansa Business Lounge in Washington-Dulles (IAD) — $45
This lounge could be an excellent option if you have an airport layover and want to freshen up and enjoy a solid meal. We couldn’t find any time restrictions, so you could really make yourself at home between connecting flights. The lounge is located in Concourse B, inside security.
Lufthansa Lounge in Boston (BOS) — $59
The lounge opened in 2017, so it has a new and modern look and feel in addition to a window wall that overlooks the Boston Harbor and the airport. This Lufthansa Lounge has received rave reviews on LoungeBuddy from previous guests, so it could definitely be worth a visit. The lounge is within Terminal E, inside security.
Various Lufthansa Lounges in Frankfurt (FRA) — $65-$76
There are four Lufthansa lounges in the Frankfurt airport that sell passes on LoungeBuddy:
Lufthansa Welcome Lounge — $76
This is an arrival lounge that is available to passengers arriving on intercontinental flights. The lounge is only open from 5 a.m. until 1 p.m. daily with the last admission at 12:30 p.m. Although this lounge could certainly be an option, at $76 for entry, there are cheaper alternatives for a shower and food at this airport. The lounge is located in Terminal 1, Concourse B (outside security).
Lufthansa Business Lounge (Non-Schengen, gates B24-B28) — $65
This lounge is available only to those who are traveling outside the Schengen Area. Although the lounge is open from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily, LoungeBuddy guests aren't permitted between 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. If you arrive after 1:30 p.m., this could be a solid option for hanging out until your next flight and relaxing with a shower and a premium meal. The lounge is located in Terminal 1, Concourse B (inside security).
Lufthansa Business Lounge (Non-Schengen, gates B44-B48) — $76
This lounge is very similar to the one above but it is slightly more expensive. The lounge is open from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m., but access for LoungeBuddy guests is closed from 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Given the cheaper lounge available above, if your gate is equidistant between these two lounges or you have plenty of time to walk around, it may be better to skip this lounge in favor of the cheaper one by gates 24-28. This lounge is within Terminal 1, Concourse B (inside security).
Lufthansa Senator Lounge (Non-Schengen, gate C15) — $65
This lounge can be a decent option for passengers departing the Schengen Area. It is open from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., but LoungeBuddy travelers aren't permitted between 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Although this is an annoying restriction, you could still enjoy uninterrupted lounge access for an afternoon. If you arrive just after 1 p.m., you could shower and have a full meal for lunch and dinner before your next flight. This lounge is located in Terminal 1, Concourse C (inside security).
Regus Express Business Lounge in London-Heathrow (LHR) — $17.50+
This is an affordable basic option for those looking to get some work done or relax. If you want to take a shower, you will pay around $17.50 (depending on the exchange rate) and about $1.46 for a soft drink. Thankfully, American Express® Green Card doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee. Terms apply.
Even with the extra fee, this is one of the most affordable lounges offering access to a shower facility. The lounge is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and your entrance fee provides uninterrupted lounge access for two hours (though you may be able to stay longer). The lounge is within Terminal C (outside security).
SkyTeam Lounge in Sydney (SYD) — $53
LoungeBuddy gives this lounge its highest rating of “luxe,” which it defines as “upscale lounges with deluxe amenities.” The lounge includes showers, premium food and a wall of 60 different plants.
It is open from 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. (although hours vary by season) and access is available for six hours. Spending a long layover in this lounge could be a great opportunity to have two full meals and a relaxing shower. The lounge is located within Terminal 1, after security, near gate 24.
Minute Suites in Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) — $48
There are two Minute Suite locations in this airport, one in Terminal A and the other in Terminal D (both after security). Each location offers a private suite including a daybed that could accommodate up to two people. Both locations are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and your entrance fee includes one hour of access to the private suite.
The main difference between the two Minute Suites is that Terminal D’s location offers shower facilities for a $20 fee.
If you have a Priority Pass membership, you get one hour of complimentary access to the private suite, but accessing the shower still incurs a fee of $20. That means Priority Pass members who want to take advantage of the shower facilities could use the American Express® Green Card to pay for a shower and get reimbursed. Terms apply.
The bottom line
The American Express® Green Card is a great entry-level travel card because it offers 3x points on travel and dining, a $100 Clear credit and a $100 LoungeBuddy credit for an annual fee of $550. Terms apply. The LoungeBuddy credit could be particularly useful for travelers who don’t already have Priority Pass or those who have it but would like to expand their lounge access.
Are you considering buying a pass on LoungeBuddy to a specific lounge? Tell us below in the comments.
All information about the American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The American Express® Green Card is no longer available through NerdWallet.
All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire 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 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Credit cards with airport lounge access How to decide if a lounge splurge is right for you Airport lounge access: Compare traditional, LoungeBuddy, Priority Pass