Things You Should Know Before Getting the American Express Green Card

Dustin WallerMarch 23, 2020
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Back in October, American Express revamped American Express® Green Card, making it a very appealing option for consumers. The updated card can offer some great value — and it brings a different approach to benefits, which is always refreshing.

Let’s look first at the basics of the American Express® Green Card, which currently offers the following 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.

It earns 3 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on dining and many forms of travel including flights, hotels, taxis and ridesharing. Terms apply. There are some useful benefits to this card that we'll explore below.

Here's what you should know before applying for the American Express® Green Card.

$100 LoungeBuddy credit

The American Express® Green Card is unique because it offers a $100 LoungeBuddy credit each calendar year. Terms apply. We haven’t seen another travel credit card that currently offers this benefit.

This credit is useful for the occasional traveler who would like to have access to lounges a couple of times per year. While cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express offer Priority Pass access to a wide network of lounges, the credit to LoungeBuddy offers you access to lounges those cards can’t provide. Even better, lounge access starts at $25. Terms apply.

$100 Clear credit

Another unique benefit to the American Express® Green Card is a yearly $100 Clear credit. Terms apply.

This benefit can help you speed through security using separate dedicated Clear access points at the airport, making your travel experience faster and less stressful.

Typically, a yearly Clear membership costs $179, but if you're a member of the Delta SkyMiles or United MileagePlus program, a Clear membership can be purchased for $119 or less depending on your status level. Combining frequent flyer status with this card's credit could make Clear a real bargain.

Annual fee

While premium travel credit cards increase their annual fees, the American Express® Green Card's fee is more manageable at $150. Terms apply.

When you look at the earning rates of this card, plus the benefits that help offset the annual fee, these make it a viable alternative to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Instant card number

Have a purchase you need to make soon? American Express offers an instant card number (after validating your identity), so you can use it immediately and begin making purchases and earning points quicker. Terms apply.

Trip delay coverage

Anytime you travel, there is a risk of a delay. Occasionally, these delays can be disruptive and require overnight stays or be long enough to require other expenses you weren’t expecting.

Fortunately, the American Express® Green Card offers trip delay coverage if your trip was interrupted for 12 hours or more, with a maximum coverage of $300 per trip. This is limited to two claims in a 12-month period. Terms apply.

No foreign transaction fees

International travel can be a great experience, but there are credit cards that charge a fee if you use them outside the U.S.

But the American Express® Green Card has no foreign transaction fees, making it a good card to use when you're abroad. Terms apply. Be aware that while this card doesn't have foreign transaction fees, American Express’ global acceptance isn't as robust as Visa or Mastercard.

Shopping protections

American Express has a reputation for having amazing protections for their customers.

The American Express® Green Card offers purchase protection on eligible items — covering those items for up to 90 days from the date of purchase. This benefit is for up to $1,000 per covered purchase and up to $50,000 per calendar year. Terms apply.

Additionally, you’ll receive extended warranty coverage of up to one extra year added to the manufacturer's warranty on purchases. This applies to manufacturer warranties of five years or less. Terms apply.

You also receive a complimentary ShopRunner subscription, which offers two-day shipping on eligible items at over 100 online stores. Terms apply.

Any way you slice it, American Express has protections and benefits for when you shop.

The bottom line

The American Express® Green Card might be an undervalued card in a saturated credit card market. From its generous earning rates to its unique benefits, there is a lot to like about this card. Terms apply.

If you are looking for an all-around great travel card with benefits to improve your travel experience, you may want to consider the American Express® Green Card.

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.

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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