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Why the AmEx Green Card Could Replace Your Chase Sapphire Reserve

Jan. 27, 2020
Travel, Travel Credit Cards
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After the Chase Sapphire Reserve® announced an annual fee increase of $100, you might be looking for a new travel credit card with a lower annual fee and comparable benefits. With so many travel cards on the market, you might have overlooked the recently refreshed American Express® Green Card.

In fact, there are a few reasons why the American Express® Green Card could be a great card to replace your more expensive Chase Sapphire Reserve®:

» Learn more: AmEx Green review: Triple points on dining and travel, plus credits

Valuable welcome offer

The American Express® Green Card currently is offering a generous welcome offer: Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Terms Apply.

This is a reasonable spending requirement for the welcome offer, and significantly less than what the Chase Sapphire Reserve® requires: Earn 50K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards® .

» Learn more: Chase Sapphire Reserve review: A first-class premium travel card

Manageable annual fee

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® has an annual fee of $550, which now matches The Platinum Card® from American Express. Meanwhile, the American Express® Green Card has a more manageable annual fee of just $150 per year.

Also, there is no fee to add authorized users. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® charges $75 per authorized user.

Membership Rewards points have multiple redemption options, including gift cards, travel or transfer to one of AmEx’s many travel partners. Redemption value can range widely depending on how you redeem points and which program you transfer them to.

» Learn more: American Express Platinum review: Luxury isn’t cheap

Equivalent multipliers

If you like the 3x point earnings on dining and travel worldwide from the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, then you’re in luck. The American Express® Green Card offers the same triple point multipliers on travel and dining worldwide.

You get the same great earning rates whether you travel domestically, or internationally.

When it comes to travel categories, the definition of travel on the American Express® Green Card is broad and includes the following:

  • Airfare.
  • Hotels.
  • Cruises.
  • Car rentals.
  • Campgrounds.
  • Trains.
  • Taxicabs.
  • Rideshare services.
  • Tours.
  • Ferries.
  • Tolls.
  • Parking.
  • Buses
  • Subways.
  • Third party travel websites.

Terms apply.

Unique benefits

The American Express® Green Card has a couple of benefits that we have yet to see from other banks. They include the following:


While cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express, Citi Prestige® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® offer Priority Pass select membership, the American Express® Green Card goes in a different direction, with a $100 in LoungeBuddy credit each calendar year. Terms apply. Access to lounges start as low as $25, and LoungeBuddy has lounges around the world that expand beyond Priority Pass lounges.

This benefit might be limiting for frequent flyers, but this could be useful if you need lounge access only a couple times per year — or if you want to experience a lounge other than one affiliated with Priority Pass.

» Learn more: Citi Prestige review: Fancy perks for $495

Clear membership

While plenty of cards offer TSA Precheck or Global Entry fee credits, the American Express® Green Card offers a $100 Clear credit each calendar year. Terms apply. This can help you speed through airport security faster by using biometric data to confirm your identity.

Normally, a Clear membership costs $179 for 12 months, but basic member of United MileagePlus or Delta SkyMiles can purchase a membership for $119 (elite members within these programs receive additional discounts). Applying both that discount and your card’s $100 credit, your membership cost drops to just $19.

Trip delay coverage

Having a card that offers trip delay coverage can potentially save you hundreds of dollars on unexpected costs if your flight is delayed or requires an overnight stay.

The American Express® Green Card offers trip delay coverage on flights delayed 12 hours or more. This benefit is eligible on round-trip tickets paid for with your American Express® Green Card. The coverage is for up to $300 in expenses, with up to two claims within 12 months. Terms apply.

This benefit should give you peace of mind knowing American Express has you covered if an extended delay occurs when you are traveling.

The bottom line

If you’re considering replacing your Chase Sapphire Reserve®, the American Express® Green Card is worth a look. The annual fee is lower, the earning rates are just as good, and it offers unique benefits to improve your travel experience.

The information related to the Citi Prestige® Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

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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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