American Express Green Card review: A great choice for modern travelers and professionals
American Express® Green Card overview
The American Express Green Card provides a compelling offering in the mid-tier travel category. With 3 points per dollar on broader travel, restaurants and transit as well as annual statement credits for Clear and LoungeBuddy that more than cover its annual fee, the Green from Amex is a card that modern travelers should consider. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
Until I wrote this review, I’d never seriously considered the Amex Green. But as I learned about the card, I realized it’s a surprisingly strong offering for anyone that prioritizes travel, dines out frequently and incurs transit costs. And right now, it's offering its best-ever welcome offer.
The earning rates and benefits of the American Express Green Card will be most attractive to young professionals and millennials (or millennials at heart) who travel for work, pleasure or both. The card earns 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar on travel, restaurants and transit, so you’ll want to consider this card if a large chunk of your budget goes toward these categories.
The Amex Green also offers annual up to $189 Clear and up to $100 LoungeBuddy statement credits that can more than offset the $150 annual fee (see rates and fees) while making your time in the airport more efficient and relaxing. If you can utilize these statement credits, the card can easily be a worthwhile addition to your purse or wallet.
So, if you’ve considered the American Express Green Card in the past, now’s a good time to give it a second chance. Let’s take a closer look.
Further reading: Should you get TSA PreCheck or Clear — or both?
Amex Green welcome offer
The Amex Green is currently offering new cardmembers 60,000 Membership Rewards points after they spend $3,000 on purchases in their first six months of card membership. Based on TPG’s valuation of Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each, the welcome offer points are worth about $1,200.
You'll also get 20% back on eligible travel and transit purchases in your first six months to earn up to $200 back, making the entire welcome offer worth up to $1,400.
This is the highest bonus we've seen publicly available on this card, so now is a great time to apply.
Further reading: Choosing the best American Express card for you
Earning points on the Amex Green
The Amex Green Card earns 3 Membership Rewards Points per dollar spent on dining, travel and transit. Based on TPG’s valuation of Amex Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each, you’ll get an approximate 6% return on spending in these categories.
It’s important to note that these categories are broad. For example, “travel” includes airfare, hotel rooms, car rentals, tour operators, travel agencies, campsites and more, while “transit” includes ride-hailing, buses, taxis, metros, subways, tolls and more.
Much of your spending may fall within these categories, depending on your lifestyle.
Further reading: The ultimate guide to Amex Membership Rewards
Redeeming points on the Amex Green
The Membership Rewards points you earn with the American Express Green Card can be transferred to 20 travel partners: 17 airlines and three hotels.
TPG’s valuation of Amex Membership Rewards at 2 cents each is based on the potential value you can get when you transfer your points to these partners and redeem for award flights or award nights.
There are some excellent sweet spots, including one-way business-class flights to Europe for 34,000 points and centrally-located hotel stays or family vacation rentals with Choice Hotels points.
Check out the following guides for ideas on how to maximize your points:
- Best ways to redeem Amex Points on Oneworld airlines
- Best ways to redeem Amex Points on SkyTeam airlines
- Best ways to redeem Amex Points on Star Alliance airlines
- How to redeem Amex Membership Rewards Points for hotels
Amex Green benefits
Solid earnings and benefits make the Amex Green a serious competitor if you’re looking for a mid-tier travel rewards card.
$189 CLEAR Plus annual statement credit
One benefit of the Amex Green card I haven’t seen on many other cards is an up to $189 Clear Plus statement credit. With Clear, your eyes and fingertips can help you get through security faster at select airports and stadiums nationwide. You’ll receive up to $189 per calendar year in statement credits when you pay for your Clear membership with your card.
The normal rate for Clear membership is $189 per year, so the credit covers the full annual cost.
Further reading: CLEAR expedited airport security program — Is it worthwhile?
$100 LoungeBuddy annual statement credit
Although many cards offer Priority Pass Select lounge memberships, the Amex Green takes a different approach by providing an annual LoungeBuddy statement credit. In particular, you’ll get up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year when you use the American Express Green Card to purchase lounge access directly from LoungeBuddy through its website or app.
LoungeBuddy allows you to purchase one-time lounge passes on demand, so you can get lounge access when you need it most. Although the cost to access each lounge through LoungeBuddy varies, prices start at $25 per visit, so you can get up to four visits per year using your $100 statement credit.
Further reading: Best cards for airport lounge access
Travel and shopping protections
The American Express Green Card offers extended warranty protection*, purchase protection* and return protection* when you purchase eligible items with your card. These protections can save you serious money if something goes wrong with a recent purchase.
You’ll also be protected when you’re on the road. The Green from Amex offers a baggage insurance plan* and secondary car rental loss and damage insurance**, with the option to upgrade to primary coverage through Amex’s Premium Car Rental Protection.
*Eligibility and benefit levels vary by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
*Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered, and geographic restrictions apply. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.
Which cards compete with the Amex Green?
The American Express Green card is a competitive mid-tier card with strong earning rates and useful benefits, but other issuers have some comparable options:
- If you prefer Chase: The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the best-known travel rewards credit cards. It earns 5 points per dollar on travel booked through the Chase travel portal and Lyft purchases, 3 points per dollar on dining, select streaming services and online grocery store purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs), 2 points per dollar on all other travel purchases and 1 point per dollar on everything else. For more information, read our full review of the Sapphire Preferred.
- If you're partial to Citi: The Citi Premier® Card (see rates and fees) is an under-the-radar gem with a phenomenal range of bonus categories. While the card isn’t as strong on the redemption side as similar offerings from Chase or Amex, the ability to earn 3 points per dollar on air travel, hotels, gas stations, supermarkets and restaurants (including takeout) for just $95 a year is still a pretty great deal. For more information, read our full review of the Citi Premier.
For additional options, check out our full list of the best starter travel cards.
The American Express Green's statement credits can more than offset the $150 annual fee, making this card a compelling option for young professionals and others who allocate much of their budget toward travel, dining and commuting.
If you’ll use the annual credits and can maximize the broadly defined bonus categories, the Amex Green is a card to seriously consider adding to your purse or wallet.
Apply now: The Amex Green card with a best-ever 60,000-point welcome offer + 20% back on eligible travel and transit purchases in your first six months (up to $200 back)
For rates and fees of the Amex Green card, click here.
Additional reporting by Ryan Wilcox.