TL;DR? The American Express® Green Card offers 3X on all travel and transit, a category not covered by Platinum or Gold, with the exception of airfare. It also has a huge Welcome Bonus on now.
In this article
American Express® Green Card – Best Ever Welcome Bonus
It also has a huge new bonus offer:
American Express® Green Card – Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn 20% back on eligible travel and transit purchases made during your first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back in the form of a statement credit. Terms Apply. (Rates and Fees)
At the MilesTalk valuation of an American Express Membership Rewards point of 1.7 cents each, this bonus offer is worth just a bit over $1,200! Not bad for a card with a $150 annual fee. (Rates and Fees)
How Does the Amex Green Card Fit Into Your Wallet?
The Amex cards that get all the love are The Platinum Card® from American Express and American Express® Gold Card, and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express . Sometimes the American Express® Business Gold Card if you’re a high spender in one of the 4X categories.
And of course, the no annual fee Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express for 2X Membership Rewards points on everything, up to $50,000 a year (1X thereafter).
We (mostly?) all know that the Platinum Cards are almost exclusively there for the benefits. You either use all the various credits and come out ahead, or you don’t and you don’t. Assuming you do, it can be well worth having the cards, but both Platinum cards have precious few bonus categories.
On the personal Platinum, you earn 5x Membership Rewards points on airfare (booked directly with the airline or via AmexTravel.com and on prepaid hotels when booked via AmexTravel.com), up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. That’s it!
The Business Platinum gives you 5X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels booked via AmexTravel, 1.5X Membership Rewards points on any single purchase that is over $5,000, and 1.5X Membership Rewards at U.S. Construction material and hardware suppliers, Electronic goods retailers and software & at cloud system providers, and with Shipping providers. (1X Membership Rewards points on other purchases; 1.5X purchases are capped at $2,000,000 in spend per calendar year.)
Obviously, you’d do better on the Blue Business® Plus on all those 1.5X categories unless you’ve maxed out the $50,000 in annual 2X spend.
The Gold Card gets you 3x on airfare booked directly with airlines and 4X on dining and at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 in purchases per year.
What’s missing is a card that earns 3X on travel and transit. Now, you may be getting that from another points ecosystem like Chase or Citi (a Citi Premier® Credit Card delivers more 3X categories with a lower annual fee) but let’s say you are an Amex die-hard.
Amex Green Card Features and Benefits
Let’s look at what the American Express® Green Card offers:
- 3X Membership Rewards points on Travel, Transit and Dining (globally)
We already know that I hate booking on travel portals. So to me, cutting those out, you have 5X on airfare on the personal Platinum Card and 3X on airfare with the Gold Card.
Neither gives you a multiplier for hotels or car rentals booked directly. And none give you a bonus for Transit.
What does Amex define as Transit?
- Taxi cabs
- Ride share services
Some of those categories can really add up! (Note that the Chase Sapphire Reserve gives you 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards on these categories as Travel – so I’m in no way suggesting the Amex Green is your sole option. I’m specifically talking about somebody trying to keep it simple and focus on Amex points.)
It also has trip delay insurance: If a round-trip is paid for entirely with your Eligible Card and a covered reason delays your trip more than 12 hours, Trip Delay Insurance can help reimburse certain additional expenses purchased on the same Eligible Card, up to $300 per trip, maximum 2 claims per eligible account per 12 consecutive month period. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
If you only have the Platinum card, but not the Gold, you can also use the Green for 3X on dining worldwide, vs. just 1X with the Platinum.
The Amex Green Card does have a $150 annual fee. The only notable features besides the 3X categories are a $189 annual CLEAR credit and a $100 LoungeBuddy credit. If you don’t have a Platinum Card, though, that $189 CLEAR credit takes care of your annual fee.
Note also that, like the Gold Card, you can get half of your Green Card’s annual fee rebated if you work for a company that gives you a Corporate Amex card and you have that linked to your own MR account. It’s called the Corporate Advantage program.
Long story short, it’s easy to see that for some, the American Express® Green Card can be part of an Amex Trifecta (or Bifecta or Quadfecta or Quinfecta) if you spend a lot on travel and transit so you can earn 3X on that spend.
And, as long as you have never had the Green Card, you are of course eligible for a fresh Welcome Bonus on it.
If this post helped you, please consider sharing it!
You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards.
New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.