American Express Green Card Review

American Express Green Card Review

Who is the Green Card from American Express Good For?

The Green Card is an American Express Membership Rewards charge card. It doesn’t offer the same level of benefits provided by its more upscale cousins, such as the Gold and Platinum cards, but its annual fee is also considerably less. At only $95 a year, versus $160 for the Gold Card and $450 for the Platinum, some might consider it a bargain.

American Express Green Card
American Express Green Card

Keep in mind that this is a charge card, not a credit card. Cardholders are required to pay off their balance every month, or else they will incur steep penalties.

With the Green Card, you’ll gain access to Membership Rewards, which is an excellent and flexible rewards program. You can redeem points in many ways, including for gift cards, shopping, travel and Uber rides, and on Amazon. Most importantly, though, you can transfer points to a variety of airline frequent flyer programs.

Airline Transfer Partners
Alitalia logo
British Airways Logo
Singapore Airlines logo
Virgin Atlantic logo
Annual Fee

0$ intro annual fee for the first year, then $95

APR

None; charge card can’t carry a balance

Recommended Credit Score

700+

Type of Card

American Express

Issuer

American Express

Sign-Up Bonus:

This charge card does not come with a sign-up bonus.

Points Earned:

  • 2 points per dollar at amextravel.com
  • 1 point per dollar for all other purchases

What Do Your Points Get You?

The best way to use your Membership Rewards points is to transfer them to an airline frequent flyer program. You’ll easily get more value per point than if you redeem them for other rewards. Here’s a rundown of your options:

  • Redeeming for merchandise offers the worst value, at about half a penny per point
  • Shopping on Amazon is a little better, at about 0.7 cents per point
  • Uber and gift card redemptions give you a penny per point
  • Transferring to a frequent flyer program and then redeeming those miles for an expensive flight can be worth 2 cents per point or more

Usage Perks:

  • Ability to transfer points to frequent flyer programs
  • No annual fee for the first year
  • Flights booked with points earn miles

Usage Quirks:

  • No sign-up bonus
  • A small fee for transferring miles to domestic airline programs
  • Poor value for nontravel redemptions

How Far Do Your Points Go?

Redeeming for last-minute flights, instead of paying cash, will often get you an excellent value for your points. For example, a last-minute booking for a flight between Cincinnati and New York can cost as much as $805 on Delta, an Amex transfer partner.

Delta-CVG-JFK-Cash

The same flight can be purchased for only 32,500 miles:

Delta-CVG-JFK-Miles

That results in a value of nearly 2.5 cents per point, which is much better than redeeming for a gift card. And since the transfer is typically simultaneous, you can keep your points in the program until you find availability.

Additional Cardholder Benefits:

  • Chip technology
  • Extended warranty
  • Return protection within 90 days of up to $300 per item
  • Purchase protection against damage and theft for up to 90 days
  • Global Assist hotline
  • Baggage insurance plan
  • Trip cancellation coverage
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
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