American Express® Green Card
The Green card is one of American Express’s more basic charge card offerings. It has a $95 annual fee that is waived the first year and earns points in the flexible Membership Rewards program, which has 17 airline and three hotel transfer partners.
While the Green card earns valuable Membership Rewards points, it doesn’t offer amazing rewards for everyday spending. You’ll get two points per dollar spent on travel only when booked through American Express Travel and one point per dollar for all other purchases.
Bonuses and Benefits
Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the American Express® Green Card offers and the value of the AMEX Membership Rewards® points you earn.
The American Express Green card does not typically come with a sign-up bonus, but sometimes there are special welcome promotions offering up to 25,000 points. It may be worth waiting for one of these offers, though it’s not clear how often they come around.
What You Get
- 2 points per dollar spent with Amex Travel
Points expire only if you close all of your Membership Rewards card accounts. If the Green card is your only Amex card and you close your account, you will lose all of your points. But if you have another card that earns Membership Rewards points, you will not lose your points.
What is the value of the Membership Rewards® Points?
Membership Rewards points are extremely valuable because American Express has a number of transfer partners. You’ll have to research the cost of specific redemptions with each partner, but you should be able to get a value of at least 1.81 cents per point. If you redeem primarily for international business class, you can get five cents per point or more!
first year rewards
What is CPM and How Is It Calculated?
Cents Per Mile (CPM) is a way to measure the value of miles. It tells you how many cents you get for each mile you redeem by dividing the cash price of the airline ticket (minus taxes and fees charged for an award ticket) by the number of miles the award flight costs. This is a somewhat subjective calculation because the price of the flight in both cash and miles fluctuates by season and availability.
How we calculate CPM:
The Best Ways to Redeem American Express® Points
The best way to redeem your American Express Membership Rewards points is for flights, especially for international business class. Some of the best redemptions include Singapore Airlines’ Suites on their A380 for as few as 76,000 miles, roundtrip in ANA business class to Japan for as few as 75,000 miles, one way to Europe for as few as 18,750 miles in economy with Flying Blue’s Promo Awards, and short-haul flights on British Airways for as low as 4,500 miles internationally and 7,500 miles within the U.S.
Austin–New YorkEconomy classMiles price15,000points+$29 feeDollars price$299
Chicago–Los AngelesEconomy classMiles price24,700points+$0 feeDollars price$247
Seattle–DenverEconomy classMiles price18,600points+$0 feeDollars price$186
Newark–MoscowEconomy classMiles price51,500points+$251 feeDollars price$810
Los Angeles–ParisEconomy classMiles price49,750points+$300 feeDollars price$1,605
Houston–FrankfurtEconomy classMiles price49,750points+$360 feeDollars price$1,777
Miami–HonoluluBusiness classMiles price80,000points+$20 feeDollars price$2,083
Miami–WashingtonBusiness classMiles price52,900points+$0 feeDollars price$529
Pittsburgh–HoustonBusiness classMiles price50,000points+$13 feeDollars price$827
Washington–PortoBusiness classMiles price88,000points+$503 feeDollars price$5,041
Los Angeles–Tel AvivBusiness classMiles price104,000points+$395 feeDollars price$4,403
Atlanta–MadridBusiness classMiles price88,000points+$654 feeDollars price$4,044
Other ways you can redeem points
Hotel Stays3 partners3 part.
Membership Rewards transfer to a few hotel partners as well, but these redemptions will usually not be as good of a value as flight redemptions.
You can redeem your Membership Rewards points at a rate of 0.7 cents each as a statement credit. This is not a good use of Membership Rewards points.
Car Rental4 partners4 part.
It is possible to use your Membership Rewards points for car rentals with Amex’s four rental partners.
Gift Cards64 partners64 part.
You can also redeem your Membership Rewards points for gift cards.
The Green card earns one Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on most purchases but earns two points per dollar on travel booked through American Express. Unfortunately, using Amex travel limits your ability to shop around for the best rates if you want to earn the maximum number of rewards.
- Amex Travel Purchases
- All Other Purchases
The only travel purchases that earn two points per dollar are those made directly through American Express Travel.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
You’ll be charged 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to U.S. dollars. Best to find another card if you plan to travel abroad.
Fees: the cost of Having the Card
The Amex Green card has a $95 annual fee that is waived the first year. If you make $5,249 in purchases a year, you’ll cover the cost of the card. That’s because you’ll earn at least 5,249 points, and they’re worth about 1.81 cents each. If you spend about $2,000 a month, you’ll pay off the card in three months.
- Annual Fee
- $0 first year, then $95
- Foreign Transaction Fee
- 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars
- Late Payment Fee
- Up to $38
See What It Takes to Cover an Annual Fee:
We strongly recommend to spend not less than $1,750 per months to cover the annual fee in three months.
We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings you’ll get with the American Express Green card. Is the card worth getting, and should you keep it after you get the sign-up bonus? Let’s find out.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Top 5 Benefits of the American Express Green Card
The American Express Green card isn’t as packed with benefits as some other cards, but it still offers a handful of good things. Here are the top five benefits:
- Valuable Rewards Currency: Membership Rewards points are very valuable because they can be transferred to wide variety of airline and hotel partners.
- Reasonable Annual Fee: The annual fee for this card is just $95, and it’s waived the first year!
- Purchase Protections: You’ll get a variety of cardholder benefits, including extended warranty coverage, purchase protection and return protection for purchases made with your Green card.
- Decent Earning Potential: You’ll get bonus points for travel purchases made through American Express Travel, and you’ll earn one point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No Limit on Rewards: There’s no limit on the number of Membership Rewards points you can earn with this card.
Should You Get the American Express Green Card?
While the Amex Green card has decent benefits and a reasonable annual fee, it’s a good bet that there is another card out there that would offer more return for your spending. Nevertheless, if you have a lot of other cards and are looking for a new one you haven’t had yet, the annual fee is waived for the first year and the points you earn are part of the flexible Membership Rewards program.
Additionally, if your credit isn’t great, the Green card might work for you. American Express is known to approve people with slightly lower scores for the Green card compared to some of their premium card offerings.
The Amex Green card is a charge card, which means that you have no spending limit. If you have large purchases coming up that would go over the limit of your other credit cards, then the Green card might be a good option for you.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
Most people who are approved for the American Express Green card report having a credit score that is at least 700. However, your credit score does not guarantee approval or denial. American Express will evaluate your entire credit application before they decide whether to approve or decline you for the card.
The American Express Green card is a charge card, which means that you can’t carry a balance on it from month to month. You will need to pay it off in full. This requires careful planning with your cash.
Having a charge card can be a good thing if you have a large purchase coming up because there are no spending limits. In other words, there is no credit limit, but you will need to pay off the card in full each and every month.
Yes, you can upgrade your Amex Green card to other American Express cards. As a general rule, you can upgrade it to other cards that earn Membership Rewards points and are also charge cards, like the Platinum Card® from American Express.
- Yes, you can use the points you earn to buy award travel for other people. You will first need to choose which travel partner to transfer your Membership Rewards points to, and then you can make a redemption through that program. Most frequent flyer programs allow you to make reservations for other people without any restrictions, but a handful of programs limit redemptions to family members only.
Before you decide for sure that the American Express Green card is right for you, let’s compare it to a few other credit cards that earn Membership Rewards points. The points earned from all of these cards can still be transferred to all of Amex’s partners. The biggest differences you will see are in the annual fees, sign-up bonuses and bonus spending categories.
Other Membership cards
|Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card||Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express|
|Sign-up bonus||15,000 points||0 points||25,000 points|
|Annual Fee||$95||$0 first year, then $95||$0 for the first year, then $195|
|APR On Purchases||14.24% to 24.24% Variable±||N/A||N/A|
|Second Year Value||$434||$434||$434|
The Amex EveryDay Preferred credit card has a 15,000 points sign-up bonus and a $95 annual fee that is waived the first year. It earns three points per dollar spent at supermarkets, two points per dollar at gas stations and one point per dollar for all other purchases. You’ll also have a chance to earn a 50 percent bonus on all points if you make at least 30 transactions within a 30 day period.
The Premier Rewards Gold card from American Express offers a 25,000 points sign-up bonus and has a $195 annual fee that is waived the first year. It offers a $100 annual airline credit and three points per dollar spent on flights; two points per dollar at restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets; and one point per dollar for all other purchases.
The Premier Rewards Gold card or the EveryDay Preferred card will be the most rewarding for everyday spending. You should consider what cateogories your purchases usually fall into and look into all of the details about these cards before you decide.
Compare the American Express Green Card to Other Cards
It’s also worth comparing the Amex Green card to other credit cards that don’t earn Membership Rewards points. We’ve chosen to look at the Citi ThankYou Preferred card and Starwood Preferred Guest card, which both earn transferrable points. The Expedia+ card earns points that aren’t transferrable.
The Citi ThankYou Preferred card offers a 0 points sign-up bonus and has no annual fee. It earns two points per dollar spent on entertainment and dining and one point per dollar for all other purchases. The Citi ThankYou rewards program has 12 airline transfer partners
The SPG credit card earns one point per dollar for all purchases and has a $95 annual fee. It offers a 25,000 points sign-up bonus that is worth 30,000 airline miles due to the card’s 5,000 miles bonus for transfers of 20,000 points. This bonus effectively makes the SPG card earn 1.25 airline miles per dollar spent for all purchases. The SPG program has over 30 airline transfer partners, making it the most flexible rewards program available.
The Expedia+ card is the only card in this group that won’t allow you to transfer miles to airlines, but it will still allow you to book travel. It offers a 15,000 points sign-up bonus, which is worth $200 toward a stay at a VIP Access hotel, and it doesn’t have an annual fee. You’ll earn three points per dollar spent on Expedia purchases and one point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Of these cards, the Expedia+ card will likely offer the least flexibility to maximize the value of your redemptions.
Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the American Express Green card, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with this Amex card.
- Intro APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Ongoing APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Minimum Grace Period:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Extended Warranty Protection:
- The length of your warranty can be matched for up to 1 additional year when you use your card for eligible purchases. Includes purchases that come with an original U.S. manufacturer's warranty of 5 years or less. Coverage is up to $10,000 per item and $50,000 per calendar year.
- Purchase Protection:
- Use your Card for eligible purchases and your purchases can be protected from accidental damage or theft for up to 90 days from the moment you buy them.
- Return Protection:
- If you try to return an item purchased with your card within 90 days and the merchant won't take it back, Amex may provide a refund. Protection is limited to $300 per item and $1,000 per calendar year and is only eligible for purchases made in the U.S. and its territories.
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Cash Advance Fee:
- See Terms and Conditions
Security and Protections
The American Express Green card offers standard security features, including account alerts, Chip + Signature technology and $0 liability.
- Account alerts:
- Set up alerts to be notified when transactions occur or when your bill’s due.
- Mobile Banking:
- Track your account while you’re on the go with the mobile app.
- EMV Chip + Signature Technology:
- Get global acceptance and enhanced security at merchants that use chip enabled terminals.
- Zero Liability:
- You’ll never have to pay for fraudulent charges made with your card.
American Express offers a mobile banking app so you can monitor your charge card spending while you’re on the go. The Amex Green card is compatible with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
The American Express Green card has a few other benefits that are worth noting.
American Express Travel Benefits
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver:
- Coverage for theft and collision for most rentals in the U.S. and abroad. Coverage is secondary to your personal insurance.
- Roadside Dispatch:
- Access to a phone number to call for roadside assistance, including lockout service, towing, jumpstart and gas delivery. Service charges apply.
- Travel Accident Insurance:
- Receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $100,000 for any air, bus, train or cruise ship transportation paid for with your card.