The iconic American ExpressÂŽ Green Card has undergone a fresh makeover. Thanks to a revamp that rolled out in October 2019, the American ExpressÂŽ Green Card is now a compelling choice for those who want rewards and perks for travel, but arenât ready to shell out for a premium travel card with an annual fee in the $500 range. This card does charge a $150 annual fee, but if you take full advantage of the annual credits you get for having it, you can mitigate the cost of the annual fee.
Plus, the new card is made mostly out of plastic reclaimed from beaches, islands, and coastal communities â so it can be considered âgreenâ both in color and environmentally.
Rewards. Earn 3X Membership RewardsÂŽ points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours. This is an inclusive travel category, which gives you the chance to earn rewards in a lot of different ways.
CLEAR annual credit. CLEAR uses your eyes and fingerprints to confirm your identity. It can be used at a variety of airports, stadiums, and other venues. When you use this card to pay for your CLEAR membership, you can get up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year. However, because a CLEAR membership costs $179 a year (or $15 a month), note that youâll still have to pay a portion of your membership costs out of pocket each year.
LoungeBuddy annual credit. When you use this card to purchase airport lounge access via LoungeBuddy, you can get up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year.
Welcome offer. Earn 30,000 Membership RewardsÂŽ points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. If you use your points for flights through American Express Travel (a value of 1 cent per point), thatâs worth $300.
Away credit. New cardmembers who apply by Jan. 15, 2020, can earn statement credits of up to $100 after making a purchase such as a suitcase or weekender bag from Away â a company that sells its travel gear online directly to consumers and aims to offer better prices than you might be able to find when shopping big-name brands in retail stores.
Baggage insurance plan. When you buy your ticket using this card, you can get coverage of up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage. Terms apply.
Annual fee. The American ExpressÂŽ Green Card has an annual fee of $150. This is a bit more than many mid-level travel cards, which tend to charge annual fees of around $95. However, itâs worth noting that $150 annual fee for the American ExpressÂŽ Green Card is less expensive than premium travel cards such as The Platinum CardÂŽ from American Express, which charges an annual fee of $550.
Another American Express card that serves consumers who like to travel and dine out is the American ExpressÂŽ Gold Card. While the annual fee of $250 is a bit more costly than the American ExpressÂŽ Green Card, some cardholders might find the rewards and annual credits worth the expense. Hereâs how the cards compare:
|American ExpressÂŽ Green Card||American ExpressÂŽ Gold Card|
|Welcome offer||Earn 30,000 Membership RewardsÂŽ points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.||35,000 Membership RewardsÂŽ Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.|
|Rewards||Earn 3X Membership RewardsÂŽ points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.||3X Membership RewardsÂŽ points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).|
|Regular purchase APR||See Rates & Fees||See Rates & Fees|
|Foreign transaction fee||None||None|
For annual statement credits, the American ExpressÂŽ Gold Card offers the following:
Airline fee credit of up to $100. You can choose one qualifying airline per calendar year and receive up to $100 in statement credits to go toward incidental fees.
Dining credit of up to $120. You can earn up to $10 in statement credits each month for an annual savings of up to $120 when you pay with this card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruthâs Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations.
Before factoring in the cardsâ annual fees, you can save up to $220 each year from the American ExpressÂŽ Gold Cardâs statement credits and up to $200 each year from the American ExpressÂŽ Green Cardâs statement credits. Which one is better just depends whether you value credits that go toward incidental airline fees and dining purchases or credits that go toward airport security and airport lounge access. The statement credits effectively reduce the American ExpressÂŽ Gold Cardâs annual fee to $30, while the American ExpressÂŽ Green Cardâs statement credits can more than recoup the cost of the cardâs annual fee, but leaves you to pay $79 a year to make up the yearly price of a CLEAR membership.
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When it comes to rewards, the American ExpressÂŽ Gold Card has a higher earning rate per $1 spent on dining than the American ExpressÂŽ Green Card. It also offers U.S. supermarkets as a rewards category, which the American ExpressÂŽ Green Card does not. However, the American ExpressÂŽ Green Card rewards a much broader category of travel purchases than the American ExpressÂŽ Gold Card.
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