American Express Green Card Review – WalletHub Editors
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Amex Green Review Summary: The revamped American Express® Green Card is a charge card for people with good or excellent credit who want to earn extra rewards on travel expenses and dining at restaurants. It is best for high-spenders who plan to pay the bill in full each month and anticipate spending enough to more than cover the cost of the card’s $150 annual fee via rewards earnings.
The Amex Green Card’s best features are its bonus rewards and travel benefits. New applicants can earn an initial bonus of 30,000 points by spending $2,000 within 3 months of opening a new account. All cardholders earn 3 points per $1 spent on travel-related purchases and at restaurants worldwide. And that’s supplemented by hundreds of dollars in credits annually, to cover the cost of expedited airport security screening and airport lounge access.
The Amex Green Card’s worst features are its $150 annual fee and its lack of a clearly defined credit limit. The card’s limited financing capabilities could also be considered a drawback, but having to pay off at least most purchases fully by the due date is one of the main characteristics of a charge card.
You can learn more about the pros and cons of the American Express Green Card below. This will enable you to make an informed decision about whether or not to apply for the Amex Green Card.
Advantages of the American Express Green Card
30,000 points for an Initial Bonus: Those bonus points, which new cardholders can earn by spending $2,000 in the first 3 months, are worth an average of $240 when redeemed through American Express Membership Rewards. On average, credit cards offering an initial bonus in the form of points or miles give roughly 22,000 (worth around $220).
So, based on initial points alone, Amex Green’s welcome bonus figures to be a bit better than average. Fortunately for applicants who time things right, bonus points might not be the only thing in your welcome wagon.
Extra Rewards on Travel & Dining: Amex Green gives 3 points per $1 spent on all travel-related purchases as well as all purchases made at restaurants around the world. That works out to about 2.4% cash back, on average.
Travel includes everything from airfare and hotel reservations to ridesharing, tolls and public transit, whether booked directly with a travel provider or through a third-party travel comparison website. And unlike some other Amex cards’ dining rewards, restaurants outside the U.S. are eligible for bonus points, too.
Up to $200 in Annual Travel Credits: Amex Green cardholders are eligible for a pair of yearly bonuses that can help make travel more efficient and more comfortable. There’s up to $100 in credits annually to reimburse cardholders for membership fees for the airport screening service CLEAR. In addition, there’s up to $100 per year in credits for airport lounge access via the service LoungeBuddy.
If you fly frequently and don’t already have access to savings on those services, that’s great news. But if you’re unlikely to use them often, don’t give these features too much emphasis when deciding which credit card to apply for.
Disadvantages of the American Express Green Card
- $150 Annual Fee: For context, the average annual fee on a credit card is roughly $19. In other words, the American Express Green Card is almost eight times more expensive than the average credit card. That doesn’t necessarily mean Amex Green is a bad deal. Rather, it just has an uphill climb to prove it deserves a spot in your wallet.
- Below-Average Base Rewards Rate: Non-travel/restaurant spending yields just 1 point per $1 with the Amex Green Card. That’s pretty standard for a rewards card, but most credit card points are worth a penny each. Amex points get you a bit less than that, on average.
No Preset Spending Limit (NPSL): The American Express Green Card does have a spending limit; you just won’t know exactly what it is at any given time. The limit may vary over time, based on your spending and payment history as well as broader market factors. And American Express probably won’t communicate such changes to you proactively.
As a result, you won’t ever really know how close you are to maxing out your card. That could make it difficult to rely on Amex Green alone. The card’s marketing materials do mention the ability to spend above your credit limit, and earn rewards in the process, but they don’t provide much in the way of specifics.
Limited Financing Capabilities: Amex Green is a charge card, which means cardholders must pay off most charges by the due date each billing period in order to continue making purchases the next. However, a certain, undisclosed portion of your balance will be eligible to be paid off over time, with interest. The APR for such a balance is See Rates & Fees, depending on your creditworthiness.
Until 4/30/2020, cardholders will have the option to choose specific recent purchases for longer-term repayment, through Amex’s Pay Over Time Select feature. But that feature is being discontinued. Instead, eligible purchases will automatically fall into the longer-term repayment bucket, up to a certain limit, through what’s known as Pay Over Time Direct. Cardholders can still pay their balance in full by the due date with no limitation, though.
Other Features of the American Express Green Card
- Instant Card Number: If American Express can instantly verify your identity and decides to approve you for an account, you won’t have to wait for your physical card to arrive in the mail to begin making purchases. Amex will give a so-called instant card number that you can use in the meantime. You may not have access to your full credit line until the card arrives, however, which should happen within 7-10 business days of approval.
- Made From 70% Recycled Ocean Plastic: The revamped American Express Green Card is largely made from recycled plastic that was reclaimed from oceans, beaches and coastal areas. So, the card isn’t just green in name and coloring alone; it’s eco-friendly, too. Amex has partnered with the organization Parley for the Oceans for this effort.
- No Foreign Transaction Fee: The American Express Green Card’s 0% foreign transaction fee makes it suitable for international spending. But American Express credit cards are not accepted in as many countries as other major card networks.
- Assorted Amex Perks: Cardholders get access to special deals on tickets to things like sporting events and concerts, along with offers for everyday savings opportunities and various other benefits available with any American Express credit card.
Applicants Need Good Credit Credit or Better: We recommend a credit score of 700+ to comfortably satisfy the American Express Green Card’s credit score requirement. If you don’t know where you stand, you can check your latest credit score for free on WalletHub.
In addition to good-to-excellent credit, the American Express Green Card’s requirements include being 18+ years old, having a Social Security number, living in the U.S., and earning much more income than you spend on debt payments and other major expenses.
Compared To The Competition
In order to help put the American Express® Green Card into context, we compared it to some of its most popular competitors — both charge cards and general-use credit cards.
American Express® Green Card
American Express® Gold Card
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
|Rewards Bonus||30,000 points||35,000 points||60,000 points||$250|
|Rewards Rate||1 - 3 points / $1||1 - 4 points / $1||1 - 5 points / $1||1 - 6% Cash Back|
|Purchase Intro APR||Not Offered||Not Offered||Not Offered||0% for 12 months|
|Transfer Intro APR||Not Offered||Not Offered||Not Offered||0% for 12 months|
Transfer Fee: 3% (min $5)
|Regular APR||See Rates & Fees||See Rates & Fees||N/A||14.49% - 25.49% (V)|
|Editors’ Rating||3.5 / 5||3.8 / 5||3.0 / 5||4.7 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More|
Rates & Fees
Rates & Fees
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