Table of Contents
- Quick Review
- American Express® Green Card Pros & Cons
- American Express® Green Card Important Details
- American Express® Green Card Rates & Fees
- American Express® Green Card Rewards
- American Express® Green Card Benefits
- Traditional and Senior American Express® Green Cards
- Should You Get the American Express® Green Card?
- Comparable Cards
The American Express® Green Card is a luxury travel card with no foreign transaction fees, a suite of American Express benefits, and some unusual features. Here’s what we love about the card—and the features that give us pause.
- Fusion charge/credit card: The American Express® Green Card fuses the payment requirements of a charge card and a traditional credit card. That means you either need to pay your balance in full each month (like a charge card) or revolve it using Pay Over Time, which comes with its own limitations. The Pay Over Time APR is on the high side, so this card definitely isn’t the move for anyone who’s looking to leave large balances from month to month.
- Generous rewards: You’ll earn 3x points on travel, transportation (e.g., publish transit, rideshare, parking), and restaurant purchases—a generous smattering of rewards categories. Plus, you’ll get 1x points on all other purchases.
- Steep annual fee: The $150 is high when you can get similar rewards rates on other cards with no annual fee. The only way to make the card worth it is if you’re a frequent traveler that can benefit from the additional Amex perks.
- Travel perks: The American Express® Green Card offers useful travel benefits in the form of insurance for rental cars, checked bags, and carry-on luggage, as well as trip delay insurance and a few other perks.
For frequent travelers, the American Express® Green Card is a cheaper alternative to other American Express cards while retaining their most useful benefits, so it may be worth the annual fee.
American Express® Green Card Pros & Cons
American Express® Green Card Important Details
- Annual fee: $150
- Pay Over Time APR: 19.74%–26.74% (variable)
- Rewards rate: 1x–3x points
- Welcome bonus: 45,000 points if you spend $2,000 in your first 6 months
American Express® Green Card Rates & Fees
- Annual fee: $150
- Cash advance fee: $10 or 5% of advance amount (whichever is greater)
- Foreign transaction fee: $0
- Late payment fee: $40
- Pay Over Time APR: 19.74%–26.74% (variable)
- Cash advance APR: 28.99% APR (variable)
- Pay Over Time APR: 29.99% (variable)
Pay Over Time
Unlike a traditional credit card, the American Express® Green Card does not allow you to carry a balance in the usual way. You must either pay your bill in full each month or revolve your balance using the Pay Over Time feature.
Pay Over Time operates in much the same way as a normal credit card balance. Qualifying purchases are automatically applied to your Your Pay Over Time balance, which is subject to 19.74%–26.74% (variable) APR as well as 29.99% penalty APR following late or returned payments. Penalty APR will be applied for six months at a time.
Purchases applied to your Pay Over Time balance cannot exceed your Pay Over Time Limit, which also applies to your Pay Over Time and Plan It balances, as well as cash advances.
However, not all purchases are eligible for Pay Over Time—these are applied to your standard balance, the one that must be paid off at the end of the billing period.
Pay Over Time is active by default, but can be deactivated at any time.
Pay It Plan It
The American Express® Green Card also qualifies for Pay It Plan It, American Express’ flexible payment options.
- Pay It allows you to make payments of less than $100 to your balance through the American Express mobile app. This can help you reduce your balance before it gets reported to the credit bureaus, lowering your reported credit utilization.
- With Plan It, you can create a long-term payment plan for purchases of at least $100, for up to ten purchases per plan. Plan It doesn’t apply APR to plans but instead charges a fixed monthly fee of up to 1.33% of each purchase amount, which is based on your standard APR, your plan length, and other factors.
American Express® Green Card Rewards
With the American Express® Green Card, you’ll earn one points on the following purchases:
- 3x points on travel
- 3x points on transit
- 3x points at restaurants
- 1x points on all other eligible purchases
Eligible travel purchases include flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and other travel purchases made either at AmexTravel.com or through third-party travel sites.
Eligible transit purchases include bus and subway fares, rideshare services, taxis, train tickets, ferries, and expenses like tolls and parking.
Are the Rewards Worth It?
With a steep $150 annual fee, you’ll need to use your American Express® Green Card often to break even. Here’s how much you’d need to spend in each category per year in order to break even on that fee:
- Travel, transit, or restaurants: $5,000
- Everything else: $15,000
Those rates mean that the American Express® Green Card is definitely best used as a dedicated travel card, rather than a hybrid travel-and-everyday expenses card.
However, the flexibility of the transit category means that you can earn points just as easily by taking day trips or road trips as you would by flying around the world, so you don’t need to be a globetrotter to get your investment back on this card.
You can redeem your points in the following ways:
- Statement credits for eligible purchases
- Deposits into eligible checking accounts
- Pay for travel purchases on AmexTravel.com
- Upgrade your plane tickets with points
- Shop with points at participating merchants
- Buy gift cards
- Convert points to airline/hotel loyalty programs
- Taxi fares in New York City (in eligible taxis)
Point-redemption thresholds and value may vary depending on the form of redemption, as well as the specific merchants, if you’re using points to shop.
Travel Rewards Partners
When you transfer your points to a domestic airline loyalty program, you’ll be charged a fee of $0.0006 per point to a maximum fee of $99. Points must be transferred in multiples of 1,000 points.
You can transfer your points to the following loyalty programs:
- Aer Lingus
- AIR FRANCE KLM
- ANA Mileage Club
- Avianca LifeMiles
- British Airways Executive Club
- Cathay Pacific
- Choice Privileges
- Delta Air Lines
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Guest
- Hilton Honors
- Iberia Plus
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Marriott Bonvoy
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Membership Rewards points can be transferred at equal or greater value to all of these programs, except for JetBlue TrueBlue (250 Membership Rewards points = 200 TrueBlue points).
As a welcome bonus, you’ll earn 45,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $2,000 with your American Express® Green Card during your first six months. 40,000 points is roughly equal to $450, making this a hefty bonus that more than makes up for your first and second years’ annual fee.
American Express® Green Card Benefits
As a travel card, the American Express® Green Card offers some top-shelf travel insurance coverage:
- Trip Delay Insurance: Coverage of up to $300 per claim when a round-trip paid for with your card is delayed for more than 12 hours.
- Baggage insurance: Coverage of up to $1,250 for carry-on bags and $500 for checked baggage if your luggage is lost, stolen, or damaged.
- Car rental coverage: Secondary coverage for damage or theft to your rental car when you decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver and charge the full cost to your card.
The American Express® Green Card card offers several other travel benefits:
- LoungeBuddy credit: Up to $100 LoungeBuddy credit per year to spend towards airport lounge access.
- Destination Family: Enjoy special benefits, like adjoining rooms or free stays for your kids when you book your family vacation through American Express Travel.
- Global Assist Hotline: Get help with emergencies or lost belongings while traveling internationally.
- Lowest hotel rates guarantee: If you find a lower rate after you book a hotel room on AmexTravel.com, American Express will refund you the difference.
In addition, you’ll get access to presale tickets to exclusive entertainment and sporting events through several American Express programs:
- American Express Access
- American Express Early Access
- American Express Experiences
The American Express® Green Card offers a few extra benefits, including statement credits and additional insurance:
- CLEAR credit: Up to $100 CLEAR credit each year when you pay for your annual CLEAR membership with your card.
- ShopRunner membership: Activate a complimentary ShopRunner membership after you open your account.
- Extend warranties: Extend warranties on eligible purchases by another year.
- Purchase protection: Coverage for damaged or stolen purchases for up to 90 days after purchase.
- American Express Auto Purchasing Program: Use your card to put up to $2,000 down on a new or used vehicle bought through the American Express Auto Purchasing Program, and receive special benefits when you report your purchase.
- Amex Offers: Activate special discounts and rewards offers with participating brands.
- Send & Split: Split purchases or send money to Venmo and PayPal users directly from the American Express app.
You can use your American Express® Green Card to withdraw funds through a cash advance. Cash advances will be subject to 28.99% APR and a fee of either $10 or 5% of your cash advance amount (whichever is greater).
You can add authorized users to your American Express® Green Card with no additional fee. Authorized users must be at least 13 years old and never had an American Express account in default.
Payment activity for your American Express® Green Card will be reported to the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) every month. This will help your credit report and credit scores stay up to date.
If you have any questions about the card or want to apply over the phone, you can call American Express customer service through the following numbers:
Apply for a credit card
Check application status of new account
Traditional and Senior American Express® Green Cards
First issued in 1969, the American Express® Green Card has a long history. As a result, there are a few older versions of the card that you may see referenced by American Express, and that some long-term customers may still use.
The American Express® Traditional Green Card and American Express® Senior Green Card can’t be applied for anymore, and American Express doesn’t publish much about their features. However, we do know that the Traditional and Senior Green Cards earn only 1% rewards and users must pay an additional $40 annual fee (on top of their unknown annual fee) to manually enroll in the Membership Rewards program.
Additionally, existing American Express® Traditional and Senior Green Card users may be able to take advantage of some of the same benefits as the standard Green Card. Other perks, like brand-specific statement credit offers, are not available with these cards.
Should You Get the American Express® Green Card?
The American Express® Green Card’s 3% rewards on travel and transportation, excellent travel insurance, and assorted other benefits make it a great choice for frequent travelers. The $150 annual fee also makes it something of a budget luxury card compared to other American Express offerings.
Of course, if that annual fee puts you off, you can still find a great travel card at a lower cost. But if you spend at least $5,000 annually on travel, transportation, or dining each year, the American Express® Green Card can easily earn its place in your wallet.