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The credit card war continues.
After 50 years, the American Express Green card just got supersized. The OG of Amex cards, once termed the “money card” because of resemblance to US dollars has long looked in on the credit card community from afar. With few valuable benefits, and its big bros Amex Gold and Platinum going metal and getting a bevy of enviable benefits, it was a wonder Amex even continued to offer the Green Card.
That all just changed.
Not only did Amex just amp up their entry level charge card with a bevy benefits, ushering out its uninspired predecessor and introduced a card that will be quickly added to our wallet, but it’s completely made out of recycled material. And apparently feels like metal. We can’t tell you personally because we don’t have one…yet. And if you’re wondering…yes, this card will be added to the Monkey Miles Best Credit Cards list
Up until this point, the only time I’d ever really considered an Amex Green Card was when it was offered as a downgrade option a few years back. Now…it’s been amped up with benefits that make it a complete no brainer for our intents and purposes. 3x on all travel, Clear credits, a nice welcome offer, AND we’ll be referring people for more bonus points…do I really need to say more? Yes…let’s get into it.
American Express Green Card Bullet Point Benefits
- 30k Membership Rewards Welcome Offer after $2k Spend
- 3x on Travel, transit, and dining
- $100 annualClear credit
- $100 Loungebuddy credit
- $100 limited time Away luggage credit
- $150 annual fee
Charge card vs Credit Card
American Express offers two different styles of cards. Charge and Credit.
A charge Card which means that whatever you spend on it, you have to pay in full each and every month. This differs from a credit card which offers you a line of credit, and if you don’t pay off your expenses every month you’ll own interest.
American Express typically allows you to carry 4 or 5 credit cards, but doesn’t have any hard and fast rules that limit the number of Charge Cards that you can maintain.
The Amex Green Card was once a charge card, but now is a credit card that upon approval doesn’t come with any preset spending limits. If you have other Amex credit cards then take this into consideration when applying.
A very nice welcome offer of 30k Membership Rewards after $2k spend in 3 months
30k Membership Rewards after $2k spend in 3 months is heavily worth your consideration especially when sign up bonuses on the previous version of this card, the Amex Green card, hovered around 5k. What’s crazy is we just redeemed 47.5k Virgin Atlantic miles ( an Amex partner ) to fly it’s new upper class between NYC and London. This welcome offer combined with some referrals and you’ll be within striking distance on numerous business class flight opportunities. We also love using Amex transfer partner Aeroplan to fly airlines like Swiss, Lufthansa, and United to Europe – all for 55k points in business class.
3x on travel and dining – no nonsense categories as well.
This is very exciting news. On pretty much every other Amex in existence, there are more stringent limitations on what qualifies as travel. When it comes to Amex Green…here’s where you’re guaranteed to earn triple points
- Rideshares like uber and lyft
- Subways and Metros
- AND ALL Dining worldwide.
If you live in an area where you’re hitting toll roads – now you’ll get 3x. Take the bus or subway – 3x
Holding the Amex Green Card also makes it much easier to pull out a card at hotel check in. If you’re like me and have a lot of credit cards, all with different category bonuses, Amex simplified things a bit. If you think travel…use the Amex Green Card if in doubt.
A great teammate of the Amex Gold
We just mentioned 3x on travel and transit, but if you already hold an Amex Gold you’re covering the bases with multiple point earning
- 4x Dining ( Average Americans spend over $3k on dining out )
- That’s 12k points
- 4x Groceries ( the average American spend $6600 a year on Groceries )
- That’s 26k+ points
- 3x on all travel not just flights booked with airlines
- Transit, hotels, flights, etc
That’s upwards of 40k+ points per year just by putting your spend through cards that earn bonus points, and that doesn’t even include any air travel you may purchase.
$150 annual fee makes sense for us
This is something you should definitely take into consideration and the Amex Green card. However, we’re already Clear members ( which help with expedited security on top of TSA Pre ) so getting the extra $100 back means the annual fee is just $50. There is also a $100 Loungebuddy credit, but those overlap Priority Pass quite a bit, and since I have Priority Pass it’s a bit redundant.
$100 credits broken down
We mentioned above that we make use of Clear every single year, so that $100 is easy to recoup. Here’s a look at other $100 credits
- $100 Clear credit given annually
- $100 Loungebuddy credit given annually
- $100 Away luggage credit – limited time
Did we mention Referral bonus points? Yes we did…55k per year.
When it comes to referrals, Amex is the best. You can almost refer any card in Amex’s stead from any other card you keep in your wallet. For cards that earn Membership Rewards like the American Express Green card, that annual total is capped at 55k points per year.
This is a major reason why we keep our Amex cards long term. The ability to invite our friends and family members. It’s also how we earn in excess of 500k points per year.
We will be adding this card to our wallet and creating the Amex Quadfecta. The fact that the Amex Green is offering a healthy 30k welcome offer + the opportunity to refer our friends and family to earn another 55k means this card is a hands down no brainer addition to our wallet. In fact, I’d say if you’re considering this vs a Chase Sapphire Reserve you should really weigh your options. Just the ease of referrals, in my opinion, gives the Amex Green an edge, but that’s just my two cents.
Here’s a look at our Amex Quad earning tree
- American Express Platinum
- 5x Airlines ( Direct + Amex Travel )
- American Express Gold
- 4x Dining
- 4x Grocery ( Capped at $25k )
- American Express Green Card
- 3x travel
- $100 Clear + $100 LoungeBuddy
- American Blue Business Plus
- 2x everything
Monkey Miles has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Monkey Miles and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers