If you’re in the market for a new credit card from a well-known issuer that offers a variety of benefits, you may come across the American Express Green Card in your search. It’s one of the oldest cards, with a history that dates back the 50s. American Express’s role in credit history makes it a reputable and distinguished logo for your wallet. That doesn’t mean this is the best card for you, however. So, keep reading to learn more about Amex Green Card.
The Scoop: American Express Green Card
You should consider the Green Card if you're a frequent traveler with excellent credit history. American Express launched the Green Card back in the 1950's, and consumers have used it ever since. You can tell whether the Green Card could save you some green by seeing whether the following criteria sounds like you:
- You're a frequent traveler, with lots of spending on hotels and flights
- You have a good credit score of 700 or above
- You can afford to pay your balance off every month
People love the Green Card for its travel rewards. It offers decent cash back on travel, for one. The American Express Green Card earns rewards points with a value comparable to most travel cards. However, purchases made through Amextravel.com for hotels, flights, or other travel expenses earn you double points. For a card that's marketed as being great for travelers, that's not much when compared to the Chase Sapphire Preferred or AMEX Gold cards.
You can also redeem these points for cash back, travel expenses, gift cards, or other rewards offered by AMEX. With a strong network of partners, you can transfer the points from your AMEX Green Card to travel rewards programs for Delta, JetBlue, and Hilton. This gives you a fair amount of flexibility for how you spend your points.
Other perks for travelers include insurance on flights booked with a Green Card, as well as car rental loss and damage insurance. You also get access to American Express's roadside assistance program for when you're behind the wheel of your own automobile. Since the Green Card requires you to pay your balance in full every month, you're never charged any interest. It's one less fee for you to worry about. Speaking of fees, the annual fee for the Green Card is waived for the first year saving you money.
The biggest complaint about the Green Card is its lack of benefits. While double points on travel expenses are nothing to sneeze at, the fact that only purchases made through Amextravel.com are eligible for extra rewards is limiting. Other cards give you more freedom on how and where you earn points, and points earned through the Green Card are redeemed at a 1:1 ratio when done through one of AMEX's travel partners. All in all, that’s not spectacular.
Should You Get an Amex Green Card?
The American Express Green Card offers modest benefits with steep requirements. There are far better cards out there than the Green Card from American Express. On the surface, the Green Card offers decent cashback rewards on travel expenses in exchange for a moderate annual fee. It also gets you all the usual benefits of a credit card like extended warranties on certain purchases.
However, the Green Card is a charge card, not a credit card. That means there's no APR like a regular credit card or preset spending limit like a regular credit card. You can put as much as you want on it, and you don't have to pay interest on it. The catch is that getting one requires excellent credit, and you have to pay the balance off every month. Couple these drawbacks with the fact that other cards offer better rewards for a similar annual fee and the Green Card pales in comparison to its competition.