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We have known about a refresh coming to the American Express Green Card for a while and that refresh is finally here!
The card does not have all of the perks that I anticipated but the perks are still pretty solid in my opinion (especially for travel).
This is also a fantastic opportunity to capitalize on earning more Membership Rewards, as the card has a new welcome bonus.
The American Express Green Card will come with 30,000 Membership Rewards when you spend $2,000 in the first three months. Also, you can get $100 in statement credits toward any purchases made with Away (luggage) in your first three months (Offer ends 1/15/2020).
30,000 Membership Rewards is a pretty decent bonus. It would have been nice to see this bonus up at 40,000 or 50,000 points. However, the Green Card has always historically had a low bonus (or no bonus at all) so 30,000 points for this card is not bad.
Some have reported success with higher Incognito offers but that did not work for me. Referral links are also reportedly higher.
Suitcases for Away start at $225 and you can find amenity bags for under $100.
Note: the welcome offer is not available to applicants who have or have had this Card or previous versions of the American Express Green Card. No surprise there.
- 3X on travel
- 3X on dining
3X travel is a huge bonus category for American Express.
Up to this point, there has been no American Express product that offers a good multiplier of bonus points on general travel costs.
Earning triple the points on dining is also very nice. Personally, I will stick to using my American Express Gold Card to earn 4X on dining. But if you don’t want to get the Gold card (with its $250 dollars annual fee) this is a pretty good option.
The American Express Green Card will offer you $100 per year in statement credits for CLEAR (the regular price for CLEAR is $179 a year).
If you are not familiar with that service, basically it allows you to bypass the security lines at airports in different venues such as stadiums.
If you have TSA Pre-Check, this will save you tons of time during rush hour at airports. I would recommend that you read our review here if you need to find out more.
This is a huge perk if you ask me (unless you don’t care for CLEAR of course).
$100 for LoungeBuddy
You will get $100 in annual credits for LoungeBuddy.
This is a really interesting benefit for the American Express Green Card. LoungeBuddy is a way for you to get access to various airport lounges. Not every airport has a relationship with LoungeBuddy but for those that do you might be paying anywhere from $25-$50+ for lounge access.
So this credit gives you 2 to 4 visits per year covered (again prices can vary widely).
For anybody without Priority Pass this could be a great way to get airport lounge access when you need it. However, I already have the Platinum Card and so I don’t think this lounge benefit would do much for me.
The annual fee is $150 and is not waived the first year. Given the trends that American Express has been doing over the past couple of years, it is no surprise to see the fee increased.
With $200 worth of statement credits for CLEAR and airport lounge access, this fee can easily be offset with the two of them.
For me personally, I would only use the $100 CLEAR credit. That would leave me with about $50 in annual fee costs I would need to offset. That would not be very hard to do with 3X on travel/dining, so this could easily be a keeper card.
For example, if I spent $1,000 on travel and earned 3,000 MR, that would be $54 worth of MR (based on 1.8 cent valuation). Combine that with only one $100 credit and the entire fee is offset.
Overall, I think the American Express Green Card is a decently strong travel card. There is now a way to earn triple points on travel expenses with this card and I really like the statement credits for CLEAR. The credits for LoungeBuddy are great too it is just that I already have so many lounge memberships that I don’t know I would be using it.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. His content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.