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There have been rumors going around since early 2019 that the American Express Green Card is going to be substantially revamped. While I’m still not 100% sure about the validity of these rumors, a revamp seems to be imminent now.
Amex Green cards have been pulled from new applicants and several people have received “pre-offers” for the Green Card which might go by the name of the “Amex Preferred Rewards Green Card.”
Below, I’ll talk about what these rumors entail and what you might want to do to prepare for the new card!
The American Express Green Card
If you don’t already know, the American Express Green Card is arguably one of the least valuable rewards credit cards. It earns a basic 1X on (virtually) every type of purchase and does not really come with any kind of valuable benefits that would justify its $95 annual fee when considering alternatives.
Its only saving grace is that it can be a decent option to downgrade to to avoid higher annual fees/keep your account open and that it sometimes comes with a welcome bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.
But soon our outlook on this card could all be changing and in a big way.
The Green Card Rumors
It is rumored that the American Express Green Card will come with the following benefits:
- 35,000 Welcome bonus
- 4X on gas purchases
- 3X on streaming services
- Amazon Prime benefit
- Away luggage
It’s not clear what will happen to the $95 annual fee but if the current pattern by American Express is any indication that annual fee will likely go up and probably go up substantially.
35K Welcome bonus
A 35,000 welcome bonus after $1,000 in spend would be very solid for this card with a reasonable annual fee and would be better than the prior 25K offers. I’m sure many will be attracted to this card with such a high bonus (for a lower-tier card like this).
If you already received a bonus for the Green Card, I doubt you will be eligible for this card.
4X on gas
Earning 4X on gas purchases (which will likely be limited to US gas stations) would be very significant. You can find some cards that offer as much as 5% back at gas stations but that is virtually always limited to cash back and there are usually limitations with those cards. So earning 4X on gas with a transferable currency like Membership Rewards is extremely exciting.
3X on streaming
Earning 3X on the streaming services is not that exciting to me because most people probably don’t spend that much on them. I know that we have a hand full of streaming services that would qualify for this but in the end I would only be earning a couple of hundred Membership Rewards a month so this would not be that major of a benefit.
The Amazon Prime benefit would absolutely be key and make this card a true keeper for many. Last year, Amazon increased the price of Amazon Prime to $119 dollars per year. So many people use Amazon Prime that it would be very easy to offset $119 dollars of any annual fee.
So then it would really just be a matter of earning enough in gas and streaming rewards to offset the difference of any increased annual fee. For example if the annual fee was increased to $150, you would just need to earn about $30 in gas rewards per year to offset the annual fee with a Prime membership. That would be extremely easy to do for a lot of people.
So that kind of makes me question if the Amazon Prime benefit would actually work like that. Maybe they just offer an annual credit that is something like $15, $30, $49, etc.? Or maybe there will be a very substantial hike in the annual fee?
There may also be some type of partnership with Away Luggage. Again, this could be some type of credit or something.
I wanted to get this out to anybody who did not know about these rumors so that they could start planning to potentially pick up this card because it looks like it could be a very worthwhile option.
If you have never had the Amex Green Card before, I would not downgrade any cards to it so that you potentially don’t lose out on the welcome bonus. By the way, getting advice on upgrades/downgrades is something that I’m hoping to automate with WalletFlo, so in the future, you’ll know exactly what to do without having to think about it.
These are exciting rumors. It definitely seems in-line with what American Express has been doing recently with new changes, so it would not surprise me to see a major overhaul of this card very soon. So just keep an eye out for the changes and be prepared to adjust your credit card strategy accordingly.
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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. Since 2014, 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.