CardName Review: New rewards, travel perks and more
American Express® Green Card
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- A grab bag of excellent travel-related credits make this card seem more premium than its reasonable annual fee suggests it is.
- Earn a nice three Membership Rewards® points per $1 spent at restaurants worldwide as well as on eligible travel and transit purchases.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership. Plus, earn 20% back on eligible travel and transit purchases made during your first six months of card membership, up to $200 back in the form of a statement credit.
- Don't overlook the annual fee. While lower than that of premium travel cards, it's still something you need to consider when deciding if this is the right travel card for you.
Does traveling to New Zealand to see some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery excite you? Or how about trying the brand new prix fixe tapas restaurant in the city? For those who prefer experiences over everything else and are willing to spend strategically to score that perfect Instagram shot, the CardName may be just the card for you. With a generous new welcome bonus to get you started earning Membership Rewards® points, tiered rewards earning and excellent travel perks, including travel-friendly credits and no foreign transaction fees, Green from Amex has redefined itself as a legitimate travel rewards card with serious benefits. What's more, it's offering all this for a reasonable AnnualFees annual fee that will appeal to those who want make sure all their extra dollars go toward those experiences and unforgettable moments rather than fees (American Express is a CardRatings advertiser; See Rates and Fees).
THE CardName WELCOME BONUS
The CardName benefit that jumps immediately off the page is the new card member bonus opportunity. For new applicants, Green from Amex offers 60,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership. Plus, earn 20% back on eligible travel and transit purchases made during your first six months of card membership, up to $200 back in the form of a statement credit. With numerous redemption options including transferring points to Membership Rewards® travel partners and using points on Amazon.com with their Shop with Points feature, the welcome bonus alone offers a tremendous amount of value. And don't forget, you'll earn points on your purchases as you spend toward earning the bonus.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
- Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Cardholders of the CardName earn three points for every $1 spent at restaurants worldwide and for eligible travel and transit purchases including airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, and vacation rentals, as well as trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways. You'll also earn one point for every $1 spent on other eligible purchases.
Membership Rewards® points are highly valued in the travel rewards community since they're transferable to a number of popular airline and hotel loyalty programs, among other reasons. For a full explanation, check out the CardRatings "Guide to the American Express® Membership Rewards® program."
Beyond the rewards, let's talk about those travel-focused credits we mentioned above.
Lounge access has long been a mark of ultra premium travel rewards credit cards that come with the ultra high annual fees to match. With the new perk from the CardName and LoungeBuddy, you won’t have to pay a premium annual fee to have lounge access. When you use Green from Amex to purchase lounge access through the LoungeBuddy website or LoungeBuddy app you can receive up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year. Whether your goal is to relax, be productive, or just get away from it all, lounge access can help you do it.
Continuing the pattern of making your travel easier and more comfortable, for an expedited security experience at the airport, there are a few options available to you. One of them, CLEAR, uses biometrics (your eyes and fingertips) to confirm your identity and help make getting through security at select airports and stadiums across the U.S. a breeze. With the CardName you can get up to $189 per calendar year in statement credits when you use your Amex Green to pay for your CLEAR membership. With this benefit, you’ll be through security and hanging out in the LoungeBuddy lounge before you know it.
POTENTIAL DOWNSIDES OF THE CardName
The AnnualFees annual fee of the CardName isn’t for everyone. If you are someone who doesn't frequently travel or eat out often, it may be a lot harder to justify the cost of having this card in your wallet. It truly is geared toward cardholders who find themselves out and about more than in.
With that being said, it's an American Express card and, while the network of merchants accepting Amex cards is ever-growing, it's still a smaller network than you'll find with Visa or Mastercard. That's particularly true if you do a lot of traveling abroad. While that point alone shouldn't keep you from applying for a card that could earn you a lot of rewards, doesn't charge foreign transaction fees and is otherwise right for you, it is something to consider. You may want to be sure that you travel abroad with another card, such as the CardName discussed below, that uses one of the larger networks in case American Express isn't accepted.
HOW THE CardName COMPARES TO OTHER CARDS
CardName vs. CardName
If you are looking for an alternative travel rewards card to the Green from Amex and want a slightly lower annual fee, the CardName is a great place to look. Comparing the cards side-by-side, you may notice that the new card member bonus for the Sapphire Preferred card is 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening. When you take into account that Ultimate Rewards points redeemed for travel though the Chase travel portal are worth 1.25 cents apiece with Sapphire Preferred, the signup bonus could be worth up to $750 (or even more if you strategically transfer your points to one of the travel loyalty partners). Considering that the annual fee for the Sapphire Preferred is AnnualFees compared to the Green from Amex’s AnnualFees annual fee, the Chase card provides a lot of value for a lower annual fee.
On an ongoing basis the Sapphire Preferred® card offers 5X total points on all travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal; 3X points on dining, including eligible delivery services and takeout; 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs); 3X points on select streaming services; 2X points on travel purchases; and 1X point on all other purchases.
CardName vs. CardName
The CardName is one of the few travel rewards cards on the market today that offers flat-rate earning on every purchase. The Venture card earns two miles per $1 spent on every purchase. The earnings rate is not solely for travel purchases, you earn two miles regardless of what you are using the card for. The Green from Amex’s tiered rewards earning can help to earn more points for travel and dining purchases, but trails the Venture’s two-mile per $1 earning rate in other purchase categories. As with Green from Amex, the miles you earn with the Venture card are transferable to a number of travel loyalty programs and you won't pay foreign transaction fees when you use this card while traveling abroad.
The annual fee for the Venture card is also worth noting as it is AnnualFees. If having a lower annual fee is a priority to you, the Venture gets the edge in this category compared to the Green from Amex.
CardName vs. CardName
CardName is the flagship travel rewards card from Amex that comes with luxury travel perks and benefits, as well as a premium AnnualFees annual fee.
The Platinum Card earns five points per $1 spent on flights purchased directly with airlines or through the Amex travel portal (on up to $500,000 spent on these purchases per calendar year) as well as five points per $1 for hotels booked through the portal, and one point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
The annual fee of the Platinum Card®, however, is also eye-opening compared to the much lower fee for the CardName, which shouldn't be overlooked. With that higher annual fee, Platinum cardholders get a $200 annual airline fee credit for incidental fees with a pre-selected airline, up to $200 in annual Uber savings, up to $100 in statement credit for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee, as well as access to airport lounges around the world with the Global Lounge Collection for American Express, and much more. It's probably not surprising that with luxury travel benefits comes a premium annual fee. Enrollment required for select benefits.
IS THE CardName WORTH THE ANNUAL FEE?
The changes to the CardName have made it a valuable rewards card. With a good new card member bonus, higher travel and dining points earning, and travel benefits, the Green from Amex is a welcome addition to the American Express family of rewards cards.
If you are someone who does not frequently travel or eat out often, it may be harder to justify the cost of having this card in your wallet; however, for those that are looking for premium travel experiences and rewards earning without the premium annual fee (and who can take full advantage of the perks offered by the card), it could very well be worth the annual fee charged.
For rates and fees of American Express cards mentioned in this article, please see the following links: CardName (See Rates and Fees); CardName (See Rates and Fees)
American Express® Green Card Compared to Other Travel rewards Cards
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