Green from Amex: The American Express Green Card Reimagined

Green Amex

It’s been 50 years since the original Green Card was released to the public, and since then American Express has launched dozens of other, easily arguably better credit cards.

Really, the old Green Card existed just to exist lately, and didn’t offer much relative to the many other options available to consumers these days.

That explains the major overhaul, and the slight name change to “Green from Amex.”

One other alteration is the new cards are made mostly of reclaimed plastic collected from beaches, islands and coastal communities via an organization called Parley for the Oceans.

So the 1980s yuppie credit card has grown up, or at least grown more environmentally conscious.

Green from Amex Offers a 30,000-Point Sign-Up Bonus

  • Earn 30k points for spending $2,000 in first 3 months
  • Also comes with $100 statement credit at Away (travel luggage) for limited time
  • Annual fee has increased from $95 to $150, not waived first year

First things first – Green from Amex comes with a sign-up bonus, which the former version of Green lacked.

That’s the good news. The bad news is the bonus is only 30,000 Membership Rewards points for spending $2,000 in the first three months.

While it’s not the worst sign-up bonus out there, you have to factor in the annual fee, which is $150 per year and not waived.

So this card isn’t the best for sign-up bonuses, just like its predecessor.

Tip: For a limited time, you can also receive up to $100 in statement credits when making a purchase at Away (travel luggage company). The offer ends 1/15/20.

Green from Amex 3X Spending Categories

  • Earn 3X on all travel purchases including ridesharing
  • Earn 3X at restaurants worldwide
  • Earn 1X on all other eligible purchases

What has improved on the Green Card is the bonus categories, with 3X on travel now attached to this iteration.

The travel category is wide too, with transit, such as Uber and Lyft, included, along with flights, hotels, and taxis.

That’s a decent multiple, assuming you travel a lot and/or use ridesharing services frequently, and have a premium Amex card as well.

If you do have an Amex Platinum, or another Amex card that allows points transfers to frequent flyer programs, you can extend the value of those points.

The new Green card also offers 3X on restaurants worldwide, a nice earning category if you eat out a lot.

Again, couple it with a premium Amex card and you can transfer those points on to a frequent flyer partner.

Green from Amex $100 Credits

  • $100 statement credit for cost of a CLEAR membership
  • $100 in annual credits for Loungebuddy

On top of the sign-up bonus and bonus categories, Green also comes with a $100 statement credit that will cover the cost of a CLEAR membership.

CLEAR lets you speed through security at select airports (and stadiums) nationwide, similar to Global Entry and TSA Pre.

You also get up to $100 in annual LoungeBuddy credits, which is good for about two free airport lounge visits per year depending on the price.

The price does vary by lounge and location, with some costing $45, and others sometimes over $100.

Either way, it’s a nice perk if you travel every once and a while and don’t have a credit card that comes with free lounge access, like Amex Platinum or Chase Sapphire Reserve.

The Truth’s Take on Green from Amex

  • While the sign-up bonus is better than it used to be (zero)
  • The $150 annual fee is now higher to compensate for the changes
  • There are some decent perks like Loungebuddy access
  • But it’s probably not worth keeping after the first year

All in all, Green from Amex is a better version of itself, but still the same old Green card. By that, I mean lackluster.

And remember, the old annual fee was $95, the new annual fee is $150. So you’re paying for the extra benefits.

You could make a case for it, especially with the 30,000-point sign-up bonus, but there are certainly better credit card offers out there, especially after year one.

Nothing stands out in a sea of other choices, other than the cool green color of the card.

But it might be a good starter card for someone new to travel rewards and/or American Express.

For the record, existing American Express Green Card holders will receive these new benefits immediately, and the new annual fee will go into effect on their next renewal date on or after January 1, 2020.

By Colin Robertson

Colin created this blog after spending several years in a job that required him to scour credit reports on a daily basis. His goal is to help individuals better understand their credit and get the most out of credit cards.

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