Why Did I get the AmEx Green Card?

The American Express Green Card was the most recognizable card that American Express offers. It has been in many commercials dating back to the “Don’t leave home without it” days of the 70s and 80s. In more recent years, the benefits of the AmEx Gold and Platinum cards (among other American Express cards) have outshined those of the Green Card. There was even some time when the Green Card wasn’t available. A couple of months ago, American Express refreshed the Green Card. Because it wasn’t a player in the miles & points space, I’m calling it a new card and it offers some exciting benefits.

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Current American Express Green Card Offer

Nearly every credit card is unique with the perks and benefits it has. Some benefits may include travel or airline credit, lounge access, free hotel nights, elite status and so on.  It is important to know the major benefits a credit card has so you know if it is valuable to you.

Green Card Signup Offer

Most rewards credit cards have a signup bonus that gives you a large number of points for a certain amount of money spent usually within the first 90 days you have the card. Signup bonuses are valuable but shouldn’t be the only reason you apply for any given card.

The current offer for the Green Card is 35,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 within 90 days. I have seen targeted offers for 45,000. The Gold and Platinum cards have signup offers of 50,000 after spending $4,000 and 70,000 after spending $5,000, respectively. The amount of Membership Rewards points and minimum spend for the Green Card is the best among the best American Express offer right now.

AmEx Green Card with Tumi leather wallet

The Green Card also earns 3 points per dollar on everything travel from public transit to seat assignments. It also earns 3 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide – with no foreign transaction fees. If my math is correct, if you spend the $2000 minimum spend on travel or restaurants, you’d have over 40 or 50,000 Membership Rewards points. Membership Rewards points are AmEx’s rewards points. They’re flexible points that are transferrable to a number of airlines. Mostly because they can be transferred to airlines, these points are worth well over one cent each, so this is over $500 in value.

Away Luggage Credit – A Limited Time Offer

This is a very unique benefit that is only good through January 20. The American Express Green Card is giving a $100 credit on Aways luggage. Putting aside the recent reports of the company being a hostile working environment, Away suitcases are very cool. The luggage starts at about $200 so the $100 credit makes it much more affordable.

In case you’re not familiar with Away Luggage, they are a hard-shell spinner style carry-ons and larger suitcases that come in nearly a dozen different colors. What makes them different is the option to add a built-in, removable, battery so you can charge your portable devices on the go. 

LoungeBuddy Credit

The Green Card also has an annual $100 LoungeBuddy credit. LoungeBuddy is an app that allows users to access certain lounges. The price varies per lounge but typically ranges from $19 to $50.

Bar at the Escape Lounge

I won’t say that this benefit alone makes the Green Card worth it. However, if you only travel several times a year, this may be the route to go instead of opting for a card that gives you Priority Pass membership. If you’d like to try it out, you can save $10 by using code y5oXg1G4Go in the app – just download the LoungeBuddy app, then go to Settings > Credit and enter the code.

$100 Clear Membership Credit

This benefit may be the most appealing of all of the ancillary benefits the Green Card offers. Clear uses your biometric data to provide a separate security line to breeze through TSA checkpoints. You’ll still go through normal security, but this allows you to skip the line.

Wait times at airport security can be quite long and stressful. While Clear isn’t available at all airports, Clear is at some stadiums and other locations. Click here to see where Clear is.

To maximize this benefit, American, Delta, and United Airlines, offer discounts on Clear memberships. The discount is usually based on if you have elite status or an airline co-branded credit card. I’ve seen Clear membership prices for as low as $109, so this $100 credit can be incredibly useful.

Annual Fee

Unfortunately, there is an annual fee though, in my opinion, it is very reasonable. It’s $150 per year which is not waived the first year. Despite the annual fee, I think that the benefits give this card a tremendous value.

Note: Everything above is current and correct at the time of writing. The offer may change in the future.

Why Apply for the American Express Green Card?

Here’s the short answer, the card offers good value for the unique set of benefits it offers. You’d get $300 in credit plus over $500 worth of points for only $150!

I applied for this credit card because it fit well with the rest of the cards I have. For starters, I don’t have a card that earns me Membership Rewards points and it’s always good to diversify where your miles & points are. There are targeted offers on the AmEx Platinum Card that has a 100,000 point sign up bonus. I’m hoping that by having a better relationship with AmEx they will send me one.

My other reason to get this card is that I can make good use of the Clear membership. I already have the AmEx Delta Platinum Business card, so the net cost of a Clear membership is a whopping $9.  That’s super cheap for such a fantastic benefit, even if I only use it once.

The Green Card offers some unique ancillary benefits but they may not be valuable to everyone. What are your thoughts on benefits like the Clear membership, LoungeBuddy and Away luggage credits?

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2 thoughts on “Why Did I get the AmEx Green Card?”

  1. Your math isn’t right. If you spent $2,000 on travel and restaurants you’d get $2,000 x 3 points = 6,000 points. Add that to the signup bonus and you get 36,000 points, not 50,000.

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