American Express Green Card Refresh

The venerable American Express Green Card is not a one which ever invoked much excitement. It is often an individual’s first Amex cards that they may hold. I was issued the corporate version many years ago which didn’t earn any Membership Reward (MR) points but I was mandated to use for all business travel. This solidified the notion that the Green Card was nothing special.

That is until rumors started floating around earlier this year that the card would be getting a refresh with some exciting benefits. Per Doctor of Credit the card would be adding an Amazon Prime membership credit and 4X on gas stations.

Finally today Amex released the new Green Card to new applicants with the following benefits with a $150 annual fee:

  • 3X MR Points at restaurants worldwide
  • 3X MR Points on travel including flights, hotels, transit, taxis and ridesharing
  • $100 annual credit for CLEAR membership (the first card I am aware of to offer such benefit)
  • $100 annual Loungebuddy Credit

Signup Bonus

  • 30,000 or 45,000 MR points with $2,000 in spend in the first 3 months. The value seems to vary depending on when you login and Incognito Mode seems to be the best way to generate the 45,000 point offer
  • $100 statement credit on Away luggage purchases made before 1/15/2020

I have been looking for a card to consistently use at gas stations whenever it wasn’t a quarterly bonus category on the Chase Freedom so I was a bit disappointed that 4X points would not be offered on gas. However, with the new Amex Gold card refresh last year whose 4X at restaurants and supermarkets positioned it to be one of my most used cards, putting the Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR) in a support mode for restaurants. Still the CSR provided solid value with 3X on general travel, a category which Amex lacked until now.

Verdict

The new Green Card is a definite upgrade to the basic card that existed previously. 3X at restaurants doesn’t help me all too much since I have the Gold Card for 4X. The 3X on general travel though is a significant benefit and competes directly with the CSR. The CLEAR credit might be useful to some and it is neat to see a card finally offer that benefit. I can’t see myself utilizing the LoungeBuddy benefit since I’m not aware of any LoungeBuddy offerings that are not already covered by the Priority Pass or my Amex Platinum directly. Still the Green Card is a solid product and I will at least try it for the first year at least for the 45k MR bonus. It will be re-evaluated in year 2 to see if the $150 AF is still providing value.

 

 

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