American Express® Green Card Review: 40,000 Point Bonus

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The American Express(R) Green Card is one of AmEx’s classic cards, and they have revamped the rewards structure and added new travel perks. The current welcome offer includes 40,000 Membership Rewards points. Here the the highlights:

  • Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards(R) Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards(R) points on travel including airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, and vacation rentals.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards(R) Points on transit purchases including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards(R) points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the US.
  • $189 CLEAR Plus Credit: Receive up to $189 per calendar year in statement credits when you pay for your CLEAR Plus membership (subject to auto-renewal) with the American Express(R) Green Card.
  • $100 LoungeBuddy Credit: No airport lounge membership? No problem! Purchase lounge access through the LoungeBuddy app using the American Express(R) Green Card and receive up to $100 in statement credits annually.
  • Trip Delay Insurance: If a round-trip is paid for entirely with your Eligible Card and a covered reason delays your trip more than 12 hours, Trip Delay Insurance can help reimburse certain additional expenses purchased on the same Eligible Card, up to $300 per trip, maximum 2 claims per eligible account per 12 consecutive month period. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $150 annual fee. (card_name)

Note the following language:

You may not be eligible to receive a welcome offer if you have or have had this Card or previous versions of this Card. You also may not be eligible to receive a welcome offer based on various factors, such as your history with credit card balance transfers, your history as an American Express Card Member, the number of credit cards that you have opened and closed and other factors. If you are not eligible for a welcome offer, we will notify you prior to processing your application so you have the option to withdraw your application.

This card has not been heavily marketed in the past, so many people (including myself) are still eligible for the welcome offer. The application will tell you if they detect that you are not eligible for the bonus based on their records. Given that you can only get the welcome offer once time per lifetime, it is best to apply during a limited-time offer. (Update: I was approved for this card without issue.)

Membership Rewards points can be converted to the following airline and hotel programs (there are more, this is just a selection):

  • Delta SkyMiles
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • ANA Mileage Club (partner of United Airlines)
  • Air Canada (partner of United Airlines)
  • British Airways (partner of American Airlines)
  • FlyingBlue (Air France/KLM)
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Guest
  • Qantas
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Choice Privileges
  • Hilton Honors
  • Marriott Bonvoy

They also run limited-time 25% to 40% bonuses on points transfers. You can also transfer to gift cards many retailers at varying rates, but many available at the rate of 10,000 MR points = $100 gift card. My most recent redemption was a $100 Home Depot card for 10,000 points, sometimes less when they run special discount. However, don’t expect the cash-equivalent prepaid credit cards at that rate, it’s usually closer to a 0.6 cent/point ratio.

40,000 Membership Rewards points, worth an estimated $400. Some folks value these points much more highly, but I prefer to stick to a simple and conservative 1 cent per point.

CLEAR Plus membership gets you through airport security significantly faster at 50+ airports nationwide via designated lanes at TSA checkpoints. (CLEAR offers separate and short ID check lines, getting you to the x-ray machines faster. But you should also have TSA PreCheck for optimal speed.) If you value this service, then the recurring $189 value can offset the $150 annual fee at renewal time.

Compared with its siblings at American Express, this card has a tighter focus on frequent fliers (3X on travel, CLEAR Plus membership) and the lowest annual fee:

Bottom line. The American Express(R) Green Card is a premium travel card with a welcome offer, revamped 3X rewards categories, and new travel perks. You’ll have to see if your travel habits match up to the perks that this card offers. (card_name)

Also see: Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers.

All information about the American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by

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  1. For a couple that travels and dines out a Green and Platinum might make a lot of sense since they have some benefits and rewards that compliment each other.

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