We recently paid the $150 annual fee for Sharon’s American Express Green Card. I’d usually take this time to evaluate if it’s worthwhile keeping the card, but I know that there’s no chance Sharon will ever let me cancel this card (and since it’s in her name, I’d need her to call AMEX to cancel) (Note from Sharon: And I’d never do that. I love my AMEX green card. I know the number by heart. He’d tell me to call and cancel it and you know what I’d do? I’d say no).
Since AMEX recently increased the Green Card’s annual fee to $150, It’s worthwhile to see what they give you for your money.
Bonus Points Earning Categories
The Green Card earns three Membership Rewards points per dollar on eligible travel purchases including airfare, hotels, cruises, car rentals, campgrounds, trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, tours, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, subways, on third party travel websites, and amextravel.com. The card also earns three Membership Rewards points for each dollar charged at restaurants worldwide.
A comparable points-earning card is the Chase Sapphire Reserve which also earns 3x on travel and dining expenses but comes with a $550 annual fee.
- You receive up to $100 per calendar year in statement credits when you pay for your CLEAR membership with the American Express Green Card. This almost pays the fee for CLEAR each year since anyone can get a membership for $119 or less. You can also add three additional adults to your account for an extra $50.
- You can earn up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year when you use the American Express Green Card to directly purchase lounge access from LoungeBuddy through the LoungeBuddy website or LoungeBuddy app. This is yet another benefit directly related to American Express’s purchase of LoungeBuddy in 2019.
Even though we haven’t flown in almost a year, I’m going to keep our CLEAR memberships active. They extended our membership by three months because we asked and there are reports that they’re offering a second extension to members.
I’m not sure if I’ll get any use from the LoungeBuddy credits but it’s nice to know they’re there if I need them.
The AMEX Green Card provides several types of travel coverage:
- Trip Delay Insurance – $300 for delays of 12 hours or more (if you paid the entire cost of the ticket with your card)
- Baggage Insurance – Coverage for lost, stolen or damaged bags
- Car Rental Insurance – Secondary coverage for most rental cars
The AMEX Green Card also provides purchase protection and extended warranty coverage for items purchased with the card.
Is It Worth It?
Compared to cards from other banks in the same price category, the AMEX Green Card is a solid choice. The 3x Membership Rewards earned on almost all travel expenses and restaurants worldwide is as good or better than what other cards provide. For example, I used our Green Card to pay for our Airbnb rental because of the Green Card’s broad definition for travel expenses.
If you’re getting a card that rewards you for traveling, it makes sense for you to sign up for CLEAR, if you haven’t already, and use the $100 credit.
Besides that, American Express has been adding limited time statement credit offers on top of their regular offers. If you’re able to take advantage of those, it’s easy to break even or even make money with the Green Card over the course of the year.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary