Review of the American Express® Green Card

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

May 25, 2016 | Updated Jun 27, 2016

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This is a review of the one of the better low-tier travel cards, the American Express Green Card.

This is a charge card, not a credit card – this means that you’ll need to pay your balance in full every month, so there’s no interest to worry about.

Many travel cards are expensive to own. This one has an annual fee, but it’s waived for the first year and is on the low side for travel cards. The points you get should offset the fee, and the other benefits should make the card worth the cost as well.

Read on to learn how this card can help you save money on travel, while providing some other travel benefits that could come in useful in a pinch.

Insider Tip: Looking for travel credit cards, instead of charge cards? Check out the Best Travel Credit Cards – 2016.

American Express® Green Card

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year then $95
  • Interest Rate: Not Applicable - Paid in Full Monthly
Quick Card Facts
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent by booking with your card through American Express Travel.
  • Earn 1 point every $1 you spend on all other eligible purchases.
  • Points have no expiration date.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year of card membership, then $95.
  • Terms and restrictions apply.

The Rewards

You’ll get:

  • 2 points per dollar on eligible travel expenses through amextravel.com
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases

The points you earn can be redeemed for statement credits to pay for your purchases, or transferred to a frequent flyer program you’re enrolled in. There’s a fee of $0.0006 per point transferred.

The Benefits

You’ll get some benefits with this card that could be pretty useful when traveling. Just remember that you have them available, and that you’ll need to call customer service to make use of most of them.

Perks

  • Entertainment Access

    Discounts to card member-only events, concerts, sporting events, and shows.

  • Amex Offers

    Special discounts and offers at certain restaurants, retailers, and entertainment venues.

  • No Blackout Dates or Seat Restrictions

    When you book travel with your card.

Security

  • Dispute Resolution Service

    Help with fraudulent transactions.

  • Zero Liability Protection

    You won’t be held liable for fraudulent transactions (contact your card issuer immediately)

Shopping

  • Extended Warranty

    For warranties of 5 years or less you can get up to one extra year added to the original manufacturer’s warranty.

  • Purchase Protection

    Items purchased with your card are protected against accidental damage and theft within 90 days of the purchase.

  • Return Protection

    If the merchant won’t take back an eligible item that you purchased on your card within 90 days from the date of purchase, American Express may refund the purchase price, minus shipping and handling, for up to $300 per item, up to $1000 per year for each account.

  • Free ShopRunner Membership

    Provides free 2-day shipping and free return shipping on eligible items at participating stores (must register for the service).

Travel

  • Global Assist® Hotline

    When you travel 100 miles or more from home you can get help with travel accidents such as a lost passport, the need for a lawyer, sudden illness, and more. You pay for all third-party service costs.

  • Roadside Assistance Hotline

    Assistance with services such as towing, changing a flat, or boosting a battery in case of emergency. You pay for all third-party service costs.

  • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance

    Stolen or damaged vehicles are covered if you use your card to pay and reserve the rental, and you decline the collision damage waiver. Not all rentals or vehicles are covered. Provides secondary coverage only, not liability coverage.

  • Travel Accident Insurance

    Added financial security if death or dismemberment is caused when traveling by plane, train, ship, or bus.

  • Baggage Insurance Plan

    Your baggage is covered when traveling by common carrier (up to $1,250 for carry-on, up to $500 for checked).

The Costs & Fees

Annual Fee Regular APR for Purchases Foreign Transaction Fee
$0 for the first year then $95 N/A 2.7%
Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
Up to $37 Up to $37

This is a charge card, so you won’t find any interest rates here. You’ll need to pay off your entire balance in full every month.

The only fees on this card are the annual fee, the foreign transaction fee, and the late/returned payment fees. So, as long as you’re paying off your balance in full and on time each month, the only expense you’ll need to pay for this card is the annual fee.

Insider Tip: You may be able to get the annual fee on this card waived. Just call customer service and ask nicely to have it waived, explaining that you’ve been a good, responsible customer for some time. Or, if you’re thinking of canceling the card, you can let them know that you’d consider staying with them if they waive the fee. In some cases they may offer a different incentive, like bonus points.

And if you’re in the military on active duty, you can submit an online request for SCRA benefits, which will probably include having the annual fee waived.

The Bottom Line: 4 Out Of 5 Stars

The American Express Green Card is fairly simple, but still a good offer for a charge card designed for travel.

The fact that you need to pay off your balance in full every month means that you’ll never have interest charges to pay. This makes it fairly cheap, compared to most travel credit cards, because you’ll only have the $95 fee to pay each year (after the first year).

Take a look at your spending habits, especially how much you spend on travel. You’ll earn 2x points per dollar when you shop through amextravel.com, so visit the site to make sure that you’ll be able to book your travel there.

And, check out the extra benefits and protections that come with the card. Hopefully you won’t ever need to use most of these, but they’re good to have as a backup just in case.

We gave this card 4 out of 5 Stars because it’s a good offer for the fee, compared to other travel charge credit cards. You won’t need to pay the annual fee for the first year, and after that it’s relatively low. Most issuers don’t offer the lineup of extra perks and benefits that American Express does with this card, so that’s a big plus.

Do you use this card? How do you like it? Click here to leave your own review of the American Express Green Card, we’d love to hear from you!

Looking for other good charge cards? Then check out our picks for the Best Charge Cards – 2016!
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