American express green card review

American Express Green Card Review

  • No Preset Spending Limit
  • Great reward program

Introduction - The American Express Green Card was the original Amex charge card that was introduced way back in 1958. Since then, new versions like the Gold and Platinum versions have been introduced. This card is synonymous with their ad slogan "don't leave home without it"!

American Express Green Card Review

The Amex Green card is the worst Membership Rewards card, offering poor earning rates for a quite high annual fee. We think this card is not a good fit for most of consumers, and if you keep on reading, you will find out why.

Overview

• Earn 2x Membership Rewards points at amextravel.com.

• Earn 1x Membership Rewards point on all other purchases.

• Amex Mobile App.

• 24/7 Amex Customer Service.

• Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance.

• Travel Accident Insurance.

• Roadside Assistance Hotline.

• Global Assist Hotline.

• $95 annual fee (waived for the first year).

• Foreign transaction fee: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

- Late payment: Up to $38.

- Returned payment: Up to $38.

The annual fee is waived

Luckily, you can give this card a try without incurring an annual fee during the first year of your card membership.

Just like any other Amex card, the Amex Green features the usual Amex perks, such as access to presale tickets and awesome events or annual account summaries, which help you keep track of your credit. When you shop at ShopRunner stores, you will enjoy free two-day shipping and free return shipping on eligible items. There are hundreds of stores and thousands of brands available for you to choose from, but keep in mind many require a minimum purchase amount.

Membership Rewards is a great rewards program, offering plenty of opportunities to earn and redeem points. With the Amex Green, frequent travelers will score double points per dollar when they book through American Express Travel, and one point on every other purchase they make using their card.

We cannot think of any single explanation that would justify the incredibly high annual fee on this card.

Miserable earning scheme

How many thousands of dollars would you have to spend through the Amex Travel Center to earn an amount of points redeemable for a decent reward? Without a signup bonus, and one poor point per $1 on all non-Amex-travel purchases, it would take you a long time to even start planning your first redemption!

How can anyone design a rewards card without offering a signup bonus? There are dozens of cards with incredible one-time offers and since the market is so competitive, one would think companies would fight over customers. Amex can certainly afford bad products, indeed.

Each time a cardholder uses this card to make purchases in a foreign currency, either abroad or online, (s)he will be charged 2.7% of the amount in US dollars. For $1,000 spent, there’s a $27 fee. Is this a travel card? I don’t think so.

• Anyone looking to waste their money.

• No one should get it.

Which card should I get if I don’t like this one?

If you want to earn Membership Rewards points on your daily spending, then you should choose the Amex EveryDay Preferred. This credit card offers 3x points on the first $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets, 2x points at U.S. gas stations, 2x points at amextravel.com, and 1x point on everything else. After you make $1,000 in purchases within the first three months, you will receive 15,000 Membership Rewards bonus points. If you manage to use your credit card 30 or more times during a billing period, you will earn 50% more points!

As a cardholder, you will enjoy many great Amex benefits, including travel and purchase protection, the Amex app, Pay with Points, Point Transfer, and more. Unfortunately, this credit card also comes with FX fees, and a $95 annual fee that’s not waived, but since it offers more earning opportunities and bonus points, consumers should give it a try anyway. (Or get a no-annual-fee Membership Rewards card instead.)

This card is packed with incredible perks that aren’t usually offered on the “regular” rewards card. For $85 per year, you will receive a TSA Pre✓ ® or Global Entry application fee credit, free Boingo Wi-Fi worldwide, a $25 air allowance per each award ticket, and enjoy Global Dining Program features, National Car Rental discounts, Boston Coach chauffeured service discounts, smart chip technology, and no foreign transaction fees! The U.S. Bank FlexPerks Gold Amex card offers amazing Amex benefits, including Amex CONNECT, Concierge Services, travel and purchase protection, and more.

As a card member, you will earn FlexPerks points on all your purchases: 3x points at restaurants, 2x points at gas stations and airlines, and 1x point on all other purchases! There is also a 30,000-point bonus when you spend $2,000 within the first FOUR months of account opening, which is more than enough for a free flight! You can travel on more than 150 airlines, with no blackout dates or online redemption fees, with award tickets starting at only 20,000 FlexPerks points! Of course, you can also redeem your points for merchandise, gift cards or statement credits, in which case redemptions start at 1,000 points.

As one of the best travel credit cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers double points on travel and dining, and an incredible signup bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 within the first three months. Your points are worth 25% when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards, which means the signup bonus is valued at $625 in travel redemptions! You will enjoy extraordinary benefits, and flexible redemption options, the best of which would probably be the 1:1 point transfer. This options allows you to transfer your points to some of the best frequent traveler programs, including Southwest Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, Singapore Airlines, Hyatt, Marriott, and IHG Rewards Club.

With the $95 annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Preferred being waived for the first year, and no foreign transaction fees, this credit card is the perfect choice for any passionate traveler.

The American Express Green Card is one of the least valuable card offers we’ve ever seen. Its high annual fee, lack of decent earning opportunities, and poor benefits make this card more trouble than it’s worth.

Overview

American Express Green Card Review: Earn 25,000 Points (Targeted)

The American Express Green Card is offering 25,000 Points when you spend $1,000 within 3 months. Earn 2x points on Amextravel.com purchases, Amextravel.com is American Express’ travel website in which you can book hotels, flights and more. Though they generally don’t show the cheapest price around, they offer price matching and great service and benefits to make up for it. Additionally, earn 1X points for every eligible dollar on all other purchases. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year. The American Express Green card is a charge card therefore the balance must be paid in full each month. You can use your points in the Membership Rewards Program with over 500 leading brands in travel, gift cards, merchandise, or entertainment. You can also transfer points to select frequent traveler programs.

Get Green Card 25,000 Points Promotion:

  1. Go onto the American Express Green CardPromotion Page
  2. Click the “Apply Now” button to apply for the American Express Green Card
  3. Once you’ve been approved for this card and receive it spend $1,000 in 3 months
  4. Earn 25,000 Bonus Points!

American Express Green Card Summary:

  • Apply Now(must be in incognito mode)
  • Bonus Promotion: 25,000 Points
  • Spending Requirement: None
  • Annual Fee: $95 waived the first year
  • Bonus Worth: Approximately $250
  • Expiration Date: Limited time only
  • Additional Advice: To earn 2X Points make sure to use amextravel.com on your travel

American Express Green Card Features:

  • 25,000 Bonus Points
  • Earn Points: 2X on purchases made from the American Express Travel website and 1X on all other purchases.
  • Annual fee of $95 waived the first year.
  • Use points in the Membership Rewards program for travel, gift cards, merchandise, entertainment, and also transfer your points to selected frequent flyer programs.
  • Other travel benefits like roadside and global assistance, insurance for car rental loss or damage, travel accident, and baggage.
  • Purchase and return protection, extended warranty, and dispute resolution.
  • Terms and restrictions apply.

American Express Green Card Pros:

  • 25,000 Bonus Points
  • 2X on purchases made from the American Express Travel website

American Express Green Card Cons:

  • Poor Rewards Rate
  • Must pay balance at the end of the month

Get 2X Points on amextravel.com with the American Express Green card. The most appealing benefit of the American Express Green card is the ability to use your points in the Membership Rewards program to book flights and hotels with the American Express Travel site. There are no blackout dates or seat restrictions. You can also transfer your earned points to select frequent traveler programs. However, compared to other American Express cards and all other cards in general, the Green charge card may be lower in value with limited reward opportunities, limited features and a $95 annual fee although waived the first year. Review our complete list of Credit Card Promotions for other bonus offers and features that you may be searching for.

-Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months

-Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases

-Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Android Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening

-No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open

-Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

-0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 14.24%-26.24% variable APR; balance transfer fees apply

Anthony Nguyen, founder of Bankcheckingsavings.com, has a passion for finding the best deals, bank promotions, credit card offers, cash back, points & miles, and everything in between. Contact Anthony for media/advertising.

Chase Total Business Checking® Earn a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Business Checking ® account and deposit $1,000 or more within 10 days & maintain that balance for 60 days, and complete 5 qualifying transactions within 60 days.

Chase Total Checking® + Chase Savings SM - Earn a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking ® account and set up direct deposit. Also get an additional $150 bonus when you open a new Chase Savings SM account, deposit a total of $10,000 or more within 10 days & maintain $10,000 balance for 90 days.

Review of the American Express® Green Card: Is it worth the $95 annual fee?

Sep 04, 2017 | Updated Jan 07, 2018

Credit Card Insider receives compensation from some credit card issuers as advertisers. Advertiser relationships do not affect card ratings or our Editor's Best Card Picks. American Express has not endorsed this content in any way.

This is a review of 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 have high annual fees and interest rates, meaning you need to make good use of them or they’ll just cost you money. This one has an annual fee, but it’s waived for the first year and is on the low side for travel cards.

If you can spend $5,000 on travel every year through the Amex Travel website, the value of the points you earn will offset that fee (with a little extra), and you should get even more value from the other perks and benefits.

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For People with

  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year then $95
  • Interest Rate: Not Applicable - Paid in Full Monthly
  • 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.

We gave this card 4 out of 5 Stars because it’s a good offer for the fee, compared to other travel cards. You won’t need to pay the annual fee for the first year, and after that it’s relatively low.

You need to be willing to make all of your travel purchases through American Express, where you’ll earn 2 points per dollar. This makes it more restrictive than many other travel cards, which have more flexibility when it comes to earning rewards — they’ll reward you for more kinds of purchases, making it easier to earn points.

The points you earn with the Green Card will be worth different amounts depending on how you choose to redeem them. You can earn the equivalent of 2% cash back, but you may find more value in your points if you transfer them to a frequent traveler program that you like. This will cost a small fee when transferring to US airlines.

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. There are a lot of ways to save money with this card, so be sure to check it out thoroughly and make use of them when it will profitable. These include a rotating selection of travel discounts and offers at airlines and hotels around the world, special cash back offers at select retailers, and a 10% discount on utilities.

Overall, a solid travel card for the price, as long as you can book travel through Amex and maximize your point redemptions. Keep reading to learn how to do just that.

Using this Card as Part of Your Credit Card Strategy

  • You must be able to spend at least $5,000 per year on travel through Amex Travel to offset the annual fee, not counting any other discounts you might end up getting through the card. You’ll earn 2 points per dollar there but you’ll only earn 1 point per dollar on other purchases, so it will be best to save this card for travel purchases via Amex only and use other cards for other expenses.
  • Don’t get this card unless you can justify the annual fee. Will the value of the points you earn be more than the fee? Your points won’t expire as long as you’re a cardholder, so you won’t need to use them right away.
  • Plan out a strategy to redeem your points for the highest possible value. This will probably mean for flights or gift cards, where your points are the equivalent of up to 2% cash back.
  • If you’re enrolled in a frequent flier or traveler program, you can transfer your points to that program to maximize their value (for a fee of $.0006 per point when transferring to US airlines, otherwise free).
  • Read through the extra benefits and perks and take note of any that might be useful now or in the future. Explore the Amex Travel site to find deals you might be able to take advantage of. Most of the time you probably won’t be able to use them, but every once in a while they could save you a nice chunk of cash.
  • Only get this card if you’re prepared to pay the entire balance in full every month. You won’t have to worry about interest fees, but if you don’t pay on time you will incur a late fee and may hurt your credit.
  • You probably only need one travel card with an annual fee, because they tend to offer similar rewards and benefits. Generally speaking, the higher the annual fee, the better the rewards and benefits. Think about how often you travel and how much you spend, and consider whether a travel card with a lower or higher annual fee might be right for you.

The Green Card can regularly provide the equivalent of .5% – 2% cash back, depending on what you buy and how you redeem your points.

Unfortunately there is no signup point bonus for spending a certain amount, unlike many other travel cards.

  • 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar on eligible travel expenses through Amex Travel
  • 1 Membership Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases

This card is all about spending money through Amex Travel, where you’ll earn the most points per dollar, and that means the most cash back. They offer a nice selection of travel plans and certain price-match guarantees, but take note that you’ll need to earn at least 10,000 points per year just to offset the annual fee.

The best, and cheapest, way to earn those points is to spend $5,000 on purchases through Amex Travel, earning 2 points dollar for a total of 10,000 points. Assuming you redeem the points at a value of $0.01, which is easy to achieve by cashing in for gift cards, the 10,000 points will have a value of $100. That makes up for the annual fee with $5 left over. This might be hard for some people to accomplish.

When considering this card, take some time to explore the Amex Travel site and ensure that you’ll be able to make good use of it. You can search for a wide variety of flights, hotels, flight+hotel packages, cruises, and car services.

The points you earn can be redeemed in a variety of ways, and the value of those points will depend on how you redeem them. Here, we’ll talk about redemptions in terms of 10,000 points. There are quite a few different ways to redeem, depending on what you want.

But the most profitable way to redeem your points is for flights and certain gift cards, where you can redeem 10,000 points for $100. That’s the equivalent of getting 1% – 2% cash back, depending on how you earned those points. If you earned 1 point per dollar to get those points, you’re getting 1% cash back. If you earned 2 points per dollar, you’re getting 2% cash back. We discuss your redemption options below.

You can also have your points transferred to a loyalty program, like a frequent flyer or traveler program you’re enrolled in. There’s a fee of $0.0006 per point when transferred to US airlines, but this may be one of the best ways to get a lot of value from these points. When transferring to other programs, there is no charge. What you get will depend on the terms of your particular program.

If you want to use your points to directly pay off your balance, this is known as getting a statement credit. For 10,000 points you’ll get a credit for $60, which is not a very good redemption value. That’s the equivalent of only .6% – 1.2% cash back, depending on how you earn those points.

The following are just a few examples of what you can get when you redeem 10,000 points, along with how much your points will be worth for each method. In these examples we give the value your points will be worth, along with the cash back value range for each redemption option — the lower number is the value if you earn 1 point per dollar, while the higher number is the value if you earn 2 points per dollar. Explore the full range of Amex Membership Rewards redemption options to learn more.

To redeem for travel expenses you’ll have a few options, with the most valuable being for airline flights. The main way is to redeem through American Express Travel, though there are a couple other travel services you can use as well. You’ll be able to redeem 10,000 points in the following ways.

For 10,000 points, you can get a gift card of up to $100 for a variety of merchants. Here are just a few.

Point of Sale and Entertainment

You can use your points at checkout with the following merchants. 10,000 points will get you:

Transferring to Loyalty Programs

You can transfer your points to a wide selection of loyalty programs, covering many popular airlines and hotel chains (as well as the Plenti program). You’ll be charged a fee of $0.0006 per point when transferring to US airlines, but otherwise there is no charge.

The basic transfer rate is 1:1, but you’ll occasionally find deals where you can get a different return on your points. We’ve listed some popular frequent traveler programs here, along with the transfer rate and some examples of the points you can expect to get. Each program will allow you to transfer points at a certain increment. Take note that these offers were available when this review was written, and they may change.

Let’s go through some examples to illustrate the value of your points after you convert them to a frequent traveler program. Keep in mind that there are many factors that influence the price of flights and hotel rooms, including time of year, demand, availability, and special events. Airlines and hotel chains offer special deals and packages pretty frequently, which will also affect prices and point redemption values. While the following are actual real-world examples, the point transfer values you find for your flights and rooms may differ from what we show here.

Good Value — Delta Airlines SkyMiles

Say you and a fellow passenger want to take a nonstop Delta flight from the New York Laguardia Airport to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. On Monday, October 2 nd , this would normally cost you $158.40 total, assuming you take the main cabin class. But what if you wanted to pay in Membership Rewards points, which you would transfer to miles?

According to Delta, you’ll need 11,000 miles to pay for this particular trip, along with an extra $11.20 because you can only use miles in increments of 1,000 with Delta, so you need to pay a bit extra to cover the difference. Since Delta has a 1:1 point transfer, you’ll need to earn 11,000 Membership Rewards points. Using your Green Card, the most efficient way to earn those points is to spend $5,500 on travel expenses through American Express Travel, earning 2 points per dollar for a total of 11,000.

Next, you’ll transfer those Membership Rewards points to Delta, and they’ll become 11,000 SkyMiles®. Since there is a fee of $0.0006 per point transferred, you’ll be charged a fee of $6.60 for a transfer of this size. Now you can use your miles to pay for your flight.

To figure out the value of your miles, we subtract $11.20 from $158.40 to get the direct redemption value of 11,000 SkyMiles, which is $147.20. But we must also subtract the $6.60 fee you paid earlier, so we come to a total of $140.60. So for this particular flight 11,000 miles is equivalent to $140.60, meaning each mile is worth 1.28 cents.

So to sum it all up, you spend a total of $5,517.80 to earn those initial points, pay the redemption fee, and pay the remaining cost for the flight. For all that, you’ve earned a 2-passenger ticket valued at $158.40.

Overall, this particular deal provides the equivalent of 2.87% cash back. This is pretty good, especially considering the most you can get through a normal Membership Rewards point redemption is 2% cash back.

Poor Value — Starwood Preferred Guest

One of the best ways to redeem your Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) points, known as Starpoints, is for free night stays. You’ll find a variety of these deals, depending on where and when you want to travel.

For this example let’s imagine staying at the Sheraton Cerritos Hotel, in Cerritos, California. One basic night here in a standard room with two double beds will cost $195, for a total of $222 after all charges and taxes. This particular deal will cost 10,000 Starpoints before those charges and taxes, according to SPG. So, how much would you have to spend with your Green Card to pay for this using your Membership Rewards points?

The transfer rate for Membership Rewards points to Starpoints is 1:.33. Since you can only transfer in increments of 1,000 with SPG, you’ll need to trade in 31,000 Membership Rewards points to get 10,323 Starpoints.

The most efficient way to earn all those points is through American Express Travel, where you’ll earn 2 points per dollar. If you spend $15,500 there, you’ll earn your 31,000 points. Remember, there is no fee when transferring to hotels, so this can save you a few bucks compared to airline mile transfers. Once you convert your Membership Rewards into Starpoints, you’ll be able to reserve your hotel room.

To figure out the value of your Starpoints, we can say that 10,000 Starpoints is equal to $195. This means that each Starpoint is worth 1.95 cents.

However, the full cost of the room was $222 with the extra charges and tax — that’s an extra $27 you’ll need to pay when you cash in those Starpoints for this room. So to sum everything up, you spend a total of $15,527 to earn a free room valued at $222.

Overall, this particular deal provides the equivalent of only 1.43% cash back. When it comes down to it you’re not getting a very good cash back value, especially when you compare it to the Delta example above where you’re getting nearly double the cash back. Take note that even though your Starpoints here end up being worth more per point than the Delta SkyMiles above, making it seem like a good deal, the overall cash back equivalent is much less for the Starpoints.

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 some of them.

American Express Travel Services

Amex provides a variety of benefits for booking travel through their in-house service, American Express Travel. Many of these benefits come and go, and are only available for a limited time before being replaced by something else.

These benefits include discounts at hotels, reduced airfare, and special offers and upgrades from individual merchants, like complimentary extra nights at resorts.

Remember to check for savings opportunities here whenever you travel, and you can also join their email newsletter to receive even more offers.

You’ll have access to discounts at a wide variety of merchants — currently there are 73 different offers available, and the selection changes now and then.

You just need to head to the Amex Offers program and click ‘Add to Card’ for the deals you want. Then, just use your card as you normally would to make a purchase with that merchant. Your savings will appear as a statement credit later on, reducing your account balance. You may or may not earn additional rewards at the regular rate — this will depend on the particular offer.

Many of the deals can be quite valuable, saving you from $5 up through more than $100 for some of them. For most of them, you’ll need to spend a certain amount to get a certain discount. Some of the current offers include:

If you book an eligible prepaid hotel room through Amex Travel and then find the same room being advertised online for a lower price, you can be refunded for the difference. You must submit your claim before the check-in date, and be sure to check your card details because some restrictions apply.

Free 2-Day Shipping and Returns

Cardholders will have access to free 2-day shipping and returns through the ShopRunner service. This benefit includes over 140 merchants and brands, which you can easily browse.

You must manually enroll in this benefit to make use of it.

Occasionally you’ll be given the opportunity to save 10% on your cable, satellite TV, or cell phone bills. Just find the offer and click ‘Add to Card,’ and then use your card to pay for the utility as normal.

American Express Personal Loans

Green Card members have the opportunity to apply for a loan through American Express (but only if they have been pre-approved). Loans are offered from $3,500 to $25,000, with fixed interest rates from as low as 6.90% up to 19.97%.

We’ve only described some of the most interesting benefits here but there are quite a few more to explore, including shopping protections and security features. Check out the full range of benefits for the Amex Green Card here.

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 only making purchases in the U.S. while 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.

Unlike many cards designed for travel rewards, this card has a foreign transaction fee. However, the reason to get this card is for spending with Amex Travel, not for other types of purchases. You should use a different card for non-Amex Travel purchases to get more rewards value anyway, and you could find one with no foreign transaction fee.

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

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 and explore it a bit to make sure that you’ll be able to book your travel there. Will you be able to spend at least $5,000 there each year, and will you be able to redeem your points for the highest values? If the answers to those questions are ‘yes,’ this might be a good card for you.

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

Remember that you’ll be required to pay off your balance in full each month. If you fail to pay off your balance on time you’ll be charged with a late fee, and this may hurt your credit. So even though you don’t need to worry about interest, you’ll still need to be responsible to remain in good standing.

There are a lot of options when it comes to travel cards. Take a look at the Alternatives below for some other good options in the same price range.

How to Apply for the American Express Green Card

Applying for the Green Card is simple. It’s issued by American Express, who will check your credit to determine if they will approve you or not. They usually pull your Experian credit report, though occasionally they’ll pull other reports as well.

This card is meant for people with good to excellent credit, so you may not necessarily get it if you apply.

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For People with

  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year then $95
  • Interest Rate: Not Applicable - Paid in Full Monthly
  • 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.

Alternatives to the American Express Green Card

There are quite a few competing travel cards to stack up against the Green Card. These are all credit cards, meaning you can potentially revolve a balance and be charged interest every month.

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® (Review): same annual fee, great bonus point rewards, travel discounts, and extra perks
  • Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite® (Review): similar fee, great bonus point rewards, and travel discounts
  • Discover it® Miles (Review): no annual fee, easy to earn a lot of points

There’s also a business version of this card, the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express® OPEN. It’s designed to make it easier to separate your personal and business spending, and comes with a nice signup bonus of 5,000 points along with a few business-specific benefits.

The Green Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® (Review) cards have the same exact annual fee structure: $95, waived for the first year. The only difference when it comes to payment is that the Sapphire Preferred is a regular credit card and not a charge card, meaning you can revolve a balance from month to month, gaining interest as you go. However, we recommend that you always pay your balance in full and avoid interest to help your wallet and your credit scores.

The Sapphire Preferred has more options for earning points, and you’ll probably be able to get more value out of them. You’ll gain 2 points per dollar spent on all eligible travel and dining purchases, instead of being limited to Amex Travel Services (Amex will match low hotel prices, however, so that helps even it out a bit).

The Sapphire Preferred also provides a pretty massive spending bonus of 50,000 points for spending $4,000 in the first three months, which is equal to $625 when redeemed for the best value. If you redeem your points for their maximum value, on flights or hotels, your points will be worth 2.5 cents each, the equivalent of 2.5% cash back. This is 25% higher than the maximum value you can get with the Green Card.

You’ll also find many travel discounts and benefits through Chase Ultimate Rewards, the shopping and travel portal. You can transfer your points to frequent traveler programs at a 1:1 rate, which is as good as it gets. There’s no fee for making foreign transactions with this card, so you can bring it with you wherever you go. Overall, the Sapphire Preferred seems to offer a wider, more valuable set of rewards and benefits.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite® (Review) card is slightly cheaper than the Green Card, coming in at $89 per year, waived the first year. It’s a regular credit card, so you’ll be able to revolve a balance while making a minimum payment, and accruing interest.

This is a very rewarding card, offering 2 miles per dollar for every purchase you make whether it’s travel-related or not, no matter where it’s from. This gives you a lot of earning potential compared to the Green Card. You’ll be able to earn 50,000 bonus miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, which is pretty easy if you’re planning a vacation. You’ll also get 5% of your miles back every time you redeem them, which can eventually add up to a lot.

If you trade in your miles with the most valuable redemption option (for travel expenses) your miles will be worth 2 cents each, the equivalent of 2% cash back. The maximum point value for the Green Card is 2 cents as well, but the Arrival Plus World Elite provides more flexibility for earning points and redeeming them. And this doesn’t even count the 5% mile redemption bonus you’ll get every time you redeem, which makes your miles even more valuable.

The Arrival Plus World Elite is a very rewarding card, outstripping the Green Card when it comes to reward potential and when it comes to the extra perks too. These include a personal concierge service, luxury travel benefits, and the ability to earn miles in different ways, such as by sharing travel stories. It has no foreign transaction fee, so you can bring it with you to pay for all your travel expenses, either inside or outside the US.

This is also the only card on our list of alternatives with Chip-and-PIN functionality, which makes it more compatible with a wider variety of vendors outside the US. The other cards in this list all use Chip-and-Signature, which may limit their use in some cases.

The big difference here is that the Discover it® Miles (Review) has no annual fee, making it completely free to use — as long as you avoid interest, because this is a regular credit card that can revolve a balance. A lack of an annual fee is a great thing to have, because it means you’ll never feel pressured to use the card just to make it pay for itself. You can keep it in reserve and just use it whenever necessary.

This card also has a long 0% intro APR of 14 months, meaning you can use it without worrying about interest accruing (at least for a little while). Be sure to pay your minimum payments on time, and when your 0% rate runs out do your best to avoid interest payments.

The Discover it Miles is quite rewarding, despite its lack of fees, offering 1.5 miles per dollar for every purchase you make — travel or otherwise. A great feature from Discover is that they’ll double the miles you earn after your first year, effectively giving you 3 miles per dollar spent.

That’s a whole lot, especially considering that you can redeem those miles for 1 cent each. This is the equivalent of 1.5% cash back normally, but when Discover doubles your miles after the first year you’ll be getting 3% cash back — and this is one of the best redemption deals available in credit cards today. It’s a full 50% more than the Green Card can offer, and after that first year the value is still relatively good.

Discover offers no special travel portal to help you plan your trips and find special offers, however. When it comes to travel planning you won’t find much help there. However, there are a nice set of extra benefits with the card, which include some travel-related discounts and protections. Overall, this is a great travel card because it’s totally free to use (when you avoid interest) but it’s still quite rewarding — especially that first year.

Do you use the Amex Green Card? How do you like it? Leave your own review to let us know!

Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN – Review

Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPENApply Now

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 5,000 Membership Rewards points after first purchase
  • Rewards: 2x points for purchases made on the American Express Travel website; 1x points on other purchases
  • Redemption: Choose rewards from over 500 brands in travel, gift cards, merchandise, or entertainment
  • Intro APR: None
  • Regular APR: None - charge card requires payment in full each month (Amex OPEN credit cards have variable APRs)
  • Fees: 2.7% foreign transaction fee
  • Annual Fee: $95 ($0 for the first year)
  • Credit Needed: Good/Excellent
  • Terms and conditions apply - see rates and fees

The Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is a small business charge card with a $95 annual fee and a rewards program that rewards general spending. Most Green Rewards Card purchases earn 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent. Travel booked through American Express Travel is the exception, as those purchases earn 2 points per $1 spent.

As a charge card, Business Green Rewards doesn’t incur regular interest charges. However, you’re required to pay your balance in full before each statement’s due date. If you fail to pay in full for more than two consecutive cycles, American Express reserves the right to close your account.

Business Green Rewards competes with numerous other business credit cards and charge cards, including the American Express “color9rdquo; charge card family (Business Platinum, Business Gold Rewards, and Plum), Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express, and SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express. Compared with more exclusive business credit and charge cards, Business Green Rewards is easier to qualify for, though you still need very good credit and may need to demonstrate that your business has adequate cash flow.

You get a bonus of 5,000 Membership Rewards points when you make your first purchase with Business Green Rewards. That’s worth up to $50 when redeemed at American Express’s Membership Rewards shopping portal.

Earning Membership Rewards Points

This card earns 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent on most purchases, with no spending caps or earning restrictions. The only exception to this rule is travel purchased through American Express’s own travel portal. Such travel purchases earn an unlimited 2 points per $1 spent.

Redeeming Membership Rewards Points

You can redeem your accumulated Membership Rewards points for travel, general merchandise, transportation (including Uber rides), and cash equivalents, such as gift cards and statement credits. Redemption minimums start at 1,000 points and vary by method. Point values range from $0.005 to $0.01, depending on redemption method. Merchandise redemptions are generally worth $0.01 while cash equivalent redemptions can be worth as little as $0.005 or $0.006.

The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year. There is a 2.7% foreign transaction fee (after conversion to U.S. dollars). Late payments (balances left unpaid for more than two consecutive statement cycles) cost $38 or 2.99% of the late balance. Returned payments cost $38.

As a charge card, Business Green Rewards requires cardmembers to pay their balances in full at the end of each billing period. Those who don’t pay in full are at risk of account closure after two consecutive periods.

However, American Express does offer a way around this requirement for longtime cardmembers in good standing. Known as “Pay Over Time,” this feature permits cardholders to carry balances from month to month, with interest, for an indefinite length of time. Interest charges are variable, depending on prevailing rates.

Business Green Rewards cardholders are entitled to additional earnings through OPEN Savings, which lets cardholders earn their choice of 2 additional Membership Rewards points per $1 spent (on top of normal earnings) or straight 5% discounts (payable to your monthly billing statement) at participating merchants, such as FedEx and 1800Flowers.com. A full list of participating merchants is available at opensavings.com.

Business Green Rewards offers a number of business benefits, including:

  • No-fee employee cards
  • Adjustable employee spending limits
  • Automatic alerts when employees use their cards
  • Digital receipt storage
  • Expense tagging and tracking
  • Access to the American Express OPEN Forum, a great resource for small business owners

Business Green Rewards also has some general benefits available to Amex consumer and business cardholders:

  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • 24/7 global assistance for travelers more than 100 miles from home
  • Baggage insurance for stolen or damaged luggage (subject to dollar amount limits)
  • Extended warranties on all purchased items with original warranties of five years or less

This card requires good to excellent credit. Any notable credit blemishes are likely to be disqualifying.

  1. Somewhat Looser Qualification Standards Than Some Competitors. Business Green Rewards isn’t as exclusive as some business cards. While good to excellent credit and ample cash flow are still required, you don’t need a flawless credit profile or eye-popping revenues to earn card membership. Amex stablemates such as Business Gold Rewards and Business Platinum are much more difficult to qualify for.
  2. Varied Redemption Options. The Membership Rewards program has a highly varied array of merchandise to choose from. It also offers travel, transportation, gift cards, and cash equivalents (including statement credits) as redemption options. That’s a big plus relative to cash- or travel-only rewards programs, such as Capital One Spark Cash and Spark Miles for Business.
  3. OPEN Savings Benefit Boosts Spending Power With Popular Merchants. With OPEN Savings, Business Green Rewards cardholders earn 2 additional Membership Rewards points per $1 spent (on top of what they’d already earn) or straight 5% discounts with partner merchants. Since big names like FedEx and Hertz participate, this benefit is likely to apply to merchants you’d spend money with anyway – a nice addition to Business Green Rewards’ existing loyalty deal.
  4. Nice Travel Rewards. Business Green Rewards’ best points-earning power comes on travel purchases made through American Express Travel. Some competing cards, including those in the U.S. Bank Business Edge family, give no special preference to travel purchases or redemptions.
  5. Lots of Fringe Benefits. Business Green Rewards has a lot of fringe benefits, including 24/7 roadside assistance, luggage insurance, extended warranties, and a global assistance hotline for travelers. Chase Ink Business Cash and Chase Ink Business Preferred have fewer such benefits.
  1. Has an Annual Fee. Business Green Rewards comes with a $95 annual fee. This is a disadvantage compared with some fee-free business rewards cards, such as American Express SimplyCash Plus and Blue Business Plus, as well as Capital One Spark Miles and Spark Cash Select for Business.
  2. Rewards Points Accumulate Slowly. Business Green Rewards earns just 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent on most purchases. The only exception is travel booked through American Express, which accrues points at 2x that rate. This is far less generous than many competing business cards, such as Chase Ink Business Preferred (up to 3x points on select categories) and Capital One Spark Cash (unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases).
  3. Weak Welcome Offer. This card’s welcome offer is worth just $50 when redeemed for merchandise at the Membership Rewards portal, and even less when redeemed for statement credits. By comparison, Capital One Spark Miles’s offer is worth $500, while Chase Ink Business Preferred‘s is worth up to $1,000.
  4. Usually Need to Pay in Full. Unless you’re approved for the Pay Over Time deal, you must pay your Business Gold Rewards balance in full each month. Since Pay Over Time is only available to cardmembers with long periods of responsible card use and on-time payments, you shouldn’t expect to enjoy it from the get-go. If you value the ability to pay off large business purchases over time, this limitation is likely to give you pause as you weigh your card options. For cards that let everyone pay over time from the outset, look to American Express Blue Business Plus or U.S. Bank Business Edge.

The Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is one of several color-coded business charge cards offered by American Express. It’s useful for prospective Business Green Rewards cardmembers to think of their card as just one rung on American Express’s charge card ladder. Higher rungs equate to more generous benefits and rewards-earning power, while lower rungs are easier to climb onto if your credit history and cash flow are not ideal.

In this setup, Business Green Rewards is the lowest rung on the ladder. It doesn’t have a generous rewards-earning scheme or particularly attractive benefits, beyond the value-added benefits that accrue to all American Express business cardholders. As your business grows, your credit improves, and your cash flow increases, you can set your sights on graduating to higher rungs on the ladder: Business Gold Rewards, which has a much more generous rewards scheme, and Business Platinum, whose travel benefits are legendary. The climb may take some time, but the view from the top is definitely worth it.

Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

Though it’s still somewhat exclusive by the standards of the broader business credit and charge card ecosystem, the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is the most approachable American Express business charge card. That makes it a good starter option for smaller, scrappier businesses with lower spending requirements and less-than-perfect credit. That said, Business Green Rewards is not ideal for business owners who don’t like annual fees, or who prefer more generous rewards programs. It’s also not ideal for heavy-spending businesses that can afford and benefit from more exclusive cards.

A varied rewards program, looser qualification standards, travel benefits, and fringe benefits are all very nice perks with this card. However, the annual fee, slow point-earning ability, weak welcome offer, and pay-in-full requirement are definitely drawbacks. Overall, it’s a good place to start on American Express’s business charge card ladder, but the real prizes occupy higher rungs.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.



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