Is the Green Card from America Express worth it?

Review: American Express® Green Card – February 2018

The Green Card lacks the punch offered by other charge cards from American Express.

  • Get this card if… you want to whet your appetite with an American Express charge card.
  • Pick something else if…you want cash back or don’t want an annual fee.

The Green Card is an entry-level charge card that offers points for spending. Though it’s part of an excellent suite of charge cards — including the Gold Card, Premier Rewards and Platinum Card — it doesn’t offer enough for what you’ll pay for it. You can get virtually the same features with a no-annual-fee card like the Amex EveryDay.

Product NameAmerican Express® Green Card
APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate )No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month
Annual fee$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Card TypeAmerican Express
Returned Payment Fee$38
Minimum Interest$0
Minimum Credit ScoreFair (660-699)
Minimum Age18 years of age
Annual fee$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Returned Payment Fee$38
Late Payment Fee$38
Additional Cardholder Fee$30 after the first 5 cards
Rewards ProgramAmerican Express Rewards
Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC)2
Points ExpiryNever

Who is the Green Card for?

The problem with the Green Card is it’s matched or exceeded by other Amex cards with lower annual fees. $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 p.a.. Almost every feature in the Green Card is matched by the Amex EveryDay Credit Card.

The EveryDay offers 2x points at AmexTravel.com, travel protection and purchase benefits — and you don’t have to pay an annual fee. The Green Card doesn’t up the ante with its offer of only 1x points for all purchases. It’s also a charge card, so it may not be the best choice if you’re used to carrying balances month to month.

What’s a charge card?

With a charge card, you have to pay your balance in full each month. Typically, a charge card won’t have preset spending limits, though these limits can change.

If you’re looking for a charge card with more, consider the American Express Gold Card, Premier Rewards Gold Card or Platinum Card. You’ll pay a higher annual fee for each card, but the rewards you earn will likely cover your cost. The Premier Rewards Gold Card is an especially good choice, offering an excellent mix of rewards for travel and everyday spending.

The perks

  • POINTS: More points when you book through American Express Travel.
    2x Membership Rewards points when you book through AmexTravel.com. 1x points on other eligible purchases
  • ANNUAL FEE: $0 intro annual fee for the first year of Card Membership, then $95 p.a.
    Redeem Membership Rewards points.
    You can redeem your membership rewards points for dining, shopping and travel rewards.

You’ll also like…

  • Travel protection. You’ll have access to the American Express Global Assist and Roadside Assistance Hotline, which you can use if you find yourself in a pinch on vacation. Also, get complimentary car rental and and baggage insurance.
  • Purchase benefits. Get free two-day shipping at ShopRunner, as well as extended warranties and purchase protection on eligible items.
  • Exclusive American Express perks. Access Amex Offers and cardholder-only events.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee: $0 intro annual fee for the first year of Card Membership, then $95 p.a. $0 intro annual fee for the first year of Card Membership, then $95.
  • Not a normal credit card. The Green Card is a charge card, which means you have to pay your balance in full each month.
  • Not as widely accepted overseas. Because the Green Card is an American Express card, you might not have as many opportunities to use it overseas as you would with a Visa or Mastercard. It also has a foreign transaction fee.
  • It hurts to pay late. Making late or returned payments could saddle you with fees as high as $38.

Consider other cards if…

  • You don’t spend much in travel. You may be better off with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, which offers 2x points on all purchases.

Compare other American Express credit cards

Rates last updated February 22nd, 2018
Name Product APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Intro APR for Balance Transfer Annual fee Product Description
Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card
15.24% to 23.24% variable
0% Intro APR for 12 months (with $5 minimum, 5% balance transfer fee)
$0 annual fee for the first year ($45 thereafter)
20,000 bonus points if you spend $3,000 (net purchases) in first 3 months
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
14.24% to 26.24% variable
0% Intro APR for 12 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
20000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 (net purchases) in first 3 months
Blue from American Express® Card
16.49%, 19.49% or 21.49% variable
16.49%, 19.49% or 21.49%% Intro APR for within 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Earn rewards with no annual fee.
Blue Sky from American Express® Card
18.49%, 21.49% or 23.49% variable
18.4921.4923.49% Intro APR for within 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Flexible travel rewards and no annual fee.
Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express
16.99% to 25.99% variable
16.9925.99% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, 5% or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Earn 50000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $1,000 or more in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express
16.24% to 20.24% variable
16.2420.24% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$75
Earn 100000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $3,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
American Express Serve®
FREE ATM withdrawals at over 24,000 MoneyPass® ATM locations nationwide.
The Mercedes-Benz Credit Card from American Express
16.49% variable
16.49% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$95
Earn 10000 Membership Rewards ® points after using your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
Plenti® Credit Card from Amex
15.99% to 25.99% variable
15.9925.99% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Earn 5000 Plenti® points after you spend $250 in purchases on your Plenti® Credit Card from Amex within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
16.99% to 25.99% variable
16.99% to 25.99%% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$195
Earn 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs)
and 35000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. In addition, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first 3 months.
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
16.99% to 25.99% variable
16.99% to 25.99%% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 30000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express
16.99% to 25.99% variable
$450
Earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 40000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
16.99% to 25.99% variable
16.99% to 25.99% variable% Intro APR for 60 days (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$195
Earn bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
American Express® Green Card
No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Shop with more confidence
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month
$0 annual fee for the first year ($195 thereafter)
More Points. More Rewards.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month
$550
Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
14.24% to 25.24% variable
0% Intro APR for first 15 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive the $150 back in the form of a statement credit.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
14.24% to 25.24% variable
0% Intro APR for 12 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$95
Earn $200 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive the $200 back in the form of a statement credit.
Amex EveryDay® Credit Card
14.24% to 24.24% variable
0% Intro APR for first 12 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Earn 10000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card
14.24% to 24.24% variable
0% Intro APR for 12 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$95
Earn 15000 Membership Rewards Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Credit Card
16.49% to 20.49% variable
16.4920.49 % Intro APR for 60 days (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 25000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
USAA Secured Card American Express®
11.15% to 21.15% variable
$35
You can get travel benefits (no foreign transaction fees), retail benefits and collision damage waiver coverage on your rental car.
USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card
13.15% to 27.15% variable
$0
Get high cash back rewards on most purchases, including gasoline, groceries and military base purchases.

Compare up to 4 providers

What to know before you apply

To apply for the Green Card, you must be at least 18 years old and a resident of the US.

Always consider your options and your financial situation before you apply for a credit card.

Information you’ll need

  • Full name and contact information
  • Residential status
  • Annual income, source of income and employment information
  • Social Security number and date of birth

What credit score do I need?

You’ll have a better chance of being approved for the Green Card if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher.

How to apply for the card

1. On the American Express website, click the Apply Now button. step 1 american express green card 2. Fill out the application form. Provide information like your Social Security number, home address, income source and total annual income. step 2 american express green card

How long will it take to be approved?

Because conditional credit card approval is automated on the website, you can get a decision on your application within 60 seconds.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Making payments. Register an account at the American Express website to pay your balance online. You can also enroll in autopay.
  • Avoiding fees. Late and returned payments come with hefty fees of up to $38.
  • Customer service. Help documents aren’t easily accessible on the American Express website, but you can call 1-800-528-4800 for customer service. According to market research company J.D. Power, cardholders give American Express high marks in customer interaction.

Bottom line

It’s tough to recommend the Green Card due to its lack of features. For a better charge card, consider the American Express Gold Card, Premier Rewards Gold Card or Platinum Card.

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