The perks are quite good, but the new Green from Amex credit card is rubbish. No seriously, the card is actually made out of recycled ocean plastic, thanks to a partnership with Parley for the Seas, and if you need to turn in your old card, American Express will now recycle it for you properly.
The new card offers 3X spending categories, some clever fee credits and 30,000 Membership Rewards Points after $2,000 in spending within 3 months to kick things off.
It’s safe to say that everyone has had enough of the TSA PreCheck slash Global Entry fee credits. I’m pretty sure every credit card in my wallet offers that actually. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised to see that the American Express® Green Card offers a $100 CLEAR credit, $100 Away credit and $100 LoungeBuddy credit to offset the $150 annual fee.
CLEAR is a great touch for anyone who already has TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or both – who can get CLEAR to enjoy front of line access in a growing number of airports. TSA PreCheck is fast, but CLEAR can absolutely expedite that experience.
In addition, American Express is offering a $100 Away Travel credit for applications received before January 15th, 2020. That means you can effectively take $100 off an Away carry on purchase, be it a backpack, roller carry on or luggage set. Anything goes! I personally use the backpack and larger carry on combo and don’t see that changing anytime soon. $100 off via a statement credit is a nice touch.
Completing the $100 fee credit trifecta, the Green from Amex also offers a $100 LoungeBuddy credit, which is handy for anyone without lounge access. LoungeBuddy is similar to PriorityPass, but more tech focused, where you can buy access on the go and scan a pass from your phone. It’s quite handy when you’re flying an airline outside of your usual patterns, or in an airport without an airline specific lounge option. And yeah, it’s probably handy at other airports too…
Previously, American Express only offered its 3X dining earnings on US restaurants, which meant keeping the card at home while you travelled. Now, 3X applies to restaurants around the world, in addition to: airfare booked directly with airlines, hotel rooms booked directly with hotels and now also transit and other travel categories, like tours.
Rideshares, busses, taxis, metros and tolls now all code as 3X travel with the Green from Amex, in addition to the 3X earning on direct hotel and airline bookings. 3X across a broad travel spectrum is a cool way to go, and given the annual fee is only $150, you’re not faced with a massive annual fee to do so.
Sure, the annual fee is higher than Capital One Venture, or Chase Sapphire Preferred, but the earning and fee credits are compelling for effectively $55 more per year.
If like many travel centric people, you spend a majority of your income on dining and travel related expenses, 3X across those categories is a very solid earner at a non ultra premium card fee level, and the fee credits more than justify the first year fee.
This should feel standard at this point, but crucially – thenAmerican Express® Green Card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, which means you have good reason to use the card abroad. 3X on transit, travel and dining while you’re on vacation is pretty solid, particularly if you cash in all your fee credits for nice luggage, skip the line airport security and lounge access…
Update: it’s worth noting that incognito browsing mode may bring up a 45,000 point offer, according to comments. Best of luck.