American Express Green Card Review

By Kevin / December 27, 2014
American Express Green Card AmEx Credit Card
 

CREDITSHOUT RATING:
Good

Verdict:

For those loyal American Express customers who intend to shop online through the American Express mall, while using the card on a regular basis, the American Express Preferred Rewards Green Card is a good choice.

Although the annual fee is high, the first year is free. So giving it a try is literally free.

Overview

The American Express Preferred Rewards Green Card is a charge card with no pre-set spending limit.

You earn 1x points on all spending, and double points when you book with American Express Travel.

Membership Rewards can be used to book flights on any airline, or they can be transferred to 23 different frequent guest and Frequent Flyer programs, or redeemed for gift cards.

How This Card Works

The AmEx Green card is a charge card, which means there is no preset spending limit. Unlike a credit card, you cannot carry a balance for an extended period of time, and your balance must be paid in full each month.

Many people prefer charge cards because there is no need to worry about interest charges and it can be easier to avoid overspending.

You earn 1 Membership Rewards point for every $1 spent, and double points when you book through American Express Travel.

You can use your points to book a trip through the American Express Travel site, and use Pay with Points to book a flight on any airline. You can choose to pay for all or part of your flight, booked hotel or prepaid hotel, vacation or cruise booking with no restrictions or blackout dates.

Membership Rewards can also be transferred to 17 Frequent Flyer programs and 5 frequent guest programs with a 1:1 transfer ratio. Your points can also be redeemed for merchandise or gift cards.

The Membership Rewards program is one of the best in the industry with highly valued points. American Express has the largest selection of airlines and hotels in their program, and you will always get 1 mile per point when you convert.

The dollar value you get when you convert your points will depend on the frequent flyer program, but it can be as high as $0.03 per mile!

Travel and Shopping Benefits

The American Express® Preferred Rewards Green Card has the following travel and shopping benefits:

  • Points can be easily transferred into the airline rewards program of your choice. Most rewards programs allow the transfer of points for one airline reward mile equal to one membership point.
  • Shopping through the Bonus Points American express mall allows the card holder to gain three times the rewards – up to three membership points for each dollar spent.
  • There are several hundred hotels which can the membership points can be redeemed for free nights, over fifty cruise lines, and twenty-one airline partners for a day at the spa or a destination vacation.
  • You can also purchase extra points to make your dream redemptions become reality. Whether you need one hundred points or one thousand points – they can become a reality and are a phone call away.
  • Purchase Protection covers eligible purchases you make with your Green card for 90 days against theft or accidental damage. You can be reimbursed up to $1,000 per claim.
  • Extended Warranty will double by up to 1 year an original manufacturers warranty when you use your Green card.
  • Travel benefits include an emergency assistance hotline and travel accident insurance.

Fees

There is a $95.00 fee that comes with ownership of the American Express® Preferred Rewards Green Card – which is waived for one year for new cardholders.

The first year free program allows the consumer to gauge the value of the credit card and make the decision if they would like to continue with the card.

There is no pre-set spending limit, though the balance is due in full – each month.

Factors to the approval include; past history with American Express, the credit rating of the applicant and the income and resources of the applicant.

The card holder has access to an extra five cards at no extra cost; any above that amount come at the cost of $30.00 per card. For business owners, or large families – these extra cards can be a blessing.

As an added bonus each card can be enabled to have pre-set spending limits which makes managing the account easier than ever.

Is it the Best Choice?

While the Green card is a pretty good bet if you want American Express benefits and rewards, the AmEx Gold card will give you more bang for your buck.

The American Express Premier Rewards Gold card has a higher annual fee of $175 per year with 25,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 during the first 3 months. You will also earn 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines, 2x points at gas stations and supermarkets and 1x points on all other spending. You can still transfer your points to frequent flyer programs, but you will enjoy a greater earning potential. The annual fee is also waived the first year!

You can also opt for the standard Gold card with an annual fee of just $125 — barely higher than the Green card which gives you premium access and complimentary benefits at hotels. You will get a $75 hotel credit and room upgrades at check-in. If you’re thinking about the Green card because you have less-than-perfect credit, keep in mind many first-timers also get approved for the regular Gold card, too!

Pros

  • Earn three times the base points by shopping through the bonus points mall
  • First Year Free
  • Points never expire and can be transferred to almost 2 dozen travel and airline rewards programs for up to $0.03 per mile
  • Recurring Payments are available to be set-up through the credit card company to ensure that no payments are missed throughout the repayment period.

Cons

  • Annual fee of $95.00 (although the first year’s fees are waived, as an introductory offer)
  • Balance must be paid in full each month.
  • No bonus points and lower rewards than the AmEx Gold card

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