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American Express Relaunches the Green Card as Travel Card

American Express caused something of a stir earlier this year when they stopped offering their iconic Green Card to new applicants. For several months American Express told BestCards that there would be changes made to the Green Card before its relaunch later in the year. Last week, AMEX finally unveiled the new Green Card. Here’s what you need to know about the updated Green Card – along with its new introductory offer and benefits.

Story at a Glance:

  • New Green from Amex card launched last week as a travel credit card
  • The card earns 3x points on dining, plus 3x points on travel and transit, including flights, hotels, taxis, rideshares, and more
  • New sign-up bonus of 45,000 points after spending $2,000 i9nj purchases win the first 2 months – a $900 value
  • Green Card offers statement credits for lounge access and expedited security screening

The New American Express Green Card

The American Express® Green Card is turning 50 years old, so AMEX decided the card needed an overhaul. Initially closed to new applicants, the newly re-branded Green Card from AMEX (The branding has not changed on the official American Express site as of publishing) was relaunched on the 24th of October, just days after image leaks from current Green Card holders hinted at the new card. So, what is the new Green Card from Amex? The card is a travel reward credit card that looks to target the frequent flyer who wants great airport perks but without the hefty fees associated with American Express Gold and Platinum cards. That’s not to say that Green Card comes without an annual fee, however. The Green has an annual fee of $150, which, while expensive, is still considerably cheaper than the $250 and $550 of the Gold and Platinum cards, respectively. Notice, too, that we said the card is a credit card. One of the other major changes with the Green Card is the shift from it being a charge card to a full-on travel rewards credit card.

Improved Travel Perks

For $150, however, cardholders get some pretty great travel perks, including lounge access and expedited security screening. These perks come in the form of statements credits: $100 each for LoungeBuddy and CLEAR. LoungeBuddy is an app that provides one-off lounge access to users for $25 a pop. This means that using the Green Card to pay for lounge access through the app essentially earns four free lounge visits – which is impressive. CLEAR is a service that offers fast-track security screening at about 60 airports and stadiums across the United States. While membership is typically $179 per year, using the Green Card to purchase membership grants a $100 statement credit, providing the cardholder with expedited security at many of the nation’s busiest airports. These two perks offer a value that likely makes up for the $150 annual fee for frequent travelers – especially as lounge access for times without a discounted rate costs somewhere around $200. In addition, without expedited security screening, the countless hours stuck in winding security lines may cost a traveler their sanity. This value is further increased with the addition of $100 back on Away luggage purchases for new cardholders – also through statement credits.

But What About the Sign-Up Bonus?

AMEX has also beefed up the introductory offer for new Green Card applicants. New cardholders receive 45,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $2,000 in purchases within the first three months. AMEX rewards points have a value of around two cents per point, meaning that for just $2,000 in spending, cardholders receive a bonus points haul of $900 in value – not bad at all! AMEX rewards points are also extremely versatile, meaning that users don’t have to be hemmed into restrictive redemptions, as is the case with other rewards programs.

So, is the New AMEX Green Card Worth It?

With all the excitement that’s been generated by the relaunch of the Green Card, what matters to potential new applicants is not the new card art, but whether the new card is worth it. So, is it?  The Green Card is a great travel card for those who frequently fly within the United States, given access to CLEAR security screening. The card boasts no foreign transaction fees, meaning it is a capable world traveler, but expedited security is only available in the U.S., meaning clearing the lines abroad may become a burden. The Green Card earns triple membership points on travel and restaurants, which compares very favorably with the Gold Card. While Gold AMEX customers earn 4x points on flights, these need to be booked directly through Amextravel.com. The Green Card, on the other hand, earns 3x points on travel and transit of all types, including flights and hotels, as well as taxis, rideshares, and mass transit. This comparable – and more varied – points earning rate also comes with $100 in savings on the annual fee.  Overall, the American Express® Green Card is a very versatile travel card. It offers significant value beyond its $150 annual fee – and has the looks and prestige of the AMEX Green Card behind it, to boot.

Read The BestCards AMEX Green Card Review Today

Check out BestCards’ review of the Green from Amex Card and decide for yourself if the new American Express offering is right for you. While you’re there, look at a few of our other reviews. We have comprehensive – and impartial – reviews of hundreds of credit cards from major issuers, regional banks, and local credit unions. Our team constantly scours the web to find the latest news and provides insightful analysis of credit cards of all types. We’re always adding new articlesreviews, and news to our site, so make sure you bookmark and check back often! So, what are you waiting for – your ideal credit card is just a few clicks away.

About: Cory
Cory Santos

Cory is BestCards.com's "Jack of all trades" and resident rewards expert, covering all facets of the points game – especially travel, hotels, and airlines. In addition to credit cards, Cory finds that jogging, cats, and memes are essential parts of a balanced day.