The card now offers a revised welcome bonus of 40,000 points. With a bit of strategic spending, you could secure $560 worth of free travel from it—and potentially even more. This card stands as a solid option among travel rewards credit cards available today.
Let’s explore how you can obtain this new card bonus, leverage its benefits, and evaluate its long-term value.
How to earn the Amex Green Card bonus
The Amex Green Card benefits are plentiful, with the card currently presenting an appealing offer of 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first six months of opening your account. Additionally, you can enjoy 20% back on eligible travel and transit expenses made during your initial six months of card membership (up to $200 back).
This offer still provides a significant value, even with the lower welcome bonus. While it might require you to spend $1,000 on travel/transit within the first six months to fully maximize the $200 rebate, the 40,000-point bonus remains a valuable addition, positioning this card as a strong contender among travel rewards credit cards.
It’s important to note that the scope of travel and transit purchases eligible for the rebate is broad and covers various categories such as airfare, hotels, trains, rental cars, Ubers, cruises, and more. If you have any travel-related expenses planned in the upcoming six months, meeting the criteria for the $200 rebate should be achievable.
Given that we typically value Amex points at around 1.4 cents each, the 40,000 points translate to approximately $560 when transferred to travel partners. Alongside the $200 statement credit for travel purchases, the welcome bonus from the Amex Green Card can still be estimated at an appealing $760.
How to use the Amex Green Card benefits and bonus for $560+ in value
The value you gain from your Amex points heavily relies on how you redeem them. By transferring your points to select airline partners, you can potentially achieve a value of 1.4 cents or more per point. Conversely, using your points for merchandise or cash back might yield as little as 0.6 cents per point.
Highlighted below are some popular avenues for redeeming Amex Membership Rewards points:
Transfer to partners (the best option)
American Express partners with 20 airline and hotel loyalty programs, giving you immense freedom of choice when trading your points for free travel. Points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to nearly all partners—but the anomalies are specified below.
To spark your creativity, consider these possibilities to maximize the at least 43,000 points remaining after obtaining the Amex Green Card bonus:
- Transfer 43,000 points to Avianca for a one-way business class flight to Europe on a Star Alliance airline like United, Lufthansa, or Swiss (worth $600+).
- Transfer 23,000 points to Iberia for a roundtrip economy flight to Madrid on Iberia from the East Coast ($320+ in value).
- Transfer 40,000 points to Hilton for a night at the Conrad Bora Bora ($560+ in value).
- Transfer 26,000 points to Singapore Airlines for a roundtrip economy flight to Hawaii on United Airlines from anywhere in the US ($364+ in value).
This selection only scratches the surface; your options for redeeming 40,000 Amex points are extensive. Furthermore, the card’s ongoing 20% rebate on travel and transit expenses (up to $200 back) can significantly reduce costs for items like rental cars, hotel stays, cruises, and train journeys.
Book travel through Amex Travel
Amex Travel, the proprietary travel portal by American Express, enables you to book flights, hotels, rental cars, and more. While this approach might not offer the highest point value, it grants flexibility in your booking choices, similar to platforms like Expedia or Priceline.
The point value differs when booking flights versus other services. For flights, you’ll receive 1 cent per point, and for other bookings, the rate drops to 0.7 cents per point.
With the 40,000-point bonus from the Amex Green Card, you can get $400 worth of flights or $280 worth of other bookings through Amex Travel.
Trade points for merchandise or cash
For those who prioritize simplicity, you have the option to use your points to obtain a statement credit on your card at a rate of 0.6 cents per point. Alternatively, you can utilize your points to make purchases at Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart at a rate of 0.7 cents per point.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that redeeming for gift cards can often yield up to 1 cent per point.
In the scenarios outlined above, the 40,000-point bonus translates to $240 towards statement credits, $280 for online shopping, and up to $400 when redeemed for gift cards.
Is the Amex Green Card good for earning points after the intro bonus?
Indeed, the American Express® Green Card remains a strong contender among Membership Rewards points-earning cards. It surpasses The Platinum Card® from American Express and competes admirably with the American Express® Gold Card in several categories.
Here’s a breakdown of what you can earn:
- 3x points per dollar at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the US
- 3x points per dollar on travel
- 3x points per dollar on transit
- 1x point per dollar on all other eligible purchases
This rewards structure is quite appealing, particularly considering that dining and travel are significant spending categories for individuals interested in this card. After all, it is designed as a travel card.
Ongoing Amex Green Card benefits
There are two notable Amex Green Card benefits that can immediately upgrade your travel game.
The first is up to $100 per year in LoungeBuddy statement credits (enrollment required). LoungeBuddy sells day passes to most airport lounges around the world. If you don’t have a card that offers complimentary Priority Pass membership as a benefit (such as the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card), this perk will come in handy, giving you respite from the bustling airport terminal. Many lounges also offer free alcohol and snacks. The $100 credit should cover 2-3 lounge visits per year.
The second notable perk is the up to $189 in annual Clear Plus® statement credits. Clear is an expedited security program that lets you effectively skip the serpentine line at TSA checkpoints to get you to the gate faster. Clear costs $189 per year, so you’ll always have free membership as long as you hold the card.
In addition to these two statement credits, which can more than offset the card’s $150 annual fee if you’ll use them, you’ll get some insurance perks, such as secondary rental car insurance, trip delay insurance, and purchase protection.
Which cards compete with the Amex Green Card?
The closest competitor of the Amex Green Card is its slightly more expensive sibling, the American Express® Gold Card. This card incurs a $250 annual fee (see rates), and currently offers a welcome bonus of 60,000 Amex points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first six months of account opening.
The card also earns:
- 4x points per dollar at US supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in spending per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar)
- 4x points at restaurants
- 3x points per dollar for airfare booked directly with the airline or via Amex Travel
- 1x point per dollar on all other eligible purchases
This card also offers two different statement credits: Up to $10 per month in dining credits (only eligible with select companies, enrollment required), and up to $10 per month in Uber Cash.
Beyond the Amex Gold Card, a case can be made that the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is in competition with the Amex Green Card as well. That’s because:
- Both earn points that can transfer to many different airlines and hotels.
- Both earn 3x points per dollar on travel and dining (though the Chase Sapphire Reserve has additional bonus categories).
- Both offer various statement credits that make it possible to completely offset their annual fees.
One way in which the Chase Sapphire Reserve handily beats the Amex Gold Card is in the travel insurance category. It’s got primary rental car insurance (and it covers more expensive cars than most other credit cards), its trip delay insurance kicks in a full six hours before the Amex Green Card, and it offers baggage delay insurance—something the Amex Green Card does not.