Amex recently launched the new American Express Green Card, positioning the product as a lucrative travel rewards card that accrues Amex Membership Reward points.

The American Express Green Card adds to the stable of Amex personal credit cards such as the Platinum Card from American Express and the American Express Gold Card. Specifically, the Amex Green appeals as a good travel card for its category bonuses in travel and dining expenditure worldwide. Cardholders will earn 3X Membership Reward points for all related expenses.

Earning 3 points per dollar spent on all travel and dining expenses is very competitive, particularly for a card that only costs $150 per year.

Amex Green Benefits

The Amex Green costs an annual fee of $150 that is unfortunately not waived for the first year. However, the sign up bonus and credits the card comes with offset the annual fee quite considerably. For starters, new card holders will receive a bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points after $2,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months.

  • The card also comes with $100 in credit for travel brand Away and its iconic suitcases.
  • Additionally, card holders will receive $100 in credit to purchase a CLEAR membership. CLEAR is an expedited airport security screening program that costs $149 upfront for an annual membership. The Green for Amex credit will reduce CLEAR annual membership to $49 which is a great deal.
  • Finally, the card also comes with $100 credit for LoungeBuddy access. LoungeBuddy is a global program that sells lounge access per entry. Each ticket to an airport lounge can cost between $50-70, so the credit will afford you one to two lounge visits. 

Comparing the Green to the Gold & Platinum

To visualize and for easy comparison of the bonuses on the Amex Green, Amex Gold, and Amex Platinum Cards, we’ve created a chart for your easy reference:

  Amex Green

Amex Gold

Amex Platinum

Sign-up Bonus 30,000 points 35,000 points 60,000 points
Annual Fee $150 $250
$550
Points earned on travel 3X worldwide

3X
(for bookings direct w/airline or through amextravel.com)
5X
(for bookings direct w/airline or through amextravel.com)
Points earned on restaurants 3X worldwide 4x 1X
Points earned at supermarkets 1X 4X 1X
Points earned for non-category spend 1X 1X 1X
Credits $100 for AWAY;$100 for CLEAR;$100 LoungeBuddy $100 for airline;
$120 for take-out
$200 for airline;
$200 for Uber;
$100 for Saks;$85-100 for
Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check

Inspiration for Spending the Sign Up Bonus

Through Amex transfer partners, the 30,000 Membership Rewards sign up bonus could go a long way towards high value flight redemptions. 

Etihad Guest

Etihad Airways’ Guest Program is one such option. Through Etihad’s program, American Airlines transcontinental flights between New York and San Francisco in business class would cost 25,000 Etihad miles each way.

Alternatively, if you’re planning a trip to Europe, a one way, economy ticket from New York to Brussels on Brussels Airlines would cost 27,000 Etihad miles—another redemption that can be covered by your sign up bonus.

Tips for Booking

To book American Airlines flights through the Etihad Guest Program, first use British Airways or Qantas to search for award flight availability. If you are looking to fly on Brussels Airlines, search for availability on United. Once you’ve taken notes of your flight options, call Etihad to book your award.

**Pro tip: If your local Etihad call center agent cannot access the award availability you desire, try the Serbian call center.**

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Occasionally, Amex also offers transfer bonuses to its partners. For example, Amex offered a 30% transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club program in December. With the sign up bonus and transfer offer, you could book non-stop U.S. domestic Delta Airlines awards online through Virgin Atlantic for 20,000 miles round trip in economy.

Tips for Booking

Delta award availability is searchable on the Virgin Atlantic site, but before you do, make sure you search on Delta to see if your domestic award price has fallen. The reason is because Delta eliminated its award chart back in 2015 and now uses variables to determine award pricing.

If it is cheaper to book your Delta award flights through Virgin Atlantic, you can run a straightforward award search online. If for some reason your flight routes do not show, or if the “pay with miles” option is greyed out, you will need to call Virgin Atlantic to book your award ticket.

British Airways Avios

Additionally, last August Amex offered a 40% bonus for transferring to British Airways’ Avios Program. Using your AMEX Green sign-up bonus, a 30,000 point transfer would net you 42,000 British Airways Avios points which you could use for domestic flight redemptions according to BA’s distance-based award chart. For instance, you could fly from the U.S. West Coast to Hawaii for 12,500 Avios points each way on American or Alaska Air. British Airways Avios also offers valuable redemptions for intra-regional flights, or domestic flights in other regions. For instance, a one-way flight redemption from Hong Kong to Tokyo would cost 11,000 in economy, or 22,000 in business class. Domestic flights in Japan from Osaka to Tokyo would only cost 6,000 miles in economy, one way. 

Tips for Booking

British Airways award flights are perhaps one of the easiest to book. Many One World alliance partner flights are available for booking online through British Airways’ Avios website. However, Alaska Air flights do not show on British Airways, and if you would like to fly an Alaska route from the West Coast to Hawaii for instance, you will need to search for award availability first on Alaska’s website, before calling the British Airways Executive Club to book your award.

**Note from Sarah Page: Joanna Pan, author of this post, is a new contributor here on MileValue. You may see posts written by her from time to time. See her bio below! Thanks, Joanna.**

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