The AmEx Green Card is worth it

All the advantages and disadvantages of the American Express Green Card

The American Express Green Card, officially called the American Express Card, is one of the entry cards from American Express. Unfortunately, the conditions have recently deteriorated, so that the card is rarely the best choice among the Amex cards!

American Express Green Card

  • Valuable points collect with every euro you spend
  • Free use by Amex Offers
  • No card fee from 9,000 euros annual sales
  • Valuable points collect with every euro you spend
  • Travel insurance included

Above all, participation in the very lucrative Membership Rewards program and the low annual fee, which may even be waived completely, make the card a good alternative to mileage credit cards. On this page we will show you whether the card can hold its own in a credit card comparison and what advantages and disadvantages it offers in detail!

Table of Contents

Advantages of the American Express Green Card

Overall, the green American Express card offers selected advantages that can make the card a worthwhile addition to your wallet. The card fee is only 60 euros or 5 euros per month, which is rather low compared to the premium cards from Amex. With regard to the annual fee, the American Express Card has another advantage, namely that the annual fee permanently omitted,if you have an annual turnover of 9,000 euros with the card. This may sound like a lot at first glance, but the acceptance of American Express credit cards is getting better and better, so that you can use them for numerous expenses.

The second, from our point of view, great advantage of the green American Express card is the opportunity to participate in the Membership Rewards program. The American Express loyalty program rewards every transaction that you make with the card with points and costs 30 euros per year. Membership Rewards points can be redeemed in numerous worthwhile ways and make almost unbelievable travel experiences, such as flights in First Class, possible. The advantage that you get with the green American Express Card is the low-cost entry into the Membership Rewards program. The American Express Card is especially useful for those who are not eligible for the American Express Gold Card or who do not want to pay its annual fee in the long term.

But the American Express Green Card offers other advantages through the Membership Rewards program. As a cardholder, you will receive insurance benefits and additional protection despite the low or even no annual fee:

  • Flight delay insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Protection against misuse when using the card

Both are basically insurances that you can have, but not necessarily have to. The services can certainly be useful in one or the other case, provided that the effort for the use is offset by a certain income. For the real risks that arise during a trip, however, other insurances are important, which we have already presented to you in detail.

It is also worth mentioning that American Express credit cards stand for a high level of security. American Express cardholders are not liable for fraudulent activities in their account. Customers can also choose to be informed of all transactions by SMS or e-mail and benefit from a particularly high level of security in payment processing thanks to the Chip & PIN process and the 3D secure process when making payments on the Internet.

In addition, the Amex Green Card gives you the opportunity to access modern payment technologies. American Express is one of Apple Pay's partners in Germany, so you can simply enter your Amex Green Card in the Apple Wallet and make contactless payments using your smartphone. Participation in Amex Offers is also free of charge. Here you can benefit from recurring offers from various partners in all areas and receive discounts when shopping, but also when traveling.

Disadvantages of the green American Express Green Card

The biggest disadvantage of the green American Express card is included with all cards from the US provider and is called the foreign currency fee. This applies every time you pay with your credit card in a currency other than the euro. This fee is particularly unpleasant for a travel credit card, because you pay 1.99 percent of the sales to American Express every time you pay with the card. A long-haul trip can easily result in expenses of 1,000 euros, so that with this fee alone you pay 20 euros on top.

In addition, the green American Express Card scores poorly in another criterion that we consider extremely important for a travel credit card: cash withdrawals. As with the other American Express credit cards, these cost a lot of money with the Green Card. For each withdrawal you pay 4 percent of the turnover with a minimum amount of 5 euros. If you withdraw your money in another currency, you will of course also pay the foreign currency fee on top. Thus, withdrawals with the American Express Green Card are in no way worthwhile, other cards such as the Hanseatic Bank GenialCard or the Barclaycard Platinum can do that much better.

Of course, the limited acceptance of American Express credit cards must to a certain extent be attributed to the green card as a disadvantage, although this is becoming less and less relevant. However, there are still numerous retailers both at home and abroad who only accept Mastercard and Visa credit cards. For this reason, we recommend that you always use a combination of several credit cards here on reisetopia in order to be optimally positioned. If you have several cards, you can use the right means of payment in every situation and neither pay foreign currency fees nor pay for cash withdrawals and, in the best case, collect miles.

For whom is the green American Express Card worthwhile?

The most important question in this guide is surely for whom the credit card is really worthwhile. After you have informed yourself about the advantages and disadvantages of the card, you should already have a pretty good picture of the card. The American Express Card is especially useful if you want to participate in the very attractive Membership Rewards program with an Amex credit card, but want to avoid a high annual fee. Compared to the Gold Card, which above all offers additional insurance, you generally pay 80 euros less per year. In addition, you can generally only use the Green Card as a free credit card if you turn over at least 9,000 euros a year. Although there is a comparable regulation for the Gold Card with a turnover of 10,000 euros, this is only granted out of goodwill and not for every customer.

Participation in the Membership Rewards program is worthwhile for almost every consumer, especially if the credit card is free anyway. With the points from the program you have a variety of options, such as converting them into airline miles, which we consider particularly lucrative. This is already worthwhile if you only generate a small amount of money and the card is barely free. In this case you will collect 4,000 points a year without turbo, and even 6,000 points a year with turbo. In addition, you will generally receive 5,000 points as a bonus. That doesn't sound like much at first, but thanks to the conversion to the British Airways Executive Club, award flights can be booked from as little as 5,000 points (conversion 5: 4).

In principle, the green American Express Card is therefore always worthwhile if you want to use the Memberhip Rewards program with the lowest possible annual fee. The card can also make sense as a second card in the medium and long term. For example, we recommend using a card with free withdrawals and free payments in foreign currencies, such as the Germany credit card or the DKB Visa Card. With all normal transactions in euros, you can then use the American Express Card and collect valuable points for these transactions. You benefit from the best of both worlds, so to speak, and have no disadvantage.

However, a good recommendation also includes showing you an even better way than directly applying for the American Express Green Card. If you apply for the American Express Gold Card, there are 20,000 points as a welcome bonus and you benefit from better services for twelve months, including important insurance benefits - the annual fee is also hardly higher. Of course, you can also switch to the Green Card after a year if you cannot make good use of the additional services of the Gold Card. But it also works the other way around: You can also upgrade from the Green Card to the Gold Card and thus secure a new customer bonus for the upgrade at a later date and top up your Membership Rewards account!

Alternatives to the American Express Green Card

The possible alternatives should first be split up according to two criteria. Depending on whether you are looking for a good travel credit card or are looking for a way to participate in the valuable Membership Rewards program, there are different alternatives for the American Express Green Card.

Alternative credit cards for participation in Membership Rewards

On the one hand, there are of course the other American Express credit cards, which collect points with every transaction and also promise an attractive welcome bonus:

This is also available as a version for self-employed and entrepreneurs with an even higher welcome bonus:

Both American Express Gold Cards, both private and business, come with an annual fee of 140 euros. So if you are only looking for the welcome bonus and meet the requirements for the Amex Gold Card, you will be much better off with this card. As a goodwill gesture, the card can also be used free of charge from a turnover of 10,000 euros. For companies with a turnover of more than ten million euros there is the so-called American Express Corporate Card.

The Platinum Card is of course only in rare cases an alternative to the Amex Green Card, as it is simply too expensive. However, the advantages of the card for the annual fee of 660 euros for private use and 700 euros for business use are also enormous. So if you want the ultimate package of services with participation in Membership Rewards and a strong welcome bonus, you can make a good deal with the Amex Platinum.

An alternative can generally be the generally free American Express Blue Card. With this, participation in the Membership Rewards program costs 35 euros extra and there are fewer insurance benefits, but there are not many disadvantages compared to the green card. Even if you actively use Membership Rewards, you save 25 euros with the inexpensive Amex card!

Alternative travel credit cards to the American Express Green Card

However, if you are not primarily interested in participating in Membership Rewards, but are looking for a good travel credit card that offers you good services at a reasonable price, the alternatives to the Amex Green Card look completely different. When it comes to a good travel credit card, the following features are what count for us:

  • no fees for withdrawals
  • no fees for payments in foreign currencies
  • extensive insurance benefits

The American Express Green Card does not meet all three requirements at all or only partially. There are both foreign transaction fees and fees for withdrawing cash, both of which are impressive. There are even two credit cards that are completely free of charge and do not charge any foreign transaction or withdrawal fees:

The DKB credit card is also attractive due to the combination with a free current account, although you really have to use the account actively in order to benefit from the applicable fees. If you can cope with the restrictions, the fee-free MasterCard Gold can also be worthwhile. The Hanseatic Bank Genial Card also works without any hidden costs.

The Amex Green Card does not necessarily score well in the field of travel insurance either. The existing insurances are a nice addition, but do not offer the protection that is important when traveling. As you can read in our article on the most important travel insurances in detail, these services are especially important when traveling:

In addition, depending on the travel style, there is also fully comprehensive rental car insurance, which can also be very helpful. Several premium credit cards can score as alternatives in this regard:

Eurowings Gold credit cards

  • 2,000 miles bonus
  • Free of charge worldwide pay & withdraw
  • Earn miles with every euro you spend
  • Important Travel insurance
  • Valuable benefits on flights with Eurowings

Barclaycard Platinum Double

  • Without annual fee in the first year
  • Free Cash withdrawals worldwide
  • Free Payments worldwide
  • Best Insurance package

Both credit cards offer the optimal combination of both, because there are no fees for payments and withdrawals in all countries and currencies and you can expect an extensive insurance package including all of the aforementioned safeguards. So you are completely covered in every situation and do not pay wherever you go. Both credit cards cost money, but they also offer a very solid range of services. If you are often on long-haul trips and book a rental car every now and then, one of the two cards is definitely a recommendation. We would generally recommend you to combine a Membership Rewards credit card from American Express for the greatest possible return, which you use for payments in euros, with a good travel credit card that you always use when the Amex charges fees. That's exactly how we always do it on our travels. Especially in the Amex Turbo program, there is no better credit card in terms of the equivalent of expenses than one that brings you one or even 1.5 American Express Membership Rewards points. By combining both, you can easily compensate for the weaknesses of the Amex.

Conclusion on the Amex Green Card

The American Express Green credit card used to be the perfect entry-level credit card, but has now been replaced by the Blue Card. Nevertheless, the card is relatively affordable and does not offer quite as high hurdles as the Gold or Platinum Card, for example. The costs of the annual fee are manageable and the green American Express card is free of charge from a turnover of 9,000 euros. So you can use the advantages of Membership Rewards and Amex Offers very cheaply and, above all, easily. However, if you want a wider range of services and would like to benefit from a higher bonus, you are better off with the Gold or even Platinum Card. In addition, the weaknesses that all American Express credit cards actually have should be compensated for by another travel credit card.

Frequently asked questions about the Amex Green Card

Is the American Express Green Card free? +

The American Express Green Card normally costs five euros a month. However, the fee does not apply if you generate an annual turnover of 9,000 euros with the card. This may sound like a lot at first glance, but the acceptance of American Express credit cards is getting better and better, so that you can use them for numerous expenses.

What is the Membership Rewards Program? +

The American Express loyalty program rewards every transaction you make with the card. The program is free of charge with the American Express Green Card. Membership Rewards points can be redeemed in numerous worthwhile ways and make almost unbelievable travel experiences, such as flights in First Class, possible.

Are there foreign currency fees when using the American Express Green Card? +

The biggest disadvantage of the green American Express card is included with all cards from the US provider and is called the foreign currency fee. This applies every time you pay with your credit card in a currency other than the euro. This fee is particularly unpleasant for a travel credit card, because you pay 1.99 percent of the sales to American Express every time you pay with the card. A long-haul trip can easily result in expenses of 1,000 euros, so that with this fee alone you pay 20 euros on top.

American Express Green Card

  • Valuable points collect with every euro you spend
  • Free use by Amex Offers
  • No card fee from 9,000 euros annual sales
  • Valuable points collect with every euro you spend
  • Travel insurance included