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Review: The American Express Card (Amex Green) charge card

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This is my review of The American Express Card (Amex Green) charge card issued in the UK.

It is part of my series of articles looking at the major UK loyalty credit and charge cards and discussing whether or not they are worth applying for. These articles will be linked to the relevant sections of the ‘Top Credit Card Offers‘ page. My other UK airline and hotel credit and charge card reviews can be found here.

(EDIT:  This article was updated on 24th September 2020 and all of the information was correct as of that date.  Ignore the October 2019 publication date.)

If you want to check your credit record before applying for a new card, click here to get your free Experian Credit Score.

Key link:  The American Express Card (Amex Green) application page

Key facts:  £60 per year. You can cancel at any point and will receive a pro-rata refund if you cancel during the year.

Interest rate:  None.  Amex Green is a charge card, not a credit card.  You must repay your entire balance in full at the end of each month.

Amex Green review American Express Green card

What is the Amex Green sign-up bonus?

I should say upfront that there are very few reasons to get The American Express Card when you look at the rest of the Amex portfolio.  Other cards offer similar features without a fee, or offer substantially better benefits for a higher fee.

There is no sign-up bonus on Amex Green.

This is not a great start!  It compares very poorly with:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 10,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Amex Reward Credit Card ARCC

American Express Rewards

The only ‘free for life’ Amex card which earns Membership Rewards Read our full review

Any other benefits with Amex Green?

No.  The American Express Card (Amex Green) is a very basic product.

Again, this compares poorly with – say – Preferred Rewards Gold which is free for the first year and comes with two airport lounge passes, double points on airline and foreign spend and 10,000 bonus Membership Rewards points if you spend £15,000 per year.

What is the Amex Green annual fee?

£60 per year.

This is not good value compared with Preferred Rewards Gold (no fee for the first year and better benefits) or the American Express Rewards Credit Card which is free for life, has a sign-up bonus and has the same day-to-day earnings rate.

What do I earn per £1 spent on the card?

You receive 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on the card.

This is same rate as you get on The Platinum Card, Preferred Reward Gold and the American Express Rewards Credit Card.

However, Amex Gold has three special bonuses which make it more attractive than Amex Green – foreign currency transactions and airline transactions earn 2 points per £1, and you receive 10,000 bonus Membership Rewards points if you spend £15,000 per year.

What is a Membership Rewards point worth?

Anything from ‘not a lot’ to ‘a lot’ is the answer!  I wrote this lengthy article on what American Express Membership Rewards points are worth.

If you redeem your points for, say, an Amazon gift card then you will receive around 0.5p per point. This is a poor return compared to a typical cashback card or the value of an airline mile if used sensibly.

I tend to value airline miles at 0.75p – 1p each (this is conservative) so that is your valuation if you transfer to an airline programme.

Some of the hotel programmes also offer good value. Radisson Rewards (the Radisson, Park Plaza and Park Inn scheme) transfers at 1:3 from Membership Rewards, for example. Their top five-star hotels generally cost 70,000 points per night which would be just over 23,000 Membership Rewards points. This would usually get you over 1p per point of value.

The other hotel partners are Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy.

You can take a look at the full list of Membership Rewards travel options here.

Is Amex Green a good card to use when travelling?

No, not really.

Because Amex adds a 3% foreign exchange fee, you might want to get a separate free credit card to use abroad.  Unfortunately there are no credit cards with a 0% foreign exchange fee which earn airline or hotel points.  One option is to get a free Curve Card – see this HFP article – and link it to a miles-earning Visa or Mastercard.

Other points to note

American Express no longer has a minimum income requirement for any of its cards.

You benefit from various Amex purchase protection features.  To quote the Amex Green website:

When the manufacturer’s warranty expires on your favourite new purchase, we’ll give you a year’s Extended Warranty up to £1,500 per item

Enjoy Refund Protection on eligible items.  If the UK retailer won’t refund or replace the eligible item, we will, up to a maximum of £200.

You also get Purchase Protection. If you bought it on your Card and it’s stolen or damaged within 90 days, we’ll replace or repair it, or refund you up to £2,500 per eligible item.

Conclusion

It is difficult to work out why anyone would want to apply for The American Express Card (Amex Green).

If you are looking for a low cost American Express card which earns Membership Rewards points, you should get the American Express Rewards Credit Card instead (free for life) or Preferred Rewards Gold (free for Year 1, with free airport lounge passes).

If you want a sign-up bonus (and who wouldn’t?!) you should look at Preferred Rewards Gold (10,000 points), The Platinum Card (30,000 points) or the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 points).

The only reason to get Amex Green is if you specifically want a charge card – perhaps you don’t want the temptation of a credit card and being able to roll-over your balance at the month end – and would prefer one which has a permanently low fee.

The application form for Amex Green can be found here.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

Comments (29)

  • Carlbob says:

    After 9 years as an Amex Plat, I had to bite the bullet a few months ago and downgrade – it was madness enough at £450, £575 too many straws on the camels etc.
    Downgrading to Green was the “easiest” option to keep MR the same and so on- same account, basically, just a new card issued against it.
    Shame that the Gold stopped being a Charge as otherwise I would have downgraded there.

    • Doctorbee says:

      I have just last month been able to downgrade to a Gold charge card. It is still available, just not for new applicants.

    • the_real_a says:

      I was also offered and accepted a downgrade to the Gold charge card when i cancelled the Plat this year…

    • NvT1115 says:

      I was also offered a Gold Charge Card free for a year to keep my custom in the last month when I cancelled my Plat card

  • Roy says:

    O/T anyone else having problems getting the Free Now app to work? Whenever I try to book it just says “Sorry your payment method is currently unavailable”

  • Big Dave says:

    I like my Green – depending on the offers redeemed the £60 benefit may be dubious – but I got it to get the Gold Charge in the future – then they pulled the gold charge….
    I do not want a credit card …. so I thought I’d hang on for the platinum charge card… then they upped the fee and made it rather impossible for me to get value for it so stuck on green – for the forseable future as do not want a credit card (though I have not applied I probably would not qualify as not tax resident anywehere in particular, failed to get the BA amexes but that was years ago)
    Grean for churning points and have accumulated probably more than the £60 worth per year just with referals and offers

    • Shoestring says:

      you could time upgrading to Plat for a heavy spend 3 months to hit the £4000 target (eg pay all your annual council tax + pre pay some other bills) and at a time when you can use the Priority Pass lounge passes

      bank the 20K MR points

      then downgrade to Gold *charge* card (yes, charge)

      • Shoestring says:

        & do a few referrals from Plat

      • Plastivore says:

        Ah, that’s interesting to know! I applied for the Amex Gold Credit Card because, well, it currently seems to be the best deal at the moment, with its first year for free, but I find the advantages of the former Gold charge card more interesting (travel insurance and extended warranty are included, IIRC), though I think it didn’t get the point multipliers. That would be a bit more interesting for my usage since I really don’t need the credit facility on the card (If I need a credit, my bank card has a much better rate! But I’m still not planning on using it).

        Would you happen to know if the Gold Charge Card you get from downgrading from a platinum card has the same benefits as the current Credit Card (bar the credit facility), or is it the same as the former Gold Charge Card? If the latter, it could totally be worth upgrading to a Platinum card for a year of heavy travel and then downgrade to the Gold Charge.