This is our review of The American Express Card (Amex Green) charge card issued in the UK.
It is part of a new series of articles looking at the major UK loyalty credit and charge cards and discussing whether or not they are worth applying for. It is well over a year since we last updated this series so it was due a return.
These articles are linked to the relevant sections of the ‘Credit Card Offers‘ area in the menu bar. Our other UK airline and hotel credit and charge card reviews can be found here.
If you want to check your credit record before applying for a new card, click here to get your free Experian Credit Score.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Another option is to get a free card from Currensea. Currensea is a simple but clever idea. You pay abroad with your Currensea Mastercard debit card. Currensea translates the cost to Sterling with just a 0.5% fee (83% less than Amex charges) and withdraws the money from your bank account. You can find out more about Currensea by clicking here. Currensea is free so there is no risk in giving it a try.
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.
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 (20,000 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 Card Offers’ 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.