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

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

It is part of our 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 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.

This article was updated on 1st September 2021, and all of the information is correct as of that date. Ignore the original publication date shown.

Key information

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 – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 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 ‘quite a bit’ to ‘a lot’ is the answer.  I wrote this lengthy article on what American Express Membership Rewards points are worth.

Realistically, Membership Rewards points are worth at least 0.8p. This is because you can convert 1 point into 1.6 Nectar points via the new Avios partnership as we explain here. 1.6 Nectar points are worth 0.8p when spent at Sainsbury’s, Argos or eBay.

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 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.

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 (20,000 points), The Platinum Card (60,000 points – a special offer to 2nd November 2021) 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.

Comments (21)

  • Bs says:

    I have had (and used) the Amex green card. Largely when downgrading from gold/plat in periods of non-travel to keep my points alive, knowing I’d get a hefty bonus when upgrading again.
    I have also used the travel inconvenience insurance (not mentioned) to claim for delayed baggage – I have claimed far more than ever paid for the card. But I accept you get this on the free for first year gold credit card.

  • mradey says:

    It’s the coolest looking Amex (and I say this as a Centurion holder).

    • Harrier25 says:

      It’s not as cool as the free rewards Amex card which is the most standout card I have ever seen.

      • BuildBackBetter says:

        I find the free rewards card one of the most lazily designed ever. It’s like they didn’t have a budget and asked a school kid to come up with a design.

    • memesweeper says:

      +1

      It’s an absolutely classic look.

    • A says:

      My Zync Amex & (RED) Amex disagree with you…

  • vol says:

    …Apart from its nostalgic design, it doesn’t seem to have much else going for it

    • Genghis says:

      Upgrade to plat for 20k (which doesn’t have a fallow period)?

      • Crafty says:

        I thought this was now a closed route? And many have reported not receiving the points automatically on their most recent upgrades, including me – I need to call.

        • DodgyDCF says:

          I read one report here with early October upgrade the 20k points posted with the qualifying transaction that took it over £4k spend.

          I met the spend c. 40 days ago now, will leave it for 60 days before calling.

  • Waddle says:

    I think I read somewhere that the Amex Green has slightly better purchase protection which is its selling feature. Might be wrong though.

  • Alex says:

    Isn’t it the only Amex card to offer a one year extended warranty on products? This alone made me consider it when furnishing my first house

    • Youllnever says:

      It is. The only other card that I know of which has this is the HSBC Premier (not WE) one, although I haven’t compared the coverage on either. That makes this quite a strong USP imo.

  • pointsarb says:

    Rob’s assessment of this card is fair however I find that the retailer offers on Green are much better than all others cards apart from Plat and so if you can utilize these offers it more than offsets the annual fee for Green.

    • Harrier25 says:

      Interesting, as I find the offers on Gold are fairly decent and took out the free rewards card to protect my points for when I cancel Gold, but if the offers are much better with Green then maybe I should change the free one for the Green charge card instead.
      Is it true that you can only own a maximum of two Amex cards at any one time?

      • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

        No, there is not a two card limit. At the moment I have 4 card accounts in my own name (Amex Bonvoy, British Airways Premium Plus, Platinum Business and the International Dollar Card). Mrs Trotter also has 4 separately (her own Bonvoy, BA, Gold and Rewards cards). We also have supplemental cards on most of each others’ accounts.

    • memesweeper says:

      Indeed, one reason to hold this *and* the Rewards Credit Card is the offers . Easily worth £60/year.

  • Young L says:

    What I like about this card, is the relatively high spending power (credit limit).

  • BigDave says:

    I’ve had the green for ages and I like that it is basic with nothing fancy attached to it
    that’s the point if it

    use if for its high spending power in one go – and my personal circumstances mean I would not get my money’s worth with the platinum card and as I was just about to switch to the gold card It got changed to a credit card which I do not ever want

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