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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 cards and discussing whether or not they are worth applying for. These articles are linked to the relevant sections of the ‘Credit Cards‘ area in the menu bar. Our other UK airline and hotel credit card reviews can be found here.

Key information

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

Amex Green review American Express Green card

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:

American Express Amex Gold

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 (SPECIAL OFFER) 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. 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 75,000 points per night which would be 25,000 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.

American Express green card review

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 0% foreign exchange fees worldwide which earn airline or hotel points. (The Virgin Atlantic credit cards have 0% FX fees in the Eurozone.)  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.

You also receive travel inconvenience cover. This pays out:

  • up to £150 reimbursement per person for travel, refreshment or hotel costs if your flight is delayed more than four hours, including due to overbooking or missed connections
  • up to £150 in total to purchase essential items if your luggage has not arrived within four hours of your arrival, with an additional £150 per person if your baggage has not arrived within 48 hours

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 (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’ 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 responsibly to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points. The site discusses products offered by lenders but is not a lender itself. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as an independent credit broker.

Comments (24)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Chris says:

    Worth noting that the green card does seem to have better Amex “offers” available to save than the free / hotel / airline cards.

    If you have a BA AMEX you’re not going to get offers from other airlines, if you have Marriott Amex you won’t get offers from other hotel chains and when I had the free Rewards card I didn’t seem to be targeted for offers that were available on my other cards either.

    • WillPS says:

      That could just be a symptom of you using it less though (and thus getting more generous offers).

  • Gary_Dexter says:

    You also get “2 points for every £1 spent at American Express® Travel, our online travel agency” according to the AMEX Welcome Centre website with the Green Card.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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