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American Express Green Card vs Gold Card

Opting between two cards that focus on your desired categories can be confusing. The same happened to me last year when I had to choose between two Amex cards. Both focused on the categories I needed.

So, I researched the American Express Green card vs. Gold card to determine the better one. I have shared my findings here for you to read and decide.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Amex Green Card vs. Gold Card: General Overview

Both Amex cards might seem similar at a glance. Their rewards and benefit structure is almost the same, along with additional benefits. 

A woman using a credit card to make a payment

However, they are different because of their rewards and benefits categories. You can choose any according to what suits you best.

Overview of Amex Green Card

Although it is a cash back travel card, its other offers might be more attractive. Amex Green card is big on travel perks and insurance. 

Moreover, you can pay with this card in three ways:

  • Full payment every month
  • Use Pay Over Time. You pay for your purchases and incur variable interest.
  • Use Plan It. You pay off in installments monthly, along with a fixed fee.

Welcome Offer

You get a straightforward deal with the welcome offer this card provides. You have to spend $3,000 within the first six months to receive 40,000 bonus points. 

The spending amount may be too much if you are an infrequent traveler. However, a regular flyer or a tripper can achieve this goal.

Rewards

Travel has a broad meaning with this card. You get reward points for spending on flights, hotels, and on-the-ground trips. You get 3x points for spending on:

  • Fights
  • Hotels
  • Tours
  • Cruises
  • Campgrounds
  • Car rentals
  • Vacation rentals

Moreover, you get 3x points for spending on dining at restaurants globally. You can earn for takeout and delivery inside the US, too. Interestingly, you also earn 3x reward points in the transit category. You earn for traveling in:

  • Subways
  • Trains
  • Taxicabs
  • Rideshare
  • Buses
  • Parking
  • Tolls
  • Ferries

Other Benefits

You can offset the high $150 annual fee if you receive maximum statement credits from this card. Currently, you get credits for:

  • CLEAR Plus subscription. Amex reimburses the $189 yearly fee you pay for easy passage through airports.
  • LoungeBuddy purchases. You get up to $100 credit every year for buying lounge access with the LoungeBuddy app.
A woman happily holds a credit card while using a laptop

Overview of Amex Gold Card

Foodies might declare Amex Gold card as their favorite. You get focused benefits and rewards for eating out and at your place. 

Insurance and other services are a plus. You get:

  • Global Assist Hotline. You get 24/7 assistance regarding medical and legal recommendations, emergency cash wires, etc.
  • Options to break payments in installments along with interest or a fixed fee.
  • Baggage insurance plan. This card covers your damaged, lost, or stolen luggage.
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance. You get coverage for theft of or damage to your rental vehicle.
  • Amex-preferred access. You get a chance to avail of ticket presales and to attend cardmember-exclusive events by invitation.

Welcome Offer

Usually, you earn 60,000 bonus points when you spend $6,000 on purchases within the first six months. However, Amex is offering upgraded points for the same spending limit for a limited time. You can earn up to 90,000 points if you apply for this card today.

This offer is subject to change. You may have to call the issuer or visit their website for more details.

Rewards

You earn solid points for the food and travel categories. While the Green card is focused on rewarding avid travelers, the Gold card is foodie-centric. You earn points for eating out and enjoying unique palette pleasures.

You earn reward points for:

  • Dining in, takeout, and deliveries. You earn 4 points per every dollar you spend dining in restaurants worldwide. You can earn bonus points for takeout and food delivery only in the US, though.
  • Grocery shopping. You get 4x points for grocery shopping inside the US. You don’t get this reward for shopping for groceries online. 
  • Flight bookings. Although it is not as much as the food categories, you still earn 3x points on booking flights. Hotel stays are not included in the travel category.

You can redeem these points through Amex Travel, gift cards, or statement credits. 

Other Benefits

You get three outstanding annual statement credits with this card. One significant benefit of these credits is that they offset your $250 annual fee. You get:

  • $120 yearly dining credit. You get a $10 monthly credit for spending at The Cheesecake Factory, GrubHub, and other select eating places.
  • Up to $120 credit for buying Uber services. You get another $10 monthly for adding this card to your Uber account. You can use it for either rides or Uber Eats. To receive this benefit you must have downloaded the latest version of the Uber App and your eligible American Express Gold Card must be a method of payment on your Uber account. The Amex Benefit may only be used in the United States.
  • $100 credit for The Hotel Collection. You also get credit for booking at a hotel from The Hotel Collection. You should book a minimum two-night stay through Amex Travel to get this benefit.
A woman paying a credit card at a cash register using the card reader

Comparing the Green Card and the Gold Card

A comparison between the two cards can determine the main factor that sets both cards apart in the list of Amex credit cards.

Similarities

Both cards are similar because:

  • You don’t get an intro APR period for any of these cards. Moreover, both incur a high-interest rate.
  • You get six months to complete the welcome offer.
  • Both cards offer rewards in travel and dining categories.
  • You get statement credits with both cards. The credits are sufficient to pay off each card’s annual fee.
  • You can pay the two cards’ bills and purchases through multiple channels. However, paying your balance in full each month is the best way.
  • You get baggage and rental car insurance with both cards.
  • You can attend invitation-only events by being a card member of these cards.
  • You are exempt from a foreign transaction fee for both cards.

Differences

Both cards are poles apart in some aspects:

  • Both incur a different annual fee. You pay $150 for the Green and $250 for the Gold.
  • The Green has more travel perks, while the Gold focuses on food-related categories.
  • You earn a 4x reward value with the Gold card against a 3x value with the Green card.
  • You can earn a significant welcome bonus for a limited time if you apply for an Amex Gold card today. However, the Green one does not offer any special welcome offer yet.
  • You get airport lounge access with a Green card. Contrarily, the Gold one does not have this facility.

Major Distinguishing Factor

The distinguishing factor between the two cards is their focus on benefits. 

Amex Green is a travel card through and through. You get to redeem rewards for a wide range of travel, transit, and hotel stays with it. Furthermore, you get credits for buying travel-related subscriptions.

On the other hand, Amex Gold is a card for food lovers. You earn generous reward points on food categories. Travel rewards and options are limited here. You also earn statement credits to dine and deliver inside the US.

A woman pays for a bottle of serum with her credit card

When to Use Amex Green Card

You can use this card for exclusive travel perks. You earn from flights and hotels as well as transit and camping. Furthermore, you get statement credits in other travel categories that can offset the $150 annual fee. 

When to Use Amex Gold Card

You can use this card for exclusive food perks. You earn from dining in, getting food delivered and picking food from an eating place. 

Additionally, you earn good points on shopping for groceries in the US. You also get up to $340 in statement credits in food-related categories. You can use them to pay off this card’s $250 annual fee.

Which Amex Card Is Better?

If you are looking for a card with travel and dining benefits at a low fee, Amex Green is the better choice. You can neutralize the annual fee with the statement credits you earn from CLEAR Plus and Lounge Buddy memberships.

That said, you can get Amex Gold if enjoying culinary experiences is a big part of your routine and if you are okay with paying a high annual fee for it.

Related Questions

Can I Upgrade My American Express Green Card to Gold?

Yes, you can upgrade your Amex Green card to Gold by calling Amex customer service. They will ask for your card details to process your upgrade request.

Can You Get into an Amex Lounge With a Green Corporate Card?

Yes, you can get into the Amex lounge with a Green corporate card. You can register at the LoungeBuddy app with your Green card. You will earn credit for using lounges throughout the year, too.

What Is the Minimum Income for an Amex Green Card?

There is no minimum income limit for Amex Green cards. Amex does not disclose the income criteria for their cards. However, you should have an above-average and sustainable income to qualify.

Final Verdict

I think the Amex Green card is better than the Gold. It has a lower annual fee, for one thing. For another, it offers decent reward points for travel and dining categories. However, those who spend a lot on food can opt for the Gold card.