The American Express Green Card is the oldest card product still on the market. It was first released in 1958 when American Express entered the fledgling credit card market. Furthermore, the Green Card was one of the first cards to earn Membership Rewards (MR) points starting in 1992. Recently, Amex discontinued new applications for the Green Card after months of rumors and waiting. But the points and miles world is waiting any day for the Green Card to be revamped. This post details my American Express Green Card predictions.
On Sunday, a Reddit user told Doctor of Credit (H/T) that the Amex Green Card will have a new $100 Away Luggage credit. This benefit is a promotional offer that lasts for three months and expires on January 15, 2020. American Express is known to hold promotions like this one for 90-day periods. Therefore, the re-release date for the Green Card should be later this week.
The Amex Green Card’s sign-up bonus can be one of two things: a standard MR points offer or the Away Luggage Promotion.
I would not be surprised to see the Green Card come with a sign-up bonus worth 25,000 MR points and a minimum spend of $1,000. This was the targeted bonus for the Green Card before the revamp. And it sits nicely between the bonuses for the Everyday Preferred and Gold Cards. The Everyday Preferred Card has a public bonus worth 15,000 points and the Gold Card has a public bonus worth 35,000 points.
A 25,000-point bonus is not out of the question considering the Green Card’s position as a Tier III card. And the $1,000 minimum spend is typical for no annual fee (Tier II) and lower annual fee (Tier III) Amex cards.
Alternatively, the $100 credit for Away Luggage could be the card’s sign-up bonus for the first 90 days after the revamp. This could be a promotional offer for new cardholders bring more awareness to the Green Card.
I would prefer earning 25,000 points to getting the $100 credit if I were to apply for the Green Card. The points are more appealing to most travelers and they would be a nice way to start (or refill) your MR points account.
Many of the rumors from early 2019 are consistent regarding the Green Card’s earning structure. I predict that the rumors will come true and then some.
Many sources agree that the Green Card will earn 4x MR points on Gas and 3x points on Streaming Services. But I also think that Amex will add a 2x category in Hotels (rooms booked directly with the hotel) or travel booked on amextravel.com.
American Express does not have an MR point-earning card with a high multiplier for Gas Stations. The Green Card could fill that void with the rumored 4x multiplier. The irony is that Amex partnered with Parley to make the new Green Cards out of 70% recycled plastic. I love that the new cards are eco-friendly. But having a 4x multiplier on a good that is not beneficial for the environment is silly given the message Amex is trying to send by partnering with Parley.
Furthermore, the Streaming Services category is not one that I would use very often (and I’m a millennial). Earning 3x MR points for those purchases is nice. But I don’t think streaming services would warrant an entire bonus category because many people do not spend a lot of money on streaming. Most peoples’ annual gas station expenses are much higher than their streaming service expenses. Amex also made Streaming Services a category on the Blue Cash Preferred Card in May 2019.
The Green Card already has a 2x category for amextravel.com purchases. But taking advantage is not optimal because there are much better ways to purchase travel on other cards (even those from Amex). However, I think Amex should and will add a 2x category for Hotels because they do not have any card with such a category. The Green Card revamp is Amex’s opportunity to fill in the bonus category gaps and make a card that’s complementary to their existing products. 2x on Hotels might be nice, especially for those who don’t have the Blue Business Plus Card or stay in hotels often.
American Express has recently revamped the benefits on many of their cards. The Green Card is no exception, despite its current status as closed to new applicants. Fortunately, the Green Card is retaining most of its previous perks until January 30, 2020.
Starting on January 30, 2020, the Green Card will continue to have the following perks:
- Trip Delay Insurance
- Extended Warranty (for one year)
- Purchase Protection (for 90 days)
These three perks are decent. But other cards with similar annual fees have more perks and travel insurances. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred has Primary Car Rental Insurance. and a better version of Trip Delay Insurance.
While the travel perks section is rooted in fact, the following shopping perks are my predictions.
There have been rumors that the Green Card will come with an annual Amazon Prime fee waiver credit. Such a credit can be valued at $120, which is the price of a yearly Prime membership.
Furthermore, the $100 Away Luggage credit might be a promotional benefit. This credit has an expiration date of January 15, 2020. But American Express might remove the date and make the credit a permanent benefit. However, Amex might also keep the date like the Business Platinum Card’s WeWork benefit, which expires in January 2020.
As a charge card and a Tier III travel card, the Green Card is going to have an annual fee. I predict that Amex will raise the card’s annual fee to $125 assuming my predictions come true. This annual fee raise can be justified from spending, the travel benefits, and the Amazon Prime credit. Plus, a $125 annual fee will match that of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card.
The American Express Green Card is one of the oldest cards still on the market. I’m glad that American Express is revamping it. A new Green Card gives Amex opportunities to make more money and not have a dormant product. And it gives travelers another tool to collect MR points and get traveling faster.
Stay posted for more news upon the re-release of the Green Card. I am excited to report on the details of this card when it comes out.