For many individuals, the American Express® Green card is a “gateway” into American Express® membership. Traditionally, excellent credit is required to qualify for Amex cards, but individuals with FICO scores as low as the mid-600s have been approved for the Green Card. The Green Card, which has been around since 1958, offers many of the outstanding benefits of the splashier offerings later introduced by American Express®.

Who Is the American Express® Green Card Designed For?

The American Express® Green card is a charge card, as opposed to a credit card, which makes it an ideal choice for individuals who pay off their balances in full every month. It is somewhat easier to obtain than other Amex cards. Holding a Green card for a number of years could provide a means to qualify for other Amex cards. It is not intended for students or for business use.

Are There Annual Fees?

The annual membership fee is 95 dollars, but the fee is waived for the first year. 

Does the American Express® Green Card Offer Rewards?

The American Express® Green Card awards cardholders nearly all the benefits of its excellent Membership Rewards program, including 2 points for every 1 dollar spent at amextravel.com and 1 point for every 1 dollar spent elsewhere. Other perks associated with the Membership Rewards program include Baggage Insurance, Roadside Assistance, Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance coverage, Travel Accident insurance, card member-only access to hot entertainment events and the acclaimed Global Assist Hotline. Shoppers are protected by the Extended Warranty, Purchase Protection, Return Protection and Dispute Resolution programs.

Are There Foreign Transaction Fees?

Foreign transactions are charged 2.7 percent, after conversion into US Dollars.

Are There Late Payment or other Penalty Fees?

Returned and late payments incur a $38 fee.


The American Express® Green card is a great way to gain the benefits of Amex membership if your credit is a bit less than perfect. If you never carry a balance, you can get the benefits of making purchases with a grace period. But if your financial discipline is not up to making full payments every month, you're best off going with a credit card with a low APR rather than a charge card.

  • Card Type
    • Charge Card
    • Rewards
  • Customer Type
  • Card Network
    American Express
  • Credit Score Range
    700 - 850
  • Minimum Age
  • Annual Fee
  • Late Payment Penalty
  • Returned Payment Fee
  • Foreign Currency Transaction Fee
  • No Annual Fee First Year
  • Car Rental Insurance
  • Emergency Support
  • Extended Warranty
  • Fraud Liability
  • Lost Luggage Insurance
  • Travel Insurance
  • Points
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0 votes

My dad had a green card for many years. I always remember seeing it in his wallet. So I decided to apply for my own. My credit is in the low 600s, so the first time I didn't get it, but the second time I did get approved. So far, so good. I don't have an annual fee until next year, and I've been keeping up on paying on time, because I know that the late fee is pretty bad.

0 votes

If you realize that American Express cards are not really true credit cards in the sense that you can't carry a balance over each month, then this card will work well for you. I actually like it because it forces me to pay my balance off each month like you should. If you are used to carrying big balances for months or years, this is not for you, so stay away!

0 votes

I really wanted to get into American Express, and I figured the Green Card was the way to go. It was. They approved me, and now I'm a card carrying AmEx member. I am in my first year, so I haven't yet had to pay the annual fee, but I will next year. I still think it's worth it to have the card. I also like how I have to pay it off every month. That keeps me on track.

0 votes

I have had a lot of visas and mcs but never an Amex card. I wasn't sure if I would even be approved, but I was. It's a fairly low balance, but that's okay. I can work up from there. I'm thinking that I must be looking pretty good in the credit department for lenders, since I was approved.

0 votes

Pretty good prestigous card to have but don't be late on payments! It can get really expensive. I know, because I've been late a few times and I've paid the price--literally. I like having the card otherwise. There are perks like baggage insurance and travel accident insurance when you travel. That has saved me money by not having to get insurance when I rent a car.

0 votes

Did I get a green American Express card just so that I could say that I have one? Yes, I did. I felt I hadn't really gotten there in terms of my credit standing until I applied for and got this card. Now that I have it I'm glad I do. My only regret is the $95 annual fee that is going to start next year. I'll have to start racking up points in order to help cover that.

0 votes

My eventual goal is to get an American Express Gold Card, but I figured I better start with the green card, since they aren't all that easy to get. I have decent credit, though, and did qualify for this card. I have been using it in an attempt to get a good number of points. The only trick with that is making sure that you don't spend too much at once since you have to pay monthly.

0 votes

The fact that the American Express Green Card is a charge card as opposed to a credit card forces you to be more disciplined about spending, because you are not allowed to carry a balance. But the annual fee is a hefty $95, which is a lot to pay for the prestige of being a “member,” as Amex likes to call its card holders, although the fee is waived for the first year. Amex also charges stiff fees for foreign transactions, late payments and returned payments.

On the other hand, ... Amex shines in its purchase protection and emergency support services. If you purchase an item up to $1,000 with your Amex card, you are automatically protected against accidental damage and theft for 90 days. And if you get sick or run into another kind of emergency away from home, the Global Assist program can help you replace your passport and visa, provide emergency transportation and even wire you cash. The Lost Wallet service goes above and beyond protecting your credit cards, with coverage extended to keys, loyalty programs, and even your mobile devices and vehicle, with assistance available to you, your spouse and dependents 24/7. More Less

0 votes

The green card is the "lowest" in the Amex family, but it is still not easy to get. They also treat you the same in terms of rewards. You still get the same rewards and good stuff as the other cards. This includes one point for every one dollar in purchases you make. They also have insurance when you travel regading accidents and there's always the ability to return damaged products without any worry about having to pay for it if you go through the proper returns.

0 votes

I have had this card for many years now, 3% cash back on groceries and restaurants is always a plus. Had some oversea disputes and Amex took care it without asking any question. Great card and service, I highly recommends it.

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