Quick overview

The American Express® Green Card is a no-fee travel card with a simple yet valuable rewards system—you earn one Membership Rewards® point for every $1 you spend on purchases and redeem them for travel, gift cards, Amazon.ca purchases and more—all without an annual fee.

Despite the no annual fee, Amex still gives you a welcome bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards® points when you spend $1,000 in purchases to the card within the first three months (which is valued at around $100 towards shopping or dining out). And when you’re ready to upgrade to an annual fee card, your points easily transfer over. 

Who the American Express® Green Card is best suited for

With no annual fee or income requirements, this card is a good option for students or those just starting out with credit. If you can spend around $340 per month within the first three months, you unlock your welcome bonus and introduce Amex’s Membership Rewards® points. You also have access to some early Amex experiences and privileges (think Front Of the Line presales and reserved tickets). 

The card is well-suited for those who plan to use it for everyday spending without focusing on specific categories like groceries or travel.

Pros and cons

Pros

Pros

  • No annual fee.

  • No income requirements (unlike many other no-fee cards).

  • Welcome bonus up to 10,000 points (a $200 value).

  • American Express® Experiences.

Cons

Cons

  • The card only offers basic extended warranty and purchase protection insurance. No travel insurance or rental car coverage.

  • Some places might not accept American Express®. However, most major retailers do (more small businesses are starting to as well)

  • Fewer perks: No specific benefits for travel or dining and no accelerated earning rates on grocery or travel spending.

  • Lower earn rates: The reward earn rates are lower than some other no-fee credit cards.

Welcome bonus

  • Up to 10,000 American Express® Membership Rewards® points when you spend at least $1,000 in the first three months (a value of up to $200).

Earn rate

  • Earn one point per $1 spent on all eligible purchases.
  • Earn one additional Membership Rewards® point for every $1 you spend booking hotels or rental cars with Amex Travel.
  • 1,000 points = $10 for all eligible purchases. 

Amex Green card benefits

  • No income requirements or annual fee, but still a valuable welcome bonus.
  • Membership Rewards® points transfer 1:1 to several loyalty programs (e.g. Aeroplan, Marriott, Bonvoy).
  • Redeem points for gift cards, merchandise, Amazon.ca purchases, or travel.
  • With Amex Experiences and its Front Of The Line program, you gain special access to advanced film screenings, food festivals, private shopping experiences and can skip the lineups at certain event venues.

Insurance coverage

  • Extended warranty: Up to one additional year.
  • Purchase protection: Coverage for up to 90 days.

Extras

  • The card offers the Plan It™ installment program, allowing cardholders to split large purchases into monthly installments without additional credit checks.

What people have to say about the American Express® Green Card

Around the internet, card users are praising its reward system and lack of an annual fee. One user mentioned that it's an excellent starter card for those new to Amex, while another highlighted its strong earn rate for a no-fee card.

Over on r/churningcanada, a great subreddit about credit card hacking, Redditors commented that the Amex Green card may be the “most versatile no annual fee card in Canada.” This is due to its transfer partners like Aeroplan and Bonvoy. 

Another user saw it as an easy opportunity to get 10,000 Membership Rewards® points within three months for a small spend. 

However, many voiced concerns about Amex’s acceptance rate. They pointed out that if you have no credit or poor credit, you might consider another no annual fee card to build your credit before applying so you don’t hurt your credit score. On the subreddit r/amexcanada, several Redditors suggested starting with a student card from a traditional bank.  

How the American Express® Green Card compares

The American Express® Green Card offers a competitive rewards system, especially for a no-fee card. Let’s look at some comparable no-fee cards, student cards and others to help you make a decision. 

American Express® Green Card vs. American Express® SimplyCash Card

Both cards have no annual fee, extended warranty and purchase protection. The biggest difference is the SimplyCash card is a cash back card offering 2% cash back on grocery store and gas station purchases, and 1.25% cash back on everything else. The American Express SimplyCash Card also offers up to $100,000 of travel accident insurance and charges no foreign transaction fees. 

So, if you’d prefer a cash back card with an average cash back rate and you spend a bit of money in the U.S., consider the SimplyCash card. If you’d rather build up those Membership Rewards® points and their flexible redemption for travel, get the Amex Green Card. 

American Express® Green Card vs. Home Trust Preferred Visa

Neither card charges an annual fee. The Green Card offers Membership Rewards® Points, the Home Trust Preferred Visa provides a straightforward 1% cash back on all eligible purchases. 

One significant advantage of the Home Trust card is its lack of foreign transaction fees, making it a solid pick for those who frequently shop abroad or online with foreign merchants. 

On the other hand, the Green Card's strength lies in its flexibility, allowing cardholders to transfer points to various loyalty programs and offering exclusive experiences through the American Express® Experiences program. 

Both cards come with extended warranty and purchase protection, but the Green Card's focus on Membership Rewards® points may appeal more to those who value flexible redemption options.

American Express® Green Card vs. Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Neither card charges an annual fee, so the question is do you want cash back or Membership Rewards® points? The Amex Green Card offers one Membership Rewards® point for each $1 spent on eligible everyday purchases and an additional point for hotel and car rental bookings through the Amex travel portal. 

On the other hand, the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card allows cardholders to earn 2% cash back in up to three categories of their choice and 0.5% cash back on all other everyday purchases. This may be appealing if you spend a lot in specific categories like groceries, dining out and refilling your car (or taking Ubers). 

Additionally, the Tangerine card's welcome offer gives you an extra 10% back on the first $1,000 spent in the initial two months (or $100) vs. Amex’s 10,000 Membership Rewards® points for the same amount of spend over three months (or roughly $200).  Amex offers a better welcome bonus and gets you started on collecting the always flexible MR points, but if cash back is what you really desire, consider the Tangerine card. 

Is the American Express® Green Card worth it?

Given its high-value rewards, lack of annual fee and still a decent welcome bonus, the American Express® Green Card is definitely worth considering. However, potential cardholders should be aware of its limited insurance coverage and the acceptance issues associated with American Express® cards.

FAQs

  • What rewards does the American Express® Green Card offer?

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    The American Express® Green Card offers one point per $1 spent on all purchases. With each Amex point worth up to two cents, the card can offer a return of up to 2% on spending.

  • Is the American Express® Green Card a charge card?

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    No, the American Express® Green Card is a regular credit card.

  • Does the American Express® Green Card have an annual fee or income requirements?

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    The American Express® Green card has no annual fee and no income requirements.

  • How does the Amex Green Card welcome bonus work?

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    After charging $1,000 in purchases to the card within the first three months, new cardmembers can earn a welcome bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards® points.

  • What can I redeem my Amex Green Card points for?

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    Points can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, purchases on Amazon.ca, or travel. Additionally, points can be transferred 1:1 to several frequent flyer and other loyalty programs.

  • Is there a fee for additional Amex Green cards?

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    No, there is no annual fee for additional cards linked to the primary American Express® Green Card account, which allows you to rack up points faster.

About our author

Tyler Wade
Tyler Wade, Content strategist & writer

Tyler Wade has worked in personal finance for over 5 years writing for brands like Ratehub, Forbes, KOHO, and now Money.ca. He was the host and producer of the Real Money Talk podcast. He's the father of two, husband to one, and loves all things tiny.

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