Summer is nearly upon us, and if the last two years are any indication of what’s to come, traveling may bring added hassle for anyone hitting the road over the next few months.
Thankfully, top travel credit cards can alleviate some of this stress by offering lucrative rewards alongside valuable benefits. And there’s a new offer on one in particular that could make today a great time to apply.
Here’s why you should consider the American Express® Green Card today.
The current welcome offer
Picking up a new credit card (and meeting minimum spending requirements) typically awards you a one-time bonus — and that’s exactly what the American Express Green Card offers.
Currently, you can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new card in your first six months of cardmembership. Plus, you can earn 20% back (as statement credits) on eligible travel and transit purchases made during your first six months of card membership, up to $200 in total. Terms apply.
The points alone can be redeemed for up to $600 in flights through American Express Travel. However, as you look ahead to summer or even holiday trips, you could get even more value by transferring to one of American Express’ travel partners — including Delta SkyMiles, British Airways Executive Club or Air Canada Aeroplan.
In fact, TPG’s monthly valuations peg Membership Rewards points at 2 cents apiece when you make the most of these transfer partners, boosting the potential value of the welcome bonus (including the $200 in statement credits) to $1,400.
However, it’s not just the welcome offer that can justify the card’s $150 annual fee (see rates and fees).
Read more: How to redeem American Express Membership Rewards points for maximum value
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Valuable bonus categories
Beyond the initial welcome offer, the American Express Green Card is incredibly lucrative when it comes to everyday spending. It awards:
- 3 points per dollar spent on travel — including airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, timeshare and vacation rentals.
- 3 points per dollar spent on transit purchases — including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses and subways.
- 3 points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide — including takeout and delivery in the U.S.
- Terms apply.
As you can see, this covers a wide variety of purchases you may be making on your summer trips — or could even help you plan ahead for the fall and upcoming holidays.
For example, let’s say you’re finalizing plans for an August trip to Disney World. You need to book flights, a hotel and a rental car. You’ll also need to pay for airport parking or rideshare services to catch your flight.
Using a “standard” credit card might only result in 1 point per dollar or 1% cash back on these purchases. But if you add the Amex Green Card to your wallet today, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar spent on these eligible travel and transit purchases.
In addition, you can also earn 20% back on these travel and transit purchases for the first six months, up to $200 in total.
The best part? It doesn’t matter what method of transportation or type of accommodation you book. Whether you’re touring a national park in a rental car, spreading out with the family in a spacious vacation rental, purchasing subway or bus tickets in a major city, or riding the rails across Europe, you can earn 3 points per dollar spent and enjoy 20% back as statement credits (up to $200) in the first six months after approval.
Despite some notable new terminals that opened over the last few years, the airport experience can be … well, frustrating. From long security lines to crowded terminals and overpriced food, many travelers dread the actual travel process, even if there’s a bucket-list destination at the end.
Thankfully, the American Express Green Card includes a pair of benefits to help make your airport experience both smoother and (dare I say?) more enjoyable.
Clear Plus statement credit
You can receive up to $189 in statement credits per calendar year after you pay for your Clear® Plus membership (subject to auto-renewal) with the American Express Green Card. Clear is a digital identity verification company that uses unique attributes, such as eyes or fingerprints, to help its members move faster through security at select airports, stadiums and entertainment venues across the nation.
At the 50+ participating airports, you can use the dedicated Clear lane to confirm your identity without taking out your passport or photo ID – which can mean shorter lines and less waiting.
If you’re already a Clear Plus member, you could still use this statement credit to add family members to your existing membership. Each one is $60, and you can add up to three, though kids under the age of 18 can accompany the member for free. Note as well that some Delta and United customers can enjoy discounted membership. Terms apply.
Read more: What is the Clear expedited airport security program — and is it worth it?
If you’re looking to escape the bustle of the airport this summer, the American Express Green Card may have you covered. When you use the card to purchase lounge access through the LoungeBuddy app, you’ll receive up to $100 in statement credits each year.
The great aspect of this perk is that you don’t need to rely on (or even have) an existing lounge membership, as LoungeBuddy partners with locations across the country and around the world. It even includes many Minute Suites, which gives you access to a private room with Wi-Fi, a TV and a daybed.
Just book a location through the LoungeBuddy app, and you’ll receive up to $100 in statement credits per year on your LoungeBuddy purchases. Terms apply.
The American Express Green Card offers an array of additional benefits, but there’s one in particular that’s worth highlighting for those traveling this summer.
If your summer trips take you outside the U.S., the American Express Green Card can be an ideal companion. It waives foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees) for purchases made abroad — and you’ll still enjoy the bonus rewards detailed above. Whether it’s a train in Europe, a dinner in South America or a campground in New Zealand, the card has you covered.
The American Express Green Card features an elevated welcome offer, but that’s not the only reason to consider applying to add it to your wallet. With bonus points on a variety of purchases, perks to ease your airport experience and additional travel benefits, the card may just be the best companion for your summer vacations.