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July 19, 2024
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Amex Green vs Gold vs Platinum: What color looks best on you?


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A travel credit card can enhance your travel experience, and elite options like the American Express® Green Card, American Express® Gold Card, and The Platinum Card® from American Express are among some of the best you’ll find.

These three cards each come with their own unique attributes and benefits. To help you figure out which one is right for you, we delved into the specifics of each one. To dig in deeper, check out our detailed reviews of the Amex Green, Amex Gold, and Amex Platinum.

American Express® Green Card vs. American Express® Gold Card vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express

American Express® Green Card American Express® Gold Card The Platinum Card® from American Express
Rewards Earn 3X Membership Rewards points in expanded travel categories
Earn 3X on transit, including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways
Earn 3X points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery in the U.S)
Earn 1X points on all other purchases
Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at restaurants (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.)
Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x)
Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
Earn 1X points on other eligible purchases

Earn 5x Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year)
Earn 5x Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel

Welcome offer Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new card in your first 6 months of card membership Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after spending $8,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of card membership
Perks Earn up to $189 credit toward cost of CLEAR® Plus per calendar year
Earn up to $100 LoungeBuddy statement credit
Up to
Up to $100 experience credit for hotel stays booked through The Hotel Collection

Earn up to $200 in Uber Cash on rides or eats orders in the U.S. annually
Earn up to $189 back per year on a CLEAR® Plus membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®
Earn up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card® (minimum 2-night stay required)
Earn up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your card
Earn 1x points on other eligible purchases
Up to $240 digital
entertainment credit
Marriott Bonvoy® Gold Elite Status
Hilton Honors™ Gold Status
$100 experience credit for hotel stays booked through The Hotel Collection
Lounge access through the Global Lounge Collection

Additional benefits $300 Equinox Credit
$100 Saks Fifth credit
$155 Walmart+ credit
$300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit
Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
Car rental privileges at Avis, Hertz, National
Protections and insurances Purchase protection
Extended warranty
Trip delay insurance
Secondary ar rental loss and damage insurance
Baggage insurance plan
Baggage insurance plan
Secondary car rental loss and damage insurance

Cell phone protection
Return protection
Purchase protection
Extended warranty
Secondary car rental loss and damage insurance
Trip delay insurance
Trip cancellation and interruption insurance

All information about the American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by Fortune Recommends™.
To view rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, see this page 
To view rates and fees of the The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page 

Annual fee

The Amex Green, Gold, and Platinum are all considered premium travel credit cards, but their annual fees vary significantly. , 

The American Express Green Card is the most affordable card of the three with a $150 annual fee This card is a great option for cardholders who prioritize a generous rewards structure but don’t need a ton of travel perks and protections. 

One step above the Amex Green is the $250-annual-fee American Express Gold Card.The Amex Gold is best for people who spend more on all things food-related, like dining out and groceries. The Amex Gold offers impressive rewards plus a few perks and benefits that foodies may find useful.

Lastly, the American Express Platinum Card commands the highest annual fee of all the cards, at  $695. For the high price tag, cardholders earn a host of statement credits that can total over  $1,000 in value, many protections and insurances, and extensive lounge access so they can travel in comfort. While the Amex Platinum’s rewards structure is a bit lackluster, the card is a top-tier choice for those who desire a luxurious travel and lifestyle experience.

The Amex Green is the clear winner because of its modest annual fee, at least in comparison to the Gold and Platinum Cards. 

Winner: American Express Green Card

All information about the American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by Fortune Recommends™.
To view rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, see this page 
To view rates and fees of the The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page 

Welcome offer

With all three cards, you’ll have the opportunity to earn a generous welcome offer if you meet the minimum spending requirements. With the Amex Green Card, you’ll earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new card in your first 6 months of card membership. 

The Amex Gold Card’s welcome offer is more generous, although you’ll also have to spend a bit more to get it. Amex Gold cardholders earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. 

While the Amex Platinum has the highest spending requirement, you also get the largest welcome offer of the three cards 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after spending $8,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of card membership . 

While you’ll have to spend a lot to earn the Amex Platinum’s welcome offer, you also get the biggest welcome bonus.. For this reason, the Amex Platinum rises to the top.

Winner: The American Express Platinum Card

All information about the American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by Fortune Recommends™.
To view rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, see this page 
To view rates and fees of the The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page 

Earning rewards

When you’re choosing a  credit card it pays to think about where you spend the most. Amex Green card offers the highest rewards on areas of typical everyday spending of the three cards, earning: 

  • 3X Membership Rewards points in expanded travel categories, including flights, hotels, tours, campgrounds, car rentals, cruises, vacation rentals, and more
  • 3X on transit, including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways
  • 3X points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery in the U.S)
  • 1X points on all other purchases

The card is a great fit for a cardholder who wants to earn extra rewards on their daily commute, a night out, or flight they booked for a vacation. 

However, if you don’t think you’ll get much use out of elevated rewards on travel-related purchases, the Amex Gold is a solid option, especially if you’re someone who frequently spends on dining in or eating out.  

Amex Gold cardholders earn:

  • 4X Membership Rewards® Points at restaurants (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.)
  • 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x)
  • 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
  • 1x points on other eligible purchases

The Amex Platinum, on the other hand, offers some underwhelming rewards rates. Amex Platinum cardholders primarily earn higher rewards rates on travel booked through the issuer. 

Amex Platinum cardholders earn:

  • 5x Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year)
  • 5x Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
  • 1x points on other eligible purchases

The American Express Green is the winner due to its broad spending categories that earn elevated rewards. 

Winner: The American Express Green Card

All information about the American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by Fortune Recommends™.
To view rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, see this page 
To view rates and fees of the The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page 

How to redeem Membership Rewards® Points

You can use your Membership Rewards points various ways, whether you’re planning a luxurious vacation, shopping, or even retroactively using points to cover past purchases.

Keep in mind that the redemption value varies—redeeming points for travel provides the greatest bang for your buck while getting a statement credit yields the lowest value.

Book travel through a transfer partner or American Express Travel 

Through the Amex Travel portal, you can book flights, hotel stays, and car rentals. Typically, when you book through the Amex Travel portal, 1 Membership Rewards point is worth 1 cent when you book flights and prepaid hotels through Amex Travel. When you reserve other types of travel, like cruises, the redemption value may be lower.

Plus, if you transfer your points to one of Amex’s  airline or hotel loyalty program partners you may receive even greater value for your rewards., Amex has nearly two dozen transfer partners including Delta SkyMiles®, Iberia Plus, Marriott Bonvoy™, and Hilton Honors.

Pay with points 

You can use your points to directly pay for merchandise at select retailers like Amazon, Grubhub, and PayPal. However, if you redeem your points this way you may get a redemption value of less than 1:1. At many retailers, 1 Membership Rewards point is worth 0.7 cents.

Earn cash back and cover your charges

If you want to use your points to reduce your statement balance, you can use your points to get a statement credit or cover previous charges on your card. This redemption method yields the lowest value for your points—1 Membership Rewards point is worth 0.6 cents this way.

Buy gift cards and merchandise

Through the Amex website, you can use your points to buy electronics, clothing, fitness products, and more. You may also use points to buy gift cards from merchants like Adidas, Nike, and Macy’s. However, you typically get a redemption value of less than 1 cent per 1 point with these methods.

Travel benefits

In exchange for the highest annual fee, the Amex Platinum offers the greatest amount of perks. Amex Platinum cardholders receive a plethora of premium statement credits—from a $300 Equinox statement credit to a $200 Uber Cash to a $200 hotel credit, among others. 

Cardholders also receive expansive lounge access through the Global Lounge Collection, which includes  Priority Pass Select, Delta Sky Club®, Plaza Premium Lounge, Centurion Network, Lufthansa Lounge, and more. Plus, cardholders get Gold elite status for Marriott Bonvoy® and Hilton Honors™ loyalty programs with enrollment.

While the Amex Gold and Green cards don’t outshine the Platinum in perks, they each offer unique benefits catering to different preferences. 

The Amex Gold provides food-related perks, including an up to $120 a year in credits for eligible dining ($10 each month) and up to $120 a year in Uber Cash ($10 each month). The Amex Green card offers some valuable travel benefits like up to $189 credit toward cost of CLEAR® Plus per calendar year and up to $189 credit toward cost of CLEAR® Plus per calendar year which cardholders can use to purchase lounge access at participating lounges worldwide. 

Despite their merits, the Gold and Green cards fall short of the Platinum’s extensive luxury benefits tailored for frequent travelers.

Winner: American Express Platinum Card

Travel protections and insurances

If something goes awry when you’re traveling, a travel credit card can help minimize your losses and expenses. 

With the Amex Platinum, you’ll get travel protections like trip delay insurance, secondary car rental loss and damage insurance, and trip cancellation and interruption insurance. Amex Platinum cardholders also get protections that go beyond travel like cell phone protection and purchase protection. 

While Amex Gold and Amex Green cardholders get some travel protections and insurances like a  baggage insurance plan and secondary car rental loss and damage insurance, you’ll get broader coverages with the Amex Platinum.

Winner: The American Express Platinum Card

Which Amex Card is right for you?

While the Amex Platinum narrowly beats out the Amex Green card, all three cards have their merits, depending on your personal preferences.

The Amex Green card is best for those who travel occasionally and don’t place a premium on paying for a card with a long list of potential credits. If your spending revolves around transportation, dining out, and occasional travel, the Amex Green can help you earn valuable Membership Rewards points on your regular expenses.

If your spending is primarily focused on food, the Amex Gold card, with its $250 annual fee, is worth considering. The Amex Gold offers impressive rewards and food-related perks, making it a fitting choice for culinary enthusiasts and individuals with moderate travel needs.

For those who want an even more luxurious travel experience, the Amex Platinum, commanding the highest annual fee at $695, is the best fit. If you consider travel a lifestyle and desire a comprehensive suite of premium perks—from statement credits exceeding $1,000 to lounge access worldwide—the Amex Platinum stands tall.  


Please note that card details are accurate as of the publish date, but are subject to change at any time at the discretion of the issuer. Please contact the card issuer to verify rates, fees, and benefits before applying.

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefits guide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.



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