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As we posted already, the new AmEx Green card is now open for applications!  I mentioned some folks think the Green card is better than the AmEx Gold card…I’ll leave that up to you to decide.  I’m more interested in pitting it against the original holy grail of travel cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred!

KEY LINKS:

For the purposes of this article, let’s ignore welcome offers.  Offers change over time, and you should always be going (in my opinion) for the best welcome offer out there.  I like to ignore them when comparing cards for long-term use.

American Express Green Card

  • Annual fee of $150 (not waived the first year)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earns triple Membership Rewards points on travel and dining worldwide.  Travel is defined widely – transit, flights, tours, hotels, etc.
  • $100 annual statement credit for CLEAR membership
  • $100 annual statement credits towards LoungeBuddy purchases (AmEx bought LoungeBuddy earlier this year, remember?)
  • Car rental and luggage insurance
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership (free 2 day shipping at tons of stores)
  • Access to AmEx Offers

The Green card from American Express has been a staple of the issuer’s portfolio for quite some time.  They recently refreshed the card, including a new look, new earning capabilities, and some great new benefits.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • Annual fee of $95 (not waived the first year)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earns double Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining worldwide.  Travel is defined widely again here – transit, flights, tours, hotels, etc.
  • (Primary) Car rental and luggage insurance
  • Access to Chase Offers

(SEE ALSO Card Madness 2019 – A Major Win for AmEx! (and a Major Loss for Chase…))

The Sapphire Preferred card is the original travel hacking card, in my opinion.  Yes I know, the hobby was around before that, and will stick around after it’s eventually gutted or discontinued, but the CSP ushered in a new era of travel hacking.  Whether that was good or bad for the hobby (and flight availability) is up for debate.

…and the winner is…

The AmEx Green card!

Both of these cards have very similar benefits – access to special offers, baggage and trip delay insurance, no foreign transaction fees.  The Green card pulls ahead in terms of earning potential though, offering 50% more points on the same exact categories.  Interestingly, the Green card’s annual fee is almost exactly 50% higher than the Sapphire Preferred.  I guess you get what you pay for!

Depending on your travel habits, you may benefit from Ultimate Rewards more than AmEx Membership Rewards, and that’s something to keep in mind.  There’s also a lot of synergies with these cards.  I already have an AmEx Blue Business Plus, Gold, and Platinum card, so the Green card fits in nicely.  If you wield the Chase trifecta, you’ll obviously want the CSP over the Green card.

KEY LINKS:

The refreshed American Express Green card is a huge improvement over the earlier iteration of the charge card.  Will you be opening one?  I would…if I could get around that darn pop up!


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