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Battle of the Amex charge cards: Green vs. Gold vs. Platinum

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Battle of the Amex charge cards: Green vs. Gold vs. Platinum

Meghan HunterBattle of the Amex charge cards: Green vs. Gold vs. PlatinumMillion Mile Secrets Team

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You have lots of options when it comes to earning Amex Membership Rewards points, which is always a good thing. But choosing the right card be tricky because there are various factors to consider.

If you’re looking for an Amex charge card, we’ve put together this comparison of the American Express® Green CardAmerican Express® Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express to help you decide which card is the best fit for your spending habits and travel goals. All three cards make our list of the top American Express cards, but each has different annual fees, earning rates, and other features.

Here’s a detailed look:

There’s no easy answer when you’re deciding between Amex charge cards. But we’ll help you through the decision process.

Amex Green vs. Amex Gold vs. Amex Platinum

Card nameWelcome bonus & minimum spending requirementsEarning rateAnnual feesOur review
American Express®️ Green CardReceive up to $100 in statement credits toward any eligible purchase from Away. Offer ends January 15, 2020. Plus, earn 30,000 Amex Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in your first three months of account opening. Terms apply.3x Membership Rewards points on travel

3x Membership Rewards points on worldwide restaurant purchases

1x Membership Rewards point on everything else

Terms apply
$150 annual fee (see rates & fees) Amex Green card review
American Express® Gold Card35,000 Amex Membership Rewards® points after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. Terms Apply.4x Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar at restaurants

4x Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar at US supermarkets, on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases (then 1X)

3x Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com

Terms apply
$250 annual fee (see rates & fees) Amex Gold card review
The Platinum Card® from American Express60,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Terms Apply.5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on airfare (booked either directly with the airline or through Amex Travel)

5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked on Amex Travel

1x Membership Rewards point per dollar on everything else

Terms apply
$550 annual fee (see rates & fees)AMEX Platinum review

Each card has a different annual fee, bonus categories and welcome offer. The Amex Platinum Card, for example, has a $550 annual fee (See Rates and Fees), while the Amex Green Card’s annual fee is just $150 (See Rates and Fees). While the Amex Platinum’s hefty annual fee might scare some people off, it’s important to dig deeper into each card’s benefits and perks, as many of them will help offset the annual fee.

The Amex Platinum, for example, comes with perks including:

  • Up to $200 in Uber credits annually
  • Up to $200 annual airline fee credit
  • $100 Global Entry credit

These benefits can add up, but only if you can use them. I live in a small town, so the Uber credits aren’t as enticing as they might be for someone living in a larger city without a car. I also already have Global Entry, so the credit doesn’t necessarily benefit me. But if you’re a regular Uber user and can make use of the other credits, you can nearly cover the entire annual fee with their value. Plus, there’s the outstanding 5x Membership Rewards points you’ll earn on airfare booked either directly with the airline or through Amex Travel, and on prepaid hotels booked on Amex Travel.

For these reasons, the Amex Platinum is our top pick for those who spend a lot on airfare and who are looking for premium perks. You can read our full review of the Amex Platinum card here.

With the Amex Gold card you’ll get benefits and perks including:

  • Up to $120 dining credit ($10 monthly) each year at participating restaurants (enrollment required)
  • Up to $100 airline incidental fee credit each calendar year on your selected airline

This card’s perks make the most sense for someone who spends a lot on dining, especially given the fact that you’ll earn 4x Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at restaurants. That’s why we recommend this card as the best Amex card for restaurant purchases. You’ll find our review of the Amex Gold card here.

Lastly, the Amex Green card comes with benefits like:

  • Up to $100 in yearly statement credits when you use your Amex Green card to pay for a CLEAR membership
  • Up to $100 in LoungeBuddy statement credits per year

Sure, these benefits aren’t as notable as those offered by the Amex Platinum  (See Rates and Fees) or Amex Gold  (See Rates and Fees) cards, but the Amex Green card’s annual fee (See Rates and Fees)is significantly less ($150 compared to $550 and $250, respectively). Plus, it earns bonus Amex Membership Rewards points on general travel purchases, something the other cards don’t offer. Specifically, Amex says these purchases will qualify for earning bonus points on “airfare, hotels, cruises, car rentals, campgrounds, trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, tours, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, subways, on third party travel websites and on amextravel.com.”

That gives you a lot of opportunities to rack up extra rewards. And it’s why we recommend the Amex Green card as the best for those who spend a lot on general travel purchases. Here’s our detailed review of the Amex Green card.

Bottom line

The best personal Amex charge card for your wallet depends on your own spending habits and travel goals. If you’re trying to decide on just one, here’s how we distinguish between them:

Featured image by ra2studio/Shutterstock.

For rates and fees of the Amex Green card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

American Express® Green Card

American Express® Green Card

  • Receive up to $100 in statement credits towards any eligible purchase made directly with Away in your first 3 months. Offer ends 1/15/2020.
  • Plus, earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide.
  • Receive up to $100 per year in statement credits when you use the American Express® Green Card to pay for your CLEAR® membership.
  • Receive up to $100 in statement credits per year on your LoungeBuddy purchases. Use the American Express® Green Card to purchase lounge access through LoungeBuddy to any of the lounges in the LoungeBuddy network — no memberships, elite statuses, or first class tickets required.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $150 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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