If you’re in the market for a credit card that earns points in the American Express Membership Rewards program, there are numerous options to consider. However, some cards in this program come with high annual fees (up to $695) due to their cardholder perks, rewards rates and overall value proposition.
The American Express® Green Card and The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express are two cards that earn Membership Rewards points with a lower annual cost. While the American Express Green Card charges an annual fee of $150 each year, the Amex EveryDay Credit Card lets you earn Amex points with no annual fee at all.
If you’re ready to start earning flexible rewards from Amex, but you’re not sure which of these two cards to sign up for, read on to learn how they compare in the most important categories.
|Welcome bonus||30,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $2,000 on purchases within three months of account opening||10,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months|
|Reward rate||3X Membership Rewards points in an expanded travel category (flights, hotels, transit, taxis, rideshare and tours); 3X points at restaurants worldwide; 2X points on rental cars booked through American Express Travel; 1X points on all other purchases||2X points at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1X points); 2X points on prepaid rental cars booked through American Express Travel; 1X points on all other purchases
Note, you can get a 20% bonus on your points when you use your card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period
|Intro APR||none||0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months (12.99% to 23.99% variable APR thereafter)|
|Foreign transaction fees||none||2.7%|
American Express Green Card vs. Amex EveryDay Credit Card Highlights
While one of these cards charges an annual fee, there are other metrics to consider. For example, how can the rewards rate and welcome offer make up for the annual fee? And what other factors could help you save money or end up ahead? The sections below explain which card comes out ahead in these important categories.
Welcome bonus winner: American Express Green Card
The American Express Green Card boasts a welcome offer of 30,000 points for those who can spend $2,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. This bonus is three times the size of the welcome offer on the Amex EveryDay Credit Card, yet users only need to spend $1,000 more within three months to earn it.
Considering the value of Amex Membership Rewards points can be up to 2 cents each when redeemed with travel partners, the bonus on the Amex Green Card can be worth up to $600. That compares favorably to the welcome offer on the Amex EveryDay, which can be worth up to $200.
Rewards rate winner: American Express Green Card
The American Express Green Card also comes out ahead due to its rewards rate, which extends more points in its highest categories and no earning caps. Those who sign up for this card can earn 3X points at restaurants worldwide, as well as on transit and travel-related purchases. Cardholders also earn a flat rate of 1X points on everything else.
By contrast, the Amex EveryDay offers 2X points on up to $6,000 in spending at US supermarkets each year (then 1X points), 2X points on prepaid rental cars booked through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases.
While you do get a 20 percent points-bonus each billing cycle (if you use your card 20 or more times), that still brings your highest earning rate to 2.4X points. The bonus rewards cap on US supermarket spending also limits your earning potential substantially.
Annual Fee winner: Amex EveryDay Credit Card
Simply put, the Amex EveryDay wins for its annual fee because it doesn’t have one. That makes this card a great option for anyone who is fee-averse, as well as those who don’t think they’ll earn enough in rewards to make up for any added charges.
Intro APR winner: Amex EveryDay Credit Card
The Amex EveryDay also offers a 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 15 months, followed by a variable APR of 12.99 percent to 23.99 percent. The savings from this offer can be substantial if you need to make a large purchase and pay it down over time, or if you may need to carry a balance when cash is tight.
By contrast, the American Express Green Card does not offer an introductory APR period.
Which card earns the most?
If you’re wondering which card will leave you “ahead” in terms of rewards, that really depends on which categories you spend the most in. Consider the spending example below and how it might apply to your spending habits and rewards goals.
American Express Green Card vs. Amex EveryDay Credit Card spending example
For the purpose of this example, we’re going to imagine you have a family of four with two adults under the age of 50 and two kids (a boy and a girl), ages 12 and 13. While food spending varies, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) says your average food spending might be $1,224.70 per month (or $14,696.40 per year) on a moderate plan.
Let’s also imagine you spend $300 per month ($3,600 per year) dining out, $4,000 per year on two family vacations and $1,500 per year on transit (like trains, buses, subways and rideshares). Separately, say you also use your card for $1,000 per month ($12,000 per year) in miscellaneous purchases.
With the Amex Green Card, you would earn a total of 53,996 Amex Membership Rewards points per year:
- 14,696 points on groceries at US supermarkets
- 10,800 points at restaurants
- 12,000 points on family vacations
- 4,500 points on transit
- 12,000 points on other purchases
If you also earned the welcome offer, your first-year rewards haul would add up to 83,996 points.
With the Amex EveryDay, your total would be slightly variable based on how often you earned the 20 percent spending bonus. If you used your card for at least 20 purchases every billing cycle, you would earn a total of 50,155 Membership Rewards points per year:
- 24,835 points on groceries at US supermarkets
- 4,320 points at restaurants
- 4,800 points on family vacations
- 1,800 points on transit
- 14,400 points on other purchases
If you also earned the welcome offer, your first-year rewards haul would add up to 60,155 points.
Why should you get the American Express Green Card?
While the Amex Green Card offers a better rewards potential for most people, there are additional factors to consider outside of each card’s earning rate. Here are some other details to keep in mind as you decide between these two American Express credit cards.
If you travel even some of the time, you’ll love the benefits offered by the American Express Green Card. Not only do you get a $100 credit toward Clear membership and up to $100 in credits toward the LoungeBuddy airport lounge membership program, but you get a baggage insurance plan, secondary auto rental coverage, access to a Global Assist hotline, purchase protection against damage or theft and extended warranties on eligible items that come with a manufacturer’s warranty.
And, as we mentioned already, the American Express Green Card does not charge foreign transaction fees when you use it for purchases abroad.
You can redeem Amex Membership Rewards points in many different ways, including for gift cards, merchandise or travel through the Amex travel portal. You can also transfer your points to Amex airline and hotel partners.
Recommended credit score
Consumers will need good or excellent credit to qualify for the American Express Green Card. While the card issuer doesn’t publish their standards, your approval odds will increase if your credit score is 700 or higher.
Why should you get the Amex EveryDay Credit Card?
If you’re after an Amex credit card with no annual fee, the Amex EveryDay should be at the top of your list. Here are some other details to keep in mind as you decide.
One of the biggest benefits of the Amex EveryDay is its introductory 0 percent APR offer on purchases, which lasts for 15 months (12.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable APR thereafter). Beyond that offer, cardholders also qualify for secondary auto rental coverage, access to a Global Assist hotline and Amex dispute resolution.
The Amex EveryDay Credit Card lets you access all the Membership Rewards redemption options, including point transfers to airlines and hotels.
Recommended credit score
Consumers will need good or excellent credit to qualify for the Amex EveryDay Credit Card. While the card issuer doesn’t publish their standards, your approval odds will increase if your credit score is 700 or higher.
The bottom line
Deciding between these two rewards cards can be quite a challenge, but you don’t have to choose if you don’t want to. American Express will actually let you get both if you wait a while between sign ups, and this strategy makes sense since the Amex EveryDay doesn’t charge an annual fee.
Even so, you may also want to compare other rewards credit cards, including other cards from American Express. The right card (or combination of cards) is out there, but you may have to do some digging to know for sure.
All information about the American Express® Green Card and Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express has been collected independently by Bankrate.com and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.