What’s the Difference Between AmEx’s Green, Gold & Platinum Cards?

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When many people imagine a credit card, they probably think of one of the traditional charge cards from American Express that have been around for decades, including the Green, Gold and Platinum cards. American Express has added more credit cards to its product line over the years, but it still continues to update its traditional products and offer them to new applicants. Here is what you can expect from its current crop of Green, Gold and Platinum cards. 

American Express Green Card

This is one of the entry level cards in the American Express lineup that offers cardholders points in the Membership Rewards program. One point is earned for each dollar spent, with double points for reservations purchased through American Express travel. Points can be redeemed for merchandise, gift cards, and travel reservations, airfare or hotel stays. Travel benefits include a baggage insurance plan, a Roadside Assistance Hotline, and a Global Assist Hotline. Also included is travel accident insurance and a car rental loss and damage policy.

When shopping, your purchases are covered by an extended warranty, purchase protection and return protection policies. There is a $95 annual fee for this card that’s waived the first year, and a 2.7% foreign transaction fee imposed on all charges processed outside of the U.S.

American Express Gold & Premier Rewards Gold Cards

The American Express Gold cards are the next step up in this lineup, which now includes both the traditional Gold card and the newer Premier Rewards Gold card (see full review here). The standard Gold card offers everything that the Green card does plus several other benefits. For example, double points are earned at restaurants and from flights booked directly with airlines. Cardholders can also receive exclusive benefits from booking stays at properties in The Hotel Collection program including a $75 hotel credit to spend on qualifying dining, spa, and resort activities when you book a stay of at least two consecutive nights at participating properties. You also have access to a personalized travel service that can assist with making reservations and the Preferred Seating program that helps you secure premium seats for cultural and sporting events, based on availability. There is a $160 annual fee for this card that’s waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.

The Premier Rewards Gold card expands on the benefits of the standard Gold Card by offering 3x points for flights booked directly with the airlines, and 2x points at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets. It also includes a $100 annual airline fee credit that can be used toward baggage fees, change fees and other airline incidentals. And instead of a Roadside Assistance Hotline, you receive Premium Roadside Assistance, which includes the cost of some services such as towing, changing a flat, and jumpstarting a car. There is a $195 annual fee for this card that’s waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.

The American Express Platinum Card

Unlike the Gold cards, the American Express Platinum Card (see full review here) only offers one point for each dollar spent, with double points for reservations purchased through American Express travel, like the Green card. But otherwise, it comes with far more features and benefits than even the Gold cards. Cardholders enjoy access to several airport lounge programs including the Delta SkyClub, Priority Pass Select network, and American Express Centurion Clubs. You also receive elite status with Hilton and Starwood hotels, as well as Avis, Hertz, and National car rentals. Other benefits include a $200 annual airline fee credit, and a $100 credit towards the application fee for the Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ programs. There is a $450 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.

Remember, applying for new credit results in a hard inquiry on your credit report, and credit scores view hard inquiries as a slightly negative bit of credit history. So before you apply for a credit card that is right for you, it’s a good idea to make sure you can qualify for them. You can view your two free credit scores, updated, each month, to find out where your creditworthiness stands.

At publishing time, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold card and the American Express Platinum card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

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