If you’re looking for a credit card that earns points through the American Express Membership Rewards program, there are plenty of options available to you. However, some cards in this program come with high annual fees (up to $695) due to their cardholder benefits, rewards rates, and overall value proposition.
The American Express® Green Card and the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express are two cards that allow you to earn Membership Rewards points with a lower annual cost. While the American Express green card charges an annual fee of $150 per year, the Amex EveryDay credit card allows you to earn Amex points without any annual fee.
If you’re ready to start earning flexible rewards from Amex, but aren’t sure which of these two cards to sign up for, read on to find out 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 in the first three months|
|Reward rate||3X the Membership Rewards points in an expanded travel category (flights, hotels, public transport, taxis, carpooling and tours); 3X points in restaurants worldwide; 2X points on rental cars booked through American Express Travel; 1X points on all other purchases||2X points in 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 that you can get a 20% bonus on your points when you use your card 20 times or more for purchases during a billing period.
|Introduction AVR||Any||0% introductory APR on purchases for 15 months (from 12.99% to 23.99% variable APR thereafter)|
|Foreign transaction fees||Any||2.7%|
Highlights of American Express Green Card vs Amex EveryDay Credit Card
Although one of these cards charges an annual fee, other parameters must be taken into account. For example, how can the rewards rate and welcome offer offset the annual fee? And what other factors could help you save money or make money? The sections below explain which card comes out on top in these important categories.
Welcome Bonus Winner: American Express Green Card
The American Express Green Card has a welcome offer of 30,000 points for those who can spend $2,000 on purchases within three months of opening the account. This bonus is three times larger than the welcome offer on the Amex EveryDay credit card, but users only have to spend an extra $1,000 within three months to earn it.
Since the value of Amex Membership Rewards points can be as high as 2 cents each when redeemed with travel partners, the bonus on the Amex Green Card can be worth up to $600. This compares favorably to the welcome offer on the Amex EveryDay, which can be worth up to $200.
Reward Rate Winner: American Express Green Card
The American Express Green Card also stands out because of its rewards rate, which extends more points in its higher categories and no earning cap. Those who sign up for this card can earn 3X points at restaurants around the world, as well as on transit and travel-related purchases. Cardholders also earn a flat rate of 1X points on everything else.
In contrast, the Amex EveryDay offers 2X points on up to $6,000 spent in 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.
Although you get a 20% points bonus every billing cycle (if you use your card 20 times or more), this still brings your highest earn rate to 2.4X points. The US supermarket spending rewards cap also severely limits your earning potential.
Annual Fee Winner: Amex EveryDay Credit Card
Simply put, the Amex EveryDay earns for its annual fee because it has none. This makes this card a great option for anyone who dislikes the fees, as well as those who don’t think they’ll earn enough rewards to offset the extra fees.
APR Winner Intro: Amex EveryDay Credit Card
The Amex EveryDay also offers an introductory APR of 0% on purchases for 15 months, followed by a variable APR of 12.99% to 23.99%. The savings from this offer can be substantial if you need to make a large purchase and pay it off over time, or if you need to carry over a balance when cash is tight.
In contrast, the American Express Green Card does not offer an introductory APR period.
Which card pays the most?
If you’re wondering which card will leave you “leading” in terms of rewards, it really depends on which categories you spend the most on. 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 purposes of this example, let’s imagine you have a family of four with two adults under 50 and two children (a boy and a girl) aged 12 and 13. Although food expenditure varies, the According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) your average food expenditure could be $1,224.70 per month (or $14,696.40 per year) with a moderate plan.
Let’s also imagine that you spend $300 a month ($3,600 a year) on restaurants, $4,000 a year on two family vacations, and $1,500 a year on public transportation (like trains, buses, subway and carpooling). Separately, let’s say you also use your card for $1,000 per month ($12,000 per year) for 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 in US supermarkets
- 10,800 restaurant points
- 12,000 points on a family vacation
- 4,500 points in transit
- 12,000 points on other purchases
If you also won the welcome offer, your first-year rewards would total 83,996 points.
With the Amex EveryDay, your total would vary slightly depending on how often you earned the 20% spend bonus. If you have used your card for at least 20 purchases each billing cycle, you will earn a total of 50,155 Membership Rewards points per year:
- 24,835 points on groceries in US supermarkets
- 4,320 restaurant points
- 4,800 points on a family vacation
- 1,800 points in transit
- 14,400 points on other purchases
If you also won the welcome offer, your first-year rewards would total 60,155 points.
Why should you get the American Express Green Card?
Although the Amex Green Card offers better rewards potential for most people, there are additional factors to consider aside from each card’s earn rate. Here are some other details to keep in mind when choosing between these two American Express credit cards.
If you even travel occasionally, you’ll love the benefits offered by the American Express Green Card. Not only do you get a $100 credit for Clear membership and up to $100 credits for the LoungeBuddy airport lounge membership program, but you also get a baggage insurance plan, secondary car 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 before, 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 a variety of 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. Although the card issuer does not publish their standards, your chances of approval will increase if your credit score is 700 or higher.
Why should you get the Amex EveryDay Credit Card?
If you’re looking for 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 when deciding.
One of the biggest perks of Amex EveryDay is its introductory offer of 0% APR on purchases, which lasts for 15 months (12.99% to 23.99% variable APR thereafter). Beyond this offer, cardholders are also entitled to secondary car rental coverage, access to a Global Assist hotline and Amex dispute resolution.
The Amex EveryDay credit card gives you access to all 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. Although the card issuer does not publish its standards, your chances of approval will increase if your credit score is 700 or higher.
The bottom line
Deciding between these two reward 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 bit between signups, and this strategy makes sense since the Amex EveryDay doesn’t charge an annual fee.
Even so, you can also compare other rewards credit cards, including other cards from American Express. The right card (or combination of cards) exists, but you may need to dig to be sure.
All information about the American Express® Green Card and Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express has been independently collected by Bankrate.com and has not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer.