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Is Green AmEx Card a Good Option?

American Express Green Card is a classic product and is very popular charge card with no preset limit. AmEx is known for being rather picky about their customers and mostly focus on the well-paying clients. The requirements for the American Express Card minimum credit score are not so strict because this is a charge card and you must pay off the balance every month in full. Read our review to know about pros and cons of this credit card.

No spending limit

This card has no pre-set credit limit. So you can spend whatever you want and pay at the end of the month without thinking of your credit line. Though there is no set limit, your spending is not unlimited. Each charge card account has a limit based on the members risk criteria including the credit score, income and average spending in the previous months. So in a rare case of outstanding balance the transaction can be declined or even a card can be suspended. The worst part is that you never know when it’s going to happen and surprise can be rather unpleasant.

Debt free credit card

The Green Card is actually not credit but a charge card. The difference between these types of cards is that you have to pay off all the balance each month when you use a card. A lot of people make their choice based on this feature alone. With charge card you kill 2 birds with one stone: you don’t carry any balance and you don’t pay any interest. It is just a convenience of the easy way to control your spending.

Flexibility

Though you tend to pay full balance each month, you also should be aware of the fact that Amex Card can be used as a credit card. It will not be suspended in case you haven’t paid the whole balance; you’ll just have to pay interest which a little higher than median market APR (about prime interest rate + 9.9%). You can also enroll for the program that separates your spending between flexible payment account and a regular one.

Traveler protection

With this card you enjoy all the benefits of AmEx Membership like travel accident insurance (up to $100 000), rental car insurance, baggage insurance (up to $ 1 250), check cashing in case of emergency and other useful features which we hope you will not use. Anyway it’s good to be protected in case of unexpected accidents.

Rewards

AmEx Rewards program gives you 1 point for each dollar you spend, 2 points for booking with American Express Travel and up to 10 points for shopping through their online store. Points can be redeemed for merchandise, car rentals and airplane tickets. You can also exchange them for frequent flyers miles (1 mile for 2 points). The reward program used to be very generous in the past, but today actually a lot of other offers are getting close in terms of reward options.

Credit Score

To apply for the card it is better to have an average credit score or higher. But even persons with no previous credit history used to be approved for that card – the charge nature of the card gives a bank more flexibility to approve high risk customers. You may think that by paying the balance in full each month you’re improving your credit score, but the situation with charge cards is more complicated. For the credit score the ratio of your credit line (credit available) to the current balance (credit used) is extremely important – this ratio is called debt utilization. But since charge cards don’t have any credit limit, the highest balance is reported as a limit to the credit agencies and that actually affects your credit score negatively. But if you are a long term loyal customer of the AmEx, your score is probably not affected now – the bonuses for the long credit history is overweighing the negative technical moments of the credit line evaluation.

Annual fee

AmEx Green comes with $95 annual fee that is waived for the first year of card possession. For each additional card for your family members you have to pay extra $30. Though Amex gives you a lot of nice features, the annual fee seems to be high. There are a lot of other cards with no annual fee and generous rewards programs in the market. So this is definitely a drawback.

Acceptance

The greatest drawback of the card is that AmEx cards are not accepted everywhere. Though the number of merchants is growing, it’s still less than the number of places accepting Visa.

Our resume:

Green Card is good option if you use it wisely. the main advantage is the rewards that are still attractive. The negative side is a high annual fee and strange way how the charge card can affect a credit score. Though it has some drawbacks, there are a lot of positive features. If you are looking for a charge card you definitely should fill an application.

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