American Express® Green Card benefits: Perks before you fly

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This offer is no longer available on our site: American Express® Green Card

The American Express® Green Card’s greatest value comes in its rewards spending categories, but its top travel benefits are worth a closer look.

While the card doesn’t feature widely applicable travel credits, its more targeted perks hold real value for the $150 annual fee.

Is the American Express® Green Card’s annual fee worth it?

The American Express® Green Card might not provide value for every potential cardholder, but if you take advantage of its statement credits, you should find it relatively easy to cover the $150 annual fee.

The annual $189 Clear Plus membership credit and $100 LoungeBuddy credit might not be as attractive as flexible travel credits found on some other cards, but their value to you should be relatively easy to determine.

That’s especially true of the Clear credit, which costs more than the American Express® Green Card’s annual fee on its own. If you’ve ever been enticed by the Clear lane at the airport, then this card could be the right one for you.

The American Express® Green Card’s top benefits

$189 Clear Plus statement credit

The card’s most eye-catching perk covers up to the full $189 cost of a Clear Plus membership each calendar year. Clear Plus uses a digital identification process to allow you to bypass the standard ID-checking process at eligible airports to help speed up your time spent going through security.

That’s a great card benefit for anyone who already wants Clear Plus — the credit covers the full cost of annual membership and has a value greater than the American Express® Green Card’s $150 annual fee.

But keep in mind that the ID-checking process is just one part of airport security screening. Some other credit cards offer a statement credit that covers the application fee for TSA Precheck or Global Entry, so you might need another credit card to maximize your efficiency.

$100 LoungeBuddy statement credit

The American Express® Green Card offers a $100 statement credit every calendar year on purchases made through LoungeBuddy, an online service that lets travelers book one-time visits to airport lounges.

While you don’t get the full lounge membership that comes with some premium travel cards, this benefit could prove useful for people who just want a taste of the lounge experience without committing to a card with a higher annual fee.

At the same time, the benefit won’t be useful for everyone. LoungeBuddy doesn’t offer access to every airport lounge — so it may be worth checking out its site and seeing if its options align with your traveling habits before deciding if you’re likely to take advantage of this credit. For many people, it may be difficult to realize the full $100 value.

Travel insurance and protections for added comfort

If you happen to find yourself in a jam while traveling, the American Express® Green Card may be able to help. The card comes with a number of travel insurances coverages and shopping protections, including trip delay insurance, a baggage insurance plan, purchase protection and extended warranties.

Not everyone will need these coverages, but they may end up saving you a lot of money.

About the author: Eric Freeman is a writer and editor at Credit Karma, specializing in credit cards and credit scores and reports. He strives to make personal finance relatable for readers and to ground complicated issues in everyday e… Read more.