The American Express® Green Card and Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express both earn generous rewards. But the former is a travel card that lets you transfer points to partners, while the latter is a cash-back card that can reward you generously for grocery and streaming purchases.
Both the American Express® Green Card (terms apply) and Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (terms apply) offer elevated rewards in particular areas of spending. But these two cards are designed for different cardholder types.
The Amex® Green Card is a travel card, and is aimed at someone who spends a good chunk of their disposable income on hotels, restaurants and transit. The Blue Cash Preferred Card is a better choice for someone who spends heavily on groceries at U.S. supermarkets or on select streaming services.
Also, note that the Amex® Green Card earns Membership® Rewards points, a flexible award currency you can transfer to nearly two dozen airline and hotel partners. The Blue Cash Preferred’s rewards are less versatile — Reward Dollars redeemable for statement credits.
|||American Express Green Card||Blue Cash Preferred Card|
|Annual fee||$150||$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95|
|Intro APR||None||0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months|
|APR||20.99% to 28.99% variable||18.99% to 29.99% variable|
|Welcome bonus||Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within six months of opening the card. Plus, earn 20% back on eligible travel and transit purchases made during your first six months of card membership, up to $200 back in the form of a statement credit||Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership|
|Rewards||3 points per $1 spent on restaurants, transit, and travel purchases, 1 point per $1 on other purchases||6% cash back on groceries (up to $6,000 spent per year in purchases at U.S. supermarkets), 6% cash back on select streaming services, 3% cash back on transit and at U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on all other purchases|
|Foreign transaction fees||No foreign transaction fees||2.7% per transaction|
|Other benefits||$189 CLEAR® Plus statement credit annually, which helps you move through security faster at certain airports. Enrollment is required||Receive a $7 monthly statement credit after using your card to spend $12.99 or more on the Disney Bundle subscription, up to $84 annually. Enrollment is required|
The two cards are very different in terms of what you’ll earn elevated rewards on and how you can redeem your rewards. With the Amex® Green Card, you can use your Membership Rewards points to book or upgrade travel through the Amex Travel portal, or transfer your points to a wide array of travel partners. It’s a strong choice if you’re a frequent traveler looking to score almost-free flights and hotel stays. The CLEAR credit also benefits frequent travelers.
By contrast, the Blue Cash Preferred earns cash back as statement credits. It’s less flexible, but might be better for consumers who prefer simplicity. While the American Express Green Card prioritizes travel and offers lesser value for some of the other ways you can redeem your points, the Blue Cash Preferred Card lets you redeem your rewards for statement credits where $1 in rewards is worth $1 off your account balance — no need to optimize or look for deals.
The Blue Cash Preferred also provides intro APR periods on both purchases and balance transfers. If you plan to finance a big-ticket purchase, or you want to use a balance transfer to pay off debt from another credit card, the Blue Cash Preferred might be what you need.
However, the Amex® Green Card has a more generous welcome bonus. Consumers who don’t need to carry a balance, and who want to rack up a lot of points quickly, may prefer this card.
American Express Green Card vs. Blue Cash Preferred: Travel coverage and purchase protection
|||American Express Green Card||Blue Cash Preferred Card|
|Airport security benefits||$189 CLEAR Plus statement credit, which helps you move through security faster at certain airports||N/A|
|Lounge access||Up to $100 annual statement credit for LoungeBuddy lounge access||N/A|
|Baggage insurance||Baggage insurance up to $1,250 for carry-on items and up to $500 for checked baggage¹||N/A|
|Trip delay insurance||Receive up to $300 per trip if your trip is delayed by more than 12 hours ²||N/A|
|Car rental insurance||Secondary car rental insurance for damage and theft to eligible vehicles in a covered territory³||Secondary car rental insurance for damage or theft when you rent an eligible vehicle in a covered territory⁴|
|Emergency assistance||Receive 24/7 emergency assistance and coordination services when traveling more than 100 miles from home⁴||Receive 24/7 emergency assistance and coordination services when traveling more than 100 miles from home⁵|
The Amex® Green Card is the clear winner for travel. Cardholders earn 3 points per $1 spent on restaurants, transit, and travel purchases, 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. The travel category includes airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, vacation rentals, travel purchases on third-party travel websites, and travel purchases on amextravel.com. Transit includes trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways.
The Green from Amex also comes with many helpful perks to make your traveling experience smoother, including an annual $189 credit for CLEAR Plus, which digitally verifies your identity and makes it easier to move through security at certain airports, and an annual up to $100 statement credit for LoungeBuddy lounge passes.
The Amex® Green Card also offers a solid lineup of travel protections, including trip delay insurance, baggage insurance and secondary car rental insurance — and, if you travel more than 100 miles from home, you’ll have access to 24/7 emergency assistance.
The Blue Cash Preferred Card doesn’t come with any bonus rewards on airfare, hotels, cruises, tours or rental cars, though it does earn a solid cash-back rate on transit and gas spending. The card also comes with 24/7 emergency assistance and secondary car rental insurance.
Who should choose the American Express Green Card?
The Amex® Green Card is a good pick for anyone looking for a robust travel card without a premium price tag. You’ll earn elevated rewards for spending on eligible travel, transit, and restaurants. And these rewards are Membership Rewards points, which you can transfer to almost two dozen airline and hotel partners or use to book travel through Amex.
You’ll also get perks to make your trip go more smoothly, including the $189 CLEAR Plus statement credit, up to $100 LoungeBuddy statement credit, baggage insurance and 24/7 emergency assistance.
Who should choose the Blue Cash Preferred?
The Blue Cash Preferred Card is a good choice for anyone whose budget includes heavy spending on groceries at U.S. supermarkets as well as commuting either by car or public transit. The cash-back rewards in these categories are generous. It also comes with intro APR periods, so it can be helpful if you need to finance a big purchase or transfer debt from a high-interest credit card.
However, due to its foreign transaction fee and the fact that its rewards don’t transfer to Amex’s airline and hotel partners, it’s not the best choice if you’re looking for a travel rewards card.
Which card should you get?
Which card you apply for depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re seeking travel rewards with a side helping of perks, the Amex® Green Card is the better option. This card comes with valuable rewards you can use to book travel and you won’t have to pay foreign transaction fees.
The Blue Cash Preferred would be best for someone looking to earn cash-back rewards on everyday expenses — especially groceries and streaming services, which earn at the card’s highest rate. It’s also the better pick for anyone seeking a 0% intro APR offer to save on interest.
Another option could be to own both cards and take advantage of different spending categories, welcome bonuses, and perks. However, this means you’ll have to pay two annual fees, so make sure the rewards and effort to juggle two cards are something you can handle.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
The Green from Amex is better for travel thanks to the flexible rewards, airline benefits and travel insurance. The Blue Cash Preferred Card does come with a couple basic travel perks, but nothing as robust as what the Green from Amex offers.
The Amex® Green Card is a better option for dining out since you’ll earn elevated rewards on restaurants and takeout. The Blue Cash Preferred Card is a better option for anyone who spends a lot at U.S. supermarkets.
Both cards come with generous welcome offers, but at the time of writing, the Green from Amex has the more lucrative one. Also, if you’re hoping to cover an upcoming trip, the Amex® Green Card can help you rack up a lot of points quickly, which you can then use to book award travel.
¹Baggage Insurance Plan coverage can be in effect for Eligible Persons for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen Baggage during their travel on a Common Carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus) when the entire fare for a Common Carrier Vehicle ticket for the trip (one-way or round-trip) is charged to an eligible Account. Coverage can be provided for up to $1,250 for carry-on Baggage and up to $500 for checked Baggage, in excess of coverage provided by the Common Carrier (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus). For New York State residents, there is a $10,000 aggregate maximum limit for all Covered Persons per Covered Trip. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
²Up to $300 per Covered Trip that is delayed for more than 12 hours; and 2 claims per Eligible Card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
³Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.
⁴You can rely on Global Assist Hotline 24 hours a day / 7 days a week for medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services while traveling more than 100 miles away from your home. Third-party service costs may be your responsibility. Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Card Members are responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.