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Amex Green Card

Are You Eligible for the American Express Green Card?

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With a big new welcome offer bonus, the American Express® Green Card, long overshadowed by more popular Amex cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card, is starting to get some well-deserved attention from consumers.

The Green card underwent a major refresh in 2019 with new benefits and better earning categories, and now Amex is out with an offer to earn a bunch of American Express Membership Rewards – some of the most valuable points you can earn – for opening the card. That has many travelers wondering, “Am I eligible to open the Amex Green Card?”

Thankfully, American Express credit card application rules are pretty self-explanatory, and the bank will even let you know whether or not you'll be approved for a card before you actually submit an application.

So even if you already hold an Amex Platinum or Gold Card, you might still be eligible for the Amex Green Card.

Here's what you need to know before you apply for the Green Card.

Related Reading: Master Guide to Credit Card Applications: All the Rules You Need to Know, Bank by Bank


American Express One Welcome Bonus Per Lifetime Rule

If you're looking at applying for the American Express® Green Card, odds are you're hoping to earn a big welcome offer bonus. With all American Express cards, you can earn the associated welcome offer bonus on each of their cards “once per lifetime.” But that may not mean what you think.

For starters, it means you can get just about every American Express credit card once. But once you've had the card, you won't be able to earn the welcome bonus on it again.

That rule applies even if you've had the card in the past, but never earned the welcome bonus on it. So if you previously held the Amex Green Card but then upgraded it to the Amex Gold Card, you would be ineligible to earn the welcome bonus again on both cards.

But this rule comes with a big caveat: American Express' definition of “lifetime” isn't anywhere close to an actual lifetime. Many data points suggest that seven years after you've canceled an Amex card, you're once again eligible to open that card and earn the welcome offer bonus.

So as long as you haven't had the card previously, or haven't earned the welcome offer bonus on the Green card within the past seven years, the odds are you would be eligible to receive it.

But that isn't the only factor in play.


A Limit of Five American Express Credit Cards

On top of the “once per lifetime” rule discussed above, American Express also limits consumers to having no more than five American Express cards open at any given time. So if you already have five open cards, you would automatically be declined if you were to apply for another one. This includes both personal and small business Amex cards.

One important note: This five-card total doesn't include hybrid cards that don't have fixed spending limits – formerly known as charge cards. That means the following cards don't count toward that five-card limit:

So as long as you don't have five or more American Express credit cards – not including the cards listed above, you should still be eligible to open the Green card.


What Credit Score Do You Need for the Amex Green Card?

As is the case with most American Express cards – and many travel rewards credit cards in general – you'll likely need to have a good to excellent credit score to get approved. That means it is unlikely you would get approved for the Amex Green card if you have a credit score below 680, and it may even require a score above 700.


credit scoring table


It's not the only factor that goes into an approval decision as people with excellent credit scores still may get declined, but if your score isn't up to snuff, it likely isn't worth your time applying as you probably won't be eligible.


Amex's New Apply with Confidence Feature

Here's the best part about applying for American Express Cards: Thanks to a new feature the bank rolled out last year called “Apply with Confidence,” you don't have to stress about whether or not you'll be denied.

The new American Express “Apply with Confidence” tool allows you to see if you'll be approved for a card before you actually submit your application for an Amex card. That allows consumers to fill out the card application as they normally would and then agree to the terms of the application.

If this new feature is available on your card application, American Express performs a soft pull on your credit to determine whether or not you will be approved for the card. This won't have any impact on your credit score.


Amex apply with confidence tool


After you agree to the terms and submit your inquiry, American Express will provide you with an approval decision. I last had the Amex Green Card in 2016, so as you can see from the screenshot below, I am not eligible to earn the welcome offer bonus. I received a pop-up message informing me of that news and giving me the ability to cancel my application.

As the pop-up suggests, there are a number of reasons why you might not be able to get approved for the welcome offer bonus, and Amex doesn't provide a lot of clarity for what many of them mean. But at the end of the day, they allow you to stop the application process without any impact on your credit score.


amex green welcome offer pop-up


Read next: What to Know if You Get Denied for a Credit Card

If you receive a message saying you are eligible and you choose to move ahead and accept the card, American Express will then submit your application to the credit bureaus and perform a hard credit pull, which could have an impact on your credit score.

All in all, there is really no harm in checking to see if you can get approved for the Amex Green Card or any other Amex card with the Apply with Confidence tool. It's the easiest way to answer the question of if you are eligible and if you'll be able to get the big welcome offer bonus.


Full Benefits of the American Express Green Card

  • Welcome Offer Bonus: bonus_miles_full
  • Earn 3x points per dollar spent on travel, transit, and at restaurants (including takeout and delivery services in the U.S.).
  • $189 Credit Towards a CLEAR® Plus Membership: You'll receive an annual credit of up to $189 to cover the cost of a CLEAR® Plus Membership.
  • $100 Credit for LoungeBuddy airport lounge access.
  • $150 Annual Fee (see rates & fees)


American Express Green Card


Learn More about the American Express® Green Card


Bottom Line

American Express makes their rules for card applications pretty straightforward, and that's no different with the American Express® Green CardEven if you already have the Amex Platinum or the Gold card, you can still get the Green card – as long as you meet the other eligibility requirements outlined above.

And with the American Express Apply with Confidence feature, they make it easier than any other bank to determine whether or not you can get one of their credit cards without any impact on your credit score.


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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