Military Money Manual has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Military Money Manual and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Thank you for supporting my independent, veteran owned site.
This is a similar deal to the American Express Gold Card, which you can upgrade to a Platinum after one year.
At first, the AMEX Green does not seem that special. The spending category bonuses aren't great, the welcome bonus could be better, and the benefits are nothing compared to the AMEX Platinum.
However, with no annual fee for US military personnel, and a few tricks, this card becomes quite powerful for military servicemembers. Here are the features making this card worthwhile:
- Most importantly: You can product change (PC) or upgrade this card to an AMEX Platinum card after 1 year (details below)
- 15,000 Membership Reward Points welcome bonus with only $1000 spend (easy minimum)
- 2x points on purchases through amextravel.com
Upgrade Amex Green to a Platinum
The best part of the AMEX Green Card for military is one year after you open the account you are eligible to upgrade to the American Express Platinum card. This is true even if you already have another AMEX Platinum.
As long as you keep the Green card on a separate login for your AMEX online account, you should be offered the upgrade link online. Even if you added the Green to your current login on AMEX, you can drop the card from your login and create a new AMEX login to manage the card.
This is an easy process and does not affect your account management or status with American Express in the least.
As long as the new AMEX online account you created does not have another Platinum card attached to it, you should be able to upgrade your Green card with a link.
This is an awesome way to add more AMEX Platinum cards to your inventory. Since military servicemembers pay no annual fees on AMEX cards, you can stack all the benefits on the AMEX Platinum.
AMEX Platinum for Military
Let's say you and your spouse both have a “vanilla” (regular) AMEX Platinum, a PRG you upgraded to Platinum, and an upgraded AMEX Green to Platinum. That's six AMEX Platinum cards with no annual fees, saving you $3300 in annual fees.
You'll also get all the welcome bonuses for these six cards as you build your Platinum Portfolio, which could be worth 300,000+ MR points.
But wait, there's more. Since each Platinum card comes with it's own benefits, every year you'll get:
- $1200 in Uber credits (6 x $200), also valid on Uber Eats
- $1200 in airline fee credits (6 x $200)
- $600 in statement credit at Saks Fifth Avenue (6 x $100)
- Free Priority Pass access to airport lounges and Centurion Lounges
- 2 Free Global Entry membership ($200 value)
- Free Hilton Honors and SPG Gold Status
This is free money you're leaving on the table by not building your Platinum card collection as a military member. Start building your collection today with the American Express Green Card and pick up the easy welcome bonus now. Then, after a year upgrade the card to a Platinum and reap the Platinum benefits.
15,000 AMEX Membership Rewards Points
AMEX Membership Rewards are one of two of the most flexible credit card reward systems. Along with Chase Ultimate Rewards points, Membership Rewards allows the most valuable transfers to airline and hotel partners.
This flexibility allows you to book awesome business and first class tickets on great airlines. For instance, I booked a round trip flight including stops in Dubai, New Zealand, and Australia for New Year's and Christmas this year.
You can also use the points for Amazon purchases, booking travel through AMEX's portal, and buying gift cards. Usually though, you should save your points up for a transfer to a travel partner for the most valuable redemptions. MR points are frequently valued at 1.5-2.5 cents per point or 100 points = $1.50-2.50.
The AMEX Green card offers 15,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months of card membership. This is an easy bonus and a good way to pick up some extra MR points on the way to building your Platinum collection.
If you have upgraded your AMEX Green card to a Platinum, let me know in the comments!