Amex revamps Green card, with a fee hike to match

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American Express has updated its classic Green card with a new set of travel and dining perks and a significantly higher annual fee.

The latest version of Amex’s 50-year-old card is contactless and bumps up rewards to triple points earned for airplane, hotel, transit and dining purchases with new digital tools to split bills among friends through Amex's app, according to a Thursday press release.

The move follows Amex’s recent announcement of a partnership with PayPal enabling Amex customers to ping friends through the PayPal or Venmo app to request payment for group purchases and shop at PayPal merchants using Amex Membership Rewards points.

With the new features, the card's annual fee spikes to $150, up almost 60% from $95. Amex’s CEO told investors this month that its card fee revenue surged through the third quarter, growing 19% to exceed $1 billion for the three months ended Sept. 30.

Amex is piling on perks for travelers with its latest refresh. A $100 credit is available to customers who sign up for the CLEAR service to speed through airport and stadium lines, with another $100 available for purchases in airport lounges. New customers also may receive a statement credit of up to $100 for purchases from luggage retailer Away, the release said.

Along with bill-splitting capabilities, customers may opt to pay their balance in full or carry a balance with variable interest on eligible charges, up to a limit, through Amex’s Pay Over Time program.

New Amex Green cards also are manufactured with some recycled plastic reclaimed from oceans, to lessen the environmental impact.

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