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American Express Senior Green Card – Didn’t Last Long but Why?

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The American Express Senior Green card is no longer being offered by American Express, but the American Express Green card is – they’re very similar, although the latter is not focused on senior perks and benefits. However, overall rating of the Senior Green card rated average for rewards, customer service, and rates and fees. In order to determine what the American Express Senior Green card had that others didn’t, a brief overview of the card is necessary. Then you can decide why it didn’t last.

American Express Senior Green Card Basics

The American Express Senior Green card was not a credit card per se, but a non-revolving credit card. This type of credit card is designed for low-income or minimal usage in that cardholders were expected – okay, required – to pay off their balance in full every month. However, travel purchases did not have to be paid off in full every month, but were automatically placed into the revolving credit plan.

The focus of the American Express Senior Green card was to give seniors more access to travel, services, and purchasing power on a limited or fixed income. The Senior Green card offered cardholders the chance to earn one dollar for every dollar spent, although if they used their American Express Senior Green card for travel, they could earn two points for every dollar spent. In addition, Senior Green card members were offered access to the “Earn Hub” where they could earn up to 10 points for every dollar spent.

Another major perk up this card was that points could be redeemed for a variety of products including merchandise, gift cards, and travel. Because it was a revolving type card, it never expired.

The annual fee attached to the American Express Senior Green card was an affordable $35, and because it wasn’t a traditional credit card, didn’t have a lot of fees that are typically attached to credit card services, including balance transfers, cash advances, and penalty fees. The card it did come with a 2.7% foreign transaction fee.

The main difference between the American Express Senior Green card and the American Express Green card still offered today is in the annual fee. The fee for the Senior Green card was $35, and the annual fee for the American Express Green card is $95.

Even though the American Express Senior Green card is no longer available, the American Express Green card offers very similar options when it comes to terms and conditions. However, the American Express Green card does expect consumers to have a very good credit rating in order to qualify – a distinct difference from the Senior Green card. American Express, as always, reserves the right to cancel your credit card or severely decrease your limit if your credit falters, even if your account remains in good standing.

Card members were not automatically enrolled into the American Express Senior Green card program, and additional costs to enroll averaged $40. Merchants involved in the American Express Senior Green card program could change periodically, which is why it is always important to check with the fine print associated with reward cards program to determine applicable vendors and merchants.

Earning Points

The American Express Senior Green card provided a number of ways to use the card and earn points, and as long as the minimum payment or balance was paid off, the full amount of points was awarded through a variety of transactions. A large number of transactions not eligible for points included express cash, purchasing travelers checks or gift checks, purchases made with your points, purchases using reloadable prepaid cards, membership rewards program fees and charges, and of course, cash advances, balance transfers, or express cash options.

An interesting perk associated with the American Express Senior Green card was that it came with a point advance option. For example, a cardholder of the American Express Senior Green card could advance up to 15,000 points on their card up until the end of June 2013. The website stated that these advances however could not be used for statement credit, for some everyday rewards, for booking travel through certain vendors, and a few other stipulations.

The points advanced program allowed consumers to get an advance on their points, but all points earned within the following year would be applied toward the points advanced until the account was “paid off” when it came to the points. What many do not realize however, was that if the program was canceled before the points advanced repayment had been satisfied, the points could be charged to your linked card account at the rate that they were purchased. That means that the rate charged for the points advanced were the rates that were in effect the day you got the points advanced. That was a concern to many card holders.

In addition, card members holding an American Express Senior Green card could also buy points. Up to 500,000 points were available for purchase for those cardholders. Points could be purchased in 1,000 point increments (1,000 points cost $25) and were charged to the card account.

Last but not least, card members with an American Express Senior Green card could also expect a variety of coverages for insurance programs, as typical with most credit card vendors. Perks included coverage for travel accident insurance, automatic flight insurance, baggage delay and loss protection, travel delay protection, and business travel accident insurance. Again, stipulations, requirements, and limitations did apply to such insurance coverage.

Bottom Line

In certain aspects, the American Express Senior Green card certainly offered a variety of perks that other credit cards did not, especially for those on a fixed income. However, it was important, and always is, for consumers to understand how points are transferred to rewards programs, as well as conversion rates and increments, and the value of points accrued for actual rewards.

As mentioned, the American Express Senior Green card is no longer offered by American Express, but for similar perks and benefits, consumers can look to the American Express Green card. Access the website for additional information related to the Green card, and then decide for yourself whether the fees, interest rates, and rewards program are worth your time and effort.

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