American Express offers a number of business cards, including charge cards and credit cards. They cater to all kinds of businesses and offer some great benefits, such as discounts and rewards. But is an American Express business card right for you?
There’s no denying that Amex personal cards are among the best, but does it impress when it comes to business cards? Let’s find out and have a look at some of the best American Express business cards in Canada.
- #1 American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card – best for frequent flyers
- Perks galore
- #2 Business Platinum Card from American Express – best for lounge access
- Travel perks
- #3 Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card – best for travellers
- Employee misuse and other protections
- #4 American Express AIR MILES Gold Business Card – Cheapest Amex Business Credit Card
- #5 American Express Business Edge Card – best for office purchases
- #6 American Express AIR MILES for Business Card – best for small businesses
- #7 American Express AIR MILES Gold Business Card – best for flexibility
- Anyone can apply
- Exclusive Amex perks
- Generous Welcome Bonus
- Cobranded cards
- Additional cards
- Safe and secure
- Easy management
#1 American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card – best for frequent flyers
- Annual fee: $120
- Interest rate: n/a
- 2 Aeroplan Points per dollar on Air Canada purchases, 1.5 Aeroplan Points per dollar on meals and 1 Aeroplan Point per dollar on everything else
The American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card is one of the best Amex credit cards in Canada with some impressive airline rewards. Yet, some businesses ditch this card as it is one of the most expensive American Express cards with an annual fee of $599. Don’t let the high annual fee distract you as the card is still very affordable.
It comes with a massive welcome bonus of 85,000 points. These points are divided into milestones based on spending. Cardholders must spend at least $3,000 in net purchases within the first three months to receive 25,000 Aeroplan points. Spending at least $2,000 per month after that will earn cardholders 5,000 points per month for the first twelve months.
The welcome bonus is worth $1,700, which is enough to cover the annual fee. The card offers 3 points per $1 spent on eligible Air Canada store purchases. It goes down to 2 points per $1 spent on hotel and car rentals, and 1.25 points on all other purchases. It's best to use these points for flights as they offer the best value.
Most perks are also flight related, including priority check-in, priority boarding, priority baggage handling, and travel coverage. Cardholders enjoy flight delay insurance, travel emergency assistance, medical insurance up to a maximum of $5,000,000, baggage delay insurance up to $1,000, stolen or lost baggage insurance up to $1,000 per trip, car rental theft and damage insurance up to $85,000, and trip cancellation insurance.
Qualifying for the card is surprisingly easy. There are no personal or household income requirements but applicants need to have a credit score of at least 660 to be eligible.
The interest rate is only 16.99 percent on purchases and 21.99 percent on cash advances, but only if you have a good credit history. Applicants with missed payments or poor credit history are typically charged 23.99 percent on purchases and 26.99 percent on advances, which makes this card more expensive than some other business credit cards in Canada.
All in all, cardholders enjoy a value of up to $2,600 in the first year with the Amex Aeroplan Business Reserve Card, including unlimited Maple Leaf lounge access in North America worth $550, NEXUS card statement credit worth $100, free first checked bags for two travellers worth $120, and parking discount at Pearson worth $5.
#2 Business Platinum Card from American Express – best for lounge access
- Annual fee: $499
- Interest rate on purchases: n/a
- Interest rate on cash advances: n/a
The Business Platinum Card from American Express is a charge card with no minimum income requirements but applicants with a score of 660 or higher are more likely to get approved. This Amex card offers 1.25 points on every $1 spent on purchases.
If that isn’t enough, look out for the huge welcome bonus of 80,000 points that are worth $800 in statement credits. However, the cardholder must spend at least $6,000 in net purchases in the first three months to be eligible for the welcome bonus. But, this isn’t the main highlight of this Amex business credit card.
It is one of the most flexible cards with up to 55 interest-free days and no pre-set spending limit. This is a great feature, especially for businesses that do not get paid in advance. Getting to delay payments can improve cash flow and reduce the burden.
In addition, cardholders get to choose whatever they wish to pay, the minimum, the full, or any amount in between. However, there are some terms and conditions that one needs to keep in mind. We suggest that you read the fine print to avoid issues.
Like other Amex cards, the Business Platinum Card from American Express offers discounts on hotel and travel and comes with lounge access in over 140 countries. Moreover, it offers business-specific perks, including Employee Card Misuse Protection in the form of coverage of up to $100,000 per cardholder. Furthermore, there is flight delay insurance, travel emergency assistance, medical insurance, baggage delay insurance, stolen or lost baggage insurance, car rental theft and damage insurance, and trip cancellation insurance.
Those who travel regularly will enjoy more value in the form of complimentary airport transfers, complimentary valet service at specific airports, up to a $100 USD hotel credit at participating hotels when booking for two consecutive nights, free room upgrades, guaranteed 4:00 pm late check-out, and more.
#3 Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card – best for travellers
Annual charges: $150
Number of additional cards: up to 99 cards
Cost of additional cards: $50 per year per card
Businesses looking for a cobranded American Express credit card can consider the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card, one of the most popular Amex business cards. It costs only $150 per year and has an interest rate of 19.99 percent on purchases and 21.99 percent on funds advances. Also, there is a welcome offer of 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, but remember that buyers must spend $1,500 in purchases to be eligible for the welcome bonus.
This American Express business card offers 5 points for every $1 spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. It goes down to 3 points for every $1 spent on eligible dining, travel, and gas. All other expenses earn 2 points for every $1 spent. Cardholders, however, will not have to accumulate points in order to enjoy the perks as the card offers a free night at Marriott Bonvoy each year for free. This will be enough to cover the yearly fee.
Since it is a Marriott Bonvoy co-branded card, it's best used for purchases at Marriott Bonvoy. In fact, points are also best redeemed for stays at Marriott Bonvoy. Partner hotels include Marriott, Sheraton, Delta, Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, W Hotel, and Residence Inn. These are all top hotels known for exceptional service and great facilities. Moreover, cardholders can use points to book airline tickets at a ratio of 3:1 at more than 40 airline partners.
In addition, cardholders get 15 Elite Night Credits per year for future status upgrades and the option to upgrade to Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite based on card purchases. Consider this card if your employees travel regularly to other cities or countries for work as it can prove to be a money saver.
Employee misuse and other protections
Since it is a business card, it offers business-specific perks such as Employee Card Misuse Protection. Moreover, there is travel coverage, including flight delay insurance, trip cancellation insurance, travel emergency assistance, emergency assistance, baggage delay insurance, medical insurance, stolen or lost baggage insurance, and car rental theft and damage insurance.
#4 American Express AIR MILES Gold Business Card – Cheapest Amex Business Credit Card
- Annual fee: $199
- Penalty APR: 20.99% on Flexible Payment Option limit and 30% on Due In Full balance
The American Express AIR MILES Gold Business Card has a lot going in its favor. This credit card is free to get with the option to request up to 99 free additional cards. Moreover, it has a decent interest rate of 19.99 percent on purchases and 21.99 percent on funds advances.
The welcome bonus isn't as exciting as what some other cards offer but it's still pretty good considering the $0 annual fee requirement. New cardholders receive 150 bonus Air Miles when they spend at least $1,000 in the first three months. Buyers can earn more miles by using the card at eligible Air Miles partners. It adds 1 mile for every $15 spent at partner stores. For other stores, users will have to spend at least $20 to earn a mile.
In addition, the card offers travel accident insurance worth $100,000. It covers not just the main cardholder but also the spouse and children under the age of 23. There is no other insurance coverage but cardholders will enjoy the first-class service Amex is known for, including special discounts and access to event tickets.
#5 American Express Business Edge Card – best for office purchases
- Annual fee: $99
- Interest rate on purchases: 20.99%
- Interest rate on cash advances: 21.99%
The American Express Business Edge Card can be the go-to card for businesses looking for an easy and affordable American Express business card. Businesses only have to pay $99 for the main card and additional cards are issued for free. The interest rate is low at 19.99 percent on purchases and 21.99 percent on funds advances.
At first glance, this card doesn't look that exciting. But, we encourage you to have a look at the welcome offer. New cardholders earn up to 67,000 points, but there’s a caveat. These points are broken into milestones. Cardholders must spend at least $5,000 in net purchases in the first three months to be eligible for the first milestone of 45,000 points. The next milestone is 12,000 points that are broken into 1,000 points per month and the cardholder must spend at least $3,000 per month to be eligible for these points.
The remaining 10,000 points are given through additional points on purchases. Cardholders earn 10x points on eligible office supplies, electronics, rides, gas, and food for the first six months. It goes down to 3 points for every $1 spent on these products and services after the welcome period. All other purchases earn 1 point for every $1 spent.
Points can be redeemed in a variety of ways but we encourage cardholders to use them to book flights as points transfer at the rate of 1:1 to most loyalty programs. In addition, cardholders can use points to pay the bill, pay for Amazon.ca purchases, and buy gift cards. In addition, cardholders enjoy car rental theft & damage insurance, Purchase Protection Plan, and Buyer's Assurance Protection Plan.
#6 American Express AIR MILES for Business Card – best for small businesses
Made for small businesses, the American Express AIR MILES for Business Card is a charge card designed to offer big rewards. New users enjoy a welcome bonus of 2,000 Air Miles when they charge at least $5,000 in purchases within the first three months of getting the card. After this, users will earn 1 mile for every $10 spent at partner stores and 1 mile for every $15 spent on everything else.
The card doesn’t offer as many features as some other Amex cards but we still think that it can be a good pick. Businesses that face cash flow issues can benefit from this card thanks to its 55 interest-free days offer. But, make sure to keep the card in good standing to increase your limit and boost your credit scores.
Other benefits include travel coverage, including $100,000 travel accident insurance, car rental theft and damage insurance of up to $85,000, flight delay insurance worth $500, baggage delay insurance worth $500, lost baggage insurance worth $500, and hotel burglary insurance of up to $500. In addition, businesses get to enjoy security through Employee Card Misuse Protection that covers against unauthorised charges.
#7 American Express AIR MILES Gold Business Card – best for flexibility
The American Express AIR MILES Gold Business Card can be a great pick for businesses interested in rewarding employees with a user-friendly card. It is one of the most generous American Express business cards with a welcome bonus of up to 110,000 points. These points in total are worth $1,100 in statement credit that businesses can choose to reinvest.
Amex has broken these points into milestones. Users must spend at least $5,000 in purchases within the first three months to be eligible for the first milestone of 70,000 points. The next milestone of 10,000 points is awarded when buyers spend at least $20,000 in net purchases in each calendar quarter. We feel this is a big amount hence the card may only be suitable for generous spenders. Other than this, the card offers 1 point on every $1 spent.
This American Express charge card is marketed as a no pre-set limit card, but we must mention that there is a limit based on one’s credit history and financial well being. It works like a personalized Amex card and adapts based on one's spending habits and needs. Thus, it can prove to be a good pick for startups.
Lastly, businesses enjoy great flexibility with this American Express business card with the option to pay the minimum, the full amount, or anything in between. Other benefits include Employee Card Misuse Protection, car rental theft & damage insurance, lost or stolen baggage insurance, hotel burglary insurance, flight delay insurance, baggage delay insurance, travel emergency assistance, travel accident insurance, and purchase coverage.
What makes Amex business cards so unique?
Amex almost always makes it to the list of best business credit cards in Canada due to the incredible benefits and rich features it offers. Here are some of the main reasons why so many businesses choose American Express:
Anyone can apply
Unlike some other providers, Amex doesn’t have stringent eligibility requirements. Applicants do not even need to be running a business in order to apply for most American Express business cards. Anyone above the age of maturity and with an address in Canada and a Canadian credit file can apply. Also, the website doesn’t advertise a minimum credit score but the company may reject applicants with a poor score. Moreover, applicants with a low score are less likely to get a good rate.
Exclusive Amex perks
Amex personal cards are known for offering generous discounts and Amex business cards are no different. Cardholders enjoy benefits such as airline miles, hotel discounts, priority boarding, and travel coverage. However, remember that perks largely depend on the card that you have.
Generous Welcome Bonus
Amex cards hit the bull’s eye when it comes to the welcome bonus with the American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card offering up to 85,000 points that are worth $1,700. Very few business cards in Canada have such welcome offers. However, remember that these cards come with certain terms and conditions, including minimum spending within a specific time period.
Amex currently offers seven business cards to choose from, including some cobranded cards such as the American Express AIR MILES Gold Business Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card. These cobranded cards come with some incredible benefits such as discounts at eligible stores and extra points when shopping at specific stores.
Businesses mainly go for business cards due to the ability to receive additional cards for employees so that there is more transparency and a lower risk of employee fraud. Almost all Amex cards come with up to 99 additional cards. While some cost a few hundred dollars, some can be applied for free. Very few companies in Canada offer such a high number of supplementary cards per account.
Safe and secure
American Express is one of the top credit card providers in Canada. These cards are accepted globally and very safe to use. Moreover, most come with Employee Card Misuse Protection that reduces the risk of misuse of funds and protects the business. Furthermore, all cards come with a Fraud Protection Guarantee that protects against fraudulent charges.
Amex offers account management tools that make it easy to manage business cards, including additional cards issued for employees. Users can sign up for account alerts, access billing information on the go, and easily track expenses through Quarterly and Annual Expense Management Reports.
Frequently asked questions about American Express business cards
Eligibility requirements for most Amex business cards are straightforward. Applicants need to be the age of majority and have a Canadian address and Canadian credit file to apply. Applicants can be submitted online and the process usually takes a few minutes. Make sure to keep all documents handy as personal and business information will be required, including identity and business registration documents.
Yes, an Amex business card can impact your personal credit.
We have covered some of the best Amex business cards in this article, such as the American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card and the American Express AIR MILES for Business Card. The right option depends on factors such as your credit score and spending habits. Almost all cards come with exciting welcome bonuses, insurance, and 99 additional cards; however, the rewards and annual charges differ.
In most cases, it is possible to get an American Express business card without a business. However, requirements largely depend on the card that is being applied for and some cards may require the applicant to have a business.
Amex limits users to four revolving credit cards at any given time.
American Express has no stringent eligibility requirements and the official website does not advertise a minimum credit score or income. However, individuals with a score of at least 660 and good financial standing are more likely to get approved.
Unlike some other cards, American Express publishes the four-digit security code on the front of the American Express business card. You will find it above the card number.