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Published March 1, 2024

Best American Express Cards in Canada

Among the best Amex credit cards in Canada are options for travel, cash back, business and more. Cardholders can earn Aeroplan, Marriott Bonvoy and American Express Membership Rewards points.

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Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

American Express made its name with credit cards that were status symbols as much as payment methods. Since launching its first card in Canada in 1958, the credit card network and issuer has developed a full suite of cards boasting generous rewards, valuable benefits and useful perks.  

NerdWallet analyzed all the American Express cards available in Canada, comparing their benefits, earn rates, rewards and more to find the cards most appropriate for various consumers. Whether you’re seeking out the luxurious perks of a premium charge card or a more basic no-fee credit card, there’s likely an American Express card for you.

The best American Express cards in Canada

Best overall American Express card

American Express Cobalt® Card


$155.88

20.99% / 21.99%

1x-5x Points

Up to 15,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

The American Express Cobalt Card boasts high rewards rates on everyday spending, a generous welcome bonus, comprehensive travel insurance coverage, flexible point redemption and plenty of specialty perks to keep things interesting all year long.

Pros
  • Earn 150,000 points in the first year by spending up to $30,000 on eats, drinks and groceries. Combined with the 15,000 point intro offer, you could earn 165,000 points in your first year, which you could redeem for travel and more.
  • Easily transfer the points you earn to popular airline and hotel loyalty programs, such as Aeroplan and Marriott Bonvoy.


Cons
  • Airport lounge access isn’t provided, which may disappoint some frequent travellers.
  • No travel medical coverage for cardmembers over the age of 65.
Product Details
  • In your first year as a new Cobalt Cardmember, you can earn 1,250 Membership Rewards® points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $750 in net purchases on your Card. This could add up to 15,000 points in a year. That’s up to $150 towards a weekend getaway or concert tickets.
  • Earn 5x the points on eligible eats and drinks in Canada, including groceries and food delivery. Spend cap applies.
  • Earn 3x the points on eligible streaming subscriptions in Canada.
  • Earn 2X the points on eligible ride shares, transit & gas in Canada.
  • Earn 1 additional point on eligible hotel and car rental bookings via American Express Travel Online.
  • Earn 1X point for every $1 in Card purchases everywhere else.
  • Enjoy access to hotel bookings, and up to $100 USD hotel credit to use on amenities when charged to the room for a stay of 2 or more consecutive nights through The Hotel Collection from American Express Travel.
  • Transfer points 1:1 to several frequent flyer and other loyalty programs.
  • Cobalt Cardmembers receive regular Perks such as bonus reward offers and access to great events.
  • Access Front Of The Line® Presale & Reserved Tickets to some of your favourite concerts and theatre performances and special offers and events curated for Cardmembers with American Express® Experiences.
  • *Effective August 15, 2023, Cobalt Cardmembers will earn 5x the points on all eligible eats & drinks charged to their Card up to $2,500 monthly, for the same total of $30,000 annually already in place today. Cardmembers will also continue to earn 3x on streaming subscriptions, 2x on eligible transit, gas & travel purchases and 1x on everything else. T&Cs apply. While the annual earn does not change, the new monthly construct intends to curb gaming activity. The change should have little to no impact on the majority of Cardmembers who utilize the Card and Membership Rewards program as it was intended.
  • American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information, click the Apply Now link. If you apply and get approved for an American Express Card, NerdWallet may receive compensation from American Express, which can be in the form of monetary payment.

Best for: Aeroplan rewards

American Express® Aeroplan® Reserve Card


$599

21.99% / 21.99%

1.25x-3x Points

Up to 85,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

Comprehensive travel insurance, Air Canada benefits, impressive earn rates and unlimited rewards make the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card a strong choice for frequent travellers.

Pros
  • Strong earn rates with unlimited rewards.
  • Air Canada airport benefits, like Maple Leaf Lounge access, a free checked bag, Priority Airport Check-In, Priority Boarding for you and up to eight travel companions.


Cons
  • A high $599 annual fee.
  • The highest earn rate only applies to Air Canada travel purchases, so this card might not be a good fit if you prefer another airline.
Product Details
  • New American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Cardmembers can earn up to 85,000 Aeroplan points.
  • Earn 60,000 Aeroplan points after spending $7,500 in purchases on your Card within the first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn an additional 25,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $2,500 in purchases in month 13.
  • That’s up to $2,600 or more in value when you combine your welcome bonus points and card benefits.
  • New Offer: Cardmembers can now get an extra night free for every 3 consecutive hotel nights redeemed with Aeroplan points. Offer ends December 31, 2024.
  • Highest Air Canada earn rate on an Aeroplan payment card in Canada: Earn 3X the points on eligible purchases made directly with Air Canada®* and Air Canada Vacations®*.
  • Standard Earn Rate: Earn 2X the points on eligible Dining and Food Delivery purchases in Canada and earn 1.25X the points on everything else.
  • Get through the airport quicker with Air Canada Priority Check-In, Air Canada Priority Boarding and Air Canada Priority Baggage Handling.
  • Enjoy access to select Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges™* and Air Canada Café™ in North America for you and a guest, with a same day ticket on a departing Air Canada or Star Alliance flight.
  • Enjoy your eligible first checked bag free for up to 9 people travelling on the same reservation on Air Canada flights.
  • Roll over any unallocated Aeroplan Elite™* Status Qualifying Miles and unused eUpgrade Credits to the following year to enjoy during your travels.
  • Get access to more than 1,200 Priority Pass™ airport lounges and enjoy an oasis of comfort before your flight, regardless of your airline or cabin class.
  • Insurance Coverage: whether you’re shopping nearby or travelling abroad, you can feel confident knowing you can be taken care of.
  • American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. If you apply and get approved for an American Express Card, NerdWallet may receive compensation from American Express, which can be in the form of monetary payment.

Best for: Cash back

SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express


$119.88

20.99% / 21.99%

2%-4%

Up to $400
Our Take
Why we like it

Get rewarded at the gas station and grocery store with 4% cash back, plus enjoy a high ongoing flat-rate of 2% cash back on everything else.

Pros
  • The unlimited 2% cash-back earn rate is among the highest we evaluated.
  • You can earn up to $400 in the first ten months.


Cons
  • The bonus rewards rate on gas and groceries drops down to 2% after a $30,000 annual spend.
Product Details
  • In your first 10 months as a new SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express Cardmember, you can earn a $40 statement credit for each monthly billing period in which you spend $750 in purchases on your Card. This could add up to $400 in statement credits in the first 10 months.
  • Earn accelerated earn rates on eligible gas and grocery purchases.
  • Earn 4% cash back on eligible gas station purchases in Canada, 4% cash back on eligible grocery store purchases in Canada (up to $1,200 cash back annually) and 2% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Access events and special offers curated for Cardmembers with American Express® Experiences.
  • Extensive insurance coverage and 24/7 Customer Service.
  • American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. Conditions apply.

Best for: Premium perks

The Platinum Card® from American Express


$799

Varies

1x-2x Points

Up to 100,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

This precision-cut and engraved metal Platinum Card boasts a generous intro offer, strong earn rates on rewards, and an impressive array of premium benefits and perks.

Pros
  • From special reservations to insider tips, you can enhance your travel experiences with complimentary, personalized service from Platinum Concierge — available 24/7.
  • Benefit from a full suite of Platinum-level travel perks, such as worldwide airport lounge access, the Global Dining Collection, and more.


Cons
  • Unless you plan to travel a lot, it may be difficult to offset the high $799 annual fee.
  • No travel medical coverage for cardmembers over the age of 65.
Product Details
  • Unlock special experiences with the Platinum Card®.
  • Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® points – that’s up to $1,000 towards a weekend away.
  • New Platinum® Cardmembers, earn 70,000 Welcome Bonus points after you charge $10,000 in net purchases to your Card in your first 3 months of Cardmembership.
  • Plus, earn 30,000 points when you make a purchase between 14 and 17 months of Cardmembership.
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 in Card purchases on eligible dining and food delivery in Canada, 2points for every $1 in Card purchases on eligible travel, and 1 point for every $1 in all other Card purchases.
  • Access a $200 Annual Travel Credit through American Express Travel Online or Platinum® Card Travel Service.
  • Enjoy a $200 Annual Dining Credit at some of Canada’s best restaurants.
  • Unlock $200 or more in additional value with Member extras. You can earn statement credits for qualifying purchases with participating brands.
  • Take full advantage of The American Express Global Lounge Collection™ which unlocks access to over 1300 airport lounges worldwide. This includes The Centurion® Lounge network, Plaza Premium Lounges, and hundreds of other domestic and international lounges designed to enhance your travel experience.
  • Enjoy flexible ways to use your points such as statement credits for any eligible purchase charged to your Card, new travel purchases booked on American Express Travel Online through the Flexible Points Travel Program, and eligible flights through the Fixed Points Travel Program.
  • Transfer points 1:1 to several frequent flyer and other loyalty programs.
  • Enjoy complimentary benefits that offer an average value of $750 CAD at over 1,300 extraordinary properties worldwide when you book Fine Hotels + Resorts.
  • Platinum Cardmembers can enjoy access to special events and unique opportunities.
  • Enjoy premium benefits at the Toronto Pearson Airport.
  • You will also have access to many leading hotel and car rental companies’ loyalty programs. Our partners include Marriott International, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Hertz and Avis.
  • Interest applies in accordance with your Cardmember Agreement, Information Box, and Disclosure statement if the total New Balance is not paid by the Payment Due Date each month. All payments must be received by the Payment Due Date shown on the monthly statement.
  • American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information, click the Apply Now link. If you apply and get approved for an American Express Card, NerdWallet may receive compensation from American Express, which can be in the form of monetary payment.

Best for: No foreign transaction fees

Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card


$120

20.99% / 22.99%

1x-6x Points

Up to 40,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

Not only does the Scotiabank Gold American Express card reward you with impressive rates in six popular spending categories, but it also comes with no foreign exchange fees.

Pros
  • No foreign exchange fee on any foreign currency purchases while travelling abroad or shopping online — you just have to pay the exchange rate.


Cons
  • The bonus rewards rates drop down to the 1x flat rate after a $50,000 annual spend. This sounds like a lot, but much of your daily spending is probably included in the six bonus categories, so you might hit the limit faster than you’d think.
Product Details
  • Earn up to $650* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ points. Offer ends July 1, 2024.
  • You will not pay 2.5% foreign transaction fees on any foreign currency purchases, including online shopping and when travelling abroad. Only the exchange rate applies.
  • Earn 5X Scene+ points for every $1 CAD spent on eligible grocery stores, restaurants, fast food, and drinking establishments. Includes popular food delivery and food subscriptions.
  • Earn 5X Scene+ points for every $1 CAD spent on eligible entertainment purchases. Includes movies, theatre, and ticket agencies.
  • Earn 3X Scene+ points for every $1 CAD spent on eligible gas and daily transit. Includes rideshare, buses, taxis, subway, and more.
  • Earn 1X Scene+ point for every $1 spent on every other purchase.
  • You’ll earn 6X Scene+ points for each $1 CAD charged to your account on all eligible purchases¹ at Sobeys, IGA, Safeway, Foodland, FreshCo, Voilà by Sobeys, Voilà by IGA, Voilà by Safeway, Chalo! FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, IGA West, Les Marchés Tradition, Rachelle Béry and Co-Op.
  • Discounted Priority Pass™ membership, which grants you access to over 1200 VIP lounges around the world.
  • Score deals on shopping, dining, travel and more with Amex Offers®, and experience special events and discounts with American Express Invites®.
  • Access to Amex Front Of The Line® presale and reserved tickets.
  • To be eligible, $12,000 (individual) annual income is required. Also, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.
  • Terms and Conditions Apply. Click ‘Apply Now’ for complete details.

Best for: Hotels

Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card


$120

20.99% / 21.99%

2x-5x Points

Up to 80,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

The Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card helps travellers earn free stays and experiences at some of the world’s ritziest hotels, restaurants and spas, while also providing helpful insurance options and flexibility in how Marriott Bonvoy® points can be used.

Pros
  • Solid earn rates should help members of the Marriott Bonvoy® program score free hotel stays.
  • Marriott Bonvoy® points can be transferred to frequent flyer miles with some airlines, including Air Canada’s Aeroplan.
  • Access to American Express® Experiences and several varieties of insurance.


Cons
  • You’ll need to be a Marriott Bonvoy® member to take advantage of the card’s most valuable benefits.
  • American Express isn’t always as widely accepted as some other credit cards, so using the Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* — and collecting points — everywhere you go might not always be possible.
Product Details
  • Travel to new heights with the Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card.
  • Earn up to 80,000 Points:
  • New Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Cardmembers, earn 65,000 Welcome Bonus points after you spend $3,000 on your Card in your first 3 months of Cardmembership.
  • Plus, earn an additional 3 points for a total of 5 points on every $1 spent on eligible travel and gas purchases in your first 6 months (up to 15,000 points).
  • Offer ends May 6, 2024.
  • Earn 5 points for every dollar in eligible Card purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®.
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 in all other Card purchases.
  • Receive an Annual Free Night Award for up to 35,000 points at eligible hotels and resorts worldwide every year after your first anniversary.
  • No annual fee on Additional Cards.
  • Redeem points for free nights with no blackout dates at over 7,000 of the world’s most desired hotels.
  • Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status membership.
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card. These can be used towards attaining the next level of Elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy program.
  • Enjoy an automatic upgrade to Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status when you reach $30,000 in purchases on the Card each year or when you combine 10 qualifying paid nights within one calendar year with the 15 Elite Night Credits from your card.
  • American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information, click the Apply Now link. Conditions Apply. If you apply and get approved for an American Express Card, NerdWallet may receive compensation from American Express, which can be in the form of monetary payment.

Best for: Rewards on daily essentials

American Express® Business Edge™ Card


$99

20.99% / 21.99%

1x-10x Points

Up to 67,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

There’s a lot of value packed into the American Express Business Edge Card: a manageable annual fee, impressive earn rates on common business purchases, and a wide range of perks and special offers, such as business and expense management tools and payment flexibility.

Pros
  • The generous welcome offer and 1,000-point monthly spend bonus should be attainable for many businesses.
  • A healthy earn rate on several everyday business purchases, like office supplies, electronics and gas.
  • Ability to add up to 99 supplementary cards — and up to $100,000 in coverage in case of employee misuse.


Cons
  • Not all retailers accept American Express.
  • Because of the relatively low spending limits associated with the 10x and 3x earn rates, the increased rewards may not be in effect for long for some businesses.
  • Limited insurance coverage included.
Product Details
  • Earn up to 67,000 welcome bonus Membership Rewards® points.
  • Earn 45,000 Welcome Bonus points when you charge $5,000 in purchases to your Card in your first three months of Cardmembership.
  • Plus, earn 10x the points for every $1 spent on eligible business essentials including office supplies & electronics, rides & gas, eats & drinks within 6 months of Cardmembership, up to a maximum of 10,000.
  • You can earn an extra 1,000 Membership Rewards points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $3,000 in purchases on your Card. This could add up to 12,000 extra points in a year.
  • That’s $670 in statement credits that can be reinvested in your business.
  • Earn points that you can redeem in a variety of ways.
  • Earn 3x the points for Card purchases on eligible business essentials including office supplies & electronics, rides & gas, eats & drinks when your Welcome Offer ends. Caps and other conditions may apply.
  • Earn 1x the points on all other purchases charged to the Card.
  • Use points to offset business expenses. Membership Rewards® allows you to offset business expenses by covering the cost of purchases made on your Card, in full or in part. Redeem points for statement credits and to book flights, hotels, and car rentals.
  • Transfer points to frequent flyer and hotel programs, including one-to-one to Aeroplan®* and Avios.
  • Make the most out of a full suite of business management tools that give you more control over your business – anytime and anywhere.
  • Leverage your cash flow with the option of carrying a balance or paying in full each month.
  • Employee Card Misuse Protection is a benefit created specifically for business owners and it provides coverage of up to $100,000 per Basic Cardmember in the event an employee misuses their Supplementary Card for unauthorized charges.
  • Access coverage that can protect your business purchases when you charge the full price of eligible items to your American Express Business Edge™ Card.
  • Protect your eligible purchases against accidental physical damage and theft for up to 90 days with Purchase Protection® Plan.
  • Double the manufacturer’s original warranty up to one additional year with Buyer’s Assurance® Protection Plan.
  • American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. Conditions apply.

Best for: Beginners

American Express® Green Card


$0

20.99% / 21.99%

1x-2x Points

10,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

The American Express Green Card has a simple rewards program with an accelerated earn rate on hotel and rental car bookings, and it’s easy to transfer your points to other loyalty programs for maximum redemption value. Oh, and the card itself is made from 99% recycled plastic.

Pros
  • No limits on rewards spending, and more ways to redeem your points than other no-fee rewards credit cards on this list.
  • Cardholders who enjoy VIP treatment will enjoy access to a multitude of perks through American Express Experiences.


Cons
  • Reward earn rates are lower than some other no-fee credit cards.
  • Lacks some of the travel perks and insurance options offered by other cards.
Product Details
  • Get the Card that lets you live in the moment while getting ready for the future.
  • The American Express® Green Card lets you go for it with every swipe or tap of your Card.
  • As a new American Express® Green Cardmember, you can earn a Welcome Bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards® points when you charge $1,000 in purchases to your Card in the first 3 months of Cardmembership. That’s $100 towards groceries or concert tickets.
  • Earn 1x the points on Card purchases.
  • Charge an eligible purchase to your Card and redeem your Membership Rewards points for a statement credit (All eligible purchases: 1,000 points = $10 statement credit).
  • With American Express Experiences and Front Of The Line®, American Express Cardmembers get access to amazing events in Canada.
  • Transfer points 1:1 to several frequent flyer and other loyalty programs.
  • American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. Conditions apply.

Best for: Airline rewards

American Express® Aeroplan®* Business Reserve Card


$599

19.99% / 21.99%

1.25x-3x Points

Up to 90,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

The annual fee is no joke, but cardmembers have plenty of reasons to smile thanks to the American Express® Aeroplan®* Business Reserve Card’s strong earn rates, extensive travel benefits and overall convenience.

Pros
  • Serious bonus point potential in the first six months.
  • Relatively low interest rate.
  • Strong earn rates on eligible Air Canada travel purchases, hotel bookings and car rentals, even after the 6-month even after the introductory period ends. Plus, premium travel perks and benefits, like airport lounge access and priority upgrades, to make sure your next trip goes smoothly.


Cons
  • High annual fee.
  • Earning the Annual Worldwide Companion Pass may not be possible for all businesses.
  • The purchase interest rate rockets to 24.99% if you miss a payment.
Product Details
  • Earn up to 90,000 Welcome Bonus Aeroplan®* points.
  • Earn 65,000 Aeroplan points after spending $10,500 in purchases on your Card within the first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn an additional 25,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $3,500 in purchases in month 13.
  • Earn Aeroplan points that you can redeem in a variety of ways.
  • Earn 3 points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases made directly with Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations®*, 2 points for every $1 spent on eligible hotels and car rentals.
  • Earn 1.25 points for every $1 spent on everything else.
  • Make the most out of a full suite of business management tools that give you more control over your business – anytime and anywhere.
  • Leverage your cash flow with the option of carrying a balance or paying in full each month.
  • Control employee expenses plus track and accumulate points on your account with Employee Cards, so you have an opportunity to maximize the points you earn.
  • Unlock business travel possibilities to make every work trip one to look forward to.
  • Access more than 1,200 Priority Pass™ airport lounges around the globe. That means an oasis of comfort before your flight—regardless of your choice of airline or cabin class.
  • Enjoy access to select Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges™ for you and a guest, and Air Canada Café™; in North America, with a same day ticket on a departing Air Canada or Star Alliance®* flight.
  • Enjoy Priority Check-In, Priority Boarding, and Priority Baggage Handling when you fly with Air Canada, together with up to eight companions.
  • Receive one Annual Worldwide Companion Pass when you spend $25,000 in net purchases prior to your Card anniversary date; your Pass entitles you to buy an accompanying Air Canada economy class ticket for a companion at a fixed base fare from $99 to a maximum of $599 CAD (plus taxes, fees, charges, and surcharges).
  • Stay focused on getting where you need to go. Receive up to $100 CAD in statement credits every four years when NEXUS application or renewal fees are charged to your Aeroplan Business Reserve Card.
  • Pay with your American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card and present your Aeroplan Membership Card at over 170 Aeroplan partner brands and 120 online retailers via the Aeroplan eStore to earn points twice.
  • If you’re departing from Toronto Pearson International Airport, enjoy the benefits of being an American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Cardmember. Get more from your travel experience with access to Pearson Priority Security Lane, Complimentary Valet Service, 15% discount on parking rates, and 15% discount on Car Care Services.
  • Roll over any unallocated Aeroplan Elite™ Status Qualifying Miles and unused eUpgrade Credits to the following year to enjoy during your travels.
  • Enjoy priority access to the standby list and eUpgrades. Get prioritized on the standby waitlist for an Air Canada flight and higher priority when you request an eUpgrade.
  • Earn 1,000 Status Qualifying Miles and 1 Status Qualifying Segment for every $5,000 in eligible net purchases charged to your Card.
  • Book flight reward tickets for even fewer points with Air Canada. In addition to flights, you can also redeem for hotel stays, car rentals, vacation packages, merchandise and more.
  • Unlock two-car-class rental upgrades, expedited service, dedicated phone line, and more with complimentary upgrade to Avis President’s Club.
  • American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information, click the Apply Now link. If you apply and get approved for an American Express Card, NerdWallet may receive compensation from American Express, which can be in the form of monetary payment.

Best for: Businesses

Business Platinum Card® from American Express


$799

Varies

1.25x Points

Up to 120,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

Some smaller businesses might balk at the high annual fee, but you get what you pay for with the Business Platinum Card from American Express: a large welcome bonus, flexibility in how you cash in rewards and a bevy of exclusive travel perks.

Pros
  • Make the most of your cash flow with no pre-set spending limit, flexible payment options, up to 55 interest-free days, and plenty of account management tools.
  • A full suite of insurance and premium travel perks, including airport lounge access, premium airport transfer services.
  • A referral program that could score cardmembers up to 225,000 bonus Membership Rewards points a year.


Cons
  • A high annual fee for both the primary card and any additional cards.
  • No introductory earn rate to help maximize rewards.
  • American Express may not be accepted by the suppliers and service providers your business works with.
Product Details
  • Redefine what you’ll experience and discover with Platinum.
  • Earn up to 120,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you charge $15,000 in net purchases to your Card in your first 3 months of Cardmembership.
  • Plus, earn 40,000 points when you make a purchase between 14 and 17 months of Cardmembership.
  • That’s up to $1,200 in statement credit that can be reinvested in your business.
  • Earn points that you can redeem in a variety of ways.
  • Earn 1.25 Membership Rewards points for virtually every $1 in purchases and get the most out of your business expenses.
  • Enjoy an exceptional line-up of rewards redemption options for you and your business, including travel, dining, entertainment, gift cards, merchandise, and more with Membership Rewards program.
  • Transfer points to frequent flyer and hotel programs, including one-to-one to Aeroplan®* and Avios.
  • Bolster your business with up to $820 in annual business and travel statement credits.
  • Enroll your eligible Card and earn up to $500 in business statement credits on qualifying purchases with Dell and Indeed.
  • Enroll and earn up to $120 in eligible Wireless Credits each year.
  • Access a $200 Annual Travel Credit each year of your Cardmembership.
  • Unlock spending power and payment flexibility with a full suite of business management tools that give you more control over your business – anytime and anywhere.
  • Enjoy financial flexibility with no pre-set spending limit on purchases. With this Card, your purchasing power adjusts dynamically with your Card usage, and can grow over time, as long as you make your payments on time and maintain a good credit history.
  • Maximize your cash flow with up to 55 interest free days so you can keep more cash on hand when you need it most.
  • Pay for business expenses over time with Flexible Payment Option.
  • This charge Card has both Due in Full and Flexible Payment Option balances. All Due in Full balances must be paid each month. Interest rate of 30% applies to each delinquent Due in Full Charge. This rate is effective from the day the account is opened. The Preferred rate of 20.99% applies to your Flexible Payment Option balance. If you have 2 separate Missed Payments in a 12 month period, the Flexible Payment Option rate for your account will be 25.99%. If you have 3 or more separate Missed Payments in a 12 month period, the Flexible Payment Option rate will be 28.99%. These rates are effective from the day the Flexible Payment Option is first available on your account.
  • Extend payment solutions with Supplementary Cards for your employees.
  • Enjoy special benefits for you and your business.
  • Take full advantage of the American Express Global Lounge Collection which unlocks access to over 1300 airport lounges worldwide. This includes The Centurion® Lounge network, Plaza Premium Lounges, and hundreds of other domestic and international lounges designed to enhance your travel experience.
  • Enjoy premium benefits at the Toronto Pearson Airport, including access to the Pearson Priority Security Lane and discount on parking.
  • Get access to discounted base fares for you and your travel companions when you book through the International Airline Program.
  • Enjoy access to specialty services and events, preferential treatment, and a dedicated Concierge team.
  • Enjoy Fine Hotels + Resorts benefits at over 1,300 properties worldwide like guaranteed late check-out, complimentary breakfast for two, and more with Business Platinum.
  • Access a $100 CAD credit for NEXUS every 4 years with your Cardmembership.
  • American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information, click the Apply Now link. If you apply and get approved for an American Express Card, NerdWallet may receive compensation from American Express, which can be in the form of monetary payment.

Best for: Low interest rates

Scotiabank Platinum American Express® Card


$399

9.99%

2x Points

Up to 60,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

With low rates and a generous rewards program, the Scotiabank Platinum American Express card is a unicorn for frequent travellers seeking luxury perks, premier travel benefits and exceptional interest rates on purchases and cash advances.

Pros
  • Low interest rates, no foreign transaction fees, and an impressive insurance package that includes comprehensive travel insurance coverage and newly-added mobile device insurance.
  • Luxury travel privileges include 10 free VIP airport lounge visits per year with a complimentary Priority Pass membership.


Cons
  • The $399 annual fee is quite a bit higher than other rewards cards, but frequent travellers seeking a low rate on purchases and cash advances can easily make the yearly cost worthwhile.
Product Details
  • Earn up to $2,100* in value in your first 14 months, including up to 60,000* bonus Scene+ points. Offer ends October 31, 2024.
  • You will not pay 2.5% foreign transaction fees on any foreign currency purchases, including online shopping and when travelling abroad. Only the exchange rate applies.
  • Earn 2X Scene+™ points for every $1 CAD you spend on all your eligible purchases.
  • Scene+ points can be redeemed for travel purchase, merchandise and other non-travel rewards such as gift cards and prepaid cards.
  • You must redeem a minimum of 5,000 points per travel-related rewards redemption, equivalent to $50 in travel savings. Points must be redeemed within 12 months of the purchase date.
  • $399 annual fee.
  • Redeem points for any flight, any time through Scene+ Travel, a full-service travel agency. Plus, take advantage of a best price guarantee on airfare.
  • Get a Hertz #1 Club Gold membership for special privileges and rental car benefits at over 8,500 locations in 147 countries.
  • Enjoy culinary events and experiences, entertainment, luxury fashion, tours, and more through American Express benefits, including American Express Invites, Platinum VIP offers and access to 24/7 premium concierge services for restaurant reservations, show tickets, and gift purchases.
  • Lounge access at over 600 VIP airport lounges around the world with a complimentary Priority Pass membership, which includes 10 free visits per year.
  • 12 types of insurance provided, including 31-day travel medical benefits — up to $2 million in coverage — for you, your spouse and any dependent children under the age of 65. 10-day coverage available for those over the age of 65.
  • Preferred rates: 9.99% for purchases, 9.99% for cash advances.
  • To be eligible, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.
  • Terms and Conditions Apply. Click ‘Apply Now’ for complete details.

Best for: Rewards on gas and groceries

Scotiabank Red American Express® Card


$0

19.99% / 22.99%

1x-3x Points

Up to 7,500 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

Use the Scotiabank American Express® Card to earn flexible Scene+ point rewards on everyday spending categories and redeem rewards for travel, entertainment and more.

Pros
  • Great earn rates on everyday purchases.
  • Includes mobile device insurance.
  • Enjoy special offers, experiences and more with American Express Invites.


Cons
  • Insurance is limited to mobile device insurance and purchase security & extended warranty protection.
Product Details
  • Earn up to 7,500 bonus Scene+ points within your first 3 months (that’s up to $75 towards travel).¹
  • Earn 3x Scene+ points¹ on every $1 you spend at Sobeys, Safeway, Freshco and more
  • Earn 2x Scene+ points¹ for every $1 you spend on restaurants, fast food, drinking establishments and other eligible grocery stores. Includes popular food delivery and food subscriptions.
  • Earn 2x Scene+ points¹ for every $1 you spend on eligible entertainment purchases. Includes movies, theatre and ticket agencies stores.
  • Earn 2x Scene+ points¹ for every $1 you spend on eligible gas and daily transit. Includes rideshares, buses, subway, taxis and more
  • Earn 2x Scene+ points¹ for every $1 you spend on eligible select streaming services
  • Plus earn 1 Scene+ point for every $1 spent on all other eligible everyday purchases
  • Mobile Device Insurance coverage
  • American Express Invites®
  • Rates, fees and other information are effective as of Mar.1, 2023. Subject to change.
  • Terms and Conditions Apply. Click ‘Apply Now’ for complete details.
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Methodology to choose the best American Express cards

We selected the best American Express cards in Canada based on overall consumer value and their suitability for specific kinds of consumers. Factors in our evaluation methodology include annual and other fees, rewards rates, the earning structure (for example, flat-rate rewards versus bonus categories), redemption options, bonus offers for new cardholders, introductory and ongoing APRs, and other noteworthy features such as airline or hotel perks or the ability to transfer points.

    Summary of our selections

    Card NameWhy we picked itCurrent intro offer
    American Express Cobalt® CardImpressive everyday rewards suitable for most.Up to 15,000 Points.
    The Platinum Card® from American ExpressLuxurious perks and comprehensive benefits.Up to 100,000 Points.
    American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve CardPrestigious charge card for Air Canada travellers.Up to 85,000 Points.
    Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* CardEasily score free hotel stays.Up to 80,000 Points.
    Scotiabank Gold American Express® CardNo FX-fees and rewards on daily spending.Up to 40,000 Points.
    SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American ExpressFantastic cash-back rewards.Up to $400.
    American Express® Business Edge™ CardSimple rewards for small business needs.Up to 67,000 Points.
    American Express® Aeroplan®* Business Reserve CardEnhances Air Canada business travel.Up to 90,000 Points.
    Business Platinum Card® from American ExpressFlexibile financing with strong business benefits.Up to 120,000 Points.
    American Express® Green CardA no-fee card suitable for students and beginners.10,000 Points.
    Scotiabank Platinum American Express® CardPay low interest without skimping on benefits.Up to 60,000 Points.
    Scotiabank Red American Express® CardNo-annual-fee grocery, dining and gas rewards.Up to 7,500 Points.

    What to know about American Express cards

    American Express, or Amex, is an international credit card issuer that both partners with financial institutions to provide co-branded credit cards and issues its own cards directly to consumers. This strategy separates it from Visa and Mastercard, which rely exclusively on banks to get their cards into the hands of consumers.

    American Express offers a wide range of cards aimed at consumers with different needs and preferences. The issuer has multiple co-branded cards with some of the best loyalty programs in Canada.
    However, one potential drawback to Amex credit cards is that they aren’t accepted as widely as Mastercard and Visa credit cards. If you plan to shop with an American Express credit card, it may be practical to have an alternate payment method, just in case.

    How to compare American Express cards 

    If you’re trying to find the Amex credit card that will work best for you, start by narrowing down your options. You can do this by considering the credit card features that are most important for your lifestyle and align with your spending habits.

    ANNUAL FEE

    Annual fees for Amex credit cards range widely: $0 to $799, at the time of writing. When comparing cards, evaluate the benefits of each one to determine if paying the annual fee will be worthwhile. If you’ll get more value from the card than you’ll pay in annual fees, the card may be a practical pick. For example, let’s say you’re an avid traveller and the card you’re considering has a $200 annual fee but offers ten airport lounge passes annually — a value of $500. In this instance, the free airport lounge passes more than offset the cost of the card’s annual fee.

    SIGN-UP OFFER

    The best Amex cards in Canada typically come with a generous welcome bonus, often worth a few hundred dollars. But don’t expect to receive a welcome bonus just for signing up. New cardholders must typically perform card-related actions to unlock sign-up bonuses, like spending a minimum amount of money in a set amount of time.

    TYPE OF REWARDS

    American Express credit cards earn a variety of rewards, including:

    EARN RATE

    Amex cards have two types of earn rates: base and accelerated.

    INTEREST RATE

    Most Amex credit cards charge interest rates of 20.99% on purchases, though some  have interest rates as low as 12.99%. A lower interest rate may appeal to people who typically carry a balance on their credit card.

    ADDITIONAL BENEFITS

    When reviewing cards, consider the benefits that are most valuable to you based on your lifestyle.

    Amex credit card benefits include:

    Are there Amex levels or tiers?

    Unlike Visa and Mastercard, American Express has not organized its credit cards into formal tiers. However, the issuer does offer two types of cards: charge cards and credit cards.

    Amex also offers the American Express Centurion Card, an invitation-only “black card” aimed at its top customers. The credit card comes packed with benefits but carries a high annual fee.

    Which banks offer American Express cards?

    Amex issues many of its cards directly to consumers. Scotiabank also has three additional Amex cards: 

    How to get an American Express card

    Once you’ve found an American Express credit card you like, you can start the application process. Before you begin, review the card’s applicant criteria to determine whether you’re eligible to apply.

    Eligibility requirements

    Unlike Visa and Mastercard, Amex doesn’t publicly specify any income requirements for its cards. 

    Amex only lists two formal requirements on its credit card pages:

    Amex also doesn’t list minimum credit score requirements, but generally speaking, the higher your credit store, the more likely you are to be approved for a credit card.

    Did You Know?

    When you apply for any new credit card, the issuer will do a credit check, which can temporarily have a negative effect on your score.

      Steps to apply

      For the most part, American Express credit card applications must be completed online. If you’d prefer to apply in person, you’ll need to select from one of American Express’ co-branded credit cards with Scotiabank. 

      To apply for an American Express credit card online:

      1. Visit the American Express website and select the Apply Now button for the card you’re interested in.
      2. Review the terms and conditions of the card. Select Agree and Begin.
      3. Enter your personal information, including your full name, email address, date of birth and residential address.
      4. Tell American Express more about your finances, including your employment status and annual income.
      5. Choose a four-digit PIN number for your card.
      6. Review your information and submit your application.  

      Approval may take as little as 60 seconds but could take longer if Amex requires additional information to process your application.

      How to get the most out of your American Express card

      Strategies to maximize the benefits of your Amex card will depend on which card you choose. Generally speaking, you’ll want to take advantage of annual benefits, such as airport lounge access, travel credits, free nights at hotels and anything else of value. Since these perks are associated with a real dollar value, you offset your annual fee every time you use them.

      Maximize American Express Membership Rewards points

      If your Amex card earns you Membership Rewards points, you’ll want to become familiar with the program.

      1,000 Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for $10 in statement credits.

      Simply put, this is a value of 1 cent per point. However, if you redeem your points using Amex’s Fixed Points Travel program, you can get a value of up to 2 cents per point on some flights. 

      Nerdy Tip: You have to have enough American Express Membership Rewards points to fully cover your booking (including all the travellers in your party) for the Fixed Points Travel option to appear.

      You also can redeem your points for gift cards and merchandise.

      Understand Amex point transfer partners

      One benefit of American Express Membership Rewards is that you can transfer your points to various hotel and airline loyalty programs. 

      The ability to transfer your points is beneficial, as you might be able to get more value out of them through the other programs.

      » MORE: Read our full review of the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card

      Familiarize yourself with popular American Express card benefits

      Amex credit cards are popular in Canada because they come packed with benefits. It can be helpful to know the perks you have access to so you can use as many as possible.

      The Amex referral program

      One of the best perks of being an Amex cardholder is the referral program. If friends or family apply through your referral link and are approved for an Amex card, you get extra rewards points.

      Amex Offers

      Amex Offers is a unique perk that’s exclusive to American Express cardholders. Throughout the year, you may get offers in your account for various retailers.

      To take advantage of Amex offers, register them to your card via your online account or app. If an offer catches your eye, activate it — some of them are only available for a limited time.

      Early-access tickets through American Express Front of the Line

      With American Express Front of the Line access, cardholders can purchase tickets to entertainment events before they go on sale to the general public. Some Amex credit cards also grant cardholders access to American Express Experiences, a collection of special dining, shopping and wellness events.

      If you miss the presale for an event, you may not be out of luck. Some shows offer exclusive seats to American Express cardholders until they sell out.

      Amex purchase protection

      Purchase protection is included with most Amex cards. When you charge a purchase to your American Express card, it’s insured for up to 90 or 120 days (depending on the card) from theft, damage or loss, up to $1,000 per occurrence. 

      A related protection program extends the manufacturer’s basic warranty on purchases by one or two years, depending on your card.

      Pre-approved card upgrades

      Existing Amex cardholders may be pre-approved for card upgrades. For example, you may be able to trade up from the American Express Gold Rewards Card to the American Express Platinum Card. If you’d like to upgrade your card but haven’t received a pre-approval offer, you may also be able to request a card upgrade by contacting American Express.

      Where is American Express accepted in Canada?

      Amex has a reputation for being less widely accepted than Visa and Mastercard, but it continues to onboard more merchants every year. If you’re wondering if American Express is accepted at a particular retailer, you can always check the company’s online merchant map

      As of writing, popular online retailers that accept Amex include Amazon, Adidas, Best Buy, Dell, Eddie Bauer, Gap, Ikea, Lowes, Pottery Barn, Walmart, Wayfair and more.

      Frequently asked questions about American Express cards

      Does Square accept American Express?

      Square, a payment processing platform meant to help small business owners, accepts American Express as a form of payment in Canada. If you’re shopping and the merchant uses Square to process payments, you can use your American Express Card.

      DIVE EVEN DEEPER

      23 Best Credit Cards in Canada for April 2024

      23 Best Credit Cards in Canada for April 2024

      NerdWallet Canada’s picks for the best credit cards include top contenders across numerous card categories. Compare these options to find the ideal card for you.

      Credit Card Interest Calculator

      Credit Card Interest Calculator

      Interest charges don’t need to be a mystery. Use our credit card interest calculator to see how much interest you’d owe if you carry a credit card balance.

      American Express Front Of The Line and Experiences: What to Know

      American Express Front Of The Line and Experiences: What to Know

      American Express Front of the Line gives you access to presale tickets and reserved event tickets. It’s just one of several Amex Experiences offered as a cardholder perk.

      Aeroplan vs. Air Miles: Differences and Alternatives

      Aeroplan vs. Air Miles: Differences and Alternatives

      Aeroplan is usually an ideal choice for those who want to use points for Air Canada flights, while Air Miles is a better choice for those who want flexible point redemption options.

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