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How do you find an American Express card in Canada that suits your needs? Start with our list of the best American Express credit cards in Canada.

In the market for a new credit card? Have you considered an American Express card in Canada? There are a number of American Express options to choose from with all kinds of options including lifestyle cards, cash back cards, travel cards and more. Plus, with affordable annual fees and an array of benefits, American Express credit cards are some of the best options out there for Canadians. Ready to find the best credit card for your needs? Here are our top picks for the best American Express credit cards in Canada.

Overview of the Best American Express Cards in Canada 2021

Credit CardBest For

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The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card®

Groceries & Dining OutRead More
American Express Cobalt™ Card

Everyday SpendingRead More
SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express

Cash BackRead More
Scotiabank American Express

No Annual FeeRead More
The Business Platinum Card® from American ExpressBusiness TravellersRead More
The American Express Business Edge™ CardBusiness ExpensesRead More
American Express® Aeroplan®* CardAeroplan CollectorsRead More
American Express® AIR MILES® Platinum Credit CardAIR MILES CollectorsRead More
American Express® Gold Rewards CardRewards FlexibilityRead More
Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® CardLuxury Hotel RewardsRead More
American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve CardTravel PerksRead More
The Platinum Card®

Frequent TravellersRead More

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card®: Best For Groceries and Dining Out

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If you are looking for an American Express card that rewards food and dining out spending, then look no further than the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card®. You’ll earn 5X the Scotia Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible grocery stores, restaurants, fast food, and drinking establishments (including food delivery and food subscription services!), as well as on eligible entertainment purchases (think: movies, theatre, and ticket agencies). Plus, you’ll get 3X the Scotia Rewards points for eligible gas, daily transit, and select streaming purchases, and 1X point per $1 spent on everything else. Additional cardholder perks include no foreign transaction fees, a discount on the Priority Pass lounge membership, and 8 types of insurance coverage.

Also enticing is the welcome offer: right now, new cardholders can earn 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points with your first $1,000 in everyday purchases in first 3 months†. Book and redeem points for flights anytime, anywhere with the Scotia Rewards Travel Service, or simply apply the Scotia Rewards points to your credit card statement to offset the costs. Not sure you want to use your points for travel? You can also use your Scotia Rewards points towards merchandise or convert them in SCENE points, or redeem points as a statement credit.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $120
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: Minimum of $12,000 annual income
  • Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Bonus: 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points with your first $1,000 in everyday purchases in first 3 months†
  • Additional Perks: No foreign transaction fees, comprehensive travel insurance, Amex Front of the Line® access
  • Purchase APR: 19.99%| Cash Advance APR: 22.99%

Learn more about the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card®.


American Express Cobalt™ Card: Best For Everyday Spending

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For a credit card that rewards your lifestyle, take a look at the American Express Cobalt™ Card. Cardholders earn 5 Membership Rewards® points for every $1 in card purchases at eligible restaurants, bars, cafés, and even food delivery in Canada. You’ll also earn 2 points for every $1 spent on eligible transit & gas purchases in Canada and eligible travel purchases and 1 point for $1 spent on everything else.

Another perk: new cardholders can earn 2,500 Membership Rewards® points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in purchases on your card. Plus, when you apply by May 5, 2021, you can earn a welcome bonus of 15,000 Membership Rewards® points when you spend a total of $3,000 in card purchases in the first 3 months. That’s potential to earn up to 45,000 points for the first year! Points can be redeemed for travel, concerts and events, gift cards, merchandise, and more. Additional perks with this credit card include entertainment access, travel and shopping coverage, and access to special benefits at The Hotel Collection from American Express®.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $120 ($10 per month)
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: Fair to Good
  • Welcome Bonus: Earn up to 45,000 Membership Rewards® points in the first year
  • Additional Perks: Insurance, exclusive entertainment access, access to VIP benefits at the Hotel Collection from American Express®
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 21.99%
Learn more about the American Express Cobalt™ Card.

SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express: Best For Cash Back

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If you’re chasing one of the best cash back credit cards by American Express, then you’ll want the SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express. For starters, new cardholders can earn 10% cash back on all eligible purchases for the first 4 months of card membership (up to $400 cash back). When your welcome rate ends, you’ll earn 2% cash back on all purchases – a competitive cash back rate. The best part about this cash back credit card? There’s no limit to how much cash back you can earn. Additional perks include travel insurance, shopping coverage (e.g. purchase protection) and exclusive American Express Invites®.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $99
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Offer: 10% cash back on purchases for the first 4 months (up to $400 in cash back)
  • Additional Perks: Travel insurance, shopping coverage, exclusive entertainment access
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 21.99%

Learn more about the SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express.


Scotiabank American Express® Card: Best No Annual Fee Card

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Not a fan of paying an annual fee for the privilege of using a credit card? The Scotiabank American Express® Card could be the right choice for you – one of the best no annual fee credit cards in Canada. There’s no annual fee, but you’ll also earn 1 Scotia Rewards point for every $1 spent on everyday purchases. The flexibility is fantastic: simply book and redeem flights anywhere, anytime through the Scotia Rewards Travel Service, redeem points for merchandise, convert them to SCENE points, or redeem points as a statement credit. Plus, new cardholders earn a welcome bonus of 5,000 Scotia Rewards points when they spend $500 in everyday purchases within the first 3 months of card membership. Despite no annual fee, this credit card still comes with great perks, including discounts on car rentals, as well as exclusive access to American Express Invites®.  A winner!

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: Minimum of $12,000 annual income
  • Credit Score Required: Fair to Good
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 5,000 Scotia Rewards points with your first $500 in everyday purchases in first 3 months
  • Additional Perks: Discounts at participating AVIS and Budget Rent-A-Car locations and exclusive access to American Express Invites®
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 22.99% | Balance Transfers and Cheques: 22.99%

Learn more about the Scotiabank American Express® Card.


The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for Business Travellers

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Business travellers should take note of the Business Platinum Card® from American Express for three exciting reasons. First, you’ll earn points that you can put towards personal or professional spending. Right the bat, you’ll get a welcome bonus of 35,000 Membership Rewards points (worth $350) when you spend $7,000 on your card within the first 3 months. For everyday spending, the earn rate is 1.25 Membership Rewards points per $1 in card purchases. So let’s say you have $15,000 in annual business card purchases. That would fetch you 15,000 points – valued at up to $150. Combined with the welcome bonus, you can easily cancel out the annual fee, and with continued spending, there’s a good chance you’ll exceed it.

You can redeem points for flights or transfer ‘em to other frequent flyer programs such as Aeroplan. Or apply those points against your credit card balance or spend them at retailers, such as Amazon.ca. It’s a very flexible program.

Second, this card offers perks for business travellers, such as a free membership to the American Express Global Lounge Collection – which gives unlimited access to over 1,200 lounges across 130+ countries, including the Centurion Lounge network, Plaza Premium Lounges, Delta Sky Club Lounges, Priority Pass Lounges and more. Based on our calculations, this perk is easily worth almost $2,500! You can also count on getting an impressive package of other travel benefits, such as travel insurance, rental car insurance, and hotel perks.

And third, cardholders have up to 55-interest free days to pay off your balance – a which allows the business cashflow going even when times are tough. A suite of business management tools to make it easier to control your business cash flow. For instance, you’ll get access to paperless expense management reports that are delivered quarterly and annually.

All this sounds great, but is it worth the $499 annual fee? Absolutely! When you factor in the points-earning potential, a suite of insurance, business tools, and airline lounge membership, it’s a steal. Plus, if you use this card solely for business your fee may be tax-deductible, giving you all these perks without the price tag.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $499 (which may be tax-deductible)
  • Income Eligibility: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: N/A
  • Welcome Offer: Up to 35,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points in the first year
  • Additional Benefits: Incredible array of travel benefits, such as insurance, airport lounge access and rental car and hotel perks
  • Interest on Purchases: As a charge card there is a 30% annual interest rate for balances not paid in full and no cash advances

Learn more about the Business Platinum Card® from American Express.


The American Express Business Edge™ Card: Best for Business Expenses

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While the Business Platinum Card® from American Express certainly has allure, if you don’t travel much for work or pleasure, it may not be your bag. But there is another option: the American Express Business Edge™ Card.

This card has a more affordable annual fee of $99, yet still manages to pack in the perks. For one, the points-earning potential is impressive: add the welcome bonus of up to 42,000 points (worth up to $420) with the earn rate 3X the points per $1 for card purchases in a broad array of categories (eats & drinks, rides & gas, and office supplies & electronics, up to a max of 75,000 points), you get serious points-earning potential. In your first year, that would total up to $1,170. After that, you’ll earn 1 point per $1 on all other card purchases.

Points can be redeemed for things you need to keep your business afloat or use your card to pay off your monthly bills. On top of that, each billing period that you spend $3,000 on your card you’ll get 1,000 Membership Rewards points, up to 12,000 extra points a year, which goes a long way to redeeming that next reward.

Other benefits include rental car insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty, free supplementary cards with comprehensive employee card misuse protection, as well as a suite of free business management tools.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $99
  • Income Eligibility: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: N/A
  • Welcome Offer: Up to 42,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points in the first year
  • Additional Benefits: Rewards on all spending, rental car insurance, free employee cards
  • Interest on Purchases: 19.99% | Interest on Cash Advances: 21.99%

Learn more about the American Express Business Edge™ Card.


American Express® Gold Rewards Card: Best for Aeroplan Collectors

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If you’re an avid Aeroplan collector, put the American Express® Gold Rewards Card in your pocket. With this card, you’ll earn Membership Rewards points that can be used for flights, hotels, gift cards, merchandise, or even a statement credit. But you can also transfer your points to Aeroplan points at a rate of 1:1. Given the recent changes to the Aeroplan program, this could be quite lucrative indeed.

You’ll start off earning points with a bang. Get 25,00 Membership Rewards points (valued at approx. $250) in the first three months if you spend $1,500 on your card. After that, you’ll earn 2 points per $1 on eligible travel, grocery, gas, and drugstores purchases. Beyond those big points earners, you’ll get 1 point per $1 on everything else.

The card also includes travel insurance, shopping coverage, and access to exclusive hotel and event perks.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $150
  • Income Eligibility: N/A
  • Credit Score Requirement: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Offer: 25,000 Membership Rewards Points when you spend $1,500 in purchases within the first 3 months
  • Additional Perks: Auto rental and travel insurance coverage, hotel credits, and AMEX Front of the Line® perks
  • Purchase APR: 30%

Learn more about the American Express® Gold Rewards Card


The American Express® Aeroplan®* Card: Best for Aeroplan Collectors

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If you’re looking for an American Express card that earns you excellent travel rewards, consider the American Express® Aeroplan®* Card. The advantage of this charge card is that you rack up Aeroplan points with every purchase, and you get travel perks simply for being a cardholder, such as a free checked bag (for yourself and up to eight companions), and a suite of useful travel insurance.

First, let’s talk about the earn rate. If you book travel on your card through Air Canada® and Air Canada Vacations®, you get 2X the points. You get 1.5X the points for eligible dining and food delivery card purchases and 1X the points on everything else. If you’re strategic about where you shop, you can get even double the points by shopping with Aeroplan Partners or in the Aeroplan eStore.

All these points go to earning you travel rewards through the new overhauled Aeroplan system. You get a big head start on earning those rewards with a welcome bonus of up to 15,000 points. To get the bonus, spend $1,500 on your card in the first three months and you’ll be awarded 9,000 points and a bonus Buddy Pass, then spend $500 each month for the first six months and you’ll be awarded the remaining 6,000 points.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $120
  • Minimum Income Eligibility Requirement: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Offer: Up to 15,000 points plus a bonus Buddy Pass (for an eligible round-trip flight in North America).
  • Additional Benefits: Comprehensive insurance, Air Canada travel benefits, access to exclusive American Express benefits
  • Interest on Purchases: 30%| Interest on Cash Advances: 30%

Learn more about the American Express® Aeroplan®* Card


American Express® AIR MILES® Platinum Credit Card: Best for AIR MILES® Collectors

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If you are AIR MILES-obsessed, the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card will attract your attention. This card’s welcome offer essentially gives you a free domestic flight with 2,000 AIR MILES®* Bonus Miles when you spend $1,500 on your card within your first three months. For everyday spending, you’ll get 1 Mile per $5 in card purchases (up to $30,000 annually) on eligible food, drinks, gas and transit in Canada, and 1 Mile for every $10 in card purchases for everything else.

A big perk of the card is the annual redemption benefit. Once a year, you can use your Dream Miles to book a single flight or package vacation through airmiles.ca or vacations.airmiles.ca and you’ll get Bonus Miles equivalent to 25% of the number of Miles you used. The only downside with this card is that it doesn’t come with emergency travel medical insurance, so if you need that, consider pairing it with a credit card with travel insurance.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $120
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Bonus: Up to 2,000 AIR MILES Bonus Miles
  • Additional Perks: Travel accident insurance, car rental insurance, purchase protection, and buyer’s assurance protection
  • Purchase APR: 20.99% | Cash Advance APR: 22.99%

Learn more about the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card.


Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card: Best for Luxury Hotel Rewards

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Frequent business travellers know how quickly hotel stays can add up. You could skimp on comfort, or you could go with a credit card that gives you great hotel perks. The Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card gets you a free stay right off the bat, with a welcome bonus of 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, which covers three nights at a Category 2 hotel. From there, you’ll rack up points at a rate of 5 points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties and 2 points per $1 on all other card purchases.

Use those points for free hotel stays at one of the more than 7,000+ Marriott Bonvoy properties worldwide, with absolutely no blackout dates. Plus, you’ll get one free night every year after your cardholder anniversary. If flight rewards are more enticing, you can transfer your points to a frequent flyer program and gain a 15,000 point bonus if you transfer more than 60,000 points.

This card also comes with insurance coverage, including travel emergency assistance, travel accident insurance, car rental theft and damage insurance, flight delay insurance, baggage loss and delay insurance, and hotel theft insurance. Another bonus? You’ll receive an automatic upgrade to Marriott Bonvoy™ Gold Elite status when you reach $30,000 in purchases charged to the Card each year.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $120
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Offer: 50,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 in 3 months
  • Other Perks: Automatic upgrade to Marriott Bonvoy™ Silver Elite Status, annual free night, insurance coverage
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 21.99%

Learn more about the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card


American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card: Best For Travel Perks

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If you’re a frequent flyer, signing up for the American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card could really pay off in the form of perks, points, and flight rewards. It’s similar to the American Express® Aeroplan®* Card, but with a higher annual fee and an accelerated earn rate. This card gives you 3X the points on Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations card purchases, 2X points per dollar on eligible dining and food delivery card purchases, and 1X the points on everything else.

Benefits include that free first checked bag for yourself and up to eight companions and Air Canada Priority Airport Services such as priority check-in, boarding, and baggage handling. You’ll get a host of special perks at Pearson International Airport, such as complimentary valet service, plus comprehensive travel insurance, and access to Air Canada Maple Leaf LoungesTM. Not to mention the Annual Worldwide Companion pass that’s awarded when you spend more than $25k on your card within a year.

The welcome bonus could be as much as 65,000 points plus a $100 statement credit, which would cover the cost of a flight to a number of destinations. All you have to do is spend $3,000 on your card in the first 3 months (35,000 points plus statement credit), and then $1,000 on your card in the first six months (5,000 points per month) to earn the bonus in full.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $599
  • Minimum Income Eligibility Requirement: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: N/A
  • Welcome Offer: Earn up to 65,000 Aeroplan points and a $100 Statement Credit
  • Additional Benefits: Comprehensive insurance, access to select Air Canada lounges and Priority Airport services, Annual Worldwide Companion Pass, access to exclusive American Express benefits
  • Interest on Purchases: 19.99%| Interest on Cash Advances: 21.99%

Learn more about the American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card


The Platinum Card®: Best For Frequent Travellers

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For a premium, plenty of travel perks American Express, there’s The Platinum Card®. At first glance, the hefty annual fee of $699 may be a deterrent for some, but if you can look closer at this card, you’ll see that it has a lot of value. For starters, it comes with a generous welcome bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards® points: you receive 25,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months of cardmembership. That’s enough to redeem for a $250 statement credit towards eligible travel purchases charged to the card!

Bonus aside, cardholders earn:

  • 3 points for every $1 in card purchases on eligible dining in Canada
  • 2 points for every $1 in card purchases on eligible travel
  • 1 point for every $1 in all other card purchases
  • 1 additional point for every $1 you charge to your Platinum Card® on eligible hotel or car rental bookings made with American Express Travel

Points can be redeemed for travel or merchandise, and travel options include using the fixed point schedule or transferring your points to other eligible loyalty programs. Additional perks with this credit card include; comprehensive travel insurance, complimentary lounge access, and more.  You’ll also get a $200 Annual Travel Credit that can be used towards any single travel booking of $200 or more charged to your card through American Express Travel Online or through the Platinum Card® Travel Service.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $699
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Offer: 25,000 Membership Rewards® points
  • Additional Perks: Complimentary lounge access, $200 annual travel credit, and travel insurance
  • Purchase APR: 30.00% | Cash Advance APR: N/A

Learn more about the The Platinum Card®.

Comparing the Best American Express Cards in Canada 2021

Credit Card

Welcome OfferAnnual Fee

More Info

The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card®

25,000 Scotia Rewards points after $1,000 in everyday purchases in first 3 months†$120Visit Site
American Express Cobalt™ Card

Up to 45,000 points $120 ($10/month)Visit Site
SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express

10% cashback for 4 months$99Visit Site
Scotiabank American Express

5,000 Scotia Rewards points after $500 spend$0Visit Site
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express35,000 Welcome Bonus points$499 (which may be tax deductible)Visit Site
The American Express Business Edge™ CardUp to 42,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points in first year$99Visit Site
The American Express® Aeroplan®* CardUp to 15,000 Aeroplan points and a bonus Buddy Pass$120Visit Site
American Express® AIR MILES® Platinum Credit CardUp to 2,000 AIR MILES Bonus Miles$120Visit Site
American Express® Gold Rewards Card25,000 Membership Rewards Points$150Visit Site
Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points$120Visit Site
The American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve CardUp to 65,000 Aeroplan points and a $100 statement credit$120Visit Site
The Platinum Card®25,000 Membership Rewards® points$699Visit Site

What is the Best AMEX Card in Canada?

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Based on our research, the SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express is the best AMEX card in Canada. Other American Express cards offer great rewards and perks, but when it comes down to it, cash is king. For the first 4 months of card membership, you get 10% cash back on purchases (up to $400 in total cash back). After the promo expires, you earn 2% cash back on all purchases – which certainly rivals the rates offered by many of best cash back credit cards in Canada. Plus, there’s no limit to how much cash back you can earn. The annual fee of $99 is also affordable and completely justified, given that this card comes with travel insurance, shopping coverage (including purchase protection), and exclusive access to American Express Invites®. All things considered, the SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express is our top pick for the best AMEX card in Canada.

The Last Word

There are some great options when it comes to American Express cards in Canada. From travel cards to cash back cards, our top picks for the best American Express cards in Canada have some amazing perks and benefits. However, if these cards don’t work for you and your needs then take a look at best Visa credit cards in Canada and our recommendations for the best credit cards in Canada for 2021. You’re bound to find something that suits your needs.

This post was not sponsored. The views and opinions expressed in this review are purely my own.

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