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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
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

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 up to Earn up to 50,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year (that’s up to $500 towards travel) and no annual fee in the first year, including supplementary cards. Plus, get a 0.00% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months (1% transfer fee applies).

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 (First year free)
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: Minimum of $12,000 annual income
  • Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Bonus: Earn up to 50,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year (that’s up to $500 towards travel) and no annual fee in the first year, including supplementary cards. Plus, get a 0.00% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months (1% transfer fee applies).
  • 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 3 points on streaming services, 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, you can earn a Welcome Bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend a total of $3,000 in purchases on your Card in your first 3 months of Cardmembership That adds up to an earning of up to 50,000 points. 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: $155.88 ($12.99 monthly fee)
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: Fair to Good
  • Welcome Bonus: Earn up to 50,000 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: 20.99% | 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.


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 75,000 Membership Rewards points (worth up to $750) 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 18,750 points – valued at up to $187.50. 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 75,000 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: N/A

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 45,000 points (you must have at least $5,000 in net purchases posted to your account in your first 3 months of Card Membership, worth up to $450) 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 $1,200. 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 when you total it up with the welcome bonus is 57,000 points in the first year.

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 57,000 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.


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. New Cardmembers get a big head start on earning those rewards with a welcome bonus of up to 40,000 Welcome Bonus Aeroplan®* points. How it works: Earn 10,000 Aeroplan points and a bonus Buddy Pass for an eligible round-trip flight within North America after spending $1,500 in purchases within the first three months of Cardmembership. Plus, you can also earn 2,500 Aeroplan points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in purchases on your Card for the first twelve months of Cardmembership. That could add up to 30,000 Aeroplan points

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $120
  • Minimum Income Eligibility Requirement: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Offer: Earn up to 40,000 Welcome Bonus Aeroplan®* points plus a bonus Buddy Pass (conditions apply)
  • Additional Benefits: Comprehensive insurance, Air Canada travel benefits, access to exclusive American Express benefits
  • Interest on Purchases: N/A | Interest on Cash Advances: N/A

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: 21.99%

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


Comparing the Best American Express Cards in Canada 2021

Credit Card

Welcome OfferAnnual Fee

More Info

The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card®

Earn up to 50,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year (that’s up to $500 towards travel)$120Visit Site
American Express Cobalt® Card

Up to 50,000 points $155.88 ($12.99 monthly fee)Visit Site
SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express

10% cashback for 4 months$99Visit Site
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express75,000 Welcome Bonus points$499 (which may be tax deductible)Visit Site
The American Express Business Edge™ CardUp to 57,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points in first year$99Visit Site
The American Express® Aeroplan®* CardUp to 40,000 Welcome Bonus Aeroplan®* points$120Visit Site
American Express® AIR MILES® Platinum Credit CardUp to 2,000 AIR MILES Bonus Miles$120Visit 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. 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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