Whether you are looking for a cash back card, a travel card, or a card that allows you to collect points quickly, American Express has an option for you. But how do you find an American Express card that suits your needs? Start with our list of the best American Express credit cards in Canada for 2020.
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 for 2020.

Overview of the Best American Express Cards in Canada 2020

Credit Card

Welcome OfferAnnual Fee

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Scotiabank Gold American Express Card®20,000 Scotia Rewards points after $1,000 spend

$120

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American Express CobaltTM Card 30,000 points  

$120 ($10/month)

 

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SimplyCash Preferred™ Card from American Express5% cashback for 6 months 

$99

 

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Scotiabank American Express® Card5,000 Scotia Rewards points after $500 spend

$0

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American Express®* AeroplanPlus TM Gold Card15,000 Aeroplan Miles after $1,500 spend

$120

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The Platinum Card® Up to 60,000 Membership Rewards® points

$699

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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 20,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points when spending $1,000 within the 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: 20,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points when you spend $1,000 within the 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. That’s an extra 30,000 points for the 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 30,000 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: 22.99%
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 5% cash back on purchases for the first 6 months of card membership (up to $300 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: 5% cash back on purchases for the first 6 months (up to $300 in cash back)
  • Additional Perks: Travel insurance, shopping coverage, exclusive entertainment access
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 22.99%

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.


American Express®* AeroplanPlus™ Gold Card: Best For Aeroplan Collectors

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Are you an avid Aeroplan collector? Then you should consider adding the American Express®* AeroplanPlus™ Gold Card to your wallet. It’s definitely one of the best Aeroplan credit cards in Canada: cardholders earn 1 Aeroplan Mile per $1 in card purchases up to $10,000, and 1.25 Aeroplan Miles for every additional $1 in card purchases over $10,000 annually. Want to collect Aeroplan Miles even faster? You also get two free supplementary cards (a $100 value) to help accelerate earning opportunities, and Aeroplan Miles double when you pay with the credit card and present your Aeroplan number at over 150 Aeroplan Partner brands. To sweeten the pot, new cardholders also earn 15,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles when they spend $1,500 within the first 3 months. The American Express®* AeroplanPlus™ Gold card also includes a few perks and benefits including travel insurance, shopping coverage, and exclusive entertainment access.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $120
  • Minimum Income Eligibility: N/A
  • Credit Score Required: Good to Excellent
  • Welcome Offer: 15,000 Aeroplan Miles when you spend $1,500 within the first 3 months
  • Additional Perks: Travel insurance, shopping coverage, exclusive entertainment access
  • Purchase APR: 30.00% | Cash Advance APR: N/A

Learn more about the American Express®* AeroplanPlus™ Gold 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 up to 60,000 Membership Rewards® points: you receive 50,000 points after spending $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months, and then an additional 10,000 points after six months of card membership. That’s enough to redeem for a $600 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: Up to 60,000 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®.

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 6 months of card membership, you get 5% cash back on purchases (up to $300 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 2020. 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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