American Express Business EdgeTM Card Review
The American Express Business EdgeTM Card is a rewards credit card for business owners. It has a $99 annual fee, but like most Amex cards it offers a luxurious suite of perks and bonuses that, from my perspective as a small business owner, are more than worth it.
If you’ve taken the risk of running your own business, you deserve to reap some rewards.
Sign up for the card now and you’ll earn 45,000 American Express Membership Rewards® points when you charge $5,000 in purchases to your American Express Business EdgeTM Card in the first three months of Cardmembership.
The $5,000 minimum works out to about $1,700 per month. That threshold is particularly easy to meet if you’re just getting your business started, i.e. purchasing the necessary electronics, office supplies, and more to get your business up and running. If you’re already an established business, now is a great time to earn rewards on your regular bills and expenses.
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The card earns 1 reward point for every $1 you charge to it. You can earn 3 points per $1 charged for purchases in the following categories:
- Eats & drinks—includes restaurants, fast food, coffee shops, drinking establishments, and food delivery
- Rides & gas—includes public transportation like buses and subway, as well as taxi, limousines, rideshare, and gas stations
- Office supplies and electronics. Note that only “retailers whose primary business is the sale of electronics in Canada/ the sale of office supplies in Canada” qualify under this category. That means Staples is a good bet for earning 3x points; Walmart is not.
You’ll earn points on those eligible purchases at a rate of 3x until you reach the maximum of 75,000 rewards points. After that, any additional purchases in these categories will accrue points at the regular rate of 1 point per dollar spent.
It’s important to note that you’ll also earn an extra 1,000 bonus points for every month you charge $3,000 or more to the card, yielding up to 12,000 extra bonus points every year for those who maximize this feature. When you add this to your Welcome Bonus, you can earn a total of 57,000 bonus points from your American Express Business EdgeTM Card in the first year – that’s $570 in statement credits you can reinvest into your business.
Redeeming American Express Membership Rewards®
There are a number of ways you can use your Amex points to advance your business and treat yourself, including:
- Book flights within Canada or anywhere in the world using a fixed number of points
- Redeem points for statement credits to offset eligible purchases charged to your chard
- Use points to pay for your Amazon.ca purchases at checkout
- Use points for a wide range of gift cards and merchandise
Redeeming your reward points with American Express is relatively easy. The points you earn should appear in your account after your monthly statement closes, at which time you can elect how to use them. Membership Rewards® allows you to offset business expenses by covering the cost of purchases made on your Card, in full or in part. You can redeem points for statement credits and to book flights, hotels, and car rentals. Redeem points for flight purchases on AirCanada.com and even transfer to frequent flier and hotel programs. Merchandise or gift cards can be purchased by logging into membershiprewards.ca or by calling the number on the back of your card.
Special Business Features
In addition to earning rewards points, the American Express Business EdgeTM Card comes with some business-friendly features to give you peace of mind and help your business grow.
Employee Card Misuse Protection
Created specifically for business owners, you’re protected with coverage of up to $100,000 per Basic Cardmember in the event an employee misuses their supplementary card for unauthorized charges. You’ll be covered for any unauthorized spending the employee put on the card as long as you terminate the employee and request to cancel the employee’s card within two days of termination.
Purchase Protection Plan
Your purchases with the card are insured for 90 days from the date of purchase in the event of accidental physical damage or theft up to $1,000 per occurrence.
Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan
You’ll enjoy up to one year of additional warranty on top of the manufacturer’s original warranty period for purchases charged to your American Express Business EdgeTM Card. This can be a big benefit to business owners for critical purchases like electronics, which typically only have a one-year warranty.
Car Rental Theft & Damage Insurance
You’re covered for the theft, loss, or damage of a rental car with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) up to $85,000 for car rentals that are 48 days or less. This protection lets you decline insurance offered by the car rental company, saving you money.
To get the American Express Business EdgeTM Card you’ll need to meet the following criteria:
- You are a Canadian resident
- You have a Canadian credit history
- You are the age of majority in the province in which you live
Overall Card Strengths
The American Express Business EdgeTM Card is an attractive offer for new and established business owners alike. Here are the most appealing aspects of the card:
- Generous bonus structure. You can receive up to 52,000 bonus points in your first year with the welcome bonus + monthly spending bonus
- Extra rewards points on high spending categories. Most businesses invest substantially in electronics, office supplies, dining out (meetings), and transport. These categories earn 3x the rewards points, tailoring the card to businesses.
- Option to carry a balance. Unlike most American Express cards, the American Express Business EdgeTM Card is a credit card, not a charge This means cardholders can elect to carry a balance from month to month without a big interest rate hike.
- Low annual fee. At only $99/year and no cost for supplementary cards, the American Express Business EdgeTM Card is an affordable charge card for your business relative to its high-value features and rewards structure.
Overall Card Weaknesses
- Limited acceptance rate. American Express is accepted at many, but not all Canadian retailers. That’s why we always recommend that Amex cardholders have at least one Visa or Mastercard as a backup.
- Spending stipulations. Cardholders need to be mindful of which stores qualify for the card’s higher-earning categories (eats and drinks; rides and gas; office supplies and electronics) and which do not. For instance, making an electronics purchase at Costco will yield only 1 point per $1 spent; making the same purchase at Best Buy will yield 3 points per $1 spent.
Are There Better Business Credit Cards?
If the American Express Business EdgeTM Card isn’t quite hitting the right notes for you, there are two competitors with comparable annual fees to consider: the BMO Rewards Business Mastercard and the Scotia Momentum for Business Visa Card. Here’s how they compare:
|American Express Business EdgeTM Card||BMO Business Rewards Mastercard||Marriott BonvoyTM Business American Express® Card|
|Single Point Value||$0.01 when redeemed for travel/0.007 for statement credit||$0.007||Varies|
|Sign-Up Bonus Points||Earn up to 57,000 Membership Rewards® bonus points in your first year of Cardmembership; Earn 45,000 Welcome Bonus points when you charge $5,000 in purchases to your Card in your first three months of Cardmembership||35,000 points if you spend $5,000 in first 90 days; first year’s annual fee waived||Earn a Welcome Bonus of 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points after you charge $1,500 in purchases to your Card in your first three months of Cardmembership. Terms and conditions apply.|
|Accelerated Rewards Rate||3 points/$1 on eats & drinks, transportation, office supplies and electronics||3 points/$1 for gas, office supplies, telephone & internet bills||5 points/$1 at Marriott Bonvoy hotels; 3 p/$1 on eligible gas, dining, and travel purchases|
|Regular Rewards Rate||1 point/$1 on all other purchases||1.5 points/$1 on all other purchases||2 points/$1 on all other purchases|
|Monthly Bonus||1,000 points if you spend $3,000+||N/A||N/A|
|Regular Purchase Interest Rate||19.99%||14.99%||19.99%|
Though its sign-up bonus is slightly less impressive than the bonus offered by the BMO Business Rewards Mastercard, the American Express Business EdgeTM Card really stands out because of its monthly bonus feature, which is very atypical among Canadian credit cards. That said, the BMO Business Rewards Mastercard is a good option for those that might need to carry a balance from month to month, as its APR is low. Plus it has the aforementioned advantage of being a Mastercard, so its merchant acceptance rate will be higher.
Small business owners that spend significantly on travel accommodation should consider the Marriott BonvoyTM Business American Express® Card, because its sign-up bonus is enough for multiple free nights at a Marriott network hotel, and its regular earn rate is very high as well.
Who Should Get This Card?
The American Express Business EdgeTM Card is a great choice for a new business owner trying to get their company started, or an established entrepreneur that wants to get rewarded for everyday business purchases. The flexibility of rewards redemptions, purchase assurances and extended warranties, as well as ease of earning bonus points make this one of the best business cards in Canada.
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