Best American Express Cards in Canada

Best American Express Credit Cards in Canada in 2022

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Last updated on November 8, 2022 Comments: 4

With over 20 credit cards in the Canadian market, American Express now has a firm foothold in our country and provides residents with access to competitive rewards programs and lucrative card features. After some high-profile struggles in recent years, the credit card network has reinvigorated its offerings with an emphasis on payment technology, now supporting both Apple Pay and Android Pay. It’s also made its products accessible to a wider range of consumers: minimum income requirements have been reduced, and Amex now offers low-fee and low-interest cards in addition to the lux cashback and rewards cards that it has historically been known for.

The higher interchange fees that Amex charges have historically resulted in Amex cards being declined by some merchants, but they are now more widely accepted in Canada than you might expect. Nonetheless we recommend that Canadians supplement one of the below cards with a card from Visa or Mastercard to ensure that all their bases are covered.

Best American Express Credit Card by Category

CardBest ForWelcome BonusAnnual FeeCard Review
SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American ExpressCash BackIn 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. Terms and conditions apply.$9.99/month
(Equals a total fee of $119.88 annually)
Read More
Scotiabank Gold American Express® cardTravel RewardsEarn up to $850* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 45,000 bonus Scene+ points and first year annual fee waived.¹ Offer ends April 30, 2023.$120Read More
Scotiabank American Express® Card
No Annual Fee Rewards CardEarn up to 12,000 bonus Scene+™ points in your first year (that's up to $120 towards travel).¹ Offer ends April, 30 2023$0Read More
SimplyCash® Card from American ExpressNo Annual Fee Cash Back CardIn your first 10 months as a new SimplyCash® Card from American Express Cardmember, you can earn a $10 statement credit for each monthly billing period in which you spend $300 in purchases on your Card. This could add up to $100 in statement credits in the first 10 months. Terms and conditions apply.$0Read More

American Express Cobalt® Card
Lifestyle RewardsUp to 30,000 Membership Rewards® points in the first year (conditions apply)$155.88 ($12.99 monthly fee)
Read More
The Platinum Card®Premium Travel
Up to 80,000 Membership Rewards® points (terms apply)
$699Read More
American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit CardAIR MILES2000 pts with $1,500 spend$120Read More
American Express® Business EdgeTM CardBusinessUp to 67,000 Membership Rewards® points in the first year (conditions apply)$99Read More

Best Cash Back Amex

SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express

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Few credit card benefits are as simple and transparent as cash back, and Amex has a contender for the top cash back card in Canada with its SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express. New cardholders will appreciate the Welcome Offer. 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. Terms and conditions apply. As a secondary bonus, each approved friend that you refer to Amex grants you another $100 in direct cash back, up to a maximum of $1,500 cash back annually.

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. The card’s  annual fee is worthwhile looking at these earn rates. Moreover, it wouldn’t be an Amex without a suite of great travel protections like emergency medical and travel accident insurance, or the inclusion access to events and special offers curated for Cardmembers with American Express® Experiences.

Main Features

  • Annual Fee: $9.99/month(Equals a total fee of $119.88 annually)
  • Welcome Bonus: 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. Terms and conditions apply.
  • Earn Rate: 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.
  • Special Feature: $100 bonus per referred friend, up to $1500 annually

You can learn more about the card by reading our complete SimplyCash® Preferred Card from American Express Review.

Best Travel Rewards Amex

Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card

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American Express is generally one of the best credit card processors for travellers, and the most globetrotter-friendly card they offer might be the Scotiabank Gold American Express® card. It helps cardholders earn points quickly on their most common expenses, and then enjoy them on future adventures. You’ll receive 6X Scene+ points for every $1 CAD spend at eligible grocers like Sobey, Safeway, and more eligible grocers¹, 5X for every $1 CAD spent on other eligible groceries, dining, and entertainment; 3X Scene+ points for every $1 CAD you spend at eligible gas stations, on daily transit, and on streaming services; then 1 point per $1 on everything else. The points can be spent with superior flexibility.

Earn up to 40,000 bonus Scene+™ points in your first year (that’s up to $400 towards travel) and first year annual fee waived: Earn 20,000 bonus Scene+™ points by making at least $1,000 in everyday eligible purchases in your first 3 months. Plus, for a limited time, you are eligible to earn up to $850* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 45,000 bonus Scene+ points and first year annual fee waived.¹ Offer ends April 30, 2023.

There are few other Canadian credit cards that offer the same level of travel benefits for this price point—$120 per year—as the card includes access to airport lounges worldwide, and a solid travel insurance package. If you don’t want to bend to the stricter limitations on point redemption and travel choices that define other cards, you should give the Scotiabank Gold American Express® card a close look.

Main Features

  • Annual Fee: $120
  • Sign-Up Bonus: Earn up to $850* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 45,000 bonus Scene+ points and first year annual fee waived.¹ Offer ends April 30, 2023.
  • Enhanced Earn Rates: Earn 6X Scene+™ points on every $1 CAD you spend in Canada at Sobeys, Safeway, FreshCo, Foodland, and more eligible grocers.¹ Earn 5X the Scene+™ points for every $1 CAD spent on other eligible grocery stores, restaurants, fast food, and drinking establishments (including food delivery and food subscription services), as well as on eligible entertainment purchases (movies, theatre, and ticket agencies). Plus, you’ll get 3X the Scene+™ points for every $1 CAD spent on eligible gas, daily transit, and eligible select streaming purchases, and 1X point per $1 spent on every other purchase.
  • Regular Earn Rate: 1X point per $1 spent on every other purchase
  • Special Feature: No foreign transaction fees

You can learn more about the card by reading our complete Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card Review.

¹ Conditions Apply. Visit here for the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card to learn more.

Best No Annual Fee Rewards Amex

Scotiabank American Express® Card

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Though Amex offers amazing rewards and cash back levels via a variety of cards, the most lucrative typically come with annual fees of around $100 or more. Our best no annual fee card for Amex is the Scotiabank American Express® card. Although it’s a no annual fee card, it nonetheless offers an introductory bonus of up to 12,000 bonus Scene+™ points in your first year (that’s up to $120 towards travel).¹ Offer ends April 30, 2023.

Cardholders can accrue points via their natural spending inclinations and use them later to save on trips.

  • Earn 3X Scene+ points for each dollar 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-O.
  • Earn 2X 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 2X Scene+ points for every $1 CAD spent on eligible entertainment, including movies, theatres and ticket agencies
  • Earn 2X Scene+ points for every $1 CAD spent on eligible gas and daily transit. Includes rideshare, buses, taxis, subway, and more
  • Earn 2X Scene+ points for every $1 CAD spent on eligible select streaming services
  • Earn 1X Scene+ point for every $1 spent on every other purchase

Like other Amex travel cards, points are redeemable via retroactive statement credits—just make a purchase with the card and pay for it with points later. You can also spend them on merchandise and other special offers.

Main Features

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Sign-Up Bonus: Earn up to 12,000 bonus Scene+™ points in your first year (that’s up to $120 towards travel).¹ Offer ends April 30, 2023.
  • Base Earn Rate: 1X Scene+ point per $1 spent on eligible purchases with accelerated earn rate on select eligible purchases¹
  • Special Feature: Mobile device insurance

You can learn more about the card by reading our complete Scotiabank American Express® card review.

¹ Conditions Apply. Visit here for the Scotiabank American Express® Card to learn more.

Best No Annual Fee Cash Back Amex

SimplyCash® Card from American Express

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The card earns rates of: Earn 2% cash back on eligible gas purchases in Canada, 2% cash back on eligible grocery purchases in Canada (up to $300 cash back annually), and 1.25% cash back on all other eligible purchases. Referring a friend earns the cardholder $50 per approval, up to a maximum of $750 annually.

In your first 10 months as a new SimplyCash® Card from American Express Cardmember, you can earn a $10 statement credit for each monthly billing period in which you spend $300 in purchases on your Card. This could add up to $100 in statement credits in the first 10 months. Terms and conditions apply.

There is a nice variety of additional perks that make the SimplyCash® Card from American Express more valuable, like the inclusion of automatic coverage for rental cars, travel accidents, new purchases, and more. As a part of the American Express family, the card also includes access events and special offers curated for Cardmembers with American Express® Experiences. In other words, it lends a helping hand to those who are struggling financially, but will also grant them access to perks normally enjoyed by higher-tier cards—and all without an annual fee.

Main Features

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Welcome Bonus: In your first 10 months as a new SimplyCash® Card from American Express Cardmember, you can earn a $10 statement credit for each monthly billing period in which you spend $300 in purchases on your Card. This could add up to $100 in statement credits in the first 10 months. Terms and conditions apply.
  • Earn Rates: Earn 2% cash back on eligible gas purchases in Canada, 2% cash back on eligible grocery purchases in Canada (up to $300 cash back annually), and 1.25% cash back on all other eligible purchases.

You can learn more about the card by reading our complete SimplyCash® Card from American Express review.

Best Lifestyle Rewards Amex

American Express Cobalt® Card

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Love great food? Don’t dine out without the Amex Cobalt® Card. The American Express Cobalt® Card accrues a massive 5 points per $1 spent at restaurants, coffee shops, bars, stand-alone grocery stores, and on food delivery services (max $30K in annual spend in these categories); 3 points per $1 spent on eligible streaming services; 2 points per $1 spent at stand-alone gas stations, on travel, and local transit; and 1 point per $1 on everything else. Each point is worth about $0.01, and they’re redeemable for travel, gift cards, Amazon, and for general statement credits.

Cardholders can also take advantage of a very lucrative introductory deal, which runs for the first year of card membership and pays out consecutive bonuses for reaching spending goals. You can earn 2,500 points for each month that you spend $500 or more on the card in the first year, for as much as 30,000 points in total. That’s up to $300 towards a weekend getaway or concert tickets. Terms and conditions apply.

The card costs a relatively low $155.88 ($12.99 monthly fee) annual fee, which can be more than covered in rewards points by those high-octane urbanites that dine out regularly.

Main Features

  • Annual Fee: $155.88 ($12.99 monthly fee)
  • Welcome Bonus: Up to 30,000 Membership Rewards® points in the first year (conditions apply)
  • Enhanced Earn Rates: 5 points per $1 spent at restaurants, coffee shops and bars, stand-alone grocery stores, and food delivery services; 3 points per $1 spent on eligible streaming services; 2 points per $1 spent at stand-alone gas stations, on travel, and local transit
  • Regular Earn Rate: 1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
  • Special Feature: 5,000 bonus points for referring friends to the card, up to a maximum annual referral bonus of 75,000 points

You can learn more about the card by reading our complete American Express Cobalt® Card review.

Best Premium American Express Card

The Platinum Card®

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The Platinum Card® is primarily intended for those who travel and spend enough to justify its $699 annual fee, which is obviously quite pricey, but worthwhile considering what the card gives back in return.

Earn up to 80,000 Membership Rewards® points – that’s up to $800 towards a weekend away. New Platinum® Cardmembers, earn 60,000 Welcome Bonus points after you charge $6,000 in net purchases to your Card in your first 3 months of Cardmembership. Plus, earn 20,000 points when you make a purchase between 14 and 17 months of Cardmembership. Conditions apply.

Sign-up bonus aside, many other elite travel features and upper echelon benefits are included with The Platinum Card®. Cardholders will have access to a $200 CAD Annual Travel Credit to use on one-time travel or hotel bookings through American Express Travel, plus complimentary entry into hundreds of airport lounges around the world—an exclusive membership worth around $400+ USD.

Amex’s standard earn rate for earning Membership Rewards® points applies to all spending at 1 point per $1 spent, accelerated to 2 points per $1 spent on eligible travel, and 3 points per $1 spent on eligible dining and food delivery in Canada. Points are redeemable on travel, hotels, merchandise, and statement credits.

Main Features

  • Annual Fee: $699
  • Welcome Bonus: Up to 80,000 Membership Rewards® points (terms apply)
  • Earn Rates: Earn 3 points for every $1 in Card purchases on eligible dining and food delivery in Canada, 2 points for every $1 in Card purchases on eligible travel, and 1 point for every $1 in all other Card purchases
  • Special Feature: Unlimited free access to lounges in the American Express lounge network; annual $200 CAD travel credit

You can learn more about the card by reading our complete The Platinum Card® review.

Best AIR MILES Amex

American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card

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The most notable feature of the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card is its best-in-Canada maximum earn rate, garnering a Mile for every $5 spent at eligible restaurants, coffee shops, bars, grocery stores, food delivery services, gas stations and public transit in Canada. The key caveat is that to qualify for this rate all these aforementioned merchants, aside from local transit, must be stand-alone establishments—no chains. Nonetheless purchases at merchants with more than one branch will still earn a Mile per $10 spent, which is competitive with other AIR MILES credit cards.

The card’s other standout feature is that once per year when a cardholder uses Dream Miles to book a flight or package vacation through airmiles.ca or vacations.airmiles.ca, they’ll earn bonus AIR MILES equivalent to 25% of the Dream Miles they used to book the trip.

Main Features

  • Annual Fee: $120
  • Welcome Bonus: 2000 AIR MILES after charging $1500 in eligible purchases to the card in the first 3 months
  • Enhanced Earn Rate: 1 Mile per $5 spent on eligible food, drinks, gas and transit in Canada
  • Regular Earn Rate: 1 Mile per $10 spent on all other eligible card purchases
  • Special Feature: Earn 25% Bonus AIR MILES on one Dream Miles redemption annually

You can learn more about the card by reading our complete American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card review.

Best Business Amex

American Express® Business EdgeTM Card

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Business owners commonly rack up expenses in gas and transit, office supplies, and of course food and drink (for themselves and employees). The American Express® Business EdgeTM Card is a great way to earn back on these purchases, earning Membership Rewards® points at a steady 3X the points per $1 rate in the categories above after the Welcome Offer ends, and 1X point per $1 elsewhere. Caps and other conditions may apply. These accumulated points can then be converted into statement credits and to book flights, hotels, and car rentals. You can redeem points for flight purchases on AirCanada.com and even transfer to frequent flier and hotel programs, including one-to-one to Aeroplan®* and Avios.

Other great features of the card are its bonuses: a one-time, 45,000-point signup bonus for spending $5,000 in your first three months; 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 points; and another ongoing bonus of 1,000 points for each month in which your spending reaches at least $3,000. These add up to a potential 67,000 bonus points in your first year and then 12,000 bonus points each year after that. That’s $670 in statement credits in your first year that you can reinvest into your business. Terms and conditions apply. The card’s annual fee is a reasonable $99, made more worthwhile by the inclusion of other features, like Car Rental Theft & Damage Insurance, Employee Card Misuse Protection, the Purchase Protection® Plan, and Buyer’s Assurance® Protection Plan. The Buyer’s Assurance® Protection Plan can automatically extend the manufacturer’s original warranty up to one additional year when you fully charge eligible items to your American Express® Business EdgeTM Card.

Main Features

  • Annual Fee: $99
  • Welcome Bonus: Up to 67,000 Membership Rewards® points in the first year – that’s $670 in statement credits you can reinvest into your business. Terms and conditions apply.
  • Enhanced Earn Rate: 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.
  • Regular Earn Rate: Earn 1x the points on all other purchases charged to the Card
  • Special Feature: Supplementary cards have no annual fee

You can learn more about the card by reading our complete American Express® Business EdgeTM Card review.

Didn’t Find Your Amex Here?

If you’re looking for an excellent American Express card for your wallet, but didn’t find it in the list above, post a comment below or email us with your criteria and we’d be happy to make some personalized suggestions. Thanks!

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are my own.

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.

 

Recommended Read: American Express Cobalt® vs Scotiabank Gold American Express.

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GreedyRates is Canada’s go-to resource for all things personal finance. Our expert articles and videos cover every topic under the financial sun, including credit cards, credit scores, loans, bank accounts, budgeting, investing, RSPs, TFSAs, GICs, taxes, and more. Want our advice on a personal finance issue? Send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll gladly give you some free tips.

Article comments

4 comments
Tom Wallis says:

The best card and credit card company in the world I have 4 platinum Amex cards I never leave home without them you will not find a better ran company in the world they provide blue ribbon service always we love the people that work there they are great always helpful keep up the great job.

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi Tom,
That’s quite the rave review. Glad that you’ve found a card that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations.

D. H. says:

I would give American Express Platinum a ZERO out of 5. I had a fraudulent charge on my card was basically told oh well too bad. I will NEVER use American Express services ever again.

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi D.H.,
I’m sorry that happened to you. Do you remember what the Amex people told you and what was their reasoning for it?