**Update: The American Express Business Platinum Card is now offering 60,000 Membership Reward points after spending $7,000 in the first three months of membership**
I often get asked if American Express Cards are worth it for Canadians, to which I always respond YES!!!! Membership Rewards is one of my favourite reward currencies in Canada due to their flexible redemption options, including hotel and airline transfer partners. Furthermore, Amex offers some of the best welcome bonuses of any credit card provider in Canada, ranging from 30,000 for the Personal Gold Rewards Card to a whopping 60,000 on the Business Platinum Card. The American Express Business Gold Rewards Card
60,000 Membership Reward points is almost enough for a one-way ticket to Asia in business class, so paying the $499 annual fee could make sense if you had a specific travel redemption in mind. The card also features a long list of other benefits, including access to American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts! Check out a full review of the card and all of it’s benefits here!
American Express Business Gold Rewards Card
**Update: As of July, 2018, the American Express Business Gold Rewards Card is no longer offering first year free with the welcome bonus expected to change in the near future. Check this post for full details**
Understandably, a lot of Canadians still don’t want to pay annual fees for cards, or may not travel enough to justify the price for all of the added benefits. Until recently, the American Express Gold Rewards card was always the first card I recommended, as it provided all of the necessary travel benefits, a great welcome bonus, and good earning potential, all with the first year fee waived. Unfortunately, American Express has recently ended the first-year-free promotion, leaving just one product left in their Membership Rewards product line with no annual fee for the first year – The American Express Business Gold Rewards Card.
Highlights Of The American Express Business Gold Rewards Card
- Earn 40,000 Membership Reward points after spending $5,000 in the first three months of membership
- Earn 1 point for every dollar spent on everyday purchases
- Earn 2 points for every dollar spent at 3 retailers of your choice (from a list of providers – see below chart) up to an additional 250,000 points per year
- Comprehensive travel insurance, including car rental insurance, lost/delayed bag coverage, and hotel burglary insurance
- Buyers assurance (extended warranty) and purchase protection (coverage against damage, theft, or accidental loss) for products purchased with your card
- No annual fee the first year (a savings of $250)
*Important to note: the increased welcome bonus of 40,000 points is only available through select application portals, with American Express offering a reduced 30,000 points when applying from their Canadian website.
American Express Business Gold Rewards Card Preferred Retailers
Small Business Cardholders have the opportunity to choose three retailers from the following list to earn 2 points for every dollar spent, up to 250,000 points per year. Some of the retailers won’t apply for many, though there are a few notable merchants such as Petro Canada, Microsoft, Best Buy, and Pastiq.
|Advertising||Pattison Outdoor Advertising|
|Equipment||Castle Building Centres|
|Equipment||Goodyear Canada Inc.|
|Equipment||Hiossen Implant Canada Inc|
|Equipment||K Dental Inc.|
|Equipment||Nobel Biocare Canada|
|Equipment||Pneus Andre Touchette Distribution Inc.|
|Equipment||Rotsaert Dental Laboratory Services Inc.|
|Equipment||Sesco/Osso Electric Supplies|
|Equipment||The Argen Corporation, Kastle Mills|
|Everyday B2B||407 ETR|
|Everyday B2B||Atlas Van Lines|
|Everyday B2B||Canada Linen & Uniform Services, Quebec Linge|
|Everyday B2B||Halpern Enterprises|
|Everyday B2B||MVR Cash and Carry|
|Everyday B2B||Sameday Worldwide|
|Everyday B2B||The InsureBC Group|
|Everyday B2B||The Medcan Clinic|
|Everyday B2B||Unisource Canada|
|Everyday B2B||Vector Energy|
|Technology||Best Buy Company Inc, Future Shop|
|Technology||Wolters Kluwer CGH|
How To Apply For An American Express Business Card
Many people ask if applying for a small business card from American Express is difficult. While there are some questions about your business dealings, the application process is nearly identical to personal cards. Unlike corporate cards, small business cards are approved based on your personal household income and creditworthiness. For example, someone who works full time but sells cupcakes at the farmers market twice a year would still be eligible for this card.
Check out our travel hacking course ‘How To Apply For An American Express Business Card‘ for a step-by-step guide on eligibility requirements and the application process!
Referral Program and Repeat Welcome Bonuses (Churning)
The American Express Business Gold Rewards card is also very useful for a couple more reasons:
- It’s eligible to receive a 10,000 referral bonus for each approved applicant you refer for any participating American Express Membership Rewards Card (up to 150,000, or 15 referrals, per year). To learn more, check out our course ‘How To Leverage The American Express Referral Program‘
- You’re still able to churn the American Express Small Business cards easily, as the terms and conditions don’t prohibit multiple welcome bonuses on the same card product. For travel hacking beginners, credit card churning is the process in which you apply for a card, use it for a set amount of time for the welcome bonus (generally 3 months to a year), and cancel before the annual fee posts. Then, 3-6 months after cancelling, you’re able to reapply for the same card to take advantage of the first year free/welcome bonus again.
American Express Business Gold Rewards Card Bottom Line
With the first year free promotion cancelled on the Personal Gold Rewards Card, this is now one of the best cards for beginners to travel hacking, with an industry leading welcome bonus and first year annual fee waiver. While the earning rates may pale in comparison to some other cards, keep in mind cardmembers are able to select three merchants to earn 2MR/dollar, with some popular choices to choose from! Also keep in mind that Membership Rewards are one of the most valuable points currencies in Canada, with transfer options to Aeroplan, British Airways Avios, and Starwood Preferred Guest, amongst other redemption options.
Meeting the minimum can be a deterrent for some, though there are some strategies to ensure you are successful with hitting large spending thresholds. Check out our travel hacking course ‘Meeting Minimum Spend Requirements For Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses‘ to learn more before you apply! With the ability to churn this card over time, and the opportunity to earn up to 150,000 additional Membership Reward points annually by leveraging the referral program, this is a card every Canadian should have in their wallet!