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Best American Express Credit Cards In Canada For 2020

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Last updated on November 26, 2020

All Canadian consumers know that there has always been cut-throat competition between credit card providers.  American Express is that singular brand that has silently enjoyed its loyal and forever growing consumer base. They used to be primarily considered a status symbol for those exclusive consumers with deep pockets and ample spending accounts. Now, they offer credit and charge cards for an eclectic faction of society that ranges from families, entrepreneurs to travellers.

There is no universally perfect Amex card, and which one suits you the best will depend on your spending habits and financial history and goals. And while its not accepted as globally as Visa and Mastercard, this is still a fantastic credit card to have in your wallet. In this article, we have thoroughly researched and round-up the best American Express Credit Cards available in Canada today. 

Best Overall AMEX Credit Card

American Express Cobalt™ Card

american-express-cobalt-cardcard

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on American Express' website

Welcome Offer: Earn up to 30,000 Points in your first year. (2,500 Membership Rewards® points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in purchases on your Card.)

Earn Rate: 5x rewards on dining, coffee shops, grocery stores. 2x rewards on travel, lodging, transit. 1x point for everything else.

Annual Fees: $10/month

Min. Income Required: $0

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The American Express Cobalt™ Card graces the top spot on our best Amex credit card list because it generously rewards the one activity that most of its consumers engage in- being social. 

New card holders will earn 30,000 membership rewards points in 2,500 point-increments every monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in purchases through your credit card. Grocery and dining expenses at restaurants, bars, cafés, and food delivery will give you 5 Points for every $1 spent. Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and transit such as cab, morning bus or gas purchases in Canada. Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

You can also earn points by referring your friends or family to open an account with Amex. Every successful referral will give you 500 bonus membership points up to a maximum annual referral bonus of 75,000 points.

Cardmembers will also enjoy a full suite of insurance benefits that include Emergency Medical insurance, Flight Delay insurance, Baggage Delay insurance, Hotel/Motel Burglary insurance, Lost or Stolen Baggage insurance, Car Rental Theft and Damage insurance, Travel Accident insurance, Purchase Protection, and  Buyer’s Assurance Protection plan. Keep in mind that you don’t have to pay the annual fee of $120 in full; you can pay it at an affordable monthly fee of $10.

The accumulated points can be redeemed on movie tickets, dining, retail, streaming services, flights through fixed point travel program, concerts and events on Ticketmaster.ca, on travel purchases through American Express travel online and more. Points can of course also be redeemed as a credit to pay your monthly bill.

Best Travel Rewards AMEX Credit Card

American Express® Gold Rewards Card

American Express Gold Rewards Card

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on American Express' website

Welcome Offer: 25,000 Points when you charge $1,500 in purchases to your Card in your first 3 months of Card membership

Earn Rate: 2x points for travel, groceries, gas stations, and drugstores. 1x point on everything else.

Annual Fees: $150

Min. Income Required: $0

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The American Express® Gold Rewards Card is one of the most revered Amex credit card in Canada today. As a welcome bonus, this credit card offers 25,000 membership rewards points once you make at least $1500 in net purchases within the first 3 months of your account opening.

The ongoing rewards structure lets you earn 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and everyday purchases including gas, groceries and drugstore. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Earn 1 additional membership rewards points for every $1 you charge to your card on hotel or car rental bookings made through American Express travel.

You can transfer your accumulated points to Aeroplan at a 1:1 exchange rate. This means, your welcome bonus you will give you 25,000 Aeroplan points. This feature makes this card one of the best Aeroplan credit cards in Canada today. 

The American Express® Gold Rewards Card comes with a comprehensive insurance coverage including policies for Out-of-Province/Country Emergency Medical insurance, Trip Interruption insurance, Car Rental Theft and Damage insurance, Lost or Stolen Baggage insurance, Hotel/Motel Burglary insurance, Flight Delay insurance, Baggage Delay insurance, Travel Accident insurance, Buyers Insurance Protection, and Purchase Protection plan.

Best Premium AMEX Credit Card

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Yes this card has a very steep annual fee of $699, but it offers a wide range of perks, bonuses and benefits that makes it worth the hefty fee. First of all, this card offers one of the best welcome bonuses is available through any credit card in Canada. As a Platinum card holder, new users earn 25,000 bonus membership rewards points once you have at least $3000 in net purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Other than the generous welcome bonus, cardholders can earn 2 points on every $1 for travel related purchases along with complementary access to over 1200 airport lounges across 130 countries. Earn 3 points for every $1 spent on dining. And earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.  Get an annual $200 travel credit that can be used on any single travel booking worth $200 or more charged through your platinum card. This is a significant perk especially for those who only travel once or twice a year as it can cut your flight charge in half or more.

Your accumulated points can be redeemed on gift cards, merchandise, flights and hotel stays. 

Also, as most other AMEX credit cards, your Platinum card will come with a suite of different insurances, which in this case there’s 10 different kinds: Out-of-Province/Country Emergency Medical Insurance, Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption Insurance, Flight Delay, Baggage Delay, Car Rental Theft and Damage insurance, Lost or Stolen Baggage insurance, Travel Accident insurance, hotel/motel burglary insurance, and Travel Emergency Assistance. 

Do note that this is a charge card. Failure to pay your balance in full at the end of each month will result in a 30% annual interest fee charged to your balance.

Click here for more details about the American Express Platinum Card

Best Cash-Back AMEX Credit Card

SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express

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on American Express' website

Welcome Offer: 10% cashback in your first 4 months (up to $400).

Earn Rate: Flat rate of 2% back on purchases when your welcome period ends.

Annual Fee: $99

Min. Income Required: $0

This AMEX credit card is best suited for those who are looking for a strong cash back credit card, or a card that would enable consolidation of debt with no heavy balance transfer rate.

As a welcome bonus for new users, you will receive a 5% cashback (up to $300) on your first 6 months and a special 1.99% introductory interest-rate on balance transfers for your first 6 months. You can transfer 50% of your credit limit up to a maximum of $7,500 without a balance transfer fee. After the promotional period, you will receive a cash back of 2% on all your purchases without limit.

Another cool feature of SimplyCash Preferred credit card is its referral bonus. For every successful referral, you will win $150 cash back up to an annual maximum of $2,250.

The suite of insurance coverage accompanying this credit card includes Car Rental Theft and Damage insurance, Travel Accident insurance, Emergency Medical insurance, Lost or Stolen Baggage insurance, Flight and Baggage Delay insurance, Hotel/Motel Burglary insurance, Buyers Insurance Protection and Purchase Protection plan. 

Best No-Fee AMEX Credit Card

SimplyCash™ Card from American Express

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on American Express' website

Welcome Offer: 2.5% cashback in your first 3 months (up to $150 cashback).

Earn Rate: Flat rate of 1.25% back on purchases when your welcome period ends.

Annual Fee: $0

Min. Income Required: $0

The SimplyCash™ Card from American Express comes with no annual fees but still offers a generous cashback earn rate of 1.25% on all purchases made with your card. You’ll also get a welcome offer of 2.5% cashback for the first 3 months (up to $150 in cashback).

Best Low-Interest AMEX Credit Card

American Express Essential Credit Card

American Express Essential

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on American Express’ website

Welcome Offer: 1.99% interest in first 6 months if you transfer your other credit card balances to this card.

Interest Rate: 12.99% on purchases and cash advances.

Annual Fee: $0

Min. Income Required: $0

Not all credit card users are successful at paying off their full balance at the end of each month. Most credit cards punish consumers with a hefty interest-rate for not making their payments. This can significantly add to your credit debt.

The American Express Essential credit card is designed for users who want to focus on paying off their principal amount without being punished with jarringly high interest-rates. There is no annual fee on this card. And, for a limited time you can enjoy a 1.99% balance transfer for the first six months.

This card comes with a very low interest-rate of 8.99% which is extremely rare in the Canadian credit market. This means you can save hundreds of dollars on interest if you are someone who tends to carry a balance from month to month.

It does have a few insurance coverages for its consumers which includes Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan, Purchase Protection plan and Travel Accident Insurance. The American Express Essential credit card comes with easy eligibility which makes it perfect for individuals who might not have the best credit history or a massive household income to qualify for an otherwise premium credit card.

Methodology: How We Choose The Best American Express Cards In This List

Simple Rate took into account several factors such as welcome bonuses, points-reward structure, redemption options, insurance coverage, and other benefits and perks when compiling the list of Canada’s best American Express card.

🏆   Winner of Simple Rate's Best Credit Card Award

The American Express Cobalt™ Card

Get 30,000 rewards points, 5x points on food, groceries, drinks.

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