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The perfect American Specific bank cards in Canada for 2024

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MoneySense is an award-winning journal, serving to Canadians navigate cash issues since 1999. Our editorial workforce of educated journalists works intently with main private finance specialists in Canada. That will help you discover the very best monetary merchandise, we examine the choices from over 12 main establishments, together with banks, credit score unions and card issuers. Be taught extra about our promoting and trusted companions.

Canada’s finest American Specific bank cards

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American Specific, a.ok.a. Amex, presents among the highest-earning and most-perk-filled bank cards in Canada, frequently touchdown it on the annual rankings of the finest bank cards in Canada. Right here, we break down the highest American Specific bank cards by class.

Greatest total Amex rewards card

The spectacular excessive earn fee of the American Specific Cobalt bank card, notably within the common meals class, makes it a standout card. The journey class—which incorporates flights, transit, gasoline and even rideshares—can be a high-earner. 

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American Specific Cobalt

  • Annual payment: $156
  • Earn fee: 5 factors per $1 spent on eating and groceries; 2 factors per $1 spent on transit and gasoline; and 1 level per $1 spent on all different purchases
  • Welcome provide: You possibly can earn 1,250 factors for every month you spend $750, as much as a most of 15,000 factors.
  • Annual earnings requirement: None

Execs

  • With its beneficiant factors bonuses (as much as 5 occasions the rewards on groceries and eating), the Cobalt simply one among Canada’s most profitable rewards playing cards 
  • It presents the final word flexibility for factors. You possibly can redeem the easy approach with 100 factors for a flat $10 in journey financial savings, or use its Mounted Factors Journey Program chart, the place you possibly can strategically stand up to 75% extra worth on round-trip flights out of Canada.
  • Cardholders can even switch factors to different loyalty packages like Aeroplan to maximise factors values
  • This card comes with 10 varieties of insurance coverage, together with journey accident, automotive rental theft and harm, and new cell gadget protection.

Cons  

  • At $156, the annual payment is greater than another playing cards on this class.


Greatest cash-back Amex card

At 4% again on gasoline and groceries and a 2% base fee the SimplyCash Most popular presents among the highest earn charges for bank cards in Canada.

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SimplyCash Most popular from American Specific

  • Annual payment: $120
  • Earn fee: 4% money again on eligible gasoline and grocery purchases; 2% money again on every part else
  • Welcome provide: You possibly can earn a $40 assertion credit score for every month-to-month billing interval wherein you spend $750 in purchases in your card.
  • Annual earnings requirement: None

Execs 

  • Fuel and groceries are two of the most well-liked spending classes and this card rewards them each with 4% money again.
  • The bottom fee of two% could be very aggressive, whereas different playing cards have a tendency to supply 0.5% to 1%.
  • This card comes with 10 sorts of insurance coverage together with journey accident, automotive rental theft and harm, and new cell gadget protection.
  • There are not any minimal earnings necessities and the annual payment is $119.88, charged at $9.99 month-to-month.

Cons

  • You possibly can solely redeem your rewards yearly each September, in contrast to some money again playing cards that let you redeem extra continuously.

Greatest no-fee Amex cards

Should you don’t have to pay an annual payment, that may be a perk by itself. However that’s not all that these no-fee American Specific bank cards are about. There are many perks. Simply select what’s finest for you.

Greatest no-fee Amex card for journey

Consider the American Specific Inexperienced Card because the Cobalt’s little sister. Just like the Cobalt, this card permits you to earn versatile Amex Membership Rewards factors you can redeem for journey and money rewards, with no payment.

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American Specific Inexperienced Card

  • Annual payment: $0
  • Earn fee: 1 level for each $1 spent on all purchases and 1 further level for each $1 spent on resort or automotive bookings made on americanexpress.ca.
  • Welcome provide: You possibly can earn 10,000 Membership Rewards factors whenever you cost $1,000 in purchases to your card within the first three months of cardmembership.
  • Annual earnings requirement: None

Execs

  • Amex Membership Rewards factors are tremendous versatile and can be utilized for journey or money rewards—your alternative.
  • You possibly can switch your rewards factors to different packages, akin to Marriott Bonvoy and British Airways, to extend the purpose worth and get higher rewards worth.
  • It’s fairly accessible, making this an awesome starter card since there’s no minimal annual earnings and no annual payment. 

Cons

  • This bank card has restricted insurance coverage protection and lacks journey, cell gadget and rental automotive safety.


Greatest no-fee money again Amex card

SimplyCash is without doubt one of the highest-earning no-fee bank cards in Canada, providing 2% money again on gasoline and grocery purchases and 1.25% again on each different greenback you spend. 

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SimplyCash from American Specific

  • Annual payment: $0
  • Earn fee: 2% money again on eligible gasoline and grocery purchases as much as $300 yearly; 1.25% money again on every part else
  • Welcome provide: You possibly can earn a $10 assertion credit score for every month-to-month billing interval wherein you make at the very least $300 in purchases (for a complete worth of as much as $100).
  • Annual earnings requirement: None

Execs

  • Earn accelerated rewards on gasoline and groceries, two of the most-used spending classes for Canadians.
  • At 1.25%, its base fee is greater than most no-fee bank cards, which usually earn 0.5% to 1%.

Cons

  • Cardholders are capped to earn the two% fee on the primary $15,000 (that’s $300 money again) spent in these classes yearly. After, these purchases will earn on the 1.25% base fee.
  • The money again is just paid out every year, each September relatively, than on-demand.


Greatest low-interest Amex card

American Specific Important Card

  • Annual payment: $25
  • Rate of interest: 12.99% on purchases
  • Welcome provide: None
  • Annual earnings requirement: $15,000

Execs

  • Low everlasting rate of interest so that you don’t have to fret about promotional intervals.
  • Consists of $100,000 in journey accident insurance coverage—a uncommon perk for a low APR card. (Learn: “What’s APR?”)
  • The 12.99% rate of interest extends to money advances, which is nearly remarkable for low-interest playing cards.

Cons

  • Not like many low-interest playing cards, this one doesn’t provide a stability switch deal.

Greatest premium Amex card

The Platinum Card takes status to the following degree. With extra perks than some other bank card in Canada, that is one among American Specific’s premium choices. Which means, although, it comes with a hefty annual payment however sufficient perks to make it definitely worth the cash.

American Specific Platinum

Go to americanexpress.com for particulars

  • Annual payment: $799
  • Rewards: 2 factors per $1 on eating and meals supply; 2 factors per $1 on journey, plus 1 further level on purchases booked by means of Amex Journey On-line; 1 level per $1 on every part else.
  • Welcome bonus: You possibly can earn as much as 100,000 rewards factors ($1,000 worth). Circumstances apply.
  • Annual earnings requirement: None

Go to americanexpress.com for particulars

Execs

  • Headline perks embody a recurring annual $200 eating credit score, an annual $200 journey credit score and—maybe the very best present for frequent flyers—airport lounge entry. With this card you get entry to the celebrated Centurion lounges and free entry for you and a visitor at greater than 1,300 Precedence Go lounges.
  • Boosted charges on eating out and journey show you how to attain your rewards targets sooner. 
  • There are numerous methods to redeem factors. You need to use the Versatile Factors Journey Program with each 1,000 factors equalling $10 or use the Mounted Factors Journey program’s journey chart to get doubtlessly extra worth out of them. You can even switch your factors to frequent-flyer or hotel-loyalty packages. 
  • This card sometimes presents profitable sign-up bonuses.

Cons

  • The annual payment is $799, making this a severe funding and inaccessible for many Canadians.
  • At this value level, you may count on to see a greater diversity of perks, however issues like roadside help will not be included.


Should-know information American Membership Rewards factors—and factors values

American Specific Membership Rewards is without doubt one of the most respected and versatile rewards packages in Canada. However to take advantage of it, it’s necessary to know how the Membership Rewards (MR) factors work and the way a lot factors are value. 

Journey

Journey is without doubt one of the hottest methods to redeem any of American Specific factors packages, partly due to the flexibleness. There are a number of methods to take advantage of your factors, and also you don’t want to make use of American Specific’s in-house journey company. You possibly can redeem factors for purchases booked instantly from an out of doors airline, resort or journey company.

American Specific Versatile Journey 

Essentially the most simplified journey redemption comes from the Versatile Journey factors program, the place every level is value $0.01 in direction of flights, resort stays, automotive rental, trip packages and cruises. You possibly can redeem factors for journey in flat increments of 1,000 factors, value $10.

American Specific Mounted Journey

Should you’re trying to maximize your factors worth and rating nice offers, you may need to use the Mounted Journey factors program. Right here, you redeem factors for round-trip flights out of Canada, primarily based on a regional rewards chart.

Level values differ relying on the flight and area you’re travelling to, with every area requiring a minimal variety of factors in change for a most price tag 

For instance, let’s say you’re flying from Toronto to Montreal (a short-haul flight inside Canada).

  • In accordance with the rewards chart, you’ll want a minimal of 15,000 factors, which might cowl as much as a most $300 of a flight ticket’s base value (not together with taxes). 
  • Should you discover a ticket that prices $350 ($250 plus $100 in taxes)you’d redeem 15,000 factors and pay $350 (complete value of the ticket). 
  • Then, American Specific would refund you $250—the bottom value of the ticket, not together with taxes. 

In the end, you’d pay 15,000 factors plus $100 out of pocket for the $350 ticket, which works out to $0.0167 per level—far larger than the $0.01 per level worth you’d obtain within the Versatile Factors program.

Switch choices

One of many advantages of American Specific Rewards is the power to switch your factors to 6 totally different frequent flyer packages, typically at beneficial ratios. For instance, you possibly can switch 1,000 Membership Rewards factors for 1,000 Aeroplan Factors at a one-to-one ratio. The worth of Aeroplan Factors fluctuates. However, relying on which flight you redeem them for and the way nicely you optimize your journey, you possibly can reap as a lot as $0.02 to $0.04 per level, particularly on enterprise class flights. The fitting transfers can increase your rewards values.

Transfers don’t simply apply to airways. You possibly can switch both Membership Rewards to resort companions together with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors. Level values and switch ratio fluctuate by program, so do the maths to get the perfect deal. 

Assertion credit

Should you’d relatively spend factors in your on a regular basis card purchases, you are able to do that, though the worth is inferior to with journey rewards. When utilizing a press release credit score, 1,000 factors equals $7 (which is $0.007 per level). Should you discover you favor rewards to avoid wasting on on a regular basis purchases on the whole, your finest wager is to stay with a money again bank card as an alternative of a journey rewards card since they provide redemptions values on on a regular basis purchases.

Reward playing cards and merchandise

Should you simply need to money in your factors for a present card or merchandise, with American Specific Membership Rewards you are able to do that. The values on merchandise differ dramatically, so getting a deal might take a little bit of math, however you possibly can count on round $0.0075 per level on present playing cards.

Amex acceptance–is it actually a problem?

Should you learn up on American Specific playing cards, you’ll discover warning about limitations round how extensively accepted these playing cards are. It’s true Mastercard and Visa will be tapped at extra locations, however the stigma round American Specific could also be a bit overblown. 

American Specific is accepted at greater than 96,000 locations throughout Canada together with most dept and large field shops like The Bay, Walmart, Canadian Tire and Residence Depot. It’s additionally accepted at 1000’s of eating places and cafes, together with a lot of quick meals and chain eating places in addition to meals supply apps. Metro and Sobeys grocery shops settle for American Specific, however Costco and Loblaw-banner shops don’t. Consumers Drug Mart, some unbiased eating places and several other smaller mom-and-pop retailers don’t take American Specific. 

The place does this go away you? Moderately than forgoing the precious rewards and perks discovered with many American Specific playing cards, our recommendation is to hold at the very least two playing cards with you. Carry your American Specific together with one other no-fee Visa or Mastercard, simply in case.


Extra of Canada’s finest bank cards:

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