Best American Express credit cards in Canada for 2019 award seal

The number of people who carry an American Express credit card and the number of stores who accept them as a payment method seems to be growing, and for good reason.

Amex cards have some of the highest earn rates on the Canadian credit card market right now, the coolest perks, and often come out on top in a number of different categories.

It’s not hard to see the Amex appeal, with cards like the most notoriously coming out on top in a quarter of the "Best of” credit card categories, making it the highest rated credit card in Canada.

So what makes these credit cards so special?

Best American Express credit cards for 2019

Here's a preview of the best American Express credit cards we think you should consider adding to your wallet:

Best American Express card American Express Cobalt™ Card
Best Aeroplan American Express card American Express Gold Rewards Card
Best perks American Express card The Platinum Card
Best Scotiabank American Express cards Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card

Review all 10 top American Express Cards here.

American Express travel

American Express Membership Rewards is one of the most flexible credit cards rewards programs out there, hands down. For the most part, its great values are due to its Fixed Points Flights chart.

American Express Fixed Flights Chart

The Fixed Points Flight chart displays set flight distances that you can redeem for a set number of Membership Rewards. For example, a long-haul flight inside Canada or the U.S. requires 40,000 points. No more, no less, every single time.

And with the ability to transfer to over 6 different airline partners and 1 hotel partner, as well as being able to book your travels with any provider you choose (with no loss of value at that), you know you won't be stuck with unredeemable points forever.

American Express perks

On top of getting unbeatable flexible travel options, owning an American Express credit card opens up a world of exclusive perks.

Some benefits of top Amex cards include:

  • Front of the Line Advanced Access, Reserved Tickets, and E-Updates,
  • The Hotel Collection from American Express,
  • Premium customer service, and
  • 24/7 Concierge service.

Plus, even with the best, most premium credit card from American Express, there’s no minimum income requirement. That makes it much easier for anyone with good credit to qualify.

American Express Front of the Line

Having access to Front of the Line as an Amex cardholder means you get access to Ticket Presales as well as Reserved Tickets.

With Ticket Presales, cardmembers are able to buy presale tickets for in-demand concerts, theatre shows, and other special events before everyone else.

And with Reserved Tickets, cardmembers can buy their tickets from a section of great seats reserved for American Express exclusively.

Best American Express card

The top credit card in all of Canada, American Express offers great rewards with sky-high earn rates and flexible annual fee payment with the .

Unsurprisingly, this card will make any other card shy in comparison, giving you:

  • 5 Membership Rewards per dollar spent on grocery, restaurant, bar, food delivery, and café purchases,
  • 2 Membership Rewards per dollar spent on any travel and transit, and
  • 1 Membership Reward on everything else.

Don't let the $120 annual fee scare you – Amex allows you to pay off the somewhat hefty annual fee in manageable monthly $10 payments. On top of that, you'll be able to start off your rewards balance with 30,000 Membership Rewards after spending $500 each month for 12 months. That's enough for 2 short-haul flights.

Best Aeroplan American Express card

Coming in at second-best is the , offering:

  • 2 Membership Rewards for each dollar spent on gas, groceries, and drugstore purchases,
  • 1 extra Membership Reward per dollar spent on travel through American Express Travel, and
  • 1 Membership Reward per dollar spent on everything else.

Enjoy complimentary Hertz Gold membership as well as the other typical American Express perks.

Ironically, we rank this card as the best Aeroplan credit card, even though it isn't an Aeroplan branded card.

Why? Because of its transferability, of course. The Membership Rewards points you collect with the Gold Rewards card differ slightly from the ones you collect with the Cobalt, namely that you can transfer your points to various airline rewards programs.

Aeroplan is one of those programs, and the points collected with your Gold Rewards card can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio. This gives the Gold Rewards credit card the best earn rate of any Aeroplan card on the market right now.

Best perks American Express card

Although the Membership Rewards earn rate for the may seem much tamer compared to the 2 other cards we mentioned above, the Platinum card finds its value in perks rather than rewards.

Earning a base rate of 1.25 Membership Rewards per dollar spent, the Platinum card also gives you access to:

  • a $200 annual travel credit,
  • complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite,
  • complimentary Radisson Gold status,
  • complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status,
  • complimentary Preferred Golf membership,
  • automatic Herts Gold Plus,
  • the International Airline program,
  • Fine Hotels Collection,
  • Unlimited free access to Priority Pass lounges,
  • Priority security lines at Toronto Pearsons airport,
  • American Express invites,
  • Front of the Line advanced tickets and reserved seating, and
  • much more.

And on top of all that? The Platinum card is the only metal credit card in Canada.

Best Scotiabank American Express cards

Scotiabank is the only bank from the Big 5 that also issue American Express cards, as well as Mastercards and Visas.

These cards include:

  • ,
  • , and
  • .

The downside

As many of us already know, one of Amex's only downfall is its acceptance – not all retailers will accept their cards as a payment method.

But, it seems as though more and more retailers are starting to accept this type of card, and our wallets couldn't be happier.

In the meantime, it's always a good idea to have a backup Mastercard (especially if you shop at Costco) or Visa.

Compare American Express Credit Cards

The creditcardGenius algorithm calculates an estimated dollar value for all rewards and bonuses by using a typical point value a person can realistically achieve by redeeming their rewards in a reasonably optimized way. The "Welcome Bonus" is the dollar value obtained by combining of all one-time bonuses available to new cardholders within the first year. To qualify for the full bonus you may need to make purchases, meet minimum spending requirements, or complete special actions. Terms and conditions apply.

* Conditions apply.

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