Need a credit card for your small business?

American Express is one option you should be looking at. There’s a variety of choices for you to consider, whether you want high end perks, no annual fee, or just want to collect some travel points to save on travel costs.

Let’s go over the top Amex business cards, and see if we can find the right one for you.

The best Amex business cards at a glance

Amex Small Business Card Welcome Bonus Earn Rates Annual Fee Apply Now
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express 40,000 points (terms) * 1.25 points per $1 on all purchases $499 Apply Now
American Express Business Edge Card Up to 42,000 points (terms) * 3 points per $1 on gas, rides, office supplies, and restaurants
* 1 point per $1 all other purchases
$99 Apply Now
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card 50,000 points (terms) * 5 points per $1 at Marriott
* 3 points per $1 on gas, restaurants, and travel
* 2 points per $1 on all other purchases
$150 Apply Now
American Express® AIR MILES®* Gold Business Card 150 miles (terms) * 1 mile per $15 at AIR MILES partners
* 1 mile per $20 spent everywhere else
$0 Apply Now

Business credit card vs personal credit card

Before getting into the cards themselves, why should you get a business credit card instead of a personal one?

It can make it easier to track expenses

Rather than keeping track of receipts and expense forms, you only have one place to keep track of what your business is spending from day to day.

Get security from abuse

If you need to give a credit card to employees, many of them offer protection in case they make unauthorized purchases.

In fact, every Amex Small business card offers this on their cards except for the .

Get business-specific perks

Many business credit cards also offer some business-specific perks. Some of these include:

  • expense management reports, and
  • free cards for employees.

Business expenses won’t dip into your personal credit limits

When you first apply for a business credit card, you’ll get a hard credit check, but this won’t affect your personal credit limits. Your card will be registered against your business, and won’t affect your personal credit score.

Now that you know when and why you’d want a business credit card, here are the top offerings from American Express.

American Express Business Platinum card

Let’s start with the granddaddy of them all – the .

We should start by addressing the elephant in the room with this card – the $499 annual fee. And while that can be a large fee to handle, it offers a lot for the frequent traveller.

First, it has a top welcome bonus. You’ll earn 40,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months.

Plus you’ll earn points at a high rate on every purchase – 1.25 points per $1 spent.

But what can you do with all of these points? You’ll be earning Amex Membership Reward points, which are some of the most flexible out there.

Here’s the list of travel options, and what a point is typically worth:

  • transfer to Aeroplan and other airlines – up to 2.5 cents per point (CPP),
  • Fixed Points Travel program – up to 1.75 CPP,
  • transfer to Marriott Bonvoy – up to 1.16 CPP, and
  • redeem for any travel charged to the card – 1 CPP.

Want to know all the other ways you can use your points as well? Check out our full Amex Membership Rewards guide.

On top of the points you earn, you’ll get a long list of benefits for that $499 annual fee.

Here’s an overview of what they are.

American Express Business Platinum airport lounge access

One of the biggest benefits? The airport lounge access.

You’ll get unlimited lounge visits for not just you, but a guest as well. You can take advantage of this benefit at Priority Pass lounges, Delta Sky Club (only when flying on Delta), and Amex Centurion lounges.

In fact, a Priority Pass membership with unlimited visits normally costs $429 USD (about $560 CAD). And even with that membership, you’d be charged an additional $32 USD for a guest.

You’ve got the annual fee covered right there, and can take full advantage of over 1,200 airport lounges worldwide just by having the card.

Amex Business Platinum benefits

Airport lounge access isn’t the only benefit available on this card. Here’s a brief overview of the other benefits provided. They’ll provide savings or VIP status while travelling.

Here’s a quick sampling of what else this card provides:

  • automatic Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status,
  • VIP benefits at Toronto Pearson airport,
  • discounts on participating airlines with the International Airline Program in premium economy, business and first class, and
  • Access to Fine Hotels And Resorts, as well as the Hotel Collection for savings and benefits at select hotels.

American Express Business Platinum requirements

So with all these great benefits, are there any special requirements to meet?

There aren’t. All you need to qualify for this card is to be a resident of Canada who has reached the age of majority in your province or territory, and to have a Canadian credit file.

Meet those basic requirements and you can apply for this card.

Related: American Express Platinum Card Canada Review: A Rare Metal Card With Premium Perks

American Express Business Edge card

So if a card with a large annual fee isn’t for you, there are plenty of other options available from American Express.

And a top option for flexible travel rewards is the .

You’ll earn plenty of flexible travel rewards on many business essentials:

  • 3 points per $1 on office supplies, electronics, gas, rides, and restaurants, plus
  • 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.

It also has a large welcome bonus. In fact, you can potentially earn more points than the .

You can earn up to 42,000 bonus points:

  • 30,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months, and
  • 1,000 bonus points every month you spend $3,000 in the first year, for an additional 12,000 points.

This card also earns Amex Membership Rewards points, and has all the same redemption options as the with one significant exception.

The Membership Rewards you earn with this card can’t be transferred to airline partners.

But all the other travel options are still at your disposal:

  • Fixed Points Travel program – up to 1.75 CPP
  • transfer to Marriott Bonvoy – up to 1.16 CPP
  • redeem for any travel charged to the card – 1 CPP

For a lower annual fee of $99, you’ll still earn plenty of flexible travel reward points on your purchases.

If you want a lower annual fee than the but still want the airline transfer options, then take a look at the , which offers the full suite of Membership Reward redemptions.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business card

Stay frequently at hotels? For a different kind of travel reward, the could be for you.

You’ll earn Marriott Bonvoy on all of your purchases:

  • 5 points per $1 at Marriott Bonvoy properties,
  • 3 points per $1 on gas, restaurants, and travel, and
  • 2 points per $1 on all other purchases.

Like the other cards we’ve discussed, it too has a large welcome bonus – 50,000 points after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months.

How can you use your points? For most people, redeeming for free nights will be the most popular option. We calculate an average point value of 0.97 cents when redeemed for free hotel stays.

However, there are other travel options you can make use of your Marriott Bonvoy points:

  • Vacation packages – 1.14 CPP
  • Transfer to Aeroplan and 40 other airlines – 1.04 CPP
  • Redeem for flights – 0.47 CPP

However, the free nights don’t just stop with the points you earn on your day to day spending.

Every year on your card’s anniversary, you’ll earn a free night stay worth up to 35,000 points. This alone more than covers the $150 annual fee.

And it also comes with these great Marriott Bonvoy perks:

  • automatic Silver Elite status,
  • upgrade to Gold Elite status after $30,000 spent annually, and
  • 15 Elite night credits every year.

It’s a complete package for free hotel nights – lots of points, an annual free night, and Marriott Bonvoy benefits.

American Express AIR MILES Gold Business card

If you just want a basic no fee card, the is the only no fee business choice Amex offers.

Here’s what you’ll earn for AIR MILES on every purchase:

  • 1 mile per $15 spent at AIR MILES partners, and
  • 1 mile per $20 spent everywhere else.

This card also has a welcome bonus, but it’s not as impressive as the other cards here. You’ll earn 150 bonus AIR MILES after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.

And for redeeming your AIR MILES, every option in the program is available. Here are the top options to choose from:

  • Flights – 17.2 cents per mile (CPM)
  • Car rentals – 16.2 CPM
  • Attractions – 13.4 CPM
  • Hotels – 12.3 CPM

If you want to collect more AIR MILES, you could also look at the , which offers an earn rate of up to 1 mile per $10 spent, plus a welcome bonus of 2,000 miles for an annual fee of $180.

The bottom line

American Express has a lot to offer for small business credit cards. With everything from a premium card with an annual fee of $499, to one with no annual fee, there’s something for everyone.

But which business card takes the top spot?

We give the title to the . It has good earnings, high-value points, and a reasonable annual fee of $99.

A close second would be the which offers good rewards and a free night stay as well.

Now it’s your turn. What are your thoughts on these cards?

Let us know in the comments below.

FAQ

Here are some common questions and answers on business credit cards.

Who can get a business credit card?

Anyone can get a business credit card. For all the Amex cards listed here, all you need to be is age of majority in your province or territory, a Canadian resident, and have a Canadian credit file.

Are business credit cards personally guaranteed?

Business cards are not personally guaranteed, but your personal credit file can be used to get approved for a card.

Can I use a business credit card for personal use?

You can use business cards for personal expenses, but this will make accounting more difficult.

Do business credit cards build credit?

Business cards do not build personal credit, but they can help build your business credit rating.