Top Five American Express Membership Rewards Cards

American Express Canada Office

American Express Membership Rewards are the most flexible credit card point currency currently available in Canada. Membership Rewards can be used for airlines, hotels, merchandise, gift cards, Amazon, Ticketmaster and more… but using them for travel maximizes their value.

Of particular note:

  • Membership Rewards are not tied to any airline or hotel and are the most flexible points currencies available in Canada.
  • Large network of transfer partners including Aeroplan (Canada’s most popular program)
  • Amex frequently offers high value transfer incentives to transfer points to other travel reward programs
  • The other way to use Membership Rewards for travel is through their fixed value redemption program. Basically, depending on where you want to go, you can apply a certain number of points to your flight (not a great use of points but can be useful). Amex Fixed Point Travel Chart

The easiest and quickest way to earn your Membership Rewards is through credit/charge card sign-up offers/bonuses. Below are the top five current American Express Membership Rewards cards.

THE PLATINUM CARD

Welcome Bonus: 50,000 Membership Rewards points  (60,000 points when you use this link)

  • Annual Fee: $699  (which you can turn to $299 by redeeming the annual travel credits)
  • Supplementary Cards: $175 annually for Platinum Cards; $50 annually for Gold Cards
  • Intro Bonus Minimum Spend: $3000 in first three months
  • Earn: 1.25 Membership Rewards per $1
  • Perks: $200 travel credit; access to >1000 airport lounge access; Platinum Concierge & Dining Program; transfer your points into other frequent flyer and hotel programs, including 1:1 to Aeroplan and Avios; Charge any eligible purchase to your Card then log in to redeem your points for a statement credit; Use points to book flights within Canada or to anywhere in the world with the Fixed Points Travel Program; Access to a wide range of travel, dining, entertainment and retail rewards; International Airline Program; Special benefits at Toronto Pearson International Airport; FINE HOTELS; RESORTS; Hotel Program Memberships; Car Rental Programs; Preferred Golf Membership; Platinum Card Travel Service & American Express Travel website; Platinum Concierge; American Express Invites…
  • Travel insurances & coverage (details below)

BUSINESS PLATINUM FROM AMERICAN EXPRESS

Welcome Bonus: 40,000 Membership Rewards points

  • Annual Fee: $499
  • Supplementary Cards: $199 annually for Business Platinum Cards; $50 annually for Business Gold Cards
  • Intro Bonus Minimum Spend: $5000 in first three months
  • Earn: 1.25 Membership Rewards per $1
  • Perks: up to 55 interest free days, access airport lounges and hotel programs; access to 850 airport lounge access; redeem points for travel, dining, entertainment and retail rewards; transfer points, The Business Solutions (Cash Flow Management, Expense Management Reports, Dynamic Purchasing Power, Business Servicing); Hotel Programs; Special benefits at Toronto Pearson International Airport; International Airline Program; Car and Limousine Services; Platinum Concierge; American Express Invites…
  • Travel insurances & coverage (details below)

AMERICAN EXPRESS BUSINESS GOLD REWARDS CARD

Welcome Bonus: 30,000 Membership Rewards points

  • Annual Fee:$250
  • Supplementary Cards: $50 annually
  • Intro Bonus Minimum Spend:$5000 first three months
  • Earn: 1 Membership Reward per $1; 1 extra point per $1 in eligible purchases charged to the Card at 3 suppliers (you pick from a list) – up to a maximum of 250,000 extra points in each calendar year
  • Perks: up to 55 interest free days; redeem points for travel, dining, entertainment and retail rewards; transfer points, The Hotel Collection from American Express; Hertz Car Rental Benefit; Entertainment rewards
  • Travel insurances & coverage (details below)

AMERICAN EXPRESS GOLD REWARDS CARD

Welcome Bonus: 25,000 Membership Rewards points

  • Annual Fee:$150
  • Supplementary Cards: Your first Supplementary Card is FREE. Each additional Card is $50 annually
  • Intro Bonus Minimum Spend: $1500 first three months
  • Earn: 2 points for every $1 in Card purchases on eligible travel and everyday purchases; 1 point for every $1 in Card purchases everywhere else; 1 additional Membership Rewards point for every $1 you charge to your Card on eligible hotel or car rental bookings made with American Express Travel at americanexpress.ca/travel
  • Perks: Redeem points for travel, dining, entertainment and retail rewards; transfer points, The Hotel Collection from American Express; Hertz Car Rental Benefit; Entertainment rewards
  • Travel insurances & coverage (details below)

MEMBERSHIP REWARDS (SELECT)

Note: American Express Membership Reward “Select” (MRS) program is not the same as American Express Membership Rewards. While you get full Use Points for Purchases option, the Fixed Points Travel Programs and transfer to hotel partners, you do not get direct conversion to partner airlines.

AMERICAN EXPRESS COBALT CARD

Welcome Bonus: up to 30,000 Membership Rewards Select points; interest rate of 7.99% first 6 months.

  • Annual Fee: $10 monthly fee, ($120 annual).
  • Supplementary Cards: $0
  • Intro Bonus Minimum Spend: 2500 points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in purchases on card in the first year. This could add up to 30,000 points in a year (but with a minimum $6000 annual spend for 30,000 points).
  • Earn:5 points per $1 at eligible restaurants, bars, cafes and food delivery in Canada; 2 point per $1 on eligible transit (metro pass, uber rides), gas and travel purchases; $1 on everything else.
  • Redeem: 1,000 points = $10 travel credit or $7 for a non travel credit (5% or 2% return).
  • Perks: American Express Invites; perks, bonus rewards and access to events; The Hotel Collection from American Express (plus a $75 USD hotel credit to use on amenities such as dining, spa or other leisure facilities when charged to the room; a one-category room upgrade at check-in, when available [you must book a minimum 2-night consecutive stay at a participating property online through American Express Travel online]);
  • Travel insurances & coverage (details below)

Of all the American Express Membership Reward cards The Platinum Card (personal card) and the Business Platinum from American Express (business card) offer the strongest travel insurance and coverage packages. Overall these two cards are the best travel cards in the business.

American Express Membership Rewards Travel Insurance & Coverage Comparison Chart

INSURANCES, CONVERAGES + THE PLATINUM CARD BUSINESS PLATINUM FROM AMERICAN EXPRESS AMERICAN EXPRESS BUSINESS GOLD REWARDS CARD AMERICAN EXPRESS GOLD REWARDS CARD AMERICAN EXPRESS COLBALT CARD
Emergency Medical 15 days under the age of 65 15 days under the age of 65 NO 15 days under the age of 65 15 days under the age of 65
Trip Cancellation $2,500 $1,500 NO NO NO
Trip Interruption $2,500 $1,500 NO $1,500 NO
Flight Delay $1,000 $1,000 $500 $500 $500
Baggage Delay $1,000 $1,000 $500 $500 $500
Lost or Stolen Baggage $1,000 $1,000 $500 $500 $500
Hotel/Motel Burglary $1,000 $1,000 $500 $500 $500
Car Rental Theft & Damage YES YES YES YES YES
Travel Accident Insurance $500,000 $500,000 $100,000 $500,000 $250,000
Purchase Protection Plan YES YES YES YES YES
Buyers Assurance Protection Plan YES YES YES YES YES
StandbyMD YES YES NO NO NO
Travel Medical Concierge YES YES NO NO NO
Employee Card Misuse Protection NO YES YES NO NO
Disability Plan for Small Business NO YES YES NO NO

 

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