American Express has the best cards in Canada because of their rewards and benefits. The American Express Gold Rewards Card is currently free for the first year! You can earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards points, convertible to Aeroplan or Avios.
If you’re new to miles and points, or haven’t looked at what credit cards you use, this is the first card I recommend getting. You earn 25,000 points by spending $1500 within the first three months, and an additional 5,000 when adding a supplementary cardholder. You’re free to cancel that supplementary card after the bonus posts.
American Express has also made it easier for Canadians to get a card by changing their underwriting requirements. There’s no minimum income required, which is huge for a lot of my friends who are still students.
How to Use 30,000 Points
Membership Rewards are among the most valuable points out there. The 30,000 points you earn from the card is worth at the very least $300 CAD because you can convert your points to offset purchases. I personally value Aeroplan points at 1.6 US cents per mile, which makes the signup bonus potentially worth $630 CAD. That’s generally if you’re using the points for business or first class, where fares retail for thousands of dollars.
One of the greatest flying experiences out there is Lufthansa First Class, which only costs 70,000 Aeroplan points to/from Europe.
Membership Rewards also converts 1:1 to BA Avios, which also provides great value. Shorter flights like Vancouver – Los Angeles and Toronto – New York only costs 7,500 points roundtrip. The 30,000 points you earn from the welcome bonus gets you two roundtrips for free.
Need More Points?
When you’re topping up for an award, Aeroplan charges you 3 cents each mile. That’s not a very good deal. Instead, if you’ve already gotten the Gold Rewards Card and are looking for more points, you can earn up to 180,000 AMEX points with these following cards:
- American Express Business Platinum Card: Get up to 75,000 Membership Rewards Points!
- American Express Business Gold Card: Get up to 40,000 Membership Rewards Points!
- American Express Platinum Card: Get up to 60,000 Membership Reward Points!
Keep in mind that Business cards do not have wording where only one signup bonus is permitted, so it’s a fantastic deal to apply for those.
One Per Lifetime Bonus?
American Express has a policy where you can receive the bonus on a card only once. However, data points show that this is not being enforced, especially if it’s been a while since you last got the card. Even then, there are ways around that.
On the application page, AMEX states that this offer is subject to change anytime. The normal bonus before was only 25,000 points, so if the offer changes, the welcome bonus might go down. I also don’t know when the limitation policy will be enforced, so you should pick the card sooner rather than later.
Application Link: American Express Gold Rewards Card