American Express has just launched a new business credit card in Canada that targets the unique needs of modern business owners. Known as the American Express Business Edge Card, it has a higher earn rate compared to the American Express Business Gold and arguably the Business Platinum Card. The catch is, you’ll earn MR Select points instead of the standard American Membership Rewards points.
The type of points you earn with the American Express Business Edge Card isn’t a big deal since you can use them to redeem travel, dining, entertainment and retail rewards. What really should interest you is the sign up bonus and earn rate. Read my American Express Business Edge Card review now and find out if this is the perfect business card for you.
American Express Business Edge Card benefits
- $99 annual fee
- 3 MR-S points per $1 spent on office supplies & electronics, rides & gas, and eats & drinks (this caps on your first 75K points)
- 1 MR-S point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- 30,000 MR-S points welcome bonus when you charge $5,000 to your card in the first three months of cardmembership
- 1,000 MR-S points when you charge $3,000 to your card each month (this is ongoing)
- Car rental theft & damage insurance
- Purchase protection, buyer’s assurance
- Business and expense management tools
- Free supplementary card
For a business card that has an annual fee of just $99, I’m pretty impressed with the earn rate. You get 3 MR-S points for every dollar spent on office supplies, electronics, gas, public transportation, rideshares, taxis, dining, and drinks. That’s A LOT of categories where you’re earning 3X the points, but note that there’s a cap of $25,000 each year where you earn 3X the points for a total of 75,000 points. Once you reach that threshold, you earn 1 MR-S point per $1 spent. Also note that grocery stores do not fall under “eats” so you would only earn 1 MR-S point per dollar spent there.
This increased earn rate may not seem like a big deal, but as someone who’s self-employed, I can tell you that these categories speak directly to me. I don’t have an actual office where I’m buying supplies. I’m constantly on the move and meeting clients at restaurants and/or coffee shops. In fact, eats & drinks, and rides are my biggest “office” expenses. It seems like these 3X categories were selected with the modern business owner in mind.
The welcome bonus is pretty impressive and there’s even an ongoing bonus. You get 30,000 MR-S points when you charge $5,000 to your card in the first three months. You can earn an additional 1,000 MR-S points per month, every month when you charge $3,000 to your card. When you do the math, you could easily earn over 80,000 MR-S points in the first year from the welcome bonus and your regular spending.
Like many other American Express credit cards, there is a member to member referral bonus with the American Express Business Edge Card. Those who accept a referral for the American Express Business Edge Card from someone who currently has the American Express Business Edge Card or the American Express Business Platinum Card can earn 40,000 MR-S points as a welcome bonus when you charge $5,000 to your card in the first three months of cardmembership. This is 10,000 more MR-S points compared to the standard offer. Those making the referral will get a bonus of 5,000 MR-S points and can make up to 15 referrals a year for a total of 75,000 MR-S points. Here’s an American Express Business Edge referral link if you’re looking to score those extra points.
What are American Express Membership Rewards Select points?
As mentioned, the American Express Business Edge Card earns you American Express Membership Rewards Select points which are commonly known as MR-S. They’re a little different from traditional American Express Membership Rewards points, but you almost have the same purchasing power with them.
With MR-S points you earn from your Business Edge card, you can use them to redeem both travel and non-travel at a ratio of 1,000 MR-S points for $10. This is only possible as the Business Edge card is considered a small business card. For reference, if you had the Amex Cobalt card, you’d only be able to claim 1,000 MR-S points for a $7 statement credit (non-travel) since it’s a consumer card.
If you prefer merchandise, they have a catalogue where every item has a different redemption price.
If you use your MR-S points under the Amex Fixed Travel Program, you can get a lot of value out of your points, but it really depends on where you’re flying to and what the base fare ticket value is. These redemption ratios are the same as the Amex Cobalt Card which also earns you MR-S points.
The biggest difference with MR-S points compared to regular Membership Rewards points is that you can’t transfer your MR-S points to Aeroplan or other frequent flyer programs. This is a deal-breaker for some people so decide on how you plan on redeeming your points before applying for this card.
That said, you can technically transfer your points to airline programs if you transfer your MR-S points to Marriott Bonvoy first and then transfer from Marriott Bonvoy to an airline. If you do this, you’d actually devalue your points quite a bit so it’s not really worth it, but I wanted to bring this trick to your attention.
How the American Express Business Edge Card compares to others
When the American Express Business Edge Card was announced, right away I realized that it was very similar to the Amex Cobalt Card. With the Cobalt card, you earn 5 MR-S points per $1 spent on eats and drinks; 2 points per $1 spent on travel; and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. The American Express Business Edge Card is basically a “light” business version of the Cobalt card.
You can’t really use a consumer card for business expenses unless you want to create an accounting nightmare so if you’re trying to figure out what the best business credit card in Canada is for you, look at the earn rate, benefits, and how you plan on redeeming your points. You also need to factor in how much you spend on the business expenses since the Business Edge card has a cap on the 3X earn rate.
A better comparison might be the American Express Business Platinum Card, but they’re two different products. The Business Platinum card earns you 1.25 points per $1 spent on all purchases, but you can redeem your points at a straight value of 1 cent per point for any purchase so you could say your points are more valuable. The Business Platinum also comes with unlimited airport lounge access but it has an annual fee of $499. I should mention that the Business Platinum card gives you a sign up bonus of 75,000 MR points when you charge $7,000 to your card in the first three months when you use a referral link which is the best bonus available.
My American Express Business Edge Card review is positive. Small business owners and entrepreneurs who are constantly on the move can now enjoy earning more points while paying a reasonable annual fee. The points you earn can’t be transferred directly to airlines, but you still have a lot of flexibility with them when it comes to redemptions.