Every entrepreneur knows that starting a business requires a lot of hard work and commitment. And once you’re established as a small business, the next logical step is to grow.

This is where the all new American Express Business Edge Card comes in. With a unique combination of both short- and long-term benefits and just a $99 annual fee, the Business Edge Card is making a strong case for becoming your go-to card for your business’ everyday expenses.

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If you’re a small business owner and you like what the Amex Cobalt™ Card offers for your personal spending, then you’ll love the features that the brand new American Express Business Edge Card will bring for your business. The folks at Amex really nailed it with this new credit card for small businesses, as it combines features similar to the Cobalt Card with other qualities specifically tailored to helping growing small businesses make the most out of their spending.

Here’s a quick outline of this post:

Features And Benefits Of The Business Edge Card

Welcome Bonus Offer30,000 Membership Rewards® (MR) points
Monthly Bonus Offer 1,000 bonus MR points every month you charge a minimum of $3,000 to your card. This could add up to 12,000 points in a year.
Points Earn Rate • 3X on Eats & Drinks
• 3X on Rides & Gas
• 3X on Office Supplies & Electronics
• 1X on everything else
Card TypeCredit Card
Annual Interest Rate • 19.99% on purchases
• 22.99% on funds advances
Annual Fee$99
Additional CardsNo annual fee
Eligibility • You are a Canadian resident and have a Canadian credit file
• You are the age of majority in the province or territory where you live

Let’s take a closer look at these features and benefits to see how they’ll help you in growing your business.

Bonus Points On The New Business Edge Card

Considering the low annual fee, the welcome bonus offer on the American Express Business Edge Card is definitely one of the best Amex has to offer.

You can earn up to 42,000 bonus MR points in your first year of Cardmembership, split across thirteen separate portions:

That brings the grand total to an impressive bonus of 42,000 MR points in your first year of Cardmembership!

Valued at 1 cent per point, which is what you’ll get for using them for a statement credit, these bonus points are worth $420 – a 324% ROI on the annual fee. However, if you get creative and use your points to pay for travel, in some cases you could get up to 2 cents per point, making the 42,000 bonus MR points be worth more than $800! All that for a $99 annual fee and for using your card to pay for any purchase you want.

Of course, if you’re going to use your card to pay for business-related purchases, you’ll want to make sure you get the most out of those purchases. This is where the Business Edge Card really starts to shine!

Points Earn Rates On The American Express Business Edge Card

The Business Edge Card really outshines other Canadian business credit cards when it comes to points earn rates, and even some of the higher-end personal cards as well.

Why?

Because it offers an unbeatable 3X earn rate on the three purchase categories essential to growing small businesses. Here’s some more detail on each of them.

3X On Eats & Drinks

Let’s face it: whether you’re charging everyday expenses like coffee and snacks for your team, or you’re celebrating a big milestone, eats and drinks are something every business, big or small, spends on. Earning 3 MR points for every $1 spent means that you’ll be saving 3-6% (at a valuation of 1-2 cents per point) on those same purchases when you charge them to your new Business Edge Card.

With a 3X earn rate on eats and drinks, you really can’t go wrong with the new American Express Business Edge Card.

This is an exceptional return on your eats and drinks purchases, and means that if you just spend $5,200 per year – $100 per week – on eats and drinks, you’ll earn back $150-300 in MR points.

Do the math for your own business and see how much that 3-6% is worth to you.

(Hint: If you spend more than $64/week on eats and drinks, this benefit alone will pay for the card’s annual fee.)

3X On Rides & Gas

Taxis, rideshare, the occasional limo to impress that investor you’ve been after – any of these expenses will give you 3 MR points per dollar and the same 3-6% return as you get on eats and drinks. If you have your own fleet of company cars, or simply if you use your own car to move around, this 3X earn rate also applies to fuel purchases at Canadian stand-alone gasoline stations.

This is another category that most businesses spend a lot on throughout the year, and another reason why the Business Edge Card is such a great deal. Again, if you charge just $3,300 in transportation and gas charges to your card throughout the year – $64 per week – you’ll earn back your annual fee and more.

3X On Office Supplies & Electronics

What does your growing business look like? Are you opening a new office, expanding your workforce, or developing new products for new markets?

In any of those cases, you’re bound to need new computers, office equipment, company phones, and more. And once that hardware is in place, you’ll also need printer ink, paper, and all the other little things that make an office work.

When you charge your office supplies and electronics expenses to your Business Edge Card, you’ll find yourself with thousands of MR points ready to trade in for great rewards down the road.

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Worth Noting: The Cap On The 3X Earn Rates

Just like the 5X earn rate on the Cobalt Card, these 3X earn rates are so lucrative Amex had to put a cap on them. You’ll receive 3X on your first $25,000 in purchases in any of the three 3x earn rate categories mentioned above (i.e. until you earn your first 75,000 MR points on those categories). After that, you’ll earn the regular 1X on every purchase.

How To Use Your Business Edge Card’s Points

Option #1: Redeem your points for a statement credit

The easiest way to use your MR points is to redeem them for a statement credit towards eligible purchases. It’s as simple as:

  1. Logging in to your Membership Rewards account
  2. Choosing to use your points
  3. Selecting statement credit.

You’ll be able to choose from a list of past purchases you want to use your statement credit for, and that’s it!

When redeeming MR points in this way, you’ll receive a $10 credit for every 1,000 MR points you redeem, giving your points a value of 1 cent apiece.

Option #2: Book Travel

You can also use your points to pay for travel bookings including flights, hotel stays, resorts, vacation packages, cruises and car rentals – just book through American Express Travel services and pay for the entire booking with your points. The value you’ll get depends entirely on the destination, dates, airlines etc., but in general, you’ll be able to get at least 1 cent per point, with some trips giving you a value of 2 cents per point or more.

Where will you let your new American Express Business Edge Card take you?

Option #3: Use Your Points For Merchandise And Other Purchases

Another popular way to use your MR points is to pay for purchases on Amazon.ca or other online merchants. You can buy gift cards and merchandise from a wide range of online merchants, or you can use your MR points to pay for dining and entertainment. Paying for merchandise with points usually offers a lower value per point than spending on travel, so we generally recommend using your points on flights to Asia or Europe instead.

Option #4: Transferring Your MR Points To Other Loyalty Programs

Finally, if the flexibility of MR points redemptions aren’t enough for you, you can also transfer them to two hotel loyalty programs: Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy™. Once transferred, you can use your new points to pay for hotels stays and amenities at thousands of properties worldwide.

One thing to note: Points earned with the Business Edge Card cannot be transferred to airline loyalty programs like Avios or Aeroplan. If you’re looking for a business card that can transfer to those programs, we recommend the Business Platinum Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card.

The Bottom Line

The impressive welcome bonus, monthly purchase bonus, low annual fee and exceptional 3X earn rates make the American Express Business Edge™ Card a true stand-out card. We highly recommend it for growing small businesses anywhere in Canada today.

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I’ve been using British Airways Avios in Canada for a long, long time, yet there’s a good reason why I’ve never written about it.

Simply put, it’s because Yore Oyster is about delivering concise, actionable material to Canadian travelers when they need it. Rather than trying to teach you everything, we’d rather just give you the tools to do the things that have a real, positive impact on your life starting today.

But there’s also a reason why I am choosing to write about the best way to use Avios as a Canadian now: it’s the perfect complement to Aeroplan. And as you’ve probably seen through our posts How to Fly from Asia to North America (and vice versa) for $75 and How to Fly from Canada to Europe (and vice versa) for $75, Aeroplan is extremely powerful when used correctly. So starting today, with the addition of Avios to your toolkit, you’ll be flying more smartly and more cheaply than 99% of the other people who step onto the same plane.

If you don’t want to spend hundreds of hours reading and learning every intricacy, but would rather have 95% of the information you need to get a cheap flight right now, this post is for you.

Using British Airways Avios In Canada

What is Avios?

British Airways’ Avios is a points program that works just like Aeroplan: you gather points on your credit card or by flying, and then you redeem them for flights in the future. So from a very high level, the two programs are doing very similar things – helping you fly more cheaply – but when you get into the details, you start to notice their differences.

Avios has one of the widest-reaching airline partner networks out there, which is a fancy way of saying this: no matter where you are in the world, there’s a very good chance that you can buy a flight with Avios points instead of cash. I’ve personally used it for flights between Colombia, Brazil, Peru and Uruguay, within South Africa, between Thailand and Hong Kong, and a lot of other places. It just works.

And there’s another neat feature that Avios has that most other programs don’t: you can choose between different cash and points splits when you pay for your flight. For example, on this direct Toronto to London flight, you can choose any of the following payment options:

Avios gives you a lot more flexibility than Aeroplan

To choose which option you’d like to pay, it just comes down to how much you value your points. I generally opt for paying more cash so that I can keep my points for another flight in the future, but if you’d rather just pay the minimum amount of cash, that’s totally fine too.

In short, Avios gives you options. And when you’re traveling and don’t always have your next step planned to a tee, options are a very, very valuable thing.

Okay, so where is Avios most valuable?

That’s a tough question: if you’re only flying within North America, finding a great way to use Avios in Australia isn’t very useful to you. But if we do step back for a minute and look at things from a global level, three particular areas stand out.

Region 1: Within South America

I spent a few months in South America this year, and I noticed something very peculiar about the flights: while domestic flights in nearly every country were super cheap – $30 for the 650-km flight from Bogota to Cartagena in Colombia, or $90 for the monstrous 2,100-km trip from São Paulo to Recife in Brazil – international flights were extremely expensive.

For example, Quito, Ecuador is a similar distance from Bogota as Cartagena, but a flight to Quito regularly sits at 10x the price of one to Cartagena. And from São Paulo? Buenos Aires is 500 km closer than Recife, but you won’t find a flight for less than double the price. So trust me when I tell you: you need Avios in South America.

Lucky for you, Avios has two major partners in South America – LAN in Chile and TAM in Brazil – who dominate air traffic in South America. And this plays into a very straightforward strategy when in South America: buy domestic flights with cash, and buy international flights with Avios.

When I was there, I applied this strategy ruthlessly. Even when I needed to book a flight just a few days in advance, there was almost always a seat available for me, and I saved at least $200-300 on each flight that I otherwise would’ve had to shell out. In fact, I never booked a flight more than two weeks in advance, and I made it on all of the 10+ flights that I wanted, saving over $2,000 in the process. The Avios flights became so cheap that I stopped looking at ground transportation altogether; that’s the sign of a strong program.

Region 2: Intercontinental Flights to/from South America

This is a sweet spot in the Avios program that few very people know about, but using Avios to fly between South America and any of Australia, North America, or Europe is extremely cheap. Let’s look at a few examples.

First, an amazing direct flight from New York to Rio de Janeiro that costs you just $8. No, that is not a typo, $8! This flight runs daily so availability is extremely easy to get, and the same flight at the same prices works from other cities like Miami, too.

New York to Rio de Janeiro for $8

Santiago-Sydney is the only direct flight between South America and Australia, but thanks to Avios’ wide reach, you can get on it. A cash ticket for this highly sought-after flight will run you about $2,000 one-way if you buy it within the recommended purchase window, which is about 2-3 months before you fly. But with Avios? It’s just $73 + 50,000 points.

Santiago, Chile to Sydney, Australia for 50,000 points and $73

Buenos Aires-London is another behemoth of a direct flight, and this one you’ll actually be flying with British Airways. Again, cash tickets normally go in the range of $1,000+ for a one-way ticket (and much more if you want to be on this direct British Airways flight instead of one through the US with 1-2 stops), but here you’re only paying $344 and 22,750 points.

Buenos Aires to London for just $350

Avios is starting to look pretty good, isn’t it?

Region 3: North America to Asia

There are so many ways to use your Avios points here, but I’ll talk about just one: Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a sweet spot because it’s the home of Cathay Pacific, an Avios partner airline, and Cathay flies direct to several North American hubs like Vancouver, Toronto, and New York. So if you’re going to Hong Kong, or really anywhere in Asia, this is the way to do it. (If you want another surefire way of getting to/from Asia, see our post How to Fly from Asia to North America (and vice versa) for $75).

Vancouver to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific CX889 or CX837 for $65 and 30,000 Avios points
Toronto to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific CX829 or CX825 for $70 and 35,000 Avios points
New York to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific CX845 or CX899 or CX841 for $70 and 35,000 Avios points

Those are just two really good ways of using your Avios points, but there are plenty of other ways that you can make them work for you. For example: need to buy a last-minute flight between Toronto and New York departing tomorrow? Cash ticket prices will be through the roof, so Avios is the perfect solution since last-minute tickets purchased with points are the exact same price as if you bought the ticket months in advance.

You might’ve noticed something else in our examples: flights with Avios are much, much more direct than Aeroplan flights. In fact, it’s tough to find any of those intercontinental flights (with the exception of Vancouver to Hong Kong) without at least one connection if you’re using Aeroplan. That’s another win for your new friend, Avios. Time is money, and Avios is saving you both.

Wait – if I’m not going to South America or Asia, is Avios a waste of time?

Good question, but definitely not. Avios is fantastic for flights within North America (you can use your Avios points on any American Airlines flight), Europe (British Airways and Iberia Airlines), and a lot of other regions as well. I could give a thousand more examples of how to use your Avios points effectively, but instead I’m going to let you discover them on your own.

Okay, what if I don’t travel as often, do Avios points expire?

This is something you definitely won’t have to worry about! Avios points will stay with you as long as you collect, spend, purchase or share at least one Avios every 36 months. That’s three whole years to spend them! And remember, you can collect Avios not only flights but also you can rent a car or stay in a hotel or book a holiday. So you have options to both collect and use your points.


This post is just an introduction to Avios, so I won’t go any deeper right now, but hopefully, you can see how valuable Avios is as a #2 program. By leveraging the strengths of Aeroplan and Avios together, all of a sudden you go from playing by the airlines’ rules (not fun) to making your own rules (very fun). This is how you become the passenger who paid the least amount for their ticket, every single time.

Here’s the quickest way to get two Toronto-London roundtrip flights by using your Avios strategically:

How To Get Started

STEP 1 OF 2: GET YOUR POINTS

Your ticket to 25,000 Avios points is in the American Express Gold Rewards Card, which gives you 25,000 American Express MR points.

Spend 3 minutes today and you’ll receive your card within a week.

APPLY NOW

STEP 2 OF 2: USE YOUR POINTS

As soon as you finish your application, join Avios. The application takes 2 minutes and everyone is approved, plus you’ll get access to their search tool, so you can start searching for your ideal flights while you wait to receive your card from Step 1.

Once you’ve spent 5 minutes on the two steps above, you’re set. Add 25,000 points of your own to the 25,000 points coming your way with the card and you’ll have enough for any of the following flights:

I hope this marks the beginning of a prosperous new friendship: you and British Airways Avios!

For more destination-specific information on redeeming points, see our other similar posts on Asia and Europe.

Flying from Asia to Canada can be expensive—but it doesn’t have to be. If you have the right knowledge and tools, you can do it for less than $75. This post will give you the knowledge and the tools you need to do it yourself—all in 10 minutes or less. Getting yourself an American Express Gold Rewards Card is the first step.

The American Express Gold Rewards Card for Canadians is an excellent travel card for Canadians looking for a high-impact card with a low annual fee. It comes with a welcome bonus of 25,000 points—which we value at between $500-$750—plus an impressive travel insurance policy, $100 in hotel credit, and much more. With an annual fee of just $150, this card pays for itself several times over in just a single trip to Asia.

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I need to come home.

Not because I’m homesick. No, it’s because I have flights booked that are taking me to LA, San Francisco, Vegas, Toronto and more, all scheduled for the next couple of weeks.

So I’m going to book my flights in the next 60 minutes. And while I do it, I’m going to document exactly how I do it. Here’s my situation:

I need to get from Asia to Los Angeles, where I’ll be visiting a few friends. I have unfinished business in both Guangzhou, China and Singapore, so I’d like to leave Asia from one of those two cities.

Oh ya – and I want to do it as cheaply as possible.

Luckily, I have a secret: I know how to drop the cost of these Asia to North America flights by 90%.

Yes, that’s right, I’m going to pay 10% of what the passengers on my left and right paid.

How will I do it? I’m going to use 37,500 Aeroplan points, which are an exceptionally valuable tool when used in the right way.

And right now, in the next five minutes, I’m going to show you both a) how to get them, and b) how to use them the right way.

This Is How Flight Experts Find Cheap Flights

First, you need to know which are the best airlines for using your Aeroplan points with:

  1. United Airlines
  2. Swiss Airlines
  3. Turkish Airlines
  4. Singapore Airlines
  5. Air New Zealand
  6. Eva Airways (SE Asia)
  7. Air China

Why are they the best? Because they don’t make you pay the fuel surcharge, which is a fee several hundred dollars in magnitude on international flights. In other words, these airlines are a lot cheaper to fly with.

And when I open up the Guide, something jumps out at me right away. Three of the top seven airlines on the list, my personal favourites, are based in Asia: Singapore Airlines, Air China, and EVA Airways. That tells me something even more important: their hub cities, Singapore, Beijing, and Taipei will definitely offer some great prices to North America.

Just thirty seconds into my search process, my decision is made for me: I’m leaving from Singapore.

A quick search on the Aeroplan website confirms it: I can get from Singapore to LA for $73.80 CAD. I’ll book it right now.

(5-minute pause while Jordan books his ticket)

Singapore to LA for under $75!

Okay, I’ve booked the Singapore-LA flight for $73.80. But now I’m curious – what are the prices like from those other two cities? As expected, they’re exceptionally cheap, just like my Singapore flight:

Beijing to LA
Taipei to LA

Okay, that all makes sense – the Guide basically gave that one away. But what if I just wanted to go to LA directly from Chiang Mai?

Good question. And I’d tell you that’s a bad move.

Why? Well, the entire key here is that the most important factor in booking your flights with Aeroplan is the airline, which is why the first thing I did when thinking about my flights was determine which airlines are based where in Asia. So in keeping with that thought process, we need to think about which airlines are based in Chiang Mai. The answer?

ZERO

Not a single one. In that case, we need to look to other airlines based in the same country or region. Here in Thailand we’ve got Thai Airways which, without surprise, dominates traffic in and out of Chiang Mai.

But there’s a problem: Thai Airways isn’t anywhere on our list of good airlines to fly with. In fact, on a global scale, it’s one of the worst for Aeroplan flights. I avoid them at all costs when booking with Aeroplan, and you should too. From a practical perspective, Thailand is a bad place to fly into or out of.

That sounds harsh, but when you see all of the other options you have, it ceases to matter. Here are just a few amazing flights from cities all over Asia that I found in a few minutes of searching:

Guangzhou, China to Los Angeles
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Los Angeles
Bali, Indonesia to Los Angeles
A direct Aeroplan flight from Tokyo, Japan to Los Angeles

There’s actually something exciting here for you if you need to reach Thailand: you can visit another Asian city and still pay less than you would by flying into or out of Thailand. Bonus!

Also, do you notice anything about the above examples? That’s right, we’re also using United Airlines. United is another favourite from Page 7 of the Guide, so any flights you can take with them are going to be cheap as well. Just like I did with the Singapore to LA flight, combining one of Singapore Airlines, Air China, or EVA Airways with United Airlines is a fantastic, replicable way of getting from Asia to North America.

So that’s that; my flight is booked, and there’s a myriad of other options for anyone else leaving from Asia as well.

But some of you are thinking, “This doesn’t apply to me, I’m not going to LA!” Take a look at these next two flights. Yes, this strategy works to anywhere in North America.

Hong Kong to Toronto, one of the rare times we advocate using Air Canada for Aeroplan redemptions

Didn’t find the city or reference you needed? No problem! Here’s a list of Cheap Airlines in Southeast Asia

Cheap Airlines In Indonesia

Airlines in Indonesia offer flights to destinations such as India, Saudi Arabia, East Timor, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Macau, Thailand, as well as destinations within Indonesia (like Java, Kalimantan, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Maluku, among others).

Main hub: Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International (Jakarta)

You can also find partner airlines with AirAsia and AirAsia X.

Vietnam

There are only two low-cost airlines in Vietnam but they offer flights to Thailand, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Singapore, Myanmar, and Macau, and even destinations within Vietnam.

Cheap Airlines in Vietnam:

Main hubs: Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon), Noi Bài International Airport (Hanoi)

Thailand

Like Vietnam, Thailand also only has two low-cost airlines and those will allow you to travel to: China, Myanmar, Vietnam, Singapore, and even Japan. As well as some other marvellous destinations within Thailand, from Krabi to Chiang Rai and beyond.

Cheap Airlines in Thailand:

Main hubs: Don Mueang International Airport (Bangkok), Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok), Chiang Mai International Airport (Chiang Mai), Phuket International Airport (Phuket)

You can also find partner airlines with VietJet, AirAsia, Scoot, and Lion Air.

Singapore

Another country with only two low-cost airlines but that was a bit expected from Singapore, right? Either way, you get lots of destinations to fly to! Such as Taiwan, New Zealand, India, Australia, and Japan, other southeast countries like Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Macau, Cambodia, and Myanmar.

Cheap Airlines in Singapore

Main hub: Singapore Changi Airport (Singapore)

Malaysia

AirAsia is a low-cost powerhouse, the amount of destinations you get with them is insane. Here are some of them: The UAE, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Brunei, Thailand, China, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, the United States (Hawaii), Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Taiwan, Laos, the United Kingdom, Mauritius, Oman, France, Japan, Singapore, and Iran.

Cheap Airlines in Malaysia

Main hubs: Kuala Lumpur International Airport (Kuala Lumpur), Penang International Airport (Penang)

Tip: AirAsia has a lot of affiliate airlines and subsidiaries. Just check out this list:

The Philippines

You can hop on a low-cost airplane from the Philippines to Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Guam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Macau, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the UAE, and Vietnam!

Cheap Airlines in the Philippines

Main hub: Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Manila)

Tip: You can also find partner airlines with AirAsia.

Okay, maybe this is all a bit overwhelming. After all, you just want to get from A to B as cheaply as possible, right?

Flying from Singapore to Vancouver, Canada with Aeroplan

Exactly. So here’s the 80/20, or how to get the most value from this post. (Canadians only )

STEP 1 OF 2: GET YOUR POINTS

Your ticket to 25,000 points (and a $75 flight to Asia) is in the American Express Gold Rewards Card. Just take 3 minutes to fill out the application form, and you’ll have your Gold Rewards Card in your hands within a week.

APPLY NOW

STEP 2 OF 2: USE YOUR POINTS

As soon as you close that tab, get yourself an Aeroplan Card. You’re going to transfer your American Express points into Aeroplan points in order to take the flights above, so you’ll need one of these. Fill out their 60-second online form and you’re all set – everyone gets approved automatically.

Some tips to keep in mind when you travel to Asia…

And that’s it! You’ll be enjoying authentic dim sum in no time.

If you want to show your friends how much of a flight hacker you are, share this post with them. Or if you’re not quite there yet and still need some clarification, we’re easy to reach via email, and we deal with these sort of problems every single day. I’d love to help you explore the world in a deeper, more meaningful way in 2019 and beyond.

Oh, and let us know if you got any value out of this post – depending on the response it receives, we may create similar posts for reaching the other continents, like this one to EuropeYes, you can fly to any continent in the world for under $100 (except Antarctica – we haven’t quite cracked that one yet). Help us help you by sharing this post and giving us your feedback!