American Express AIR MILES® Business Card [Canada]: A Review

January 20, 2020
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There’s never been a better time to be a Canadian business owner thanks to the American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card, a premium card that offers incredible value. For a limited time, earn up to 150,000 Aeroplan points*. Offer ends August 3, 2021. The American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card is made from precision cut and engraved 13 g metal. Enjoy access to select Maple Leaf Lounges™* and the Air Canada Café™*.

If you’re a business owner that travels at least once per year, we highly recommend the Aeroplan Business Reserve Card.

*Conditions and caps apply.

If you're a small business owner and you use AIR MILES®, it's a great idea to sign up to an AIR MILES credit card, because it will help boost your AIR MILES Bonus Miles balance. The American Express AIR MILES Business Card is an excellent choice because it brings a 2,000 miles welcome bonus, great earning rates, travel insurance and plenty of Amex business solutions. Read on to learn all the basics about Amex's best AIR MILES Card for small businesses.

Basic Features And Benefits Of The AIR MILES Business Card

  • Annual fee of $180 and $50 for each additional card
  • Charge card with an interest rate of 30% on balance not paid in full after the interest-free period
  • Welcome bonus of 2,000 miles worth over $200 (after spending $5,000 in the first three months)
  • Decent earning rate of 1 mile per every $10 in purchases at AIR MILES sponsors
  • 1 mile per every $15 on all other card purchases
  • Great business solutions like a 55-days interest free period, 25% discounts in the AIR MILES for Business Rewards Catalogue, employee card misuse protection, and special business servicing from both Amex and AIR  MILES
  • Travel and purchase insurance coverage
  • Additional Amex perks

How Do The Perks Compare To The Annual Fee

The American Express AIR MILES Business Card is great choice if you’re a small business owner and use AIR MILES. It does come with an annual fee of $180, but the welcome bonus of 2,000 air miles, which can easily be worth close to $300, will leave it well behind during the first year. After that, only the travel insurance and the 25% discount on AIR MILES rewards for small businesses will help you lower the amount you would have to earn in miles in order to cover the fee.

Related: The American Express Business Edge™ Card

If you do manage to keep in green numbers, which is really as simple as earning close to 1,000 miles every year and renting a car for a couple of days at least once, the business solutions that come with the American Express AIR MILES Business Card will be worth your while.

The American Express AIR MILES Business Card’s Perks For Small Businesses

Cash-Flow Management

As all Amex charge cards, you need to pay your full balance every month in order to avoid paying penalty interests. However, with the American Express AIR MILES Business Card, you get nearly twice the time to pay, because it comes with a 55-day interest-free period. This is great for your small business, because it gives you a lot more flexibility in cash flow management. The only risk is that if you do exceed those 55 days with a balance, then you’ll get a penalty interest rate of 30%, so beware.

Employee Card Misuse Protection

The Employee Card Misuse Protection is a service that helps protect your business from unscrupulous employees who use their employee card for personal expenses instead of those related to your business. There are obvious conditions to use this benefit: The first one is reaching an agreement with Amex as to which charges are authorized and which aren’t. The second big condition is that you have to cancel the employee card immediately when the unauthorized charge is made if you want Amex to assume liability for those expenses.

Discounts On AIR MILES Redemptions

Finally, there’s the 25% discount you get at the AIR MILES for Businesses catalogue. This benefit will help you, as a small business owner, make the most out of the miles you earn with your Amex AIR MILES Business card. A 25% discount in the miles you have to spend on merchandise or travel, will ramp up your mile’s value by 33%, making this benefit a really great value.

Earn More Rewards With Your American Express Business Card And Your Employees’ Additional Cards

The Amex AIR MILES Business Card will boost your miles earning potential in two ways

  • In the first place, you’ll earn 1 mile for every $10 in purchases at AIR MILES sponsors, which is more than what most of those same sponsors will give you through the AIR MILES program. Additionally, you’ll still ear the miles AIR MILES normally gives you for presenting your collector card, so you’ll be double-dipping on the same purchase.
  • Secondly, Amex AIR MILES cards also earn miles on purchases other than on AIR MILES sponsors, so you’ll be earning miles every time you use your card to pay for purchases.

Combine that with extra earnings from every single additional card you give your employees, and you’ll be on your way to AIR MILES Onyx Status in no time flat.

Take Your Business Trips At Ease With The Amex AIR MILES Business Card

One of the reasons behind the annual fee is that this card comes with a good set of travel insurance policies. Even though it doesn’t offer travel medical Insurance or trip cancellation and interruption insurance, it still provides most of the other policies and services that Amex has to offer.

Travel Coverage

  • $100,000 in travel accident insurance
  • 85,000 coverage for Car rental theft and damage
  • Up to $500 in Flight/Baggage delay coverage
  • Up to $500 in Motel/Hotel burglary insurance

With the car rental insurance alone, you could justify the annual fee after an 8- to 12-day rental, considering the fact that these policies are normally worth $16 to $23 per day. The other policies aren’t worth as much, but they sure can be of great help if you lose your luggage with you laptop and other personal effects in it.

Purchase Coverage

Apart from this travel coverage, all Amex cards also come with the standard purchase coverage composed of the following:

  • The Purchase Protection Plan, which covers any recently bought items for up to $1,000 in replacement or repair costs
  • The Buyers Assurance Protection Plan, which doubles the manufacturer’s warranty for up to an additional year
  • And the Fraud Protection Guarantee to protect you against unauthorized use of your card.

The Bottom Line With The American Express AIR MILES Business Card

This charge card is a good choice if you meet the following criteria:

  • You’re a small business owner AND you use AIR MILES
  • 55 interest-free days is enough for you to pay your whole balance on a regular basis without affecting your cash flow
  • You don’t mind paying an annual fee
  • You or your employees travel frequently

Other Business Cards To Consider

The Amex AIR MILES Gold Business Card

If you plan to carry a balance on your card every month, then the AIR MILES Business is not the best choice. You could consider the American Express AIR MILES Gold Business Card, which is a credit card and therefore comes with an interest rate of 19.99% on purchase and 21.99% on cash advances. The card has no annual fee but it doesn’t offer as much insurance coverage and it also has a lower earning rate.

The Business Gold Rewards Card

If you’re not in love with AIR MILES, you can also consider the Amex Business Gold Rewards Card that is also a credit card. This card’s annual fee is a bit higher than the AIR MILES Business, but it also brings more perks and earns MR points which can be more flexible than dream miles or cash miles.

The Marriott Bonvoy™ Business Card

Finally, if you can live without AIR MILES, we recommend the Marriott Bonvoy™ Business Card. It’s also a credit card, it has a lower fee of just $150, and it offers an Annual Free Night award that alone is worth twice that much, making this card a sure win.

Canada's Best Credit Cards

Our #1-Rated Card Of 2021

Earn up to 75,000 Aeroplan Miles (valued at $1,500 - $2,250) with the American Express Aeroplan Card, our #1-rated card in Canada in 2021.

Offer expires August 3, 2021.

For Business Owners

Earn up to 150,000 Aeroplan Miles (valued at $3,000 - $4,500) with the American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card, plus 10x the points on gas and restaurant spending.

Offer expires August 3, 2021.

Low Fee, High Value

Earn up to 50,000 MR points (valued at $1,000 - $1,500) with the American Express Cobalt Card, a low-fee card that offers 5x the points on all food and drinks.

Offer expires August 16, 2021.