There’s no doubt that the American Express Business Edge Card's 57,000 MR points bonus is impressive. But today, we’re here to talk about why this is a card to keep for the long haul, i.e. a card that’ll help you grow your business year after year. Let's take a look at the three most important long-term benefits that the Amex Business Edge Card has to offer.
Features And Benefits Of The American Express Business Edge Card
Before we dive into the details behind the long-term benefits of the Business Edge Card, here's what Amex offers with this new card:
|Bonus Points|| Welcome Bonus: 45,000 Membership Rewards (MR) points when you charge $5,000 in purchases to your Card in your first three months of Cardmembership|
Monthly Bonus: 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 Type||Credit Card|
|Annual Interest Rate|| • 19.99% on purchases|
• 21.99% on cash advances
|Supplementary Cards||No 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
Long-Term Benefit #1: Exceptional Earn Rates
One of the highlights of the Business Edge Card are the earn rates it offers on an array of spending categories. This ensures you’ll always get a great earn rate every day you use your card.
3x On Eats & Drinks
Eats and drinks are something every business, big or small, spends on just about every day. American Express defines the category extremely liberally, so you’ll get 3 points per every $1 spent on everything from your morning coffee to what you serve at the company party. Depending on how you use your points, this 3x earn rate is worth a 3-6% return on those purchases (read below for more details).
3x On Rides & Gas
Whether it's to move your employees around or to run a fleet of mobile service operators, the 3x points you'll receive on taxis, rideshare, and other methods of transportation will earn you a serious return on your business spending. 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.
3x On Office Supplies & Electronics
Not running a business that requires a lot of transportation? No problem – even if your business is more digital than physical, the Business Edge Card has you covered. With 3x the points on office supplies and electronics, you'll rack up the points with every dollar you spend in those categories, too.
The Cap On The 3x Earn Rates
The only downside of the 3x earn rates is that they’re capped at $25,000 in purchases in any of the three 3x earn rate categories mentioned above, or 75,000 earned points. After you hit that mark, your earn rate will drop down to 1x.
How Much Are MR Points Worth?
MR points don’t have a stated cash value (no loyalty points ever do, for that matter). Because of this, the final value you get depends on how you redeem them. There are 4 ways to use your MR points, each of which gets you a different valuation:
#1 Redeem your points for a statement credit
By far, the easiest way to use your MR points is to redeem them for a statement credit towards eligible purchases. You’ll receive a $10 credit for every 1,000 MR points you redeem.
Value: 1 cent per point
#2 Book flights & hotels
You can redeem MR points for travel bookings including flights, hotel stays, resorts, vacation packages, cruises, and car rentals through American Express Travel. The value you’ll get will always depend on the destination, dates, carriers, etc., but in general, you’ll be able to get more value through booking travel than you will by redeeming them as a statement credit.
Value: 1 – 2 cents per point
#3 Use Points For Merchandise And Other Purchases
Amex has partnered with online giants like Amazon.ca, Apple.ca, and other online merchants and retailers to provide an additional way to use your points. Through those partnerships, they offer the possibility to pay for your online purchases with your MR points, as long as your account is linked to your Membership Rewards account and you have sufficient MR points to pay for the entire purchase.
This isn’t usually the best way to redeem MR points, as you'll generally receive less than 1 cent per point.
Value: 0.7 cents per point
#4 Transfer Your MR Points To Other Loyalty Programs
If you’re more interested in building up your balance in other loyalty programs, you can transfer your MR points to the Marriott BonvoyTM or Hilton Honors loyalty programs, two of the biggest names in hotels and lodgings around the world. In this case, the final value depends on the transfer rate as well as on how you actually redeem your points in those loyalty programs, so the value is more ambiguous.
Value: 0.5 – 2 cents per point
The Bottom Line Of MR Points Value
In most cases, you'll find your MR points are worth somewhere between 1 – 2 cents per point. If you were able to transfer these MR points to Aeroplan or Avios, you could get some amazing deals on flights to Asia or Europe that would increase the value to 2+ cents per point. But since you can't make airline transfers with the Business Edge Card, we'll settle on an average value of 1.5 cents per point.
Long-Term Benefit #2: Low Annual Fee
The Business Edge Card carries an annual fee of just $99 per year. That works out to less than $10/month, extremely good value given all of the other benefits and perks you get with the card.
Long-Term Benefit #3: Free Supplementary Cards
The last long-term benefit we’ll mention is the free supplementary cards, because it's another special benefit most business credit cards don't offer.
This unlocks the real, scalable magic of the Business Edge Card – earning points on all of your employees' purchases on their supplementary cards – which can seriously accelerate the number of points you earn, and the number of rewards you can get with them.
Do The Benefits Justify The Annual Fee After The First Year?
As I showed you before, spending $64 per week in any of the six purchase categories that earn 3x, is enough to offset the low $99 annual fee – even if you only redeem those points as a statement credit. That’s a tiny amount compared to what even small businesses spend on those categories, so it's safe to assume you'll come out ahead with the Business Edge Card year after year.