5 Best Business Credit Cards In Canada (Aug 2022)

August 7, 2022
Blog
American Express Business Platinum Canada

Choosing the best business credit card in Canada is not an easy task: there are dozens of cards to choose from, each with their own unique set of features and benefits. Fortunately, I’ve spent the past 9 years observing the best business credit cards Canada has to offer, and I’ve narrowed down the top cards to a select few depending on your lifestyle and spending habits.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is my pick for the best all-around business credit card in Canada, both for its impressive earn rates and best-in-class travel perks. With complimentary access to 1,200+ airport lounges and a welcome bonus worth more than $2,000, the Business Platinum Card offers exceptional value for nearly all Canadian business owners.

What Is The Best Business Credit Card In Canada?

1. American Express Business Platinum Card – Best Overall

Welcome Bonus110,000 points
Required Spend$7,000 in 3 months
Annual Fee$499/year
Purchases Rate19.99%
Cash Advance RateNot supported
Supplementary Cards Fee$199/year

The American Express Business Platinum Card is a premium card for business owners who expect the best. It comes with complimentary access to 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide (including American Express’ Centurion Lounges), complimentary flight and hotel upgrades, and Amex Concierge 24 hours a day. 

I’ve personally held the Business Platinum Card for years, and can’t recommend it highly enough.

Features

  • Welcome bonus of up to 110,000 Membership Rewards points
  • Earn 1.25x points on every purchase
  • Complimentary access to 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide
  • Complimentary flight & hotel upgrades
  • Amex Concierge
  • Employee Card Misuse Protection up to $100,000
  • Purchase Protection Plan & Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan
  • Award-winning travel insurance coverage 
  • Annual fee is tax-deductible

The annual fee for the American Express Business Platinum Card is $499, which is a tax-deductible expense.

2. American Express Business Edge Card – Best Budget Card

American Express Business Edge Card Canada
Welcome bonus67,000 points
Annual Fee$99/year
Purchases Rate19.99% (23.99% if you have missed payments)
Cash Advances Rates21.99% (26.99% if you have missed payments)
Supplementary Cards Fee$0/year

The American Express Business Edge Card is a great all-around card for small business owners looking for an impressive bang for their buck. The current welcome bonus (up to 67,000 MR points) is worth at least $1,000 on its own, and the 3x earn rate means you get back 6-9% on most of your business spending.    

The Business Edge Card certainly offers a lot at a low price. For $99/year, it’s truly a steal.

Features

  • Welcome bonus of up to 67,000 Membership Rewards points
  • Earn an additional 1,000 Membership Rewards points for every month you spend $3,000 on the Card
  • Earn 3x points on eligible office supplies & electronics, rides & gas, eats & drinks
  • Employee Card Misuse Protection up to $100,000
  • Purchase Protection Plan & Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan
  • Award-winning travel insurance coverage 
  • Annual fee is tax-deductible

The annual fee for the American Express Business Edge Card is $99, which is a tax-deductible expense.

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3. American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business Card – Best Hotels Card 

American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business Card Canada
Welcome Bonus75,000 points
Annual Fee$150/year
Purchases Rate19.99%
Cash Advance Rate21.99%
Supplementary Cards Fee$50/year

Like the Business Platinum Card, the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business Card is designed for frequent travelers. It offers an incredible 5x the points on gas, dining and travel spending for the first 3 months, and 3x the points thereafter. We value those points at 2-3% each, which means you’ll earn 6-9% back over the long run with this card.

It also comes with a free hotel night every year—which is worth more than the price of the card on its own—not to mention a welcome bonus of up to 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, which are worth $1,500 – $2,250. If you travel frequently but can’t justify the Business Platinum Card’s $499 annual fee, the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card is the ideal choice for you. 

Features

  • Welcome bonus of up to 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points
  • Earn 5x points on all eligible gas, dining & travel purchases
  • Annual free hotel night award
  • Employee Card Misuse Protection up to $100,000
  • Purchase Protection Plan & Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan
  • Award-winning travel insurance coverage 
  • Annual fee is tax-deductible

The annual fee for the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business Card is $150, which is a tax-deductible expense.

4. American Express Business Gold Rewards Card

American Express Business Gold Rewards Card Canada
Welcome Bonus110,000
Annual Fee$199/year
Purchases Rate20.99% (21.99% if you have missed payments)
Cash Advance Rate23.99% (26.99% if you have missed paymets)
Supplementary Cards Fee$50/year

The American Express Business Gold Rewards Card comes with the best welcome bonus of any business credit card in Canada: up to 110,000 MR points, which we value at $2,200 – $3,300. Cardholders also get American Express’ suite of business, purchase and travel insurance coverage, plus a $100 USD hotel credit annually.

The Business Gold Rewards Card does have its drawbacks, though. At the $199/year pricepoint, it doesn’t offer the impressive earn rates of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card—or even the Business Edge Card, which costs half as much. If you’re interested in a big upfront bonus, this is a great card for you, though if you want to continue earning points year after year, you’re better off with one of the previous three cards.

Features

  • Welcome bonus of up to 110,000 Membership Rewards points
  • $100 USD annual hotel credit
  • Complimentary hotel and rental car upgrades
  • Employee Card Misuse Protection up to $100,000
  • Purchase Protection Plan & Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan
  • Award-winning travel insurance coverage 
  • Annual fee is tax-deductible

The annual fee for the American Express Business Gold Rewards Card is $199, which is a tax-deductible expense.

5. BMO CashBack Business Mastercard – Best Business Card Promotional Cashback Bonus

Welcome Bonus110,000
Annual Fee$199/year
Purchases Rate20.99% (21.99% if you have missed payments)
Cash Advances Rate23.99% (26.99% if you have missed payments)
Supplementary Cards Fee$50/year

The BMO CashBack Business Mastercard is a bit different from the other cards on this list. For starters, it doesn’t charge annual fees – and to compensate, it doesn’t offer any flat, points-based welcome bonus, either. Instead, it offers an attractive 10% promotional cashback bonus for the first three months, applicable whenever you purchase office supplies, gas, or pay cellphone and internet bills. After that period it reverts to the regular 0.75% cashback and can go as high as 1.75% at select stores.

Despite not being a bad option with its no-fee system and its promotional cashback, we can’t recommend it over the American Express Business Edge Card or the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business Card; both of these have annual fees, but they more than make up for it with a strong points-based rewards system. We did the math; reward points are equivalent to around 9% cashback – almost as much as BMO’s card – and you earn bonus points even after the initial three-month period.

Features

  • Promotional cashback rate of 10% for the first 3 months
  • No annual fee
  • Supports a maximum of 22 additional cards
  • 1% – 25% rebates on select stores through the Mastercard Easy Savings program
  • Supports instant payments with contactless Tap & Go® technology
  • Protected and insured against employee card abuse
  • 90-day purchase protection and up to 1-year warranty protection

9 Reasons Every Canadian Should Have A Business Credit Card 

You might be wondering why you should bother getting a business credit card at all, and you’re not alone. There are a few main differences between business and personal credit cards that make business cards particularly attractive. 

Even if you don’t run a business, you should get yourself a business credit card. Here are nine reasons why:

#1 Better welcome bonuses

Welcome bonuses on small business credit cards are often higher than those on personal cards, even if the cards carry the same annual fee. That makes sense: businesses spend more than individuals do, so credit card companies are willing to offer more to acquire them, which means you can score some excellent welcome bonus deals.

The other great thing about business cards is that you can double-dip on welcome bonuses, getting the bonus on both the personal card and the business card. For example, if you applied for both the American Express Platinum Card and the Business Platinum Card, you’d earn up to 220,000 MR points in welcome bonuses alone, which is worth $4,400 – $6,600

#2 Better earn rates

As you can see from the cards above, you can earn some pretty exceptional rates with small business credit cards. For example, with the Business Edge Card you earn the 3x points on office supplies & electronics, transit, gas, food, and drinks. With the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card you earn 5x the points on gas, dining and travel spending for the first 3 months, and 3x the points thereafter.

These rates are far better than you’ll find with personal cards, and they cover a much wider variety of expense categories, too. For example, the personal Platinum Card offers 3x the points on dining, but only 2x the points on travel, and 1x on everything else. If you want to earn serious points on your business expenses, you need a small business credit card. 

#3 Boost your personal credit score

The biggest factor impacting your personal credit score is your utilization ratio, or the amount of credit you’re currently using divided by the amount of credit available to you. For example, if you have a total credit limit across all your personal cards of $10,000 and you currently hold a collective balance across those cards of $7,000, your utilization ratio is 70%. If you hold a balance of just $2,000, your utilization ratio is a much healthier 20%.

Keeping your utilization ratio below the 30-40% level is important, because if you go above that, your credit score starts to take a hit. This is why business credit cards are so powerful: if you’re able to shift some of your business spending from your personal cards to your business cards, your utilization ratio will drop, improving your personal credit score.

#4 Boost (or establish) your business credit score

Your business credit score is unrelated to your personal credit score, so it’s a good idea to build them both up to give yourself the best shot at success. Here’s why: even if you have a perfect personal credit score, if you don’t have a strong business credit score, you’ll still get denied for loans and other forms of financing. 

A small business credit card can provide the financing you need for many purchases, it won’t be enough for all of them. If you want to buy a property, for example, you’ll need to go to a traditional bank or mortgage provider for that, and that’s when having a strong business credit score could save you thousands of dollars or more.

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#5 Greater access to financing

As a business owner, accessing traditional lines of credit and bank loans can be difficult. Banks often request an enormous amount of documentation, and preparing those documents detracts from time you’re able to spend building your business.

With a business credit card, though, you get access to a large amount of credit right off the bat. If you need to buy a new vehicle or piece of equipment, or run a large marketing campaign, the credit limit you get on a small business credit card will often be more than enough.

#6 Higher credit limits

If you run a capital-intensive business—whether it’s a logistics company or an e-commerce store running Facebook ads—you know how tricky it can be to stay within the low credit limits offered on personal credit cards. While personal cards often have limits in the range of $5,000 – $10,000, business credit cards frequently have limits 5-10x that amount, freeing you up to run your business on your terms. 

#7 Shielded from employee misuse

If your business has employees, there’s one big reason you shouldn’t give your employees access to your personal credit cards, even if you personally use them for business expenses: you aren’t protected if something goes wrong. This may sound like an unlikely scenario, but if your employee buys a car with your personal credit card and then disappears, you’ll be left footing the bill.

Of course, this isn’t the case with business cards. All of the American Express cards mentioned above come with $100,000 of employee misuse protection, which covers you if your employees use their card for unauthorized expenses. This means you can freely give out business credit cards to your employees without fear of them taking advantage: if they buy something that they shouldn’t have, you won’t have to worry about a thing.

#8 Improved accounting 

Separating your personal and business expenses is Accounting 101: not only will you be able to quickly see exactly how your business is doing, but you’ll also be able to make smarter purchasing and planning decisions in a shorter amount of time.

Having your personal and business expenses separated also makes filing your taxes easier, which can save you hours of time (or hundreds of dollars in accountant fees) at the end of the year.

#9 Greater purchase protection

While both personal credit cards and business credit cards offer purchase protection and extended warranties on your purchases, business cards tend to be more generous in what they cover. This is important, because if an expensive piece of equipment breaks, you’ll want to know that your business isn’t on the hook for it.

Who’s Eligible For A Business Credit Card In Canada?

Many people believe that you need to be running a registered corporation in order to be approved for a business credit card. In reality, you just need to be earning income outside of your normal job.

The great thing is that nearly everyone earns some sort of income outside of their normal job, even if it’s just $20 here and there. 

Here are some non-traditional income sources that make you eligible for a business credit card in Canada:

  • Freelance writing, editing, proofreading, fact-checking, etc.
  • Developing software, building websites, etc.
  • Managing social media profiles, including Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, etc. 
  • Managing social media ads, including Instagram, Facebook, Google, etc.
  • Buying and selling on eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace, etc.
  • Working as a freelance virtual assistant, translator, consultant, etc. 
  • Consulting independently or as part of a team
  • Driving for Uber, Lyft, etc.
  • Delivering food for UberEats, SkipTheDishes, DoorDash, etc.
  • Walking dogs in your neighborhood
  • Tutoring in person or online
  • Buying and selling art, wine, antiques, etc.
  • Selling homemade items at flea markets or online 
  • Singing, dancing, or providing entertainment in person or online
  • Collaborating with brands on sponsored social media content, including sponsored Instagram posts, YouTube videos, TikTok posts, etc. 

If you fit any of these categories (or hundreds more like them), you can apply for a business card. And even if you don’t fall into these categories yet, if you intend to earn income outside of your day job in the future, you’re still eligible to apply.

In Summary

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is my pick for the best all-around business credit card in Canada, both for its impressive earn rates and best-in-class travel perks. With complimentary access to 1,200+ airport lounges and a welcome bonus worth more than $2,000, the Business Platinum Card offers exceptional value for nearly all Canadian business owners.

Canadian Business Credit Card FAQs

What Credit Score Is Needed For A Business Credit Card In Canada?

The minimum credit score needed for a business credit card in Canada is generally around 660. All credit cards listed above use Equifax to determine the credit score of new customers: the higher the credit score, the more likely it is that you will get your credit card approved. Credit scores range from 300 to 900, and anything above 660 is considered a strong credit score.

Do Business Credit Cards Check Personal Credit?

Yes, business credit card issuers generally conduct a hard check on your personal credit score before approving you for a business card. The reason for this is that business credit cards are typically unsecured (they’re not backed by any collateral), so card issuers may view business card applicants as higher-risk than personal card applicants.

Do Business Credit Cards Have Higher Limits?

Yes, business credit cards often have higher limits than personal cards. Based on Canadian data from 2020, the difference between personal and business credit card limits averages about twice as much, though this can stretch to as high as 5x or 10x.

Can I Use My Business Credit Card For Personal Use?

Yes, using your business credit card for personal use is completely legal. Keep in mind that if you make any personal purchase there are tax and personal finance implications, and you have to include them when filing your taxes.

What’s The Best Business Travel Credit Card In Canada?

The best business travel credit card in Canada is either the Business Platinum Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card. Both cards offer Amex’s comprehensive travel, medical and purchase insurance, and the Business Platinum Card comes with access to 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide, arguably the best travel perk of any credit card in Canada.

At the same time, the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card offers some excellent hotel benefits, making both cards suitable for frequent travelers.

What’s The Best Small Business Credit Card In Canada?

The best small business card in Canada is either the Business Platinum Card or the Business Edge Card. The Business Platinum Card is an excellent all-around card that offers great value to nearly every business owner, while the Business Edge Card offers great earn rates at a lower annual fee (just $99/year), making it a cost-effective card for small business owners who want to earn substantial rewards without the upfront fee.

What’s The Best Corporate Credit Card In Canada?

The best corporate credit card in Canada is the Business Platinum Card, which is the gold standard that many of Canada’s largest corporations give to their employees. Corporations like working with American Express because their cards offer employee misuse protection and other forms of protection to keep their funds safe and secure.

Can I Get A Business Credit Card With No Revenue?

Yes, you can get a business credit card before your business is generating any revenue. However, you may have to provide proof of your business expenses, such as supplier invoices or lease agreements.

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