Canada's best transferrable points currency
Currently, the American Express Business Gold Card offers 40,000 Membership Rewards points upon spending $5,000 in the first three months. The annual fee is $250.
There used to be an first-year fee waiver on this card; however, it was removed in June 2018. Time will tell if it ever returns.
40,000 MR points for $250 is a good deal, though not quite as good as it was with the fee waiver of course. You can transfer 40,000 MR points at a 1:1 ratio to frequent flyer programs like Aeroplan or British Airways Avios, as well as hotel loyalty programs like Marriott Bonvoy.
The card also allows you to earn 5,000 MR points for every referral you make to any card in the Membership Rewards family, up to a maximum of 75,000 MR points a year.
While the product is geared towards small business owners, in general anyone can apply if they’re comfortable declaring that they operate as a sole proprietorship (i.e., do business under their own name). This is done by listing one’s own full name as the business name on the credit card application.
With the Business Gold Card, you’ll earn 2 MR points per dollar spent with three select merchants of your choice from a list of 40+ possible “suppliers” in Canada. You’ll earn 1 MR point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Click here for the list of participating merchants. There’s a few good ones on the list, including Best Buy, Microsoft, Petro-Canada, Lowes, and Plastiq. Keep in mind that the card is ultimately geared towards small business owners, hence some of the more obscure suppliers on the list.
Compared to the other cards in the Membership Rewards family, the only occasion when it would make sense to pay with your Business Gold Card is when you’re spending with one of your three selected merchants. Otherwise, you’d be better off paying with the Business Platinum, since it offers 1.25 MR per dollar spent on regular purchases.
Insurance isn’t necessarily the strong suit of the Business Gold Card. It doesn’t come with Emergency Travel Insurance, which is a key protection that many travellers view as mandatory.
The Business Gold Card offers coverage of up to $500 in Baggage Delay Insurance and up to $100,000 in Travel Accident Insurance – these are lower limits than other American Express cards, like the Gold Rewards Card or the Bonvoy Card.
As a business card, one type of coverage that the Business Gold Card does offer is the Disability Plan for Small Business, which will compensate you up to $10,000 if you, as a sole proprietor, suffer permanent, total disability as the direct result of an accidental injury. Useful to keep in mind, in case the unthinkable happens.
While the Business Gold Card is geared towards small business owners, there's no requirement to be a registered small business owner of any kind. Just apply as a sole proprietorship and put your own name in the "Business Name" field. There's also no minimum income requirement on this card.
Applying via a referral link gives the maximum signup bonus on this card of 40,000 MR points. If you choose to apply via this route, consider using our referral link below to support the website.