In the past year or so, we’ve seen something of a paradigm shift in the world of applying for American Express credit cards for their lucrative signup bonuses.
When I launched Prince of Travel in the beginning of 2017, the general strategy was to rely on best-ever signup bonuses, juicy referral bonuses, and first-year fee waivers to “cycle” through the various Membership Rewards cards. The Rack Up the Points with Referrals article, now slightly outdated, gives you a peek into the lucrativity of starting out with the Business Platinum and then “self-referring” to the various other cards over the course of a year.
Since then, Amex has implemented several changes that have reduced the appeal of this strategy, such as:
- Both the Gold Rewards Card and the Business Gold Card no longer have first-year fee waivers
- The Gold Rewards Card is no longer part of the same “referral family” as the other three MR cards
- The Business Platinum Card has been devalued significantly, with the signup bonus, referral bonus, and annual fee all taking a hit
This has brought into sharper focus a new strategy for earning lots of Membership Rewards points, which is by taking advantage of special card offers that are available to certain organizations. I’ve written about the Amex Gold Rewards Card from Perkopolis in the past – by signing up through this offer, you effectively still get a first-year fee waiver on that care, plus 25,000 MR points as a signup bonus.
Today, we’ll have a look at the Amex business credit card offers via Canada Post Solutions for Small Business, which continue to provide a taste of the good life that we had enjoyed on these cards prior to the recent round of devaluations.
The Canada Post Offers
Canada Post Solutions for Small Business, a program that aims to help businesses with their postal needs, has partnered up with Amex to deliver further value to small business owners in the form of business credit cards with excellent perks.
By applying for the American Express Business Gold Card via Canada Post, you can earn 40,000 MR points upon spending $5,000 in the first three months. There is an annual fee of $149, which is reduced from the usual $250 on the public offer; however, you also get a statement credit of $149 after spending $1,500 in the first three months, making this effectively a first-year fee waiver.
Meanwhile, by applying for the American Express Business Platinum Card via Canada Post, you can earn 75,000 MR points upon spending $5,000 in the first three months. There is an annual fee of $399 which is not waived.
Make no mistake about it – these are fantastic offers. By applying via Canada Post, you’re beating out the refer-a-friend offer thanks to the first-year fee waiver on the Business Gold, as well as the higher signup bonus, lower minimum spending requirement, and lower annual fee on the Business Platinum (60,000 MR points, $7,000, and $499 respectively).
Furthermore, you’ll get to enjoy all the publicly available perks on these cards as well. On the Business Gold Card, this includes the ability to select three merchants out of 40+ on which to earn double the points, while the Business Platinum offers you an increased earn rate of 1.25 MR points per dollar spent and Priority Pass lounge access at 850+ airport lounges around the globe.
The downside is that you can’t earn referral bonuses when you apply via Canada Post. So if you’re holding the Platinum Card, for example, you’d be missing out on the 15,000 MR points that you’d otherwise earn as a referral bonus.
Of course, that’s a worthwhile tradeoff in anyone’s books, since the forgone 15,000 MR points are more than offset by either $250 in savings (for the Business Gold) or an extra 15,000 MR points plus $100 in savings (for the Business Platinum) when you apply via Canada Post.
Do You Qualify?
You need to be a member of Canada Post Solutions for Small Business (formerly known as VentureOne) to apply for these offers.
The good news is that pretty much anyone can become a member for free. The program website says that you’re eligible to sign up if you “ship fewer than 1,250 parcels and send less than 100,000 pieces of direct mail in a year”, and last I checked, zero is less than both 1,250 and 100,000.
I say that in jest, of course, but in fact it’s a great idea to sign up for Solutions for Small Business if you have any shipping needs at all, since it gives you discounts on Xpresspost and Expedited Parcels as well as various other perks.
It costs you nothing to join and can save you money from time to time, so it’s one of those low-hanging fruits that everyone should take advantage of. I myself had joined the program many years ago when I had to ship lots of parcels for a while, and it had offered me small savings that added up over time.
To apply for the cards, you simply head to the landing page and click the Apply Now buttons. You’ll need to enter the RSVP codes, which happen to be prominently displayed on the landing page itself.
I suppose that means you’ll be able to apply without being a member of Canada Post Solutions for Small Business, but opening an account literally takes a few minutes of your time and keeps everything above board.
2018 has seen American Express ruthlessly devalue several of their card products. However, the points must continue to flow, so it’s crucial to stay abreast of the most effective ways to boost your balances. These irresistible offers from Canada Post represent a continuation of the excellent Amex deals of yesteryear, especially taking into account the fact that anyone is eligible for them by signing up the versatile Canada Post Solutions for Small Business program.