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Amex Business Cards: Staggering All-Time-High Signup Bonuses (100,000 MR Points!)

Let it be known: Canadian credit card welcome bonuses are back.

American Express has rolled out a series of new offers on their trio of small business cards, all of which reach all-time-highs that we’ve never seen before in Canada. Most excitingly, we’re getting the first-ever “true” offer of 100,000 points on the much-acclaimed American Express Business Platinum Card.

Amex Business Platinum: 100,000 MR Points!

As of today, the American Express Business Platinum Card will offer 100,000 MR points upon spending $10,000 in the first three months when applying via a refer-a-friend link.

That’s the highest bonus we’ve ever seen on this card, and indeed any American Express credit card issued by Canada. In fact, it’s arguably the single most valuable credit card welcome bonus we’ve ever seen in the history of welcome bonuses across this land. 

100,000 MR points is worth $2,100 based on our Points Valuations. Upon spending $10,000 in the first three months, you’d emerge with at least 112,500 MR points, worth $2,363; subtract the $499 annual fee, and the overall offer is worth $1,864 in travel value – all from a single signup bonus.

You could transfer the 112,500 MR points to Aeroplan and have enough points for a round-trip business class flight from Vancouver or Calgary to Tokyo, with a few points left over!

The $10,000 in minimum spending is certainly a bigger hurdle than the $7,000 minimum spend we had seen previously, aligning with the increase to the welcome bonus. Nevertheless, 100,000 MR points is certainly worth shifting some spending around for! 

(Compared to the referral offer, the public offer is only 75,000 MR points upon spending $7,000 in the first three months. The incremental $3,000 in spending is certainly worth the extra 25,000 MR points if you can swing it, so I’d definitely recommend applying via the refer-a-friend channel.)

Don’t forget that if you’re in two-player mode or more, then your partner, family member, or friend would earn 20,000 MR points as a referral bonus if you applied via their referral link, which would bring the total household gain to a downright unreal 120,000 MR points.

(There have even been some reports of a targeted referral bonus of 30,000 MR points on the Business Platinum. If you’re seeing that offer on your card, even more reason to refer a friend or family member to 100,000 points of their own!)

The $499 annual fee on the Business Platinum may appear intimidating at first glance, but the benefits of getting the card go a long way towards offsetting the impact of the annual fee.

The Business Platinum Card offers a flat 1.25 MR points per dollar spent on all purchases, making it an ideal card for business owners whose large volumes of spending may not fall into traditional credit card bonus categories.

In my view, the Business Platinum Card’s premium travel benefits is what really moves the needle, although the value may debatable in these times of a pandemic.

You’ll get an unlimited Priority Pass Select membership, which grants complimentary access for yourself and one guest to 1,300+ Priority Pass lounges around the world, in addition to several other lounge networks like Plaza Premium Lounges, Centurion Lounges, and the international Amex-branded lounges.

Get access to American Express Centurion Lounges with the Business Platinum Card

Furthermore, the Business Platinum Card confers instant Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, which can help you unlock room upgrades and better treatment at your Marriott hotel stays.

Throw in the competitive travel insurance, the Platinum Concierge access, the access to Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, and the satisfying feeling of whipping out a metal card and tossing it on the table, and you can see why the Business Platinum Card is a favourite product among high-flying points collectors and business owners across all the land.

Amex Business Gold: 60,000 MR Points

The American Express Business Gold Card offers 60,000 MR points upon spending $5,000 in the first three months.

This is a strictly positive increase from the 40,000 MR points we witnessed previously, with no change to the minimum spending requirement.

Upon completing your minimum spending, you’d emerge with at least 65,000 MR points on this card, worth $1,365. Subtract the $250 annual fee, and this offer is worth $1,145 in travel value.

Indeed, transferring these 65,000 MR points to Aeroplan would already earn you enough for a one-way flight in business class to Japan (from the West Coast) or to Europe (from the East Coast).

(On the Business Gold, the public offer is only 50,000 MR points, with the same minimum spend of $5,000 in the first three months. Needless to say, it’s strictly optimal to apply via a refer-a-friend link for the extra 10,000 MR points on the table.)

In two-player mode, since the three business cards are all part of the same “family” of cards in terms of referrals, it’d be optimal to apply for the Business Gold via the referral link generated by a Business Platinum Card, so that the referrer can earn that card’s referral bonus of 20,000 MR points. 

While the Business Gold Card doesn’t offer nearly as many travel perks as its higher-tier counterpart, it does have the benefit of earning 2 MR points per dollar spent on three merchants of your choice, including Plastiq. All other purchases earn 1 MR point per dollar spent.

Amex Business Edge: Up to 67,000 MR Select Points

The American Express Business Edge Card has bumped up its welcome bonus to an all-time-high level of up to 67,000 MR Select points:

  • 55,000 MR Select points upon spending $5,000 in the first three months
  • 1,000 MR Select points for each of the first 12 months in which you spend $3,000, for a total of 12,000 MR Select points

In general, I’d recommend that you pursue the first portion of the signup bonus to earn at least 55,000 MR Select points, but spending $3,000 per month for an incremental 1,000 MR Select points isn’t necessarily a good idea. I’d only recommend going for the second portion of the bonus if you’re organically spending that much every month anyway.

Upon completing your minimum spending, you’d emerge with at least 60,000 MR Select points on this card, worth $900 by our Points Valuations. Subtract the $99 annual fee, and this offer is worth $801 in travel value.

You could convert the 60,000 MR Select points into 72,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, which would be enough for a one-night stay at a Category 8 hotel at off-peak rate. You could also transfer 60,000 Bonvoy points into 25,000 airline miles in the program of your choosing.

(On the Business Edge, the public offer only gives you 45,000 MR Select points as the first portion of the bonus, with the same minimum spend of $5,000 in the first three months. Again, it’s strictly optimal to apply via a refer-a-friend link for the extra 10,000 MR Select points on the table.)

As before, in two-player mode, the best strategy is to apply for the Business Edge through the referral link generated by a Business Platinum Card, so that the referrer can earn the best-available referral bonus of 20,000 MR points. 

Besides the points, the standout benefit on the Business Edge is the ability to earn 3x MR Select points on business essentials, including food and drinks, ridesharing, gas, office supplies, and electronics. 

Conclusion

After a slow year in 2020, American Express is finally bringing its A-game back to the table with some truly groundbreaking welcome bonuses on its business credit cards.

The American Express Business Platinum Card has put out a stunning offer of 100,000 MR points, leaving its name in the history books as the first-ever credit card in the all-powerful American Express and Aeroplan ecosystem here in Canada to surpass the 100,000-point threshold. 

Simultaneously, the American Express Business Gold Card and American Express Business Edge Card have bumped their welcome bonuses higher to 60,000 MR points and 55,000 MR Select points, respectively, with no corresponding increase to the minimum spending amount. 

We’ve gone ahead and updated our Amex Flowchart to reflect the new offers, and needless to say, now would be the ideal time to sign up for these cards (on behalf of yourself and everyone in your entourage) if you haven’t already. 

47 Comments
  1. Michael Jones

    Just applied for the Bus Plat through your link. Shouldn’t be a problem hitting the $10k in a couple months. Just wanted to confirm one thing, I had a personal platinum about 7 years ago, cancelled a year later. I know you said this is a different product but is there a way to confirm I qualified and will get the $100k bonus? Without it, I wouldn’t have applied.

  2. Annie

    For anyone who interested: The AmEx US Business Platinum is offering 140,000 MR for USD 15,000 in 3 months (try to open it in incognito on different devices until you see it) which is…a lot. I can’ spend that much in 3 months so if anyone can do that – go for it!!!

    1. Ricky

      Yes, yes, I keep meaning to write about these US biz offers… but other offers keep popping up that get my attention first! I’ll cover these next week.

  3. Todd

    Just got approved. Thanks for the link. Enjoy the referral.

  4. Brian C

    I have a personal platinum card. Can i refer from that card to my personal holding company for business platinum card and obtain the referral bonus personally and the 100k sign up bonus for my holding co?

  5. Erik Hansen

    Can I click on the link on your blog to be eligible for the 100K signup?

    1. Josh

      Yes!

  6. Raj

    Do you need to be a current business Platinum Card holder to refer someone to a business platinum card? Or can you be a platinum card holder and your referral can apply to all of the amex cards ?

  7. Jing

    Anyone has an idea how long you’d have to wait after your cancellation of the Amex Business Platinum card before you come eligible for the welcome bonus again if you apply for the same card again?

  8. Chris

    What’s the word on Amexiles these days? I haven’t seen many reports lately, but I also haven’t been paying as much attention to the churning subreddit. This would be a repeat bonus for me if I get it.

  9. Daniel

    Thanks Ricky. I am trying to decide whether or not to apply. My biggest consideration is that as a family of 4, we have about 150,000 Aeroplan miles currently. To be able to travel from the West Coast to SE Asia, I’ve run the numbers and we will need at least 500,000 miles. That is a long way to go for us even with this additional ~120,000 MRs / Aeroplan miles.

    Also, off topic, what do you do with old Amex cards after you do not renew, esp the metal ones like Platinum?

    1. Miha

      I used to shred them (my shredder has a special attachment for plastic cards), but at some point I started just collecting them in a shoe box. I’m thinking of there is a creative project there somewhere, involving all these colorful pieces of plastic and metal. I have also heard of some people using a few cancelled cards to create decoy wallets when traveling to less safe destinations.

    2. Paul K

      After I cancelled, I was told by Amex to take a knife and damage the chip, then dispose of it.
      I deep sixed the Amex Platinum and got a Biz Platinum.

  10. Dan

    thanks so much for the heads up on this offer @Ricky. ive been looking for a new card ever since my C1WE got devalued so ill give this one a try. other than Costco, most of the places i make purchases at do take AMEX.

  11. Jerry

    Are approval odds better if one has an existing Amex card? Thinking of applying for the Biz Gold for my relative but she’s never been an Amex client. That 30K referral bonus too juicy to pass up

    1. Ricky

      An existing relationship always helps, though Amex is typically pretty lenient even with approving new clients.

  12. Paul K

    Thanks again for the heads up, Ricky; I have the Business Platinum already, so I used the 30000 MR point link available on my account and did the referral to my spouse, who is also a my business partner; with our business spending the $10K should not be an obstacle.

    130K MR points for a $499 spend, wow. Crazy good.

    1. Ricky

      These offers are definitely “convince partner, mom, dad, and grandparents to get in the game” territory.

  13. Shawn

    Hi Rick, what’s the possibility of self-referral in Canada? I’m currently a business platinum holder and I got a 30k referral offer and I’d like to self- refer to the business gold. I think it used to allow self-referral but it seems things have changed. Thanks

    1. Peter

      Great heads up! I had the platinum years ago, so may be time for another look. FYI amex limits spending on Plastiq to $25000 per month for double points across all accounts.

    2. Ricky

      Self-referrals are explicitly against the terms and conditions (as of March 2020) so it’s not something that we recommend. While it may work out in the short term, it may also put your account at risk of a shutdown.

      1. Shawn

        Thank you! I guess I’ll play safe!

  14. Gino

    Thank you for this update Ricky! I just got my Business Platinum like 2 weeks ago, I will call them if I can get the $10k for 100,000 Bonus instead of the normal 75,000 on $7k for 3months.

  15. Zaibii

    That would be great, thanks!

  16. Max

    The offer of 100k is only applicable to businesses because for 99% of us working class folks we won’t be able to spend 10k in 3 months. That’s crazy high, I don’t believe for a second frugal travelers on this blog would be able to afford 3k after tax cash spending monthly and still think they can do it. This card is out of reach for all of us.

    1. dan

      id consider myself fairly frugal, but tbh i have income tax, property tax and renovations that will easily bump me beyond the spending requirement to get the bonus

      1. Max

        You can’t pay income tax with a credit card. If you try a 3rd party you will be hit with a 3% charge which negates any benefit of the points. Also the 3rd party can easily mix up your CRA account and you’ll be hunted down by the government. Also CRA will get suspicious if they see someone else paying your taxes like a 3rd party vendor, you are taking huge risks by not paying cash.

        1. Peter

          We have being using Platiq with CRA and amex for years. It still works out well if you get the double points on the business gold. Considering cash price of business class seats is typically 4 x more than economy but point only double, the value prop is great.

    2. Jay*

      Just book a few refundable things… if you need to extend your 3 month spending window.

    3. Bileth

      The pros have methods of manufactured spending.

      1. Max

        You are naive to think MS still exists. Any method is quickly discovered and closed, MS doesn’t exist anymore don’t care if you expert or regular you need to spend 10k straight up, not happening for anyone outside of business owners.

        1. Jeff

          You are the naive one to think there are no MS options currently. They may not be publicly talked about but I personally know over 4 methods, which I am sure is just a few of the many available if you dig deep enough.

          1. Max

            I am a frequent visitor to several travel blogs and sites and reddit groups, no one talks about MS or even mentions it. This leads me to conclude its not popular. If it existed any blogger with good sense would talk about it because it would boost their visitors and offer great service to the community. If anyone is withholding MS info and the community finds out that blogger will be eliminated and austrasized. We can’t have greedy and secretive leaders in this community its about sharing if MS methods truly existed we would hear a lot more of them, even with dedicated research there is nothing to report.

            1. Chris

              The other guy is correct. There are several methods available. It’s all about the in-person meetings. People don’t share online for the reasons already mentioned, but I’ve picked up a couple from meetups.

            2. Josh

              https://princeoftravel.com/manufactured-spending-in-canada/

              “MS methods tend not to be discussed publicly, because they could be shut down if they were spread too widely. Nevertheless, there are always MS methods available here in Canada.”

              NOTE THE WORD ALWAYS. Coming from the blog you are currently reading. You can choose to believe whether or not MS methods exist, but let me tell you they 100% do currently.

    4. Ricky

      Even frugal travellers can prepay their future expenses. If $10K is too much of a stretch for you though, the public offer at 75,000 points for $7,000 in spending is also a major improvement compared to before.

  17. Zaibii

    I have had business platinum before. Will I still get the bonus if I apply again? Probably closed my account in 2019 if I recall correctly

    1. Gino

      YMMV, you could get or you might not. There’s a lot of factors involved in it. I had the same Business Plat Amex card beginning of 2018 and I was spending close to $2,000 per month on Business Expense then I cancelled it. I just opened it again, I will let you know once I get the Bonus in 3months if i got it. 😉

  18. Pierre Jean

    I love this offer, but I was an Amex Business Platinum cardholder until October 2020. Do I still qualify for the 100,000 points (assuming all other conditions are met)?

  19. Timbo2

    Just received my business gold this week, via your referral link, at the old rate. No secret connections for additional points ?

  20. Ryan Cormier

    What if you just signed up for the American Express Business Platinum Card a few months ago when you sent out the link with the 75,000 points bonus. Do you think it is possible to get American Express to allow us to qualify for this 100,000 bonus based on our very recent timeline of becoming a new customer with them, if we make the spending requirement needed?

    1. Ricky

      Like JB said, it’s doubtful but something you can try asking for. Over the past five years I can only recall a single instance of American Express extending a new higher offer to previous applicants (25k vs. 20k Starpoints on the old SPG cards); every other time has been a no.

    2. JB

      You can always ask but I give it a zero percent chance.

      1. Ryan Cormier

        I know. Wishful thinking on my part. I’ll keep you guys posted if I have any luck with American Express. It’s like buying points with the different airlines when they have promotions and then they come out with an even bigger bonus 2-3 months later.

  21. Kristian Llewellyn

    Great info thanks Ricky. Is there a timeline set for how long these WBs will be available?

    1. Ricky

      No published end date. I wouldn’t be surprised to see these in place for at least a year as a the “status quo” offer, though they can change at any time and so I’d recommend applying sooner rather than later if you’re interested.

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