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Amex Business Cards: Staggering All-Time-High Signup Bonuses (120,000 MR Points!)

Let it be known: Canadian credit card welcome bonuses are bigger and better than ever.

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 biggest offer of all time, at 120,000 points on the much-acclaimed American Express Business Platinum Card.

Amex Business Platinum: 120,000 MR Points!

As of today, the American Express Business Platinum Card will offer an all-time high of 120,000 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, even competing well with some top-notch US credit card offers. 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. 

120,000 MR points is worth $2,640 based on our Points Valuations. Upon spending $10,000 in the first three months, you’d emerge with at least 132,500 MR points, worth $2,915; subtract the $499 annual fee, and the overall offer is worth a staggering $2,416 in travel value – all from a single signup bonus.

You could transfer the 132,500 MR points to Aeroplan and have enough points for a round-trip business class flight to Europe or Asia, with quite a few points left over to use towards stopovers, additional tickets, or unsavoury dynamic pricing.

Or, you could get yourself to the Middle East in Etihad Airways First Class one-way for 120,000–130,000 points, living it up in the throes of luxury thanks to applying for a single credit card. 

The $10,000 in minimum spending is certainly a bigger hurdle than the $6,000 minimum spend we had seen previously, aligning with the increase to the welcome bonus. Nevertheless, 120,000 MR points is absolutely worth shifting some spending around for! 

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 even higher as you apply for more Amex business cards.

The $499 annual fee on the Business Platinum Card 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.

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: 75,000 MR Points

The American Express Business Gold Rewards Card offers 75,000 MR points upon spending $5,000 in the first three months, when applying via a refer-a-friend link.

(Note that the offer is advertised as 115,000 MR points, but this includes 40,000 points associated with high quarterly spending thresholds. For the purposes of the upfront welcome bonus, it’s better to think of the offer as 75,000 MR points.)

Upon completing your minimum spending, you’d emerge with at least 80,000 MR points on this card, worth $1,760. Subtract the $199 annual fee, and this offer is worth $1,561 in travel value.

Indeed, transferring these 80,000 MR points to Aeroplan would be almost enough for some of the longest redemptions you might be looking to make, such as Asia from the East Coast or Europe from the West Coast.

In two-player mode, since the three business cards are all part of the same “family” of cards in terms of referrals, it would be optimal to apply for the Business Gold Card 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. 

The Business Gold Card doesn’t offer nearly as many travel perks as its higher-tier counterpart, and all purchases earn 1 MR point per dollar spent, a lower rate than the Business Platinum Card.

Also, as always, you’ll earn 10,000 MR points for each quarter in which you spend $20,000. This is an ongoing benefit of the Business Gold Card, valid in subsequent years as well.

Considering you can earn 12 times that many points for half the spending on a new Business Platinum Card, it would probably be better to go that route and skip this feature.

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

The American Express Business Edge Card has kept its old offer steady, an all-time-high of up to 67,000 MR points:

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

In general, I’d recommend that you pursue the first portion of the signup bonus to earn at least 55,000 MR points, but spending $3,000 per month for an incremental 1,000 MR 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 points on this card, worth $1,320 by our Points Valuations. Subtract the $99 annual fee, and this offer is worth $1,221 in travel value.

While the higher-tier business cards’ offers are objectively better, the Business Edge Card would be a fine choice if you prefer to keep annual fees down.

Also, note that you can’t apply for the Business Platinum and Business Gold cards within three months of each other. If you’ve recently opened one, that would make the Business Edge Card more appealing as an alternative.

As always, 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 Card is the ability to earn 3x MR Select points on business essentials, including food and drinks, ridesharing, gas, office supplies, and electronics.

Conclusion

American Express continues to lead the pack as travel heats up again, with some record-breaking welcome bonuses on its business credit cards.

The Business Platinum Card is king again, reclaiming its rightful throne with the highest points offer on the market, and the highest ever lump-sum upfront bonus by a significant margin.

Simultaneously, the Business Gold Card has restructured its welcome bonus of 75,000 MR points, soaring well past its previous high in terms of the lump-sum bonus awarded in the first year.

All of the above offers are subject to change at any time, so needless to say, now would be the ideal time to sign up for these cards (on behalf of yourself and others in your entourage) if you haven’t already, in order to fuel your travel goals in 2022 and beyond.

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