The American Express Business Edge Card offers an impressive earning rate for its $99 annual fee, earning 3x the points on all office supplies, office supplies, electronics, rides, gas, and eats & drinks.
Bonuses & Fees
Introduced in October 2019, the American Express Business Edge Card offers 55,000 Membership Rewards points upon spending $5,000 in the first three months, when you sign up via a referral link. The annual fee is $99.
The public offer only grants 45,000 MR points; however, you could also apply via Great Canadian Rebates to earn $50 in cash back. This $50 offer would offset your first-year annual fee partially.
The choice between the referral link and Great Canadian Rebates therefore comes down to an extra 10,000 MR points vs. $50 in savings, and at our current valuation, the points would be worth $170 more.
There’s also an additional monthly signup bonus of 1000 MR points for each month you spend $3,000. This adds another layer of intrigue to the card, although you shouldn’t go out of your way way to meet it, rather put the spend towards meeting a more compelling offer on another card. If you normally spend $3,000 or more per month as part of your business activities, then it’s a nice little bonus to have.
Finally, the card also allows you to earn 5,000 MR points for every referral you make to a friend or family member, up to a maximum of 75,000 MR points a year.
The Business Edge Card’s specialty lies in its increased earning rate on select categories. You’ll earn:
3 MR points per dollar spent on eligible business essentials including office supplies and electronics, rides & gas, and eats & drinks
1 MR point per dollar spent on all other categories
To clarify, the “eats & drinks” category does not include purchases made at grocery stores, only restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and food delivery services. Moreover, the 3x spending category is capped at $25,000 in purchases per card membership year; after you’ve spent $25,000 in purchases on these categories, the earning rate will drop to 1x until the calculation resets next year.
With the 3x earnings on “rides & gas” and “eats & drinks”, the card seems ideally suited to the modern entrepreneur who’s constantly meeting clients on the go, while the office supplies and electronics category also caters to more established enterprises as well.
It would make a lot of sense to pay with your Business Edge Card when you’re buying office equipment or electronics, since no other cards in the Canadian market offer accelerated earnings on these categories.
Similarly, paying for rideshares and gas fill-ups using your Business Edge can also be a good idea, since the 3x earning rate represents a strong return.
On the dining category, however, the Cobalt Card for its higher 5x earnings on food purchases.
The Membership Rewards program offers outstanding redemption opportunities as well. This is primarily because it’s a flexible, transferable rewards currency.
You can transfer your MR points at a 1:1 ratio to Aeroplan and British Airways Avios, as well as a host of other global frequent flyer programs (including Cathay Pacific Asia Miles) at a 1:0.75 ratio. Moreover, you also have the option of converting points to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1.2 ratio for booking hotel stays.
Furthermore, you can redeem MR points directly for flights through the Amex Fixed Points Travel reward chart, although these are limited to round-trip flights departing from Canada.
Essentially, you can use a fixed amount of points towards the base ticket price of a regular cash ticket, up to a certain maximum. The number of points required and the maximum ticket price depends on the geographical region you are visiting (you can only book roundtrip flights that originate in Canada).
Lastly, you have the option of redeeming MR points directly against travel purchases at a rate of 1 cent per point (cpp), although this is typically not recommended, as the value pales in comparison to what you could get by booking flights through Aeroplan, Avios, or even the Fixed Points Travel chart.
Perks & Benefits
The American Express Business Edge Card has no meaning perks or benefits to speak of.
The Business Edge Card is somewhat lacking when it comes to the insurance package. It doesn’t come with provisions for Emergency Medical Insurance, Flight or Baggage Delay, or Trip Interruption & Cancellation, which are key protections that are found on many cards out there that have a stronger focus on travel.
The Business Edge Card does offer Car Rental Theft & Damage Insurance, as well as 90-day Purchase Protection in the case of loss or damage, as well as Buyer’s Assurance, which automatically extends the manufacturer’s warranty by up to one year. Both of these protections can be very useful, since you’re likely to buy many of your electronics using the Business Edge given the 3x points you earn.