Amex Credit Card Comparison for Canadians with Annual Fees

Credit cards have become an indispensable financial tool worldwide, providing convenience, rewards, and other perks. In Canada, Amex stands out amongst leading credit card issuers by offering options tailored to various consumer needs.

Although Amex cards incur annual fees, their benefits and rewards often outweigh this expense. This article compares several popular Amex credit cards available to Canadian consumers. It will evaluate each for annual fees, bonuses, benefits, and suitability to specific spending habits and lifestyle preferences. 

American Express Gold Rewards Cards 

• Annual Fee: $250 

• Interest Rates: 20.99%/21.99%

• Rewards: 1x to 2x

• Intro Bonus: Up to 60,000 points

American Express Gold Rewards Card is an attractive choice for frequent travelers and food enthusiasts. It features an engaging rewards program that gives cardholders access to two points for every dollar spent on eligible travel-related purchases, one point per dollar spent elsewhere, and can be redeemed against merchandise, travel costs, or statement credits. This card’s intro bonus of 60,000 points could make this choice all the more tempting for frequent spenders who spend heavily on dining, transportation, or lodging expenses.

Benefits for this card include receiving a free first-checked bag when flying with Air Canada, comprehensive travel insurance coverage, and access to exclusive Amex Experiences. Welcome bonus points are added upon meeting the minimum spending requirement in the first few months!

This credit card is ideal for individuals who travel frequently for business and pleasure and enjoy exploring new dining options. Justification for the annual fees is acceptable, provided the cardholder utilizes the card in all the categories and meets the minimum spending requirement. 

American Express Platinum Card

• Annual Fee: $699 

• Interest Rates: Varies

• Rewards: 1x to 3x

• Intro Bonus: 80,000 points

American Express Platinum Card is an elite card tailored to luxurious travelers and high spenders, featuring an introductory bonus of 80,000 points. Cardholders earn three points for every dollar spent on eligible dining purchases, two points on travel purchases, and one point across other purchases.

The Platinum Card allows access to airport lounges worldwide, including Priority Pass Lounges, Centurion Lounges, and the Delta Sky Club lounges when flying with Delta. In addition, cardholders benefit from the $200 annual travel credit that can help offset incidental airline fees. One will also enjoy elite status in hotel loyalty programs, complimentary upgrades at their hotels, and exclusive invitations to events and concerts.

American Express Platinum Card can be an advantageous choice for travelers and lovers of luxury experiences, offering access to an expansive array of benefits and rewards. The annual Fee may justify itself when considering all they provide – although cardholders need to determine whether they’ll fully use all that’s on offer before making their choice.

American Express Cobalt Card 

• Annual Fee: $155.88 

• Interest Rates: 20.99%/21.99%

• Rewards: 1x to 5x

• Intro Bonus: Up to 30,000 points

The American Express Cobalt Card was specifically tailored for millennials who value flexible rewards on everyday expenses. It makes an attractive option for individuals who often spend on dining, groceries, transportation, and streaming services. Cardholders earn 5 points at eligible restaurants/cafes/bars and grocery stores on eligible food & drinks purchases, two points on transit/travel purchases, and one point per dollar on all other transactions.

One of the unique aspects of this card is its ability to transfer points across several airline and hotel loyalty programs for increased redemption options. Furthermore, the card provides monthly bonus points when reaching certain spending thresholds within each billing cycle.

American Express Cobalt Card is designed for individuals living an active lifestyle who dine frequently and spend significantly on everyday essentials. The annual Fee is reasonable, considering the valuable rewards and usage flexibility.

American Express SimplyCash Preferred Card

• Annual Fee: $119.88

• Interest Rates: 20.99%/21.99%

• Rewards: 2x to 4x

• Intro Bonus: Up to $400

American Express SimplyCash Preferred Card offers cashback rewards without the complexity of points systems, offering cardholders up to $400 in initial bonuses. Cardholders earn up to 2% cashback with every eligible purchase, making this card one of Canada’s highest flat-rate cashback cards. It is ideal for individuals preferring cash over points/travel rewards. 

Additionally, the card provides purchase protection and extended warranty coverage, giving peace of mind when making big purchases.

American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card

• Annual Fee: $120 

• Rewards: 1 Air Mile for every $5 spent on groceries, gas, and transportation and 1 Air Mile for every $10 spent on other categories with a maximum yearly cap of $30,000

• Sign-up Bonus: 3,000 Air Miles

The American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card was designed specifically for collectors seeking to increase their air miles earning potential. Cardholders earn one reward mile for every $5 spent at grocery stores, gas stations, or AIR MILES partners using this card. Cardholders earn 1 reward mile for every $10 spent on all other purchases.

The AIR MILES card provides cardholders with an incentive of AIR MILES upon meeting a minimum spending requirement within the first few months, in addition to exclusive access to certain AIR MILES events and experiences. 

Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card

• Annual Fee: $120 

• Interest Rates: 20.99%/21.99%

• Rewards: 2x to 5x

• Intro Bonus: 50,000 points

The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card is an ideal option for frequent travelers who stay at Marriott Bonvoy hotels frequently. Cardholders earn five Marriott Bonvoy points for every $1 spent at participating Marriott properties and two points on all other eligible purchases. These are redeemable for free nights at Marriott hotels, room upgrades, and other rewards!

The card also gives cardholders an annual free night award when renewing, redeemable at eligible Marriott Bonvoy properties. Cardholders also enjoy Silver Elite status for enhanced perks during stays, such as priority late checkout and bonus points upon stays.

How To Select the Best American Express Card in Canada? 

Selecting an Amex card requires carefully considering your financial goals, spending habits, and lifestyle preferences before deciding from among all available cards. Likewise, consider the following:

• Assessment of spending habits.

• Annual fees.

• Reward programs.

• The welcome bonus offered.

• The travel benefit.

• Purchase protection and additional perks.


Consumers in Canada should take great care in selecting an Amex credit card that fits their lifestyle needs and spending habits. Some cards cater more towards frequent travelers, while others could better suit cashback enthusiasts or AIR MILES collectors. By carefully choosing the correct Amex card, one could reap maximum benefits while managing finances efficiently.

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