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Whether you’re a large corporation or a self-employed individual, a business credit card is an essential financial tool that can help you deal with the ups and downs of running a business. For one, it can separate your business expenses from your personal finances which is important when you need to figure out which expenses are tax-deductible. Moreover, a business credit card provides a valuable overview of all your expenses and where it’s going. The ability to efficiently track your expenses will lead to better cost management and a more productive tax season. Business credit cards often also have many rewards and perks that you can capitalize on. 

What To Look For In A Business Credit Card?

Choosing a credit card can be difficult given the plethora of options available. However, there are a few factors you should consider, in general, when getting a business credit card. 

Annual Fee

Is your annual fee worth the rewards you get? Understanding the value of your rewards in relation to your annual fee will allow you to see if the costs outweigh the benefits.

Credit Card Type

It is important to understand whether your card is a charge card or a credit card. A charge card usually doesn’t have a spending limit and requires users to pay the entire amount each month. Unlike a credit card where you can pay the minimum and carry the balance forward, a charge card must be repaid in full each billing period. If you default, you’ll be subject to harsh penalties and a retraction of your card.

Rewards And Perks

While this may seem obvious, it is important to remember to look for a card that best meets your needs rather than one that provides a bunch of random rewards. For example, a business owner who travels a lot may find a credit card that heavily focuses on travel rewards may be more worthwhile than a credit card that provides better cash back rewards.

Best Credit Cards In Canada

  • Amex Business Gold
  • Amex Business Edge
  • BMO Air Miles Business Mastercard
  • CIBC Aeroplan Business Visa Card

Amex Business Gold 

Annual Fee$250
Cash Advance Fee3%
Welcome Bonus30,000 Membership Reward points 

Amex Business Gold is a charge card from American Express. In general, you can earn 1 Membership Reward point per dollar spent on your card and an extra Membership Reward point per dollar spent if you make purchases from any 3 suppliers from American Express’ list of merchants in Canada. Currently, Amex Business Gold is offering a welcome bonus of 30,000 Membership Reward points which you can earn by spending $5,000 on your card within 3 months of owning it. However, with an annual fee of $250, you’ll need to spend at least $12,500 a year to breakeven and start having the benefits outweigh the costs.

You can redeem your Membership Reward points (every 1,000 points spent on travel purchases = $10, every 1,000 points spent on regular expenses = $7) to pay down your credit card balance, to pay for travel expenses or restaurants, to purchase amazon products, and other retail reward options. You can also convert your points to other frequent flyer and loyalty programs like Aeroplan points. 

Extra Features 

  • Insurance coverage – Amex Business Gold provides comprehensive coverage. Car rental insurance, hotel burglary insurance, baggage insurance, trip cancellation/delay insurance, flight delay insurance, purchase protection, employee card abuse protection. 
  • Grace Period– Receive almost 2 months (55 days) of interest-free days. 

Amex Business Edge

Annual Fee$99
Cash Advance Rate21.99%
Welcome Bonus30,000 Membership Reward points 

Amex Business Edge is an American Express charge card that offers 3 Membership Reward points for every dollar spent (up to 75,000/year) on eligible business expenses such as foods, drinks, gas, rides, office supplies, and electronics. All other expenses will give you 1 Membership Reward point for every dollar spent. Moreover, you can also gain 1,000 points each billing period when you spend 3,000 dollars in a single billing period. Lastly, you can earn your 30,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months of signing up. 

To truly benefit from this card you will need to spend at least $10,000 every year to breakeven with the annual fee of $99. You can redeem your Membership Reward points (every 1,000 points spent on travel purchases = $10, every 1,000 points spent on regular expenses = $7) for statement credits, gift cards, products on amazon, travel expenses, restaurants, entertainment, and retail. In addition to that, you can enjoy a number of perks that come with the card. 

Extra Features 

  • Employee Card Misuse Protection – Get $100,000 dollars in coverage with Amex Business Edge when your supplementary cards used by your employees are misused. 
  • Purchase Protection – Amex Business Edge provides purchase protection for stolen or accidentally damaged items up to $1,000 dollars in coverage. 
  • Deductibles – Annual fee may be tax-deductible 

BMO Air Miles Business Mastercard

Annual Fee$120
Cash Advance Rate22.99%
Welcome Bonus3,000 Air Miles

For every $10 you spend on your BMO Air Miles Business Mastercard, you’ll earn 1 Air Mile. The only other time you can earn a higher amount of Air Miles is when you use your card at certain Shell stations. This card also comes with a great welcome offer that can garner you 3,000 Air Miles points. Simply make a purchase when you get your card to earn 1,000 Air Miles The other 2,000 Air Miles will be rewarded when you spend $5,000 dollar on your account within the first three months of opening your account. 

You can redeem your Air Miles for flights, vacations, merchandise, electronics, and more. Generally, 1 Air Miles is equal to 10 to 15 cents depending on what you redeem it for. Usually, redeeming your points on travel-related products has the highest value while cashback gives back the lowest value. This card is great for businesses looking for a low annual fee with great travel benefits and less restrictive rules on what purchases will earn you points.

Extra Features 

  • Travel Insurance coverage – BMO’s Air Miles Business Mastercard provides an extensive amount of protection. Car rental insurance, baggage insurance, trip cancellation/delay insurance, flight delay insurance, and purchase protection are all included with your card. 
  • Annual fee – Your annual fee will be waived for the first year

CIBC Aeroplan Business Visa Card

Annual Fee$180
Cash Advance Rate14.5%
Welcome Bonus10,000 Aeroplan points

The CIBC Aeroplan Business Visa Card is a credit card that you can use to earn Aeroplan points. These Aeroplan points can be used to buy merchandise, gift cards, and vacation packages. You can also use your points to pay down your credit card or even make a contribution to your other financial products like your RRSP or TFSA. 

You can earn 1.5 Aeroplan points per dollar spent on shipping, internet, cable, phone services, travel and dining purchases. Purchases through Air Canada will earn you 2 points on the dollar and twice as much if you purchase through the Aeroplan eStore. All other purchases will earn you 1 point for every dollar. In addition to that, CIBC is providing a welcome bonus of 10,000 Aeroplan points and a one-time bonus companion pass/buddy pass.

Extra Features 

  • Insurance coverage – Provides classic travel protection such as flight delays insurance, trip cancellation insurance, baggage insurance, car rental insurance, and more.
  • Annual fee waived – Enjoy your credit card for free during your first year.

Am I Eligible For A Business Credit Card

In general, to be eligible for a Business credit card you’ll need to be a Canadian resident and be at least 18 years of age. In addition to that, you must own a business to obtain a business credit card. Many banks will also have income and credit score standards you’ll need to meet in order to qualify. 

Bottom Line

If you decide to get a business credit card, you’ll also help build your business credit score. A business credit score is like a personal credit score in which it is used to determine your business’ creditworthiness when you apply for a business loan. If you use your business credit card responsibly, it can turn into a financial product that not only allows you to better track your expenses but opens a future of other financial credit products your business can rely on. 

Priyanka Correia avatar on Loans Canada
Priyanka Correia

Priyanka Correia is a Marketing Coordinator and personal finance expert at Loans Canada. Priyanka completed her Bachelor's degree in Marketing at Concordia University and has published work that has been mentioned in various news media. She is passionate about money management and educating Canadian consumers about how to take control of their financial lives.

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