Best Business Credit Cards in Canada (2024)

As your comfort level in the miles and points scene increases, you might be looking for the next best opportunity to increase your balances. While there are many opportunities with personal credit cards that you can take advantage of, the small business credit card scene is the other half of the equation to being able to step up your game.

Listed below, we present the top 5 best business credit cards in Canada for 2023 based on a variety of factors such as overall value (including welcome bonus), benefits, perks, and annual fees.

Am I Eligible for Business Credit Cards Without a Business?

Before we jump to our ranking of the best Canadian business credit cards, the quintessential question often is “But I don’t have a business, how can I get a business credit card?”. Regardless, you are eligible as a sole proprietorship with your business name being your legal first and last name. You do not need a business to qualify for a business credit card.

If you really think about it, I’m sure you can find something in your life that you can classify as a “side business”. Furthermore, most business credit cards qualify you based on personal income anyways and don’t require your ‘business’ to have income. Ultimately, you are eligible to apply for business credit cards as a sole proprietor.

Top 5 Canadian Business Credit Cards

#5 – CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business Credit Card

Starting out simple, our fifth place business credit card in Canada is the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business card.

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business Card

The CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business card earns Aeroplan points and offers cardholders benefits including an Air Canada Buddy Pass and free first checked bag on Air Canada flights.

BONUS
60,000 Aeroplan
MINSPEND
$35,000
NET VALUE
$1,260+
ANNUAL FEE
$180 (FYF)
FOREX FEES
Yes
EXPIRY

Where the value lies: Decent welcome bonus, first year free, free checked bag on Air Canada flights, and four maple leaf lounge guest passes

The CIBC Aeroplan business card typically has a decent welcome bonus and comes with a few solid perks that you can use to improve your experience when flying with Air Canada (if not already flying in business class). They are nothing to write home about, but the four lounge passes, in particular, could be useful to those who don’t have airport lounge access through other methods.

Getting a CIBC business card may require jumping through a few hoops, including filling out additional forms, but it isn’t too bad overall. Not to mention, there is an opportunity for product switching once you hold this card.

#4 – Amex Aeroplan Business Reserve Credit Card

Coming in with the highest annual fee ($599) on our list, the American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve credit card often has a high welcome bonus consisting of Aeroplan points in addition to a suite of Air Canada related perks.

American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card

The American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve card earns Aeroplan points and offers cardholders various Air Canada benefits including priority boarding, free checked baggage, and complimentary Maple Leaf airport lounge access.

BONUS
90,000 Aeroplan
MINSPEND
$14,000
NET VALUE
$1,291+
ANNUAL FEE
$599
FOREX FEES
Yes
EXPIRY

Where the value lies: Strong welcome bonus, Maple Leaf Lounge access, free checked bag on Air Canada flights, and exceptional Travel insurance coverage

The Air Canada perks are pretty good, but can also be found on other Aeroplan branded credit cards. The real stand-out benefit of the Amex Aeroplan Business Reserve card is the complimentary Maple Leaf Lounge access. If you often fly business this perk is less useful, but someone who often redeems for economy trips or does a large amount of domestic travel may be able to get more value out of this perk.

Receiving a significant amount of Aeroplan points for a $599 annual fee can make sense – but I can understand if the annual fee scares some away since it is a substantial cost. If you are still looking to earn a good chunk of points with a smaller annual fee, let’s take a look at our top three business credit cards.

#3 – American Express Business Gold Card

The American Express Business Gold card is a strong contender for the middle of the road when it comes to business credit cards. The card has a solid welcome bonus for a $199 annual fee, which is quite low compared to a few other cards on this list.

American Express Business Gold Card

The American Express Business Gold card earns Membership Rewards on all eligible purchases which can be transferred to various frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs.

BONUS
70,000 Membership Rewards
MINSPEND
$5,000
NET VALUE
$1,341+
ANNUAL FEE
$199
FOREX FEES
Yes
EXPIRY

Where the value lies: Strong ratio of welcome bonus vs. annual fee compared to other cards

Overall, the American Express Business Gold credit card earns third place through its simple value proposition: it has a great output of Membership Rewards points for a minimum spend requirement that would be easily reachable by most individuals.

#2 – American Express Business Edge Credit Card

Did you think the welcome bonus compared to the annual fee on the Business Gold card was strong? It is about to get even better. An often under-appreciated card, the American Express Business Edge card has a super low annual fee with an often reasonable welcome bonus of Membership Rewards points.

American Express Business Edge Card

The American Express Business Edge card earns Membership Rewards points and gives cardholders the opportunity to earn 3x Membership Rewards on office supplies, electronics, transportation, gasoline, and eats and drinks.

BONUS
45,000 Membership Rewards
MINSPEND
$5,000
NET VALUE
$891+
ANNUAL FEE
$99
FOREX FEES
Yes
EXPIRY

Where the value lies: Even stronger ratio of welcome bonus vs. annual fee compared to other cards

For any credit card that has no significant benefits or perks outside of the welcome bonus, as the Amex Business Edge, I always recommend doing a quick calculation of the annual fee against the welcome bonus to determine the value you can extract.

#1 – American Express Business Platinum Card

The American Express Business Platinum card has always been a titan in the Canadian business credit card market if you can stomach the $799 annual fee. The annual fee is the biggest negative about this card and often scares new credit card rewards enthusiasts away, but the value you can extract from this card makes it completely worth it.

American Express Business Platinum Card

The American Express Business Platinum card earns Membership Rewards points and offers cardholders benefits including complimentary access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, a $100 NEXUS membership credit, an annual $200 travel credit, and more.

BONUS
120,000 Membership Rewards
MINSPEND
$15,000
NET VALUE
$1,841+
ANNUAL FEE
$799
FOREX FEES
Yes
EXPIRY

Where the value lies: Strong welcome bonus, access to Centurion lounges and Priority Pass lounges, Marriott Gold Elite status, and a great bonus for referring

The welcome bonus is consistently one of the highest in Canada. If you are earning miles and points with any friends or family members, the Business Platinum has a strong referral bonus of up to 20,000 Membership Rewards for each referral. Considering you can earn up to 225,000 Membership Rewards in referral bonuses per calendar year, this can add up quickly.

With this card, you also will gain access to the American Express Centurion lounges for yourself and two guests (I’ve been to the one in Las Vegas and their drinks were fantastic). For access to a wider variety of airport lounges, you will also have access to Priority Pass for yourself and one additional guest. You can check what lounges you would have access to on the priority pass website.

The Amex Business Platinum card also grants Marriott gold elite status, which may be useful for scoring the odd upgrade. This perk simply upgrades your status on your Marriott account but does not provide you with any qualifying elite nights.

Another neat perk is that platinum concierge which could have some use for niche situations; just don’t expect them to be able to move the world. I can speak to a recent example where a friend was in Dubai and wanted to get a lunch reservation at a restaurant at the Burj Al Arab but no bookings were available online. Upon contacting the platinum concierge, they were able to secure him a reservation at the desired restaurant.

Conclusion

The Canadian business credit card line-up as a whole offers strong travel rewards earning opportunities in addition to benefits and perks. While some of them may come with a higher minimum spend requirement than personal cards, the rewards and value that can be extracted are definitely worth putting in the additional effort.

While we have included the most current welcome bonus offers in this article, these offers are always changing so review our credit card comparison tool to see the up-to-date offers on these small business cards.

Josh Bandura

Josh Bandura

Co-Founder at Frugal Flyer
Josh has been involved in the miles and points game since 2015 but has scaled up his knowledge and points earning potential in recent years. With a consistent attitude of "min-maxing" in many aspects of his life, Josh has transferred this mindset over to the miles and points game. Always looking for the next big opportunity, he aims to share content on a variety of topics including his travels, miles and points, and most importantly, how to get the most out of your credit cards

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