Is American Express Worth It in Canada?

PiggyBank Staff | August 8, 2023
✓ Verified by

American Express is a renowned credit card company that offers a range of benefits and perks to its cardholders. It’s important to evaluate whether or not American Express is worth it for you based on your individual needs and preferences. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind.

What Are the Benefits of American Express?

  1. Membership Rewards Program: American Express offers a robust rewards program that allows cardholders to earn points on their purchases, which can be redeemed for a variety of options such as travel, merchandise, or statement credits.
  2. Travel Benefits: American Express provides exclusive travel perks like airport lounge access, hotel upgrades, and travel insurance, catering to the needs of frequent travelers.
  3. Purchase Protection: Cardholders can benefit from purchase protection, which safeguards their purchases against damage, theft, or loss within a specified time frame.
  4. Exclusive Access and Perks: American Express cardholders may enjoy access to exclusive events, presale tickets, and special offers through partnerships with various companies.

What Are the Drawbacks of American Express?

  1. Limited Acceptance: Unlike Visa or Mastercard, American Express may not be accepted at all establishments, especially smaller businesses.
  2. Annual Fees: Some American Express cards come with annual fees, so it’s important to assess whether the benefits outweigh the costs for your specific usage.
  3. Higher Interest Rates: American Express cards may have higher interest rates compared to other credit card companies, which can be a significant consideration if you tend to carry a balance.

Factors to Consider in Determining if American Express is Worth It

  1. Personal Spending Habits: Consider your spending patterns to determine if you will benefit from the rewards and perks offered by American Express.
  2. Travel Frequency: If you frequently travel, the travel benefits provided by American Express may hold more value for you.
  3. Preferred Rewards and Perks: Evaluate if the rewards and perks offered align with your preferences and lifestyle.
  4. Financial Management: Ensure that you can manage your credit effectively and pay off your balance on time to avoid high-interest charges.

To make an informed decision, it can be helpful to explore customer experiences and reviews to gain insights into the benefits and drawbacks of holding an American Express card. Considering these factors will help you assess if American Express is worth it for you and can help determine if their offerings align with your financial goals and lifestyle.

What Are the Benefits of American Express?

Unlock a world of incredible benefits with American Express! From exclusive access to a phenomenal Membership Rewards Program to unbeatable travel perks and purchase protection, this section will take you on an exciting journey through the numerous advantages offered by American Express. Discover how the Membership Rewards Program can elevate your shopping experience, explore the unparalleled travel benefits that await you, and learn about the unparalleled purchase protection you receive. Get ready to indulge in exclusive access and perks that redefine the way you experience financial services.

1. Membership Rewards Program

The Membership Rewards Program offered by American Express provides numerous benefits to cardholders.

With this program, cardholders have the opportunity to earn points for every eligible purchase they make, allowing them to later redeem these points for various purposes, including travel, shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Cardholders also have the option to transfer their earned points to partnering airlines and hotel loyalty programs.

What sets this program apart is the exclusive offers it provides to its members, such as special promotions and discounts.

The program enhances the travel experience by granting cardholders access to airport lounges, travel insurance coverage, and 24/7 concierge service.

The flexibility of this program allows cardholders to use their accumulated points according to their personal preferences.

2. Travel Benefits

  • Travel rewards: American Express offers travel benefits to its cardholders. This includes earning points or miles for travel-related expenses like flights, hotels, and car rentals. The Membership Rewards Program allows cardholders to redeem points for travel rewards such as airline tickets or hotel stays.
  • Airline lounge access: Certain American Express cardholders have access to airport lounges. These lounges provide a comfortable space to wait for flights, with amenities like complimentary food and beverages, Wi-Fi, and comfortable seating.
  • Travel insurance: American Express provides travel insurance coverage for cardholders. This includes trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage insurance, and travel accident insurance. These protections offer peace of mind when traveling.
  • Global assistance: American Express offers 24/7 global assistance to help cardholders with travel-related issues. This includes emergency medical assistance when traveling abroad, roadside assistance for car rentals, and concierge services for travel arrangements and restaurant recommendations.
  • Travel discounts and perks: American Express cardholders often receive exclusive travel discounts and perks. These can include special rates or upgrades at hotels and resorts, discounted or exclusive access to events, and complimentary benefits like free breakfast or late check-out.

3. Purchase Protection

Purchase Protection: American Express understands the importance of purchase protection and offers various benefits to provide cardholders with peace of mind. One of these benefits is Extended Warranty, where American Express extends the manufacturer’s warranty and covers defects or malfunctions for eligible purchases.

In addition, Return Protection allows American Express to reimburse you if a merchant refuses to accept a return, subject to specific conditions and limitations.

American Express provides Purchase Insurance to protect eligible purchases against accidental damage or theft.

Should you encounter a dispute with a merchant, American Express will investigate the claim and strive for a fair resolution through its Dispute Resolution process.

It is important to note that the terms and conditions for purchase protection may differ based on your card type and issuer. To fully understand the coverage and any claim requirements, we recommend reviewing the purchase protection benefits of your American Express card.

4. Exclusive Access and Perks

American Express cardholders receive exclusive access and perks, including special access to concerts, sporting events, and fashion shows. They can enjoy comfortable seating, complimentary food and drinks, and other amenities in airport lounges. American Express also offers dedicated concierge services to assist with travel bookings, reservations, and personalized services. Cardholders can also take advantage of exclusive perks at select hotels and resorts, such as room upgrades, late checkout, and complimentary breakfast. American Express partners with retailers and restaurants to provide cardholders with exclusive discounts, rewards, and special offers.

What Are the Drawbacks of American Express?

If you’ve been considering getting an American Express card, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. In this section, we’ll dive into the potential drawbacks of American Express. Discover why limited acceptance, annual fees, and higher interest rates can be significant factors to consider. So, get ready to make an informed decision as we explore the not-so-glamorous side of American Express.

1. Limited Acceptance

American Express has limited acceptance compared to other credit card companies. Many small businesses do not accept American Express due to higher transaction fees. In addition, in international travel, certain establishments may not accept American Express.

I recently encountered limited acceptance with my American Express card at a local family-owned restaurant. The owner explicitly stated that they did not accept American Express because of the higher fees associated with processing transactions. As a result, I had to rely on another credit card for payment. This particular experience served as a reminder of the importance of considering the acceptance of American Express when deciding whether it is worth having. While American Express offers numerous benefits and rewards, it is crucial to assess its acceptance rate in your local area, especially if you frequently support small businesses or have plans to travel internationally.

2. Annual Fees

Annual fees are a crucial aspect to consider when determining the worth of American Express. American Express imposes an annual fee for their credit cards, ranging from $95 to $550 depending on the specific card. It is important to note that these fees may be higher compared to other credit card issuers. Nevertheless, the advantages and benefits offered by American Express cards often overshadow the fee.

One notable benefit of American Express cards that justifies the annual fee is their exceptional rewards program. Cardholders have the opportunity to earn points on their purchases, which can later be redeemed for various options such as travel, merchandise, or statement credits. Depending on the card and spending habits, the value of these rewards can surpass the annual fee.

In addition, American Express provides supplementary benefits that are worth considering. Notable examples include access to airport lounges, travel insurance, and concierge services. These additional perks enrich the value of the card and help offset the annual fee.

Ultimately, the worthiness of the annual fee depends on an individual’s spending habits, frequency of travel, and the importance they place on American Express rewards and perks. Careful evaluation of these factors and comparing them to the annual fee will determine whether it is a worthwhile investment.

3. Higher Interest Rates

American Express credit cards are known for their higher interest rates compared to other issuers.

The interest rate charged by American Express ranges from 14.49% to 25.49%, depending on the cardholder’s creditworthiness and market conditions.

These higher rates can result in significant interest charges if the cardholder carries a balance.

It is crucial for cardholders to understand the implications of these rates and carefully manage their spending and payment habits to avoid excessive charges.

One way to mitigate the impact of higher interest rates is by paying the balance in full each month.

This approach helps minimize additional costs and reduces the impact of the higher interest rates.

When considering whether to have an American Express card, it is essential to compare the rates of different issuers and take into account factors such as rewards programs, benefits, and fees.

Factors to Consider in Determining if American Express is Worth It

When deciding if American Express is worth it, there are several factors to consider. We’ll take a closer look at these important elements to help you make an informed decision. From your personal spending habits to your travel frequency, preferred rewards, perks, and even financial management, each aspect plays a role in determining whether American Express is the right fit for you. So let’s dive in and explore what makes American Express a worthwhile option for your specific needs.

1. Personal Spending Habits

Personal Spending Habits

When considering if American Express is worth it for you, it’s important to take into account your personal spending habits.

  • If you frequently use your credit card for everyday expenses, American Express offers rewards programs like the Membership Rewards Program. With this program, you can earn points on purchases for travel, dining, or merchandise.
  • For individuals who enjoy traveling, American Express provides travel benefits such as travel insurance, airport lounge access, and exclusive flight and hotel discounts.
  • If you have a limited budget and don’t spend much, the annual fees on American Express cards may not be worth it.

It’s a fact that American Express has different card options to suit various spending habits. They offer cards with no annual fees and low-interest rates, which are ideal for those who prefer careful financial management.

2. Travel Frequency

When considering whether American Express is worth it, your travel frequency is important.

– For frequent travelers, American Express offers travel benefits that can enhance your experience. These include access to airport lounges, travel insurance coverage, and concierge services to assist with travel arrangements.

– Even if you don’t travel frequently, American Express can still offer benefits for your occasional trips. You may still have access to certain travel benefits such as travel insurance coverage and the ability to earn rewards on your travel expenses.

– If you rarely travel, the travel benefits of American Express may not be as significant for you. You can still consider other factors such as the rewards and perks that can be earned on everyday spending or the financial management tools offered by American Express.

Pro-tip: If you have a regular travel schedule or foresee an increase in travel frequency in the future, American Express can provide valuable benefits and rewards that can enhance your travel experiences and save you money.

3. Preferred Rewards and Perks

American Express offers a robust rewards program called the Membership Rewards Program that includes Preferred Rewards and Perks. Cardholders can earn points on their purchases and redeem them for travel, gift cards, and merchandise, taking advantage of the preferred rewards and perks.

American Express also provides travel benefits like airport lounge access, travel insurance, and discounts on hotels and car rentals. They offer purchase protection for eligible items, including coverage for theft, damage, and extended warranties.

Cardholders can enjoy exclusive access to events, concerts, and dining experiences, as well as perks like complimentary upgrades and concierge services.

American Express stands out with their diverse range of benefits that cater to various spending habits and lifestyles, providing preferred rewards and perks for cardholders. Consider your spending habits, travel frequency, and preferences for rewards and perks when deciding if American Express is right for you.

4. Financial Management

When it comes to financial management, it’s important to consider several factors with American Express:

  1. Rewards and Perks: American Express provides opportunities for cashback or points for travel or merchandise. It’s crucial to take into account your spending habits and the value of rewards to align them with your financial goals.
  2. Travel Benefits: American Express offers access to airport lounges, travel credits, and travel insurance. These additional benefits enhance the travel experience and provide added value.
  3. Financial Tools: American Express provides effective tools for tracking expenses and managing finances. These tools can greatly assist in budgeting and monitoring your financial health.
  4. Annual Fees: It’s essential to consider the annual fees associated with American Express cards and compare them to the benefits and rewards offered. Assess whether the benefits outweigh the cost based on your spending habits and financial goals.

Pro-tip: To make an informed decision on financial management, evaluate your needs and objectives and compare American Express to other credit cards available in the market. Consider fees, rewards, and perks offered, and choose the option that aligns best with your financial management goals.

Customer Experiences and Reviews

Customers rave about their experiences with American Express, leaving glowing reviews about the excellent customer service and comprehensive rewards programs. The convenience of managing accounts online also receives high praise, as it offers easy access and control over finances. American Express cardholders express satisfaction with a wide range of travel benefits and perks, including the coveted airport lounge access and complimentary hotel upgrades. Customers appreciate the peace of mind provided by the robust fraud protection measures implemented by American Express.

When it comes to financial aspects, reviews highlight the competitive interest rates and transparent fee structures offered by the company. The flexibility and convenience of using an American Express card for both personal and business expenses are valued by many customers. Customers express satisfaction with the variety of card options available, catering to different spending habits and lifestyles. While it is noted that there may be limited acceptance of American Express in certain establishments, particularly smaller businesses, the majority of reviews are overwhelmingly positive about the overall customer experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the American Express Gold Card worth it?

Yes, the American Express Gold Card can be worth it for those who spend heavily on dining and at U.S. supermarkets, as the bonus points earned in these categories offer a high return. The $240 in annual statement credits, including the dining and Uber credits, also provide great value.

What are the benefits of the American Express Gold Card?

The American Express Gold Card offers several benefits, including up to $10 monthly in dining credits at select restaurants, up to $120 annually in Uber Cash, and the ability to earn 4 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets. It also has no foreign transaction fees.

How does the American Express Gold Card compare to other credit cards?

The American Express Gold Card is a premium rewards card that is suitable for those who spend heavily on dining and groceries and want a premium-lite card. It may not be the best choice for everyone, so it is important to consider individual spending habits and needs before applying.

Are there any drawbacks to the American Express Gold Card?

While the American Express Gold Card offers valuable benefits, it may not be suitable for people who are under 5/24 and want more Chase cards, as it is important to prioritize Chase credit cards due to their 5/24 rule. It may also have limited value for people who live outside the U.S. due to some perks being limited to U.S. use.

What are the alternatives to the American Express Gold Card?

Alternatives to the American Express Gold Card include other cards like the Amex Platinum Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, and Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. Each of these cards offers their own rewards, benefits, and welcome bonuses, so it is important to consider personal preferences and financial situations when choosing a credit card.

Is the annual fee for the American Express Gold Card justified?

Whether the annual fee for the American Express Gold Card is justified depends on individual spending habits and lifestyle. For big spenders and those who frequently fly or stay at specific hotel chains, the perks and rewards of the card can outweigh the fee. It may not be suitable for frugal spenders, credit-builders, or those who prefer cash back or statement credits.